Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fall Brings Delicious New Classes

The air is getting slightly crisper, the days and nights slightly cooler, the leaves are almost turning - signs letting us know that FALL is just around the corner in LA. With FALL comes that incredible bounty you have been waiting for all summer.
Here at the COOK LA Cooking School we have transformed our menus to incorporate the season's best.  The rich, mouthwatering FLAVORS, the delicious AROMAS wafting from the kitchen are impossible to resist. 
We are bringing back some FALL FAVORITES (offered every FALL), and we've added some really exciting NEW CLASSES to our October culinary lineup. Click on our on-line calendar to see what culinary adventures await you in October, November & December
We could go on and on but it would probably be easier if you just went to our OCTOBER calendar
and looked at all our FALL FAVORITES for yourself.

November 2012
Indian Flavors - Nov 1Girls Night Out - Nov 2
Flavors of SPAIN - Nov 3 (NEW CLASS/MENU)
Holiday Party Bites - Appetizers - Nov 4
Cooking Basics Pt 3 - Nov 5
Simply Healthy Fall - Nov 7
Julia Child's & You - French Cuisine - Nov 9
Mediterranean Medley - Nov 10
Pies for the Holidays - Nov 11
Autumn Vegetarian - Nov 12
Holiday Dessert Bites - French Pastries - Nov 15
Thanksgiving Super Sides - Nov 16
Tapas Around the World - Nov 17
Knife Skills - Nov 18
CLOSED - Nov 22
Fall Brunch Cooking & Baking - Nov 25
Handmade Fresh Pasta making - Nov 28
Sushi 101 - Nov 29
OY! Hanukkah - Nov 30

December 2012
Holiday Appetizers - Dec 2
Cooking Basics Pt 1 - Dec 3
Gourmet Pizza - Dec 5
Eating Healthy Winter - Dec 7
Havana Cabana - Cuban Cuisine - Dec 8
Indian Flavors - Dec 9
Cooking Basics Pt 2 - Dec 10
Greek Fat Dinner - Dec 14
Girls' Night Out - Dec 15
Cooking Basics Pt 3 - Dec 17
Knife skills 101 - Dec 16

The company holiday party season is around the corner. If you're  searching for entertaining ideas for corporate groups, call us about our
We also offer
Gift Certificates for festive foodies,
Gift Baskets,
Iron Chef Challenges,
Cupcake Wars, etc. 

Just call us at 818-760-5157 to make arrangements to book early to get the date you prefer.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Oven Baked Tomatoes with a reduced Balsamic drizzle

Summer is rounding the corner to slide itself into fall soon and the abundance of tomatoes is superb!  Yes, you can now find a variety of tomatoes this time of year from heirloom, to cocktail, cherrie, in summer colors such as orange or yellow variety.  Once we have harvested these delicious ruby gems from our farmers market or garden, what do we do with them? Here are a few recipes which I have come to love and turn to whenever my tomatoes take up way too much space in my fridge.  Hope you like the recipes as much as I do. 

  • 6 - Summer heirloom raw tomatoes, halved and deseeded; If you have a large tomatoes you can slice up to a ½ thickness.
  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin olive oil + plus more if needed
  • Kosher salt – to taste
  • freshly grated black pepper – to taste
  • thyme
  • oregano
  • basil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees f
  2. Slice tomatoes in half and remove the seeds. This can be done by ether scooping the seeds out with a spoon or gently squeeze between thumb and index finger, and the juice and seeds will flow out.
  3. If using small cherry tomatoes the seeds can be left inside. Mix all of the spices with the olive oil in a large bowl. Toss the tomatoes to coat them well with the spice oil mixture. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, making sure the tomatoes are hollow side up.
  4. Bake in the center rack of the oven for 25-45 minutes depending on size of tomatoes. They should be slightly browned and shriveled but not burnt. Allow to cool completely before using. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
For the spices listed above, you can use either dry or fresh.  Adjust the amount of spices to be used, it’s whatever fresh or dried for herbs you have and would like to use. The point is to experiment and adjust to your tastes. As for the olive oil, you want just enough to coat the tomatoes not swimming in olive olive.

Smoky Tomato Soup with Gruyère Toasts




1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, cut into 1/4-inch small dice
2 garlic cloves, crushed in a mortar
2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
3 1/2 pounds tomatoes, quartered, stems removed
1/2 cup water
1 thyme sprig
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper  - to taste
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
8- 1/4-inch-thick baguette slices, cut on the bias
2 ounces Parmesan or Gruyère cheese, coarsely grated (3/4 cup)

  1. In a large pot, melt the butter and the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook over high heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the paprika and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the tomatoes, water, thyme sprig and bay leaf, season with salt and pepper and bring the tomato mixture to a boil. Cover and simmer over moderate heat until the tomatoes break down, about 15 minutes. Discard the thyme sprig and bay leaf.
  3. Preheat the broiler. In a food processor or blender, puree the soup in batches until smooth. Strain the soup back into the pot, pressing on the solids to extract as much soup as possible. Stir the cream into the soup and season with salt and pepper. Taste as you add the salt and pepper to adjust to your taste.
  4. Meanwhile, place the baguette slices on a baking sheet. Broil 6 inches from the heat until lightly toasted on both sides, about 1- 2 minutes. Top the toasts with the Gruyère and broil for about 30 seconds, until the cheese is bubbly. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with the Gruyère toasts. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

BBQ Rule for Summer and beyond

Summer is here...Here are some  "BBQ rules":
Rule 1:  
Always keep your grill clean. This is essential for good-tasting food and general safety.
Rule 2: 
Always keep a close eye on what you're grilling. Food can burn quickly, so be on guard and check food frequently.
Rule 3: 
and fruits at the outer, cooler edges of the grill since they tend to burn more quickly than meat.
Rule 4: 
grilling low-fat meats and other foods that can stick, apply oil or nonstick cooking spray to the grill grate before placing it on the grill and before the grill is heated.
Rule 5: 
Turning food is essential to even cooking. However, turning too often slows cooking and can result in tough, dry food. Ideally, most fish and meats should be turned only once during cooking time.
Rule 6: 
Soak bamboo skewers in water for at least 20 minutes before building kabobs to prevent skewers from burning.
Rule 7: 
Spice up your food a good hour or two before it hits the grill.  
Rule 8: 
Don't apply sauces prior to grilling.  

Happy grilling  from our COOK LA kitchen to yours.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

More benefits of Dark Chocolate

Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
  • Cocoa procyanidins also inhibited molecules know to stimulate cancer cells.
  • Researchers from Japan found that phytonutrients in cocoa regulated the genes involved in the metabolism of fats, aiding in weight loss. 
  • Research shows chocolate blocked cramping, bloating and other signs of lactose intolerance. 
  • The carbohydrates in chocolate appear to boost "feel-good" chemicals in the brain (endorphins and seratonin), thus promoting euphoria and calm. 
  • Cocoa contains antibacterial agents that may discourage--not promote--tooth decay. 
  • Dark chocolate is one of the few foods with a high content of chromium, thought to help control blood sugar.  (1)  Helps the body utilize sugars better, thus preventing diabetes as well as decreasing the complications of the disease--vision problems, amputations, kidney problems.

Deny yourself these essential nutrients, and you could well be bringing on the blues!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cayenne Pepper Roasted Nuts

Cayenne-Spiced Roasted Nuts

ingredient list

Makes 5 cups

Spice Mix

  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice, optional
Roasted Nuts
  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 2 cups dried banana chips
  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil or coconut oil
Try this spicy medley as a party snack or trail mix. Feel free to substitute any type of nut.


1. Preheat oven to 300°F. To make Spice Mix: Combine all ingredients in small bowl. Set aside.

2. To make Roasted Nuts: Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Add Spice Mix; stir until ingredients are well coated with spices and oil. Spread on 2 baking sheets. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until nuts begin to brown and appear dried, stirring occasionally. Season with salt, if desired, and cool on baking sheets. Store in airtight container. Enjoy!