Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Spanish Cookery

This morning I went to a workshop in Spanish cookery, run by Brewhouse Workshops in Standon, north Herts.    I knew that Carmen, a native Spaniard, would be cooking squid in ink and baked fish in a salt crust, and that we'd have lunch at the end, but beyond that, had little idea what to expect.
There were a dozen or so of us attending and we were made very welcome by Judi and Debs, who run the place, given coffee and cake, and when all had arrived, introduced to Carmen.
Carmen proceeded to cook no fewer than eight different dishes, from a simple cold tomato soup - salmorejo - to chicken with roasted red peppers, via the salt-baked sea bass and squid, as well as hake in a green sauce.
Many of the dishes took some time to cook, and it was fascinating to watch her keeping an eye on a Spanish omelette on the left ring, while doing something else on the right.
All through this, she kept up a constant stream of little tips, such as when frying the hake, if you agitate the pan somewhat, the skin of the fish gives off something that thickens the resulting sauce, so there's no need to add flour.
At one o'clock, when the workshop drew to a close, we tucked into the food Carmen had cooked during the preceding three hours and it was simply delicious.  The sea bass stood out for me as simply divine, but nothing was anything other than brilliant.  If the thought of attending one of these workshops appeals to you, don't hesitate!

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