Friday, February 28, 2014

Adventures in Thai cooking

On Tuesday night we attended a "cooking" class at Leon Bistro, downtown, on Thai cuisine. We love their restaurant food so we were pretty sure anything we did in class was going to be equally awesome. We went with two of my work friends so we even had some company. The restaurant is normally closed Tuesday night so we, and a group of 20 other people, had the place to ourselves. Their classroom is in the back of the restaurant and turned out to really be just horseshoe shaped seating surrounding one cooking station where the restaurant chef/owner was going to be demonstrating each meal. So really, there wasn't any hands on cooking going on for us "students", we just watched the master at work and ate the results. Not a bad gig if you can get it.
That's Chef Ann Leon in the background. Each attendee got an appetizer plate of fresh sweet potato chips with a garlic aioli dipping sauce when we first walked in. Then the real cooking began...
First up, Thai chicken soup with coconut milk and galanga (young ginger). So good and actually doable since we also got recipes for all of the courses served.
Rice paper rolls served with Nuoc Cham dipping sauce. Super easy, we just need to go to the Asian market and get us some rice papers. It's literally just julienned veggies and herbs rolled up in a soaked rice paper wrapper. Ours also had shrimp in them.
Poached salmon in banana leaves with an herb sauce over it, a side of jasmine rice with pan fried Thai sausage, and a small spicy Thai cucumber salad. The cucumber salad was my favorite of everything.
Green papaya salad. Don't be fooled by the modest name, this salad was mother effin' spicy. The boy wolfed his down and then damn neared died.
The fifth course was us. That's right, drink it in.
Thai beef salad. Thinly sliced rare skirt steak over a salad dressed in a spicy peanut sauce. Very good.
Next was Pad Thai with some sort of side salad I've since forgotten and don't see in my recipe packet. Good, but too saucy for me. I actually like the Pad Thai we make at home with zucchini noodles better.
Dessert was mango sorbet topped with sweetened coconut cream and tapioca balls.
Finally, we had our choice of Thai iced coffee or tea. We of course chose coffee. When I've had it before it's essentially been sweetened condensed milk over iced black coffee, but this was coconut milk over coffee with more tapioca balls. Ok, but I like my regular version better. 

Overall it was a blast and we would totally do it again. Except for the part where the boy woke up with a bad tummy - let's not do that part again. Chef Ann said she's got Greek, Spanish, Northern Italian, Indian, and beer pairing classes coming up this spring. Yes, please!

No comments: