A Very Tasting Taste of Mexico

In January, two masters students contacted me at the EAC offering their time and food expertise. In the end, they decided to organize and lead a Mexican cooking class. The class was a big hit – lots of interest from participants, terrific recipes, delicious food and charismatic instructors. It was so great that Jorge, one of the two students, has offered to lead a second Mexican cooking class this spring – so stay tuned!

While patiently waiting, try some of these recipes at home.

Appetizers

Champiñones al ajillo
250 g of mushrooms cut into quarters
1 garlic clove
2 huajillo peppers
½ onion chopped
60 g of butter
Salt and pepper
Fry the onion, the huajillo pepper and the garlic with the butter until the onion changes color. Add the mushrooms and fry until they are cooked. Add salt to taste.

Champinones con epazote
250 g of mushrooms cut into quarters
½ onion chopped
1 serrano pepper chopped
4 table spoons of olive oil
Epazote (Mexican herb)
Salt
Fry the onion in the olive oil. When the onion becomes transparent, add the serrano pepper and fry it for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and stir constantly until cooked. Add the salt and the epazote.

Salsas
Salsa verde
250 g tomatillos fresh or canned (Mexican green tomatoes)
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
2 serrano peppers
Salt
Fresh coriander
1. Boil the tomatillos, the onion, the serrano pepper, and the fresh coriander in a small amount of water.
2. Using a blender, crush the tomatillos, the serrano pepper, the coriander with the onion and the garlic cloves. Add some of the water used for boiling if necessary to achieve the desired consistency.
3. Add salt to taste.
*Tomatillos grow really well in Nova Scotia! Try growing them this summer in your backyard garden!

Pico de gallo
2 tomatoes
1/4 onion, chopped
1 lime
cayenne pepper or serrano pepper
fresh coriander, chopped
salt
Dice the tomato and place in a bowl. Add the chopped onion, the juice of the lime, the fresh coriander, and the pepper. Add salt to taste.

Soup
Sopa azteca
8 tortillas cut into strips
½ cup of vegetable oil
4 cups of chicken stock
coriander
2 big tomatoes or 500g of canned diced tomatoes
1 onion
1 Tbsp of canned chipotle pepper, cut peppers into strips
Sour cream
Cheese (mozza style – we used Foxhill cheese curds)
1. Fry the tortillas strips in oil in a medium size frying pan. Drain the fried tortillas on paper towels. Sprinkle salt on the fried tortillas and set aside.
2. Blend the onion, the tomatoes and the coriander.
3. Heat the chicken soup and add the blended vegetables (tomato, onion and coriander) and the chipotle pepper. Add salt to taste. Add sour cream to taste.
4. To serve the soup, place the tortillas, as well as some cheese, in the bottom of each bowl and ladle soup on top.

Main dish

Entomatadas
6 plum tomatoes (canned or fresh)
2 jalapeño or Serrano peppers
3 tbsp of sour cream
500 g of mozzarella cheese (we used Foxhill cheese curds)
Vegetable oil
Salt
15 tortillas
1. Boil the tomatoes and the peppers.
2. Remove the tomato skins.
3. Blend the tomatoes and the peppers together. Add some of the water used in boiling if necessary.
4. Put the sauce in a pot and bring it to a boil.
5. Add the sour cream and the salt to the sauce.
6. In a frying pan, fry the tortillas but don’t let them become hard.
7. Stuff the warm tortillas with cheese (rolling the tortillas). Place the stuffed tortillas in a casserole dish and cover with the sauce. Bake for a few minutes if cool.

Enfrijolada
8 tortillas
2 cups of cooked pot beans (we used a local dried beans)
120 ml of sour cream
250 g of mozzarella cheese (we used Foxhill cheese curds)
1 serrano pepper
½ cup of canola oil (we used NS Foxmill Certified Organic Canola Oil)

1. Blend the cooked beans with the sour cream and the serrano pepper. Add salt for taste.
2. In a frying pan, fry the tortillas but don’t let them become hard.
3. Stuff the warm tortillas with the mozzarella cheese, rolling them up.
4. Pour the blended bean mixture over the stuffed tortillas.
5. Add green salsa to the top. Bake in a casserole dish for a few minutes if cool.

Dessert
Arroz con leche
1 litre of milk
200 g of arborio rice
125 ml of sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
Shredded lime peel
Ground cinnamon
Dried cranberries, currents or raisins
1. Wash the rice
2. Boil the rice with water until it starts to become soft.
3. Drain the water.
4. Boil the rice with the milk, the cinnamon sticks, the sugar and the shredded lime peel.
5. When the rice mixture becomes thick remove the pot from the stove. Remember that the rice will continue absorbing the milk once removed from heat, so don’t let it became too thick.
6. Add the rest of the ingredients.

Serve with NS apples.

This food was honestly amazing! I can’t wait to try these recipes with fresh tomatoes from my garden this summer!

Maria, the queen of tortillas, also joined us for the class. She arrived early, teaching each participant as they arrived, the secret of the perfect tortilla. She makes it look so easy!

Yours in food, Keltie

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