Thai Fusion & Smiles All Round thanks to Silwood & Le Creuset

20 08 2010

Perfection in the form of a pot. Le Creuset, please take a bow.

I know what you’re thinking, there’s nothing more distasteful than smugness, but these beautifully hand-crafted culinary masterpieces have every right to appear pleased with themselves. And it’s not just because they seem to have a life of their own, a certain air of owning all the savoir faire in the world of appliances, nor is it because they do admittedly come with fancy-fancy prices, but rather because each and every one is lovingly hand crafted. And you can taste it. Add to this a life-time guarantee and stovetop-to-oven-to-table versatility and you’ve found your very raison d’etre.

I realise that by now my banging on about pots might just sound like I’m banging pots in your ear – stick around. I am going somewhere with this. And it involves deliciousness. At the hallowed grounds of the Silwood Cookery School in Rondebosh.

You see, I recently became the very proud owner of my very own 24cm Le Creuset Cocette in Caribbean Blue (slash bright blue pot in laymans terms) – thanks to very generous husband wanting to assuage my drawn out lamentations at turning another year older. Sigh.


Jump forward a few weeks and we have the very kind Gill from Le Creuset in Cavendish inviting us to a Thai cooking evening at Silwood. ‘Just bring yourselves and tupperwares to take home the food you’ll cook.’ Don’t mind if we do.

So we did…

And if Le Creuset and Silwood were in the dating game, I happen to reckon their profile would read something like this:
‘Smart, sophisticated and timeless seeks intelligent, refined and creative. Must have attention to detail’

On arrival, we were warmly greeted by Gill, who proffered a loud orange Le Creuset apron for each of us, and Jasper, one of the very willing Silwood students plied us with wine.

‘What colour is your set’ was the standard question from the other invitees on arrival during the milling-about foot-shuffling I-so-belong-here stage of the evening. Hm. Er. Well, first off, I don’t have a ‘set’ so to speak, but rather just the aforementioned singular pot (but damn it’s cool and see how it matches my pink polka dot apron so perfectly). And a kettle. For some reason Rob decided I needed the whistle kettle. More on that later.

Further foot-shuffling and small talk continued, as well as a very pleasant introduction to Nina Timm of renowned Capetonian Blog My Easy Cooking, until we were ushered through to the next stage of the evening. Fortunately you didn’t have to have a whole set of pots to qualify. Phew.
Enter Kitchen. 13 work stations in perfect readiness for our arrival. Silwood folders at each place for our own notes and copies of the recipes to take home. Nice. Cue Andre. Our amiable host for the evening, plucky 3rd year student who had no trouble whatsoever commandeering our merry gang, and he was most capably assisted by fellow students Jasper and Sven.

So, the stage was set for a memorable evening.


And now for the menu…

Tom Yum Goon
(Spicy Thai Prawn Broth)

Serves 2 | Preparation time 15 minutes

WHAT YOU’LL NEED
12 x uncooked prawns (500g)
4 cups water
Large pinch salt
1 Tb fish sauce
4 birds eye chillies
8 cherry tomatoes
80g button mushrooms (about 1 cup)
2 spring onions
2 stalks lemon grass
3 kaffir lime leaves (optional)
3 Tbsp lime juice
Extra fish sauce to taste
Handful coriander leaves

WHAT TO DO
1. Peel and de-vein the prawns, reserving the shells. Give them a quick rinse and put them in a pan of salted water. Cook for about 15 minutes.
2. Strain and discard the shells, reserve the ‘stock’.
3. Return stock to boil and season with fish sauce.
4. ‘Bruise’ the chillies and lemongrass and along with the mushrooms, spring onions, lime leaves and prawns add to the stock. Simmer until the prawns just change colour and then remove from heat.
5. Add the lime juice and extra fish sauce. Ladle in the soup and check the seasoning. It should be salty, sour and hot.
6. Garnish with Coriander.


Chicken Stir Fry with noodles – to follow in a later post


Coconut and cardamon risotto with toasted almonds and fresh strawberries – to follow in a later post

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4 responses

25 08 2010
Barbs Taylor

So glad you had a good evening at Silwood – I imagine Dean has a lot to look forward to!!

31 08 2010
Tuesday’s Ten Minute Thai Noodles with Chicken « afoodieliveshere's blog

[…] was also on our menu at our Silwood and Le Creuset evening a couple of weeks ago, and please forgive me for not having shared it with you […]

4 09 2010
Colleen

Love Le Creuset, love Gill (she is a super lady) and love Andre at Silwood….and then of course Nina is my best blogging buddy. It feels as if I know you too hehe. Those Le Creuset evenings at Silwood are absolutely fabulous and you learn so much there too. Well done

6 09 2011
Love, Toast and a rather smashing Pork roast… « afoodieliveshere

[…] be a better way to spend a rainy Cape Town winters night? Read about my last experience with them here. On this occasion, Gary was our gallant chef-tutor, and under his magnanimous tuition we ploughed […]

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