Loving food and everything that involves it is great, but sharing it other people who also love food is even greater. I think I learned this lesson from my mom. She was always cooking, but when she did it to entertain she seemed to be surrounded by a bright aura of happiness. Many people pointed that out and her response was that it was the love for for food and entertaining. I don’t know if I have that same aura, but I do know that when I cook for friends and family I am the happiest cook in the whole world.
This past weekend I prepared a belated birthday dinner for my friend John and invited a bunch of friends to celebrate. The menu was a combination of Mexican and Italian flavors that was a big hit (unless they all lied to me in fear I’d stabbed them with the chef’s knife I was waving when I asked their opinion). It took me almost 2 days to prepare the banquet, almost everything was made from scratch, and I ended up tired but very satisfied and happy for having something to share with my friends.
The menu was:
- 1st course – Stuffed onions with homemade adobado queso fresco (recipe below)
- 2nd course – Poblano risotto with garlic scallops (I will be making this again this week because I miscalculated and didn’t have enough for pics. Recipe will be coming soon).
- 3rd course – Sauteed green and red bell peppers, onions and asparagus with avocado and lime (no recipe required, right?).
- 4th course – Chicken pastel azteca (Aztec Cake, recipe coming soon)
- 5th course – Salsa verde lasagna.
- Avocado rolls on the side (recipe coming soon).
- Dessert – Chocolate and strawberry tres leches cake.
Drinks and wine were provided by my friends. Usually the deal is that I provide the food and they provide the drinks. That is more than fair, isn’t it? I was so happy with how this dinner turned out that I am seriously thinking about starting my own catering business. I haven’t been involve in the food industry for a long time but I am convinced now that this is my call. After all, food and entertaining is what I love.
- •1 gallon whole milk
- •1/4 cup vinegar
- •2 chipotle adobado peppers, finely chopped
- Heat milk to 180° F (82° C) stirring constantly. Be careful not to burn the milk.
- While mixing with a whisk, slowly add the white vinegar. You will notice the milk begins to curdle.
- Keep stirring for 10-15 minutes.
- Line a colander with a fine cheesecloth.
- Pour the curdled milk through the colander.
- Allow the curds to cool for about 20 minutes.
- Add the chipotle adobado peppers to the curls and mix well with your hand, at this point they should be cool enough to handle.
- Tie the four corners of the cheese cloth together and hang it to drain for about 5 – 7 hours (until it stops dripping).
- The cheese can be used to stuffed onions like the ones from this post. In this case I carved them, stuffed them with cheese, drizzled some olive oil on top and baked them for 25 minutes at 350° F (175° C).
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