Cooking Workshop: Gorditas, Memories, Ethics

Cooking Workshop: Gorditas, Memories, Ethics

In Chicago I presented a  slide show about how cooking is memory, relationship and ethics.  I also conducted a cooking workshop to demonstrate how to make gorditas, working  with dried chiles, cactus, corn masa, and pinto beans.
No lard, thank you.Cooking Workshop and Demo, Texas Mexican Cuisine

It was a 4-hour workshop and demo held at The Chopping Block and was titled:  “Texas Mexican Cuisine:  Cooking Is An Aesthetic Practice.”  It was hosted by Catholic Extension.  These notes are for the participants, a most friendly and enthusiastic group.  I promised to post some of  the main ideas of the workshop and also some of the resources.

Cooking Workshop: Agriculture Resource: 

a 13-minute video, “Yo Trabajo La Tierra/I Work The Land.”   It is a visual meditation about migrant farmworkers in Michigan, concluding with a Norteño corrido, “El Dios Campesino.”

Cooking Resources: 

“Truly Texas Mexican:  A Native Culinary Heritage In Recipes” by Adán Medrano, published by Texas Tech University Press
“Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food” by Jeffrey M. Pilcher, published by Oxford University Press

Slide Show Topics:

  • Food has social meaning and significance beyond its nutritive function; it is also expressive and normative.
  • Texas Mexican is one of several regional Mexican cuisines, including, Oaxaca Mexican, Puebla Mexican and Jalisco Mexican.
  • Chiles are used for flavor, aroma and color and they add complexity, nuance.
  • The difference between Texas Mexican Food and Tex-Mex is:  History and Flavor Profile.
  • Ours must be a culinary aesthetic based on economic justice, the only true context for peace.

Tasting after the cooking workshop demoTasting Red Chile Adobo with Shrimp and Cactus


Cooking Workshop Slide: Cooking is working with material cultureCooking Worksho[ Slide: Earth Ovens were invented thousands of years agoCooking Workshop Slide: Chiles are for Flavor and Aroma

Recipes From The Cooking Demo:

  1. Gorditas
  2. Chalupas
  3. Well-fried Pinto Beans
  4. Albóndigas de Chile Ancho
  5. Serrano Salsa

Thanks to the Chef Emilio and the excellent staff at The Chopping Block. Thanks also to Chef Kat Alvarez Morelos who assisted during the demo.Finally, thanks to newly-made friends from Chicago and elsewhere.  Keep cooking:  make beauty and justice!
Cooking Workshop kitchen, Chef Emilio, The Chopping BlockCooking Staff at The Chopping Block, ChicagoChicagoBookSigning

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