Food, Living, Mexico

Fish Taco Online Birthday Party

Since few people are traveling and getting together in person is not an option, I have been offering cooking classes online. This has been a challenging experience and also a lot more rewarding than I would have expected. I get to share my love of cooking and connect with people that otherwise I wouldn’t get to see.

A few days ago I was honored to be a part of an online birthday celebration for Leslie and her friends who are located in various parts of Canada and unable to see each other.

For more information about my online drop-in classes that are every Tuesday at 7pm CT or to book a private class for you and your friends:

http://www.HuatulcoCookingClasses.com chiles.chocolate@yahoo.com

 Menu for Online Cooking Class with Jane Bauer:
 Beer-battered fish tacos
 Street Corn Salad
 Chipotle Mayo
 Rum Horchata
  
 Recipes:
  
 Garlic oil- We call this ‘Heaven in a Jar’ at the cooking school
 1 cup vegetable oil 
 6 garlic cloves
 Mix in a blender until uniform. Keep in a jar and use with everything!
  
Fish Tacos
White fish filet such as mahi-mahi or any other firm fish like marlin, swordfish, sea bass, cod cut into strips 1-inch in width by 2.5 inches in length
Salt and pepper
Pour a generous helping of Heaven in a Jar over filets and massage them with your hand.
  
 Beer Batter
 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose wheat flour
 ½ teaspoon of oregano
 1/2 teaspoon salt
 1 bottle of beer
  
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and pour in beer in a gentle stream while mixing with a plastic spatula until the batter has the consistency of pancake batter. 
  
Frying: Heat 3 cm of vegetable oil in a pan. When oil is hot, place a strip of fish into beer batter and then into oil, fry until golden. Place fried fish on a paper towel to de-grease. Place fried fish onto a corn tortilla, top with shredded purple cabbage, grated carrot and cilantro. Garnish with cream and/or chipotle mayonnaise.
Mix and knead  with your hands until the dough is smooth and  homogenous. It should be soft but not sticky, like  soft  Play-Doh;  if   necessary,  adjust  the  texture with  more  water  or  masa  harina.
 
 Chipotle  Mayonnaise
 2 chipotle chiles (from a can)
 1 cup of mayonnaise
 1/4 cup orange juice. 
 Place all ingredients in a blender and mix. Taste and adjust. 
 Too spicy? Add more mayo
 Too smokey? Add more juice
 Not spicy enough? Add more chipotle
  
 Street Corn Salad
 4 cups corn (about 5 ears), cut from the cob- canned corn is fine!
 1 tbsp olive oil
 1/2 small red onion finely chopped
 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
 6 green onions chopped
 1 jalapeno pepper diced
 1/2 avocado chopped
 4 tablespoons lime juice (from about 2 limes)
 1/2 teaspoon cumin ground
 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
 1/4 teaspoon black pepper ground
 1/4 teaspoon salt
 2 tablespoons sour cream (or yogurt)
 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
 1/2 cup feta crumbled
  
 Mix all ingredients and serve!
  
 Rum Horchata
 1 cup of rice
 1 liter of water
 Cinnamon
 Vanilla
 Simple syrup or sugar
 Rum 
  
Soak rice in water for about an hour. Blend well so rice breaks down. Pass through a sieve. Add cinnamon and vanilla to your taste. Serve over ice and your rum of choice.
  
 Provecho!
   

Food, Living

Coimbra, Portugal – An unexpected pleasure!

When I travel I am always looking for that one place that will beckon me to stop moving and stay a little longer.  It’s usually a small town, void of ‘hop-on hop-off’ buses or Michelin-rated restaurants, just something about the people that makes you slow down and pause. In Italy it was a place called Bevagna, in Mexico it was Mazunte and in Portugal it was Coimbra.

library-coimbra-interiorThe country’s former capital is home to the oldest university and has a mind-blowing library with an outstanding rare books collection, including several versions of The Bible form the 14th century.  One of the biggest “enemies” of the books is, apart from the humidity and temperature differences, the moths that feed on paper. The bookcases are made of oakwood which, apart from being extremely dense (making it difficult for the bugs to penetrate), has a scent that repels them. The books have yet another ally in this daily fight for conservation: the interior of this book temple houses a colony of bats which spend the night eating any insect that appears, thus freeing the books from their attack.

The Machado de Castro Museum was stunningly beautiful and while I usually tire quickly of religious art these pieces were so breathtaking that they seemed to transport you to another time, they beckoned silence and awe. The museum is built over a Roman crypt that you can visit- cool underground tunnels and arches.

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During my stay I had the privilege of participating in a private cooking workshop at the Escola de Hotelaria e Turismo. I inquired at my hotel and the owner went above and beyond in making this happen. I arrived at the school and was welcomed by the administrator and introduced to Chef Emanuel and his students Raquel and Rita. Chef explained the dishes we would be preparing; duck rice, octopus, bacaloa (cod), pork, Portuguese gazpacho, lemon rice pudding… just to name a few.  We worked in the commercial kitchen of the cooking school- all gleaming stainless steel and lots of space. The duck rice was phenomenal- rice that is cooked with duck stock and served with shredded roasted duck meat. The tender octopus was served with oven-roasted smashed potatoes and topped with a few splashes of olive oil and sea salt.  The rice pudding dessert was the perfect amount of sweetness and the creaminess contrasted perfectly with the bright lemon flavor. All served with delicious wine of course. Beyond the food, I loved the chance to talk with Raquel and Rita and to learn more about their lives in this region and what they hoped to do once they finished school.

Hands down this was the highlight of my journey!

Where to stay in Coimbra:  http://www.theluggagehostel.com/en/Utilities/Homepage.aspx

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Food

Mango Madness

There is something so satisfying about entering the world of canning. There was the procurement of the cans- picking the size and brand and then ordering them online. My partner in crime, Emilie, got an impressive mango picker from our local hardware store and the hunt for the ideal mangoes began!! 

Here is the recipe for Jane and Emilie’s Mango Madness Chutney. A perfect pairing with cheese and crackers, on top of your favorite pork dish or vanilla ice cream!!

10 kilos champagne mangoes cubed

7 cloves of garlic minced

3 inches fresh ginger minced

3 Serrano chiles minced

1 cup white vinegar

1.5 cups raisins

4 tbs. cumin

8 tbs. Chinese Five spice

Place all ingredients in a large stock pot and simmer for 1.5 hours or until desired consistency is reached. 

Can in glass jars using traditional boiling method. Enjoy!