Yesterday was our cooking club's lunch and my task was to develop the menu and to make the main dish. I chose recipes from "Fiesta! A Celebration of Latin Hospitality" by Anya Von Bremzen, a book filled with great, flavorful recipes. Here was the menu:
* Lemony Avocado Dip served with taco chips (recipe includes hard-boiled eggs)
* The Latino Big Salad (my favorite of this menu)
* Drunken Chicken with Papaya (made with dark rum!)
* Yellow Rice with Carrots and Orange Zest (easy and tasty)
* Basil-scented Corn and Pumpkin Bake (See recipe below; squash substituted for the pumpkin)
* Roasted Eggplant with Parsley Sauce (easiest recipe of this menu)
* Caramel-Pineapple Cheesecake (similar to flan but made with cream cheese and pineapple)
Our group's favorite of the recipes was the following, which we concluded would be a good Thanksgiving dish:
BASIL-SCENTED CORN AND PUMPKIN BAKE. Serves 6.
* 5 cups corn kernels (ideally, fresh or frozen thawed)
* 2 cups whole or skim milk
* 3-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 1 cup finely chopped onion
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped
* 3 medium ripe tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
* 1/2 pound fresh pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, cut into chunks, and grated by hand or in a food processor (NOTE: Barb used butternut squash, not pumpkin)
* 3/4 teaspoon sugar
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
* 3 tablespoons slivered fresh basil leaves
* 2 large eggs, beaten
* 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. In a food processor or blender, process the corn with the milk to a medium-fine puree.
2. In a large, heavy saucepan, melt the butter and saute the onion, garlic and bell pepper over medium heat, stirring, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring until they are reduced to a puree, about 10 minutes. Stir in the corn and pumpkin and bring to a simmer. Cook over very low heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the mixture begins to thicken, about 20 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 325º F.
4. Transfer the mixture to a medium-size ovenproof casserole, and stir in the sugar, salt and pepper to taste, the basil and the eggs. Bake for 20 minutes.
5. Raise the oven temperature to 425º. Sprinkle the top with Parmesan, and bake until the top is lightly golden and bubbly, about 12 minutes.
If you want the recipes to any of the other dishes, don't hesitate to ask!