I think I’ve beaten down my cold, so when Diana emailed me last night about a cooking class today, I said, sign me up! I had an appointment for an oil change and tire rotation for the toad this morning at 10:30, but it was on the way to the 12:00 cooking class in Gulfport. By the time we finished with the car, it was obvious that we were going to be late for the class. We got a phone call asking when we thought we’d arrive. They didn’t want to start without us. Wow! How cool is that?
If any of you have ever watched Emeril Live, you will have an idea of how this class operated. Just like on Emeril, we ladies were seated around the cooking area so we could all see what was going on, and provided with a recipe so we could follow along as the chef prepared the meal. It was quite intimate with only twelve of us participating.
Chef Julian Brunt was very open to any questions. The Mississippi Taco was his own creation. That cast iron frying pan that he used was handed down from his grandmother to his mother to him to use in his cooking. You just can’t beat a well seasoned cast iron pan for frying.
Chef Brunt began by sautéing some diced Bay St. Louis Italian sausage in the frying pan. After it was cooked, he removed the sausage and added red onion and garlic to the pan, which after about ten minutes was added to the sausage. Then it was time to fry the shrimp in the same pan. The shrimp had been marinated over night in the Valentine hot sauce. (this made my taste buds cringe, but it turned out great) He admonished us that shrimp only needs to cook a very short time in a hot pan to reach perfection. Absolutely no more than three minutes! The secret seems to be to use small amounts of shrimp at a time.Next, he stepped over to a second deep pan of hot oil and quickly fried up separate handfuls of Julienned sweet potatoes. Then it was time to assemble the tacos. He also had a bowl of cole slaw that he had prepared ahead of time. First down on the tortilla was a scoop of the sausage and onions, then the shrimp, then the cole slaw, and finally the sweet potato crisps.
Here’s the final product. Just roll it up and bite into it.
I’m thinking Diana was pleasantly surprised with this culinary masterpiece. I’ve always really enjoyed cooking and trying new recipes, but my culinary ambition has fallen by the wayside since I’ve been on the road. This was a real invigorating shot in the arm for me today. Diana and I even chipped in and bought Chef Brunt’s cookbook to share. This is certainly the best way to learn about regional cooking. I’ll be signing up for the class on crab cakes in April for sure.
We were so inspired by today’s class that we stopped at Desporte & Son’s Seafood Market to purchase some Gulf shrimp. I got the peeled headless shrimp, and Diana got the large head on shrimp. Her shrimp turned out to be much larger than mine, so next time I’ll buy the large head on shrimp, and she’ll teach me how to behead them.
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy