Archive for July, 2011

Knives and Fire: Taste of Asia

July 11, 2011 1 comment

Oh, my goodness, I had so much fun tonight. Thursday night, my husband and I went out to dinner. On the way to the restaurant, we passed the housewares store that fronts my old cooking school, and we saw two things – a sign on the door advertising a “Taste of Asia” class for tonight and that it was open. So we walked in. The closed circuit tv showed that a friend of mine was taking a class upstairs, so we watched that until the owner finished his phone call, we asked who was teaching the Asian class.

Sure enough, it was my beloved Chef. And there was one slot left, so I took it. Then we walked upstairs to say hi to our friend – she was taking a knife-skills class – and left for dinner (beef kebabs, btw.)

Tonight, I took a clean apron and wore real shoes instead of the open flats I normally wear, and todays mostly clean jacket, and got on a bus to the Center for Kosher Culinary Arts. Where Chef greeted me with a shout of “Mama Deb!” and an enormous hug.

We made fairly standard Chinese food – egg rolls and spring rolls, dry-fried Szcechuan beef, fried rice, General Tso’s chicken and Korean marinated ribs.

The woman next to me decided that she wanted to make egg rolls and asked me to help her. I wanted to make the beef; Chef thought I should make the beef. I made the egg rolls. Which were basically the best cole slaw EVER mixed with mince chicken and duck, rolled in skins and deep fried. Shredded cabbage, shredded carrots (I got to use a mandolin for the first time. It was fun), slivered scallions, garlic and ginger powder, sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar. Best cole slaw EVER. And then we learned how to roll egg rolls (and blintzes and wrap sandwiches). This is something I’ve never known, either.

And then we deep fried them. In a pot on the stove, using a thermometer to keep it between 320F and 350F. I don’t do that a lot, either. They were delicious.

But, to me, it was so nice for other reasons. I felt respected – by my partner, by Chef and by the owner of the school. They were happy I was there, they wanted me to come again, they knew I was competent, and it felt LOVELY.

All the food was yummy and I loved the szechuan beef, and my egg rolls were delicious, but for once the food was seccondary.

Categories: Cooking school