Workshop "Cook your district"
Between hot chocolate and roasted chestnuts. This is how the last of our collaborative cooking workshops within the Imagina Madrid programme went. Given that the Centro Comunitario Guatemala – located in the district of Fuencarral-El Pardo – is, for some weeks now, the home of our beloved kitchens, we wanted to hold a workshop that would serve to unite both districts and also to show everyone where they can find them from now on.
Neighbours from both neighbourhoods came to the workshop and we also had some unexpected guests: the children who came to spend the afternoon in Guatemala with their monitors and who ended up joining the workshop, proving to be incredible kitchen helpers. As the afternoon wore on, and as we prepared hummus of different flavours, varied salads, pasta with vegetables, bread and fruit skewers, we talked to all of them about what they like to eat and cook, what their culinary specialities were and what are those recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation in their families. In addition, we asked them to write down some of their favourite recipes, which will later become part of the fanzine-summary of the project.
Once again, we were accompanied by the members of Equipo Mico, who were painting paper plates and tablecloths with the little ones, works of art that will also be included in the fanzine, as well as the great team from La Mina, who collected in video and images everything that happened in Guatemala during that afternoon. We ended the workshop with a collective call of “Guatemala, to the tableee!“, just when the chestnuts were ready to serve as dessert and as the culmination of all these months of work in the neighbourhood.
We would like to say goodbye with a giant thank you to all the people who, during all these months, have come to the workshops, have shared their culinary knowledge with us and have given us a hand in everything – whether it was putting screws in the assembly of the kitchens or removing a sofrito. Also, of course, to Enorme Studio for designing the kitchens and building them, to Aurelio of the Eugenio María De Hostos Public School for opening their doors to us, to the Mico girls for their creativity and infinite joy, to Oscar of La Máquina de Fotos for recording in images every moment, to the team at La Mina for not losing sight for a minute of what was happening in each workshop and recording it for posterity, and to all the people of the Centro Comunitario Guatemala (especially César and Chak) for receiving us with such love and always making things so easy for us.
See you soon Valdezarza!
I like potato omelette very much and I discovered that adding Golden apple was exquisite. I make the omelette the same way, with the onion and the potato, but adding a lot of apple (two or three, for a big omelette). I thought of doing it this way one day when I didn’t have any onions and the children loved it.
I also make a lot of carrot croquettes. You fry some onion with grated carrot, poach everything and when it’s golden brown, you add a couple of spoonfuls of flour and a glass and a half of milk. Then let it cool down and form the croquettes.
I have already participated in several workshops of Cocinar Madrid and I love them because I always have a good time, I meet people from the neighbourhood, their stories, their tastes, and together we build a very rich and diverse meal. I’m from Chile, but I live in Lavapiés. One of my favourite recipes is pastel de choclo, which is a grind of meat, onion, spices and corn that is baked in the oven.
I’ve always liked cooking and I have an aunt who taught me everything she knew and I have her entire recipe book. What I remember most about what my aunt used to cook were the sponge cakes, which looked like pastries and which she made with a lot of love.
Lately I’ve been specializing in cooking raw foods. The latest thing I’ve experimented with is a dessert, with a base of nuts, coconut oil and dates, and several layers of fruit cream in between. It is then put in the fridge and can be served with some coconut or grated chocolate on top. As for the salty stuff, right now I’m cooking with a lot of autumn vegetables; these days, especially pumpkin cream.
I am the master of what I call “pizza-film”, which consists of making a pizza, putting a film on the children and meanwhile picking up the kitchen. Actually, it’s not cooking, but “recooking”, that is, picking up while you cook.
I really like to prepare the rice with rabbit from my village. It is made with garlic and tomato, then the rabbit and rice are added. It’s made like a paella, but it’s a little less dry, more mellow.
I usually make a lot of cocido, which is very good and the guests like it a lot. I make the cocido extremeño, which includes pork and some beef, goat or sheep meat. Sometimes, if you don’t have any of these, you add chicken meat. I also put a sprig of mint inside the pot, which is a custom in my village, Mata del Alcántara, in Cáceres. I also add a potato, carrot, pumpkin, and a whole onion. In the past, they used to eat the chickpeas with a piece of raw onion or green pepper, to make it more enjoyable, because they ate the chickpeas alone.
I am the cook at Fogón Verde, an agro-ecological and vegetarian restaurant. I can’t say that I have a speciality, but I love cooking with the leftovers in the fridge, inventing recipes with the leftovers and making something super tasty. You can make hamburgers, pestos or chillies out of everything. Of the flavours of my childhood, what I like most is the potato omelette.
I’m very good at making food with a mixture of spices, but lately I’ve been doing a lot of stewing. The other day I made some beans between Spanish and Chinese, with pak choi, ginger and tomato concentrate. Then I added some hot paprika and some other spices that I don’t remember. In general, I’m very much of a hot dish, I love soups, potajes and stews. I love to eat and I find it very curious that something so pleasant is at the same time a must, that every four hours we have to eat is wonderful.
I will secretly reveal about the croquettes of my grandmother, who had a bar in San Martín de Valdeiglesias and the whole town knew her because she made wonderful croquettes. She called them ” croquettes to the sad chicken”, she called them that because she made them with the leftovers from making baked chicken. The most important thing is that the chicken is made in a metal tray and with a lot of sauce, and then it is also added to the croquettes.
I love to steam beans, because I make a final preparation which is where the secret lies. You steam the beans for 15 or 20 minutes, with a potato and an onion. And when you take them out, the presentation and order of the ingredients is very important. First I add gomasio – a mixture of sesame and salt – and then tekka, which is a Japanese condiment, miso and good olive oil.
My favourite recipe of all times and the one that works best for me is spaghetti carbonara. The most important thing is to have fresh pasta. To make the sauce I add onion – which I caramelize with a little sugar; before I used to do it with Coca-Cola – and bacon. Then I add the cream, little by little, so that it gets thicker. Drain the pasta well and serve it with the sauce on top.
What I do best is Bolognese pasta, with tomato and a touch of cream. I usually make the tomato sauce at home with natural tomatoes and the meat depends on what’s in the fridge, often we use something left over from another meal, kitchen recycling. Pasta is also one of my favourite things to eat, along with risotto and rice dishes in general.
Another recipe that I like a lot is the wings with honey. My mother invented a mixture of soya, honey and oil a few years ago, with which you smear the wings and put them in the oven. When you turn them over, you put a little more sauce on them.
The only thing that really works for me is the Oreo brownie. Basically, you make the dough just like for the brownie (with sugar, cocoa, butter, eggs and a little flour) and then you add the Oreo in pieces. In addition to going into the dough, you put them on top whole or split in half. Then you bake it and that’s it. I usually do this for birthdays and parties in general.
What I like to eat the most are the garlic soups that my grandmother used to make, especially what was left at the bottom, the “costrita”, which was a kind of bread sheet that tastes like garlic. That and the chestnuts.