Saturday, November 26, 2011

"One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating." ~ Luciano Pavarotti

I must say - We are good! When four people come together after having chosen their own dishes and recipes, albeit while following a theme, I think that there is a chance that dishes may not necessarily mesh. Not with us (or at least so far).  We met recently at our friend Chris's home for our South American themed BITE (But Is This Edible?) dinner. The foods could not have been more complimentary.  Remember, one of the purposes for following a theme is to stretch ourselves and try things that we had not done before - of course - eating and drinking with friends ranks right up there as well!

As hostess, Chris was responsible for the entree and the beverages.  First below is a photo of the wines that she selected:

The wines were  a Pinot Noir from Chile, by Humberto Canale Estate; a Malbec from Catena, Argentina, by Alamos and a Natura Carmenere by Emiliana Vineyards, also from Argentina.  All three were purchased at Red Feet Wine Market in Ithaca, NY.  They specialize in organic wines and those from small vineyards.
I opted for a nice cold Dos Equis!
Tierney was in charge of the appetizer.  What a winning combination - whoever would have thought to combine black beans and bananas? Her Banana-Black Bean Empanadas were absolutely delicious. Give me anything wrapped in puff pastry, and I'm a happy girl!

Banana-black Bean Empanadas
Next, Ellen prepared our side dishes for the evening.  The first was a wonderful dish of asparagus with red pepper and shaved cheese (parmesan I think - correct me if I'm wrong, Ellen)

I'm not sure that this came from a particular recipe - it is however - a fabulous mixture of flavors.

Empanadas as asparagus side-by-side - YUM!

Ellen's second side dish was Brazilian Black Beans.  This dish called for the addition of sherry and orange juice!  It was just wonderful!

Brazilian Black Beans
Now we come to the entree, which Chis prepared.  She selected Chicken Stew with Chile.  It was absolutely as delicious as it looks.  We all agreed that it reminded us of chicken cacciatore, but with a South American flair!

Chicken Stew with Chile
Just delicious!
The recipe for the chicken stew calls for "AJI", which reminded us all of a kind of relish.

The addition of some rice and sour cream - and our meal was complete!

Doesn't it make your mouth water?  It really was that good!

Lastly we come to my contribution to the evening's meal.  I took care of dessert - and if you recall last time, I mentioned  that I am not a baker, so doing dessert was a challenge for me.  I made Traditional Alfajores - a caramel sandwich cookie.  I am not much of a sweets person, and these were really sweet - but - they were really good!  A very delicate butter cookie sandwiching a thick dulce de leche (caramel). Making the dulce de leche took me back to many years ago, when I was part of a family that traditionally made "carmel pudding".  This is done by simmering sweetened condensed milk in an unopened can for 3 hours.  Sounds crazy I know - but it works and it's delicious!

Traditional Alfajores
Happily, I made a double batch so that I had some to take to my sister's for Thanksgiving!

So there you have it!  All of the recipes can be found by either clicking on the link below the pictures, or by going to my BITE page at the right of my blog.  Up next month "A Colonial Christmas Dinner" - sounds wonderful!

1 comment:

  1. What a fun evening! Your cookies lasted one evening at our house, Tracy. Melt-in-your-mouth goodness. All of the dishes were flavorful and approachable for the home cook. I'm really looking forward to December's BITE gathering.