I missed a few of the featured classes the past months, but was happy to finally go back to The Maya Kitchen and learn more cooking lessons. As usual, it was a very informal type of class - attendees can always ask questions if they want to, but because Chef Vicky-Rose and her assistant provided a very thorough step by step guide into cooking the dishes, there wasn't much questions to ask.
Lessons I've learned:
- No two ovens are the same.
- Always invest in good ingredients. No matter how you follow a recipe to a T, if you didn't use good, fresh ingredients, the dish won't come out as good as you want it to be.
- Recipes in cookbooks and other media are kitchen tested... it's best you learn how to follow the basics first before you improvise or substitute. After trying out the recipe as is, then you can substitute to suit your own preference.
- If you can't cook with your favorite celebrity chefs, might as well cook dishes they developed.
- The key is simmering.
For the "No Borders Cuisine" class, Chef Vicky-Rose shared five dishes... each served at the different restaurants part of the 1771 Group of Companies.
An original recipe by Chef Vicky-Rose Pacheco, served at Sidebar
Salbacho stands for Salami, Bacon, and Chorizo. The creation of this dish came from different origins - first, tasting the chorizo a friend gave to their family, and the other, learning the Pistou recipe by Julia Child. The cold cuts used does provide a distinct salty taste, but the Pistou used as well as the Napolitaine Sauce (the base tomato sauce of the1771 Group of Companies) cuts the saltiness, and the fresh basil leaves sprinkled just before serving the pizza made it one of the best thin crust pizzas I have tried.
Fresh Smoked Fish Spring Rolls
An original Sentro 1771 recipe by Chef Vicky-Rose Pacheco
A fusion of Vietnamese and Filipino cuisines. The secret to this spring rolls recipe was the Smoked Milkfish and the right amount of tomatoes, red onions, and salted egg, because a little or more than enough of one could break the dish. Tasting the pizza, I thought it would be my favorite, but this turned out to be my favorite dish for that day, and it was something I would definitely recreate at home.
An original Chateau 1771 recipe by Chef Vicky-Rose Pacheco
This dish was born out of necessity, when Chef Vicky-Rose wanted to serve a dish that has a Filipino flavor using a little bit of the French's techniques. This recipe used chicken thigh and tasted a little bit like adobo (mildly flavored adobo that is), with the lime juice as its focal flavor.
An original Cafe 1771 recipe by Vicky-Rose Pacheco
Often we hear about "mashed potatoes," but this served on a bed of "smashed potatoes" was a great compliment to the fish. At first I thought it was weird to use a sauce (or a lacquer) made up of mirin, red wine, muscovado sugar, and ginger juice... but it did work well together!
Bread & Butter Pudding
A dish inspired by Chef Anton Mosimann, served at Cafe 1771
This was the dessert, but was actually the first dish cooked because of its baking time. There are so many ways of cooking bread pudding, but the generous use of butter as well as vanilla pods (as opposed to vanilla extract) made this tastier. The play of textures in the mouth are good - firm, full bodied bread contradicting the soft milk and cream mixture, but the best part has got to be the toasted bread at the sides.
Each of the dishes can be recreated at home, and given the time, I might just try it and serve it. Maybe on mom's birthday or Christmas perhaps.
There are still four months left this year... four more featured classed at The Maya Kitchen. Hopefully next time you can come join us. Stay tuned for the next featured class.