Wednesday, 13 January 2010
Ever felt that you might cook more, if only you had the time? Often the preparation - washing, peeling, slicing - takes twice as long as the cooking, and that's assuming you found everything you needed on your mad lunchtime dash around the supermarket: "What, no soy sauce?"
Domestic Sluttery visited The Kitchen in Parsons Green this week, to try their Make Away sessions. You pick a date to attend and then choose from the dozen or so dishes on offer that day. Specify how many portions you'd like to make, and the prepped ingredients will be waiting for you.
We made Massaman Chicken Curry, Macaroni Cheese with Ham Hock, and Cannelloni a la Bolognese, under the watchful eye of Michelin Star winner, Thierry Laborde. Just to be clear, this isn't a cookery class so you're not going to leave with step by step instructions and a shopping list. However the beautifully designed packaging on the sealed, freezer-ready containers gives you the ingredients used and you'll probably remember the method so it should be possible to recreate a reasonable version at home if you wanted to try. You will definitely pick up hints on techniques though - like how to wrap cannelloni!
What's clever is that you can happily prepare your meals, ready to be carried home and popped in the fridge or freezer (depending on the dish) and be confident that you're well stocked up with healthy dishes made with 'real' food - no e numbers or additives chucked in to preserve their shelf life. It's not necessarily a budget option, but if you enjoy cooking but are pressed for time, it basically allows you to do the 'fun' parts, cooking and eating! Sessions run during the day and evening. You could even prepare a freezer's worth of meals and avoid unhealthy takeaways for the rest of the month, useful if you're doing finals or busy with a big project, when you'd normally survive on chocolate biscuits. At our session we met Kate, getting some speedy suppers ready before her first baby arrives in the next couple of weeks (good luck!) and her mum, Jane. Their fishcakes looked fabulous!
This month there's a 2 for 1 offer on their Dish Dash classes - pop in for an hour or so and add some essential recipes to your repertoire, such as Simple Sauces (Hollandaise and Bechamel) or Victoria Sponge. Evening masterclasses include Japanese cookery, bread making and knife skills, and private parties of ten or more can book the space on Saturday evenings: cook your dinner party together, have a glass of wine, and then someone else does the washing up! Now that really is the Domestic Sluttery way.