Cooking Class 1 comment

April 2, 2015, posted by Michelle – Today I had the pleasure of doing one of my favorite things here in Lyon, the French capital of gastronomy, and that is cooking. I have attended some cooking classes at a small place downtown and have learned some pretty useful tips and techniques while adding a few great meals to my repertoire.  Their focus is not on classical French cuisine, though they do offer classes based on French cooking, but you’re as likely to find Asian, Latin American, Italian, etc. inspired courses.

Today we made Pavé de Boeuf poêlé with Avocat et Salsa de Mangue et Tomates / Seared Sirloin with Avocado and Mango-Tomato Salsa. It was delicious, the beef was tender and the salsa’s light, citrusy flavors married well with it. Along with the recipe I’ll share some of the tips and advice the chef gave to us.

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Seared Sirloin with Avocado and Mango-Tomato Salsa


Sirloin, eight 6oz pieces
4 avocados, peeled and mashed
2 shallots, minced
2 small red onions, minced
2 mangos, peeled and diced
4 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 limes, zest and juice
½ cup chopped basil
½ cup chopped chives
3 pinches piment d’espelette or cayenne pepper
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Sauté pan that can go from stove-top to oven


Preheat oven to 400°

For the salsa: Mix the tomato, mango, red onions, basil and chives. Add piment d’espelette or cayenne, 2 tbsp olive oil and salt to taste.

For the avocado: Peel and mash the avocado with a fork. Zest the limes and then add the zest and juice of the limes to the avocado and mix. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a sauté pan. Add the shallots and balsamic vinegar and sauté one minute on medium heat. Add the avocado to the pan and gently mix with the shallots and balsamic vinegar. Do not overmix. Remove from heat after one minute. You can shape the avocado mixture into a “quenelle” which is basically an oval shape achieved by passing the mixture back and forth a few times between two tablespoons.

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The Chef forming the avocado mixture into a quenelle shape.

For the sirloin: Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a hot sauté pan then put in the beef and brown on all sides ( 2 minutes per side). Remove the pan from the heat and transfer it to the oven. Continue cooking the beef in the oven for 3 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with two spoonfuls of the avocado mixture and the salsa. Serves 8.

Ateliers 4 Chef’s Tips and Tools:

Use a ceramic knife to chop herbs and fruits. They do not impart any flavor and unlike metal knives they do not lead to browning. He specifically referred to using a ceramic knife to chop basil which is fragile and can turn black when cut with a metal blade.

Add freshly ground pepper to the meat only after it is cooked as the pepper will burn during cooking.

After zesting the limes, roll them back and forth on a hard surface to get more juice out of them.

We garnished these plates with a little Cream of Balsamic

He removed the pit from the mango using a mango pitter, makes dealing with dicing so much easier.

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Mango pitter – worth it if you regularly use mango or are bothered by that pesky pit!

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One thought on “Cooking Class

  • Gina Diamond

    The dish sounds fabulous….I love savory and sweet cooked together. Interesting tips. You know I kind of think I know it all when it comes to cooking, but this Chef and his tips certainly put me in my place. I did not know about the ceramic knife. And the pepper!! Most recipes call for salt and pepper from the get go. I can’t wait to taste the difference.

    You mentioned Cream of Balsamic. What is that? I bet it is delicious.