Do you like to cook? Have you been sitting in the restaurant wondering how they made that delicious ceviche you are enjoying? If you answered yes, then Costa Rica Cooking would be of interest to you.
I live in Costa Rica and also like to cook, but still I learned plenty of new recipes and cooking techniques.
Although the tour is classified as a cooking class, it's more about learning cultural awareness and local support with the community.
I live in La Fortuna and had the opportunity to meet Scott, who is the owner of a popular restaurant in town called the Lava Lounge as well as a self taught chef. Scott learned local techniques and how to cook with a variety of locally grown produce and meats. When Scott is not cooking he also finds the time to operate a charity dog rescue program that currently has up to 80 dogs waiting for owners from the United States & Canada to adopt them.
The class starts with a warm greeting from Scott who introduces his team and describes the menu that he will teach. Our menu consisted of the following courses:
The focus of the lesson was to employ simple techniques and ingredients that one would see locals using in their kitchens.
We started off by learning to make our own Mojitos. Grinding by hand we ground fresh mint and the lime juice together, finishing with a generous shot of Cacique (pronounced Ka-see-k), sugar cane syrup, Club Soda and lots of ice.
Next on the menu was ceviche. We learned a pretty handy trick on how to easily cut culantro into small pieces by twirling the stalk of culantro and then folding it in half before chopping. The rest of the ingredients were all cut into skinny strips that made it easy to chop and dice. A little secret ingredient Costa Ricans use with ceviche is Canada Dry Ginger Ale to counterbalance the bitterness of the lemon juice, which works very well with the dish. All of the ingredients are then combined with the lemon juice and Ginger Ale. A little sugar is added to taste just as an added balance with the lemon juice. The ceviche is mixed and left to sit for a minimum of three hours to all the lemon juice to chemically cook the tilapia.
While the ceviche sits we move on to the next course, the patacones. Patacones are green plantains cross cut into small cylinder shapes that are then deep fried for about 3 minutes, this is so the center of the plantain is fully cooked. After a quick draining we learn the technique to flatten the plantain using plastic wrap and a small plate. Folding the plastic wrap over the plantain and then squishing with the plate until flat. To get that crispiness the plantain is then refried until the edges start to brown. We sat and enjoyed a generous portion of ceviche with corn chips and the patacones served with frijoles molido (refried beans).
The class finishes with the final course, chocolate sauce covered fried bananas. We were all full from the patacones and ceviche, but who can say no to chocolate? Dessert consisted of cutting ripe bananas into quarters and frying until the edges turn brown. The best part was making our own chocolate sauce in a frying pan using 100% cocoa powder, butter, sugar and a little cream. Blending all the ingredients together until thick and smooth. A perfect finish!
Throughout the class Scott would share some stories about is life in Costa Rica and his love for dogs and animals in general. The stories combined with tasty food and free flowing supply of mojitos added to the fun and flare of the class.
Thanks Scott and team!! We enjoyed the class and had fun with you and your team. It was professional and informative. We all dined on great food and conversation, while surrounded by a breathtaking view of the Cerro Chato and Arenal Volcano.
Get in touch with us about booking this cooking class: firstname.lastname@example.org