A midweek Mexican food feast celebrating birthdays and anniversaries with some delicious foods and wonderful wines with friends.
The evening started off with a Freixenet Italian dry Prosecco DOC sparkling Rosé wine. Besides being a dry brut style wine, the bottle is an outstanding “art piece”. All while enjoy appetizers of olives, salmon, capers, white onion slices, cheese and slightly grilled baguette slices in olive oil roasted with Habanero peppers on the patio.
Dinner consisted of many dishes, mostly a Mexican theme menu. First up was a 48 hour marinated Carne Asada. It included fresh cilantro leaves, olive oil, soy sauce, juice from an orange and lime, minced garlic cloves, a diced Jalapeno with seeds, cumin, kosher salt, black pepper and two large flank steaks. Then quickly seared on the BBQ and sliced cross cut to be served. Extra “marinade” was made and then drizzled on top of the meat to be served. We have had this dish many times, but the extra marinade made this so outstanding.
Next up was a dish called Mexican Shrimp Diablo. Ingredients included olive oil, diced yellow onion, minced garlic cloves, diced fire roasted tomatoes, chopped cilantro, chopped chipotle in adobo, brown sugar, kosher salt, unsalted butter, corn kernels, cut zucchini wedges, garlic powder, dried oregano, ground black pepper, fresh squeezed lime juice, avocado slices and large peeled and deveined shrimp. Two pans required for preparation and food to be sautéed over the stove. First time for this dish and the spicy flavors brought the shrimp to a new level of enjoyment.
An original roasted corn relish was prepared by one of the guests with fresh corn off the cob, roasted with bell peppers and jalapenos. This dish was also a great hit with spices and just a little punch of “hotness” to be savory and delightful.
Another guest brought a “large bowl”, about 16 or 17 inches in diameter and 5 inches deep, filled with a delicious salad with shredded Romaine lettuce, green onions, cucumbers, black olives, tomatoes, crumbled cotija cheese and jicama cubes. The dressing was another original consisting of an avocado cream, olive oil, salt, garlic, lemon juice, cilantro and a dash of sugar and blended with a touch of half and half. Then garnished with tri-color tortilla strips. The presentation was overwhelming and the texture and taste superb.
Concluded the evening with a fresh baked carrot cake from scratch with cream cheese frosting that was heavenly in every sense of the word!
And for the toast to start the evening off was of course Champagne. Wines from Napa Valley, Paso Robles, Calaveras Foothills and Livermore Valley were enjoyed with dinner. What was not paired with the various dishes were casually sipped while conversing around the table.
A marvelous evening of food and wine. Perhaps one of the best of the year only overshadowed by the friendships and conversations. Happy Birthday to two and Happy Anniversary to two couples!!
Sláinte or perhaps more appropriately Salud,