Living in Switzerland is a dream for a food lover. I’m totally spoiled with Italy and France just down the road. Two weeks ago my sister-in-law and I spent a weekend in Venice and signed up for a cooking class with Chef Marika, a sweet, creative Italian women who runs a catering company in Venice, Milan and NYC.
The name of the menu we selected for our Venetian experience was “Fish…Fish…Fish.” If you added up all the seafood I’ve cooked in the last year, it would not come close to the amount of seafood we prepared in Chef Marika’s cooking class. I’ve definitely never experienced so much variety of seafood in one day. Here’s what we cooked up with the help of Marika.
Menu del Giorno:
- Stuffed Calamari Mediterranean Style with Braised Artichokes
- Stuffed Zucchini and Tomatoes
- Black Ink Squid Spaghetti
- Spaghetti ai Frutti di Mare (baby clams, scampi, calamari, shrimp)
- Homemade Vanilla Lemon Gelato with Strawberries
The unique culinary skills I picked up in the class were how to remove the tooth from a black ink squid and how to extract the backbone from calamari. We also learned how to safely clean clams (now I know why I once got deathly sick off of clams). After seeing the amount of preparation that goes into properly cooking fresh seafood, I have a new appreciation for chefs who tackle squid, calamari and clams. And I will no longer order seafood at a cheap touristy restaurant.
I don’t think I’ll bring home a black ink squid anytime soon, but I definitely learned a few things that will be added to my Freshabits recipe collection. I can’t wait to make the stuffed baby zucchini and homemade caramelized tomato sauce. And now I have a new obsession with artichokes, which are packed full of so much good stuff and easy to prepare (here’s how).
I left Chef Marika’s class happily stuffed and inspired to continue to share my love for all things FRESH.
Stay tuned for my favorite recipes from Chef Marika.