Tasting Before You Try in Poulsbo

I’m at the stage in my cooking studies that I can read a recipe and know what most of the ingredients and techniques they’re talking about are. I know the trick to chopping an onion superfast (I’ll show you a video of it soon).

But there’s still a lot I don’t know, which is why I’ve been searching for local cooking classes.

Lo and behold, I came across Central Market’s food demonstrations  from its Culinary Resource Center, which bills itself as “Inspiring the Cook in You.”

I’m a Bremertonian, and shopping regularly at Central Market isn’t something I do regularly. So, I ended up with visions of a Julia Child-esque figure in the middle of the produce section chopping and mashing away dropping all the secret cooking knowledge I could handle.

Hubbard SquashSaturday’s demonstration was on an Autumn Squash Lasagna, and I just happened to have bags full of Hubbard and pumpkin squash from my in-laws.

When I got to the market, I was a little disappointed at first when I realized that it wasn’t an in-store cooking class. What happens is a group of cooks come in early in the morning and whip up the recipe of the day. Shoppers get tastes of the food and a recipe card so they can get all the ingredients before they go home.

As I took a warm, savory bite, it hit me: I don’t have to make a whole pan of lasagna just to figure out what this recipe tastes like.  I’ve had some not-so-happy recipe accidents in the past, so being able to taste something beforehand can save days’ worth of suffering taste buds.

It also turns out that the ladies at the resource center are happy to answer questions and give tips, such as adding a little chicken broth to moisten up the squash for the lasagna.

I bought everything and made it Sunday night. See my results:

2 thoughts on “Tasting Before You Try in Poulsbo

  1. How long did it take to make? What were some of the problems? And how about the results, was it as yummy as the recipe sounds? My mouth is watering.

  2. Good questions!

    So from raw squash start to on the plate finish: It took about an hour to cut up and bake the squash before actually getting into the recipe. Once that was done, the rest of the prep took about a half hour, but I bought pre-sliced mushrooms and have a stock of frozen minced garlic and onions. Cook time was 45 min.

    Total: 2.5 hours.

    I had a hard time layering the squash on top of the meat as directed (I tried to spread it by raking a plastic spatula across the top and just ended up picking up all the meat with it), so I’ll probably just mix it all up next time, unless anyone else out there has suggestions.

    I added about a cup of chicken stock to the squash, but it still ended up a little drier than what I had tasted at the store, and more pepper in the squash wouldn’t hurt.

    Overall, the squash gave the lasagna a touch of sweetness and a creamy texture, with just enough savory note to make it a dinner-tasting food.

    But the best review I can give came from the hubby, who claims he doesn’t like squash and was skeptical of the whole thing: He ate one huge portion then went back for seconds.

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