Friday, February 29, 2008

Buen provecho

Today, Clay, Anna, and I took a cooking class at the bed&breakfast Casa Crespo near Santo Domingo. It was amazing. The class lasted four hours and included a trip to a nearby market to buy fresh ingredients. It was just the three of us, and we got to try an amazing number of dishes. I'm mostly going to let my photos speak for themselves, but here's our menu:

aqua de horchata (sweetened rice water) with cantaloupe and pecans
corn tortillas
salsa with chili de arbol (tree chili) - this was my favorite dish!
salsa with some local oaxacan chili
flores de calabaza (squash blossoms) stuffed with quesillo (oaxacan cheese) and yerba de conejos
quesadillas with flor de calabaza and chapulines (roasted grasshoppers)
soup of some kind of lima-looking bean, dried shrimp, and nopalitos (pieces of cactus)
poblano peppers with cream and queso fresco (fresh cheese)
chicken with almond mole
- see the picture of me at the top
chocolate ice cream
marmalade of jamaica (hibiscus)

Yes, we ate all of this afterwards. Please click on photos to enlarge them!

Toast with blackberry marmalade; we made a version with dried hibiscus petals--it's remarkably simple!

Poblanos and tomatoes roasting on a comal--a dish made of pottery.

Making the salsa with chili de arbol--three roasted tomatoes, one roasted chili, seeds removed, a little garlic, and a little salt.

Simple--but extraordinary--guacamole with just avocados, fresh cilantro, and a little garlic.

Anna with our salsa. In the glass by her hand you can see the agua de horchata.

Flores de calabaza stuff with cheese and herbs, pre-frying.

A flor de calabaza rolled in whipped egg (meringue-like) and fried in oil. Amazing and probably the coolest thing we made.

Quesadilla, pre-grilling, with quesillo and crushed chapulines. Also, I made that tortilla!

Cooking the poblanos with onion.

The finished poblano dish, after adding cream and fresh cheese.

That shrimp was looking at me! The soup was delicious, but the dried shrimp were incredibly fishy; I'm not a fan.

The ingredients in the almond mole, after sauteeing: almonds, tomatoes, onion, garlic, bread. Not shown: thyme, peppercorn, clove.

Chocolate ice cream made from Oaxacan chocolate medallions, with just a pinch of chili.

Just for fun, juices at the market.

Hopefully there will be some more pictures of me cooking after Anna puts her photos up.

In the meantime, I have a sort of request: as should not be much of a surprise, I plan to enter the UChicago study abroad photo contest. I get to submit 4 photos. And while I'm certainly not done taking pictures yet, if any of you (and I know this blog has quite a few readers at this point) have favorites or suggestions, I would love for you to let know! You could comment on the post with the photo in it, if you feel like. Thanks so much!

And Buen provecho.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had the chance to try the Aqua de Horchata at a Mexican restaurant by my school last week - it washed down my Cuban Picadillo quite well, if I might add lol. They were delicious and I would definitely try both again.