Thursday, January 26, 2012

Heidi's Email Newletter for January 26, 2012


Recipes, Televison Appearances and More


Anyone can cook - let Heidi show you how to make it fun!

Time for our first On The Farm Cooking Classe of the year this Saturday, plus a Much Requested Kids Cooking Class This Sunday at Reid's Cooking School... then Touchdown Tapas Saturday Feb 4 will help you get your game day menu set for kickoff!

Our first On The Farm class of the year is THIS SATURDAY January 28 from 3-7:30 pm, and if you'd like, you can come and make a day of it at Proffitt Family Farms in Kings Mountain.

As farming circumstances would have it, there is no herd on the Kings Mountain Ranch right now; the cattle are at the Proffitt's Blacksburg property about 20 minutes away.

And so, in this class participants will be given the option of joining us early for a special tour of that ranch (where all the momma cows and calves are) as well as the Kings Mountain property where we will do all of our cooking. The field trip to Blacksburg will begin at 1:30.
I only have a few spaces left, so if you are interested, act now!
When you email to make your reservations, I can give you all the details.
On the menu: beef tallow fish and chips, meatball hoagies, very beefy chili potato skins, jalapeno pesto and beef poppers, and maybe a few other Superbowl surprises.

As always, generous samples and recipe packets for all class participants, wine pairings with each dish, and an all new addition - each class participant will recieve a special 10% discount coupon to use within the next week at Reid's Fine Foods.

Then on Sunday, Jan 29 from 1-4 pm - Our very first, much-requested, hands-on kids cooking class at Reid's Cooking School. This class is for aspiring chefs ages 12-15 years old. The menu is a fun spread of Italian fare including mini margherita pizzas, fettucini alfredo, chicken parmigiana and homemade gelato!

Recipe packets for each up-and-coming chef. If they would like to do any shopping parents will get the regular Reid's 10% cooking class discount when they drop off or pick up. A few spaces are still left for for this class. You can make your reservations online here and then I'll see my up-and-coming chefs Sunday!

Before this weekend's classes, you might also want to stop in at Reid's this Friday night as my very talented husband, Tom Billotto, guitarist and singer, will be playing at the wine bar at Reid's from 6:30-9:30 and Friday nights through February as well. See you there!

My January Food, Wine and Conversation of Italy, with special guest Nada Vergili of Nada's Italy, was such a big hit that we're planning two sessions of our Valentine-themed "That's Amore" class held in my home kitchen as a part of my At Home with Heidi series of classes in February!

And the new good news is that we will be joined by one of the winemakers we met while on our trip to Tuscany with Nada this past September.
Paolo from Il Greppo Winery, makers of Italy's fine Vino Noble will be joining us for both Italian classes in February and will pair and pour the wines we will enjoy in class! And just wait till you try the il Greppo extra virgin estate bottled olive oil - oh my!
All the more reason to join in the fun - class dates: Sat Feb 11 and Sunday Feb 12, from 5-8pm each session.
Email me at to make your reservations now - cost is $75 per person.

Now, scroll down to see the rest of my cooking class calendar - TWO great On the Farm Classes this monthJan 28 at Proffitt Family Farms and next month February 25 at Bosky Acres artisan goat dairy; more At Home with Heidi classes and my entire schedule of upcoming cooking classes at the Reid's Cooking School at Reid's Fine Foods.

Read on, enjoy, call all your friends and plan to join me for a class real soon - its just not the same without you there!


January and February At Home with Heidi and On the Farm Cooking Classes
All of the At Home with Heidi classes are held in the intimate setting of my south Charlotte home. Email or call to reserve your spot; 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.
My unique On the Farm Classes are held at various farms in and around Charlotte. Each starts with a walking Farm Tour and then we settle into the farm kitchen to cook with whatever is in season. Again, once your reservations is confirmed, I'll send you directions to the farm and any other specific details you may need to know.
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 $65-$75 per person depending on the class.
For reservations, simply email Heidi at

On the Farm at Proffitt Family Farms - Sat Jan 28, 3- 7 pm - A Beefy Superbowl Spread is what's for dinner at Proffitt Family Farms. For the optional, additional Blackburg tour be at the farm at 1:30 pm.

Home to Shelley and Brian Eagan and Shelley's parents Diane and Steve and their family, Proffitt Family Farm is the only cattle ranch in NC to raise beef on certified organic pastures.
This beef is pasture finished, dry aged, 100% grass fed, USDA procesed with no hormones and no antibiotics.

Looks like the weather will cooperate with us so that class will begin with a farm tour where we will visit with the chickens and the horses. For those who would like a close-up and personal visit with the cows - mommas calves, et al - we will offer an exciting new option in this class and that's a little field trip prior to the class at Kings Mountain to the Proffitt's Blacksburg property. we'll leave Kings Mountain at 1:30 for the trip to Blacksburg and be back by 3 for the short Kings Mountain tour and class where we'll all settle into the Eagan's beautiful home kitchen to cook up a super Superbowl menu (which will include beef tallow sweet potato fries - oh my!) to get your guests grazing 'round gametime with some of the best beef around.

Afterwards, class participants are invited to stock their freezers with a shopping spree at the farm store. Cost is $65 per person. For reservations, simply email Heidi at

At Home with Heidi - Tuesday Feb 7, 6:30-9:30 pm - The Art of Making Sauces - from bechamel to brown sauce, stocks to savory rouxs - You'll cetainly get sauced in this hands-on class as we make sauces for meat, fish, chicken and veggies, too. Cost is $65 For reservations, simply email Heidi at

At Home with Heidi - Sat Feb 11 and Sun. Feb 12 , 5-8 pm each night - That's Amore - Food, wine and pillow talk of Italy to share with your Valentine's Sweetie, with guest Nada Vergili of Nada's Italy. Same all_Italian-menu for two at both classes. Cost is $75 per person. For reservations, simply email Heidi at

At Home with Heidi - Sunday Feb 19, 1:30-4 pm - Cooking with kids 7-12; Fun with Fondue - cheese, broth, and chocolate, too! - Cost is $65. For reservations, simply email Heidi at

On the Farm at Bosky Acres - Saturday Feb 25, 11 am - 3:30 pm - Cooking with Local Goat cheese at Bosky Acres Artisan Goat Dairy - Join Heidi and meet Bosky Acres' owner Michele Lamb and her oh-so-friendly herd of goats at the farm and learn how to milk a goat and how Michele makes her delicious fresh chevre. As the cheese process takes place, Heidi will cook four different dishes - appetizers, entrees and a dessert - all using Bosky Acres tasty chevre and feta cheese. Farm tour and cooking class- Cost is $65. For reservations, simply email Heidi at

Heidi Billotto's January and February Cooking Classes at Reid's Cooking School

My Winter line-up of cooking classes at Reid's Fine Foods, located at the corner of Selwyn Ave and Colony Rd. in Myers Park, includes my regular Saturday morning cooking classes, a few Sunday classes, some Monday morning classes and our first Cooking for Kids class, too. To register visit or click on the direct cooking class links I've provided here after each class description..
Note: If you have a cooking class gift certificate from Reid's, you will still need to make a reservation for the class you wish to attend and you will not be able to use your gift card online. Simply email me to make your reservation and get further instructions on redeeming your Reid's gift card.

Sunday Jan 29, 1-4 pm Cooking with kids ages 12-15 - In our first class for up-and-coming chefs, Heidi will lead the group in a hands-on class in which they will learn to prepare an Italian dinner for four - Cost is $65
Click here to make your reservation

Saturday Feb 4, 11 am - 2 pm - Touchdown Tapas and other little plates for your Super Bowl spread. A great array of eats certain to please your favorite armchair quarterback - Cost is $65
Click here to make your reservation

Monday MORNING Feb 13, 9:30-11:30 am - Cooking with winter herbs and spices - Spice up winter's coldest months with recipes for an entire meal, including appetizer, entree side and dessert, each using as assortment of dried and fresh winter herbs and spices. Cost is $55
click here to make your reservation

Saturday Feb 18, 11 am - 2pm - Wok on the wild side - Pull out the chopsticks and get ready to enjoy a wonderful assortment of Asian dishes from China, Japan, Indonesia and Vietnam - delish! Cost is $65
Click here to make your reservation

Sunday Feb 26, 1-4 pm - Food and Wine of the Pacific Northwest - a meal made from the tastiest fare from Washington State and Oregon - think cherries, salmon, walnuts, Cabernet and Pinot Noir. Cost is $65
Click here to make your reservation

Save the Date... several great culinary events and appearances you won't want to miss!

Heidi's appearances on television this month...Saturday January 28 - WBTV's The Morning Show, Channel 3, with host Kristin Miranda cooking with wine and sharing some delicious details about the upcoming Charlotte Wine and Food Weekend.

Queens Feast 2012-Charlotte's very own Restaurant Week is happening this week till January 29; and the Queens Feast Web site is up, live with all the restaurant listings, menus and more details to help you make your reservations. If you have yet to participate in this great semi annual event, you won't want to miss this one where you can dine like royalty at 100 of Charlotte's finest restaurants for the delicious price of three courses for $30!
It's an unbelievable value and a great way to check out many of Charlotte's newest dining establishments and to revisit all of your old favorites.
There is no limit to the number of restaurants you can visit during the week, so why not make it an adventure with friends and book a different reservation each of the 10 evenings of this very special promotion... For more info and details and to book your reservations online, simply visit

Fire On the Rock - an Iron-Chef type culinary competition in which you get to be a judge! -
That's right, it's time for the annual Fire On the Rock culinary competion,
The competition takes place at Crippen's in Blowing Rock, NC and in comprised of 15 different dinners, starting Tuesday Jan 31 and running though February 29. Then the finals take place and the grand prize winner will be announced April 11.
So plan an overnight in the mountains to enjoy a dinner made by champions and then play a part in selecting the winning chef.
Restaurants will battle head-to-head in exciting single elimination battles every Tuesday and Wednesday at Crippen's Restaurant, Blowing Rock, NC. You, the diner, judge a six-course "blind" menu created around a secret ingredient. It's "grill or BE grilled" at Fire On The Rock and you decide who goes on and who goes home. This year sixteen chefs are competing for the grand prize of $2500 and the coveted "Red Chef Jacket". Who will win it all?

You be the judge - Tickets for each dinner are $49 excluding beverage tax and tip.
For more information and to make your reservations and buy tickets online at

Southern Spring Show Cooking Stage 2012- I'm also very excited to announce that I have been asked to be the host of the Cooking Stage at the 2012 Southern Spring Show, February 29 - March 4, 2012. That's right, five full days of back-to-back culinary demostrations by some of Charlotte's favorite chefs and foodies (yours truly included) with cooking demos, recipes and samples for all, every hour on the hour. It's going to be fabulous and I'll be posting the entire schedule of culinary events in an upcoming newsletter, so be sure to keep an eye out. In the meantime, you can also keep checking the Southern Spring Show website for updated information.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

cooking on WCNC's Charlotte Today - January 12, 2012


By Charlotte Culinary Expert, Heidi Billotto

Food editor of Charlotte Living Magazine

heidi @

2 lbs. bone -in chicken parts ( I like the dark meat the best)

Salt and pepper
6 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped

½ onion, minced

1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf

1 Tbsp. Juniper berries
1 cup beef broth

1 cup chicken broth

1 lb. button mushrooms, sliced or quartered and sauteed

1 lb. canned tomatoes, with liquid
1 Tbsp. fresh minced parsley

Wash the chicken parts and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté chicken in a tablespoon or two of olive oil until browned – about 5 minutes on each side. Add the carrot, celery, onion, and garlic and continue to sauté.

When the veggies are tender add the bay leaf, beef broth, sautéed mushrooms, the tomatoes and chicken broth. Cook for about one hour over medium heat. Serve sprinkled with the minced parsley as a garnish.