I can’t remember when I first learned about Susan Loomis and her cooking schools in Normandy and Paris, but I think it was probably soon after I got the amazing news that I was moving to Paris (whaaa????) and began spending way too many hours on the internet, searching all things related to France, Paris, and food. Can you blame me? I had really hoped to make it up to Normandy for one of her three-day cooking extravaganzas, but so far it hasn’t happened. When I saw that she had a class in Paris this fall that I could attend, I jumped on it, and I am so glad I did! I want to write a post about that wonderful morning, but today I am happy to let Susan tell you about her upcoming class in Dallas (please share with any friends you might have in Dallas who don’t read my blog- I’m sure there are still a few who don’t….) and she has even been kind enough to include a recipe! And so without further ado…..
I had the sheer pleasure of welcoming Kate to my class in Paris a week or so ago. As I coached her on knife skills while she leaned into the tricky job of filleting, her entire body language said “No!” to getting that close to a fish. But her new Gallic fierceness said “Mais, Oui!” and her efforts were a stunning success.
I won’t be sharing fish filleting skills at my three-day cooking class in Dallas (November 14-16, firstname.lastname@example.org for information), but I will be cooking with all the best local ingredients, as I teach a group to make French-inspired holiday dishes. We’ll work in a beautiful home kitchen and will enjoy the making and the sampling of delectable fare.
I’m planning the menus now for a private class next week in Normandy, another in Paris, and of course my Dallas meals too. As I look out over my surprisingly sun-splashed Norman garden (sun = surprise after all our rain), I note there is still plenty of Swiss chard, and a host of herbs including bay leaves and thyme, tarragon and lemon verbena, and the last few leaves of peppery basil. They’re inspiring me; if the weather holds for another week which it is supposed to, each of the above ingredients will be somewhere on the menu.
To help you make the holidays even more delicious, I offer you this recipe for Almonds Roasted with Honey and Thyme. They make a wonderful addition to any cookie platter.
ROASTED ALMONDS WITH HONEY AND LEMON THYME
LES AMANDES AU THYM CITRONNE ET AU MIEL
3 cups (about 1 pound; 500g) whole, unblanched almonds
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon mild honey
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon (or other) thyme
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
2. In a medium-sized bowl toss the almonds with the olive until they are thoroughly coated. Spread them out evenly on a baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven until they begin to smell toasty and turn golden, about 15 minutes. Remove the almonds from the oven and transfer them to a large bowl. Leave the oven on.
3. While the almonds are baking, heat the honey and the salt in a small pan over low heat until the honey is liquid. Do not let it boil. Keep warm.
4. Mince all but 2 teaspoons of the thyme. Stir the minced thyme into the honey mixture, then pour it over the almonds. Toss so they are thoroughly coated with the mixture, then return them to the baking sheet, spread them out in an even layer and bake until they are golden and smell deeply toasted, about 8 minutes.
5. Remove the nuts from the oven and transfer them to a bowl. Immediately toss with the remaining thyme leaves. Let cool to room temperature and serve.
Yields – 3 cups (about 1 pound;500g)