Posts Tagged ‘ginger molasses cookie’
Disclosure: I attended this event as a guest of GreenRubino. This is not a sponsored post.
I had had lunch at Pop Kitchen + Bar prior to going home to Australia in November. I returned yesterday to sample their happy hour fare courtesy of GreenRubino. An afternoon downpour was looming and I was glad to be indoors. Located in the Experienced Music Project Museum, Pop Kitchen + Bar has changed management since it opened and it is now operated by Wolfgang Puck.
A signature textured metallic crumble, the café has a spectacular view of the Frank Gehry designed EMP.
The interior is modern with white benches and lemon chairs.
Screens looped music videos above the bar. A generous glass of Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon was smooth and fruity.
Vases of daisies in vibrant hues decorated the buffet table.
Layered into a plastic container, the Chinese chicken salad was spiked with a pair of chopsticks. Mixed greens were tossed with shredded chicken, pickled ginger, coriander and shards of crispy wonton skins.
My favourite item on the happy hour menu was the spring salad of mixed greens, sliced strawberries, shaved Manchego and candied walnuts. A piquant vinaigrette was tempered by the sweetness of the fruit and nut.
A fluffy flatbread was topped with mandolined potatoes, cubes of pancetta and dotted with ricotta and Pecorino. I also nibbled on a wedge of cheese pizza of molten mozzarella, Gouda, chèvre and Parmesan.
A healthy vegan option, the cute slider was skewered by a cherry tomato and stacked with a white bean and quinoa patty.
Dessert was ginger molasses and chocolate chip cookies. The ginger molasses cookie had a rich caramelised flavour and the chocolate chip cookie was delightfully chewy.
I left with a gift box which I had guessed were cookies but was surprised by half a dozen macarons.
I had one of each flavour for supper!
Christmas carols were playing and it was a convivial atmosphere. A food lover’s mistletoe, cookbooks tied with ribbon bows dangled from the ceiling.
Authors were dispersed around the room, their stalls laden with cookbooks and samples.
Cute CakeSpy illustrations greeted patrons. Love hearts and unicorns!
Jessie Oleson was as sweet as her treats! Her book is titled CakeSpy Presents Sweet Treats for a Sugar-Filled Life. On a bejewelled three tiered cake stand were rainbow cookies and cupcakes baked in ice cream cones.
Whimsically decorated cupcakes baked in ice cream cones.
CakeSpy designed greeting cards.
Kibbeh, a Middle Eastern meatball of bulgur and minced meat, was a nutty appetiser.
Scallop sized and golden, the Etta’s crab cake was a delectable morsel.
Tom was carving roast chickens rubbed with Chinese 12 Spice Rub.
The pieces of chicken were tender and juicy with a crisp skin.
A simmering pot of Mediterranean mussel soup with chickpea, fennel and lemon was spooned into little cups. It was a soothing combination of ingredients, perfect for a cold day.
Served in cupcake liners, the Dungeness crab and roasted poblano hushpuppies were cooked in an æbleskiver (Danish pancakes) maker.
Greg had trays of Yuletide cookies of faux-reos (fake Oreos), lime and pecan snowballs, turbinado sugar leaves, cocoa nib chocolate truffles and almond macaroons.
Kurt was cutting wedges of Dinah’s Cheese, a creamy Camembert style cheese with a complex flavour profile.
A tower of glazed, frosted, dusted and sprinkled doughnuts was at the Top Pot table.
I munched on dad’s sardines, gin drunk currants and caramelised onions on a cracker while calculating my guess for the number of Goldfish Crackers in the jar.
I was curious about the striped and cubed jellies. They were from The Seasonal Cocktail Companion by Maggie Savarino.
The Kit Kat shaped jelly shot was cherry daisy and the cube was Earl Grey infused gin. The wobbly orange square was an intense burst of bergamot.
He brought six home made bottles of bitters for tasting. A splash of sparkling mineral water and a couple of drops of bitters was a refreshing beverage.
The mini sausage corn dogs reminded me of the Easter Show in Sydney. Crumbly and meaty, the corn dog dipped in mustard sauce was scrumptious party food.
I was delighted to spot the ginger molasses sandwich cookies. The spiced sugary discs were the essence of the festive season.
The Palace Ballroom buzzed with energy and we were all there to support our local cookbook authors!
PCC Cooks is to the left of the entrance, a room with a gleaming modern kitchen and several rows of tables and chairs for attendees.
This was my first PCC Cooks class and I had registered on the day the autumn schedule was published a couple of months ago.
A Southern native who has been living in Seattle for three decades, Lisa Dupar is the owner of Lisa Dupar Catering and Pomegranate Bistro. She is an IACP Julia Child First Cookbook Award winner for ‘Fried Chicken & Champagne: A Romp Through the Kitchen at Pomegranate Bistro‘.
We were welcomed with a mug of warm mulled sangría, a spiced alcoholic beverage that evoked Christmas memories.
There were three cameras with three screens above the kitchen to view the demonstration.
Lisa was a delightful and successful woman with catering and restaurant stories to share. As she was making Jerry’s muffaletta mix, she told us about her children finally saying ‘I don’t like hairy fish’ after many pizzas with anchovies. Traditionally layered into a muffaletta with the bread soaking in the juices, Lisa served this with white corn tortilla chips. One of her cooks, Jerry from Louisiana, gave her a jar of the olive salad mix for Christmas one year and this was how she ate it!
On the bottom right of the screen is a simmering pot of aromatic chicken brine with blue agave syrup, bay leaves, garlic cloves, black peppercorns, rosemary, thyme, Italian parsley and lime zest.
As Lisa added salt to the chicken brine, she explained she’s using natural salt. She recently attended a salt class with Mark Bitterman at The Meadow in Portland and was shocked to learn that kosher salt is a desiccant and a manufactured chemical. She has rid her 14,000 square feet commercial kitchen of kosher salt!
Next on the menu was a Mexican chopped salad with chilli lime vinaigrette. As Lisa was blending the dressing, she explained that a neutral oil will absorb the seasoning. Many of the components in dressings are natural preservatives so can be refrigerated for at least a couple of weeks. She recommended ‘smelling everything you cook with’, especially liquids to avoid rancid oil.
Crunchy with diced apples, cucumber and jicama, and raw corn, the salad was vibrant and appetising. The recipe can be seasonally adjusted. For example, radish and pear would be autumn additions or substitutes.
As Lisa carved the blue agave lime roasted chickens, she reminisced on a staff trip to Quillisaskit Farm. She was candid about her chef’s guilt. She loves to cook but dislikes slaughtering animals. When she expressed her apprehension, the farmer asked her ‘are you the mechanic for your car?’
‘Cooks are like carpenters’, tools are personal and about the ‘hand feel’. Lisa was at an event with The Chef in the Hat, Thierry Rautureau, and he was asked about his favourite knife. His response was ‘a sharp one!’
Brightly coloured bell peppers were roasted and stuffed with black quinoa. As she was splitting the bell peppers and spooning black quinoa, the fennel in the stuffing returned Lisa to her time in Switzerland. She noticed Italian dishwashers munched on fennel for digestion as they worked.
A seasoning salt recipe is included in the booklet and Lisa purchases her spices from MarketSpice. She had inherited her grandmother’s spice rack, an anecdote on how our approach to food has changed since then!
The main course was roast chicken on warm tortilla, bell pepper stuffed with quinoa and Juan’s jasmine rice. The dishes are hearty and rustic, a representation of Southern comfort food.
Dessert was ginger molasses cookies sandwiched with Coconut Bliss. These cookies are so popular that they have been nicknamed ‘crack cookie’ but to her family, they’re ‘typo cookie’. There was a mistake for the flour measurement in the first edition of the cookbook and each copy was patiently corrected by hand with a Sharpie!
Lisa emphasised the importance of resting the dough. Each batch of flour is different and the protein has to be activated. As she scooped the batter and rolled the dough balls in cinnamon sugar, she happily recalled foraging for mushrooms with a friend. Chanterelles and morels haven’t been cultivated. She also mentioned catering for President Obama and the Secret Service chef being in the kitchen!
These cookies were indeed delicious, a lovely balance of spices and sweetness. The ice cream sandwich was pre-made and we sampled cookies out of the oven which were soft and gooey on the inside.
With a hint of Southern lilt, Lisa was charming and gracious. I look forward to a meal at Pomegranate Bistro soon!