The Art of Spanish Cooking

As we get older we start what some of us call a “bucket list”. This is a list of things we have never done before and want to try while we are still young enough to make it happen.  There has been talk that the phrase bucket list is grim sounding, annoying to some. Now the newest term is the “possible list”. So today we will use the 2016 term “possible list”.

My “possible list” had a cooking class on it and a friend, Shelly Finke, knew of a restaurant who taught cooking classes. The class that looked interesting was about Spanish cooking.  The description said we would be making Spanish Sangria, Traditional Romesco Sauce, Gazpacho, Paella Mixta and Crema Catalana. All of which sounded fabulous on the advertisement and we signed up for the class, with my daughter in tow.

The restaurant was an hour away so the road trip was great as we shared memories from the past and laughed at the stories being shared.

There were eleven of us in the class and the first thing we learned was how to make Sangria.  What a great way to start a class, with alcohol and fruit. lol.  We then tasted bacon wrapped dates and the Romesco sauce on slices of french bread.   The pairing of the sangria and the Romesco sauce was perfect.

As we sat quietly tasting the food, we had just seen prepared our chef, he started to make the Gazpacho.  Now for those of you who do not know what Gazpacho is, the best explanation is cold soup. The Gazpacho consisted of tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, sherry vinegar, and bell peppers.  If you like tomato soup you will love this Gazpacho.

While sipping on the Gazpacho we learned how to sharpen our knives correctly, how to slice vegetables by keeping your fingers curved, and how to slice food while not dulling your knife at the same time.  Those tips were something each of us will use over time.  I have found myself already cutting my vegetables a little differently and I already sharpened my knife.

The Paella Mixta was made with saffron, chicken thighs, arborio rice, fish sauce, sausage and various vegetables.  We were told you could substitute chicken stock and I think I would have preferred that as I am not a big fan of fishy tasting food.  It was great and reminded me of Spanish rice I have had over the years.

Dessert was fabulous, Crema Catalana.  My best explanation of this is Creme Brule’, one of my favorite desserts.  The first time I had Creme Brule’ was on a cruise and it was divine. The chef had made our tasters earlier so it was cold and ready for us to eat.  You could hear the spoons clicking on the jars the dessert was in as everyone was trying to get every last morsel.  When the chef asked if there was anything else he could get for us it was unanimous more Crema Catalana. lol.

I would recommend a cooking class just for the experience of doing it.  There is just something about learning new things and expanding your horizons.  Checking off another thing on your “Possible list” and taking an adventure in life you may not do in your normal routine,  Maybe that is a skydiving lesson, or horseback riding for the first time or a woodworking class.  Give yourself permission to enjoy you!

Have a wonderful day!

Pam Egbert

cooking class 1

 

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