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Test Kitchen: Take a seat, learn from pros at The Cooking Depot in Cuero

By Jessica Rodrigo
April 24, 2013 at 2:04 p.m.
Updated April 23, 2013 at 11:24 p.m.

Guest instructor Chef Mike Morphew hosts a class on Asian appetizers Tuesday night at The Cooking Depot in Cuero.

Nothing has changed since I was in grade school. I was always the student to straggle in from recess, and Tuesday night, I was the last person to join the cooking class at The Cooking Depot in Cuero, which started almost immediately after I took my seat.

I joined a table of a friendly group of five who all ready knew each other. I gave them the usual wide wave and said, "Hi all. I'm Jessica," and followed along as they each introduced themselves to me. They told me there would be a quiz later, so I studied their names in my head before the class started.

The Cooking Depot offers classes by different chefs in the area with varied skill levels and specialties. Tuesday's class was taught by Mike Morphew, and his class was dubbed "Sushi 101 and Hot Asian Appetizers."

The class included 14 students in unassigned seats at tables set with rolled silverware, wine glasses and plastic cups for ice water.

At the front of the class, there was a wide countertop with five burners and a slew of bottles containing fragrant liquids popular in Asian cooking: fish sauce, rice vinegar, soy, oyster and hoisin sauces. A few feet above Morphew's head hung a large mirror tilted toward us, so we could follow along with what his trained hands were doing as he formed balls of rice for nigiri or rolls with nori wrappers. He also gave us a brief history of sushi and included tips on how to make a successful roll so that it didn't resemble a doorstop or wasn't too fat to eat.

After he completed each lesson, the ladies at The Cooking Depot served us plates of what we saw Morphew create. We had a few pieces of sushi, a kimchi pancake and soup.

As part of the class, we each got to take home the recipes, and each had the newfound confidence to create them in the comfort of our own kitchens.

I didn't get quizzed on their names, but I do remember them: Amanda, Mary, Mary Sue, Courtney and David.

Mary and Courtney mentioned they'd be attending the Taste of Home Cooking School, so they weren't done learning from Morphew, but as for me, I'll be back in June for a fruit-carving class.

Do you have a recipe to share with the Get Out Test Kitchen? Shoot an email to jrodrigo@vicad.com or tweet me @eatseatseats.

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