It's Carnival here, and a few of us have managed to catch the local dance troupes performing on the street as they pile out of their trucks, Flash Mob style. The sequins and lycra shine and shimmer as the dancers shine and shimmy.
We have explored a few local restaurants, including a neighborhood favorite Basto's Grill, and of course delved into our cooking classes.
Our lunch lesson was titled “Stuffed Things” and also “Things with Peppers”. Call it what you want, chefs Lori Dumm and Leo Lunes helped us cook up a delicious meal. We made poppers and rellenos with a variety of peppers and fillings, all of which left us feeling a bit like a stuffed pepper ourselves. A sweet chipotle sauce, guajillo sauce and tomatillo salsa topped them off. A simple mango, jicama and red pepper salad accompanied the meal. We called it Rasta Slaw. We swore off dinner, but ended up at Rolandi's for their wood-fired pizza.
Day 2: We fueled up for our lunch cooking class (“Things with Masa”) with an amazing breakfast of eggs and biscuit with portabella gravy and roasted potatoes. Chef Leo showed us the many things you can make with masa, such as tortillas, huaraches and sopes. We filled them with a simple sauteed shrimp, leftover cochinitos (pulled pork), guacamole and pickled onions. We decided that the class was like an art class for grown-ups. Maybe we should call it "Fun with Masa." After hitting the beach, we finished off the day at Mango Cafe for their popular BarBQ nite. What a blast. Tomorrow, off we go to the Yucutan...Stay tuned, and meanwhile, check out more photos here.
In case you want to taste a flavor of the Caribbean at home, here is a delicious recipe for jalapeno poppers you can make.
6 large jalapenos, top cut partway, and sliced down the middle on one side.
Grated Monterey jack cheese
Sweet potatoes or plantains, sliced into 1/4 inch thick wedges and fried. (optional)
Diced sweet red pepper
bacon, cooked and diced
2 cups of flour and masa (equal parts each)
corn flakes (not sweetened)
oil to fry
1. Remove all seeds and veins from jalapenos
2. Boil jalapenos in sugar water (about 4 tbsp sugar to 6 cups water) for 20 minutes.
3. Prepare fillings and set out on table.
4. stuff your pepper as you like, or try a different type of cheese with the monterey jack. I like, plantain, red pepper, goat cheese. Do not overstuff.
5. Roll jalapeno first in flour/masa mix.
6. Dip in egg, roll again in flour, dip in egg (alternate hands), then dip finally in cornflakes. Pack the cornflakes on well.
7. Fry in oil until golden about 5 minutes
8. Top with salsa and eat.