Tag Archives: dressing

Honduras…

Saturday, March 16 –

For this dinner we had: BestestFianceEver, Bestie Extraordinaire (wine), Mistress Whiskey (wine), Hot Momma (wine), Mr. Hero (baleadas), BabyBear, GrandpaBear, LittleBigBrother, ChinUp (mango, avocado photosalsa and chips), and MyBuddy (banana milkshakes). Later in the evening we also had LightsOn and WingWoman show up to hang out and drink some wine.

I started by adding oil to a pan and cooking the onion and bell pepper until they were just starting to brown. Then I added the garlic and let that heat up. While the veggies were cooking on the stove I added the rest of the ingredients to the crockpot. Once the veggies were done I added them in, stirred to mix, and let it simmer for a couple of hours. I did not use the sherry and I substituted a seeded habanero for the yellow pepper, which made it really, really spicy. Almost too spicy, really (which is really weird for me to say). After a few hours I blended the soup with an immersion blender and let it continue to simmer until everyone was ready to eat.

The sweet potato I substituted for a yam because I like their flavor better. Steamed, drained, crisped in hot oil, then drained. Put on a bed of baby arugula (which is what I had in the fridge) and feta, then tossed. I added the dressing in on top, made exactly as the recipe says, and gave that a good toss too.

ChinUp and MyBuddy had the salsa and chips out. Mr. Hero made the baleadas with all the toppings (basically tacos on soft corn tortillas), including beef, beans, onion, cheese, sour cream, and avocado. The wine was flowing freely, and dinner was served!

The soup was ok. I think I would have liked it better unblended. It was spicy but not terribly flavorful. Maybe it needed some ham or something to go with it? I’m not sure. The salad was good, the dressing was tangy and delightful. The beleadas were good and a great compliment to the other dishes. And the mango, avocado salsa was a perfect topping to chips and to all the rest of the food. Last we get to the milkshakes. They were good… and then they added rum. Banana rum milkshakes are pretty darn delicious. And dangerous, because you don’t really notice the rum!

Honduras
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: http://sidewalkmystic.com)

Bahia Black Bean Soup

  • 1 Onion
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 garlic minced garlic cloves
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 3 15-oz cans black beans, drained
  • 2 C stock
  • 1 1/2 t. oregano
  • 1 yellow chili, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (brave souls leave the seeds)
  • 1 15-oz can whole tomatoes with liquid or 18-oz can sauce
  • 1/2 lime, squeezed for juice (critical)
  • 1/4 c. sherry (I use red wine)
  • fresh cilantro (1 1/2 t. if fresh isn’t available)

Directions:  [The website author says: my adjustments to the recipe include adding a smoked ham hock for flavor.  As well, if you find the soup too heavily favored by the tomatoes, merely back down on the amount of tomato and increase the stock proportionately]. Saute onion; bell pepper and garlic in oil until onion is translucent. Add beans, stock and oregano. Heat thoroughly. Seed and chop yellow and jalapeno chilies and put into blender. Add lime juice and tomato. Puree to finely mince the chilies. Add black bean mixture to blender (in batches) and puree. When everything is pureed, return it to the soup pot. Simmer at least 1.5 hours. Add wine and fresh cilantro to taste.

Garnishes: Rice, grated cheeses, diced onion, salsa, sour cream, plain yogurt, grilled sausages.

Mixed Greens with Sweet Potatoes and Feta Cheese

  • ¾ lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼ to ½ inch dice
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T fresh lime juice
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar (don’t pinch; buy the top shelf stuff)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • ½ t of Dijon mustard
  • ¼ C of buttermilk (you can use regular milk; just let it stand with a T of regular vinegar in it)
  • 8-10 oz of fresh greens (we use spinach and escarole – small slices of red cabbage add to the esthetic appeal)
  • 4 oz fresh feta cheese (I have used blue cheese when I make a fresh blue cheese dressing to accompany the salad)

Directions:  Steam the sweet potato for 5-8 minutes.  Just tender.  Remove and drain on paper towels.  Get the steamed potatoes very dry. Heat 2 t of olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat.  Add potatoes, shaking pan often for 15 minutes.  Remove when crisp and drain again on paper towels.  Mix together the lime juice, balsamic vinegar, garlic, mustard, salt pepper, and remaining olive oil and buttermilk.  Whisk in a blender (start to drool). Place greens and cheese in a salad bowl and toss with the dressing.  Top the salad with the sweet potatoes, serve, and call me.  Serve with tortillas.

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Guatemala…

Friday, February 1 –

Quite a few of my wonderful friends came to this dinner, people missing from these dinners for quite a while. We got to welcome back: BestieExtraordinaire (guacamole, chips) , Mistress Whiskey (wine), photo(3)WingWoman (chocolate coffee mousse dessert), LightsOn (wine), RubsWithLove, and Sir VJ (salad).

I made the rice, chicken drumsticks, and the Jocón recipe below. When I put the rice into the rice cooker I used half water and half chicken broth. I also added cilantro and onion to it before it was cooked. For the drumsticks I melted butter and added chopped garlic, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and chili powder. I brushed the mix across the drumsticks and baked them in the oven at 375* for about 35 minutes.

For the Guatemalan chicken recipe I cheated just a little bit – I used a slow-roasted chicken from the grocery store. BestestFianceEver helped get all of the meat off the bones and shredded into the pan. Then I took all of the veggies and sauce ingredients (using all sesame seeds instead of half pumpkin seeds) and threw them all into my food processor. After everything was perfectly chopped and blended I dumped the sauce over the chicken and let simmer on low for about 20 minutes.

While everyone was waiting on the chicken to be done, we snacked on the guacamole and chips, which was supposed to be turned into a salad but because we already had a salad we kept it as a dip. Then dinner was served with the salad, the dressing for the salad that we didn’t quite make, the chicken with sauce over the rice, and drumsticks on the side. The salad was bright and flavorful with mango and avocado. The rice was a great complement to the sauce on the chicken. Because I used four whole jalapenos in the sauce it had a little kick, but not too much. And the drumsticks on the side were just a fun addition. All in all I vote this dinner a success. photo(4)

The dessert was supposed to be a mousse, but because of a few substitutions that WingWoman made it ended up more like delicious chocolate soup with fresh blueberries on top. Not quite what the recipe meant, but yummy anyway!

Only a few more G countries left – hope to see more potluck bloggers soon!

Guatemala
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.whats4eats.com)

Jocón (Guatemalan chicken in tomatillo-cilantro sauce)

  • Chicken, cut into serving pieces — 2 1/2 to 3 pounds
  • Water — 4 cups
  • Salt — 2 teaspoons
  • Pumpkin seeds (pepitas) — 1/4 cupphoto(5)
  • Sesame seeds — 1/4 cup
  • Corn tortillas, chopped, soaked in water, drained — 2
  • Tomatillos, hulled and chopped — 1 cup
  • Cilantro, chopped — 1 bunch
  • Scallions, chopped — 1 bunch
  • Jalapeño or serrano chile pepper, chopped — from 1 to 5
  • Rice to serve

Method:

Place the chicken, water and salt into a large pot over medium-high flame. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Remove the chicken to a bowl and strain and set aside the broth. Let chicken cool, then remove the meat from the bones and shred it with your fingers. Set aside.

Heat a dry skillet over medium flame. Add the pumpkin and sesame seeds and toast, stirring, until lightly browned. Remove to a coffee grinder and grind to a fine powder.photo(6)

Add the sesame and pumpkin seeds, tortillas, tomatillos, cilantro, scallions and chile peppers to a food processor or blender. Add 1 cup of the reserved broth and process until smooth. If using a blender you may have to do this step in batches.

Return the chicken to the pot. Pour over pureed sauce and add 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the remaining broth to give it a sauce-like consistency.

Heat over medium-low flame and simmer for an additional 15-25 minutes. Adjust seasoning and serve.

Jocon Variations:

Leave the chicken pieces whole if you prefer.

If you can’t find pumpkin seeds, simply use 1/2 cup of sesame seeds. And if finding sesame seeds is a problem, you can substitute a slightly smaller amount of tahini.

Cubed pork can be substituted for the chicken. There is no need to shred the pork, but you may need to simmer it longer for it to become tender.

Use any remaining broth to make rice to accompany the meal.