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May 16, 2008 06:25 AM

Cuban cooking class

My friend wants to take a Cuban cooking class for her birthday. She found Sur La Table's class in June, but its almost sold out and is on the expensive side ($70). Any ideas for other places?

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  1. This may not be the right part of the board for this reply, but my suggestion is to have your friend skip the class. Instead, buy her a good Cuban cookbook and tell her to have at it. A good one to look at is "Memories of a Cuban Kitchen."

    I'm of Cuban descent (first generation American) and grew up in the kitchen at my mama's and abuela's elbows watching it all, from the arroz con frijoles to the yuca. Cuban recipes are very, very easy, and most if not all of them can be made with ingredients easily gotten at Giant: ground beef, pork, chicken; the more exotic ones can be found at any bodega or international store in the area.

    If your friend can chop onions, green peppers, and garlic, make rice, and soak black beans overnight, I think she's well on her way to mastering the Cuban cuisine.

    Cocinero Cubano

    1. I grew up in Florida and my mom loves to make Cuban food, although we're not Cuban. I agree with Cocinero Cubano, that a good cookbook is probably the best way to go. Many recipes are easy and I have found most of the ingredients at Giant or Shopper's. I've even taught my husband a couple of easy dishes, and he can barely boil water.

      Another option, although not Cuban certainly Cuban-influenced, would be to find a "Floribbean" cooking class. Howard County Parks and Rec offers one next Wednesday. It's only $39 as opposed to $70, although not specifically the type of class she wants.