The Centro Cultural Yoga Devanand will offer this coming Sunday, December 7, a Vegetarian Xmas Cooking Class featuring typical dishes from the Puerto Rican Xmas menu. “This is our way to teach our community that you can celebrate a typical Puerto Rican Xmas, with all the traditional flavors we love but without the need to harm any living creature. Also, our students will taste for themselves how delicious and accessible vegetarian cooking can be – made with the exact same ingredients all Puerto Ricans love so much.” shares Carmen González, who will lead the cooking class.
The vegetarian cooking class will be from 1PM to 5PM. Participants should bring their own apron and where to take notes. The Vegetarian Xmas Cooking Class is only $20 per person and it’s a donation to the Centro Cultural Yoga Devanand. Spaces are limited.
The Centro Cultural Yoga Devanand is a non-profit institution offering Mantra Yoga Meditation and Hatha Yoga. They also provide orientations via seminars on vegetarian cooking, stress management, relaxation workshops, breathing techniques and other natural and positive practices. The Center is located in Calle 13 SO #824 in Caparra Terrace. You can find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CentroCulturalYogaDevanand. For more information call 787-273-0236.
Tacos can be made much more interesting if you play around with the fillings and cheese… and making the tortillas golden brown and crispy. I have never been a fan of the hard pre-made taco tortilla shells, but I do enjoy crunchy things. So using the magic of olive oil and a skillet, tacos can become a much more interesting dish.
I used mozzarella and parmesan cheese here… but you can certainly use your favorite cheese combination. I have also used goat cheese, manchego cheese and even the trusty cream cheese.
This is another recipe available in Spanish on the Qué Rica Vida website… If you’re interested, you can read the recipe in Spanish here.
FRIED MUSHROOM TACOS
3 organic sprouted corn tortillas
1 cup white button mushrooms, chopped finely
2 cloves of garlic
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 cup grated mozzarella or Italian blend cheeses
½ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
Freshly grated Black Pepper
You’ll be able to make 2 tacos at a time using a large skillet, but you need to make them in staggered steps. I consider 3 tacos is a good serving portion for one, but if you think you are better off with 4, just add one more tortilla and adjust the rest of the ingredients. This is more a method than a recipe…
- First we cook the mushrooms in advance – in a large non-stick skillet over medium-hi heat add a drizzle of olive oil and place the chopped mushrooms Toss them well so they coat themselves with the olive oil. Organize them in a single layer so they all have the chance to caramelize well. Grate the 2 cloves of garlic on top of the mushrooms. Strip the leaves of the thyme sprigs and add them to the skillet too.
- After they’ve browned well on one side, toss and move them around so they get a chance to brown on a different side. After they’re browned and have shrunk considerably in size, add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel to get rid of small pieces of mushrooms.
- Return the pan to the burner, add another drizzle of olive oil and place one tortilla… flip it over on both sides so there’s some of the olive oil on both sides.
- Place some of the shredded cheese on top of the tortilla. Now place about 1 tablespoon of cooked mushrooms over the cheese. Place little bit of Parmesan cheese over mushrooms.
- Carefully, fold tortilla in half so you end up with a half moon filled with mushrooms and cheese. Flip the tortilla a few times so that it gets golden brown on both sides.
While one taco is getting golden brown to the side of the pan, you can use the remaining space to heat up tortilla #2 and #3 and so forth.
Yes… I went there. My sister has been dairy-free for some time now and she was craving Coquito.
Being the good big sister that I am, I developed this version omitting the evaporated and condensed milks. I must admit, this turned out to be a really cool experiment. The flavors and the spirit of Coquito is still there – without rum or dairy.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I and my sister did.
1 pint coconut creamer
2 containers coconut cream
2 containers of coconut milk
30oz of spiced tea – using a baggie each of cinnamon sticks, anise seeds, star anise, cloves and a 5” piece of ginger
2 tbs vanilla powder or extract
2 tbs cinnamon powder
2 tbs nutmeg
- Just like my regular recipe for coquito, you first make a spiced tea – In a medium saucepan pour 3 cups of water, cinnamon sticks, anise seeds, star anise and cloves. Add also the piece of ginger cut up into small pieces or rounds. No need to even take off the skin. Bring to a rolling boil over medium high heat for about 15-20 minutes to create a strong spiced tea. This will give the coquito most of its spiciness. Turn off the heat and allow the spices to concentrate the flavor of the tea. Let cool a bit. You could even make this the day before and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the Coquito recipe.
- I find that if you have a really large pitcher or plastic jug with a large mouth that will accommodate about 90oz of liquid, this is the best way to assemble this…
- In the large pitcher I described above, combine the coconut creamer, coconut milks and creams of coconut with 30oz of the spiced tea. Add the vanilla powder, cinnamon powder and freshly grated nutmeg. Using an immersion blender, blend the whole thing well to combine and make a tad frothy.
- Allow to chill in the refrigerator in that same pitcher you made it in.
Serve chilled in small shot glasses. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon.
Let’s celebrate a holiday where everyone, even the turkeys, can enjoy…
Let’s be thankful for all the great things in our lives – today and every day.