13 February 2012

Dos Caminos - De los Enamorados (Valentine's Day)

I have to admit when I found out the date of the latest Dos Caminos cooking class, I couldn’t care less about what the theme was going to be, all I could think about was bring on the cocktails and give me my copy of Dos Caminos' Mexican Street Food: 120 Authentic Recipes to Make at Home.  I live for these classes because not only do you get to learn how to cook yummy Mexican inspired dishes from award-winning Dos Caminos executive chef Ivy Stark and Chef David Chivaroli, but you also get to eat and drink everything from the class with some new friends.

Chef Ivy Stark & Chef David Chivaroli

This particular February class was all about LOVE.  All of the dishes used “sexy” ingredients.  We learned a little bit about aphrodisiacs, Mexican Viagra, and how to shuck an oyster just to name a few.  I even learned how to say Valentine’s Day two different ways in Spanish: Dia de San Valentin and Dia de los Enamorados.  The most important thing I learned is that all of these Mexican dishes are made from the heart with pure unconditional love and are the perfect thing to share with your loved ones.

Dos Caminos Valentine's Collage - "Made with Love"

Below are the highlights from our sexy Mexican Valentine’s Day feast

“Como Agua Para Chocolate”
You would think after my Willy Wonka experience last week at the Chocolate Bar I wouldn’t want any more chocolate but you are WRONG!!  This isn’t your off the supermarket shelf packet of powdered hot chocolate where you just add milk or water—oh no!  This is organic lava stone ground chocolate from Taza Chocolate made the old fashioned way.  Add in milk, cinnamon, Chipotle powder, vanilla bean and Taneto Chocolate Tequila and you have the Chocolate Love Potion.  The chili powder, vanilla and chocolate are on Cosmo’s Top 10 Aphrodisiac Food list because of their nerve stimulating effects—I will leave the rest up for your imagination.

Chocolate Love Potion

After I took my first sip of the Chocolate Love Potion; I totally got EXACTLY why they call it this!  I was like call me Tita and where is Pedro—for those of you who are slightly confused; these are the main characters from Like Water for Chocolate!

“Besame con Rosas”
I was a little tardy to class—I blame the snow—but as soon as I walked in I was handed this very pretty cocktail with pink roses.  

Besame con Rosas
At first I felt a little strange drinking something with petals because when I think of rose petals they are normally forming a trail down the hall and ends up in a bubble bath with champagne—at least that is the way it goes in my fantasy—so the idea of drinking rose petals was slightly disturbing.  I quickly got over it.  Especially with sexy ingredients like Moroccan rose syrup, flavored rum, Cava (Spanish Champagne) and unsprayed rose petals.  Kiss me with roses indeed!

“Vuelve la Vida” Seafood Cocktail
I finally learned how to shuck an oyster but I also realized that I will leave the shucking to the professionals, who just so happen to be off season elves in the Dos Caminos kitchen.  I also discovered that oysters and avocado are two testosterone stimulants which explains why this dish is also known as “Mexican Viagra”!  Some others call it by other names such as “Return to Life” and the “Corpse Reviver” because it can supposedly cure a hangover.  Regardless of its function, it sure tastes and looks good.

Mexican Viagra

Cocoa Ancho Chile Rubbed Sirloin
Ladies this is a dish you should sit back and let your man take full control.  If you feel the need to assist, then help him out with the wild mushroom sauce and gingered sweet potatoes.  The rub is what makes this dish so sexy.  Cocoa, Ancho, garlic and onion powder mixed with brown sugar, paprika and cumin and other ingredients are all “massaged” into the sirloin.  It is best to allow it to sit overnight.  Now this is not a traditional Mexican dish but Chef Ivy and Chef David love it so it is what it isn’t--just look at it!

Cocoa Ancho Chile Rubbed Sirloin

Strawberries Dipped in Spiced Honey
Strawberries with honey and chili powder put on a little show in your mouth.  Chef Ivy said it best when she called this dish “spiced honey for your honey”!  Nothing else needs to be said, just try it.  Mmmmm.

Strawberries with Spiced Honey

"Spiced honey for your honey" --Chef Ivy Stark

I had such a fantastic time learning how to make such heat intense Mexican dishes, especially just in time for Valentine’s Day!  You can visit one of the locations in New York (4 locations), Atlantic City or Fort Lauderdale to experience some of these special dishes from the Valentine's Day menu.  I personally want to try the dessert called "Between the Sheets"!

If you haven’t tried one of these Dos Caminos classes yet, I insist that you must do so soon.  There really is nothing like it!  I left love drunk!  Also, be sure to pick up your copy of "Dos Caminos' Mexican Street Food", I can’t wait to try some more of the recipes.  Thank you so much Chef Ivy, Chef David and the entire Dos Caminos team for opening your doors to us.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

Dos Caminos @ Park Avenue

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