Sunday, August 12, 2007
Appetizer: Escabeche (Marinated Swordfish) by Emil This fish is fried first, then marinated.
Main: Arroz con Pollo, Cuban Style by Tom H. This dish featured chicken thighs (which I usually don't like), and it was an amazing medley of tastes including some surprise jalapeños.
Main: Cuban Beef Hast with Fried Plantains, Rice and Sofrito, by Glenn. This dish was layered with complex flavors. The rice was fluffy underneath, the beef had just the right spicing - it wasn't pure heat, and the plantains with their cinnamon and caramelized flavor were a sensual surprise. Topping it with the sofrito below, added yet another burst of complexity in the flavors which melded well.
Condiment: Sofrito - Herbs and onions made deftly by Glenn for topping the Cuban Beef Hash.
Side: Congri (Cuban Style Beans and Rice) by Bill. Not your usual heavy side of rice and beans. Light with interesting flavors, it was a crowd-pleaser.
Side: Yucca with Lime Garlic Mojo by Caren. Wow. What an great pairing of flavors of lime and garlic with an unusual starch.
Amuse Bouche: Tom H surprised us with a palete refreshing Mojito sorbet with Pink Pearl apple slices. It was as refreshing and surprising as it looks!
Salad: Ensalada de Tomate, Plantano, Aquacate, Aji, y Pepino (Tomato, Banana, Avocado, Green Pepper and Cucumber Salad) by Tom M. Tom is no slouch around the kitchen! He was inspired to make this authentically Cuban and unlikely medley of ingredients which blended amazingly well. The croutons were also homemade with fresh oregano, and it was topped with a sharp white cheddar.
Dessert: Nuevo Cubano (Bread Pudding with Pinapple and Mangoes with Coconut Rum Sauce) by Janis. When Janis described the layers of flavor infused with butter and various forms of sugars, we knew we'd dived into our caloric limit for the entire week. However, it was so very worth it!
Dessert: Dulce Argentino by Karen. Although this has "Argintino" in the name, this light yet creamy sweet cake roll is very Cuban. Emil echoed this from his experience of enjoying this in Cuba after one of his marathons. Karen also makes the most delicious coffee. I'm not a great coffee lover, but I never pass up a cup at her home!
This amazing group of chefs, both professional and not, gather around a theme and a table to share their culinary journey to the point of fork-in-food. There is always time to smell the roses, and share in celebration around the table. We toasted Caren for her birthday last Wednesday, and her husband, Emil for his achievement of running his 50th marathon. Once we set a theme, we have quite a journey to the next food adventure, and we share all, in this case, even dreams of dining with Fidel! Watch for our journey to Sicily in October.