It's no secret on the blog how much I love cooking. So when Cook & Go in Meatpacking invited my friend Laura and me for a blogger cooking class, I got very excited.
|The "classroom" with windows to the street|
Originally a French company, Cook & Go opened their first outpost in the US on West 16th Street about 1 year ago. They offer various cooking classes, which rotate monthly, designed to incorporate several "cooks" (ie, cut into julienne, make meringue, fold a papillote, etc.) and ultimately prepare a single serving of a multi-course meal. In the summer, they offer a Highline picnic class, designed to be taken up to the park after class. In the winter, they replace it with their TV Tray class, designed to be eaten, you guessed it, at home in front of your TV. All classes after 5:30 are served wine. They also host a wide array of parties!
For our class, we started with 2 appetizers: purses filled with pears, brie, and raspberries and Tuscan white bean crostini. I liked that one was cooked and one was not (meaning we could eat it right away, I was hungry!!).
For the main course, we made apricot chicken. I will DEFINITELY be making this at home as it was so easy and so full of flavor. Here's the recipe in case you're interested:
Apricot Chicken (serves 6):
1 1/2 pounds apricots (we used dried), roughly chopped, pits removed and discarded
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 pounds skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 to 2-inch pieces
1 Tbsp unsalted butter (can sub olive oil)
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 chopped onion
2 cups chicken stock or broth (use gluten-free stock if you are cooking gluten-free)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons Tabasco or other hot sauce (you can add more if you like)
Place the chopped apricots in a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and the vinegar. Let sit while you brown the chicken in the next step. In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, place chicken pieces in the pan, without crowding the pan, and brown them on each side. As the chicken cooks, sprinkle salt over it. Once the chicken is browned, remove the pieces from the pan to a bowl and set aside. Add the remaining oil to the pan and sauté the onion until it begins to brown. As the onion cooks and releases moisture, use a flat edged spatula or wooden spoon to scrape off the browned bits from the chicken (called fond) from the bottom of the pan. Once the onions have browned a bit, add the chicken stock and lower the heat to medium. Put about 2/3 of the apricots, along with any juice they have given up, into a blender and blend into a purée. (If using dried apricots, there isn't really a need to do this step, just chop very finely). Pour the purée into the pan with the chicken stock and onions. Add the cinnamon, rosemary and Tabasco and taste. You may need to add some salt. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat and gently simmer for 10-20 minutes. When you are ready to serve, put the chicken and the remaining apricot pieces into the pan and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Serve hot with rice.
For dessert, we made date filled cakes and s'mores shots. The s'mores shots were my favorite, although I admit we didn't really cook them, our teacher Christina did, but I did put mine together in the coolest looking way possible! The date filled cakes were more like cookies to me, but were really delicious, especially when they were hot out of the oven.
|Me with my date filled cakes|
|Finished date filled cakes|
|Chef Christina making meringue|
|Laura and me with our s'mores shots|
|Finished s'mores shot|
All classes run from $39-$59 and are 90 minutes long. Extra portions/people range between an extra $15-$25. But wait!...if you use the code BPIBLOG you can get 15% off any class! But wait again!...Living Social is currently offering vouchers to Cook & Go! For only $34 you can get admission to any two classes of your choosing, that's 56% off!! The deal is only good for 3 more days so get on it!
One thing I will note, however, is that the classes are meant for people who have little to no cooking skills. If you cook a lot and know how to follow a medium hard recipe by yourself, you may get a little frustrated in the classes, especially because they only allow you to use a paring knife because chef's knives are liabilities apparently. Nonetheless, it's still a fun time and you go home with a yummy meal and a fun experience. For those of you who use your ovens for shoe storage, I highly highly recommend you sign up at Cook & Go!