Saturday, July 21, 2012

We don’t have a name. We don’t have a plan, schedule or statement. What we do have is a love of food that taste delicious and looks beautiful, and a desire to try different ethnic cuisines. We are a group of women from Colombia, South America, one from India, one from Iran and 8 just regular old American types, with some pretty interesting genealogies The majority of us are artists, but we have a couple of models, a cosmetic specialist, and a wine maker, and a realtor. Ada began pulling us together several months ago for a dinner of Indian dishes, prepared by a friend of hers, Jyoti Mukharji. It was a lovely evening. Next, Ada invited some friends to join her for an evening of Iranian food prepared by Sara from Iran.  We dined outdoors on Ada’s lovely patio and then learned Iranian dancing!  You can find the recipes and photographs on my blog for May 5th. It was such a great evening.

Vicki and a refreshing
Cocktail Santa Marta
  Maria, the wonderful artist from the Caribbean coast of Colombia invited us to her home for a typical Colombian dinner. We had so much fun!  We were greeted with icy cold Santa Marta cocktails served in martini glasses with garnish of fresh pineapple and cherries and a tiny umbrella! I am a light weight when it comes to alcohol, but I must admit to having “more than one!” of Maria’s Cocktail Santa Marta
“Traditionally in the Caribbean we like to drink Beer, Aguardiente and Rum. Either white rum or dark rum. We also love to welcome the tourists with cold cocktails that are made with our tropical fruits and rum."

Cocktail Santa Marta
Mango Juice and Guava Juice (Ceres)
Orange/Mango/ Passion fruit Sparkling soda
Dark Rum
I froze in a tray one of the juices to make it very cold before blending.
Blend the two Ceres juices in a blender.
Then add the Sparkling soda and rum.
Garnish with pineapple and maraschino cherries.
Definitely an umbrella!

Our Colombian menu included several small plates of appetizers, beautifully presented by Maria. As she served each appetizer, she explained how it was made and why it is typical of Colombian cooking..
One of our small plate appetizers was
Chorizo with Queso fresco and caramelized onions
Maria's directions:
"Saute Chorizo either chopped or out of the casing. I use two types of chorizos, a Mexican version for crumbling and a dry Spaniard version. They both have close flavors to our typical chorizo.
Then sauté Red onions either chopped or sliced and add sugar.
Serve on a small plate with the queso fresco. This cheese is the closest to our farmers dry white cheese that we use in the coast.
All the ingredients can be found at Wal-Mart. The chorizo and Queso fresco are in the same section.
The Spaniard chorizo: The brand is Abuelita and is sold at World Market."

For our main course, Maria made her favorite dishes that her mother, Ana, taught her.
Maria's recipe:
Carne en Posta con salsa Semi dulce
A la Ana
(Beef Roast with Semisweet Sauce)
Beef Chuck 2 pounds
Brown Sugar 4 Tbsp.
Mustard 2 Tbsp.
Garlic, 1 Clove
Salt and Pepper to taste
Whole Cloves 10 cloves

Cooking time about 2 HoursRub the chuck with mustard, salt, pepper and garlic.
Brown all sides in a deep pot, then remove and brown other pieces.
Insert the cloves in the meat and turn everything back in the pot.
Add water until covered; add a bag with cloves and 4 tablespoons of brown sugar.
Cook for about 1 ½ hour or until the meat is tender.
When cooked: Take meet out of pan. Slice thin,
Add a ½ cup of cold water with a tablespoon of Flour and add to the sauce reduction.Then pour the sauce on the meat.
Arroz con Coco

White Rice
Coconut Milk 2 cans

Cooking time about 1 hour 15 minutes
Place 1 can of regular Coconut milk in a pot with 3 tablespoons of sugar.

Stir on medium high heat often and careful not to burn too fast. This process will
take 25 minutes,until it becomes caramelized and completely reduced. The key is to scrape the bottom and the let it brown more, then scrape again.
Add 2 cans of coconut milk and 1 of water plus raisins, let
simmer for 5 minutes.
Add 1 ½ cup of rice, and 1 teaspoon of salt.
Cover on low temperature and let cook for 20 minutes until the water starts to dry. Uncover, and let it dry. on low temperature.

Before we go onto the dessert, here is a slideshow of our dinner. 

Now, on to dessert.....
I volunteered to help Maria with her dinner and it was decided I would prepare the dessert. Maria explained dessert inColombia is usually fresh fruit or picking up a frozen fruit treat, similar to a Popsicle, as you walked along the beach. She asked that I make the dessert fresh and organic, so I decided to make a pineapple sherbet.  I bought my pineapple and made the sherbet, but did not taste the pineapple before I used it.  It was dreadfully bitter! Therefore, the day of the dinner, I had to remake the sherbet. Short of time, I found it necessary to use the following recipe which used canned pineapple. I was embarassed! But the sherbet was pretty darned good!
 Pineapple Sherbet with a Pineapple Banana Rum Sauce
serves 4
for sherbet:
2/3 cups sugar
2 cups buttermilk
1 can crushed pineapple (8 ounce) drain and reserve juice for sauce
for sauce:
½ cup pineapple juice drained from canned pineapple
½ cup sugar
¼ cup Banana Rum
for garnish, fresh edible flowers, blueberries, fresh mint
To prepare sherbet, drain juice from Pineapple, reserving juice for sauce.
Place crushed pineapple in a bowl, add the buttermilk and sugar. Stir well to dissolve sugar. Add to your ice cream maker and process for 25 to 30 minutes. You may also pour the mixture into a shallow container that will fit into your freezer. Freeze one hour then stir well, breaking up frozen chunks. Return to freezer until serving. As I said, I much prefer the creamier texture of that made by an ice cream maker over the icy crystallized sherbet made in your freezer.
For the sauce, place the reserved juice in a small sauce pan. Add the sugar and stir well to dissolve sugar. Heat to simmering, then continue to simmer until a syrup of the thickness you want your sauce to be.I prefer it to be about the same as Maple Syrup. Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes. Add the banana rum and stir to blend. Cool completely, store in the refrigerator.
When serving, place a scoop of sherbet in each bowl. Drizzle with sauce, the garnish with flowers and mint, or with fresh fruit of your choice.

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