Around a month ago, we held our very first cooking class focused on the basics of Mexican food, and it was absolutely incredible! We think that even though “real Mexican food” is now very popular worldwide, sometimes people are a bit confused as to what they’re eating and/or how to make it. Is it a Taco? A Quesadilla? A Burrito? Fajitas? Tortillas? All these terms end up being interchangable depending on the country you live in. (Artículo disponible en Español)
For example in Finland a “tortilla” is the term they use when they refer to a taco, but in Mexico a “tortilla” is simply the Mexican super food, it’s a circular shaped corn or wheat flatbread that you can fill with whichever ingredients you like. In Spain it gets even more confusing: a “tortilla” here is a “tortilla de patatas” (spanish omelette), so sometimes they tend to call the Mexican ones “tortitas”. Another thing that we’ve observed is that people sometimes think that a “fajita” is a flour tortilla, but in reality the word “fajitas” refers to a specific dish, which is mainly composed of chicken or beef strips and vegetables.
So upon finding out that we’d be hosting an international crowd who might not be familiar with Mexican food, we wanted to start from zero and offer insight into the easiest and most accessible dishes that can be made outside of Mexico.
Our menu was the following:
We started by making fresh guacamole, green salsa and red salsa in order to assemble “Chilaquiles“, one of Mexico’s most delicious and popular breakfast dishes. This incredible recipe is super easy to make, it comes with several delicious toppings and it be completely vegetarian if wanted. Originally they are made with fried corn tortilla chips known as “totopos” but since not everyone has access to corn tortillas, we made them with nachos, which is a much quicker and still very tasty option as well.
Then we proceeded to make corn tortillas from scratch, these contain few ingredients and seem relatively easy to make, but they are actually very challenging if you don’t follow the procedure correctly. In order to make the tortillas, a tortilla press is needed. We brought one a few years ago when we last visited Mexico, it’s an instrument that shapes the tortilla into a beautiful, round flatbread. It is possible to buy them in Mexican stores found in Barcelona, and even though they’re not very cheap they are really worth it. A freshly made corn tortilla is one of the most delicious things you’ll be able to try in your lifetime.
Once the corn tortillas were ready it was time to make some delicious “quesadillas”, these are a staple of Mexican cuisine and it’s very common to find them at family events, parties and restaurants. A “quesadilla” is simply a corn or flour tortilla filled with cheese and folded in half. We made a few with the hand made corn tortillas and some more with flour tortillas and filled them with gouda cheese and mushrooms, we also had several spicy sauces and limes to add some extra flavour. In Spain it’s actually quite easy to find good and cheap flour tortillas in stores. These take a pretty long time to make, so for the sake of simplicity, we used store bought flour tortillas.
In the end everyone was very satisfied with the whole experience. We were a bit nervous at the beginning since it was our first class, but everything went well and now we feel confident about sharing our knowledge to a wider audience. So if you’re interested in learning about the basics of Mexican food, stay tuned because we will announce more details about our next classes in the near future.
One of the participants was so excited about the food that he asked us “How can you even stop yourself from eating like crazy when you have food this good in front of you?”. To be honest, we do have a really hard time whenever we make Mexican food, it’s nearly impossible to stop eating.