On Monday night, I left Hubby with our four little ones for the first time and headed off to Central London. Wriggly (8 months) still refuses to drink milk out of bottles, so I was a tad worried, but she thoroughly enjoyed her time with her dad whilst her siblings were asleep.
After a train journey and three different tube lines, I arrived at Saint Katharine’s docks for the evening at The Smart School of Cookery. The location was ideal, with the entrance of the cookery school mere metres away from the boats.
I was lucky enough to be part of a lively crowd of bloggers with an interest in food and photography. The evening was relaxed and the conversation flowed. I had a good chat with lovely Lynda, self-proclaimed “shoe fetishist with an unhealthy cat obsession” Sara, complete food addict Victoria and stylish Amanda.
The chef in charge of the evening was incredibly patient with all our questions and the incessant camera shutter sounds. As he was demonstrating how to prepare an Asian-inspired meal, he kept giving us great tips. Here are my top five:
Freeze chillies and ginger as soon as you get home after shopping. They do not need peeling. Just grate them (frozen) into your dish and pop them back in the freezer.
- When you stir-fry or sauté food, use sunflower or rapeseed oil. Do not use olive oil, as its smoke point is much lower than the previous two. On a high temperature, olive oil loses most of its antioxidants, releases toxic chemicals (smoke) and gets carcinogenic.
- For a healthy curry, poach chicken. Place the chicken pieces in a pan of cold water. Bring to simmering point and leave to cook for 6 or 7 minutes.
- When cooking prawns or scallops, use a large, heavy pan and imagine you have a clock in front of you. Place your first prawn or scallop at 12 o’clock, and proceed clockwise until you get a circle of seafood. Repeat until the pan is full. When turning the seafood to the other side, follow the same order. This ensures that each and every piece of seafood in the pan is cooking at the same rate. Cooking is methodical!
- Roll lemons and limes to make it easier to extract their juices when squeezing.
With no further ado, here is my favourite dish from the night:
Lime and Chilli Courgette
- 2 courgettes
- The juice of 3 limes
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped chilli
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 garlic clove minced
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Make a marinade with all ingredients apart from the courgettes.
- Quarter thick slices of one courgette. Place in the marinade for 10 minutes.
- Heat the pan and add a tablespoon rapeseed oil.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the courgette pieces to the hot pan and stir fry for a few minutes.
- Keep the marinade aside.
- In the meantime, ribbon two more courgettes with a vegetable peeler and marinate for 3 minutes.
- Serve on a bed of rocket and add the stir fried courgette on top.
We also had a Chicken Noodle Broth
and a Thai Curry.
LV invited me to the cookery class. I did not receive payment for this post. All opinions and photos are my own.