Always looking to expand my skill set - especially in the kitchen - I embarked on a lesson in Thai cooking with some friends last week.
With a dry (yet funny) and intense instructor, we were given a brief history of Thai cuisine and culture, the run-down on what we'll be making (and some tips for the recipes) and were sent to work.
Broken into groups of six, each tackled about four different dishes with occasional demonstrations from the instructor (such as how to de-gill a fish, how to cut a mango, how to work with Lemongrass, etc). I picked up a few good pointers and the class was especially helpful with de-mystifying this exotic style of food. While there are a bunch of special ingredients needed, like Palm Sugar, etc. etc., the preperation is quite simple and user friendly. There is a lot of prep work (which is my favorite) and we spent a good amount of time preparing our mise en place.
We made a plethora of dishes including:
Steamed Fish with a Tamarind Sauce
Green Thai Curry with Chicken
Chicken Satay (with peanut sauce)
Green Papaya Salad
Hot-and-Sour Prawn Soup
We also made Sticky Rice with Mango and Tapioca Pudding with Coconut (but I didn't snap pics of those).
By 10 p.m. we were ready to eat, and boy were we hungry after handling the food and smelling the amazing aromas. We all sat down for a "family meal" and enjoyed all of our creations!