We all know that feeling of getting bogged down in the kitchen and making the same dishes, week in, week out. When you are throwing a dinner party for friends it’s your time to shine and show them your new ideas instead of the usual (in my case) Thai green chicken curry.
Last week I took on the one week cookery course ‘Cooking For friends’ at Lynda Booth’s Dublin Cookery School. Although I have been to various demos and evening cookery courses I had not been on a hands-on course like this before. I had met Lynda on a few occasions and tried some of her recipes, so I didn’t need to think twice to know that this was the course for me.
The course began at 9.30am on Monday morning and we were treated to some tea and homemade chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven – already I knew we were off to a good start.
Throughout the week, each day we cooked a three course meal (starter, main and dessert) which we then sat and ate as a group. Sitting down and chatting to the other students was great as we were all from different backgrounds, different age groups and it was an even mix of men and women. Each day we would have a new partner, which was great as we all got to know each other really well.
Once we cooked our lunch (more like a dinner) we cleaned down our stations and gathered in the demo area where either Lynda herself, Richard Gleeson or Eric Oppenheim showcased the recipes we would be cooking the following day with the help of Janet who works at the school and really helped each of us throughout the we. When the demo was complete we each got to sample the food – needless to say we left the school stuffed to brim each day.
What I really loved about this course was the diversity of cuisines; from Italian to Middle Eastern to Indian – I came away with a confidence in trying new recipes that I had previously lacked.
On our first day we cooked a dish that we all loved and the great thing about this dish is it is so quick and easy to make. If you are having a impromptu dinner party this can be whipped up in less than 20 minutes. Tagliatelle with Parma Ham & Pistachios. Get the recipe here.
We also learned to put together a delicious and refreshing salad which would be actually a great lunch at anytime not just for occasions, blood orange, goat’s cheese & fennel salad with spiced pecans. Get the recipe here
On day two Lynda and Richard showed us all how to fillet a John Dory fish which was a great to skill to learn and has really put me at ease buying a full fish to fillet at home. Once we filleted the John Dory we pan fried it and served it up with a beautiful basil mash. Get the full recipe here
Day three was bound to be one of my favourites as we took on the Middle East – this is food filled with the fragrant ingredients I adore. We had an array of different dishes which included homemade pitta, hummus feta dip, couscous, roasted aubergine with a yoghurt dressing, lamb koftas finished off with a cardamom set yoghurt with pomegranate seed. All of these recipes can be found in Lynda’s cookbook From Lynda’s Table here.
On day four we learned how to make a risotto and also a cod dish with a fish velouté sauce, which was out of this world! We finished off with one of my favourite desserts of the week Clara’s Hot Chocolate pots get the recipe here. Not only does this taste absolutely amazing, but it can me made in under 30 minutes and only uses four ingredients, a total winner in my book.
As the week drew to a close, we celebrated Friday with a feast fit for a king. We cooked up an Indian storm from homemade naan to chutneys to the most amazing tandoori chicken, which has so much flavour!
The week flew by, filled with amazing food and great company. It’s inspiring to be surrounded by food in a block scenario for a week; it allowed me to indulge my love of cooking without real life getting in the way. I am fizzing with excitement about dinner parties over the summer. This course gave me insight into so many new recipes, and I came away armed with an arsenal of dinner party dishes that I know will impress any foodie guest at my table. I can’t wait to try my next course at Dublin Cookery School… The question is, which one I will I choose!
Written by Sarah Carberry
Indulge your passion for cooking this summer with Lynda Booth’s Dublin Cookery School’s One Week Cookery Courses
Lynda Booth’s Dublin Cookery School in Blackrock are running a number of full-time One Week cookery courses this summer. These courses are a great excuse to book a week off work, put your ‘out of office’ on and focus on something you love.
You’ll be exposed to great new recipes every day and will have each step clearly demonstrated to you before making you way into the hands-on area to recreate the dishes under the guidance of the school’s experienced tutors. In the process, you’ll improve your knife skills and develop the confidence to taste and adjust flavours yourself, finishing the course with a bible of new recipes that you can add to your repertoire.
Upcoming One Week courses:
2nd – 5th Jun (4 days) Cafe Cooking – €360
22nd June (5 days) Growing Gourmets (12-16 years) – €250
29th Jun – 3rd Jul (5 days) Cooking For Friends – €450
10th – 14th Aug (5 days) Cafe Cooking – €450
17th – 21st Aug (5 days) Cooking For Friends – €450 `
31st Aug – 4th Sep (5 days) Cafe Cooking – €450
You can either book online or by calling the cookery school on (01) 2100 555.