Monday, March 26, 2007

Crab-ology at Macy's School of Cooking

Chef Melchior at the Macy's School of Cooking in Mission Valley, San Diego
Last week I decided to attend Macy's School of Cooking here in San Diego. Since I can't afford going to a real culinary school, this is my way of learning new techniques. Although the class was interesting and cheap (it was $10 bucks), it actually felt more like an advertisement since one of the representatives from Phillips Crab was there promoting their canned crab product. I did learn about the different parts of a crab and the variety of crab meats as well as simple recipes using real crab meat, but I felt like I could just watch the same stuff on the Food Network. The chef leading the class was Alexandria Melchior of Bambu Bistro. I've never been to her restaurant which, unfortunately, hasn't had any good reviews, but she seemed very personable and did explain everything she was doing.

The attentive class

One of her recipes that I really enjoyed was the crab and gorgonzola cheese quesadilla. Basically you heat a flour tortilla on a skillet with a little olive oil. Add a handful gorgonzola cheese, a bit of jack cheese, lump crab meat, caramelized onions and cilantro. Then top it with another flour tortilla and cook on the other side until the cheese melts and it becomes toasty. The quesadilla was tangy and sweet at the same time and I just never would've thought of pairing crab meat with gorgonzola cheese. If you're not a fan of the blue cheeses, you can simply use a jack cheese or even gruyere cheese.

My $10 slice of crab and gorgonzola quesadilla

Lastly the chef didn't give out any recipes, but we all can make quesadillas, can't we? Chef Melchior also made crostini with a crab-cheese mixture on top, but it wasn't really a hit for me. If you're interested in Phillips Crab, you can check out, and even purchase, their crab meat here. All in all, the class was comme ci, comme ça, and I suppose I got my $10 worth of free food and crab meat tasting.

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