Dee: “The overriding influence in the dishes tonight was undoubtedly Spanish, and, to a lesser degree, African. The sauces in both savoury dishes were tomato based and not at all fiery hot or heavily spiced. The whole meal took a while to prepare and cook but nothing was overly complicated or fussy, and it all looked and tasted great. We served a salad of tomatoes, red onion, chilli and coriander, and some crusty bread on the side.”
Source for all recipes: Aunt Clara's Kitchen
Albondigas de Pescado (Fish Balls)
Dee: “I had to get my hands messy with this one. I added a few prawns to the fish ball mixture, which wasn’t stipulated in the recipe but the fish available was just short of what was required for the recipe. As mentioned above, the flavours were subtle and nothing overpowered anything else.”
Jay: “This was really tasty although I wasn’t so sure about the texture. I think I’d have liked a bit of crunch with it”
Molondron es Guisados (Okra Stew)
Dee: “This could have been a main dish, but we served it alongside the fish balls. There is plenty of it left so it will probably make for a good tea alongside some rice.”
Jay: “my fault for not checking quantities! We’ll be eating this out of the freezer for a while”
Dee: “I’ve tried Venezuelan Arepas before, but the Dominican Arepa is unrelated and eaten as a dessert dish. For a simple dish with only a few ingredients, it was absolutely delicious and I’ll certainly be making it again. Traditionally it is baked in a pot over hot coals, but I managed to do mine in a pie dish in a conventional oven. Towards the end of the baking time, I put a piece of tin foil over the dish to stop the top from burning.”
Jay: “I can certainly see us having this one again. Next time a bit warm out of the oven with some ice cream on top.. Yum.”
Soundtrack: Rita Indiana Y Los Misterios – ‘El Juidero’, followed by a Bachata playlist featuring Romeo Santos, Aventura and Prince Royce
Dee: “Two very different sides of the modern music from this country. The Rita Indiana Y Los Myseterios album was of a style I hadn’t heard before. It’s certainly a far cry from any kind of traditional Latin American music. Imagine a minimalistic style of electro dance with Latin percussion and up front vocals and you’re fairly close to it. The album includes a very sultry version of the Eurythmics’ ‘Sweet Dreams (are made of this)’, but my favourites were the slowly building ‘Da pa lo do’ and the album’s closing 15 minute epic ‘Equeibol’.
In stark contrast, the Bachata mix was made up of simple, melodies with intricate guitar and gentle rhythms. The songs all sounded quite sad and heartfelt. My favourites on the mix were by Romeo Santos, in particular ‘Que se mueran’ which had a particularly haunting beauty".
Next week E is for Ethiopia.