GODERICH – They’re five basic ingredients: flour, kosher salt, eggs, olive oil and cream.
But they hold so much potential, as a dozen aproned people discovered during a Saturday morning pasta-making class led by Chef Spencer Vail at Samuel’s Hotel Inc. just north of Goderich.
In three hours, those ingredients were mixed, kneaded, rested, pulled, cut, filled, folded, pinched, and shaped into delicate pasta packages stuffed with all sorts of delicious mixtures. Chef Vail, of Cait’s Kitchen, demonstrated a few fundamental techniques, a few simple sauces, and a couple of cheats for making pasta on a weekend that would result in easy meals through the working week. The students gathered around the kitchen island to watch intently, ignoring the winter river scene out the hotel suite’s patio windows.
There was butternut squash baked and blended with cinnamon, fennel seeds, peppercorn, cloves, and star anise, which were piped onto waiting pasta to make a folded agnolotti, then fried in butter and sage.
There were braised chicken thighs, flavoured in a stock of onions, carrots, water, salt and peppercorn, which would be pulled for the filling for ravioli, then topped with a sauce of the stock reduction, along with mushrooms and kale.
There were aged cheddar, Swiss, and jalapeño goat cheese filled into pasta shaped into tortellini and topped with a mixture of simmered cherry tomatoes, chopped onions and smoked garlic, with a touch of cream added at the end.
As one budding cook pointed out, all we needed was a good bottle of red wine – or a bad bottle of red wine.
What: Cook Like A Chef, with Chef Spencer Vail
Where: Samuel’s Hotel Inc., 34031 Saltford Rd., Goderich, ON
More details: Learn some pretty great kitchen skills and share in the meal prepared. Stay Friday or Saturday night in a cozy room with a fireplace and enjoy a hot breakfast the following morning. Classes are held Saturdays. Packages priced per couple. Additional guests taking part in the classes are $70pp.
January 16 ~ Local Ingredients, International Flavour
January 30 ~ That’s How I Roll
February 13 ~ Get in the Game
February 27 ~ To be Announced
February 6 ~ Valentines Crash Course: Beyond Making Toast and Boiling Water – Learn How not to Suck at Cooking (This class is for men only. Craft Beer is included in this class)
To register: Email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 1-877-524-1371 or 519-524-1371