Friday, April 29, 2011

Complimentary Cooking Classes this Saturday at Reid's Fiine Foods

"Its the Cheesiest"
this Saturday at Reid's with back to back, complimentary cooking classes featuring the fine product from the Reid's cheese case

Join me this Saturday, April 30 from 11 am till 7 pm for a series of mini cooking classes, all on the hour, all a part of Reid's Fine Foods Grand Opening Weekend. Reids is located at 2823 Selwyn Ave at teh corner of Selwyn Ave. annd Colony Rd. The number at the store is 704.377.1312.

On Saturday, I'll be featuring one recipe in each mini class, all centered around the array of taste temping product in the cheese case at Reid's Fine Foods.

No reservations needed - just drop by, say hello, pick up a recipe, take a taste and then shop your way through the store....I'll see you Cooking Up A Storm at Reid's Fine Foods.

11 - 11:45 am - mini grilled cheese sandwhiches made from locally produced Ashe County Cheddar cheese and served with Reid's homemade marinara for dipping

Noon - 12:45 pm - local Bosky Acres goat cheese spread thick on a slice of tasted french bread and drizzled with locally produce Cloister ancho chili pepper honey

2-2:45 pm - ooey gooey baked bries and warm and creamy Ashe County Juusto cheese served with fresh fruit and crackers

3-3:45 pm - baked sweet potato fries from the Reid's frozen food case with a trio of locally made blue cheese dips and dressings; and cambozola cheese with warm grilled pears

4-4:45 pm - braised garlic, white beans and tomatoes over local Goat lady Dairy goat cheese

5-5:45 pm - Heidi's homemade pesto made with fresh Italian Parmesan and served with real Italian Buffalo mozzarella and a fine smoked mozzarella

6-6:45 pm - Local strawberries from Reid's produce department served wtih black pepper, fine balsamic vinegar and creamy mascarpone cheese

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Time For Chocolate

Recipe by Charlotte Culinary Expert Heidi Billotto
as seen on WBTVs Morning Show
April 16, 2011
link to video

8 oz. bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate chips
8 Tbsp. butter, cut into small pieces
2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. coffee syrup ( or any other flavor you would like) ( optional)
10 Tbsp. egg substitute
½ cup sugar
8 oz. mascarpone or cream cheese
1 cup heavy cream, whipped

Melt the chocolate together with the butter in a saucepan or in the microwave, remembering that in the microwave, chocolate holds its shape.
Blend the warmed mixture until smooth. Stir in the flavored syrup and vanilla extract. Allow to cool. Meanwhile, combine the egg substitute and sugar in a large bowl and beat until thick and pale yellow in color – the sugar should be completely dissolved. Beat the cream cheese and the egg mixture into the cooled chocolate mix. Fold in the whipped cream. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cooking with Local Mushrooms

Recipe from Charlotte Culinary Expert, Heidi Billotto
As seen as WCNC’s Charlotte Today April 14, 2011
click here for video

24 1/3-inch-thick baguette slices
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 minced shallot
2-3 cups chopped mixed button, local or wild mushrooms, chopped and squeezed dry in a towel to remove excess moisture to make what is called a “duxelle”
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary leaves, minced
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Hot Shot pepper blend and truffle sea salt to taste
A drizzle of truffle oil
1 cup grated Manchego cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Toast baguette slices in oven until golden brown. Cool. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot; sauté until slightly soft. Add mushrooms; sauté until they begin to brown. Remove from heat. Stir in cream, rosemary, and lemon peel. Season with truffle salt, Hot Shot pepper blend and truffle oil. Cool. Mix in both cheeses.

To serve: Top each toast with about 1 hearty tablespoon of the mushroom topping. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Broil until cheese is melted and begins to brown slightly.
The mushroom mix is also delish stuffed beneath the skin of a baked chicken breast or thigh, on broiled lamb chops, as an add on to your favorite beef or veggie burger or atop a grilled piece of fish.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spring into April, and May with More of Heidi's Cooking Classes

Happy Spring! With local farmers' markets kicking into high gear and fresh herbs ready to be planted and picked, this is a perfect time to start Cooking Up A Stormll

With the exception of my monthly On the Farm class at Proffitt Family Farms, all of the classes listed below, will be held in the intimate setting of my south Charlotte home.

Email or call to reserve your spot and then your reservation is confirmed by your cash or check payment. Once your reservation is confirmed I'll send you detailed directions to my home.

Class size is limited. You and your fellow classmates can watch or lend a hand if you'd like and together will learn to chop, slice, simmer and saute along the way.

It's always a blast!

Wine parings with every dish, recipes packets and wine notes for each class participant. Cost is $55 - $75 per person depending on the class.

For reservations for any of the classes listed below, simply email Heidi at

Food, Wine and Conversations of Italy with guest Nada Vergili
Saturday April 9 11 am - 3 pm Cost - $65

Heidi Billotto and the entertaining Nada Vergili of Nada's Italy join forces in the kitchen for and afternoon of fun and flavor!

As class participants watch and work with Heidi and Nada to prepare an entire authentic Italian meal perfect for Spring and summertime entertaining, special cooking class guest Nada Vergili will be teaching us all about this beautiful regions of Italy as well as fun little Italian expressions, sayings and phrases - plus how to talk with our hands! All as we eat and drink our way through the afternoon.

To make your reservations for this class , email Heidi at

Don't Skimp on the Shrimp - A Class Featuring One of Our Regions Tastiest Summer Seafoods
Saturday April 16 11 am - 2:30 pm Cost $65

In this taste tempting class Heidi will lead participants in preparing a variety of shrimp dishes that would do Bubba Gump proud.

With local sweet and tender red shrimp running now off the Georgia coast - what could be better?

We'll cook on the grill, the stove top and in the oven.

On the menu: a savory stuffed shrimp appetizer, spectacular shrimp scampi and variations thereof; a creamy rich shrimp bisque, hearty shrimp burgers and a summery Southern pickled shrimp salad!
To make reservations for this class, email Heidi at

On the Farm at Proffitt Family Farms
Cooking Class and Farm Tour
Sunday May 1 1-5 pm Cost $65

Shelley and Brian Eagan and I met several years ago, while I was teaching cooking classes at Reid's Fine Foods' old uptown location and started featuring their beef, locally raised on certified organic pastures, in my classes. One taste and I was hooked; the flavor of the beef is amazing, as is the farm and of course, Shelley and Brian, their children Dewi and Zoe and Shelley's parents Diane and Steve Proffitt. So much so that we've decided to hold another "On the Farm" class with the Eagans and the Proffitts in their beautiful kitchen at Proffitt Family Farms in King's Mountain. Can't wait!

Hopefully the weather will cooperate with us so that class will begin with a farm tour where we will visit with the chickens, the horses, cows and bulls and maybe even a littel calf or two! Then we'll all settle into the Eagan's beautiful home kitchen to cook with some of the best beef around.

Afterwards, class participants are invited to stock their freezers with a shopping spree at the farm store.

To make your reservations for this class, email Heidi at

Make Mine Marinated
Thursday April 28 6:30-9:30 pm $65

A great little class featuring easy summer recipes all marinated and brined to bring out the fullest of flavors.
This is a fabulus group of recipes for all of your summetime grilling and al fresco dining adventures!
Recipes include: marinated local mushroom and grilled salmon salad with farmers' market greens; marinated Grateful Grower's pork with a savory blueberry sauce; Greek lamb and chicken kabobs with a homemade tzatziki sauce made from locally-made yogurt and apple cider brined duck breast with Calvados cream sauce, oh my!

To make your reservations for this class, email Heidi at