At least I am familiar with the foods in this region and have a lot of experience cooking them.
We had interesting presentations on New Mexico, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, Alabama, Arizona, California, and I presented on Louisiana. I learned the differences between Creole and Cajun foods and the history of the Cajuns and their style of cooking. One place I’ve never been is New Orleans and I am anxious to visit there in the near future. We drew slips of paper with our assignments. Mine were: smothered pork chops and Cuban sandwich. We also had to create an individual dish with corn, inspired by our assigned state. I was at a loss to think of a corn dish specifically associated with Louisiana and recalled something I had read about called Maque Choux. I asked Chef Sivley if she knew what was in it and she immediately knew exactly how it was made. Thanks to her I was able to create a nice version of this dish. The food from this region was highly varied, colorful, and ranged from the healthy California-style dishes to the traditional southern dishes like my smothered pork.
Dishes we cooked:
Nuevo Laredo Chicken-Fried steak
Baked cheese grits
Navajo fry bread
Poblano and Potato soup
Mole de Pollo
Warm baked goat cheese with baby greens
Chilled avocado and cucumber soup
Hoppin John Salad with pecan vinaigrette
Fried green tomatoes with blue cheese
Black bean soup
Fried Plaintain chips
Tropical Tuber torta
My pork dish was OK, a little tough on the pork and a little too much wine in the sauce. I followed the assigned recipe which called for 2/3 cup of wine and I should have learned by now that the recipes are not always right. My own style would be to add a lot less. The Cuban sandwich was well-prepared, however, and I loved it. Chef Kurima made some wonderful blue corn tortillas and fried them. She also made some excellent tamales. I’m making the Cuban sandwiches for the family on Sunday (if I have the energy after working the brunch that day)