South-Western Cuisine Class by Andy Food

I travelled all the way to Phoenix  for this cooking class (not quite…), and considering the unexpectedly cool temperature and heavy rain, standing behind the furnace was actually the place to be. First, we got a lesson on different peppers’ btu’s ,  a suitable “warm-up” to the local cuisine.


Then, Andy Food Culinary Studio, divided us into cooking brigades responsible to deliver Chevre Guacamole, Flour tortillas, Tortilla bread pudding, Chile lime chicken Machaca, Fish cakes with tomatillo vinaigrette,  Mexican chocolate cheesecake and Mexican wedding cookies. All the recipes are posted on and every dish tasted excellent.

Fish cakes with tomatillo vinaigrette

I was on the fish cake crew, and we started with the tomatillo vinaigrette. The key is to wash the tomatillos very thoroughly under water to dissolve the bitter sticky coating occurring naturally on the skin.Then you puree together in the blender: 8 tomatillos, 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/4 red wine vinegar, 1 tbsp sugar, 2 cloves garlic, 1 chipotle in adobo sauce. (I would change that to “up to 1”). The vinaigrette was very hot for a Northerner.

The fish cake  are patties made of 1 pound red snapper or tilapia, 2 eggs,1/2 cup Monterey Jack, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Everything is chopped coarsely in the food processor. The patties  rolled in corn-meal and flattened, then  sauteed in olive oil on  one side then the other. Serve with salad greens and drizzle everything with tomatillo vinaigrette.

Mexican wedding cookies

Last, we proceeded to a buffet style lunch to sample each others recipes quite happy with ourselves. My favourite was the Mexican wedding cookies, maybe because I sat next to a Mexican lady who guaranteed that they tasted genuine! In any case the tangy lime aftertaste was welcome to refresh our breath from the hot and smoky chipotle in the vinaigrette!


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2 Responses to South-Western Cuisine Class by Andy Food

  1. Andy says:

    Hi Cooking Frog …
    You and the Canadian cooking team (it could become a sport) were great fun. If you want a gentler vinaigrette use less chipotle (maybe half a chili … maybe less). If you want no heat at all just omit the chipotle – you’ll have a nice refreshing tomatillo vinaigrette w/o any heat at all!
    See you in the kitchen,

  2. Vero says:

    This is definitely worth going down South for!! Absolutely delicious!

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