In a continued search to become a better and well-rounded chef I always look for opportunities to improve my skills through training in cookery, nutrition, ingredients, techniques, equipment etc.
During the summer cooking for European, Russian and Arab guests I developed the need to include in my menus flavor pairings that would bring my guest back to their cultural roots when they taste my food. I decided then to take a cookery class in a very prestigious school the UK that would give me hands on training on traditional European stocks and sauces.
In this blog I can only share photos of the dishes we created, and although it is impossible to share flavors through writing I am always available to cook for you any dish per request.
I have to point out that the school is excellent, the instructor chefs and their teams are very dedicated and the cooking tricks and tips were worth it.
But, it was quite an experience to find that half of the group in my class maybe even more was as shocked as I was of the amount of butter and cream used in the recipes.
The majority of my clients reach out to me looking for healthier ways of eating and personally, I have chosen to replace dairy in my dishes for much healthier options that are not associated with Cancer, Osteoporosis, Cardiovascular disease, Diabetes, Lactose Intolerance, Vitamin D Toxicity, Obesity etc…
Therefore, I foresee quite a bit experimenting with ingredient search and replacement in my future to continue delivering healthy nutritious meals that have nothing to envy these “traditional” version that you find photos off in this blog.
Your ideas or suggestions are welcome and appreciated please post in the comments box below 🙂
The night after a very talented group of chefs and I completed our Vegan Gastronomy training in Palma de Mallorca (Spain) we decided to get together for a tasty Vegan Mexican Night, Tequila and a good laugh.
Mexican food is everyone’s favorite no matter your country of origin and can work very well in a plant-based diet. For example, corn tortillas contain no oil and are free of Gluten, help with digestion, heart issues and blood pressure problems. The use of complex flavors in sauces and specific ingredients makes Mexican food so unique and different from other world cuisines.
I recommend using fresh ingredients to get full benefits from the nutrients and avoid GMO’s and preservatives and also adjust the chili to your personal preference.
I decided to create this post to share with You the recipes we cooked that night.
Please enjoy the recipes below, try them, experiment and share with us your results and suggestions to make them better. Please write in the comment box at the lower section of this post, we all would love to learn from your experience. And If you have any questions or doubts please ask away : )
Easy Mole Sauce – Vegan Note: For a vegan version we replaced the chicken stock with vegetable stock. Also, any semisweet baking chocolate is a good substitute for the chocolate.
Mexican Empanadas: Dough, Empanada filling seasoned with Mexican Spice Blend. You can fill your empanadas with anything you like. For our filling we sauteed mushrooms, corn and leeks seasoned with Mexican Spice Mix (Equal parts of Dry Oregano, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Chili Powder, Paprika and Cumin. You can leave out any of the ingredients but Cumin and chili powder are essential. Mexican is not Mexican without them).
Mexican Tortilla and toppings. The process looks harder than it is. I use any pan to press on the tortillas with my body weight and make them real thin and the toppings can be any traditional salsas and guacamole. Don’t forget the cilantro a key limes! Once you taste freshly made corn tortillas you would never want to buy store made.
Blend ingredients until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate before serving. Make this sauce before everything else and place in refrigerator so it can be served cold. Keeps good for about 2 days. It’s a great companion for any Mexican dish.
Allergens: For a Gluten Free version replace Flour tortillas for Rice Tortillas.
15 Anaheim Chiles – 1 good per filling
15 Flour Tortillas or Rice Tortillas
2 lbs for 15 – Medium Tofu- (Trader Joe’s with Pink label)
1 cup Nutritional Yeast
2 T Soy sauce (Taste for flavor and depth. Don’t want it to taste like soy sauce)
Pinch Granulated Garlic
Salt to taste
1. Clean Chiles. Slice open and clean out some of the inside seeds and veins depending on how spicy they are you can completely clean them out.
2. Roast the Chiles at 240C until they are blackish without burning them. Keep an eye on them.
3. Place them in a paper bag to sweat them so the skin comes off easy.
4. Peel the skins off
5. Warm each tortilla and make it pliable
6. Place tofu on a big bowl and hand mash it with a potato masher. Season the tofu with soy sauce, Nutritional Yeast, granulated garlic, olive oil and S+ P. It has to look like a ricotta cheese not too creamy. Set aside
7. Lay Chile pepper on the tortilla and top with tofu and roll it up tight like burrito and fry it like a Chimichanga until crispy.
8. Serve crispy and hot with Jen’s cucumber sauce and pico de gallo. Also good cold the next day.
Note: This recipe was created or adjusted by a friend of mine and she allowed me to use it and share it. Try it! Its delish!
I would like to come up with a proven GF version of it and avoid the frying to make it more healthy…but I don’t know how to get the crunchy result without frying it in step 7.