French Cooking Class at Piedmont Adult School

On Saturday April 22nd 2006, I attended a four-hour french cooking class at the Piedmont Adult School. I arrived not knowing what to expect but I ended up having a good time cooking a bit, learning a bit, and eating a lot.

I was definitely the odd man out in the class. Well, odd person out. In particular, the class had eight people, the other seven of which were all women at least ten years older than me, mostly twenty years older I'd guess. But the other people were nice and didn't treat me any differently than each other.

With the instructor, we went over a number of recipes and then divided up who would prepare which dish. When there were pauses in one recipe, one could go help out the preparation of other recipes. With the help of one lady, I ended up cooking a very respectable french onion soup. French onion soup normally doesn't appeal to me that much but I could still tell this turned out quite well.

The coolest thing I learned was how to cut open a chicken breast to stuff it with ham and cheese to make chicken cordon bleu. (I practiced while my soup was simmering.) The chicken cordon bleu turned out good, and the bechamel sauce someone else prepared for it also was good, not too rich as some bechamel sauce preparations tend to be.

During down time I also got to make crepes, an easier task than one would imagine. The suzette sauce someone made for the crepes was good and intensely orangey.

We also had an excellent cheese souffle despite some fear due to a minor milk shortage and an inconsistent oven. The scallops in shells -a dish of scallops, mushrooms (too few), potatoes, and cheese- was the only disappointment. (I didn't help on this one. ;> )

The main result of the class? I feel more comfortable trying to cook some dishes than previously. (Admittedly, I would've liked to have a larger hand in more of these dishes. But now I've seen enough and am at ease with preparing these at home. And besides, one can only do so much in a few hour course.)

No comments: