Monday, January 23, 2012

An Eclectic Dinner

Last Friday evening friends came to dinner.  These friends are lovers of food, and as lovers of food, they are also fine cooks.   And so, I didn't want to disappoint.  As I prepared for their arrival I realized, for over forty years, I've prepared meals for guests.

I don't know when, but certainly a long time ago, I developed my style of entertaining, which begins with appetizers, then the main course, including a salad and then dessert.  Friday was no exception.

There was a time in my life when cooking was a hobby.  Not anymore, most of the food I prepared on Friday I could make without a recipe.  If you'd like to try my no fuss meal, here are the instructions.

 Tostados, crackers and two salsas (pica de gallo and guacamole)

Pica de gallo:  finely chopped red onion, green onion, tomato, cilantro and habanero.  Habanero is a very hot chili from Cuba.  One tiny little green pepper chopped to the point that it is almost liquid adds the pica (sting) to the salsa.  Squeeze lime juice over the mixture and refrigerate for two hours.

Guacamole: mash avocado, chopped tomatoes; finely chop onion, garlic and cilantro.  Squeeze lime juice over the mixture

Main Course
Brine pork chops, beans and rice, three amigo salad

Brine pork chops:  I'd never made these before, and the recipe wasn't quite right, too much salt.  So, I think a 1/2 cup of salt will do, two cups apple cider vinegar, a tablespoon of peppercorns, cup of brown sugar, a tray of ice cubes and two pounds of pork chops. 

Boil vinegar. In a container with a cover put salt, brown sugar and peppercorns.  Stir boiled vinegar into the mixture until dissolved.  Stir ice cubes into mixture until they melt.   Add pork chops.  Cover.  Refrigerate for two hours.  (When my guests arrived, they know more about brined meats than I do, they entered into a chorus of - wash, dry, fry - which is what we did.)

Beans and rice:  Boil tomatoes.  Remove skins. Chop onion.  Fry onions until golden brown.  Add tomatoes and canned black beans.  Bring to boil.  Add garlic power.  Stir.  Add minute rice. Cover.  Cook until rice is ready.  Let stand.

Three Amigos Salad:  Mango, avocado, red grapefruit.  Cut into bite size chunks.  Squeeze lime juice over the fruits.  Toss.


Green Slime: Frozen Spinach, ice cubes, frozen strawberries, banana and honey.  Put everything into a blender.  I start with the spinach, then the ice cubes, then the rest of the ingredients.  When it's slimy I put the mixture into dessert cups and serve.

If you would like to try any of these recipes and require more exact instructions they the recipes can all be found at Allrecipes.


Debbie Out Loud said...

Hello there!

I've been reading through your entire blog chronologically, and just had to stop here and ask about your inclusion of apple cider vinegar in the pork chops recipe. Is ACV easy to find in Mexico, or did someone bring it to you from NOB? I ask because it's a powerful health protocol that my family uses, and it would be great to know we could find it in Mexico should we be heading south at some point.

Diary of a third age woman said...

Yes indeed. Apple vinegar is easy to find in the super markets. It's red wine vinegar that can be a little hard to find from time to time.

I'm so happy you've decided to read my meanderings.

I'm busy adding some quality to this blog, and maybe developing a few more down the road.

Hope you drop by often.


Debbie Out Loud said...

Good to know. Would you say it's comparable to NOB ACV? It's good for so many things that we all try to take it daily at my house.

I'm glad you're continuing your blog. (I was sad when I reached the end.) :o) Your more recent entries don't mention teaching ESL. Are you on hiatus?

Do you see yourself settling permanently in Oaxaca?

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