Friday, July 18, 2014

July 13, 2014

We met at Mary's, along with guests Cecilia and Stephanie. 

Our meal started with spicy guacamole, chips and a mango cocktail served in chilled, sugar rimmed tumblers.

The cocktail also featured tequila which kept with the Caribbean Nights theme.  I did not realize how versatile tequila is and I have made it my alcohol of choice lately (sorry, rum).                                                                    
The Stephanie Special
Mango sparkling soda (Trader Joe's)
Tequila
Fresh squeezed lime juice
Top with champagne
Garnish with a lime wedge and serve very chilled

Our meal continued with conch fritters (used clams) with a zesty dipping sauce, a colorful black bean salad, fall-of-the-bone tender ribs and white rice.  Thank you to Tonya for the cool picture below!

The fritters were a mixture of finely chopped clams, green and red peppers, celery, onion, jalapeno (seeded), egg, flour and baking powder.  Make these into small balls and fry in oil for about three minutes.  Turn to get browned on both sides.  The oil may foam up.  Do not be alarmed.

Tonya's salad was full of fresh flavors with corn, red pepper, avocado, and cilantro.  It was a perfect compliment to the rich ribs.  The rice also went nicely with the spicy ribs and served as a base to soak up the juices.

Now... the ribs.  YUM.  These were so tender that you did not need a knife.  The flavor was complex with hints of cinnamon and cloves.  Mary prepared these prior to our arrival and they cooked as we prepared the fritters.








We had not one but TWO desserts.  Cecelia's mom's flan and a rum cake that I prepared.  The flan was denser than most recipes, using cream cheese to give it more of a cheesecake texture.  The rum cake was like a drunk pound cake.  While there is no rum in the cake itself, there is some in both a syrup and a glaze.  These add flavor and keep the cake very moist.

Flan
Ingredients:

Custard
1 can (14 oz) of Nestle Condensed Milk
1 can (14 oz) of evaporated milk
1 package of Philadelphia cream cheese
1 TBSP of vanilla extract
3 eggs

Caramel
1 ½ cup of regular sugar

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a small nonstick saucepan, heat the sugar over medium heat until it is dissolved and begins to brown. Pour caramelized sugar into a pie or cheesecake dish, and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan evenly.
  3. Combine custard ingredients in a large bowl. With a mixer, mix for one minute. Pour over the caramelized sugar dish.
  4. Place the dish into a larger pan and add 1 inch of HOT water to the outer pan. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until set.
  5. Remove dish from oven and allow to cool down.
  6. Turn upside down when cool.




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