Unfortunately today was already the very last day of our cooking course… It’s been so much fun that I don’t think anyone of us was really happy to get to the end, but all good things do – apparently – have to have an ending….
Now the intent of today was to make a three course meal out of a variety of ingredients that we were presented with. Ofcourse Tom and I had been thinking about it for the entire week, trying to come up with things that we might be able to make out of the ingredients that would be there, but to be honest – we could have saved ourselves the trouble… 🙂 It was a good exercise anyway, but when we were presented with so many things this morning; the whole plan changed.
What we also did not know was that we had to cook for the entire class. Rob explained to us that each team of 2-3 people would make a starter, a main and a dessert for all 14 people. Which would in turn mean that we would get a total of 5 dishes for each course. You can imagine that we did not want to make full blown dishes in terms of size as that would have been impossible to eat. But still the idea of making something for 14 people out of the bounty of ingredients was… well daunting to say the least. Rob explained the ingredients, for so far we did not know them and there really was more then enough. Tom and I teamed up with Piet and our first goal was to come up with what we wanted to make and then gather the ingredients necessary.
Initially we wanted to make a shrimp cocktail but the shrimps available had been frozen and Rob suggested that we choose something else.. So we picked the tuna as a starter. Our main would be grilled monkfish on a bed of pasta with basil cream sauce. And for dessert… chocolate mousse. I made the mistake of asking Rob if he had pasta…. Haha… ofcourse! Here is the flour, the eggs and this is the recipe to follow to make your own! Had I known upfront I might have opted for something simpler…:)
We had about 1,5 hour for the mise en place to be finished and at 14.30 we had to have our starters ready to be served. Now I have to confess that our starter was pretty simple. Fresh tuna which we grilled with sesame seeds and served with soysauce and some wasabi and pickled ginger. It doesn’t take a lot of time, so we had more time to prepare the chocolate mousse which had to be chilled and prepare the dough for the pasta which also needed to be chilled an hour before I could process it further. Tom was our fishman and he made filets out of the monkfish and the Pieterman (don’t know the english name for that!) as well, while I prepared the dough for the pasta and prepared the chocolate mousse, with help from Piet.
A little over 14.30 we sat at the table and I was amazed at all the beautiful starters that our group had created!! If you take a look at the photos… be honest… does that look like appetizers made by a group of beginners?? I think it looks amazing and the taste of all the dishes was excellent! There was a lot of seafood and fish. Now that I think about it, there were no meat dishes in the starters if I remember correctly. The presentation was also quite good and even though the portions were all very small, they were still a bit too much.
After our appetizers we had to swiftly get back into the kitchen to prepare the main courses. I was making the pasta but I messed it up the first time as I was taking photos and trying to do the pasta at the same time. That, my friends, does not work very well. Plus I didn’t use any flour so all the dough was sticking together, which meant having to start over again. It was made into tagliatelle and while Tom and Piet were busy with griling the fishes and preparing the sauce I was busy cooking the pasta (and taking photos in between) Ofcourse we were late again for the main course, as that was planned at 15.30. While our tuna was absolutely delicious and very tasty I thought our pasta could have been better. The fish was a bit too bland and the sauce needed to have more taste as well, but still not bad! Again, the creativity of our fellow cooks was amazing and varied from beautiful lambracks to duck with sweet sauce that was apparently so good that it had all been eaten before I had a chance to taste it, so I am sure it was good. It looked amazing anyway…. 🙂 There was a risotto with shrimp and broccoli, a saltimbocca, the lambrack, our tagliatelle and the duck.
Does that look amazing or what? Last but not least was the dessert ofcourse and I was happy that we had already done the dessert and only needed to whip some cream for the topping.
Now you can say whatever you like but I think we were all proud of our results… Now the main thing it to keep trying new things and to keep using the stuff that we learned here, as that will eventually (hopefully) increase our cooking skills. All in all this is one hell of a course and if you’re ever in the area of Amsterdam and would love to learn lots of new stuff on cooking you have to try this course at the Kookstudio Amsterdam. Rob also has courses in France which we really wanted to do this year but due to restrictions in our vacation days that wasn’t possible for this year, but we will definitely go next year!!