Many of you have been asking for a Jam Making and/or a Lavender cooking class. So here it is, I decided to combine the two! My Lavender bush is in full bud and is about 8 feet by 4 feet and 4 feet tall--an amazing French Lavender Rocket plant which I love to share with all who like lavender. Lavender has always been a favorite essence that I remember from childhood stays with my paternal Grandmother who always had lavender soaps, sachets and such.
As an adult I have had great fun cooking with lavender and I have always loved making various combination jams... and more recently I have experimented with including lavender in all manner of meat to dessert recipes. The only caution is to not use too much. Lavender combines well with other strong herbs such as rosemary and mint--making a great combination herb for chicken and pork dishes. Lavender is so great with lemon in pound cakes, cookies from drop to shortbread and in custards. I think you can see how much fun we will have in this class! It could even make a great gift for Father's Day.
We can create Gift Certificates of most any denomination for our products, books and classes. $25 is our minimum amount and we can email you the gift certificate any time--well in advance of Father's Day.
We have many other classes--from Grilling to Tamale Rolling to Southwestern Holiday cooking plus the August 9-11, September 20-22 and the November 8-10 weekends, the July 15-19 week long and our newest--just added yesterday is another week long class set for July 29 to August 2. Plus, our ever popular Jun 9-15, 2020 Oaxaca tour already has several who are going. So don't wait too long to get in your favorite class!
Here's two fun recipes for warm summer days--
GRILLED CORN, RED BELL PEPPERS AND GREEN CHILE SALAD with JALAPENO LIME CREME DRESSING
Vegetables are wonderful fresh off the grill and made into a salad. Or, you can use grilled vegetables left over from a day or so before. You can substitute whatever vegetables you wish.
Cooking Time: 8 to 10 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
2 large or 3 medium ears of fresh corn, husked
1 large red bell pepper
1 large red onion, cut into ¼-inch slices
3 fresh green chiles, parched, peeled and chopped (or 1, 4 ounce can)
1, 15 ounce can black beans, drained
4 cups mesclun or woodland greens, well rinsed
½ cup Jalapeno Lime Crème Dressing, recipe follows
Corn chips, optional
1. Preheat an outdoor grill, stovetop grill or broiler to medium-high heat.
2. Place the corn, bell pepper, onion slices, and fresh chiles on the grill-(if using canned chilesadd them with the beans.) Cook 8 to 10 minutes, rotating them as they blister, until they are uniformly charred on the edges. The onion slices should be almost soft.
3. Cut the corn off the cob. Place the bell pepper and green chiles in ice water, then peel and chop into ½ inch dice. Toss the vegetables with the black beans and greens. Add the dressing, toss lightly and serve. Garnish with the corn chips, if desired.
Per serving: Calories 225, Protein 14 g., Carbohydrates 43 g., Fiber 10 g., Fat 2 g., Saturated Fat 0 g.,
Cholesterol 1 mg., Sodium 403 mg.
Jalapeno Lime Crème Dressing
The combination of flavors is perfeact for a wide range of salads as well as for a sauce to serve with meats or vegetables.
1 cup plain yoghurt or ¾ cup nonfat sour cream with ¼ cup skim milk whisked in
1 or 2 fresh jalapenos, minced
¼ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice (1/2 lime)
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1. Combine the yoghurt, jalapenos, cilantro, lime juice and zest. Whisk together or place in a jar and shake. This dressing will keep at least 2 weeks covered in the refrigerator.
FAJITA PASTA SALAD
Using leftover marinated meat from fajitas makes this salad quick to prepare. I like to make fajitas of all sorts—beef, chicken, shrimp, even lamb and duck and freeze one person servings in freezer-weight bags, complete with the marinade. My favorite basic recipe, which can be used with any meat ,seafood or firm tofu follows in the * Note.
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
½ recipe Fajitas (recipe follows)
5 ounces dry, uncooked fusilli or rigatoni pasta
1 cup home-cooked or drained, canned pinto beans
4 scallions, white and tender green tops, thinly sliced
2 red, ripe Roma tomatoes, chopped
¼ cup spicy salad dressing—either the Hotter-Than-Fire or Jalapeno Lime Crème Dressing (shown with the Grilled Vegetable and Spinach salads)
Option: Serve on a bed of torn lettuces
1. Preferably, have the meat for the fajitas previously marinated, or prepare it and set aside. Preheat the outdoor grill or soak wood chips for the stovetop grill (preferably mesquite).
2. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain in a colander and set aside.
3. Grill the meat or pan-sear it in a heavy, seasoned skillet. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side for beef or shrimp, 4 to 5 minutes per side for chicken. Slice the beef or chicken into ½ inch-wide strips. Leave the shrimp whole.
4. Combine the pasta with the beans, scallions, tomatoes and meat. Add the salad dressing and toss together. If desired, arrange each serving on a bed, of torn lettuces. Serve at room temperature.
Per Serving: Calories 351, Protein 26 g Carbohydrates 39 g, Fiber 6 g, Fat 10 g, Saturated Fat 3 g, Cholesterol 44 mg, Sodium 205 mg. (Analyzed with beef fajitas ahd Hotter-Than-Fire Dressing.)
Beef is the original fajita, always being made from skirt steak. Chicken breast, Shrimp, Lamb or Duck can be substituted in this traditional fajita marinade. I have always preferred the fresh pure flavors of lime and garlic to the “foreign flavors” such as soy sauce and monosodium glutamate. My favorite way to serve fajitas is with grilled rather than sauteed vegetables. Select large red onions and the biggest bell peppers you can find.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
2 pounds trimmed, skirt steak, lean boneless, skinless chicken breasts, shrimp, Lamb or Duck
Juice of 2 limes
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup vegetable oil (omit for beef or duck)
2 large red onions, halved crosswise
1 each large red, green and yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
Pico de Gallo,
Dairy sour cream
6 inch diameter flour tortillas, warmed
1. Trim the skirt steak, or cut the chicken breast in half, following the natural division of the cartilage and removing any fat. Trim excess fat from the lamb or duck. Pound with a Jacquard tenderizer or between sheets of plastic wrap to uniform thickness.
2. To prepare the marinade: Combine lime juice, garlic, salt, black pepper, and oil in a bowl. Dip each side of the meat into the mixture and marinate 30 minutes at room temperature or up to 1 hour in the refrigerator.
3. Preheat the grill, allowing enough time to get hot. Use mesquite wood or chips to flavor the to give a real authentic flavor. Start vegetables 20 25 minutes before starting the chicken. When they are done, cut into ½ inch wide strips and mix together. Keep warm.
4. Grill chicken about 3 inches from coals for about 4 minutes to the side. Cut into strips about 1/2 inch wide when done.
5. Serve the meat over the grilled onions and peppers. Serve with bowl of Pico de gallo and sour cream and guacamole if desired. Pass napkin-lined basket of hot tortillas.
Reprinted with permission from Jane Butel’s Quick and Easy Southwestern Cookbook.
Reprinted with permission from Jane Butel’s Quick and Easy Southwestern Cookbook..