10 Side-effects of Salsa and Salsa

The Dancing Chefs at Salsa and Salsa receive over ten thousand chefs per year in Cozumel, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. We teach everybody the fun ins and outs of Salsa making and Salsa dancing, while enjoying free-flowing margaritas. But there are hidden side-effects behind this interactive cooking and dancing tour. And here they are…

  • You will not like margaritas made with Margarita mix


lime margarita

Back in the day that you had not been to Salsa and Salsa, you could enjoy any Margarita. But once you know what a REAL Margarita tastes like, the margarita-mix version won’t taste as good as it used to. The only solution is to buy a bottle of Tequila and Cointrea and some key limes and make your own Margaritas. TIP: teach the bartender how to make a REAL Margarita!

 

  • You won’t buy canned Salsas

salsa roja
Canned or bottled Salsas are more and more available outside Mexico. Even though it’s handy to open a can, you will find that these ketchup versions can’t compare to a Fiery Salsa Roja or Tangy Green Salsa made by the best Chef (YOU!).  TIP: roast your Salsa ingredients during the weekend and mush up your fresh Salsas in a matter of minutes.}

  • You will develop an addiction to spicy food

young chef making salsa

The world becomes a sad place without spicy food. Tabasco, Sriracha or Louisiana hot sauce become your faithful companions during meals. And the worst is that you will add more and more every time!

 

  • You will start speaking Spanish

salud CZM

“Holy Guacamole”… que pasa? After visiting Salsa and Salsa you will speak and toast like a true Mexican: Salud, Dinero y mucho mucho amor! And apart of Hola and Adios, you will use words like ‘Cerveza’, ‘Baño’ and ‘Gracias’.

 

  • You will recognize strange kinds of food

Mexican grocery items

The vegetable section of your Mexican grocery store will all of a sudden look familiar. Green tomatoes, serranos, jicama and guavas will become part of your daily diet and you will know the difference between cilantro and flat-leaf parsley.

  • Your body will move in strange ways

Salsa moves

Gone are the days that you could listen to Salsa music and stand still. Now you will find your body moving in ways you previously thought impossible and you will mumble to yourself….Sea-side, bar-side……

 

  • You will shout out  ‘Olé’ on unexpected moments

Even your well-behaved self will relapse into ‘Salsa-mode’ occasionally and you will blurt out ‘Olé’. This will cause your family, friends or co-workers to wonder what’s going on and you will have to explain the reason why.

 

  • You will know what a ‘molcajete’ is and use it too

making salsa verde

The Mexican mortar (a.k.a. ‘Molcajete’: Mohl-cah-HE-te) will become a tool you recognize and use. The secret to a perfect Salsa lies in the Mexican mortar and mushing skills of the chef. TIP: Use the press-and-roll for a perfect consistency  😉

  • You will brag about your Salsas

the BEST Salsa

You will display a certain level of arrogance regarding your Salsas. You will disdain any bottled Salsas served at parties and argue with other chefs about how to make the BEST Salsa: more/less cilantro, more/less salt, more/less lime, roasted/boiled ingredients, etc.

 

  • You will go back to Mexico for a refresher class at Salsa and Salsa

welcome back Dancing Chefs

This last danger is imminent from the moment you leave the Salsa and Salsa tour. You will look at the photos from your holidays in Mexico and automatically book your next cruise or stay. Even up to 1 1/2 years ahead of time. TIP: to mitigate these symptoms, take your recipe sheet and dice up a Pico de Gallo.

 

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The Dancing Chefs show off their tools!

dancing chef amandaMexico’s most patriotic month of the year has started.  So it’s time to dust off your big ‘Sombrero’, take out the tequila and get ready Mexico’s Independence Day on September 15th.  But before you start gulping down those shots of tequila, you should have at least a solid base of home-made Mexican food in your stomach. You know…. Just in case!

When you walk into a kitchen in Mexico, you will find several cooking tools that might look unfamiliar to you. However to make the best Mexican food, you need the best tools. To help you figure out what to use, here’s an easy guide from the Dancing Chefs:

molcajete

 

Molcajete:

We’re going to start off easy. If you have been at Salsa and Salsa, you have hands-on experience with the Mexican mortar. It’s made from lava stone or clay and it is used to grind spices and ingredients to make Salsa!

comal-tortillas

 

Comal:

You might have seen this utensil in hole-in-the-wall restaurants. It’s a round baking sheet or griddle, made of stoneware or iron. The Comal is heated on the stove top or directly on a fire to bake or reheat tortillas. It’s quite an art to bake tortillas and not burn your fingers when you have to turn them over! If you can’t find a Comal, you can use a dry skillet instead.

cazuela

 

Cazuela:

This traditional earthenware casserole only has been glazed on the inside. The Cazuela is perfect to make Moles and stews, because it heats evenly and stay warm for a long time. When you buy a new Cazuela you have to make it ready for use. To do this, rub the inside with a fresh clove of garlic, fill the cazuela with cold water and leave to boil dry. Repeat this process several times and then rinse with some water and soap.

molinillo

 

Molinillo:

The name of this tool literally means ‘hand mill’. It is a wooden, carved whisk to make hot chocolate. Mexican chocolate is a mixture of ground cocoa, sugar and cinnamon, pressed together into chocolate bars. The loose wooden rings at the top make sure that the hot chocolate become nice and foamy. To use the Molinillo you have to hold it between two hands and twist back and forth to make the whisk movement.

metate y mano

 

 

 

Metate y Mano:

This ancient tool is made of lava stone and has a wide rolling pin, with which you grind corn, chilies, cocoa beans and other ingredients. Indigenous chefs kneel on the ground,

true to tradition and roll the round Mano over the Metate. The ground ingredients are collected on the lower end of the Metate.

T- time: All about Mexican culinary vocabulary

Whenever you’re in Mexico or eating Mexican food, doesn’t it strike you how many ingredients and dishes start with the letter T? It seems that this is the most important letter in the food-ABC. But do you know what all these dishes are that start with a T? The Dancing Chefs have been digging deep to find the delicious T’s out there! Olé!

T – Tequila

tequila los osunaIn Mexico we love tequila. We drink it on large and small national holidays, at funerals and anniversaries, at casual lunches and at dinner with friends. Legally tequila is our champagne. All tequila has to come from the state of Jalisco and is protected with a DO (Designation of Origin) by the Consejos Regulador del Tequila (Tequila Regulatory Council). This organization ensures that all tequila sold throughout the world comes from this state in central south Mexico. This arid area with highland soil creates the perfect conditions for the blue agave, the plant from which tequila is distilled, to grow. No tequila made in China (or elsewhere), por favor!

Taste is a key word when it comes to tequila. If you’re interested in discovering its real taste, you should stay away from the image of big testosterone-driven machos gulping shot after shot of tequila and throw away its reputation as a quick intoxicator. Tequila has become more and more sophisticated and today’s is considered a refined drink that rivals an imported single-malt whiskey or a quality cognac, and not only in price but also in its smooth warm taste. Today’s finest tequilas are meant to be enjoyed in a small glass with pleasure, in tiny sips.

T – Tortillas

tortillasTortillas are made from corn dough (masa) and serve in Mexico as bread, plate and spoon at the same time. Every city has many tortillerías (tortilla bakeries) where tortillas are made by hand or with a tortilla machine on a daily basis. Fresh masa is made from specially treated corn that’s ground into dough, but corn flour is also commonly used.  Flour tortillas (tortillas de harina) are staple in the northern regions of Mexico and are less easily broken due to its high gluten content, and can be made larger and thinner without breaking too easily.

T – Tacos

tacos de guisadoThis typical street food can be made of any cooked meat, fish or vegetable wrapped in a tortilla, with a dash of salsa and garnished with onion and cilantro. Soft corn tortillas are used to wrap grilled meats in Tacos al carbon, an array of stews in tacos de guisado or griddle-cooked meats and vegetable in tacos a la plancha. When tacos are filled with chicken, barbacoa, potatoes or cheese and lightly fried they are called tacos dorados. If you are in northern Mexico, chances are you will find tacos with flour tortilla (tortilla de harina) and the fillings will be more meat than vegetarian.

T – Tamales

tamalesMade with masa (corn dough) mixed with lard, stuffed with stewed meat, fish or vegetables, wrapped or steamed. The word comes from the Náhuatl word tamalli and refers to anything wrapped up. Every region in the country has its own special tamal, the most famous being the Oaxacan-style tamales with mole and wrapped in banana leaves, the Mexico City tamales with chicken and green tomatillo sauce wrapped in corn husks and the Yucatecan style made with chicken marinated in achiote (annatto paste) wrapped in banana leaves.

T – Tortas

 

tortasIn every street corner in Mexico you find stands where they sell an abundant amount of sandwiches or Tortas: with beans, chile, cheese, onions, tomatoes, cabbage, and avocado and, if that weren’t already enough, also fried egg, meat, turkey or chicken. All these ingredients go into a bread roll, called telera.

There’s one kind of torta from Guadalajara,  that is believed to be the best hang-over cure, a Torta Ahogada (‘drowned sandwich’).  There are three major components to this dish. A birote baguette is filled with tender chunks of roasts pork leg and then smothered with a searing chili sauce (made primarily from a dried chili pepper called ‘de arbol’, vinegar, garlic and oregano). The soggy sandwich is crunchy on the outside and soft in the center, because of the crusty, sour birote bread.

 T – Tostadas

tostadasTostadas are tortillas that have been baked or fried until they get crisp and are then cooled. The idea is that in this state they can hold a variety of toppings. Tostadas de pollo are a beautiful layering of beans, chicken, cream, shredded lettuce, onion, avocado and queso fresco (a fresh cheese). In Mazatlan tostadas are served with a dollop of mayonnaise and crab meat (tostadas de jaiba) or with shrimp or fish ceviche.

Enjoy these tasty dishes at home!

Olé!!

Dancing Chef Maaike

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