Tuesday, January 4, 2011

When All Else Fails... IMPROVISE

One thing that I learned early on with cooking is that not everything always comes out as you expect. I guess you could say that this is a lesson in life... One of the most important parts of dealing with this lesson is the capacity to deal with these changes. I guess you could say this is the capacity to stand up quickly after falling down. Dinner #27 definitely tested my capacity at both.

The dinner was going fantastic, except for one detail. From the get go, the dessert was not coming out. I had to make dulce de leche in order to create a delicious argentine dessert, alfajor. If any of you have ever tried or know how to make dulce de leche, it is a long and tiresome process. One that did not come out to well for me. Regardless, at the end we had some caramel-like substance that tasted good and could be used.  The problem began when creating the actual alfajor. What came out of the oven was a solid 11 x 7 slab of caramel and phylo dough. Least to say it was unpresentable. And so, dinner #27 seemed as it would have no dessert... or would it?

A quick trip to the fridge would confirm that we had no ice cream, no nothing other than a bag of recently bought grapes. Yes, we freeze our grapes because they are delicious. So I threw the grapes into the food processor, added a tiny bit of white wine and viola we had a delicious granita which I then covered with some of the remaining caramel. Dessert was indeed saved at the last moment and improvising saved that dish. The result was delicious.

The menu for the night was:
Causa with avocado and flash fried octopus with chipotle sauce

Turkey bacon wrapped scallops with cilantro pesto accompanied by a Colombian coconut rice

Originally an Alfajor but instead a Grape Gratina with caramel

The causa is a very traditional Peruvian plate made of mashed golden potatoes layered with avocado and some fish, in this case an octopus. The potatoes includes the delicious flavor of the Peruvian aji amarillo.
The coconut rice is traditionally made with burnt coconut meat and milk, however in order to speed up the process, you can also cook the rice with a can of coconut milk and a can of coke! Yes coke, this is actually an ingredient that I use in some other "secret" recipes that I have.
And this was the final product of the dessert. It actually came out very tasty.
A very big and special Thanks to Tripfilms.com and AmyBlogsChow.com for joining us on this special Saturday edition of Worth Kitchen. As always it was a great pleasure!

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