Colorado Springs Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado offers cooking classes that fill the mind and stomachOn the first Thursday of this month, I dined in the 50,000-square-foot warehouse of Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado. Weird, you might say. But it was the first of a monthly series of cooking classes called Cooking for a Cause.
There are several reasons for the classes:
- Bring awareness to the community about the good work being done at the food bank.
- Increase awareness of the continuing need of donations for the food bank.
- Introduce the public to the state-of-the-art Community Kitchen.
- Explore the food and heritage of Care and Share’s 31-county Southern Colorado service area.
The evening of cooking and dining was kicked off with a tour of the newly expanded facility.
“We are excited for the public to come to Care and Share to see the various programs we offer here,” said Stacy Poore, chief development officer for Care and Share. “During the Waldo fire, we had so many people bring donations who had never been to our new location that we wanted to do something about getting the word out about our services.”
The first cooking class featured the Italian heritage and foods of the Pueblo region. Jay Gust, executive chef at Tapateria and Pizzeria Rustica, showed us how he makes buffalo bresaola, an Italian-style, air-dried salted fillet that has been aged 3 months. It’s a type of charcuterie he has on the menu and in the deli case at Tapateria. He shaved it to add to a salad.
His tip for keeping salad greens fresh and crisp at home: Layer the freshly washed greens between paper towels.
“You can do this a day ahead and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to dress the salad,” he said.
The second course was caprese, a dish of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. But Gust didn’t go for store-bought fresh mozzarella. He showed us how to make fresh Burrata.
“This is cheese in a cheese,” he said.
The process starts with scraps of mozzarella dipped into hot milk and stretched and kneaded until it sticks together and is pliable. He then stretches the mozzarella until it is flat and drapes it into a small bowl with extra cheese falling over the sides. The center of the bowl is filled with more scraps of mozzarella and cream. The edges of the cheese are folded over the creamy mixture and the bowl is placed in the refrigerator. The cream in the middle thickens to produce a soft, rich center that oozes out when the cheese is cut. Gust pre-prepared mini burratas for each of us. It was absolutely delicious with the thick slices of fresh tomatoes and huge basil leaves.
The entree was pulled pork shoulder stewed in canned San Marzano tomatoes over creamy polenta.
Wines were paired with the dinner by Staci Blair of Veraison Distributors.
Contact Teresa J. Farney at 636-0271