Last November, I took a cooking class at Sur La Table for an article for Saddle Creek (you can read about everything we did here in this post) and not only was the meal we made the bomb.com, but I also learned a few things I was able to take back to my own kitchen.
First things first: I am no one’s chef. I can cook, but I’m not about to hit you with a razzle dazzle in the kitchen (hey, we all have our talents, lol). I was excited to take this class, however, because I’ve always wanted to and I knew the meal would be delicious. We made:
- Baked Brie En Croute with Apricot Jam
- Hearty Winter Green and Fennel Salad with Parmesan and White Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Herb Crusted Pork Loin with Apple Cider Mustard Sauce
- Maple Crème Brûlée with Eggland’s Best Eggs
I also knew there would be a few techniques for me to pick up along the way, and Chef Aaron did not disappoint! There was so much to take away during the 3 hour class, but the 3 main things I learned was:
If you have to “saw” your food, you need new knives
My Sister-In-Law and I cracked up the first time we had to cut up some of the ingredients. The ease in which we were able to slice and dice everything let us know it was time for us to get some new knives in our homes haha. You should never have to struggle with cutting your food, so if you find yourself doing that, you need to get new knives (or sharpen the ones that you have if they’re of good quality).
It’s all in the wrists
Save yourself some time and learn how to properly cut your vegetables. I remember my friend Andrea and I having a conversation a few months ago about learning how to cut onions the proper way (she and her husband were making dinner and he noticed how she was holding her hand while cutting one and showed her a better way so that she could get a clean cut) and you’d be surprised how much easier it is to get the proper proportions for your recipes when you know how to hold your knife the right way! I can’t explain how to do it (Gordon Ramsay does it better) but trust me when I say you should learn.
Fresh herbs are best
I never really understood the importance of seasoning your food with fresh herbs til I took this class. I mean, I love trying new flavors and keep a plethora of seasonings in my pantry but fresh herbs just hit differently. There’s an unmistakeable freshness that they add to your dish and they help pull the overall flavor together even more. I made spaghetti the other night and I added in some fresh basil and the flavor? *chef’s kiss* Don’t shy away from regularly using fresh herbs in your food-you don’t have to wait until you’re making a special dish to pick some up from the market. Keep fresh basil, dill, mint, rosemary, and thyme on hand to add to your every day meals. Your palette will thank you.
If you’re interested in taking a cooking class, click here for Sur La Table’s class schedule. In addition to open classes they also offer private classes so you could get a group of friends together (or just your boo) and take one together.