Saturday, January 30, 2010

The art community here in Kansas City is made up of many fascinating characters, evenly split between those with talent and those that admire those that have it. I have been so fortunate to meet some of Kansas City’s finest artists. They are quite a group, varied in age and background, but each a beautiful painter.
One of my most fortunate encounters came last spring as I was working hard lining up the artists for the first Art in the Vines at Somerset Ridge Vineyard. I received a phone call from a delightful young woman named Maria Johnson, asking if she could be considered for one of the spots in the art show. She sent me her web page and blog information and I was immediately in love with her work! You see, Maria is from Colombia, South America and paints with the colors and excitement of the Caribbean. Her canvases are vibrant, alive, and bring such pleasure!
More recently, I have gotten to know Maria through the Somerset Ridge Painters, a group of 9 women artists who paint together at the vineyard and party together, as you can see in the photo, whenever we can! She brings not only talent to the group, but youthful beauty, humor and an amazing marketing ability!
With my background in food, I have discovered Maria’s cooking is as vibrant and colorful as her paintings! She very often prepares the food she grew up with.
One evening she and her husband, Shawn, shared her special soup and a bottle of wine with me. What a great evening it was. And it sparked my interest in the food of Colombia.

There is a traditional recipe that pops up on any search for colombian food. That is a recipe for Arepa, considered a national dish of Colombia. It is a fried corn cake made with masa flour, sometimes split and filled with spicy meat, or fried with cheese mixed into the patty.
The recipe will follow.
Maria also told me about Bandeja paisa -The Paisa platter combines white rice and red beans with ground beef, plantain, chorizo, chicharron (pork rinds), arepa, avocado and a fried egg. Also, Maria feels you should add an AlkaSeltzer to that menu!
Having grown up on the Caribbean coastline, Maria and her family ate a great deal of fresh seafood, including lobster, and coconut rice is a frequent side dish. They would grill whole fish, and serve it with fried plantains, avocado and an assortment of the locally abundant fresh fruit.Our second recipe is one Maria adores. It is called Sancocho de Cola. I suppose you could call this the “national soup of Colombia.”
Just remember, when you serve Colombian food, make sure you have lots of lime and avocado and cilantro, and of course, rice.

Colombian Corn Patties

1 cup of Pre-cooked corn flour such as Mazeca, Pan, or Masa
1 cup of warm milk
1 teaspoon of salt
1 handful of shredded Parmesan
Warm water.
1/4 cup of oil (do not use olive oil, just corn, canola etc)

In a bowl mix the corn mixture with the salt and cheese. Add the warm milk and stir with a fork. Start adding warm water as needed. You will look for a dough with the consistency to form into patties. Shape dough into balls and then flatten them to make a patties. (You can make an arepa any size you want)Heat the oil in a skillet. When the oil is hot, place patties in the pan and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown, then turn and let cook to golden brown on the 2nd side. Open a pocket in the arepa and fill with a spicy filling of shredded cooked chicken or beef heated with some salsa and taco seasoning to taste.

Sancocho de Cola
4 to 6 pieces of oxtail
5 green onions
2 green plantain, peeled and quartered just before adding to the pot
2 ears of corn, cut into 2” pieces
1 teaspoon cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound yucca, peeled and cubed
3 Medium potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
1 cup peeled, seeded and cubed pumpkin
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:Fill a large pot with water (12-16 cups). Cook the oxtail and green onion at a low boil for about an hour or until the meat is nearly cooked.
Add plantain and cook at a low boil for 25 minutes Add corn on the cob and the cubed potato and pumpkin. Add the yuca, garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin. Simmer for 10 minutes. a heaping spoonful of chopped cilantro. Simmer for 15 more minutes. Serve with a side of white rice. Top each bowl of soup with a pinch of cilantro.

“i comer feliz!”

No comments:

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy
oil painting by Kay Tucker

Somerset Autumn on Wea Creek

Somerset Autumn on Wea Creek
Oil Painting by Kay Tucker, Private Collection


oil painting by Kay Tucker

Kansas Storm

Kansas Storm
oil painting by Kay Tucker, Private Collection

Watercolor Collage

Watercolor Collage

Tempo al Tempo....All in Good Time

Tempo al Tempo....All in Good Time
48"x36" sculptural painting by Kay Tucker