Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
Reporter: Helena Rodriguez
PORTALES—San Antonio native Carmen Matthews is ready to show folks how to make homemade Mexican food dishes like the ones her mother taught her to make as a young girl.
Matthews will host a Mexican Kitchen class at Eastern New Mexico University from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Feb. 28, inside Room 99 of the Family Consumer Sciences Building.
Adding a Tex-Mex flare, Matthews said she will show aspiring Mexican cooks how to make traditional main courses and side dishes such as gorditas, huevos rancheros, chile con queso, Mexican rice and chilaquiles, a pan-fried tortilla dish served with salsa or pico de gallo. For desert, participants will learn to make buenelos, a rolled out pastry similar to a sopapilla, which is sprinkled with powdered sugar, cinnamon and honey.
"The Mexican dishes I make are different from New Mexico cooking," said Matthews, who works as a bilingual education secretary at J.P. Steiner Elementary School in Portales. "I grew up in Texas and learned to cook from
my mom and my aunts, who learned to cook in Chihuahua, Mexico."
As an example, Matthews said her chile con queso recipe consists of green chile, milk and cheese. She also makes another version that includes chorizo (sausage).
While Mexican food is not low in fat, Matthews will demonstrate a few ways to reduce calories while not compromising taste. And while dishes are made mostly from scratch, she will also show a few shortcuts. In addition, she will show participants how to find and use items in their cooking that can be found in the Mexican food aisles at grocery stores.
"People are always asking me how to make flour tortillas and corn tortillas," Matthews said. "More of the curiosity comes from Anglos who love eating Mexican food and want to learn to make it themselves."
She added, "These will all be stuff that I make here at home for my own family. Many of these dishes do not require a lot of advanced preparation."
Matthews has taught previous cooking classes through ENMU's Extended Learning program, including a tamale-making class, which has proved popular and will be held on an annual basis around the holidays. In addition, she has taught cooking with kids classes and will hold another one this summer.
Wednesday, Feb. 25, is the deadline to register for the one-day Mexican Kitchen class. The registration fee is $15 plus a $12 lab fee that will cover the cost of the lunch that will be made. Although early registration
is encouraged, Matthews said participants can register at the door on the day of the class.
For more information contact Matthews at 505.359.3326.