We started our evening with jicama, radish and orange salad. It was a very simple and refreshing beginning to the meal. Michael cut the oranges into "supremes" then squeezed all the remaining juice from the leftover orange halves into a bowl. He kept the segments and juice together, and used all of it in the recipe, unlike the directions on his blog which only call for some of the juice. If cutting the oranges into supremes is too fancy for you, you could just divide them into segments and add a little orange juice if needed. (Cutting the oranges into supremes separates the flesh from all the membranes, making for a more tender orange segment.) This would be a perfect accompaniment to a spicy dinner. You can add a bit of olive oil if you like.
Next we had red pozole with beans, which is pictured at the top of the post. It was quite wonderful, with a rich, satisfying broth, beans and hominy, and an interesting variety of toppings including corn chips, avocado, shredded cabbage, and sliced radishes. In spite of the complex flavors and impressive appearance, the soup was really easy to make (using canned beans and hominy), and would be suitable for a weekday meal or as part of an easy company dinner. The one difference I noted between the blog recipe and the class recipe was in class we used 3/4 cup of tomatoes.
The main course consisted of grilled tofu and pepper tacos and arroz verde. The taco was so delicious and the rice was very beautiful with a gentle flavor. The rice was very easy to make, and the taco was a little more work but still not too hard. Michael cooked the tofu and zucchini for the taco on a cast iron grill pan — something that's been on my wish list for a while — and it had a great, almost smoky flavor and nice grill marks.
Differences I found between the blog recipe and class recipe: makes eight tacos, 2 teaspoons of tamarind concentrate instead of achiote, 2 teaspoons of cumin, lime juice added at the end if needed. (A note about tamarind paste — different brands have different consistencies and you may need to microwave it for a few seconds with a tablespoon of water to get it stir-able. We have a jar of Aunt Patty's organic tamarind paste and it's very easy to work with.)
The tortilla on my plate is a Rudy's gluten-free tortilla, which I thought was perfect in taste and texture. Other people had more authentic corn tortillas (no ingredient list) but frankly, I thought mine looked better! I encourage you to give the recipes a try, especially the pozole.
In other news
Miss E has a brand new baby brother, and we're all thrilled!