Today’s Table At Middlesex County College Offers Chance To Learn To Be A Great Cook

Chef Richard Bottega, will be teaching many of the classes in the “Today’s Table: Classes for Contemporary Cooks” series at Middlesex County College this summer. (Photo courtesy of Middlesex County College)

Chef Richard Bottega, will be teaching many of the classes in the “Today’s Table: Classes for Contemporary Cooks” series at Middlesex County College this summer. (Photo courtesy of Middlesex County College)

MIDDLESEX COUNTY — This summer, you can learn how to be a great chef. “Today’s Table: Classes for Contemporary Cooks” will be held in the Crabiel Hall culinary lab and include tastings of food prepared by the chef and a copy of the recipes.

“This program is for cooks and non-cooks, and it is both instructive and entertaining,” said Lynn Lederer, director of professional and community programs at the college. “You will develop techniques to optimize your recipes. For example, you’ll learn how to slice a tomato for maximum flavor, and why one omelet tastes better than another even though they have the exact same ingredients. This is a comprehensive cooking program that is both fun and educational.”

You may register a la carte at $30 for each class or choose any five classes for $99. The savings are available to anyone who registers with payment for the five classes at the same time. Except for the June 21 class, all meet from 6:30-9:30 p.m. To register for Today’s Table, visit or call 1-732-906-2556. You can register online or download a bulletin of all the non-credit classes.

Classes include:
The Ins and Outs of Clear Soups: Learn the techniques of making the best chicken noodle soup, beef vegetable soup and a fresh vegetable soup using only the best, freshest local ingredients. Tuesday, June 5.

Simple, Rustic Italian: Chicken cacciatore, smashed parmesan potatoes, lemon parsley bruschetta and finish it off with an assortment of biscotti. Tuesday, June 12.

Sautéing Made Simple: Learn the proper cuts of meat, fish and vegetables that lend themselves to sautéing. Thursday, June 14.

Ravioli Made Easy: Learn to make a basic pasta dough recipe and master several ravioli techniques. Tuesday, June 19.

Mommy & Me & the Cupcake Academy: Learn basic decorating techniques and decorate adorable birthday cupcakes, theme cupcakes and 4th of July cupcakes! Open for children ages 5 and up and parents. Thursday, June 21, from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Berry Berry Good Summer Desserts: This class will take advantage of New Jersey’s wonderful fresh fruit by making a classic strawberry shortcake, fresh fruit cobblers and blueberry bucky cake. Tuesday, June 26.

Fourth of July Specialties: Fire up the grill and throw on a brisket, make a few marinades and grill some chicken, pork and beef. Thursday, June 28.

Under the Tuscan Sun in 30 Minutes: Learn the methods, techniques and ingredients to prepare quick Italian-style foods. Feature dishes include Tuscan soup, asiago dip with crostini and filet of beef with a balsamic reduction. Tuesday, July 3.

Floribbean Cuisine: Extremely fresh ingredients, spice medleys and fresh fruit and fruit juices account for the tremendous popularity of Floribbean cuisine. Learn to make Florida crab cakes, Floribbean mojo roasted pork and chicken with papaya salsa. Thursday, July 5.

Hearty Bistro Italian: Learn the simple techniques to make Italian bistro cuisine at home! Menu includes herbed chicken, shrimp and pasta with a tomato cream sauce and Italian cream cake for dessert. Tuesday, July 10.

Get the Scoop About Ice Cream Making: Learn basic ice cream-making techniques and how you can prepare the best ice cream you’ve ever had. Thursday, July 12.

Summer Grilling Sensations: Topics include sauces, marinades and rubs, plan-ahead meals and entertaining with light foods. Tuesday, July 17.

Healthy Soups: Learn how to take simple fresh vegetables, chicken and fish, and turn them into satisfying main course meals that are not only delicious, but also good for you. Thursday, July 19.

Cool Foods for Hot Nights: This class includes recipes and food tasting for marinated grilled minted chicken salad with apples and grapes, grilled shrimp pineapple, poached salmon with summer vegetables. Tuesday, July 24.

Pies and Tarts: Learn how to make an all butter, flaky pie dough that we will use for fresh fruit pies, custard cream pies and savory quiche. Thursday, July 26.

Master Salads and Salad Dressings: Now that the Fourth of July is over, many want to lose a few pounds. No need to buy bottled dressings any more – learn to make vinaigrettes, creamy dressings and more! Tuesday, July 31.

Basic Cake Mixing: Learn to bake a homemade cake from scratch. Thursday, August 2.

Vegetarian Cuisine: Vegetarian doesn’t need to be boring. Golden pot stickers, vegetarian risotto and healthy vegetarian sandwiches will be included in this informative and tasty menu sampling. Tuesday, August 7.

Serve Steakhouse Dinners to Your Family: How about a bacon-wrapped filet with a Roquefort chive sauce, wild mushroom smashed potatoes and bread pudding crème brûlée? Thursday, August 9.

Tapas: Enjoy culinary specialties such as croquettes with serrano ham and manchego cheese, stuffed mushrooms and garlic shrimp. Tuesday, August 14.

Panini Heaven: Come explore these toasted Italian sandwiches that are filled with a combination of meats, cheese, vegetables and even fresh fruit and chocolate! Thursday, August 16.

More Slow Cookery: Learn how simple it is to “slow cook” some of the tastiest home cooked meals. Tuesday, August 21.

Saucier Boot Camp: Learn the five classic mother sauces, how to make them and some of their uses. Thursday, August 23.

Foods of France: This is an imaginary day trip to France and a culinary journey that includes baked apple and brie tarts, cheese soufflé and chicken in a calvados butter sauce. Tuesday, August 28.

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