Titina's Awesomeness: A Cooking Class Review (with Recipes!)

Tuesday, September 1

Listening to "Keep Your Hands To Yourself," The Georgia Satellites.

Special Edition of Class and Coffee:
Cooking with Titina!

I do apologize for the picture quality; I was using my phone camera
(which actually did a great job! Thanks, Sony Ericsson!) and I was
FAMISHED by the time we finally ate... so pictures were not my
first priority lol.

We got to wear "Cooking with Titina!" aprons!! I liked
mine a little more than Matt liked his...

Titina is such a big deal-- she has her own brand of
canned tomatoes! Seriously!

We started with a champagne drink that mixed some
sparkling wine with fresh peaches (YUM! and simple!
Food process some fresh peaches for a hot second
and then add champagne!), and then bruschetta!

She baked the bread first then added the room-
temperature tomato, basil and olive oil mixture. Her basil
was fresh from her garden and smelled heavenly!


After the bruschetta, she asked me to come help! There
were 12 of us in the class total, and she asked each of us
to come help with something.

Matt was making fun of me because all I was really
doing was stirring... but I was stirring the sauce for
the Cavolfiori al Gratinati, or...

Cauliflower Gratin!

I had to stir really fast...
first a butter (4 Tbsp.) and flour (4 tbsp.) mix,
boiling over the stove top (loved her oven!)
and then after that got really hot we gradually added
milk (1 1/4 cup whole milk). We sprinkled the top
with salt and nutmeg, and I kept stirring till it was
bubbling and thick. It took a while! Then we added eggs
(2 beaten) and poured the sauce over cooked cauliflower
florets, arranged in a baking dish. We topped with
breadcrumbs, Parmesean, salt and pepper, then baked at
350 for 20 minutes!

So. Good. Yummmm yum yum. Creamy delish!


Next Matt was called to help! I was so excited.
He got to do a little more work than me, which
I was totally fine with. He helped with the Bomboloni
Capresi, or the

Friters Filled with Mozzarella and Ham!

For the Dough: Place yeast (1 Tbsp.) in a bowl and add
warm milk (1/2 cup), flour (1 cup) and sugar (1 cup).
Stir in with fork; allow to stand for 5 to 6 minutes.

Next, sprinkle work surface with lots of flour and
add yeast mixture. Kneead, slowly working in
additional flour (2 1/4 cups), butter (6 tbsp.
room temperature), warm milk (1 1/2 cup) and
salt (1 pinch).

Dough should feel soft and smooth. Allow to
rise for 30 minutes.

Once the dough is done its risin', you're gonna
add about a tablespoon of "filling" to a little
ball of dough. Flatten the dough, add the filling
(2 lbs mozarella cheese, chopped, and 1 lb. ham,
chopped), then fold the dough over and seal with
the top of a glass *like Matt's doing!

You've gotta seal them well because you're going
to fry these babies!

Just a few minutes; they cook quick! Careful!

We made a special garlic, chopped tomatoes
and oregano sauce for this-- which was really
good!-- but I think you'd be fine covering these
little guys with some good ol' Ragu.

See the Mozzarella ooooozing out?? MMMMmmmm.
Honestly, it was one of the best things I've ever
tasted! I wanted to eat 12 of them!


(Warning: Worst picture of the night-- coming up!)

Pollo alle Castagne, or-- Chicken in a Chestnut
Sauce! This chicken was amazing.

Unfortunately, my picture is not.

See... I was one of the last people to be served this
dish, and I was so hungry that I literally snapped
and grabbed.

But it was an AMAZING dish. I'll give you the serious
recipe... Pollo alle Castagne:

1 cup shelled chestnuts
4 chicken breasts
1 small green pepper, diced
2 tbsp flour
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 tbsp chicken stock*
(*we used 1/2 bouillon cube instead)
1/2 cup HEAVY cream (like, Italian heavy
cream. It looks like yogurt!)
salt to taste

Season the chicken with salt and dredge in flour.
In a large frying pan, melt the butter over
medium heat. Cut chicken into tenderloin-size
pieces, 1 inch wide and 4-6 inches long. Add the
chicken, cooking until golden, then add the wine.
Lower heat, cover pan, and let simmer for about
20 minutes.

Transfer chicken to platter.

The Chestnut Sauce: Deglaze the cooking
juices with the chicken stock, scraping pan well.
Add the heavy (I'm not kidding-- HEAVY) cream,
chopped chestnuts and green pepper, and simmer
gently for about 5 minutes

Pour (amazing) sauce over chicken.


Now, when dinner time came, we all sat down around
a huge dining room table. Titina's husband came in
to eat with us as well, and they spoke together in quick
Italian while we all served ourselves this amazing food. Most
couples brough their own bottle of wine, and we all DUG IN.
In between the amazing bites of awesomeness, I did get
to ask Titina a couple of questions.

Her and her husband owned three restaurants in Capri,
Italy, in the southern part of Italy, right on the beach.

They lived in Capri, running their restaurants, for most of
their lives, until their sons came to America. They decided
to come too, and they've been running Capri Flavors
for 12 years.

Her and her husband have been married for 49 years.

It was so... lovely to hear them talk about Italy.
Definitely helps make food taste good when you're
enjoying it with good conversation.



Chocolate almond cake with chocolate gelato.
Nothing to write home about, but a great way
to end the meal... and then of course espresso...
I was in heaven.


Definitely one of my favorite presents ever!

Thanks, Matt!

(Notice he still has his apron on. It must have
grown on him...)


Your enjoying-the-rain, still-in-PJs,
excited-for-football, loving-September!!,
New Girl Blogger.


Kim on September 1, 2009 at 8:17 AM said...

Same for you! I saw your pictures and now I have the story! You and Matt are too adorable. We can have glorious cooking parties when I return! :)

Kris on September 1, 2009 at 9:14 AM said...

Great looking grub! looks like you had a lot of fun too.

Melanie's Randomness on September 1, 2009 at 9:38 AM said...

Im taking cooking demos too!! It's actually alot of fun and rewarding. hmmm...Gelato..soo yummy. Looks like u guys had a blast! Good for you!

jeremyandgirls on September 1, 2009 at 9:50 AM said...

HOW AWESOME!! I'm so hungry now after reading that! I think I just may have to try all of those!! What an amazing gift - totally jealous! : ) What about the limoncello???

Sarah, The New Girl on September 1, 2009 at 9:57 AM said...

----- ----- -----
haha no worries Jeremyandgirls-- I've got that saved for my next post :) GREAT christmas present idea!!

It. was. so. good. Very dangerous!
----- ----- -----

Ace on September 1, 2009 at 10:10 AM said...

What a fun time!

Susie on September 1, 2009 at 10:41 AM said...

Looks like you guys had a ball and got to eat some delicious food to boot. Great day!

Samantha on September 1, 2009 at 12:19 PM said...

Haha, I was about to ask about the limoncello, too! :) Looks like you had an amazing time - what an awesome gift!!

Peggy on September 1, 2009 at 12:38 PM said...

Looks like a lot of fun! Did you learn what that mixture of butter and flour you were stirring is called? ;-)

stephchows on September 1, 2009 at 2:03 PM said...

That really is such an amazing gift!! It looks like so much fun!

The Duo Dishes on September 1, 2009 at 2:14 PM said...

Fun, fun! Chocolate almond cake and chocolate gelato sound pretty good. Too bad they were great. Maybe you can try to recreate them at home. :)

Clelia on September 1, 2009 at 4:06 PM said...

I like the idea of Friters Filled with Mozzarella and Ham... Titina is Italian doesn't she... I love Italian food... Maybe because I am Italian :)

Great picts your camera did a really good job :)


Trina on September 1, 2009 at 5:13 PM said...

Wow, that looks like an amazing experience!! I'm loving the fritters, must steal that idea :)

thegamerswife on September 1, 2009 at 6:37 PM said...

Lucky you! And so sweet of Matt!! The food looked awesome - you'll have to try making it all again on your own and let us know how it goes!

shadyninjaknits on September 1, 2009 at 7:04 PM said...

Oh my gosh, talk about the best present EVER! Looks like such (educational!) fun! You've made me SO hungry, and I've just had dinner. Off to raid the pantry now. Lucky girl, you!

Andrea (ace1028) on September 1, 2009 at 9:26 PM said...

These dishes look incredible! Thanks for sharing!

Lauren From Texas on September 1, 2009 at 9:44 PM said...

Yum yum yum yum. I just had a great dinner and that is still making me drool a little!

burpandslurp on September 2, 2009 at 1:52 AM said...

AAAH! Thanks for sharing with us! I enjoyed every single process of the way, and what FUN it was! :D

Ron on September 2, 2009 at 8:34 AM said...

OMG,Sarah, everytime I come to your blog my mouth gets watery! Glad to see you're smiling and still stirring (it's the most important part of cooking!).

Hope this message finds you well.
Ron, currently in Mumbai, India.

Kathy on September 2, 2009 at 9:43 AM said...

Very fun present. A friend loves chestnuts, so I 'll have to send her over to your site for the recipe!

Cucinista on September 2, 2009 at 5:06 PM said...

Great post and review. It's too bad I didn't read this a week ago -- I was just in the bay of Naples on the island next to Capri. I would have stopped in!

green ink on September 3, 2009 at 9:56 AM said...

Oh my. The food looks and sounds to die for. I'm going to Italy in 2 weeks and can't wait - this post has definitely whetted my appetite! And you look fab in the pics too :)

knitseashore on September 3, 2009 at 2:38 PM said...

What a fun evening! I can't believe that your teacher left Capri to come to the U.S. though...from the photos I've seen, that island is just stunning. I hope to visit one day myself!

I hope you're feeling better about school and everything -- sometimes I feel overwhelmed like that too and it is SO not fun. Have a great weekend!!

Sara @ Domestically Challenged on September 3, 2009 at 11:13 PM said...

Wow, that looks complicated! Good, but much too complicated for me! I am glad you had fun!

Valerie on September 4, 2009 at 12:17 PM said...

Love all the pictures and the food looks amazing!!

Sebastian on September 5, 2009 at 10:04 PM said...

Goddamnit, jealous AND hungry. Must stop reading your posts late at night. They are forcing me to snack...

Looks like awesome fun. I hope to take part in something similar one day. Or just be invited to eat such lovely food... I don't have to help cook...

Emmett on September 7, 2009 at 9:36 PM said...

Love the pictures! Nice blog!

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