Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Fusion Tacos

Have I mentioned how much I love tacos? A few weeks ago I shared how we did a stay-cation week, and one of the fun things we did was participate in a Cookology class making fusion tacos! We've done a couple other Cookology classes before, one was Italian and one was Greek. If you've never done it, you should. Its tons of fun, you can learn some great kitchen tips, and at the end of it, you get to have a tasty meal with unique food you didn't know you could make.

We made three kinds of tacos: a Korean beef taco, a spicy Thai chicken curry taco, and a dessert choco-taco! The first thing you do is set out and organize your mise-en-place, a French term meaning "putting in place' or in other words, you're setting up your basic ingredients you'll need to get the dish started.  Our mise-en-place consisted of one tray of veggies and one tray of spices and sauces we would need to make our dishes.  Our veggies were carrot, lime (yes I know this is a fruit), jalepeno, white onion, green onion, cucumber, radish. Our spice tray consisted of soy sauce, sesame oil, kochujang (a spicy bean paste used in a lot of Korean food), minced garlic, fish sauce, brown sugar, and ginger.

For the Korean Beef taco, we made a marinade for the beef from crushed pear, onion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar, black pepper, sesame oil, and carrot. While that marinade was working its magic tenderizing the beef, we made a cabbage slaw. We chopped a couple different kinds of cabbage, added finely sliced pieces of cucumber, green onion, a little sunflower oil, a little vinegar, and a little salt to taste and mixed it all up.

Then we started on the Thai chicken tacos. We chopped up some chicken that was already cooked to save time in class and added it to a pan with olive oil. Next we added coconut milk, kochujang paste to taste, and fish sauce. Then also add garlic and jalepeno, also to taste depending on how spicy you want it. You can also add other veggies to the chicken mixture or put them on raw at the end. We added our radishes to the pan while cooking. And topped the tacos with cilantro and lime when it was time to serve and eat. For these tacos we used a corn tortilla and they were topped with a peanut sauce (it was already made for us in class but its easy to make at home too: peanut butter, soy sauce, siracha, and maybe a touch of warm water) and crushed peanuts.

When it was time to assemble our beef taco, we cooked the beef in a pan with the marinade. We topped a flour tortilla with the beef mixture, the cabbage slaw, a little siracha mayo sauce, and a drizzle of plain siracha to taste.

But we weren't done yet! Now it was time for dessert! We made a batter, similar to pancake batter but we wanted it to be thin like a crepe. Next we put the batter in a hot pan like we were making a pancake. Now anyone who has kept up with my blog knows I have a hard time making pancakes because I get scared of "the flip". I just recently was able to do this flip successfully for the first time ever! Now I have to flip this big one!! Chef Mark, our teacher gave me a few tips and told me to go for it.  Ok here goes...I did it!!! Perfectly, in fact! We all cheered! It was a triumph!

Once the crepe/pancake was done but still warm, we laid it over the handle of the pan so it would curve like a taco as it cooled.  Then we dipped the edges in a chocolate ganache and served it with vanilla ice cream.  Everything was super delicious! The chicken taco was sweet, creamy, and fresh with a little spicy heat while the beef one was hearty and savory with its own level of spice. The dessert one was fun to make and a nice sweet treat to cool our tongues from the previous spice. Our teacher, Chef Mark, was very encouraging and informative. And we got a tasty meal that we can now easily make at home! Can't wait to try it in my own kitchen!