A few weekends back, I taught a cooking class to a lively group of twelve seasoned class-goers. The gracious host allowed me to run wild with the menu and come up with whatever felt exciting to me. Mother Earth had [sadly] just pulled the curtains closed on Summer a few days prior so I decided to go with an End of Summer Fiesta themed menu to keep Summer alive for a few more nights. The menu included some familiar flavors. some unconventional plays on the classics, and a lesson in homemade tortilla-making.
Here is the full menu I concocted for the evening's class:
Brian took on the role of handsome bartender muddling up glasses of the White Wine Mojito cocktail... which is a great pre-dinner OR brunch cocktail btw. The group was broken up by course according to interest in learning the dish, taste-testing preference (the guacamole lovers made themselves known quickly), and willingness to do some grunt work... chopping is not very exciting but a necessary evil in every course. Every one was engaged and chatty, asking questions and talking about their experiences in Mexico and with cooking similar dishes; it really made my job as overseer and fun-fact-giver really easy, and super enjoyable.
Even though my education is in baking/patisserie, I really do enjoy every element the kitchen has to offer. Like I have mentioned in previous posts, I come from a long line of great cooks and bakers, so I am chock full of old world, and sometimes forgotten, tips for cooking, kitchen tools, short cuts, and troubleshooting. I also spend loads of my free time educating myself further, reading up on all of the new and unique techniques, flavors, recipes, hacks, and stories of the restaurant world. I am bursting at the seams with foodspo (that's a thing, I swear... food + inspiration) and these classes give me an outlet to share my knowledge with a willing audience. Plus, it is not a rare occurrence that my students teach me something new. I truly, TRULY LOVE to teach these classes.
If you are in the Boston area and are interested in a baking or cooking class, please reach out either by clicking on the Classes page above or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area and are interested, shoot me a line! Happy to make a trip to the best coast to teach a new group... plus, I love any excuse to see my family!
As a class teaser of sorts, today's recipe is the incredibly simple Corn Tortillas I taught during the End of Summer Fiesta.
Recipe: Homemade Corn Tortillas
yields ~ 12 tortillas
The Bits and Bobs:
2 cups Masa Harina (Bob's Red Mill works wonderfully)
1 1/2 cups hot tap water
Mix together the salt and masa in a big bowl. Slowly add the hot water kneading with your hands as you go. Continue to knead in the bowl until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky. If it is still crumbly, continue to add water 1 tbsp. at a time until it comes together. It should be springy like Play-Doh. If you have the time allow the dough to rest 10-15 minutes with a wet paper towel covering the dough.
Pinch off a few tbsp. of dough, roll into a ball, and place in between two sheets of plastic (a cut open Ziploc works great) in the tortilla press (or under a skillet) and flatten to about 1/8-inch thickness. Peel away from the plastic and stack to be cooked.
Heat a cast iron skillet or griddle over medium heat. You want the pan to be very hot (can hold hover hand over for seconds). Cook each tortilla for 30 seconds on the first side. Flip over and cook for 1 minute more. Flip one more time and cook for another 30 seconds until it puffs up a bit. Remove from heat. Wrap in a towel to keep warm and moist.
Can be stored in an airtight container once cooked and cooled for up to 3 days. Leftovers can be baked into chips at 350°F with a brushed coating of vegetable oil and sprinkle of salt for 8-12 minutes.