Last night I attended my first Zuri Cooking Club event! (Nathan and I went to the very first planning meeting in June but I have been out of town for the last two dinners so this was the first dinner I could actually attend - but no Nathan - he is in Finland:( .)
The premise of the club is just that a group of people who like to cook (you don't have to be good at it) get together and make dinner. Two or so people plan the menu, divide up the grocery list amongst the attendees, and then we all meet to cook and eat.
In the States we would probably meet at some one's house for something like this but not here because people's houses/apartments are usually very small. (Our kitchen here is smaller than my bathroom back home!) So we rented a kitchen in the Oerlikon Tezet - which I think is just a community house where people can gather, take classes, rent the kitchen, etc. And it is cheap! Who knew? Everything else is ridiculously expensive here! (I should seriously write a blog on just prices of stuff - did you know a Big Mac costs about $5.50 - not that I've eaten one - I just wanted to know - promise:)) I digress - anyway - I wish I would have taken my camera to get a shot of the kitchen and the group cooking! It was a lot of fun and I even signed up for the October Menu - any suggestions?:)
This time the menu was Creole/New Orleans (the couple planning the meal had just taken a trip there) - really HEALTHY meal:)! I think I gained 10 lbs! Myself and a guy named Wojtek were in charge of the "Smothered Green Beans" - the name alone screams heart attack. Because what else would it be smothered in but Bacon Grease Gravy - of course:) But Damn it was good! I am going to give you guys the recipe at the end of the post because I even went to bed dreaming about it:)!
Wojtek and I were also in charge of the Mint Juleps - surprisingly I never had one of these - although after I drank one I know why - can you say - let's just take shots of Bourbon! Oh and we can add some mint for good measure. I'll stick with the wine:)!
We had a 3 course meal for 19 CHF (with wine!) per person - now that is a Swiss Bargain!
The deal with renting the kitchen is that you have to leave it spotless when you leave. Which of course makes sense, but last time the group got in trouble for not mopping the floor - although they said it was sparkling when they left! But this is Switzerland and if they say mop the floor - they will check! I was wondering if it was some one's job to feel the mop to see if it was still wet from the night before:) Probably - because they told our group if we didn't mop this time then we would lose our 100 CHF deposit!
So a couple of us (all Americans) were searching every where for said mop and couldn't find it! How were we supposed to comply with the rule if they didn't have a mop?! So we were all freaking out, checking the closets, trying to find the mop, when the Swiss girl (thank goodness she was there), goes in a drawer and pulls out what looks like a dish rag. She says "This is a mop rag". A what? A mop rag. Supposedly it is very common. They basically wet the mop rag put it on the floor then push it around with a BROOM. Okay. I mean she did have a point - when you are finished mopping with a real mop it is hard to get the mop completely clean but with a MOP RAG you just put it in the washing machine. The Swiss are so efficient.:) I guess that is how they knew no one mopped - no mop rag in the "dirty hamper" last time.
I think I should introduce them to the Swiffer Wet Jet - just saying.:)
Anyway - great night! I just hope I fit in my jeans today! I don't think I need anything to eat for at least 24 hours.
The full menu was: Mint Juleps, Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya, Smothered Green Beans and Potatoes, and Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce. Yum!
Here is the Smothered Green Beans and Potatoes Recipe as promised - Serving size 8
Tip - It was really easy to make but I would suggest cooking/boiling the potatoes a bit before putting them in the sauce. The recipe says it takes only 30 minutes but the potatoes weren't done. I think if the potatoes were cooking while the bacon was sauteing it would be faster - just my two cents.
1 lb. (500 g) bacon, chopped
.5 cups (125 mL) flour
4 medium onions, chopped
2 teaspoon (8 mL) salt
.5 teaspoon (2 mL) cayenne pepper
.5 teaspoon (2 mL) black pepper
4 cups chicken broth
2 lbs. (500 g) green beans
4 medium potatoes, cubed
1. Saute bacon for 8 minutes. Remove and set aside.
2. Add flour to bacon grease 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
3. Add onions and saute for 5 minutes.
4. Add salt, cayenne, pepper and broth. Simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Add beans and potatoes. Simmer for 20 Minutes.
6. Add bacon and serve.
Ich liebe New Orleans Nahrung!