Sunday, March 7, 2010

Fun at Cannoli Joe's

I was invited to a free cooking class at Cannoli Joe's a few weeks ago, which is an Italian buffet restaurant in South Austin. Seeing as I rarely eat Italian food out (not a whole lot of options here in town!), I was excited to give it a shot, especially since there was a chef demo by chef Bob Hauser. Bob was engaging and informative, balancing tips and techniques with the actual cooking method, and peppering in stories from his days at the Culinary Institute of America and top New York restaurants.

There was a three course menu and plenty of wine to go around. One complaint I had was that the wine paired for each course was white. I'm a red drinker myself, however the whites they paired were tasty, so I made sure to enjoy some anyway :)

The first course we sampled was a Bruschetta al Pomodoro. This was my favorite since it combined the tasty bright flavors of bruschetta with a zing of pesto. I never thought to pair the two before, but the punch of flavor was delicious!

Next chef Hauser showed us Agnolotti con Gamberi (or shrimp in ravioli) using fresh pasta stuffed with a shrimp potato stuffing with a creamy pesto sauce.

We finished things off with a smooth Frangelico Bread Pudding, which was surprisingly easy to make.

Bruschetta al Pomodoro (courtesy of Cannoli Joe's)
*sorry, didn't get a picture of this one!
Toasted baguette slices
Extra virgin olive oil
2 cups diced tomato
6 cloves roasted garlic, shopped
1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette
Salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons basil pesto
Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Slice baguette on a diagonal, brush with olive oil and toast until golden brown.

In a bowl, combine diced tomato, chopped roasted garlic cloves, balsamic vinaigrette, salt and pepper. Toss well to coat. Place half of leaf of fresh basil on top of each baguette slice. Spoon one tablespoon of dressed tomatoes onto each baguette slice. Garnish be squeezing two teaspoons of fresh basil pesto on top, then top with a slice of freshly-shaved Parmesan cheese.

For those of us who stuck around too late chatting (you know who you are @misohungry and @hungryengineer :) ) - chef Hauser was kind enough to give us a tour of the kitchen! I snuck a quick pic :)
Cannoli Joe's is looking to start offering classes to the public soon, so if you're interested in learning more about Italian cooking, be sure to check it out!

1 comment:

Jodi said...

You make that mixer look GOOD!