Saturday, June 23, 2007

White Wine Vinaigrette

On previous posts I've mentioned the cooking school in San Juan Capistrano, Our House, South County. It's been in business several years now, but unfortunately the owners are planning (trying) to sell it. Perhaps it will remain a cooking school and event venue; perhaps not. I am very sad to contemplate the closure of Our House.

What's unusual about it? It's particularly charming for a variety of reasons. It's owned by 3 people: Carole & Craig (a couple) and Sarah. Read more below about them, or go to their website (link above):
  • Carole is very talented, creative and fun. She MC's the "show" so to speak, talking about the food. She knows how to stage tables and serving, and has quite a knack for decorating. And maybe more than anything, she buys lots of house kinds of stuff that are placed all over the house and the barn - items that are for sale. Things we never seem to see in other stores. Things I buy. Lots of things I buy.

  • Sarah, her cohort in crime, so to speak, is as cute as can be. Scottish by birth, Sarah was hired by Carole & Craig as a nanny, many years ago. The children are now grown and mostly gone, but Sarah has stayed. Sarah also became the family cook, chef, and bottle washer, most likely, but she's a complete member of the family. She and Carole have a wonderful repartee.

  • The recipes they do are usually easy, but very high on flavor.
  • They serve plenty of food - you never go away hungry, that's for sure. And usually they serve at least 2 desserts, sometimes 3, with one being a take-away one to remember them by.
  • The summer barbecue classes were great fun - Cherrie and I included our husbands, and we invited our son and his wife also. We all had a good time.

Carole & Sarah try to serve people something to eat soon after arriving for the class. The room for the students (it's all a demonstration class) is festively decorated, Carole and Sarah talk about the food, prepare some part of it, then the helpers whisk plates of food in front of us. One of these days I'm going to write up something about why it is I go to cooking classes, but that will be another day . . .

The subject here is salad dressings. I guess I'm a sucker for one more recipe. I don't much like bottled dressings. Whether it's the additives they have to include to give them shelf life, or something else, but they never seem to taste anywhere near as good as home made salad dressings. I do have one bottled one I keep in the refrigerator - Brianna's Blush Wine Vinaigrette - but I only use it when I'm out of home made and don't feel like making any. Carole & Sarah made this vinaigrette at the last class, and I enjoyed it very much. It has a little bit of honey, which makes it different than most totally savory vinaigrettes. That tiny amount of honey makes a big difference in the overall taste of the dressing. I've made it twice since then, and like it a lot. It's not necessary to use the blender - I make it in a lidded jar and just shake it up. Just mush up the garlic well - you don't want chunks of it, especially if it hasn't been allowed to sit and mellow for several hours or overnight.

White Wine Vinaigrette
Recipe: Our House, South County cooking school
Servings: 8

1/4 cup Champagne wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 whole garlic clove -- minced
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup olive oil salt and pepper to taste
In a lidded jar combine all ingredients and shake vigorously. Taste for seasoning. Store in refrigerator.
Per Serving: 125 Calories; 14g Fat (95.2% calories from fat); trace Protein; 1g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 24mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 2 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.
For a printable recipe click title at top.

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