It wasn’t long before everyone knew what the term “Southern Mexican Cuisine” really meant.

Sharon and David Langham’s “Cooking Southern Mexican Style” class was designed to show students how Southern Mexican cuisine is very different from the typical “Mexican” cooking.

Southern Mexican regional foods are one of six distinctively different Mexican cuisines. This type of cooking mixes seafood and chicken with mild, blended flavors, really quite unique and surprisingly delectable.

The class began with the flavorful and colorful “Sangrita” cocktail, complete with 2 tiny glasses, one filled with Silver Jose Cuervo Tequila and the other with a spicy tomato and orange based chaser.

But this cocktail is sipped very slowly, first one and then the other, very sophisticated indeed!

Then, Maria and Betty made and served a gorgeous chilled Avocado Soup topped with Betty’s innovative sour cream garnish piped through a plastic bag. See the photo below.

It was a real treat to have Betty Dabney attend this class. She’s not only a trained chef, as you can tell by her decorations on the avocado soup, but she contributed most of the photos in this article. Thanks to Betty!

Sharon’s Chicken Mole’ was outstanding. We couldn’t wait to see how it would come together after the ingredients were chopped and sauteed. The sauce was cooked slightly, chicken breast fillets were added, and a most delicious chicken dish was created. Powdered chocolate and spices were finally added as the chicken simmered slowly. All the ingredients are common in Boquete markets, so the dish is easy to prepare here.

David and Sharon’s home-made tamales and tomatillo sauce were served as a surprise to all of us.

Then, Rick, Theresa, Coni, Mike, Linda and Rose made Jalapeno Poppers, Coconut and Lemongrass Rice and Southern Mexico’s famous dish, Colache.

The main courses included not only Sharon’s Chicken Mole’, but fresh, locally-grown trout was grilled by David in his flat grill basket. If you would like to grill fish easily, get a grill basket, spray it with Pam and you’ll produce perfectly grilled fish with very little mess.

The recipe for Oaxacan Grilled Trout included marinating the fish in lime juice, cilantro, garlic, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper.

The final dish of the evening was Peach Enchiladas, which was masterfully prepared by Lauren and Chuck.

First, the flour tortillas were laid out on a cookie sheet and covered with sliced peaches and nutmeg. You can see Coni watching Chuck attentively as he added raisins to this easy, delicious, Southern Mexican dessert.

PEACH ENCHILADAS, SOUTHERN-MEXICAN STYLE

1 large can of peaches, sliced with the syrup reserved
6 8″ flour tortillas
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup reserved syrup from the peaches

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spoon fruit evenly onto the tortillas and sprinkle with nutmeg. Roll up, put in a lightly greased baking dish, seam side down. Bring the butter, sugars and juice to a boil, stir constantly for about 2 minutes. Pour over enchiladas and bake for about 20 minutes. Cut in half and serve with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream, if desired.

This dessert can be made with apple or blueberry canned pie filling and cinnamon, even crushed pineapple with chopped walnuts. Use your imagination and the toppings are important.

This “Southern Mexican” cuisine is very different than expected. It’s sophisticated, light flavored and memorable in it’s lovely presentation.
Thanks Sharon and David for introducing us to this most classy, little-known cuisine.

I’ve never visited Oaxaca, Mexico, but I’d like to go just to taste it’s flavors, thanks to learning all about how different Mexican cooking can be.

Keep exploring!
Cora