What a day we had on Saturday! The sun did shine on us! Many’s a time throughout the day we said to ourselves ‘this could be Tenerife or even, Mexico, rather than Tipperary!’.
Saturday was the day of our Mexican Cookery and Irish Craft Beer class.
Lily (A Mexican Cook in Ireland) had arrived here on Friday evening, so it was an early start to get everything prepped for the day ahead.
The menu for the day:
Green Tomatillo Salsa
Totopos (Tortilla Chips)
Cochinita Pibil (Pork) & Red Onion Pickle
Home-made Refried Beans
Rajas con Queso y Elote (Pepper, Cheese & Corn)
Corn Tortillas (Making your own)
Traditional Mexican Flan
Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Tea)
8 Degrees Beer
So while Lily was prepping the food
I was prepping the props….. well we did have food bloggers coming along!
So then it was time to start the cooking! Lily had to demystify the whole ‘chilli’ thing for all of us Irish students! As Lily broke a chilli in two, she explained how she could tell just by the smell whether the chilli was going to be ‘sweet’ or ‘hot’. My lovingly tended yellow chillies, that I was so proud of, were designated as ‘weeds’….. no ‘heat’ in them at all!!!!!!! (I will eventually get over the shock!).
Then it was time to make the two beautiful salsas – and, yes, here again we’ve had it all wrong! Salsas are cooked…. those raw chopped tomatoes, etc. are not salsas!
Having been to Lily’s house in May where she told us that pressure cookers were a must for any Mexican kitchen, I had invested in one…. so once the salsas were prepared it was time to put the beans (negro ones – none of the ‘poor man’s’ pinto beans, please) on to cook – you see no overnight soaking. And, of course, the pork was also put on in a pressure cooker.
Watching Lily stuff the pot with the pork, onions, achiote, garlic (unpeeled) into the pressure cooker and to see the end result – in less than an hour – is just amazing…. and the smells and tastes. The meat just falls apart and is the most divine colour.
The Mexican Flan – whipped up in just a few minutes and then popped into the microwave for 8 minutes….. now why wouldn’t you have dessert every night!
And then it was time for everyone to try their hand at making their own tortillas! Now that brought out the competitive streak in people!!!
There was so so much food. Just take a look at the groaning table of food – after we had all finished eating!
There was a selection of 6 different craft beers to sample ….. the Sunburnt Red and Howling Gale from 8 Degrees Brewing and O’Hara’s Irish Pale Ale were all close contenders for top spot. Both went really, really well with pork.
And, no, we didn’t forget about the drivers… we had a delicious Hibiscus Tea for them to enjoy!
And then there were the yummy cakes that WiseMona and The Chef brought to the party!
To finish off the day everyone went home with a ‘Mexican take-away’ for Sunday supper or to stock up their freezer for another day! (And, not forgetting the Mossfield Organic Cheese that everyone took home too!)
Myself and Alan were acting as kitchen slaves …. so I’m afraid I missed some photo opportunities later in the day. But check out the beautiful photographs taken by Mona of WiseWords.
From our perspective here at Oldfarm, we have to send out a major, major thank you to Nicholas Mosse Pottery for providing the props on the day! Aren’t they the most beautiful bowls, and they complemented the Mexican food so well!