STERLING – Sterling High School’s Centennial Auditorium is packed.
Hundreds of people line the aisles, chatting with friends, daughters, cousins, family members. A row on the right side of the auditorium is full of women wearing scrubs, who likely walked over from CGH Medical Center next door.
It’s Sept. 10 and in about 5 minutes, Guy Klinzing is set to take the stage for the Taste of Home Cooking School.
Klinzing is one of Taste of Home magazine’s culinary specialists – and because he’s based out of Chicago, he considers tonight practically like a hometown show.
“You guys like Neil Diamond?” Klinzing calls to the crowd as he walks onto the stage, music blaring. “Well we got Neil Diamond all night long!”
Klinzing starts in on “Cherry Cherry,” and before long the whole crowd is clapping and singing along.
Over the next 3 hours, Klinzing doled out prizes and walked attendees through 10 different recipes, adding info on some of the food science behind them.
Listed here are some of our favorites from the night:
Spinach-Stuffed Chicken Pockets
Prep time: 30 minutes
Makes: 4 servings
4 cups fresh baby spinach
2 tsp. plus ¼ cup olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
½ cup garlic-herb spreadable cheese
2/3 cup plus ¼ cup seasoned breadcrumbs, divided
½ tsp. salt, divided
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (5 ounces each)
1 egg, lightly beaten
¼ tsp. pepper
In a large skillet, saute spinach in 2 tsp. oil until spinach is wilted. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat. Stir in the spreadable cheese, 2/3 cup bread crumbs and ¼ tsp. salt. Cut a pocket in the thickest part of each chicken breast; fill with spinach mixture. Secure with toothpicks.
Place egg in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, combine the pepper and remaining breadcrumbs and salt. Dip chicken in egg, then coat with breadcrumb mixture.
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook chicken in remaining oil for 6 to 8 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 170 degrees. Discard toothpicks before serving.
Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
Prep time: 30 minutes
Makes: 2 dozen
13⁄4 cups fresh or canned pumpkin
3⁄4 cup sugar
3⁄4 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup canola oil
2 egg whites
22/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cloves
¼ cup butter, softened
¼ cup shortening
13⁄4 cups confectioners’ sugar
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
½ cup finely chopped walnuts
In a large bowl, beat the pumpkin, sugars, applesauce, oil, eggs and egg whites until well-blended. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cloves; gradually beat into pumpkin mixture until blended.
Fill foil-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees fro 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
In a small bowl, beat butter and shortening until fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, cinnamon and cloves; beat until smooth. Spread over cupcakes; sprinkle with walnuts.
Onion Yorkshire Puddings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Makes: 8 servings
6-8 Dorot sauteed glazed onion cubes
1 Dorot crushed garlic cube
1 Dorot chopped basil cube
1 tsp. salt, divided
¼ tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. butter
3⁄4 cup plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
3⁄4 cup water
3⁄4 cup 2 percent milk
In a large skillet, combine the sauteed glazed onion cubes, crushed garlic cube, chopped basil cube, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper in butter until tender. Divide among eight 6-ounce ramekins or custard cups. Place on a baking sheet.
In a large bowl, combine flour and remaining salt. Whisk the eggs, water and milk; whisk into flour mixture just until blended. Pour ¼ cup into each ramekin.
Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.