Tag Archives: balsamic vinegar

More Saturday Morning Flash Demos Announced

FLASH DEMOS™Well, it’s official. This new concept is a hit – so we scheduled more! Click here for our newest Saturday Morning Flash Demo™ classes in March at The Culinary Center of Kansas City.  Our Flash Demos are perfect for busy foodies & weekend kitchen warriors who want to learn how to cook!

Each 1-hour “Flash Demo” class focuses on one recipe, technique or ingredient, includes tastings and recipes, and is taught by experienced cooking instructors (a/k/a “Flash Demo Food Professors”). Come a few minutes early for a free Irish Coffee!

Register in advance online ($25)
or walk in the morning of class ($30)


Flash Demo: Biscuits & GravyBiscuits & Gravy
Chef Charlie Hammond  |  Sat, Mar 4

Few things in life are more comforting than Homemade Biscuits & Gravy. Chef Charlie has this “B&G” thing down!  

Flash Demo: Bellisima Balsamico!Bellisima Balsamico!
Chef Jesse Vega  |  Sat, Mar 11
It’s that delicate balance of sweet and sour syrupy perfection that we can’t get enough of.  But alas, there are fakes out there. (Insert gasp.) Understand this delightful aged vinegar and know how to use it!

Flash Demo: Handmade TortillasTortillaria! Real-Deal Handmade Tortillas
Chef Sergio Lara  |  Sat, Mar 18
You know what they say…once you go homemade you never go back to store-bought! Corn or flour…doesn’t matter. We’ll learn both.

Flash Demo: AlbondigasAlbóndigas! It’s not A War Cry.  It’s a Spanish Meatball.
Chef Raven Naramore  |  Sat, Mar 25
A classic Spanish dish, Albóndigas in Romesco Sauce will soon become your new go-to party dish! 


Stand by… we’re scheduling April and May Flash Demos now. And look for our Flash Demos to expand to Wednesdays during the Farmers Market season! More details on that soon…


And The Hits Just Keep On Comin’…

Our cooking classes are popular, and we’re always adding more to keep up with the demand. How about these new gems that we just added to our calendar?

Check out these new class options by clicking on the class title for more information or to register:

  • Fermenting 101Sunday, March 5  |  10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
    Fermenting 101
    Chef Raven Naramore

    Tasting  | Limited Hands-On
  • Roll Sushi!Sunday, April 2  | 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
    More Sushi in the House
    Chef Yvette Hirang

    Tasting  |  Hands-On
  • Saturday, March 4  | 11 a.m. – Noon
    Flash Demo: Biscuits & GravySaturday Morning Flash Demo
    Biscuits & Gravy
    Well, butter my biscuits, and add gravy while you’re at it!
    Chef Charlie Hammond
    Demonstration class

    $25/person if registered ahead / $30 day of class
  • Bellisima Balsamico!Saturday, March 11  | 11 a.m. – Noon
    Saturday Morning Flash Demo
    Bellisima Balsamico
    It’s that delicate balance of sweet and sour syrupy perfection that we can’t get enough of. But alas, there are fakes out there. (Insert gasp.)  Understand this delightful aged vinegar and know how to use it!
    Chef Jesse Vega
    Demonstration class

    $25/person if registered ahead / $30 day of class
  • Handmade TortillasSaturday, March 18  | 11 a.m. – Noon
    Saturday Morning Flash Demo
    Tortillari! Real-Deal Handmade Tortillas
    You know what they say… once you go homemade, you never go back to store-bought!
    Chef Sergio Lara
    Demonstration class

    $25/person if registered ahead / $30 day of class
  • AlbondigasSaturday, March 25  | 11 a.m. – Noon
    Saturday Morning Flash Demo
    Albóndigas! It’s Not A War Cry…
    A classic Spanish dish, Albóndigas in Romesco Sauce will soon become your new go-to party dish.
    Chef Raven Naramore
    Demonstration class

    $25/person if registered ahead / $30 day of class


6 Foods You Should Always Have In Your Pantry

Next up in our series of ‘Sandy’s Six‘ blog posts, Executive Chef Sandy DiGiovanni here at The Culinary Center of Kansas City, allows us a virtual peek into her home pantry.  Sandy, a wealth of culinary knowledge, shares with us the essentials she always has in stock at home…

Keeping in mind our crazy Midwest winters, I probably stock the pantry a bit tighter this season than any other. These are a few of the most important items I like to keep on my pantry shelves…

  • Dried Beans.  Dried beans are fantastic for a go-to meal and they’re easy to store. I like to keep a variety of them, including a mix of soup beans, Great Northern beans, cannellini beans, lentils, split pea…  have I mentioned I like having dried beans around?!
    Dried Beans
  • A variety of pasta.  Like the dried beans, I keep a number of different kinds of pasta available for use at a moment’s notice. Among my stash, you’ll generally find spaghetti, bucatini, penne, and I’ll include in the list soup pastas, brown rice, black rice and quinoa.
  • Olive oil.   I don’t usually have vegetable oil in my pantry, but many home cooks may want to keep that in stock also.  VinegarsI like to cook with EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), but use what your budget allows. Make sure you store your oils in a cool, dark place.
  • Several kinds of vinegars.  I like to experiment with vinegars in my cooking. Don’t always just default to using white vinegar!  Include red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, balsamic and white balsamic vinegars and sherry vinegar in your pantry, and play around with flavors.
  • Small containers of spices.  Buying spice in bulk for home use is probably not going to provide savings for you. You shouldn’t keep spices for too long in your pantry, or they lose their magical spicy juju. Here’s a quick guide to remember – if you can’t smell them, throw them.  I’m speaking in generalities, of course, but it’s a good, basic rule.
  • Mirepoix vegetables.  Mirepoix – pronounced “meer-pwah” – is a combination of chopped onions, carrots and celery used to add flavor and aroma to stocks, soups, stews and sauces, and as a base for braising meats, etc. They’re vegetables that I constantly use in my cooking, and ones that don’t have to be refrigerated. They’re pantry staples.Mirepoix

There are probably a few other things you’ll ALWAYS find in my pantry, but these are definitely at the top of the list. I also keep a couple jars of prepared salsa and pasta sauce in there to use if I’m in a pinch for time. I’m not a big believer in canned goods, so there aren’t many of those, except some tomato paste and beans, and those are usually BPA-free and organic.

What are the staples in your pantry?


Let Us Help You Get Dressed!

Your salad, that is.  This is a classic recipe that is easy to make!  We served this salad dressing with spring greens at Tuesday Lunch…

Balsamic VinaigretteBalsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/3 to ½ cup red wine or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Mash the garlic into a paste and place in a small bowl or jar with a well-fitting lid. Add the vinegar, shallot, mustard, and salt and pepper and whisk (or shake) to blend. Add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly, until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Use at once (or refrigerate until ready to serve.)

Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Salad of Grilled Peaches with Crispy Prosciutto and Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette


  • 2 Tb balsamic vinegar
  • 2  tablespoons  honey
  • 3  peaches, pitted and cut into 6 wedges
  • Cooking spray
  • 1  tablespoon  extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • Dash of kosher salt
  • 10  ounces of  mixed salad greens (spicy ones like arugula are nice)
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into strips
  • 2  tablespoons  crumbled goat cheese (optional)


Crisp prosciutto in a nonstick pan over medium heat.  Prepare grill to high heat.  Place peach wedges on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 30 seconds on each side or until grill marks appear but peaches are still firm. Remove from grill; set aside.

Combine oil, vinegar, honey, pepper, and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add salad greens, tossing gently to coat. Arrange lettuce mixture on a platter. Top with peach wedges and prosciutto. Sprinkle with cheese (optional).  6 servings