Cooking up Cultures- Week 4 and 5

Sadly, my cooking classes have finished, but we made some AMAZING dishes the last two weeks.  In Week 4, we made Cochinita Pibil, a delicious pork dish, with a Cherimoya salad.  In Week 5, we made chicken with a mole sauce.

I will have to say, the Cochinita Pibil was my favorite dish.  Unfortunately, some of my classmates missed out, but that means I had a whole tray of the dish to take home!  Yum… I ate it ALL week, and it was reallllly freaking good.Cochinita Pibil, Cooking Up Cultures

Cochinita Pibil is a dish that is traditionally marinated all day in banana leaves and cooked underground over hot stones for hours.  Because we didn’t have all that time, we prepared the dish and took it home.  Kat had a pre-marinated one for us that was in the oven while we cooked.

We used annatto (achiote) and many spices which gives the dish it’s color and delicious flavor.  We even cooked the dish in banana leaves!  We ‘roasted’ them over the stove to sanitize them and to make them more malleable.

Cochinita Pibil, Cooking Up CulturesCochinita Pibil, Cooking Up CulturesWe also made an Ensalada Cherimoya which had pineapple, papaya, cilantro, olive oil, orange juice and cherimoya.

Cooking Up Cultures

The following week was a huge challenge and we made a mole sauce.  There were so many ingredients!  I had no idea mole had so many types of peppers, tortillas, and even bread!

Mole, Cooking Up CulturesMole, Cooking Up Cultures

We threw all the goods in a blender and then heated it over the stove.  It was delicious.  Unfortunately, I had to leave early, but I caught a few pictures of the making.Mole, Cooking Up Cultures Mole, Cooking Up Cultures

I am so happy that I took these classes.  By the last class, I was cutting an onion and looking down, when I realized I could understand Kat completely!!!  Even though I am not the master of correct grammar, I was able to understand her directions in the kitchen.  The first class I was completely lost and flustered, and now I can somewhat understand and feel confident in trying to speak.  Complete immersion is definitely the way to go.  Also, doing something you love while learning is even better! :)

Now I’ve got to keep practicing before my South America debut :)  I have audiobooks from the library that I listen to on my long drives for work.  Also, I was excited to find out that the recipes change for each series!  Which means I can take the class again and continue to cook fun dishes and practice my Spanish!

If anyone is interested in the classes, please check out Cooking Up Cultures, and definitely let me know!  Email me at thefreshfind[at]gmail[dot]com.

Buen Provecho!



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