Published Mar 15, 2012

So I usually think of myself as a good cook, but — I think I might’ve mentioned — I’m slow. Glacial. Weeknight meal? Sure, I’ll have that up for you in four hours, straight away.

Yeah, doesn’t work. So, I think I mentioned in my New Year’s Resolutions that I was going to take a cooking class. After a bunch of research I decided on a local school’s intro to cooking class.

Right. Intro. Time to suck up my pride. I learned back in tae kwon do that you only get to be fast by being perfect to start, so I figured, hey, let’s make unfounded generalizations. So far it’s been fun. I’ve been playing the role of super-nerd, asking every possible question (yes, it’s a role! don’t look at me like that!) and getting tons of perspective. And tons of chances to cut things up. And, best of all, tons of chances for the instructors to tell me what to do or not.

The first class was on salads. We paired up and my team ended up with the caesar salad. It was a little easier than I’d hoped but, hey, we took some care and it ended up real nice.

Caesar Salad

Today was harder: we made a red snapper green curry.

Thai red snapper green curry

I was really excited for this week, because, despite all my foodie pretensions, I’m as scared of cooking fish as the next guy. I always choose slow, moist fish-cooking techniques that leave me with no risk of burning or sticking; but here I had to cook the snapper fast, over very high heat, to get nice browning. And, as the instructor said, “expect it to stick.”

Well, we got compliments on the doneness and texture of the fish. I have to say, it turned out everything I could hope. And everyone else deserved compliments too, with dishes like these:

North African Albacore with chermoulaSalmon with tomatillo salsaKung pao shrimpFish with black bean and mango salsaCrab CakesIndian halibut

And, best of all, my team finished quickly enough that we had time to practice various techniques and to just jaw a bunch. A little speed? Yes please!