This was my third visit to the Nick Nairn Cookschool in Aberdeen but my first to the Quick Cook format. Previously I've done a whole day of Thai Cookery and a half day of Breads. Both of those were held in the large upstairs kitchen. The Quick Cook format is a 2 hour session held downstairs next to the shop at the "Quick Cook Bar". Ready, Steady Cook for a Perfect Sole Supper.
The quick cook classes have a capacity of ten and the set up is very social. The glass of wine on arrival only adds to that. We were introduced to our Chef tutor and our ominous looking fishy friend Mr Sole.
First up a demonstration of how to skin and fillet a sole. Chef made it look very easy and we picked up lots of tips on how to tackle it. Main one being ask your fishmonger to do it for you! Then onto the demonstration of the dish proper where we were using the fish whole but skinned. The aromas were amazing and this finished dish looked wonderful. Could we really produce the same?
Now it was our turn round at the other side of the quick cook bar. Must admit I was very tempted to seal the "Stir it up" wooden spoon that displayed our station number. All the required ingredients are weighed out and laid out ready to go and the equipment magically disappears and gets washed up afterwards. If only this were the case at home.
To prepare our Sole a la Meuniere we trimmed the fish and chopped off the head and tail. Much easier when he was no longer looking at you. Coated in seasoned flour and then cooked in oil and butter. Lots of butter. I regularly use a thermometer when cooking meat but had never done so for fish. For fishy perfection the core temperature should be between 35 and 40 degrees Celsius.
Whilst the fish rested we made our sauce. Even more butter, capers, parsley, lemon juice and chicken stock. A gorgeous nutty brown colour and all the tasty bits scraped from the pan. Time to plate up with crushed potatoes and green beans.
Everyone's finished dishes looked amazing. Time for another glass of wine as we tucked in and gave ourselves a large pat on the back for our efforts. Absolutely delicious and very easy to eat as the flesh came away from the bones so easily. A fantastic restaurant quality dish. Definitely going to try it a home.
The whole fish was really very filling but due to a clash of dates my foodie evening was not over and I had to rush off to Pinnies and Petticoats cake club for my desert. Still have a voucher for another quick cook class to use so will make sure I don't double book next time. I'm pondering over Asian Inspired Sea Bass or Kung Po King Prawn or I could put it towards another full day class. What a delicious decision to have to make.