Our first class is an homage to Mexico City. Rick Bayless will teach us how to make Mexico City-Style Quesadillas. The video of his cooking class is here.
This will be just the first stop in a culinary trip around the world.
- 1 pound fresh-ground corn masa, OR 1 1/4 cups powdered masa harina mixed with 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot tap water
- 2 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening
- 1/4 cup flour (use 1/3 cup if working with powdered masa harina)
- A generous 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 scant teaspoon baking powder
- 10 ounces (about 2 1/2 cups) grated melting cheese like Monterey or a mild cheddar
- 1 large fresh poblano chile, roasted, peeled and cut into strips
- 12 ounces mushrooms (I prefer really full-flavored ones like shiitakes), rinsed or wiped clean
- 1 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil
- 1/2 medium white onion, finely chopped
- 2 fresh serrano chiles (or 1 jalapeno), stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh epazote (optional)
- Vegetable oil to a depth of 1-inch
1. The dough. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix the masa (fresh or reconstituted) with the lard or shortening, flour, salt and baking powder. Work in a little water, if needed, to give the dough the consistency of soft cookie dough. Divide into 12 balls and cover with plastic wrap.
2. The fillings. If you are using the cheese, divide it into 12 portions and press each portion into a flat oval about 2 x 2 1/2 inches. Set them aside with the strips of chile.
If working with mushroom, pulse them in a food processor until quite finely chopped. Heat the lard or oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring regularly until all the liquid has evaporated. Add the onion, chile and epazote, and cook, stirring frequently, several minutes more, until the onions are soft. Scrape into a bowl. Taste and season with salt, usually about 1/2 teaspoon.
3. Form the molotes. Using a tortilla press, flatten a ball of the dough between sheets of plastic to make a medium-large (5-inch) thickish tortilla. Remove the top piece of plastic. Lay a portion of your chosen filling across half of the uncovered tortilla, making sure to leave a 1/2-inch border around the edge. If the filling is cheese, top with a strip of poblano. Slip a hand under the plastic beneath the uncovered side of the tortilla, then carefully fold the tortilla over the filling. Press the edges together to seal.
Peel the plastic off the turnover and lay on a tray covered with plastic wrap. Continue making the remaining masa balls into turnovers. Cover with plastic wrap.
4. Fry the turnovers. Heat the oil to 375 degrees, then fry the turnovers 2 or 3 at a time, until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and keep warm in a low oven until all are ready. Serve right away.
Note: One recipe of either the cheese filling or the mushroom filling will be enough to fill all 12 turnovers. If you make both fillings, you'll need to double the dough recipe for 24 turnovers.
John has dragged us from the Sunny climate of Mexico City for the forboding, rocky beaches of Nova Scotia. Good thing we're in the middle of their 2 weeks of summer. He's offering up a recipe for Pate a la Rapure at #1.2 - Chicken, Potatoes, onions and butter.
Since we need to search for our friend, samenslow, who has disappeared into the American wilderness known as Florida, it's time to move out. We're off to Miami and learn to create one good Sammie, El Cubano. It may just be nearly the perfect sandwich.
The Sandwich Cubano
Recipe courtesy Nick Vasquez
- Prep Time:
- Inactive Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- 1 sandwich
In Cuba it was just called el sandwich it was here in USA that we gave it a country!
- 1 loaf (12-inch) Cuban bread
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, or to taste
- 2 slices kosher dill pickle, very thinly sliced lengthwise
- 3 to 4 slices Swiss cheese
- 4 slices roast pork
- 4 slices Virginia baked ham
- Melted butter
The plancha has to be set to 350 F
Slice the bread in half lengthwise, spread the mayo on the bottom bread then place the roast pork then the baked sweet ham then the pickle then the cheese. this way the cheese will melt down and blend with the hams.
Next put the sandwich on la plancha and spread a little melted butter on top of the bread and press down the top part of the plancha. in about 3 minutes raise the top part of the plancha spin your sandwich to the other side and repeat the butter process again
Your bread should be toasted and the cheese melted. this should be done in about 10-to 15 minutes depending on the plancha
Any good ham dish starts with the night before. marinating gives all foods that extra punch of flavour. We accomplish this with sour oranges limes alot of minced garlic, ground cumin dried oregano. This mixture gets spread all over the fresh ham and massage into the meat .Put it the fridge covered with plastic wrap. the next day when u are ready Preheat the oven to 350f place the pork in a roasting pan cover fresh ham in salt skin up, this will keep the ham from drying out, cook for about 4 to 5 hours or until your ham reaches an internal temp of 180f. Remember to take off the salt that by now has become hard. Skin should be toasted and crispy.
Allow the meat to rest and carve when you can't wait any longer!
Recipe courtesy Nick Vasquez
Recipe from The Cookbook Chronicles
- 300g cream cheese
- 45g unsalted butter
- 57g egg yolk (this equals to 3 yolks)
- 20g sugar
- 11g cornstarch
- 150g milk
- 95g egg white (3 egg whites)
- 55g sugar
- Use an 18 cm (7 in) cake pan with a fixed bottom
Cut a strip of parchment that is 3 cm higher than the height of the cake pan. Fold 1.5 cm along the long edge and cut a notch to the fold line every 2 cm to allow the strip to line the side of the cake pan. Slits should point into the center of the cake pan. You want the strip to be at least 1 cm taller than the cake pan. (Basically, the notches are just so you can build a perfectly round collar around the base of the pan.) Cut a parchment paper round to line the bottom of the cake pan.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Put the egg whites into the freezer so it just begins to freeze around the edges. Sift the cornstarch.
Wrap the cream cheese in clear wrap and microwave until it becomes soft to the touch. You do not want to heat it up. (I did this in about 15 second intervals.)
In a large bowl, melt the butter over a double boiler. Add the cream cheese and whisk well to combine.
In another bowl, combine the egg yolks and 20g of sugar. Mix in the cornstarch.
Heat the milk so it comes to a boil. Add it to the egg yolks and whisk until it thickens in a double boiler over boiling water. Add this mixture to the cream cheese and combine well.
Add a small amount of the 55g of sugar to the egg whites and mix on medium low speed for about 2 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar to the egg whites and beat on medium until a soft meringue forms.
Add ¼ of the meringue to the cream cheese mixture and combine. Add the remaining meringue to the cream cheese mixture and fold to combine. Fill the cake pan and smooth the top.
Put the cake pan in a roasting pan and add boiling water so it comes up 1-1.5 cm up the cake pan. Bake for 15 minutes and then lower the temperature to 160°C and continue to bake for 25 minutes until the top turns slightly golden. Turn off the oven and leave the cake pan for another 40 minutes to an hour.
Note: The cake will continue to bake with the heat off so do not over bake. Depending on the oven, the cake may not turn golden but should avoid cooking much longer than the suggested time.
Take the cake out of the roasting dish and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Refrigerate and chill completely before taking it out of the pan. It is best served the second day