Long after the high of being in Spain evaporated, after I’ve gone through the thousands of photos I took an equal thousand number of times, and after all the stories of adventures in Spain have been told, I find myself missing the little parts of my trip the most. Like the lunches of small plates filled with anchovies drenched in olive oil paired with tomato bread and glasses of Sangria, and the dinners built of manchego cheese plates, morcilla sausage, and stuffed piquillo peppers.
There are two ways to remedy my longing for these things: 1. frequently dine at Salt Lake City’s Spanish restaurants, and 2. learn how to make these dishes at home. The first one is easy and I do it all too often, but the second one, well, I’m not exactly known as a cook. But whenever I encounter a food-related dilemma, somehow Caputo’s is always the answer. And this time is no different.
In addition to the many food classes at Caputo’s, like cheese and wine, chocolate and beer, even whiskey and scotch, Caputo’s also has cooking classes. I’ve been a huge fan of the food classes for years; they are incredibly informative and a great way to expand your taste buds and experience with everything ranging from cheese to olive oil. Caputo’s cooking classes are no different :: they teach pasta-making, Italian cooking, holiday feasts, Spanish tapas classes, and more.
Caputo’s cooking classes aren’t hands-on, but the instructor makes the dishes in front of the class. The recipes are provided so you can follow along, plus you get to taste everything. Many classes have a beverage pairing component, like wine, cocktails or both.
The Spanish tapas class started with tasting some of Spain’s most beloved bites, like anchovies, jamón, and manchego cheese topped with quince paste, paired with a Vermouth cocktail. I was instantly transported back to Spain.
Next we moved on to tomato bread, or pan con tomate, a simple recipe involving garlic, tomatoes and olive oil on bread, served at almost every restaurant we visited in Barcelona. Then came the stuffed piquillo peppers. The instructor Adrianna told us some short cuts and suggested some products, like using Ortiz Bonito del Norte canned tuna that’s nothing like the “chicken of the sea crap found in grocery stores.”
Then we had the tapas version of sausage and eggs using Spanish morcilla (blood sausage), the one food I said I’d never eat but accidentally tried in Madrid and fell in love. Adrianna fried eggs, placed them on slices of baguette and topped them with lightly fried pieces of morcilla. This was paired with the traditional Sangria, filled with fresh peaches and oranges (we got the recipe for that too).
We ended with a Barcelona Fish Stew, a hearty stew with heavy paprika flavors filled with chunks of halibut and Serrano ham, served with Pedro Ximenez Montilla-Moriles Solera sherry from 1927.
Caputo’s cooking classes are filling, fun, and informative. The recipes and subjects change with the season, so check Caputo’s website for the current list of upcoming cooking classes and food tasting classes. Most cooking classes are $45 for food, $15 for alcohol pairing. Classes are held at all three locations (downtown, 15th & 15th, and Holladay).
Disclaimer :: I was graciously treated to the Spanish Tapas Cooking Class by Caputo’s. All opinions are my own.