Mary's Dinner Club Stories - A discovery - Salvadorean food
Unlike previous exotic meals like Thai or Indonesian, which many of the cosmopolitan guest had tried before, Saturday’s Salvadorean meal was new for all. My only encounter with the food from this part of Central America was through my El Salvadorean friend and roommate back in the States.
Anytime she had visitors from ‘back home’ they’d drive almost as far as the neighboring state to eat ‘Pupusas’. So when she asked me ‘When are you doing my favorite food?’ I decided now is a good time.
And that’s what we had - Pupusas - thick stuffed tortillas. I was amused by the fact that there seems to be only one way to eat them - with ‘Curtido’ - marinated cabbage and shredded carrots with oregano, topped with ‘Salsa roja’ - tomato sauce with cilantro and chilies.
As always when it comes to making anything ‘doughy’, I had a ball. What you do to make the tortillas flat once you’ve stuffed them with cheese, refried beans, chicken, pork... is slap them back and forth between the palms of your hands.
I 'learned' it with the help of youtube and after a few misshaped ones, they did end up looking like the real thing. When I sent the picture to my aforementioned friend, she asked, ‘Did you make them???!’. I was proud but also quite anxious to get them nice and crisp on the evening and got them rather ‘super crunchy’ but they were very tasty indeed, and certainly a culinary discovery for everybody.
We had started off the meal with another popular dish, ‘Salpicon de Res’ a salad made with shredded beef, avocado, tomatoes… and upon my friend’s recommendation with a lime juice dressing - absolutely delicious!
Dessert was a ‘tres leche' (three milks) cake. Enjoyed in many Latin American countries, this is a fluffy sponge cake that is soaked in a mixture of three milks. It sounds unexciting but tastes heavenly and several guests accepted my offer for seconds.
It was a really interesting group of different nationalities and a huge age range. We had lots of fun ‘cheating just a bit’ when it came to drawing new seat numbers after each course as people just could not finish their conversations. It was even tricky to get the chatting smokers back inside from the balcony for each course despite the chilly temperatures outside. Good times indeed - thank you everybody! We are sure to meet again.
The next event will be during a weekday - Tuesday February 14th for a special Valentine’s dinner. See facebook http://www.facebook.com/events/362138923815687/ or contact me at 96 58 90 22