Adventures in Italy: Cooking with Bottle Works & UPJ

Adventures in Italy: Cooking with Bottle Works & UPJ

UPJ and Bottle Works team up to bring you "Adventures in Italy."
Jill Varmecky, Owner and General Manager of Gia Visto Modern Italian Cuisine in Monroeville, will present the cooking class "Adventures in Italy" at Bottle Works in Johnstown as part of UPJ's Discover Fall outreach program. Jill stopped by the studio today to talk about the class and to cook!

Watch the video to see Jill prepare Asparagus Stuffed Chicken Breast.

Class Details:

Adventures in Italy
Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center
Wednesday, November 7
6:00 - 8:00 pm
Pitt PowerPrice: $24; Regular Price: $29
Call (814) 269-2099 to register

For more information about UPJ's outreach programs visit: Discover Fall.

For more information about Jill Varmecky's restaurant visit: Gia Visto.

Today's Recipe:
Asparagus Stuffed Chicken Breast

6 boneless chicken breasts
18 fresh asparagus spears
cup shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheeses combined
cup grated parmesan cheese
Chopped parsley for garnish

Cut into one long side of each chicken breast, being careful to not cut through to opposite side. Fill pockets with asparagus and shredded cheeses.

Place on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray and top with grated cheese and a sprinkle of parsley.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until chicken is done at 165 degrees.

Celery Root Mashed Potatoes

2 medium celery roots, peeled and cubed
4 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups whole milk
3 garlic cloves, peeled
Salt and pepper
4 TBSP butter

Combine the first five ingredients in a heavy large pot. Add enough water to cover. Sprinkle with salt.  Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes.

Drain and return to pot, reserving liquid. Using a potato masher or mixer, mash the celery root and potatoes. Add butter and mash some more. Use reserved liquid as needed and continue to mash. Season with salt and pepper.

Pumpkin crme brulee with cinnamon sugar
1 quart heavy cream
  cup sugar
1 TBSP Cinnamon
Pinch of ginger
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
9 eggs
(small) can of pumpkin puree


Combine heavy cream, TBSP cinnamon, spices, and cup sugar, bring to boil.

In separate bowl, combine yolks, whole eggs, and cup sugar.

Temper the egg-sugar mixture into the hot heavy cream; cook until thick enough to cover the back of a spoon, about 10 extra minutes on low heat.

Fill ramekins 7/8 full, place in water bath.  Bake at 325 until just barely set, 35 minutes. Remove from water and allow to cool.  Mix cup sugar with TBSP cinnamon. Caramelize sugar with butane torch or under broiler.

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