When it is raining in Paris there is no better way to spend the day than taking a cooking class from a trained professional chef and restaurant owner. Catherine Reed, owner of Reed (a small bistro near Rue Cler), has been delighting patrons for over a year now with her classically inspired menu. She recently began offering cooking classes two mornings a week.
Seven of us joined her in her kitchen to cook a menu of White Asparagus with Mousseline Sauce, Roasted Chicken with Morel Mushrooms and Potatoes, and Profiteroles.
Catherine demonstrated her techniques for making cream puff pastry. She did this for all of the dishes that we prepared. But it was a “hands on” kind of class. Everyone participated.
Everyone took a turn with the pastry bag.
She kept us busy chopping and dicing. One of the best things I learned was how to bone a chicken leg and thigh for stuffing. To roast a whole chicken Catherine removes the thigh and leg sections of a chicken, bones and stuffs them, and then roasts them with the whole breast portion. This ensures that the white and dark meat cook properly at the same time. It also makes a nice presentation when plated.
|The beautiful free range chickens ready for roasting.|
She had a unique way of making hollandaise sauce. I ruined one batch by letting the eggs scramble; not one of my better moments. But we ended up with two big beautiful bowls of lemony sauce. Whipped cream was added to make it a mousseline sauce.
The meal was completed a few hours after we arrived and everyone had fun in the process. Here are the results.
|White Asparagus with Mousseline Sauce|
|Roast chicken 2 ways with potatoes and Morel Sauce|
|Profiteroles with ice cream and chocolate sauce|
It was a wonderful meal and a worthwhile experience. I would rank it up at the top of things that should not be missed in Paris. Catherine Reed is indeed a hidden gem.