Today I attended a cooking class at a local mom and pop restaurant, Sabor Express. The cuisine is New Mexican and Native American. I had never had Native American food before, so I was pretty excited to try it out. Thanks to a Living Social deal, I jumped on the opportunity to do this with my husband! *And big thanks to my dad for taking my kids out to see The Lorax while we did this!*
The restaurant was decorated with elaborate, bright, and vibrant murals that were so beautiful to the eye. If I was good at creative murals, I’d totally do this to my house. But I’m not, so I’ll just keep eating here to enjoy them =)
The chef/teacher was Treecy (possibly a misspelling? I didn’t think to get her business card) who was a one woman non-stop hostess with the mostess. This woman had such a positive and warm energy to her. She started the class discussing her journey towards appreciating the New Mexican and Native American cultures. As a tribute, she had us each briefly describe ourselves from which she gave us a name. My husband was “Peaceful Stone” and my name was “Peaceful Teacher”. She said there was a calm and peaceful energy exuded by both me and my husband. Really? I guess so =) That’s flattering.
We started our cooking adventure with making a fresh fruity beverage. So delicious! It was made with orange juice, lime juice, strawberries, and grapefruit blended together. We used orange and lime juice from concentrate, but she advised fresh was best!
Next we made Indian Fry Bread from scratch. I had seen this done on TV, but actually never made it or ate it. So this was a real treat. If I remember correctly, the recipe for the dough was as follows:
2 c. self-rising flour
1 tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
I’m probably missing something here, but I think that was it. We mixed the dry ingredients together and formed a well in the middle. We slowly poured warm water into the well, stopping to incorporate the dry ingredients until it was think enough to form a doughy ball. Mine was pretty wet and I was too cautious with the amount of flour I was adding to even it out.
While our dough was resting, she fried up fresh tortilla chips (if I wasn’t scared of deep frying, I’d totally do this and stop buying the cheap bagged stuff) and made fresh salsa (onion, tomato, avocado, oregano, cumin, cilantro, and peppers.
We finally fried our fry bread and topped with a ground beef mixture that had been cooking for hours. We also layered a 13 bean mixture (she put practically every bean imaginable) that had been simmering since the day before), a green chile sauce, cheese, lettuce, and the salsa. And there you go…an Indian Taco:
It was so savory, spicy, and easy to make. We were so thankful because she sent everyone home with a batch of ingredients and our leftover dough so we could make these at home!
Me and the hubs with our aprons. I chose red of course, my favorite color!
Thanks for a great time!
Lessons Learned: Some revelations about cooking from Treecy…
Our bodies are not made to digest meat. The longer you cook meat and break down the muscle, the easier it is for our bodies to digest.
The spices found in the hispanic/latino section of the supermarket tend to taste the best and are the freshest. We sampled cumin and oregano from different groceries and there was a DRASTIC difference.
The more color you have in your dish, the healthier it is.