Who knew cooking classes were so fun and why did I wait so long to take my first one? Clearly I have been missing out.
A few days ago I went to a Sur La Table with my friend and website partner in crime Nicole from Healthy Way to Cook. Despite our love for cooking and trying new food we had never taken an official cooking class. Going through the class brought our love of cooking to a whole new level. Our class was focused on mastering seafood. In 2 short hours I had learned so many new tricks regarding cooking in general (not just seafood) to bring home with me. But the best part was eating…obviously. Throughout the class we cooked 4 seafood-focused courses. Here is a glimpse of what we enjoyed:
- Seared Scallops with Tarragon Butter Sauce
- Pan-Roasted Cod with Capers and Meyer Lemon
- Seafood Bouillabaisse
- Grilled Salmon and Arugula Salad with Orange and Shaved Fennel
While everything was amazing (and even better because it had been prepped by my own hands), the seared scallops stole the show. The Sur La Table classes provide you with recipes of everything you cook so that you can make your meal again at home. I am already looking forward to having that butter sauce in my mouth again!
I definitely left feeling like I mastered seafood and so much more. Here are 11 things I learned from my first cooking class:
- Always prep before you cook. This is something I partially commit to before I start sautéing, steaming and boiling, but having the pre-measured ingredients ready to go was a dream.
- When buying seafood don’t look for sourcing, but instead focus on how busy a place is. The quicker they run out the fresher the supply is.
- Get your pan EXTRA hot before putting your seafood in the pan. I constantly mess this up and end up boiling/steaming my fish instead of searing it. Now I know.
- My cooking patience was at low and now it is at medium. At home the goal is to get food on the table in less than 30 minutes, but in my cooking class I learned to appreciate the cooking process and slow down to let that butter brown or simmer those spices a bit longer.
- I over garlic everything. We didn’t use garlic in a single recipe and instead utilized shallots—a cross between an onion and a garlic that I need to use way more often.
- I now know how to deglaze a pan…duh! Have you ever made scallops and then utilized the same pan to cook your sauce? Adding a liquid into the pan will deglaze it so that you can cook sans burn marks.
- Mince doesn’t mean attack with your knife until your ingredient is in tiny pieces. The proper way to mince an onion is to cut parallel lines almost all the way through the onion and then cut perpendicularly across so that the onion peels apart into its natural segments. Yes, this may be cooking 101 but for me it was a light bulb moment.
- I would swap a fancy meal out for another cooking class adventure any day. It is totally worth the expense and time commitment. The amount of food we ate was bountiful, fresh and amazing. Plus the learning experience put the class as a clear front runner to a regular dinner out.
- Having a personal chef to guide you through your meal is awesome…as if that wasn’t an obvious bonus.
- I now know how to pronounce Sur La Table. It’s “sir la tob” not TABLE like the one you eat on. What can I say? Being a complete cooking class newb has its hiccups.
- The sooner I can get back to take another class the better! I’m eyeing up that breakfast class…big time.
Have you ever taken a cooking class? Do you want to?