This is your chance to make Salvadoran Plantain Canoes, Puerto Rican tapas, Mexican Chiles en Nogada, and a Kale (the “it” vegetable) and Soba Salad. Classes are small and we expect tickets to go quickly.
Nibble started with this bloggy blog you are now reading. The blog spawned a book, and now we are thrilled to be teaming up with Kitchen Inc., Union Square’s culinary incubator, for this cooking class series (photo at right is of a Nepali cooking class taught this past spring by Bimala Thapa). Here is your chance to take a culinary spin around the globe—without leaving Union Square! Our teachers are Union Square chefs and fabuolous cooks we’ve met through our Intercambio Language & Culture Exchange program. Beyond offering delicious cultural programming, we’re interested in helping propel the careers of local chefs and caterers and promoting the culinary riches of Union Square. Kitchen Inc.’s Joanna Ray will be assisting our instructors at all classes taking place at Kitchen, Inc.
Classes cost $40 and are limited to 10 people (so classes fill up quickly!). Tickets are available online only. Buy tickets here.
A Salvadoran Meal: July 2, 6:30-9pm
A native of La Palma, Chalatenango, El Salvador, Juan Carlos Menjivar will teach attendees to make a complete Salvadoran meal. Dishes include pasteles (empanada-like items, tinted red with achiote powder and stuffed with either meat or vegetables), pupusas, and curtido (a lightly fermented cabbage slaw). We will also make agua de cebada (a lightly spiced barley drink) and agua de marañan (made with cashew fruit) to accompany our meal. And for dessert, we’ll create Canoas de Plantano—fried plantains with poleada (a custard) and cinnamon—these delicious concoctions look just like canoes! Once our feast is ready, we will sit down to eat together and learn more about Salvadoran culinary and cultural traditions. Juan Carlos has a heaping portion of experience, having owned and run two restaurants in El Salvador: El Mirador and El Conacaste. Class location: Kitchen Inc., 201 Somerville Ave.
Tapas Puertorriqueñas with Chef Alberto Cabre of Casa B: Sunday, July 14, 1-4pm
Alberto Cabré is head chef and co-owner (with his wife, Angelina) of Casa B, one of Union Square’s newer restaurants. Alberto grew up cooking with his maternal grandfather, Ernesto Bobonis, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. It is from him, Ernesto Bobonis, that many of the recipes originate and the “B” of Casa B comes from his name. Alberto takes his grandfather’s recipes and makes them his own, adding a new mouth-watering twist. In this class, Alberto will teach students how to make: Tostones rellenos con ensalada de aguacate (green plantain cups filled with avocado salad); Pastelitos de chorizo y queso (chorizo and cheese turnovers); Sorullitos de maíz com salsa rosada (corn polenta fritter with pink sauce); Albóndigas chorreadas (meatballs in criollo sauce); Pastelitos de guayaba (guava puffs). Class location: Casa B, 253 Washington Street.
Reliable Market Visit, Spring Rolls & Kale Soba Salad: Tuesday, July 23, 6:30-9:30pm
Victor Tiernan will lead the class, starting with a shopping excusion to Union Square’s Reliable Market. Then we’ll head to Kitchen, Inc., to create Vietnamese salad rolls and a raw kale salad with soba noodles. The salad rolls include fine cut vegetables, herbs, and pickled shrimp wrapped in rice paper and served with dipping sauces. The salad rolls will enable you to practice knife skills, learn to work with delicate rice paper and incorporate unique spice mixes that can be used in many dishes. The kale and soba salad, served with roasted chick peas and a sesame dressing, is a dish makes a healthy meal and will tone your forearms to boot! Victor has cooked professionally in the Boston area (Salamander Restaurant and The Blue Room to name a few) and learned from chefs who encouraged a curiosity about ingredients and techniques from all over the world. Class location: We’ll meet at Reliable Market, 45 Union Square; then we’ll head to Kitchen, Inc., as a group.
Chiles en Nogada with Estella Calzada: Tuesday, August 6, 6:30-9pm
We are excited to offer a English-Spanish bilingual class! A native of Durango, Mexico, Estela Calzada will teach attendees to create a Mexican meal speaking Spanish—as Juan (teacher of Salvadoran cooking class) translates into English. We will make Chiles en Nogada, a complex dish that hails from Puebla, Mexico and represents the Mexican flag through its colors: The green stuffed poblano chilis are covered in a white nut creme sauce that is sprinkled with red pomegranate seeds. We will also make white rice and two drinks: Agua de Jamaica (hibiscus iced tea) and Agua de Tamarindo (Tamarindo juice). Once our feast is ready, we will sit down and eat and learn more about Mexican culinary and cultural traditions. Estella worked for two years at Somerville’s Tu Y You restaurant (her mole and tamale recipies still grace the menu there!) and runs a catering company called Comida Autentica Mexicana. Class location: Kitchen Inc., 201 Somerville Ave.
*This class is open to all but especially recommended to those looking to practice a little español and Mexican cooking. ¡ándale!