This is proving to be a mighty busy week. We kicked it off (after a full Monday back at work) with a cooking class featuring dishes from the Andalusia region of Spain. Brian Tolbert of the Dulce Plate did the cooking, we did lots of chopping and running around with plates.
To keep the guests from expiring from hunger right off the bat, Brian started with some fairly simple mussels cooked in a vegetable and wine broth. They were good, of course (fresh mussels, duh), but I would have liked a slightly heavier broth and a lot of bread to sop it up. Fortunately, there was more food coming…
The second course was quite solid: piquillo peppers stuffed with a mixture of yellowfin tuna and bechamel sauce, then dredged in egg and seasoned flour and fried in olive oil. Wowzers, these were good. I could eat a couple of these for a meal.
Chicken roulades were supposed to be next, but they weren’t done cooking yet, so we had a quick stew made of precooked lentils, precooked potatoes, onion and tomato, blood sausage and Spanish chorizo. Great stuff, with a nice earthiness – I love lentils and sausage together. If anyone was still starving, this took care of it!
For anyone still able to eat after the stew, there came slices of chicken roulade: pounded chicken meat rolled around nuts and prunes, then roasted, sliced and drizzled with balsamic blackberry sauce. To be honest, not my thing (plus I was full), but most people seemed to like it a lot.
The final course was a very simple pear compote that had been simmering away quietly throughout the class. Each portion was topped with toasted almonds – no cream or booze or anything else. Nice clean flavor, and light enough that we could actually eat it without regretting it.