Cooking with Qdoba

May 05 2011 - 10:30 AM

2011-04-28_18-47-52_466 Qdoba's creative executives were in Chicago last week, teaching local foodies and how to make some of their signature dishes. ChicagoFoodies was invited to attend the event and learned some fun tricks of my own.

The event was led by Qdoba's executive chef, Ted Stoner at the Lincoln Park location on Clark Street.

They served micheladas with fresh lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, and Modelo. They also had a nonalcoholic drink blended with strawberry puree, lime juice, and ice.

After enjoying drinks and snacks the guests broke into three groups and learned how to make a fresh salsa, a guacamole, and a chile salsa.

2011-04-28_18-49-26_511 Chef Mike introduced the guacamole station. He explained how Hass avocados are the best to use because they keep in the most natural oils and have a nice consistency.

Also, avocados are great to eat with tomatoes, because they each bring out the natural lycopene and fatty acids when mixed together.

We created a guacamole with bacon, pineapple, sun-dried tomatoes, Habanero, and a pinch of  salt. It was a great combination and tasted very fresh. (Next time I make this I will remove the bacon though because the guac tasted a bit smokey.)

A quick tip I learned is to add citrus to your guacamole to keep it from browning.

A little squeeze of lemon or lime juice will do the trick. Also, if your avocados do not have enough oil or flavor, you can add a small amount of avocado oil to the batch for a quick fix.

The next station involved creating a roasted chile salsa. Chef Ted Stoner, a graduate of Johnson and Wales University, taught the group how to roast peppers to bring out their aroma. By adding tomatillos, chipotle peppers, and tomato juice we created a delicious salsa.

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Chef Ted also added that you can add or remove one or two ingredients and create an entirely new flavor. Our groups made a spicier chipotle salsa, while others created a salsa verde.

He combined the ingredients into a blender and, viola! The salsa was created. Very simple to create at home.

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The last station was the fresh salsa demonstration. Chef Neel created a salsa with fresh jicama, mango, tomatoes and other freshly chopped vegetables. The combination was great.

He also noted that you can add a bit of agave nectar, which can be found at most grocery stores, to give the salsa more substance. The agave brings the ingredients together.

Overall, the cooking class was a good time and very informative.

–Ashley Streichert

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