Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Home ec for grown ups - Recipease review

I haven't had a cookery lesson since I was at school, when all I remember making was pineapple upside down cake and a mess.

As my interest in cooking has grown, I've been keen to try out some lessons, so was v pleased with a thoughtful present of vouchers for Recipease.

Jamie Oliver's Recipease shop opened in Clapham Junction just over two years ago.  At the front of the shop you can buy all the Jamie Oliver branded goods your heart desires, as well as choose from a decent selection of freshly prepared ready meals.

At the back of the shop is a small space created as a cookery school.  Most of the classes on offer aren't particularly technical, with the emphasis more on making recipes that you can easily replicate at home.

My sister and I signed up for the South Indian curry course (Two hours, £40 per person including a glass of vino).

I was surprised by how many people were on the course - around 20 people to two instructors.  This meant that you didn't get any one-to-one tuition, which I thought was a shame. 

And there was no sign of Jamie but the two instructors were excellent - very friendly and good fun.

You work in pairs to create your dishes, in this case vegetable bhajis, lemon pickle and curry paste from scratch, which we turned into prawn curry.  The instructors demonstrate the recipes in stages, you then return to your work station where the ingredients are laid out for you and make the dishes. 

The prep and cooking took about an hour and a half.  You then have the opportunity to buy another drink and sit down to enjoy the fruits of your labour.  Anything you don't eat, you can take home along with the recipes.

Compared to the cost of other cookery courses, I think this is really good value.  The classes do assume almost zero knowledge/skill though, so can't cook/won't cook types are likely to gain the most from them.

The cookery school

Rach enjoying her vino

Ingredients ready to go

Vegetable bhaji ingredients

Frying off mustard seeds

Spices for the curry paste

Bhaji prep underway - beautiful colours

Curry paste pre-tomato puree

Easy lemon pickle

Curry paste

Finished result (although we didn't make the bread, rice or coriander sauce)

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