21 June 2010

Cooking school day 2, not everything's a winner

Day 2 dawned fne and sunny with one of the local volcanos spewing smoke, a sight I had not seen before, so double points for that!

On the menu today:
-Crema de flor de calbacitas (cream of squash blossom soup)
-Pipian verde con bistec en relleno (stuffed beef rolls in pipian verde sauce)
-Bistec en chile pasilla
-Arroz rojo (red rice)
-Gaznates rellenos de cream (cream filled pastry tubes)

Cooking with squash blossoms again was most excellent. We made a milk-based soup with it that also included poblano chiles, lots of garlic and onion as well as cheese. You blend the milk and squash blossoms to get a really pale orange liquid that is really pretty. The chiles and onions etc are not blended and give the whole soup a bit more texture but all still with a very delicate flavour. Not really spicy at all. Not sure if you can see the lovely colour in the picture but here it is. Tasted a lot better than it looks just sitting there in the bowl.
Our lunch main course was stuffed beef rolls in green sauce. The sauce was really like a big salad wazzed up in the blender and included spring onions, fresh lettuce, radish leaves, cilantro, epazote, tomatillos, and parsley. That was added in the pot to a puree of roasted pumpkin and sesame seeds with cumin and garlic. The stuffed rolls consisted of thin slices of beef rolled around slices of carrot, zuke, green beans and, for me, turkey ham. The beef rolls were simply added to the sauce and cooked for a while. Must say I think the rolls might have been a bit better if browned first and definitely if the whole thing had cooked longer. So far, my least favourite dish. It was served with the red rice, which while very tasty required more steps to make than I'm usually willing to put into rice.
The hit of the day was the beef in pasilla sauce. Pasillas are a dried chile and you toast them before making the sauce. The trick, I learned with the dried chiles, is not to toast them very long or they will make the sauce bitter. So it's just a few minutes, flip and then off the heat.
The sauce included roasted tomatoes and tomatillos (which were tiny and came from the garden in the back) as well as thyme, garlic and onions. Thin slices of steak and big chunks of potatoes were left to stew together and make beautiful music. The sauce got a bit spicier over the course of the day but a big slab of crusty bread to mop up what was left on the plate wouldn't have been out of place. This is definitely a make at home recipe.
Tonight we had another variation of the fried dough. This one was rolled like a cannoli and then filled with cream and topped with some mashed strawberries.

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