My mom and I recently took a cooking class at Hipcooks in Portland. Hipcooks offers hands-on classes in every type of cuisine, from classic French to authentic Thai, and everything in between. I’ve taken several classes there and although I consider myself to be a pretty good home cook, I always come away with something new. Whether it’s a new technique, a new tool, or an ingredient I haven’t used, I always learn something. The Hipcooks philosophy is not about following recipes, or careful measuring. It’s about intuitive cooking where you continually taste and adjust. When you take a class at Hipcooks you will learn an entire menu of dishes including a cocktail or wine pairing, and a dessert. You’ll also spend the evening with an enjoyable group of people, learning, cooking, and eating, all for less than $60! Click here for a class schedule, there are 5 locations on the West Coast!
The class mom and I took was called Jamaican Me Crazy. Here is the menu:
Callaloo, a traditional spicy stew
Mango and Papaya Salad with Vanilla Citrus Dressing
Wet-jerk marinade for chicken, pork, or fish
Black bean salad with avocado, tomato, cilantro and lime
Fried bananas with rum raisin ice cream
Jamaican Hibiscus Tea and Rum Cocktail
My favorite dish of the evening was the Mango and Papaya Salad. I’ve shared it here with permission from Monika at Hipcooks. Thanks Monika! The recipe serves about 12.
1 package lovely greens – like Herb Salad mix, or a mix of butter leaf and frisee
18 shrimp, cooked
1 just-ripe mango, peeled and sliced
1 just-ripe papaya, peeled, seeded and sliced
1 just-ripe avocado, peeled and sliced
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons orange muscat vinegar or champagne vinegar
juice of 1 orange
juice of 2 limes
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla paste
handful fresh thyme, leaves removed from stem
6 scallions, finely sliced
salt and pepper to taste
Arrange the greens, shrimp and fruit all pretty on the plate. Make the salad dressing by mixing all the dressing ingredients in a container and shaking it up! Immediately spoon onto the salad. You can vary the dressing by replacing the vanilla with a thumb-sized piece of ginger root, grated. Both are delicious!
watch a quick video of Monika caramelizing some bananas in rum!