Cooking Class and Other Stuff

Yesterday, we had a reservation for a private cooking class near Taos.  Sue and I were enrolled.  Class started at 3 p.m.  Dinner was planned for 6 p.m.  The guys were to join us at 6 to eat our dinner.  We were both extremely excited about the class!!!

Well, we arrived in Taos and after lunch and browsing the local stores, we headed for the class which was actually taught in the chef’s home in Arroyo Seco, NM. on the way to the Taos ski resort.  It was (politely put), off the beaten path.  When we arrived, everyone in the car was doubting my planning skills.  They sent me to the door to find out if we were in the right place.  I knocked.  I knocked again.  I knocked a third time.  Then the door opened and I looked at the man and said, “Is that you?”  He said, “Of course it’s me.”  And we were off and running.

What a hoot.  The cook is an actor.   He has acted in many films and TV programs.  We had no idea.  Born in Egypt.  Moved here from Los Angeles.  A really nice guy and fun to be around.  We had a blast cooking green chili stew, chili rellenos, red sauce, and a zucchini dish.  See above.  Not the best picture (a bit fuzzy)…but you get the idea.  Here are some more pictures.

His name is Chris Maher.  Pictures of his indoor and under construction outdoor kitchens.  See my chili rellenos on the island?

Chris and Sue had quite a time with each other.  Eeekkk.  She had onion skins in her stew.  He explained that you can cook an onion skin for 5 hours and it will be unphased, unchanged.  She told him her onions would have chopped hours ago confessing that she used an alligator (handy kitchen tool).  He said, “whatever”.   We both giggled.

While we were chop, chop, chopping…he went outside in 40 mph gusts to barbecue the chicken.  I had a question so I went outside to ask.  He had just been hit in the head by the barbecue.  The wind blew it shut and his head got in the way.  Does the term Twitty Bird mean anything to you?

Another funny thing happened.   He used a pressure cooker to cook the beautiful pork shoulder he had furnished.  After is was cooked, he wanted us to taste it.  Sue was less than enthusiastic because the piece he offered had some fat on it (very small piece of fat).  She demurred.  He asked why.  She said she didn’t like fat.  He said something to the effect that she had to eat it and eat it now (politely and with humor).  She ate it.  Then she made a face.  You had to be there.

Chris didn’t pay a lot of attention to me.  I kept my head down and worked on my chili rellenos.  After I finished stuffing them really full and placed them opening-down on a baking sheet, he noticed some unused cheese on the counter.  “Don’t tell me you didn’t use all the cheese.”  Opps.  I screwed up.  Big bad me making a big mistake on my dish.  EEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKK.  And as we ate the dish we all understood why the additional cheese was needed as the stuffing came “rolling” out of the chili.  But in my defense, it was delicious and less fattening.

But, hey, he didn’t yell and helped clean up.  He was great!!!  His house was fabulous with big windows facing Taos ski mountain and a windows facing the west toward the mesa.

Sue was our designated driver and got us home unscathed.  And we all rushed to bed.

The guys in the great room.  Oh, and Chris’s wife, Valerie and their son came home just before dinner.  Great family.  Great time!!  And as we were leaving, he insisted that we take 2 of his salsa that he cames commercially.  Muy bueno!!


Leave Comment