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Today’s Table: Develop Your Cooking Skills

This spring, you can learn how to be a great amateur chef. “Today’s Table” will be held in Crabiel Hall’s culinary lab on the Edison campus. Come hungry and enjoy tastings of food prepared by the chef. Recipes are distributed.

“This program is for cooks and non-cooks, and it is instructive, entertaining and fun,” said Dr. Lynn Lederer, director of Professional and Community Programs at the College. “You will develop techniques to enhance your recipes. This is a wide-ranging cooking program that is both enjoyable and educational.”

Except for the full-day Saturday classes, you may register a la carte at $40 for each class or choose any three classes for $99. The savings are available to anyone who registers with payment for the three classes at the same time. Except where noted, classes meet from 6:30-9 p.m. For more information visit middlesexcc.edu/profcom or call 732-906-2556. Spring classes include:

Comfort Foods: From Our Kitchen to Yours

Enjoy a soul-satisfying meal featuring roasted tomato soup, slow-cooked pork shoulder with mustard and sage, chicken pot pie and chocolate bread pudding with salted caramel. Tuesday, January 20.

Soup’s On

Discover how simple it is to create international soups from scratch! Soupe au pistou (French vegetable soup), Sopa de mariscos (Spanish seafood soup), and pasta e fagioli (Italian bean and pasta) are all healthy and delicious and sure to warm cold nights. Thursday, January 22.

Lemons: One Ingredient, 5 Ways

Did you know lemons are at the peak of ripeness during the cold months of mid-winter? Shake off the winter blues with this summery-colored fruit. Menu includes shrimp peri peri, preserved lemon chicken, meyer lemon tart and more. Tuesday, January 27.

One-Pot Meals

Learn to make delicious and healthy meals with no fuss and few dishes to wash. Menu includes one pan roasted chicken and vegetable, pozole, Mexican pork and hominy stew and saganaki, Greek sautéed shrimp with tomatoes, olives and feta cheese. Thursday, January 29.

Roasting and Braising

Learn the art of braising – a simple cooking technique with big flavor outcomes. Turn tough cuts of meat into juicy, tender and mouthwatering morsels. Tuesday, February 3.

Ramen Rampage

For most of us, ramen is reminiscent of our college days or a quick snack in between school and dinner. Led by celebrity chefs, American interest in Japanese noodles has risen dramatically. Ramen’s history can be traced back to China and Japan hundreds of years ago. Come learn the intriguing history of Ramen and sample the four types: shio, shoyu, tonkotsu and miso. Thursday, February 5.

Chocolate to Die For

Looking for some sweet indulgences this Valentine’s Day? Look no further. This class features homemade sweets from the heart; double chocolate brownie bars, chocolate parfaits, fried chocolate peanut butter crunch sandwich, hot chocolate spiced rum drink and bourbon truffles. Saturday, February 7, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Meatball Madness

Did you know that meatballs are the latest craze? Come try this yummy menu: baked chicken meatballs with peperonata, Italian meatball soup rápido, chipotle meatballs, veal meatballs with braised vegetables and more. Monday, February 9.

The Great Escape

Make the escape from run-of-the mill food products and try several recipes using farm-fresh organic ingredients sure to nourish the body and soul! Keep your mind and body healthy by consuming food grown and raised the way mother nature intended. Tuesday, February 10.

Passion for Potatoes!

Have you gotten tired of the proverbial French fry and mashed potatoes? Switch up your style and try potatoes and potato-inspired dishes such as purple potato chips, poblano potato gratin, bacon and potato frittata and roasted Japanese sweet potato with scallion butter. Thursday, February 12.

Moroccan Magic

Join Nirit Yadin as she explores the exotic flavors of Northern Africa. Try Moroccan olive bread, grilled eggplant with charmoula sauce, Moroccan lamb merguez, Moroccan bonbons and more! Tuesday, February 17.

American Regional Cookery

Reconnect and discover the varied and delicious dishes from the U.S. Join us as we take a cross-country road trip and sample local specialties from New England, New Mexico, California and the Midwest. Thursday, February 19.

Chili to Delight All

When it comes to chili, there isn’t one correct method for preparing it. Explore the endless possibilities: chili Colorado con puerco, pork, cubed meat chili, Lady Bird Johnson chili, chili made with chocolate and vegetarian chili. Saturday, February 21, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Flavors of Sicily

Explore the rustic regional cookery of Sicily with Chef Anthony Spaziano as he shares his culinary adventures of Italy. Menu includes zuppa di funghi Siciliana, Sicilian mushroom soup, saffron rice balls, linguine con vongole, spaghetti with clams and garlic, grilled fish with artichoke and caponata. Tuesday, February 24.

Off The Hoo

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According to the American Heart Association, eating fish at least two times per week is important to your health. Join us and discover many of the tasty cooking methods for fish. Included are steaming, poaching, sautéing, grilling and baking. Healthy accompaniments that include salsas, remoulade and red pepper sauces and more will be prepared. Thursday, February 26.

Sausage Making 101

You’ll be pleasantly surprised how simple it is to make sausage! Discover the endless possibilities of making your own gourmet food at home, rivaling supermarket brands in both price and quality. Sausage flavors include garden herb, Provencal-styled chicken sausage, Asian Hmong spicy pork sausage, and sweet Italian sausage. Tuesday, March 3.

Buttermilk 101

Everything is better with buttermilk… the secret to super-moist luscious dishes both savory and sweet. Learn all things buttermilk and sample some tasty treats. Included are winter salad with buttermilk dressing; taller, fluffy, mile-high whole wheat buttermilk biscuits; buttermilk ranch mashed potatoes; buttermilk-brined roasted chicken and buttermilk panna cotta. Thursday, March 5.

I’m In It for the Dough

Dough – a mixture of flour, water and yeast. It sounds simple but has endless possibilities. Join us for a demonstration of five basic dough recipes. Explore the infinite possibilities of the world of dough from everyday to simply elegant recipes. Fee: $75. Saturday, March 7, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Very Vietnamese

Surprise your guests with a different type of dinner party. Start with an aromatic, steaming bowl of pho, the traditional Vietnamese beef noodle soup, followed by crispy crab spring rolls, crunchy lettuce wraps, and banh mi (Vietnamese) sandwiches. End with traditional sweet banana-coconut packets for a distinctive and festive meal. Tuesday, March 10.

International Dumplings

Dumplings are eaten all around the world. Pockets of dough, savory and sweet, are sure to be a real treat. In this class you will sample samosas, truffled gnocchi with peas and chanterelles, spatzle, and apple dumplings. Thursday, March 12.

Andalusian Dining

Andalusian food has roots in Spanish, Jewish and Arabic traditions. Influenced by a Mediterranean diet, lots of olive oil, red wine, fish, fruit and nuts are used. Join us for a fusion of diverse culinary traditions and a wonderful culinary treat! Tuesday, March 17.

Root to Stalk Cooking

Don’t throw out those carrot tops, broccoli stalks, beet leaves and leek greens. Chef Nirit will show you how to use all parts of the vegetables to create both edible and wonderfully flavorful dishes. Menu includes potato skin chips, leek greens stir fry with bacon, chard stalk relish with pine nuts and shallots and radish leaf salad with corn, tomatoes and cucumber. Thursday, March 19.

Jewish Soul Food: From Minsk to Marrakesh

Join Israeli-born Chef Nirit Yadin as she prepares recipes from the cookbook “Jewish Soul Food: From Minsk to Marrakesh” by Janna Gur with Nirit Yadin and Ruth Oliver. The book covers traditional recipes that have traveled across continents and cultural borders and are now updated to reflect today’s kitchen. Tuesday, March 24.

Provence

The art of Provence is to Cezanne and Van Gogh as Southern French cooking is to Bouillabaisse and Ratatouille. Explore the quintessential foods of this region. Menu items include a baguette crostini with garlic tapenade, a spread of anchovies, black olives and aioli, ratatouille tart, stewed vegetables, bouillabaisse, a seafood stew, and Cherry Clafouti, a tart baked with cherries and almond paste. Thursday, March 26.

Easter Bread Baking

Easter baking is a tradition in several Europeans countries! This class is a great resource for anyone who wants to bake and learn the background of these Easter treats. Amaze your friends and family this Easter with your new baking skills! Menu includes: Chocolate Babka, Polish Babka, Tsoureki, Kulich and Hot Cross Buns. Fee: $75. Saturday, March 28, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Whole Grain Baking

Do you have a sweet tooth? Looking for a healthy version of your favorite sweets? Included are oat flour coffee cake, peanut butter chocolate chip millet cookies, granola cookies and teff (a fine whole grain ingredient) banana bread. Tuesday, March 31.

Bombay Grill

India’s food covers a wide range of territory and variation—the north eats wheat, the south rice, and the coasts indulge in coconut milk and fish. What is consistent is the variety of spices used. Join Master Chef Mukesh Singh, owner of The Bombay Grill in North Brunswick, for an evening of Indian spices and delight. Tuesday, April 7.

Chicken Dishes around the World

Whether roasted, fried, baked or slow cooked, chicken is one of the most versatile, inexpensive, healthy, easy and delicious dishes. Chicken is perfect for family meals, picnics, soups and special guests. Join us for a demo and tasting of pollo relleno, chicken stuffed with manchengo, mushrooms and spinach, sumac and za’atar roasted chicken and Hungarian chicken paprikash. Thursday, April 9.

Tempting South African Cooking

South African food is sometimes referred to as the “rainbow cuisine” because of its multicultural influences. The country has a large population of Indians who arrived from the subcontinent as laborers in the 19th and 20th centuries! Join Brenda Varga as she shares some of her favorite recipes: curried eggs, yogurt-marinated chicken, bobotie, with yellow rice and raisins and banana cake. Saturday, April 11, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Cooking the Books

In this class you will sample recipes found in popular cookbooks. The menu features pea pesto crostini from Giada at Home by Giada De Laurentiis; orecchiette with cauliflower from Stir by Barbara Lynch and Joan Smart; Filipino-inspired adobo chicken thighs from Emeril at the Grill by Emeril Lagasse and banana pudding with vanilla wafer crumble from Dam Good Sweets by David Guas and Raquel Pelzel. Tuesday, April 14.

Master Salads and Salad Dressings

Now that the holidays are over, many of us want to lose a few pounds. A few more pounds, a few extra pounds, alotta pounds! No need to buy bottled dressings any more. Learn to make vinaigrettes, creamy dressings and more! Thursday, April 16.

Around The World with 7 Flatbreads

Flatbreads are enjoyed in many nations around the world. Join us as we sample international flatbreads from Morocco, Italy, Persia, Turkey and India. Fee: $75. Saturday, April 18, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Earth to Table

Celebrate Earth Day with these healthy, satisfying recipes. Savor the environment’s bounty with parsley kale and berry smoothie, roasted asparagus, peas and fava bean salad with green harissa and more. Wednesday, April 22.

Lose Weight and Eat Well

Don’t get derailed by getting stuck in a rut! Learn to prepare tasty, healthy and low calorie foods that are sure to please the entire family. Fewer calories in a meal doesn’t have to mean less taste. Tuesday, April 28.

Puerto Rican Cuisine

Puerto Rican food is a melting pot of European, African, and Caribbean dishes that create a fusion all its own. Get a taste of the tropics with dishes such as: garlicky tostones, fried plantains, mofongo con camarones, mashed plantains with sautéed shrimps, arroz con pollo, (chicken with rice) and tembleque, coconut pudding. Thursday, April 30.

Tortas, Tacos and Tamales

If you’ve tried Mexican food before and still crave something more than the average taco, join us for a tasting of slow-roasted pork and poblano tortas, grilled fish tacos with avocado and mango salsa and chicken tamales with tomatillo-cilantro salsa. Tuesday, May 5.

Japanese Tea

Come learn about the various teas of Japan – bancha, sencha, genmaicha, kukicha and matcha – the celebrated tea of the Japanese Tea ceremony. Discover the principals and history of this tea ceremony as you experience and savor the foods paired with each tea sampling. Registration limited. Saturday, May 9, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

The Cuisine of Northern Italy

Italians identify themselves by their regional heritage first and as Italians second. Geography and history play a major role in defining their cuisine. Come whet your palate with samples from four regions: Piemonte, garlicky, anchovy-based bagna cauda and vegetables; Valle D’Aosta, zuppa di cavolo con fontina, bread cabbage and fontina soup; Lombardia (Lombardy), ossobuco, braised veal shanks garnished with a gremolata and served with saffron-infused risotto; and the Veneto, veneto cookies made of cornmeal, pine nuts and raisins. Thursday, May 14.

Green Market Cuisine

Get a head start before the summer rolls in with local ingredients from your farmers’ market. Join Nirit Yadin for a fresh take on seasonal produce available now! Ingredients include arugula, kohlrabi and strawberry salad, asparagus and lemon risotto, creamy polenta with braised greens and mushrooms and rhubarb upside down cake. Tuesday, May 19.