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 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.
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!
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.