I have always wanted to take a cooking class in a European country, either at a Bed & Breakfast or an Agriturismo. Imagine my delight when I discovered that a restaurant near here started a Cooking With the Chef series – Adelino’s Old World Kitchen in downtown Lafayette, Indiana (www.adelinos.com).
So, I signed up and last Tuesday night, I ventured out and learned all about French cooking. It was sooooo much fun! Quite serendipitously, I met a couple who are friends with the couple in Germany who helped my daughter get a job and move there this past summer. We all came back home with 12 new recipes. After arriving, we sat in a group until we were led back to the kitchen to wash our hands. Then we filed into the work stations and selected a recipe to work on, read over the recipe and diced, chopped and mixed before carrying our ingredients either to the oven or to the stove top to cook over the flame.
I was given a recipe for Chicken Chasseur, which was similar to Coq au Vin. We had eleven people there and twelve recipes, so the chef cooked one of the recipes. He didn’t show us how to cook each recipe, he assumed we could read & assemble them ourselves and if we had any questions, we could ask for assistance from him or veteran participants. We had about an hour and a half to prepare our dishes before we sat down to eat and it took exactly that amount of time to finish. Since it was a Tuesday evening, the restaurant was not busy and we pretty much had the kitchen to ourselves.
Our menu was: Creamy carrot soup, olive tapenade, honey brie, honey sherry asparagus, zucchini de Provence, tartiflette, shrimp scampi, salmon epinards, chicken chasseur, pork au lait, beef & veggie ragout & baked apple.
Once all the dishes were prepared, the chef helped dish up and carry the serving dishes to a big table prepared with place servings for us. We loaded up our plates, sat down and he asked each of us to introduce ourselves, tell the group about the recipe we prepared and what we would have done differently with it and what was our favorite recipe out of the twelve. I must confess, my dish was my favorite! He then discussed how he might tweek or change this or that recipe and about up-coming events and classes.
Adelino’s is a Spanish Tapas style restaurant and has been a huge success with the University students who live nearby. I have eaten there before several times and always had delicious food. They also have a dinner theatre that they present and a mystery dinner theater, jazz nights and wine tastings. One time I went here with my daughter for a birthday night, when the cast was rehearsing their dinner theatre play and they sort of included us in the rehearsal, serenading us with an Irish happy birthday. It was great fun! The chef told us that he is putting on a special play for the holidays, which he has been writing himself. I’ve noticed on their website that they have many Cooking With the Chef nights lined up for 2014 and I’m excited about giving several of them a try. Some of the fellow participants with me were repeat cookers. One couple said it was their 9th visit.
- 3 lbs Chicken thigh meat (either whole pieces or chopped)
- 1/4 c. Butter (we actually used 1/2 c.)
- Pinch Salt & Pepper
- 1 qt. Mushrooms, sliced
- 1 large Onion
- 1/4 c. Flour
- 1/2 c. Cognac (optional)
- 1 c. White wine
- 1 c. Chicken broth
- 1 8-oz can Tomato paste
- 1/4 c. Parsley, chopped
- 1 c. Cream
- 1 Egg yolk
- Saffron (optional)
In a hot skillet, over medium heat, saute the chicken in half the butter until browned on both sides for approximately 4 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Add remaining butter, oil, salt & pepper and onions and saute for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 more minutes.
Mix the flour, cognac, white wine, chicken broth and tomato paste and stir until well blended. Pour into pan with the chicken/mushroom/onion mixture and stir well. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook 15 minutes.
In a bowl, mix the cream, egg yolk and parsley (or saffron). Pour mixture into skillet and simmer for 5 more minutes. Serve up in a big platter. This can be eaten on its own, or served over noodles or pasta.
It is indeed fun – I did two cooking classes en groupe at l’Univers restaurant in Nice : http://twentyfourseveninfrance.com/2013/07/05/lunivers-restaurant-in-nice/
I don’t know when I last had so much fun!
What a great idea! as long as you don’t have to clear up afterwards 🙂
No clean up. 🙂 They had an employee who did all the dishes for us!