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Chef Jarred Harris to teach Mediterranean-inspired cooking classes

By Staff | Aug 17, 2017

Community House Resident Chef Jarred Harris is launching hands-on cooking classes and chef demonstrations centered on Mediterranean cooking. MEGHAN MCCOY

Community House Resident Chef Jarred Harris is launching hands-on cooking classes and chef demonstrations centered on Mediterranean cooking beginning tomorrow.

“This diet is the best in the world, it’s the best thing for you,” Harris said. “Researchers say that the Mediterranean diet helps fight against heart disease, depression, type II diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.”

On Thursday Aug. 17 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Harris will teach a hands-on class where attendees will learn how to prepare falafel, baba ganoush and hummus with a micro green salad, Spanish fish gratins, polenta fries, roasted vegetables and couscous. For dessert, Harris will top off the meal with a fig, goat’s cheese and honey tart. The cost of the class is $75.

For those who are unfamiliar with baba ganoush, Harris said it’s a Middle-Eastern dip made from eggplant.

“You take eggplant and you char it, and the inside gets this smoky flavor and makes it kind of sweet. You mix it with tahini, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper. It’s delicious,” Harris said.

The Spanish fish gratins are made with white fish like cod and haddock.

“(They) catch these fish, filet them, then salt them. They last indefinitely. Years. They last a long time. The way you reconstitute them is you soak them in water and that gets most of the salt out, then you have to cook them in milk. Milk stabilizes the salty, fishy flavor that comes out of it and gives it a very, very unique taste,” Harris said.

On Thursday, Aug. 24 from 5 to 7 p.m., Harris will demonstrate how to make Andalusian gazpacho, tomato, olive and artichoke salad and salt crusted snapper with zucchini and quinoa stuffed peppers. For dessert, Harris will make a almond and cherry cake with sherry syrup. The cost of the class is $35.

The Andalusian gazpacho is a cold, tomato-based soup.

“It has onions, peppers, cucumbers and garlic. It is a traditional staple in Spanish and Mediterranean cooking,” Harris said.

The last cooking demonstration will take place Sunday, Aug. 27, from 4 to 6 p.m. Attendees will learn how to make taramasalata with pita crisp, grilled halloumi cheese and watermelon salad with basil and mint dressing, pan roasted grouper with tarragon and spinach and pancetta. For dessert, Harris will make a bacon raisin polenta and olive oil cake. The cost of the class is $35.

Harris said that taramasalata isn’t your usual fish dip.

“It’s made with tarama. Tarama is smoked cod roe, so it’s fish eggs. It’s very unusual. It’s fantastic, it’s good for you, too,” Harris said.

The classes are sponsored by the Sanibel Captiva Trust Company. All three classes can be purchased for $130. To register for a class, go to sanibelcommunityhouse.net or call (239) 472-2155.