May 2022 Create Date – Sweet & Savory Grilling Class at Sur La Table

We did it! It was the last few hours of the month. It was the day we had to be up at 3:30 to take Charlotte to the airport. But we totally did a create date for May. Originally, we were supposed to make Pandora Beads at Glass Axis a week ago. That class was moved to next week by Glass Axis, though, so I was scrambling a bit to find something we could do. Then I remembered how much we liked out last cooking class at Sur La Table. After checking their website last week, I signed us up to do their Sweet & Savory Grilling class because it was definitely a new technique we’ve not tried. We don’t even own a grill anymore, but we have been toying with the idea of getting a new one. So, I thought this would convince us one way or the other.

Our class tonight was small – only 4 students – but it was really nice because I feel like we learned a lot and got to try everything. We started by chopping and prepping all of the ingredients for our dishes. Once everything was prepped, we were given a demonstration of how easy it is to make homemade whipped cream – and we got to try vanilla paste for the first time. I loved that we put cinnamon and cardamom in it – so yummy! That was quickly put into the fridge to wait for dessert. Our first creation was sweet pea and mint puree in a small food processor. We spread that on grilled bread and then topped with parmesan cheese, radish slices, olive oil and salt/pepper. It was amazing – I can definitely see us doing that again.

The next thing we did was chargrill corn, cherry tomatoes, and red onion slices to make a refreshing salad/salsa. A little basil chiffonade, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt/pepper mixed in and it was one of my favorite parts of the meal. We ate it with the grilled salmon, and it was a really refreshing combination.

The final part of our meal was grilled nectarine halves. The nectarine halves were soaked in honey and Grand Marnier before being grilled. We topped it with the whipped cream we made earlier in class and it was divine. I would seriously recreate this entire meal – and it wouldn’t even take that long.

Overall, we give this class 5 out of 5 stars. The chef was very knowledgeable and I feel like we learned lessons that we can use to make variations on the recipes. We also learned a lot about grill pans and knives, which I appreciated. Last of all, she gave us the best idea for a gift for my Dad – but I can’t reveal that before Father’s Day/his birthday this month.

Have you ever taken a cooking class? Where was it? What did you learn? Leave any and all ideas in the comments – we are always looking for new things to try. 🙂

June Create Date

While our youngest was at camp for a week we got to do a cooking class at Sur La Table at Easton. We did Tuscan Date Night because it was on a night that worked and looked like a menu that both of us would enjoy. My hubby has come a really long way in eating a variety of foods since we’ve been together, but there are still certain things he just doesn’t like. Which is easy for me at our house, but a little more difficult when we go out to a class and have to share our dishes with another couple we don’t know.

Anyway, this cooking class was great! The first thing we all did together was mise en place, a french way of saying getting everything in its place and prepared for cooking. There were just a few things to chop and mix together for the different dishes. Most things were already measured out for us, so it was definitely “cooking for dummies” type of set up. That made it pretty laid back and relaxing, so no complaints here! After everything was chopped and cleaned up, we added sugar to the strawberries to macerate them – basically to bring out some of their natural juices. We also put together the salad and dressing and drained the chicken breasts that had been marinating.

Up next was starting the risotto. We had to stir and stir and slowly add the chicken broth to get the right consistency. We cooked it to just about done and then started on the chicken. It was placed in a cast iron pan and another cast iron pan wrapped in foil was placed on top to flatten and evenly heat the chicken. It was amazing when it was done! After we took the chicken out to rest, the risotto was given a quick finish and we were ready to eat. It was so good!

We built our plates with the chicken, risotto, and salad. The chicken was my favorite – it was perfectly seasoned and really tender. I can definitely see making it again at home. The macerated strawberries were served on a light and frothy custard that the instructor made for us – I forgot to get a photo, but it was phenomenal!

We definitely enjoyed this create date and would recommend it to others. We would like to go back to the sushi class sometime. What kind of cooking class would you like to take? Let us know in the comments!