An Evening with Cooking Lisbon

Sintra, Portugal

An Evening with Cooking Lisbon

Sintra, Portugal

While in Lisbon a few weeks ago Dan and I had the opportunity to join Cooking Lisbon for an evening Portuguese cooking class. Initially I was reluctant, we’d done cooking classes before that were a floop (not shared here on the blog because rehashing boredom and hunger isn’t fun for anyone!). Feeling optimistic about all-things-Lisbon though, we gave it a shot and were absolutely delighted with the hands-on evening we shared with Pedro and Filipe.

Sintra, PortugalSintra, Portugal

Upon arrival we were immediately poured big glasses of Portuguese wine to sip on as we prepared our four course meal. Our chef, Pedro, charismatically shared our game-plan for the evening including an appetizer of fried green beans, two entrees – a codfish stew and chicken in a pot, then we’d wrap it up with a creamy Portuguese cinnamon-based dessert called Sericaia. 

Sintra, Portugal Sintra, Portugal

Before us lay all the ingredients for the evening, fresh from the market and nicely portioned out into ramekins. Dan wore a giant grin, feeling as though he was suddenly on the set of Top Chef. We were given aprons and provided instruction on the proper methods for handling each ingredient. The evening flowed along swimmingly, extremely well-organized, we each were tasked with various steps of the prep work needed. 

Sintra, PortugalSintra, Portugal Sintra, Portugal Sintra, Portugal

As the night progressed, Pedro shared life-changing kitchen tips and guidance on everything from knife cutting techniques to how to properly separate egg whites. True game-changers, folks! The recipes chosen were traditional Portuguese dishes, not overly complicated but exceptionally tasty. Just as memorable though, the roundtable chatter around their cool industrial kitchen made the evening a ton of fun. We all exchanged stories from our travels and Pedro and Filipe shared insight about life in Portugal and the influences of the Portuguese gastronomy.

Sintra, Portugal

Before we knew it, meal prep had zipped by and the room was bursting with tasty smells of garlic, cilantro and basil. We kicked off the meal with a crunchy appetizer of fried green beans. With tempura originating in Portugal, these breaded and fried veggies were nothing short of addictive.

Sintra, Portugal

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Moving on, we nearly dove headfirst into our bowls of codfish stew. Surprisingly, cod is immensely popular in Portugal despite that all of it imported from the North Sea. This easy, one-pot meal is bursting with flavor while the cod nearly melts in your mouth.

Sintra, Portugal

Sintra, Portugal Sintra, Portugal
 Sintra, PortugalSintra, Portugal

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For our second (!) entree, it was hearty Chicken In A Pot. The chicken fell off the bone as we scooped it onto our forks. Dan and I cleaned our plates and quickly inquired for seconds. 

Sintra, Portugal

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Dinner table chatter grew louder as more wine was poured and we allowed our tummies to digest the delicious meal. Deep in conversation about Pedro’s prior career as a marine biologist (!) and Filipe’s experiences sharing Portugal with visitors from around the world, we nearly forgot about dessert! Pedro grabbed our sericia from the fridge, where we had put it to chill, and we marveled as he plated the desert quickly and beautifully for each of us. 

Sintra, Portugal

[yumprint-recipe id=’4′]Sintra, PortugalSintra, Portugal

By 11:30PM we were positively stuffed and bore giant smiles as we clinked glasses with the guys. All and all, our time with Filipe and Pedro was so special not just for the awesome cooking tips and amazing meal but for the fantastic conversation we all shared. We felt like we were cooking with great friends and got a true taste of the Portuguese hospitality. If you’re heading to Lisbon, definitely pencil in time with Cooking Lisbon

  • That looks like such a fun thing to do!! How nice that everything was so well organised and prepared for you (and it’s always nice to be greeted with a glass of wine, right?!). What a treat to have all those fabulous recipes too – thanks for sharing them! I love the sound of that chicken dish, yum! xxx

    • You’re so right, I think having them be so organized definitely sealed the deal on the night. Of course, the food was delicious but have all those pretty ramekins laid out made the class feel really professional but also fun. If you make that chicken dish let me know! I’m sure you’d absolutely love it! 🙂

  • Looks like such a fun experience! Loved the photos. 🙂 also I had no idea tempura was a Portuguese invention. Thaaaank you Portugal haha!

    • haha, seriously! I didn’t realize that either until our visit. So yummy and addictive, geh! 😀

  • That fish stew looks (and sounds) fab! The dessert too, although it’s probably a bit too complex for me to attempt on my own – think I’d need Filipe and Pedro to guide me through!

    • Initially I was a little intimidated with that fish stew recipe but it turned out to be surprisingly easy. Either way, a little trip to Lisbon to take a cooking class never hurt anyone, right? ;D

  • oh my goodness. YUM!

    • Yes, very much so! I was just thinking about you yesterday actually! I hope all is going well for you in your new home! Hugs, dear!

      • Thank you! Things are going well 🙂

  • What a fun way to spend the evening with your beloved. I’ve never thought about doing that with my other half, but I think it might have to be something we look into.

    • that’s such a sweet way of describing it. At the time I didn’t really think of it as fun date-night but in hindsight it was actually really fun and kind of romantic to prepare a special meal together. also, that word ‘beloved’ just makes me smile. thanks for that. 🙂 xo

  • Now this I love! I’ll be spending some time in Lisbon next September and this is something me and my husband will definitely enjoy. I will look into it. Thanx for the tip.

    • absolutely, dear! it was definitely a highlight during our visit. in a few weeks I’m going to try and put together a ‘best of lisbon’ post so be on the lookout! ;D

  • emilygrapes

    I have always wanted to take cooking classes in another country! I really should look into cooking here in Japan, while I can! It looks like such an awesome experience!

    • oh boy, i bet they have amazing sushi classes there. actually, have you ever watched the movie ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi’?

      • emilygrapes

        YES!! We want to go so bad. Its nearly impossible to get a reservation..oddly the best, most fresh sushi we’ve had was at Tokyo station. So unassuming yet we can’t stop talking about how fresh the nigiri is there.

  • How fun! I think taking a cooking class would be such a fun way to learn more about a different culture. And the delicious food is a great bonus 🙂

    • yeah, exactly! it was such a neat way to hang out with locals and learn something tangible that we are still applying today!

  • What a fun evening! Those recipes look ahhmazing! I’ll definitely have to try them out!

    • Oh fun! Let me know if you do… because I want your leftovers! ;D

  • That seems like a fun day, you made some really good dishes! And portuguese food is just too good. With love,
    Vera

    http://theflashwindow.weebly.com/all/the-lights-in-the-perks-of-being-a-wallflower

    • between the food and chatter, it was such a special day. you’re right, portuguese food is just wonderful. I’m so glad we did it! 🙂

  • DEFINITELY going to have to try out that chicken recipe! YUMMMM

    • yes, please! and pretty please send me your leftovers!

  • I’m drooling over here! I need to make that dessert NOW!

    • actually, me too! whenever I’m in Nashville again let’s plan a dessert date, k?! ;D

  • I’d love to do that! It is too bad your previous cooking class experience was such a bummer – but I’m glad that this one was great! We took a cooking class in Beijing and the atmosphere sounds really similar to the wonderful class you just described.

    • so fun! do you guys make Chinese food at home? we’re nuts about making Thai and Indian curries here.. seriously, we probably have it 3 times a week!

  • That all looks amazing! I love taking cooking classes when traveling – one of the best parts of exploring new places for me is trying new foods, so I love when I have a way to recreate what I eat in some way! Looks fantastic – going to have to check out the recipes!

    • oh wonderful! where have you taken classes in the past? I’d love to start doing it more regularly because it’s so much fun, plus I already have to eat – might as well learn something while I’m doing it, ya know? 🙂

      • I guess it feels like I’ve taken classes in more places, but now that I’m thinking about it, they’ve mostly been in Paris. Every time my mom visits, she wants to take a class together – we’ve done at least 4! My hubby and I just did a fun one in Bologna, Italy though, and learned how to make 5 types of gnocchi. Those recipes could be dangerous lol!

  • Rinka Inka

    That looks awesome! I wanted to try a cooking class like this when I visit Warsaw 🙂

  • Yum, this looks like so much fun!!! Who knew tempura originated in Portugal? Not me! Thanks for sharing the recipes too!

  • Love your article CookingLisbon.com actually sent me your link!