Thursday, 24 May 2012

Mediterranean Wine & Dine

Cooking and dining sounds amazing, right? Well I thought so, and that's why I went along to my first cooking class at L'atelier Des Chefs the other night! This cooking school is actually part of a big global network, but the location in Oxford Circus was actually quite small and lovely. The course was all about Mediterranean dishes and the menu was inventive but still manageable for a beginner/intermediate cook.

Our class was only five people so we really got to get up and close with the chef. We learned how to chop without making a lot of noise with your knife, how to make tapenade, how to make an amazingly simple French dessert and how to clean and prepare prawns and sea bass. Very useful techniques to have in your culinary repertoire. I would definitely recommend treating yourself to a course, or inviting a friend for a fun night out where you can learn something and drink wine!

The fabulous menu included these recipes:

Garlic Tiger Prawns with Rocket Salad and a Paprika Mayonnaise
I absolutely loved this recipe since it was light and fresh - it would make a great lunch with a glass of Chardonnay. Instead of making your own mayo, I'd probably buy it pre-made and add in some of the ingredients we used to make it fresh like lemon, paprika and cayenne pepper. Also for the non-Euros, rocket is arugula.

Crisp Fillet of Sea Bass with Spiced Aubergine Salad, Provencal Viniagrette and Black Olive Tapenade
This is a tasty and healthy meal with a lot of flavours. To make life a little easier, I'd buy the sea bass already de-boned and the prawns already peeled and de-vained. Take note that aubergine is eggplant and courgette is zucchini.

Apricot Clafoutis
Despite the fancy name, this was so easy to make and would be a wonderful weekend dessert. If I made this again (which I likely will), I might choose peaches over apricots since they're a bit sweeter and juicier and I can see them working really well with the almond flavour.

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