Southwest cuisine

Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal Gateau de Fromage (pecan/cheese appetizer), top, and Red Pepper Coulis, as prepared by Molly Gingell.

Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal Gateau de Fromage (pecan/cheese appetizer), top, and Red Pepper Coulis, as prepared by Molly Gingell.

I have wonderful news! Donna Nordin is coming to town to give three cooking classes! Donna studied classic French cooking at Le Cordon Bleu and pastry-making with Gaston Lenotre, both in Paris.

She has taught cooking classes throughout the United States as well. She opened her first Café Terra Cotta in Tucson, Ariz., in 1986, and opened a second restaurant of the same name in Scottsdale, Ariz., in 1992.

She was featured in the PBS television series "Great Chefs of the West," and her recipes have appeared in the series companion book "Southwest Tastes."

In 1991, Mimi Sheraton of the New York Times and Conde Nast Traveler magazine named Nordin's original Cafe Terra Cotta one of America's 50 best restaurants.

Her restaurants receive rave reviews locally and nationally for their flavorful, imaginative contemporary Southwestern cuisine.

The cooking classes will be held at Molly's at 6 p.m. Jan. 13 and at 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 14. For more information or to sign up, call me at 841 5511. (This is a great Christmas gift idea!)

Here are some great Donna Nordin recipes:

• 4 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, and seeded

• 4 cloves garlic, peeled

• Salt and pepper to taste

• 12 ounces goat cheese (room temperature)

• 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

• 1 T. chopped parsley, plus more for garnish

• 2 T. Parmesan cheese

• 2 eggs, beaten

Purée the peppers and garlic in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Roll the goat cheese into six 2-ounce balls. Place a ball between two pieces of parchment or waxed paper. Flatten with the back of a small frying pan or a small cake pan to about 31/2 inches round. Repeat with the remaining cheese.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Mix the bread crumbs, parsley and Parmesan together. Dip the cheese rounds into beaten egg and then into crumb mixture. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake until hot, but not melted, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, warm the pepper coulis in a small saucepan.

Spoon a little pepper coulis onto warm plates. With a metal spatula, carefully place a round of cheese in the center of each plate. Garnish with additional parsley, if desired.

Note: To make garlic croutons, toast 1/4-inch slices cut from a baguette or other thin French loaf in a 350 F oven for 15 minutes. Rub the warm toasted croutons with a raw garlic clove impaled on a fork.

Gateau de Fromage

(Pecan/cheese appetizer)

• 4 ounces Camembert, soft

• 4 ounces Gruyere (Swiss)

• 4 ounces bleu cheese (soft)

• 24 ounces cream cheese, soft

• 6 ounces chopped pecans

• 2 T. sour cream

• Chopped parsley, pecan halves, apple slices

Line a 9-1/2-inch quiche pan with foil or plastic wrap.

Blend 8 ounces of the cream cheese with the sour cream and spread over foil. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Mix Camembert, Gruyere, bleu cheeses and the remaining 16 ounces cream cheese and spread over pecans. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.

Turn onto a plate. Garnish with parsley, pecan halves and apple slices. Serve with cocktail crackers.

-- Molly Gingell owns Molly's Gourmet Catering, takeout and cooking school at 220 W. John St. in Carson City.


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