Amateur chef, final class

Our final Wednesday together as a class and we get to cook for each other. Our signature dish. I really don’t have one dish that I’d call my signature and I guess that’s why I struggled to find the perfect dish. In the end I decided on something that was a definite share dish. Empanadas. Since our trip to Argentina several years ago, they’ve been a favourite to cook and eat and I’ve blogged about them before. See here.

Usually I’d use Careme pastry, mainly because I’m lazy but as this was a cooking class I used Maggie Beers Sour Cream pastry recipe which turned out beautifully. I also made a spicy, sweet tomato sauce to go with them. Al was very impressed with the sauce so I thought I’d share the recipe with you.

Half a punnet of cherry tomatoes, one tin chopped tomatoes, 1 large garlic clove, half a white onion, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, 1 large red chilli (seeds in) and a dash of red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add more sugar to get the balance of flavours right. In a saucepan, over a low heat, sweat the garlic and onion until just cooked. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook until they break down. Add the tinned tomatoes, chilli and brown sugar. Simmer gently.


My classmates cooked some really impressive dishes. Some of the standout dishes included seafood paella, Thai beef salad, chocolate tart with citrus and a lovely Croatian dessert using filo pastry and sour cherries.


If you are new to cooking or just want to increase your skills and gain confidence, this course is great. Alison Taafe is an enthusiastic and very knowlegable chef plus she loves a good laugh so the classes are relaxed and fun. If you want to know more about the classes head to Kitchenware Plus at Loganholme or go to


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