Although Singapore is a small island, we are blessed with a variety of food and activities to do. One of the afternoons, I am blessed to be invited to Tott’s newest outlet at Suntec City to have first hand experience of bonding time with J while whipping up a feast. Within 2 hours, under the supervision and guidance of Chef Francois Mermilliod, formerly from renowned French restaurant, Absinthe, we made Ceviche of Red Snapper, Lime and Ponzu, Braised Chicken in Red Wine Sauce, as well as Sable Breton with Lemon Curd and Raspberries!
This is where we did our cooking for the next two hours. Besides Chef Francois Mermilliod, there are 2 assistants helping to clean up the stations and do the dishes. As someone who enjoys cooking but not washing, this arrangement is totally awesome!
At each station, there are Kitchen Aid mixer, cooker hood and hob provided. And all ingredients were prepared and portioned according to the recipe, placed conveniently at each working station. This works great for amateur cooks!
As I arrived slightly earlier for the class, I get to see what went on behind the preparation prior to the start of class.
Chef Francois started the class with a brief introduction of himself and the menu we will be cooking. With clear and concise instructions coupled with a pinch of humor, he proceed to share with the class how to cook braised chicken in red wine sauce.
Braised Chicken in Red Wine Sauce
2 Chicken Thighs (marinated overnight with red wine, thyme and bay leaves)
2 tbs flour
1 onion (sliced)
4 cloves garlic (chopped)
150ml red wine
2 bay leaves
Salt & Pepper to taste
Season the chicken with salt, pepper and add flour before searing it till golden brown. Take the chicken out and sauteed the onion, garlic and bacon.
Put the chicken back into the the pot and add red wine to simmer for 45 minutes. Serve with mash potato when the chicken is cooked till soft.
After the demo from Chef Francois, it was time for us to hands on. This is our first time cooking braised chicken in red wine. But with the clear instructions given, we manage to cook the dish without much difficulty.
Sable Breton with Lemon Curd and Raspberries
3 egg yolk
7g baking powder
– Mix everything in the mixer and allow to rest in the fridge before placing the dough into small rings with 1cm thickness.
– Bake the pastry at 180 degree celsius for 8 minutes till golden brown.
– Remove from ring and leave to cool
Juice + Zest of 1/2 Lemon
I have learnt that making lemon curd is a great way to bond. While I was boiling the milk, J was whisking the yolks, sugar and flour. After that, I poured the boiling milk into the egg mixture while J continue to whisk the mixture after pouring the mixture back to the pot and boil for half a minute. From here, I took over the whisking and removing the pot from heat while J added in the lemon juice and zest. After that, the lemon mixture was poured into a piping bag to put into the fridge to set.
The advantage of attending a cooking class is that all dish washing was done by the chef assistants and ingredients were all prepared for us. Thus cooking is made rather fuss free while we enjoy the bonding time with our loved ones over the cooking session.
Ceviche of Red Snapper, Lime and Ponzu
100g red snapper filet (Cut into Strips)
1 shallot (diced)
1/2 red chilli (chopped)
Juice & Zest of 2 lime
1 tbs yuzu ponzu
Salt & Pepper to taste
-Mix all the ingredients together and leave in the fridge to chill.
In total, we prepared 3 dishes under the supervision of Chef Francois. I have always love cooking but the lack of a professional kitchen and the chore of doing the dishes always deterred me. Not only did Tott provided a ground for me to cook some restaurant standard dishes in 2 hours, it provided a space for me to bond with J without doing dishes! The overall experience left me feeling happy, loved and satisfied!
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