The Reluctant Cook

Posted on July 08, 2014

The Reluctant Cook

The reluctant cook

OK, after working at the school for some time, I have finally caught the cooking bug………don’t get me wrong it’s not that I can’t cook……… I can follow a recipe with the best of them…..It's just that I don’t have a passion for cooking and unless all the conditions to recreate the recipe are exactly as laid out it's just not going to happen.
So with this in mind I decided to attend one of the Every Which Way evenings at the school, as it would happen the evening that I selected was the crab techniques with its promise of Vietnamese crab summer rolls for supper, a glass of wine and a demo on hot smoking prawns with wasabi mayo. Deanna, the chef trainer for the evening, presented each of us with a cooked crab after firstly explaining how to tell the difference between male and females……females have a larger apron (tail) on the underside and smaller claws…….so if you are after more white meat then the male crab is the one for you. Next came the technique for picking all the meat out of the crab…..I was quite chuffed with myself as I had already done this using a Youtube video of CJ, but under supervision I think I managed to get even more than my first attempt. Once the task of picking the crabs was completed they were set aside, while we prepared some prawns for hot smoking, Deanna demonstrated a nifty trick for deveining the prawns whilst still keeping the shells on and after a couple of attempts I felt sufficiently skilled………..the prawns were then put in the stove top smoker and we picked up where we left off with the crabs and their eventual transformation into Vietnamese summer rolls. We were then presented with the components for the rolls, the pancakes which needed to be submerged in warm water to make them more pliable, the dressing for the crab, bean sprout, carrot, sweet pepper filling and the coriander, mint garnish. The technique for rolling the summer rolls was surprisingly easy, as long as you don’t get the pancakes too wet, and all of our attempts were worthy of the title of Vietnamese summer rolls. The evening concluded with our feast of summer rolls, delicious smoked prawns, wasabi mayo and last but not least a well earned glass of wine.