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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Salud! at Whole Foods: Dinner From Mexico

Himself and I attended a cooking class at Whole Foods recently.  This one was a bit different in that it was a demonstration class rather than a ‘hands on’ class. 

Here’s the class description:

Mexican cuisine revels in the balance of flavors, and contrary to what many people think, most dishes are not very spicy. A cuisine originating in Mexico, with considerable Spanish influences, Mexican cooking is more than street foods or Americanized versions of nachos, tacos, and burritos. It is more delicately spiced, relying on corn, chiles, and herbs and complemented with tomatoes and beans. Tonight, we’ll look at a few authentic dishes and sauces from Central Mexico as we unravel a refined dinner menu, from appetizer to dessert. MENU: Mushroom Crêpes with Poblano Chile Sauce (Crepas Rellenas de Hongos con Salsa de Chile Poblano); Filet Mignon with Rajas (Filete Mignon con Rajas); Colonial Fresh Corn Cake (Torta de Elote Colonial); Blackberry Sorbet (Sorbete de Zarzamora); and “Three-Milk” Cake (Pastel des Tres Leches).

This class was taught by Cindy Chambers.


She started with the corn cakes.  Here she is making the batter for the cakes.


The class used a lot of poblano peppers.  She showed us how to peel them by roasting them over the fire.  The skin comes right off then.  You can also oven roast them to do this.  Just make sure they are really black.


And when you are cutting them up, be sure to use gloves!  If you don’t… and rub your eyes later it could light you up!!  Also, remove the ribs of the pepper as they have a lot of ‘heat’ to them (if you want a milder pepper).


The crepas recipe was quite good, with thin crepes.


For the class, the crepas were baked in the oven.  This would be a great ‘make ahead’ dish.


Mushroom Crêpes with Poblano Chile Sauce (Crepas Rellenas de Hongos con Salsa de Chile Poblano).


Filet Mignon with Rajas (Filete Mignon con Rajas) on top of Colonial Fresh Corn Cake (Torta de Elote Colonial).


Blackberry Sorbet (Sorbete de Zarzamora)


“Three-Milk” Cake (Pastel des Tres Leches) whole…


…and sliced.  Yum! 

Everything was really good and not your normal restaurant fare you find everywhere.  This is the type of food I had during my visit to Celaya, Mexico.  Fabulous.  (Yes America… there is more to Mexican cuisine than burritos and enchiladas).  

Torta de Elote Colonial (Colonial Fresh Corn Cake)
4 cups fresh (or frozen) corn kernels
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
8 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
2 Tbs sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher or sea salt
 Preheat oven to 350*F.  Butter 13x9 baking dish.  Working in batches, puree all the ingredients in a blender until almost smooth.  Transfer batter to prepared pan. 
Bake until golden brown and tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes.  Invert corn cake onto platter.  Cut into squares and serve warm.
Makes 8 servings.







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