My Artisan & Architecture tour is right around the corner and I will be teaching the cooking class out at Dianne Kushner's Rancho Casa Luna, just outside of San Miguel de Allende. Half of the people joining me on this tour have been on my previous Meet Me in San Miguel tours so I need to create a whole new repertoire of recipes.
I am really intrigued with the indigenous foods of Mexico and how many of these foods drastically changed the way other cultures cook. And how the cuisine of Mexico changed with the influences from the Old World; from the Spaniards, the French and even as far away as the Orient.
The menu will be interesting and savory but not too complicated. I have been known to take on recipes, even projects, that are lengthy and time consuming. When I ask my friend Judy to help me with floral arrangements that I have designed for a particular fund raiser or event, she always says, "You never do anything easy." Well, if I did make so it easy, it would not be that interesting...
Friday night I made quesadillas, experimenting with the ingredients and tweaking what went in each one. I had assortment of cheeses (danish blue, goat cheese, Monterrey jack, brie and fontina), sliced mangoes, jamaica, caramelized onions, thinly sliced red onions, cilantro, slices of avocado, chopped red pepper, crispy bacon and strips of roasted poblanos. With my husband being part of my test kitchen (just the two of us, ha, ha), I narrowed it down to two different quesadillas with ingredients that are easily available in San Miguel and pretty simple for the cooking class to make; Quesadillas de Tocino y Flor de Jamaica (bacon & Jamaica flowers) and Quesadillas de Cebolla rojo y mango (red onion & mango). Of course there are other ingredients and cheeses that go in both. At a later date, I will post some of my quesadilla recipes.
Below is a sneak preview of one of my other recipes that I am including in my upcoming cooking class. Luckily watermelon is available year round and it is such a refreshing salad.
WATERMELON & ARUGULA SALAD
6 cups 3/4" cubed seeded watermelon
*Place cubes in a colander to drain for a few minutes
1 cup crumbled feta cheese or queso frescho
½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 cups (packed) baby arugula
1/4 cup pine nuts, roasted (optional)
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped mint
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl.
Whisk together olive oil and remaining ingredients in a small bowl: pour over salad and toss well to combine.
Prep work can be done hours in advance but do not assemble until ready to serve.
It will be a fun cooking class. And don't worry, the first order of the day will be making a big batch of margaritas! Buen Provecho!