Cooking Class!

On January 10th I went to a cooking class, given to me by Forest, the nicest blogger ever. (Read here how he bought me the class spontaneously!) I am horribly late in posting this, but I was hoping I could make a second dish to take pictures of since I forgot to on the first dish I cooked. Oh well!

The cooking class was at the Washington Club, a gorgeous building in the middle of Dupont Circle. Because the class was offered through Groupon, the room was completely full, mostly with young adults. The class was taught by Zan Dial and called “Easy and Cheap in the Kitchen,” perfect for a novice like myself.

We were given seven recipes on cards and the chef prepared three, along with cooking tips such as what pots to use for what kinds of dish, the right way to cut onions, the types of wine to use when cooking, and other helpful tips.

Here are the seven recipes we got:

  1. Pasta Primavera with Chicken
  2. Grilled Flank Steak and Red Peppers
  3. Shrimp Creole
  4. Braised Beef with Root Vegetables
  5. Penne with Vodka Tomato Sauce
  6. Beef or Chicken Kabobs with Cucumber Salad
  7. Baked Ziti

He cooked the Shrimp Creole, Baked Ziti and the Braised Beef and after each we got a little tasting. YUM. My favorite was probably the Shrimp Creole, so this is the recipe I tried to recreate at home.

Shrimp Creole
1 1/2 lbs. medium shrimp, peeled & deveined
1 green bell pepper, cubed
1 sweet onion, cubed
4 ribs celery, cut into bite size pieces
2 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp. Old Bay seafood seasoning
2 Tbsp. garlic, chopped
4 c. white rice, cooked
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. cayenne pepper

Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Saute onions, peppers, bay leaves, and celery for 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, Old Bay, salt, pepper, hot sauce, and tomatoes. Boil for 10 minutes. Add the shrimp, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink. Serve over rice. Serves 4-6.

My Version:
I followed the recipe exactly, except I didn’t have any bay leaves and used brown rice instead of white (healthier, but probably not Creole-approved). I also had a bag of pre-cooked frozen shrimp, so I washed the shrimp in cold water to help it defrost, then let them simmer for about a minute instead of

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