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A Great Reason To Wake Up Early

by Connie Miller (CCKC “House Mistress”)
a weekly peek into one of CCKC’s special events

Not much gets me out of bed at 6:00 on a dark, cold winter morning. On Wednesday, it was a little easier because I knew I would be spending the day with the Chef de Cuisine at Lidia’s restaurant, Cody Hogan. To make it even better the class was going to be on winter vegetables!

I think it is hard to be creative with vegetables when there is 12” of snow on the ground. After Cody’s class, I am almost ready to become vegetarian.

He worked with the ‘normal’ Midwestern winter vegetables; beets ,cabbage ,squash and sweet potatoes. He also included sunchokes (which he grows), celery root (he made an incredible salad of crimini’s, celery root, parmigiano-reggiano, truffle oil and lemon juice), escarole (he grilled it), fennel (that was braised and gratineed), chicory, endive and radicchio. I was especially impressed with the cauliflower steaks, sliced thick, weighted down and fried with garlic; it was a very attractive side dish.

As of 2010, he is doing seasonal vegetable classes. The “Spring Vegetables & Herbs” is on Wednesday, April 21st. Thank goodness I do the scheduling because I definitely want to be his assistant for that one. It also includes a trip to the Overland Park farmers market. Ten weeks and counting…

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