Saturday, January 16, 2016

January 10, 2016

I cannot believe it is 2016.  But I am happy to say, I have not messed up and written 2015 - yet.

We met at Mary's and we were joined by guests Rachel and Carol and missing Angelica.  The theme was Mexican street food.  Ole!

Cocktail - horchata, Mary
Appetizer - scallop ceviche and guacamole, Angie
Side Dish - creamy corn cups, Tonya
Main dish - tortas, Mary
Dessert - tres leches, Carol

Mary started us off with horchata that she added some brandy to.... because first rule of cooking group is we drink alcohol.  She used the basic recipe and then added a can of condensed milk, almond milk and brandy.  Serve this refreshing, slightly sweet drink over ice.
Our appetizers were ceviche and guacamole.  I have never made ceviche before and this was a super easy, not scary (of ending up with raw seafood in juice) recipe.  I halved the recipe and it was plenty for a small gathering.  I recommend roughly chopping the scallops to get small pieces rather than just quartering.  I followed the recipe exactly except used half a seeded jalapeno instead of a Serrano.  I found the unsweetened coconut in the bulk section and while I do not think it added any flavor, the little white specs look pretty.  I served both the ceviche (after using a slotted spoon to move it to a new bowl) and guacamole with tortilla chips.

In case the ceviche did not work out, I also made guacamole.  This recipe had essentially the same flavors, just swapping out the scallops for avocados.  I have made guacamole many times, normally just mashing avocados and adding some garlic salt, lemon juice and hot sauce.  I decided to try this fancy recipe and I really liked it.  I do think you should use less onions than called for but otherwise would not change a thing.  Funny that the recipe calls for fresh coriander because this is also known BY EVERYONE as cilantro.  You're welcome.

Tonya prepared the most tasty corn recipe and served it in mini mason jars.  The toppings are stirred into the corn, resulting in a sweet, creamy, salty, limey, concoction.  Mary had this spice and Tonya sprinkled some on top and it was so delicious.  

The main dish was tortas de milanesa, which in our case was fried chicken cutlets served on rolls and topped with spicy (sriracha)  mayonnaise, lettuce, avocado and tomato.  Mary marinaded the chicken breasts in something spicy (probably more sriracha)  because the chicken alone had a nice kick.  I realized this because I ate my left overs on plain white bread (I know - who eats this any more besides children) and there was a pleasant spiciness.  I loved this sandwich.  The chicken was crunchy because of the double breading and frying and the combination of the toppings cool down the heat.  

 We finished our meal with Carol's tres leches cake.  Carol reported this dessert was rather easy to make because it starts with a boxed cake mix.  We all discussed that we prefer boxed cake mixes to homemade.  I know I have made a homemade yellow cake recipe and it was an embarrassment.  The sweetness and texture were off.  It was a very old recipe and I think today's tastes have evolved where the old recipes are less palatable.  The cake was creamy but not as wet as other tres leches I have eaten.  For the icing, Carol used a box icing mix which she said was just egg whites and you add hot water.  Yum!!