By Jo Cooksey
Regular readers will know that we love nothing more than getting stuck in at a cookery class. Either at home or abroad. We were recently invited by Thai restaurant, Chaophraya, in Manchester to attend one of their Sunday afternoon classes.
We arrived at 12 noon and were greeted with a large and refreshing mocktail. We were given our aprons and chefs hats and shown to the upstairs dining room. Prep and cooking areas had been set up for us. There were 9 of us on the course and we were split in to two groups to make our first dish of Spring Rolls. Our chef for the afternoon was a lovely lady from Chiang Mai, called Apple. She soon had us chopping vegetables, herbs and chicken and pounding the ginger and garlic. These were then stir fried with oyster and soy sauces prior to filling the Spring Roll wraps. These can easily be bought from a Chinese supermarket and come frozen and ready cut to size.
Between the nine of us I think we must have made at least 150 spring rolls, which the chefs took off to cook and we sat down to enjoy them with a chili dipping sauce. We did a good job, they were very crispy and tasty and because we had sealed them properly, they all held up to the deep-frying process.
The next dish to make was that Thai classic, a Chicken Thai Green Curry. Who doesn’t love this and what dish isn’t improved by the addition of coconut milk? We prepared the curry paste, which involved more chopping and pounding. Delicious aromas were soon filling the restaurant. We couldn’t wait to get stuck in. The curry was served with sticky rice and freshly made roti’s and it was amazing. Why does the curry I make at home never taste quite so good?
Feeling quite full, we adjourned back to our cooking stations to whip up a traditional Thai dessert, Kluay Buad Chee or Bananas in Coconut Milk. As I said before, anything that contains coconut milk is fine by me. We warmed the coconut milk and added palm sugar, a pandan leaf, sesame seeds and bananas. The resulting pud was warm, sweet and comforting and very easy to whip up at home. Though I confess I was so full I could only manage a few spoonful’s.
Not to worry, the staff at Chaophraya had packaged up another complete meal for everyone to take home, including another 6 Spring Rolls each. That was the next couple of nights’ dinners sorted.
We had a fabulous time at Chaophraya and can thoroughly recommend the class. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned cook, it works for everyone. Plus, you get to eat your creations and take home your hat, apron and a big bag of food, so the cost of £60 is a bargain.
We attended the class as guests of Chaophraya but the views expressed in this article are entirely our own.