Last week I was invited to an Old El Paso cookery evening to celebrate the Day of the Dead (which is actually today, 1 November) and sample their new range of ‘Stand n Stuff’ taco kits. Actually I’d already tried them as Old El Paso had sent me a selection to try (see last week’s post for more on that), but I’ll rarely turn down the chance for an evening out with free food, drink and the chance to chat with fellow bloggers, so off I trotted to Food at 52 cookery school in Old Street to find out more.
The tacos within the Stand N Stuff kits are shaped like little boats, so you can easily fill them with your seasoned filling and top with cheese, veg and sauces. Within each box you get a pile of boat-y little tacos, some salsa and some seasoning. You add the meat or veg, cheese and lettuce.
Our cookery class was not, it must be said, particularly challenging. We were split into meaty and veggie groups (I was a meaty with Manjiri from Travels for Taste and Heidi from Heidi Roberts Kitchen Talk) and were ‘taught’ how to make our dish: basically chop things, fry them, add seasoning and stir. The meat option was even simpler with no chopping: just put mince into a pan, add seasoning and stir until it’s brown. In recognition of our ability to multi-task in the kitchen, we were also given the job of grating cheese and chopping lettuce, so we spent most of the time allocated to us chatting and drinking.
The veggie groups made what turned out to be a delicious filling for the tacos: chopped sweet potato, onion, courgette and pepper, mixed with a jar of sauce and some kidney beans. Andrew isn’t a fan of sweet potato, otherwise I’d definitely make this one for us at home. It’s a great veggie option: tasty, filling and easy to make.
After gorging on tacos and candy, washed down with margaritas and tequila sunrises (a virgin one for me as I was suffering from a gin-induced hangover), we said our farewells and headed home, with a goodie bag of some Stand N Stuff kits to try at home. Andrew has already said these kits are well within his kitchen competency, so I’ll keep it for when he’s on dinner duty.
For the coming week I am intending to have a quiet one. I am prepping as much as I can today to give us a hopefully chilled out week. My plan is as follows:
- Monday – French onion soup for meat free Monday (a request from Andrew – he seems to understand that this is not just a phrase I am going through and he needs to embrace it!)
- Tuesday – chicken and chickpea curry
- Wednesday – I am going out for an evening with Jay Rayner at the Guardian building – Andrew’s a bit annoyed I bought tickets for him instead of Brian Blessed (along with a screening of Flash Gordon). Lucky me that I don’t have to suffer through that.
- Thursday – my traditional bonfire night dinner of sausages, jacket potatoes and baked beans
- Friday – cod and homemade chips
- Saturday – chicken cordon bleu
- Sunday – faggots and vegetables
Obviously to supplement my menu I’ll be working my way through the Hallowe’en treats which are still in the house as we weren’t visited by Trick or Treaters (I am sure that’s not because we had all the lights off to give the appearance that no one was home …).