I went to Jenius Social to experience one of their cooking classes. The one I went to was on Brazilian street food, very apt with the World Cup etc. Led by head chef Malcom, the classes are relaxed and suitable for all cooking abilities. Ours kicked off with a demonstration of the recipes by Malcom. It was really good to see how the food should look and also to pick up some helpful hint, such as not overstuffing the coxinhas (chicken fried croquettes).
We then moved on to the fun part, trying to recreate the dishes ourselves. Luckily, Malcom was on hand to jog our memories and help with any of the tricky parts.
We started with the aforementioned chicken coxinhas, spicy chicken encased in thin dough, rolled in egg breadcrumbs and deep fried. Malcom told us in Brazil they make them with a pointed end so they resemble a chicken drumstick.
We also made a dipping sauce by mixing equal quantities of the malagueta marinade and mayonnaise together.
Next empanadas, like a Brazilian pasty, the filling had three cheeses and even the dough had cream cheese incorporated into it. Brazil’s motto seems to be when in doubt add cream cheese. This is a manifesto I can get behind! However, we did bake our empanadas rather than fry them so they were practically a healthfood!
Then the skewers, one prawn and pineapple the other malagueta chicken. If things on sticks with pineapple remind you irresistibly of the seventies, I urge you to try it. Grilling pineapple caramalises all the natural sugars and it goes great with spicy meats.
Last but not least, we made a quinoa salad. I have always thought of quinoa as the most boring grain but when covered with a tangy dressing and filled with yummy things such as mango, avocado and spring onions it turns out I love the stuff. This was my favourite dish of the evening and if you had told me that at the beginning of the class I would have laughed in your face. We rounded out our feast with cassava fries dusted with paprika and caipirinhas.
After the cooking, we all sat down to enjoy our meal together. I loved my evening cooking, I got to meet new people and learn some great recipes but it never felt like slaving over a hot stove. I could see myself getting together a group of friends and booking a class as a different activity for us to do other than seeing a movie or going bowling. Plus, you get to feel proud of all the delicious food you’ve created!
Link to book their Brazilian inspired cookery masterclass on the 3rd or 10th July, 2014: