Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Cooking in Milan

A couple weekends ago, I partook in an Italian cooking class. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would AND I had already heard great things from colleagues of mine that have done this same cooking class!

I took one of the Market Tour cooking classes with Cook in Milan. Clara is an Italian woman that began this business in her home around the time that I moved to Milan over two years ago. She is well-organized and a good manager, so that the participants get to take part in cooking as well as it being easy, productive, and fun. I am not a proficient cook but Clara put me in charge of the bechamel sauce for the lasagna and it turned out alright!

We began the morning in a local market to pick up cheeses and fresh produce for the menu ahead:

Clara explained the multi-course menu ahead in her living room:

I love an Italian kitchen! It is usually small, cozy, and packed with all the utensils needed.

The day's group included people from Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States!

Clara and I each enjoyed a bubbly drink during a quick aperitivo while the pie cooled before our meal. Italians do it well!

We made two primi dishes (yes!). One was lasagna di zucca -- lasagna with squash. The other was risotto al radicchio -- risotto with chicory. For the secondi, we had a lentil and meat dish (not pictured).

My new favorite is chestnut jam! I had never heard of it before the day at Clara's but now I have 3 jars in the cupboard  :P  We made a crostata di castagne -- sweet chestnut pie. I haven't liked roasted chestnuts when I've tried them in the past but this jam is smooth, sweet, aaaand delicious.

I was supposed to go to this cooking class over the summer with my mom and aunt but there was a glitch in the website's registration system. The system charged my aunt's credit card but did not actually reserve any spots for the day. D'Oh! Clara was very nice and apologetic but we were not able to fit into the cooking class during their time in Italy. That was a bummer. The fee was refunded to my aunt and Clara gifted one free class. My aunt then gifted the free class to me as a birthday gift!! Super sweet of her. I was excited to experience the cooking class BUT... the entire time, I was thinking about how much fun it would have been to do it together, the 3 of us. My mom and aunt would have loved it. (Maybe in the future!) Overall, if you decide to sign up for one of Clara's classes (I completely recommend doing so if you're in Milan!), I would follow up with her to make sure the registration went through on her end.

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