There are just 21 more days for early registration for our Fabulous Oaxaca Culinary Tour. The space is limited, so be sure to register right away for this June 5 to 11 tour while there are still special pricing opportunities for airfare. We will be staying in the historic Hotel Aitana, which was built in the 17th century . It is built around a central courtyard and has a beautiful rooftop viewing area where you can see the city of Oaxaca. For complete itinerary information and to register click here.
You will have three full participation cooking classes on the very interesting Zapotec cuisine, which has not been changed or influenced over the last many centuries. Also, you will tour the ancient city of Monte Alban; one of the many wonders of this very old culture. Additionally, we will tour very special villages where beautiful, different types of pottery are made and sold as well as the special brilliantly colored wood carvings and weaving is done. Mescal making in the ancient method will be seen where the blind folded donkey stomps the roasted agaves to make Mescal, a regional variation of tequila.
Great dinners of the regional specialties will be shared as well as free time for gallery and museum viewing and personal shopping. Oaxaca is known for its many moles and chocolate as well as its colorful architecture and gardens.
Oaxaca has been one of my favorite places since childhood when I visited my aunt and uncle there while my Uncle Harry directed the American side of a huge, cooperative veterinary venture. Visiting Oaxaca is such a rich culinary as well as historic and artistic center. I would love to share its special aura with you.
Here's a couple of favorite recipes to whet your appetite for going--
TRES LECHES CAKE
(Three Milk Cake)
This very popular cake has many versions. No one is exactly sure about the origin. It can be served many ways, with whipped cream and fresh fruit or a meringue.
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking power
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups white sugar (divided)
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (divided)
1 cup milk
1/2 of a 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 of a 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1/3 cup coconut liqueur, Frangelico, Brandy or Chambord
1-1/2 cups heavy (whipping) cream
Fresh strawberries, raspberries or other berries
1. Preheat oven to 350° F degrees. Grease and flour a 2-inch-deep round baking pan.
2. Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside. Cream the butter very thoroughly, until fluffy, then add 1 cup of the sugar and beat until light and fluffy using medium to high speed of electric mixer. Add the eggs and 1/2 teaspoon of the vanilla. Beat well using high speed of mixer. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, 2 tablespoons at a time, mixing well until blended on lowest speed of mixer. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bang cake batter in pan against the counter to remove bubbles in batter. Bake for 30 minutes, or until firm when pressed.
3. When cake has finished baking, cool 15 minutes then remove from pan. Let cool completely. When cake is cooled, cut in half horizontally with a long bladed knife.
4. Combine the milk, evaporated milk and condensed milk with the coconut liqueur, Frangelico, Brandy or Chambord in a large mixing bowl or blender and blend well.
5. Lift the top half of the cake off and set aside. Place the bottom half of the cake on a large serving dish with a rim. Pierce it several times, then slowly pour enough of the milk mixture onto the bottom half of the cake until well saturated. Replace the top half of the cake onto the bottom half, pierce it and carefully pour the remainder of the milk mixture over the top. Pour slowly so that the milk mixture has time to soak into the cake.
6. Soak and chill the cake for at least 2 hours (preferably overnight) in refrigerator. Using a whisk or an electric mixer on medium-high speed of electric mixer; whip the cream until foamy, then gradually add ½ cup of sugar and the remaining 1 teaspoon of vanilla and beat on highest speed until stiff. Frost the top and sides of the cake. Garnish with fresh fruit.
Note: A 3 egg white meringue could be substituted for the whipped cream. Reduce sugar to 1/4 cup.
An old Mexican favorite that is good over almost any meat or tortilla dish. Tomatillos, available in nearly everywhere, should always be used. Don’t substitute unripe green tomatoes, because they lack the subtle, sweet taste of the tomatillos.
Yield: About 2 cups
2 cups quartered, fresh tomatillos
2/3 cup chopped onion
1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno chile or Serrano chile, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1. If using fresh tomatillos, remove outer husk. Quarter and place in one inch deep boiling water in a heavy pot. Cover and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes or until color deepens and they are almost fork tender. DO NOT OVERCOOK!
2. Process tomatillos in a blender or food processor until coarsely chopped. Add remaining ingredients; process to combine. Taste and if necessary, adjust seasonings.