Working with masa, making tamales, and preparing a delicious mole’ helped our students to become familiar with many techniques and ingredients used in authentic Mexican cookery. Our first demonstration was making the masa dough for tamales. Four brave volunteers prepped corn husks, banana leaves, poblano chiles, and manzanita olives. Two students took on the task of sautéing the pork filling fragrant with aromatic spices and herbs. Everyone had a chance to fill, wrap and tie their little bundles and then into the steamer they went. While the steamer simmered away we moved on to preparing the mole. Several students at a time were able to work at the stoves, toasting the nuts and seeds, charring the chiles, and blending the puree. Each ingredient was carefully added to my cherished clay mole’ pot as it simmered on the stovetop.
No respectable tamalada is complete without refreshments and we were lucky enough to have Kris, the owner of the Greenbriar, serve us her specialty Huckleberry Margaritas. Libations in hand, the students watched as I prepared our final dish, gorditas. Gorditas are the proverbial Mexican street food, puffy little tortillas that are stuffed with all manner of fillings. Gorditas are easy to make and a good starting point for working with masa harina.
Three hours just fly by when you’re having fun but we accomplished our tasks and the food was ready. We enjoyed the results; shredded pork tamales stacked high on a platter, Turkey Mole served in the clay cazuela, and our plump little gorditas filled with guacamole, white onion, and cilantro.
Thanks everyone for attending, I enjoyed meeting you all and look forward to having more Mexican cooking classes right here in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho.
A special thanks to Cheryl Callins from the Greenbriar staff for lending a helping hand with the class. Much appreciated.
Buen Provecho, Lynne