About Diana Kennedy: She is truly a legend; most assuredly the best known expert on Mexican cooking in the world. She went to Mexico in 1957 to marry Paul Kennedy, the foreign correspondent for the New York Times. In 1969, she started teaching Mexican cooking classes and published her first cookbook in 1972. I probably bought in in the mid 1980s. She has been decorated with the Order of the Aztec Eagle, the highest honor bestowed upon foreigners by the Mexican government and is recognized by them as the authority on the regional cooking of Mexico.
She was delightful and very outspoken and opinionated and generously spent a good deal of time answering questions. She is very passionate about ecological
preservation (hates plastic bags and saves oil and doesn't waste water). She made three dishes for us:
The first course was Sopa Seca de Fideo. I don't know how it translates. It is
basically angel hair noodles which are fried in oil, then tomatoes, onions and garlic are added and the noodles are broken apart and cooked until they are softened and the liquid mainly cooked away. Then chicken stock is added and it cooks some more. It is finished with cheese and creme fraiche. Totally yummy! The second dish was Ensalada de Nopales, which was a salad layered with lettuce, cactus pieces sauted with onion and chilled, tomatoes, red onion, pork rind, cilantro, cheese and avocado with lime juice. This was my first experience with cactus and I really liked it so we (my sister Jo Anne, who attended the class with me) came home made it for the hus. They didn't permit cameras in the classroom, but since I made it at home, you get to see what it looks like it looks like when we added it to the lettuce after cooking and cooling and the finished salad.
We served it with pork cooked in a chili sauce.
The last dish was Pollo en Mole Verde or Chicken in Green Mole. Mole is really a mixture and this was was filled with green goodness, lettuce, cilantro, chard, parsley, pablano, serrano, tomatillo, among other things. Really, really good!
I highly recommend her books especially if you are into authenticity. The books I have had for years are The Art of Mexican Cooking, about to be republished and Mexican Regional Cooking. I just bought My Mexico. I can't wait to try a lot of the recipes. I hope you will too!
For recipes, check out the website and until next time