Lorna alerted me about the free cooking classes organised by the Touchstone Family Association. These cooking classes is part of the Eating Together activities carried out in the week of Feb 21st to 28th. Feb 21st is proclaimed as Family Day in Richmond by the Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie. Research has found that families who eat together, stay together; more so if the families grow, shop, cook and eat together.
When I called up to enquire about the free cooking classes, there were only two spots left for the last cooking class. Without hesitation, I registered the spots for Lorna and I. I was glad to know that the chef who will be demonstrating for this cooking class is none other than chef Ian Lai from the Terra Nova Schoolyard Society. I had blogged on several of the workshops hosted by Ian Lai before here:
- Food preservation workshops (Canning Beets, How to Can Pickled Beans, Canning Mixed Vegetable Relish)
- Basic Food Skills (Chicken 101, Stocks 101)
Here are some tips on cooking at home shared by Ian:
- prepare multiple portions that you can use for lunches, freeze or share with neighbours
- incorporate more grains into your diet as they are inexpensive, versatile and can be used on their own or in combination with soups, stews, as a hot cereal or as dessert
- use no more than 5 ingredients and you do not need to keep a huge pantry
- focus on quick and nutritious recipes
- eat as fresh as possible
- shop the perimeter, neighbourhood corner stores
- support local farmers market for sustainability
- get your children involved
- turn off cell phones, TV’s and computers during the meal
- share your bounty and provide for those in need
- think three meals ahead
- give yourself a day off
- work those flyers for deals
- dont buy it if you cant pronounce it
- limit pre-packaged, high salt products; it does not take much to make your own spice blends
- learn how to purchase and use a quality knife as in this Knife Skills workshop
The free cooking class was attended by close to 30 people. It was held at Trial Appliances in Richmond and hosted by Arlene Kroeker, a food writer for the Richmond Review. Trail Appliances has a top notch kitchen for cooking demonstration.
We were greeted with some appetizers on the table while waiting for the cooking class to start. There were baguette, hummus, bruscetta sauce and the above spicy crisp.
The first dish presented by Ian Lai is called Fresh Pasta with Capicola, Shrimps and Sun Dried Tomatoes. I remembered Ian used some spicy sausage and bruscetta sauce during the demonstration, hence I used a more appropriate name for the recipe.
Ian usually do not use recipes in his demonstration. How, for this demonstration, he actually prepared a recipe and it makes my job so much easier.
- package of fresh pasta
- 1/3 cup of diced shrimp
- 1/3 cup spicy sausage
- 1/3 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
- 1/3 cup diced onion
- 1 cup fresh tomato sauce (he used bruscetta sauce during the demo)
P/S: please ignore the onion, carrot and celery as they are for another recipe.
Source: Ian Lai