Friday, February 11, 2011

Calphalon: Couples Cooking Italian

One of my Christmas presents from my boyfriend last year was a couples cooking class at Calphalon. I thought it was so thoughtful! With my love for food and cooking, and being able to cook with my boyfriend and learning new recipes together, it was the perfect present. I've heard good things about the classes at Calphalon even before getting this present so I knew the class would be so much fun. Thanks again babe for such a wonderful present =) 

(note: I suggested to my boyfriend recently that we should do one of these cooking classes at least once every year from now on ^_^).

The classroom. We were the first couple to arrive. The guy there is probably bbm'ing his wife.

We chose a station in the front row (there were rows in total).

The classroom assistant, Sasha, gave us two bowls of pasta while we wait for the class to start. 

Sasha also doubled as a bartender. My boyfriend ordered a Stella, obviously.

Recipes were emailed to us before the class which I printed out. We didn't end up even using these in class (our instructor said it's more fun to just follow his instructions and use the recipes for future reference).

Me waiting for class to start.

Our instructor, Carlos. He was a great instructor. He was funny and genuinely wanted us embrace the art of cooking. He taught me a lot of things in that 3-hour class (i.e. how to hold a knife properly, how to cut properly, how to sharpen knives, how to purchase good quality knives etc., and that's only about knives - he also taught us a lot about food and the ingredients).

For every course, one person would go up to the front and collect the ingredients needed for that particular course. This one was for the tiramisu.

Never whipped my own cream before. Quite tiring I must say.

The tiramisu was for us to bring home to eat because it takes several hours to harden in the fridge. Will show you the result of it at the end of this post. That's cocoa powder used for sprinkling on top of the tiramisu before serving.

Next course was the trout. Here, Carlos is teaching us how to tell between fresh fish and the not-so-fresh ones.

Our tray for the Trout with Capers, Tomatoes and Olives. 

I was in charge of skinning the fish. I think I did a good job! WOOT WOOT! =D

We were told to cut a piece of parchment paper into a shape of a heart, and place the sliced toppings on the fish.  It looks like a pizza now.

Wrapped the edges and into the oven.

While the trout was being cooked, we got ready for our next course: Wild and Tame Mushroom Risotto.

Fresh mushrooms in paper bag.

Before we know it, our fish was ready to eat. That was when I ordered my glass of pinot grigio =) Not sure if it was all psychological but the fish was incredibly tasty, especially with all the yummy toppings. There was also some delicious broth too, wish I could sip that up (would've done so if I was at home).

After we were all done our trout, it was back to work. It was intense risotto stirring time. Stir, stir (sip wine), stir, stir...

stir, stir (sip wine), stir...

While I was stirring away, my boyfriend got the next tray containing ingredients for the Veal Saltimbocca with Baby Arugula. Yes, that's prosciutto AND veal on the same tray. YUM

Ta-da! We strung everything together like pros.

And onto the pan it goes.

So while I was working on the risotto, my boyfriend was cooking the veal. Well, every so often we switch because stirring wasn't very exciting.

Our creation ^_^

I'm sure all the couples enjoyed their fruits of labor tremoundously in the classroom that night; I know we did! The risotto was rich and full of mushroom flavor, and the veal was soft and tender, the combination of onions and the masala was perfect.

The whole experience was SO MUCH FUN. I would go again in a heartbeat. And although it says "couples cooking class", I think it's an awesome idea for single guys to suggest doing this for a date (ok maybe not first date, more so second or third date). TRUST ME ON THIS.

When we got back home, we ate the tiramisu. Not as great as I thought it would be, it was rather mushy - I couldn't even differentiate the lady fingers and the cream when I was eating it LOL.

Anyway, I still love it =)

Each couple gets a 20% off coupon for the Calphalon store, which is only valid after your class. It's great if you're looking for some good quality kitchenware because Calphalon has some pretty high end stuff.