Pan-seared rib eye

All About Taste

Thirty years ago, when Lauren Kohr set up shop in her first Fisher Price kitchen, little did she know her playtime would burgeon into a lifelong passion. Now, at the helm of her own Westport/Weston-based company, LDK Kitchen, Lauren prides herself on creating fresh, healthful meals for her clients. Not only does she offer chef services for celebrations and on a weekly basis for families on-the-go, but she also hosts innovative cooking classes for adults and kids. Fun idea for a party, right? I thought so! That’s precisely why I hired her for my six-year-old’s birthday party, but not before sitting down to ask her a few questions…

It’s so important for kids and adults alike to learn how to cook and eat real, wholesome and unprocessed food—and to have a blast doing it! Some of my favorite themes are: handmade pasta with a variety of sauces, including filled pastas such as ravioli, dumpling-style pasta such as gnocchi, and traditional spaghetti. Sushi is also a winner. I do hand rolls, maki and even a few Japanese-inspired side dishes.

Squash, squash and more squash! While many cooks rely on butternut, I seek out green and red kabocha, buttercup and acorn squashes. They’re delicious and add fabulous color and texture to a meal.

Next is cinnamon sticks, which I love to use in unexpected places, perhaps as a stirrer to enhance the aroma and flavor of  coffee or hot cocoa.

I also delight in fresh whole nutmeg. It may typically be used in desserts, but a pinch will go a long way when sprinkled into sauces or over roast vegetables, even in marinades for chicken or lamb.

Apples are great as well. They store very well and make a natural sweet addition to a meal. My favorites are Honeycrisp, Pink Lady and Granny Smith.

Last, but not least, blood oranges. The vibrant red color is  phenomenal. I love to use them with multi-colored beets and winter greens such as frisée, escarole and watercress.

Roasted winter squash with olive oil, nutmeg, cinnamon, a pinch of brown sugar and plump, tart dried cherries.

Tart and sweet roasted chunky applesauce with orange and lemon. I like it on the tart side with just a hint of brown sugar. It’s a great complement to any crispy, roasted poultry entrée.

Winter kale and Brussels sprout slaw—shaved kale and Brussels sprouts with whole almonds and a sweet champagne mustard vinaigrette.



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