Private Cooking Class with Bek & Maggie

Last night we did a private cooking class for a couple celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary and it was quite a success! Here are the recipes we used:

Tomato Tarte Tatin

2 lbs plum or roma tomatoes, about 8 large (blanched and peeled, cut out cores, halve

lengthwise, and remove seeds)

3 T. butter

1/2 c. sugar

1 T. port or balsamic vinegar

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Spread butter over the bottom of a 9-inch diameter skillet.

Sprinkle sugar over butter.

Arrange tomato halves, rounded side down and close together, in concentric circles , in skillet to fill completely.

Place skillet over medium heat. Cook until sugar and butter are reduced to thickly

bubbling, deep amber syrup, moving tomatoes occasionally to prevent burning,

about 25 minutes.


Remove skillet from heat and immediately drizzle with port or balsamic vinegar

Top with pastry round, tucking in edges of the pastry

Make 2 to 3 small slits in pastry. Place skillet in oven and bake tarte tatin until

pastry is deep golden brown, about 25 minutes

Cool tart in skillet 10 minutes. Loosen pastry around edges if necessary. Place a

large platter over the skillet an invert so tart settles on platter. Lift off skillet and


Serves 8


Salad with Parmesan Crisps

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Divide ½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese into four mounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet, at least 4 inches apart.  With the back of a spoon, spread each mound into an even 4inch round.

Bake until melted and golden brown, rotating sheet halfway through, about 10 minutes. With a thin metal spatula, transfer crisps to a wire rack: let cool.

Reduced-Fat herb Vinaigrette:

In a blender, combine 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, ¼ cup cold water; season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Puree until smooth. With motor running, add 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a steady stream until emulsified.

Serve salad with parmesan crisps and vinaigrette.

Pork Tenderloin with Herb Roasted Potatoes

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

In an All-clad sauté pan, heat 2T of olive oil on med high heat.

Salt and Pepper a pork tenderloin. Sear pork on all sides until nicely browned.

In the same pan, add herbed potatoes.  See below.

Finish in oven until pork test 135 degrees (about 20min).  Stir potatoes half-way through.

Remove from oven and let rest for 5-10 min until pork registers 140-145 degrees.  Slice and serve with potatoes.

Herb Potatoes

Peel 4-6 yukon gold or russet potatoes and cube in 1in pieces.  Place in a large bag or bowl and mix with 2 T olive oil and ½ T each of Rosemary and chives. (or whatever herbs you choose!) Roast in oven with pork tenderloin.


Green Beans with Caramelized Onions and Tarragon


  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large sweet onions, such as Vidalia (about 1 1/4 pounds), thinly sliced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 pounds green beans, trimmed
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves


1.    In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until softened and just beginning to brown, 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are deep golden brown and very soft, 30 minutes. (Refrigerate in an airtight container, up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature before using.)

2.    Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook green beans until crisp-tender and bright green, about 6 minutes. Drain and toss with tarragon and 1 teaspoon oil; season with salt and pepper. Transfer beans to a platter and top with onions.

Provencal Fougasse from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan

1 2/3 cups plus 2 teaspoons warm-to-the-touch water

1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

5 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 cups all purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon fresh herbs (any mix is fine)

grated zest of 1 lemon or 1/2 orange

kosher salt or other coarse salt for sprinkling


Pour 2/3 cup of the water into a large glass measuring cup and sprinkle the yeast and sugar over it. Stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula and let the yeast dissolve for about 5 minutes. When the mixture bubbles and looks creamy, add one more cups of the water along with 4 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil.

Put the flour and salt in a mixer bowl and stir to combine. Pour in the yeast mixture, attach the dough hook and beat at medium-low speed for 2-3 minutes until the flour is moistened. Turn the speed to medium and beat for 10 minutes until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl. The dough will be very soft and sticky, almost like a batter and it will pool at the bottom of the bowl. Mix together the herbs and zest and add them to the dough and beat for another minute or so.


Lightly oil a large bowl and scrape the dough into it. Lightly oil the top of the dough, then oil a piece of plastic wrap. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (oiled side down) and put it in a warm place until the dough doubles in volume – about 2-3 hours. Stir the dough, cover it again and refrigerate for at least six hours or up to 3 days.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator, stir it down and divide it in half. Turn one piece of dough out onto a lightly floured surface and flour the top of the dough. Roll the dough into a rectangle about 12 inches long and 7-9 inches across. As you’re working lift the dough and flour the corners again if it begins to stick. Transfer the dough to a large nonstick baking sheet or one lined with a Silpat liner or parchment paper.

Using a sharp blade cut 4 horizontal slashes along each side and one vertical slash at the top making it resemble a leaf. You can even pinch the top a bit so that it comes to a blunt point. Repeat with the second piece of dough or put it back into the fridge to use at a later date. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let rest for about 15 minutes. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat it to 450 degrees F.

If you’re baking just one bread, bake it on the lower or middle rack. Mix the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil with the remaining 2 teaspoons of water in a small bowl. Prick the dough all over with a fork and using a pastry brush, lightly cover the dough with the oil and water mixture. Sprinkle the bread all over with coase salt – kind of like a pretzel. Slide the baking sheet(s) into the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the sheets from top to bottom and back to front and bake for another 8-10 minutes or until the bread is golden – it won’t get too dark. Transfer the fougasse to a cooling rack and let rest for at least 10-15 minutes before serving.

Olive Oil Ice Cream -from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan



– 2 cups whole milk

– 1 cup heavy cream

– 5 large eggs yolks

– 1/2 cup sugar

– Pinch of salt, preferably fleur de Sel

– 1/2 cup fruity extra-virgin olive oil

– 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Have a heatproof bowl with a strainer set over it ready for the cooked custard.

Bring the milk and cream to a boil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan.

Meanwhile in a large bowl, whisk the yolks and sugar together until very well-blended and just slightly thickened. Whisking non-stop, drizzle in about 1/3 of the hot liquid – adding it slowly will temper the eggs and keep them from cooking. Once the eggs are acclimatized to the heat you can whisk in the remaining liquid a little more quickly. Add the salt and pour the custard back into the saucepan.

Cook the custard over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula and making sure to get into the edges of the pan, until the custard thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon; if you run your finger down the bowl of the spoon, the custard should not run into the track. The custard should reach at least 170 degrees F, but no more than 180 degrees F on an instant read thermometer.

Immediately remove the pan from the heat and pour the custard through the strainer into the bowl; discard whatever remains in the strainer. Add the olive oil and whisk energetically; stir in the vanilla extract.

The custard needs to chill before you churn it, and while you can put it directly into the fridge, the quickest and easiest way to bring down the temperature is to set the bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water and stir the custard from time to time as it cools. It’s ready to use when it’s cold. Scrape the chilled custard into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions. Pack the ice cream into a container and freeze for at least two hours, or until it is firm enough to scoop.

Amaretti Ice Cream Balls

by Rachael Ray


  • 24 amaretti cookies
  • 1/4 cup amaretto liqueur
  • 2 pints vanilla ice cream
  • Chocolate sauce
  • Whipped cream

Serves 4


Crush cookies by hand or in a plastic bag. Place onto a sheet pan and dampen the cookie crumbs with the liqueur. Scoop balls of ice cream onto the sheet pan and roll around until covered.

Place the balls into a serving dish or sundae dish and top with chocolate sauce and whipped cream.



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