Red hot tamale

Grilled vegetable tamale with poblano crema

If there is one project I have been fairly consistent about, it is the monthly entry for Deep Plate blog.  The above picture I sneaked in after teaching a class on Vegetarian cuisine, Flavors of the Southwest: Tamales.  It is the Deep Plate entry for August.

Some of you that know me well might be asking what are you doing teaching a vegetarian class, much less one based on tamales.  Well my new position as General Manager at The Kitchen Table means, that if no one else is available to teach a class, I teach it.

This was a full day class (we have been trying to get our day classes rolling) with only one self admitted vegetarian.  It was actually a very fun class to teach and the result was quite tasty.

I had them grill some asparagus and fresh corn. Make a dough out of masa harina and soy milk.  I also sautéed some local oyster mushrooms with some garlic.  We grilled some poblanos and jalapenos and made a very flavorful poblano crema.

I pressure cooked some black beans, made a rice pilaf and had them assemble a guacamole.   The overall dish was quite satisfying.  Which had me reconsidering the need for a protein in a menu.

I recently listened to an interview with Paul McCartney on KBCO promoting a movement called “Meatless Mondays.” According to environmental specialist carbon emissions from meat production dwarf transportation emissions.  The U.S. consumes the most meat and has the greatest rate of obesity.

All of this has me pondering the role of protein in my family’s life.

My garden is brimming with produce and summer is a great time to focus on vegetables.  I think I might create a Meatless Monday vegetarian class series and bring awareness to consuming less protein.

How often do you eat protein? 3 times daily? twice daily? once? a week? a month?

This past week was filled with teaching opportunities.   Last Sunday a family in my neighborhood that bid on an at home cooking class at my children’s elementary school, finally cashed in the class.  The twist was that I was supposed to teach a bunch of 12-15 year old to put out a menu.  It was a lot of fun and I was able to punctuate the class with a lot of show and tell of herbs from my garden.  I made ice cream with them and that kept them focused throughout the whole class.  The family promised to be the highest bidder at the next silent auction.

Our event planner at our school has been booking events right an left and on Tuesday evening we did an “Iron Chef” competition for 40 executives from Key Bank.  The theme was Morocco.  Now we are not built for 40 people to cook simultaneously.   We decide to break the group down to 4 smaller groups and have two of the groups work at makeshift cold stations in our cafe.  Miraculously the event turned out great and in 2 hours we produced a mountain of tagine, couscous, Moroccan salads and other Moroccan themed dishes.

On Wednesday I cooked for a group of Curriculum Designers for improving interpersonal communication (there is a job for everyone).  That class was more of a struggle and got off to a late start.  The students did great but I learned again about what not to do for a day class.

Thursday, I taught the vegetarian class and on Friday I ran my first recreational wine class on the wines of Italy featuring the region of Piedmont and Tuscany.  We have been trying to get a series of wine classes to fill and this has been the first class I have been able to run in two months.

It was nice to get back into the classroom and teach.

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