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Private Cooking Class – An Immersion Experience in Historic Trogir

5 Aug

Private Cooking Class – An Immersion Experience in Historic Trogir

Private Cooking Class – An Immersion Experience in Historic Trogir

When I heard that a “cooking class” was on the itinerary for Adventures Croatia’s recent educational trip, an image of a stark, sterile, institutional kitchen with multiple students watching one person cook through a mirror above a stove may come to mind. But when we book our clients into a private cooking class with a local chef in beautiful Trogir – that is the furthest thing from the truth!

In May of 2014 I had the privilege of experiencing this wonderful excursion that to some may sound like “work” during your vacation. For me, I found this cooking class to be less work and more immersion into a neighborhood, a home and regional cuisine using only the freshest of foods, as well as being infinitely rewarding.

Upon arrival in Trogir, we were met by our lovely, charming, warm, friendly, and very personable chef/hostess who took us on a private tour of Trogir’s quaint streets and a quick shopping excursion to the local farmers market. There is something about the experience of selecting and sampling the fresh-to-market produce, meats and cheeses, fish, herbs, selecting fresh flowers for the table and listening to the locals and vendors friendly exchanges that made the day feel uniquely Croatian. As we bought all the ingredients for our five- course meal, I honestly had no idea what was in store for us. It ended up being the highlight of my trip.

For the next few hours in our hostess’ lovely home we chatted, chopped and cheers-ed our way through some of the freshest food I’ve ever had. Shrimp like I’ve never eaten. Fish so fresh it didn’t taste like fish. Vegetables prepared to perfection (her cooking, not mine!) and she taught us how to make herbed salt (recipe to follow), which enhanced the flavors of the entire meal. To top it off, we finished our experience with a light and freshly made dessert. And fabulous local wines. Did I mention the wine? The Krauthaker Pinot Sivi we shared was absolutely superb!

The entire time my travel companions and I were preparing the food, snacking on world-renowned Pag cheese, and then setting the table for lunch, we laughed and learned together.

Our Chef/Hostess’s joie de vivre and her passion for cooking are contagious. Not only was this cooking class a fun and informative excursion, it gave each of her guests an inside perspective of life in Croatia with a very unique woman who shares her love of food, as well as a delicious meal that you help create.

Ask Adventures Croatia to include this fabulous immersion experience in your itinerary.

Herb Salt

Ingredients:
Fresh thyme (1 tsp, minced)
Fresh basil (2 tsp, minced)
Fresh, soft-neck ‘artichoke’ garlic (1 small stalk or to taste)
Fresh parsley (3 tsp, minced)
Fresh, grated lemon peel (from one lemon)
Coarse rock (not ground) sea salt (3 tbsp.)
Dried fennel (one sprig or a few seeds, for a hint of fennel flavor)

Directions:
There are no exact measurements for this recipe. It is truly up to you, the above is a general guide. Adjust each ingredient (+ or -) for your personal preference.

Mince each ingredient separately, keeping them apart if you intend on adjusting the recipe.

With a mortar and pestle, grind the dried fennel and sea salt together until the salt is fairly fine. Pour this mixture through a sieve/sifter to strain out any fennel husks and salt clumps. This will leave you with a small pile of freshly ground fennel-flavored sea salt.

Add the freshly minced items and grated lemon peel to the fennel flavored salt, in no particular order. Mix lightly. Store in any type of container in a cool, dry place. The fresh herbs and lemon peel do not need to be dried, they will dry on their own once you store it. (Note: It is not a salt that ‘pours’ or is free flowing and should be made in small batches so that it is always fresh tasting, not stale.)

 

Adventures Croatia