Thai food is a recent palette expansion of mine, but I now love it, crave it occasionally and judge every place by their Pad Thai then try to order interesting things off the menu.
One of my birthday presents was a Thai cooking class hosted at the CulinAerie Cooking School in downtown DC. Its quite the place–even Carla Hall from Top Chef is a frequent teacher there!
Perhaps this gift was a hint that my general cycle of pasta and meat dishes needed a change up but cooking is something that I want to expand my horizons on and always get a little nervous to try so I anxiously awaited this adventure.
Whatever I expected from the night, it was ten times better! When you walk in you’re greeted with a coat check & wine (red or white?) and asked to pick a seat for two (it was date night cooking after all).
2 TV screens one showing the chef’s face and the other her hands
the basic set up
Our lovely instructor Wendy went through the menu quickly while we took notes, then off we were on our own while she and the assistants gave us tips, answered questions and topped off our wine glasses.
On the list:
Green Papaya Salad (Som Tum)
Thai Fried Noodles (Pad Thai)
Roasted Duck & Red Curry (Kaeng Pehd Ped Yang)
Coconut Bananas (Kluay Namuan)
First up: Pad Thai with Shrimp.
Let me just say, that had I known Pad Thai was this easy to make, I would never be ordering in! While some of the ingredients are not that easy to find, the actual cook time takes about 10 minutes.
Pad Thai with Shrimp
It was delicious and I accidentally put it all on one plate for us to eat off of which caused giggles and aw’s in the crowd. I really was not trying to be cute just not messy.
2nd: Green Papaya Salad & Red Curry Duck
too much sauce?
Who knew I could cook duck! Not I..
This disk was meant to only have a dribble of sauce on top of the rice veggies and duck but we only learned that afterwards. The curry was a bit spicy for me but now I know for next time!
wine wine & more wine… finally dessert — bananas with coconut cream. Mmmmmmm
Coconut cream bananas
This was the easiest part, take Coconut milk, reduce it to a cream and throw in some bananas to warm with sugar. Trala!
By the end of the evening I was slightly goofy..
I may have gotten a little loopy from the wine…
All in all, the experience was amazing and I will have to go back! Maybe for basic classes next time.. I need to learn how to perfectly chop garlic and I figure that’s step 1.
Returning home found that an enormous tree had fallen across my street and crushed multiple cars as well as taken down electrical wires that were still live, so we headed to see Argo at the Uptown Theater. Although I walk past it often I had yet to go inside as it only shows one movie a month. Its a little old school but completely wonderful at the same time with a huge screen and balcony seating:
taken from the dcist
inside wrap around screen from the balcony
In my effort to continue to check things out in the neighborhood, the roommates and I also went to Ardeo Bardeo for the first time (the great pumpkin cocktail is perfection) and the Uptown Tap House where we hope to become regulars like something out of a movie 🙂
Gotta love Cleveland Park!
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