A Cooking Class with Girlfriends
Watching my old videos, shock and horror ABOUNDS
For the longest time, I have always wanted to try a cooking class. I like to cook, though I don’t cook very much in this season of my life, and I felt like a cooking class could be a great way to see new techniques and learn how to make different foods from my usual cuisine.
My girlfriends and I just went to a “Deceptively Delicious Tapas” class at Southern Season in Chapel Hill on Saturday night! It was months in the works, and Saturday night could not get here fast enough!
We were presented a menu for the evening, and the head chef walked us though each course before we started. It began with a salad, 3 different flatbread tapas, and ended with a chocolate cake. That may sound simple, but each course (other than the salad) was made very strategically with different vegetables. For example, the flat breads were not made with flour! We riced cauliflower and broccoli to make two of the flat breads, and the last flat bread was made with lentils. The chef has children, and she explained that she’s always looking for ways to sneak vegetables into her dishes and she wanted to show us how too!
And our chocolate cake had BEETS in it! The ganache for the cake was made with an entire avocado as well! It was really eye opening and fun to see how creative the chef was with our menu.
Anyway, other than the 6 of us, there was about 7 other students and then roughly 4 staff to assist us all. And we all just dove in, took on different courses, and started cooking!
Everything was made from scratch, from the pesto to the salad dressing, and we even made ricotta cheese (which was unbelievably simple).
I tried goat cheese for the first time. . .
I’m not too much of a fan. #passthemozzarella
The cooking part, which was about 1.5 hours of the evening, was so fun but I also learned some really helpful tips from the other chefs in the class.
Did you know the water you boil pasta in should be very heavily salted? Sam, one of the staff who I worked near a lot of the evening, said it should essentially be like ocean water. That really surprised me!
Also, it’s best to crack and egg on a flat surface, not on the edge of your bowl. Sam also exclusively cooks using Kosher salt, and while I use Kosher salt often, I’m going to start using it more and more.
A good way to see if your oil is hot enough on a skillet is to place the bottom of a wooden spoon (not the spoon end) directly into the oil. If bubbles come up around the handle, your oil is very hot!
Finally, we also learned that a lot of chefs (if not all of them) taste test every single step of the recipe and make adjustments as they go, instead of waiting until the end and trying to tweak from there.
For example, we made meatballs, and the head chef told us to tear off a small bit of the meatball mixture, roll it into a ball, and just pop it into the microwave to give it a taste test before you take the time to roll ALL the balls together only to realize it’s missing something.
I only have these three shots of the food because I completely forgot to take photos of the rest!
The chocolate cake was surpringly good, and you couldn’t even tell there were beets in it. The recipe I’m most likely to remake at home is the dressing for the salad. I believe it was called Green Goddess and it was full of flavor and had a hint of spice from a jalapeño.
My least favorite of the courses was the cauliflower flatbread with caramelized onions. It just didn’t do much for me. The roasted tomato + red pepper sauce we made for the lentil flat bread was mouthwateringly delicious. So, so good.
The class was so much fun, and was made perfect by the best company a girl could ask for. If you need a girls night idea, look for a cooking class, it’s so much fun!