Come Join Us March 23-27 for our next week long class at 20% off. In the class, we feature both innovative and traditional New Mexican, Southwestern and Mexican Regional recipes such as moles and Chiles en Nogada. In each class you will learn the history and significance of different ingredients for each dish as well as overall techniques for most all types of cookery.
For example, in making the chile dishes--you will learn the role of how milder chiles have a greater starch or thickening ability and can create the basis for the texture you desire and the hotter chiles add the spark or excitement. Different kinds and types of chiles are pretty much interchangeable and all have many, many healthful properties...helping your heart, complexion and waist line, plus many, many more healthful properties.
We will be making the whole range of appetizers, main dishes, desserts and of course Perfect Margaritas--the drink named for a beautiful Margaret who is credited with inspiring a bar tender in San Miguel Allende, Mexico in 1928. This bar tender, so the story goes saw this man at the bar who was drinking shooters and watching Margaret do a little dance to the Spanish guitarist start having trouble getting the shooters to his mouth. He then took a bar glass and put tequila in the bottom and rimmed the glass with lime and salt. This was the first Margarita! You will also learn the difference between a "walk home" and a "crawl home" margarita and the origin of those phrases.
I first started offering these classes in 1983 and they have been rated as the "Best in the US" by both "Bon Appetit" magazine and Gayot.com--for which I am very proud. If you register this week before the end of February, the price is only $1560. In addition to 5 days of full participation cooking, you will receive 5 make it yourself breakfasts, 5 lunches of all the dishes prepared that day with the beverage of your preference including wine or beer, plus a get acquainted dinner, and wine reception the Sunday evening before the class starts, plus a diploma, apron and cookbook.
Here's a couple of class recipes including our Perfect Margarita--
These are so much better than the margaritas the average American bar serves. They are definitely the best when made with freshly squeezed lime juice and good-quality silver tequila and Triple Sec or Cointreau. These margaritas are strong, so be careful!
Yield: 2 to 3 drinks
Coarse or kosher salt (optional)
2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice, approximately 2 to 3 limes, save halves after juicing
6 ounces tequila
2 ounces Triple Sec
1 teaspoon raw egg white, lightly whipped, optional*
1. About an hour before serving, squeeze limes. If salted rims are desired, place salt in a small, dry saucer. Gently rub rind of lime that has been squeezed on the edge of the glass, then lightly crunch into the salt and place glasses in the freezer so they will be frosty.
2. Combine lime juice, tequila, Triple Sec, about 1/2 teaspoon egg white if using and about 8 to 10 ice cubes in a blender or cocktail shaker. Blend or shake well. Taste and add more lime juice or Triple Sec, if desired. Pour into the frosted goblets and serve.
*The egg white sustains a foam on top of each margarita, which is very attractive.
Combine fresh lemon juice and lime juice for a delicious, if unconventional, margarita
Imperfect or “walk home” Margaritas: For less strong margaritas, reduce tequila to 3 ounces.
Frozen Margaritas: Keep adding ice and blending until mixture is somewhat firm or to desired consistency.
Subtle and complex in flavor, this chicken is elegant enough to serve company. Don’t be
daunted by the long list of ingredients; the dish can be made in only about an hour. It’s absolutely wonderful in warmed fresh corn tortillas with a topping of guacamole and sour cream; you might also serve it over rice or with a side dish of stewed beans.
Yield: 6 servings
1 (3 lb) broiler-fryer chicken, cut for frying or chicken breast or thighs
About 3 cups chicken broth
2 Tablespoons juice from pickled jalapeno chiles
1 cup ground almonds
1 large onion, quartered
6 to 8 leaves dark green lettuce (romaine, leaf lettuce or outer leaves of iceberg lettuce)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup flat-leaf parsley springs
1 large clove garlic
6 fresh or pickled jalapeno chiles, stemmed
1/3 cup virgin olive oil
Salt to taste, if desired
12 corn tortillas, warmed, or 3 to 4 cups hot cooked rice
Guacamole, if desired
2 cups sour cream, if desired
- Place chicken in a single layer in a large pot. Pour in broth and jalapeno juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer 35 to 45 minutes or until tender. Cool in cooking broth. Lift chicken from broth (reserve broth); discard skin and bones and tear meat in chunks.
- If you need to grind the almonds, grind them in a blender, using a pulsing action. Then preheat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet. When oil is hot, add the ground almonds and sauté until lightly tanned, about 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside.
- Then, to prepare the sauce, in a food processor or blender, add a cup of the reserved broth, then process onion, lettuce, cilantro, parsley, garlic, and jalapenos until quite smooth. Add additional chicken broth, a few tablespoons at a time, until mixture has the consistency of whipping cream. Set aside.
- Add pureed sauce to the toasted almonds and heat and cook until the sauce is somewhat thickened. Taste and adjust flavors. Then add the chicken and simmer together 10 to 15 minutes or until flavors are blended and sauce is hot.
- Serve in warmed tortillas or over rice, topped with guacamole and sour cream, if desired.
Note: For a slightly lower fat and calorie version, reduce the olive oil to 2 Tablespoons and the almonds to 2/3 cup–any less really affects the flavor and texture.