Sunday, May 20, 2012

French Dinner Party - A Viking Cooking School Experience

This past week my hubby & I took a "French Dinner Party" cooking class at our local (Anchorage) Viking Cooking School. They put together a fun, informative, hands-on class in their fancy Viking Kitchen above their appliance and kitchen store.

A few years ago we took a class here on Japanese Steak House cooking and came away with a full belly (there's always too much to eat!), some new skills & knowledge, and a recipe packet full of the recipes we had made during our afternoon there. This time was quite similar, although it was a very small class. Just the two of us, and a sweet 9th grade home school student named Molly. It was a lot of fun and I was surprised at the knife skills and cooking knowledge of such a young lady. Take a look at what we made!

Each of us took turns on different aspects of prep and cooking.

Me brushing the bread w/evoo & butter. Next stop the oven.

We didn't use foie gras in the beef Wellingtons, but we did use duxelles. Sauteed mushrooms, butter, shallots, garlic and a little red wine. So good. I can neither confirm nor deny whether I had 2 or 3 sample tastes of this mixture before assembly.


Molly made almost the entire soup herself once we had all tried out the mandolin for slicing the onions.

French Onion Soup with crouton and Gruyere.

Each of us decorated the top of our individual beef Wellington so we could tell who's was who's. Molly didn't like mushrooms so no duxelles for her. I may have also added her portion to mine. We made a Bearnaise sauce to go with it.

Mine. A heart.

Dave's with a "D".
I had never attempted a souffle before this class, which is partly why I chose this one. Come to find out they're not that scary. Now I just need a set of ramekins that are oven safe. I see many souffles in our future. Both savory & sweet.

Spinach Souffle

Just after we started our class the cooking school manager came in to tell us a local TV news crew would be coming by to film a short segment on healthy cooking. I guess they just call and tell you they're coming?! Interesting. She didn't know really what it would be about or what they were going to do. Turns out they got to eat the spare souffle we had made and raved about it.

We finished off our meal with white chocolate mousse with raspberry coulis.

White Chocolate Mousse with Raspberry Coulis

Fun way to spend an afternoon for sure.

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