Tuesday, January 09, 2007
South East (Asia) by West Central (Mexico)
Another South East Asian Dinner in Michoacán
Yesterday afternoon, we had some guests for a semi-outside dinner. The day was sunny and pleasantly warm, so we set up the tables in the shade of the entryway.
While we waited for some delayed arrivals, I whipped a quick appetizer to tide the rest of us over. I mashed up a small brick of Philly Cream Cheese, added some sweetened, dried cranberries and a little diced Chiles Chipotles en Adobo, then sprinkled the resulting ball with sliced green onions. I served that with sliced, hot Vietnamese type Rice Flour Baguettes and Fiibran Crackers.
When the tardy party arrived, we launched into the opening courses; a salad of charcoal grilled/bbq's eggplants dressed with soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, sambal oelek, fish sauce and a little lime juice.
I'd bought some impressively large and long rábanos largos, which Geni cut into disks to garnish the Green Mango and Shrimp Salad. She did a beautiful job composing a colorful array of fresh fruits and vegetables.
To the right you'll see a larger, more complex composed salad of green mango shred, carrots, giant red radish slices, and more, surrounded by shrimp and topped by strips of slightly chewy queso de puerco (head cheese).
The very tangy Thai or Vietnamese style dressing was made of fresh lime juice, fish sauce, piloncillo (crushed brown sugar cone), sliced green onions, cilantro, sliced Serrano chilis, and a bit of sambal oelek.
After the the salads, we had bowls of Tom Yum Goong, with medium thick rice noodles. There was just exactly enough to serve 8 persons, although I had a lot of surplus cooked noodles, some of which I am breakfasting on with eggplant salad.
During all this, we offered a variety of tequilas and mescals, as well as Agua de Papaya, and water. We also had some Chardonnay brought by our neighbors.
After a pause, we had brewed dark roasted Mexican coffee and two Coconut Cream Pies, made with a buttery, cookie crumb crust further enriched with coconut flakes and toasted almonds in the crust.
Many jokes were told, and then our friend Luis surprised us by borrowing my guitar and singing "old favorites" Mexican songs of the past, in a beautiful voice with great projection. It was a bravura performance.
About 8 PM, the last guests departed, then Susan and I tackled the mountain of dirty dishes. An hour later, we were done, and collapsed into bed. It had been some work, yet great fun.
View Album: click the picture.