CulinAerie

Posted on June 10, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Justin and I took a cooking class on Saturday night with friends of ours at CulinAerie.  The theme of the night was flavors of Mexico.  The class started at 7 pm and went until 10 pm.  After we were checked in and were seated, our resident chef for the night introduced herself and got down to explaining the various dishes we were going to make.

The dishes included, queso topped with chiles, zucchini and onions, lamb barbacoa with chile salsa and pumpkin brittle.  We started with the lamb so that it could roast for 2 hours and we could make everything else in between.   Banana leaves played a prominent role in the evening – both the appetizer and main dish were wrapped in the leaves while baking in the oven.

not cooked lamb

Marinated Lamb, pre cooking

teresita and lamb

After we assembled our lamb with butter, oregano and some salt and pepper, we stuck it in the oven and moved on to the queso dish.  We took a poblano pepper and charred it over an open flame on our cooktop.  This helped get rid of the skin on the outside.  Once that was peeled away, we cut it open, got ride of the seeds on the inside and chopped it up.  In a pan, we sauteed the poblano pepper, onion and zucchini and then put it on top of the queso fresco – again, we wrapped that in a banana leaf and placed it in the oven for maybe 25 minutes.

queso

Ready to eat

Once we ate the queso, it was time to make the salsa to accompany the lamb.   We peeled and seeded to ancho chiles, cut them up with some onion and garlic and tomatillos.  Justin and I at first opted to make more pico de gallo vs. salsa, but then decided last second to blend it all together with some cilantro.  Our salsa was bitter I think because we mixed it with the water from the ancho chiles – I tried it and then tried our friend’s version and their salsa was 100% better.  I didn’t really eat ours at all and we certainly didn’t package it up and take it home with us.

the groupThe last thing we made was the dessert.   We essentially made peanut, pumpkin brittle – it was pretty simple to make, you just had to make sure not to burn your sugar while it was melting.  Once it was in liquid form, you add butter and then add your pumpkin seeds and peanuts.

Pav rolling his brittle

Pav rolling his brittle

Finally the buzzer went off for our lamb!  Justin was gnawing off his arm at this point – the appetizer didn’t do much to satiate his hunger.  The lamb was served with rice that the chef made for the whole group.

finished product

The Finished Product

Notice the big pile of salsa.  I added another helping of our friend’s salsa and dipped my lamb in that.  The lamb was a tad overcooked, but the flavor was still tasty.  Overall this class was a great experience and I would recommend to anybody looking for something different to do with friends/significant others instead of just a regular dinner out.  I had fun making the dishes and may even make our own peanut brittle at home again soon!

Addy

 

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    Two friends living and working in Washington, D.C. writing about life, food, fashion, design and living an active lifestyle…so, basically everything!

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