After Taste Antigua’s Street Food Tour on one day, followed by the cooking workshop at El Frijol Feliz (The Happy Bean) the next (and with leftovers in the fridge), I was really thinking I should have left at least a day in between before embarking on another cooking workshop at La Tortilla Cooking School. Oh well….
Turns out that again, I was the only student at this workshop (very nice of them to put it on for just me) and the menu was:
- Pepián (main: chicken stew)
- Beet Salad (side)
- Guatemalan Rice (side)
- Tortillas (side)
- Rellenitos (dessert)
My teacher was Cristina, we had Javier from Argentina helping us and I got to choose the music we listened to while we worked (hello Juanes).
As seems to be common amongst the Guatemalan stews, we started off by roasting the dried chillies, tomatos, tomatillos and other seeds to form the base of the Pepián stew. Ideally, once this is all ready and blended up into a liquid (with stock), you would slow cook the chicken (or other meat) for several hours so it falls apart. Obviously we didn’t have time to do this in a 4 hour cooking workshop but I will definitely cook it that way when I make this again. The Pepián was nice, but not as incredible as the Pepián I had at La Canche on the Street Food Tour, I have to admit.
The Beet Salad was not particularly different to others I’ve had, I preferred the Guatemalan Rice we cooked at El Frijol Feliz, but Cristina gave me some key tips on the tortilla making so I was much more successful in getting them to look even remotely round this time J Turns out I was being too heavy handed earlier and my hands were too wet as well.
The highlight of the dishes from this cooking school were the Rellenitos – I even thought they were better than the ones I tried on the Street Food Tour! Essentially, they are mashed plantain filled with a chocolate and refried bean paste. No, it doesn’t sound fabulous, but trust me – these things are truly amazing! Will absolutely be making them again if ever I settle down somewhere for a period of time 🙂
Once again, had way too much food for 1 person and ended up with even more leftovers for the fridge back at El Hostal. Kept me going for a few days anyway!
Recommendation: Another great activity if you like cooking and want to try some of the traditional dishes of Guatemala. I would probably choose El Frijol Feliz over La Tortilla though – mostly because you get to choose the dishes you want to cook.
Cost: US$45 to cook the 5 dish set menu.
Time: About 4 hours all up.