Foodies love nothing more than covert missions in which they attend locations they haven't been to before and the reward at the end of it is food.
When I received an email in my inbox from Anneliese which I read the subject header, Underground Cookery School and food in the title, I was already there with bells and whistles on.
Well what else does a foodie need as temptation, the chance to meet other fellow bloggers, learn some new cookery skills and to be fed.
The Underground Cookery School has been going since 2003. Only 5 minutes walk from Old Street, it offers a fun and uncomplicated way to learn how to cook.
The Underground Cookery school is as the name suggests under street level in a modern and professional kitchen space.
If I had known about it before I would have certainly sent the other half in the direction of Underground Cookery School, who actively practices the can't cook, won't cook mentality.
The evening was off to a good start when I was handed a glass of Prosecco.
Followed by Canapés cream cheese with smoked salmon on crostini, Parmissan cheese pesto twists and deep fried risoto balls. Absolutely delicious.
As a cook I don't take myself too seriously. Now don't get me wrong I love to cook and have a serious approach to eating food but cooking is about fun, laughs and putting that enjoyment in your food.
We were split into two groups and began work on our three course meal, starter - Salad of Sea Bass, served with asparagus, fresh Pea & Mint with Lemon Dressing.
Fillet the Sea Bass into two fillets. Mix five tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, five teaspoons of lemon juice, one tablespoon of mustard and seasoning together in a bowl; set a side.
Place the Fillets in a hot pan with a little vegetable oil. Cook for about 90 seconds or until the edges turn white and then flip over; cook for another minute.
Pat dry with kitchen roll and serve on a bed of the peas and dress.
Main - Roast Breast of Chicken with Salsa Verde, Broad Beans & Jersey Royals. (To the veggies amongst you look away now).
Take a whole chicken and remove both chicken breasts.
Place both chicken breasts in a frying pan and brown for 3 minutes each side, place in a pre-heated oven at 170°C/Gas mark 5 for twenty-five minutes.
Wash the potatoes thoroughly. Cut into smaller sizes if needed. Place the potatoes in cold water and bring up to the boil until cooked. When soft drain and add to a frying pan, add a few slices of spring onions, some chopped chives salt and cracked pepper; dress with a little extra virgin olive oil.
Dessert - Strawberry Meringue Roulade.
Place the 6 egg whites in a bowl and whisk to soft peaks. Now add one table spoon of vanilla essence and lemon juice and then 200g of caster sugar and continue to whisk until the whites stiffen.
Using a pallet knife or a flat edge, smooth the whites into the prepared tin and bake in a pre-heated oven at 140°C for 12 minutes or until cooked. Take out of the oven and set a side for a few minutes.
Turn the meringue onto the greaseproof paper and cover the top with the whipped cream. Add the strawberries and using the greaseproof paper roll into a roulade. Place in the fridge and when ready to serve, roll off the greaseproof paper and cut into portions.
After all that hard work all that was left was to sit down and eat the wonderful food (well after countless picture taking, tweets and discussing it first).
One thing I learnt throughout the night was...
I was kindly a guest of the Underground Cookery School and supplied the recipes, however in no way did that affect this review I had a wonderful time and I am looking forward to donning my black silk dressing gown and becoming a sultry chef. Ok everyone has to start somewhere.
Underground Cookery School,
201/203 City Road
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