Hone Your Kitchen Skills, Sofra-Style
Cooking classes at the eastern Mediterranean bakery are back.
Was your New Year’s resolution to become a better cook? The educational series at Sofra Bakery in Cambridge might be just what you are looking for.
Sofra is offering a series of single-night culinary intensives beginning in January and running into May.
The popular bakery was established in 2008 by executive chef Ana Sortun and executive pastry chef Maura Kilpatrick. Sortun is the James Beard award-winning chef and owner of Oleana, an upscale Cambridge restaurant showcasing Turkish and eastern Mediterranean flavors. Sarma — which translates that style to small plates — is Oleana’s more casual younger sibling in Somerville’s Winter Hill neighborhood. The partnership with Kilpatrick, winner of multiple “Boston’s Best Pastry Chef” awards from Boston Magazine, has developed a cult following.
Members of the Oleana and Sofra culinary teams teach the classes, which include tastings, lectures and recipe demonstrations. Classes are held on Mondays from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
January 18: Fish Tales
Halibut in parchment, Brussels sprout tabouleh and spicy walnut sauce; caramelized scallops with Egyptian-style garlic sauce and sprouted lentils; flounder roulade with crab and leek saganaki; and hake with fideos, toasted garlic and saffron.
Winter vegetable katayifi, a pie made with thin, wispy strands of pastry; a classic spanakopita with feta; and lamb pide.
Kale soup with semolina; stuffed quince with jeweled rice; and lamb stew with chestnuts and bulgur pilaf.
February 8: Winter Cooking with Ana—Pantry Essentials
Chicken and yogurt soup with toasted vermicelli; red lentil soup with Turkish spices; braised chicken stew using a clay pot, baharat spice, leeks and cabbage; and kushari, an Egyptian-style rice pilaf with lentils.
February 15: All About Chocolate
Sofra’s signature brownie-rich “Earthquake Cookie”; chocolate-Turkish coffee custard; and easy-to-make chocolate-stuffed dates.
March 14: Braising Versus Roasting
Braised lamb chops and carrot tabouleh; roasted leg of lamb with turnips and honey; and sweet potatoes with tahini, pine nuts and zhoug.
March 21: Tahini and Olive—Mediterranean Baking Secrets
Sesame cashew sarma with tahini-brushed phyllo; Lebanese semolina cake, tahini hot chocolate; and from Oleana’s dessert menu, frozen olive oil soufflé with blood orange.
March 28: Spice Bazaar
Dukkah and za’atar as condiments for olive oil and breads; Nantucket Bay scallops with beets, citrus and ANA spice; carrot soup; baharat chicken with nuts, dried fruits and tahini.
April 4: Meze—Small Dishes, Big Flavors
Fava bean pate with eggs, capers and herbs; red lentil kibbeh with yogurt sauce; shrimp with onions and garlic; and roasted spring vegetables with tomato-brown butter.
April 11: Family-Style Dinners—Weekday Cooking Solutions
Warm buttered hummus with spicy lamb and pine nuts; baked goat cheese with spicy tomato sauce and Spanish-style crumbs; classic Apulian ceca marito with beans, greens and parsnips; tepsi or “tray” kebobs with bread dumplings and cacik.
April 25: Spring Vegetables & Siena Farms
Spring vegetable borek with yogurt and mint; fatoush with radish and sumac; and roasted cauliflower with beet tabouleh and harissa aioli.
May 2: All About Olive Oil
Chickpea pancakes with olive oil, greens and herbs; skordalia, a garlic, almond and potato spread with olive oil and rosemary crackers; ribolitta with spring greens and pancetta; and salmon with capers, olives and golden raisin emulsion.
May 9: Mother’s Day Tea Party
Sticky toffee pudding with rooibos sauce; popovers with elderflower granite and strawberries; and milk pudding (muhullabeya) with chamomile apricots.
This year, commit to upping your culinary cred. The only thing better than eating Sortun and Kilpatrick’s Mediterranean fare is being able to make it in the comfort of your own kitchen.