A good friends of mine recently came back after living in France for a year. With both of our growing interest in cooking and her growing comprehension of the French language we decided to take a cooking class, taught in french. My french ability is minimal, having not taken a french course in 11 years but I am always up for new experiences. The course is offered through Alliance française de Victoria, more for those who are fluent but it is for fun class and a translator was close by. I read a few french food blogs so I find my ability to read recipes and instructions related to cooking and baking my comprehension is getting better, I could make it through a verbal class. I will probably try all the recipes again in the future once I have finished translating them and adding the notes from class.
The night was also a bit of a self experiment for testing the current state of my shellfish allergy. I am very pleased to say I had no allergic reaction to muscles. This was probably what I enjoyed finding out the most because I do enjoy shellfish but only have it once a year due to the aftermath. We cooked muscles in two sauces for our first course. One was a white wine, butter, scallion sauce. The other was a curry and leek sauce.
Our main course was herb crusted rack of lamb. Apparently I can prepare the lamb quit well presentation wise, despite having never done it before. So I was pleased to learn another useful cooking skill. It helps to have a properly trained chef giving you direction and tips. I also had the pleasure of eating the rare pieces because most people wanted medium-rare. We also had potatoes in a mushroom sauce that were some of the best potatoes I have had in a while.
Dessert was two kinds of tarts. On an apple and one a strawberry. The pastry portion of the class was a bit more challenging, although we did that part first. There was a limited supply of flour on hand and our measurements probably were not exactly accurate to start. We made a pâte brisée crust for both, blind baking the one for strawberries because the berries were not cooked. They all turned out delicious. I’d like to try these again at home in a better tart pan.