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 AndyFood.com and every dish tasted excellent.
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.
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!