One of our wedding presents was a cooking class! We were given a list of choices, and finally decided on a “sauce workshop.” The workshop was quite an experience! The beginning was a little funny as we all stood around waiting for everyone to arrive. We read the handout, adjusted our aprons, and stared at each other around the room. Once the class started, however, it was a FRENZY of action for two-and-a-half hours! I thought about the phrase “too many cooks in the kitchen,” and marveled at how it all worked out somehow.
The class was full of characters. Across the room, there was a Matt LeBlanc look-alike who kept confusing me when I’d see him out of the corner of my eye. Our instructor reminded me (in looks and personality) of a (much nicer) Sue Sylvester. She meant business, and definitely knew her stuff.
The most interesting character was our third teammate, “Stephanie.” I put her name in quotation marks, because that is what her name tag read… and so naturally, that is what we called her for the entire class. It wasn’t until the end that we figured out that she had replaced a Stephanie who couldn’t make it last minute, and had just decided to wear that name tag (and answer to that name) anyway!
“Stephanie” was super cool. She was shorter than me, a grandmother, and an amazing cook. I told her she needed to start teaching these classes herself. “Stephanie” was very respectful of the chef teacher, but was constantly telling us everything she would do differently, as well as any additional tips she knew. She had a quiet voice, so we would strain to catch these great bits of wisdom. I was THIS close to asking her for her phone number after the class, because I would love to cook with her on a regular basis!
The instructor taught us about the mother sauces. Apparently, tomato sauce is a fairly recent change to the list. The first dish we made was Crab Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Coulis. Even though it was a sauce workshop, we spent awhile making the crab cakes. I definitely appreciated learning this, however, so no complaints from me! Also, I actually found the same recipe we used here.
Here are the other three recipes we made: Seared Salmon with Raspberry Beurre Blanc (maybe my favorite sauce), Cilantro-Pepita Pesto with Seared Pork (this pesto was awesome), and Steamed Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce (the instructor ended up demonstrating this one since we were running overtime).
The class was great, and it really whetted my appetite (ha) to learn more about sauces. Seriously, I had no idea that there was SO much to learn. Here is one website I found that does a good job of explaining the basics. I learned a lot of great cooking tidbits, like how to cook salmon in a pan, how to cook great gravy (hold back 2 degrees so that it can keep cooking off the heat, then strain it through paper towels), and the art of slowly adding ingredients. Cooking classes are the best. What a great present!