#160: Venezuela

“Everyone should be able to do one card trick, tell two jokes, and recite three poems, in case they are ever trapped in an elevator” -Lemony Snicket

Side Bar for those not in the know: It’s a paramount fear of mine to be trapped in an elevator–nay, plummet to my death in said elevator. Is this irrational? Obviously. Does that make it any less stressful to ride in elevators? No. No, it does not. On this note, people at the hospital have gotten into this horrific, lazy problem of taking the elevator one floor… when you’re already nervous around elevators, this creates some unidentified rage that bubbles up less like champagne and more like hot caramel. Think: rolling boil as opposed to soft lovely glittery effervesce. So along those lines, I have been thinking about this quote from A Series of Unfortunate Events and while it’s funny in a dark way, it’s also not wrong. While I try to take the stairs as often as possible, I do work on the 8th floor. I’m now taking suggestions for card tricks as I’ve comfortably checked off the other boxes on that list.

THE DINNER: We ventured to Venezuela for the post-turkey weekend. The collaboration here is Italian, French, Spanish and Portuguese… yeah, we go big or go home. But we are home, so all kidding aside, it’s a melting pot of culinary styling. Obviously, you’ll see traditional foods like arepas, empanadas, asado and polenta. You’ll also see not so common place things like Lengua de Res (beef tongue in vinaigrette, anyone?).  Lots of rice, beans, plantains, corn, onions and eggplant.

It was tricky to nail down a recipe for this country. So many options, so little time in the day. We settled into making arepas which were tricky but well worth it and they were topped with a type of chicken salad and avocados. It’s all fun and games till the food coma sets back in…

Arepas con Pollo y Aguacate Recipe: https://www.mycolombianrecipes.com/corn-cakes-with-chicken-and-avocado
Arepa Recipe: http://homegrownandhealthy.com/homemade-arepas/

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Ease of prep and cooking: FOUR STARS out of five this recipe!
Two hard weeks in a row… whatever will we do with ourselves. It’s not so much the chicken part of this recipe as it was the homemade arepas. Those bad boys are every bit the reason for this four star review. It’s that they fry quickly and not so quickly at the same time and the size of the pour is really integral to the success of the arepa. All in all, once mastered, it was smooth sailing. None of the ingredients were from a specialty market, and no conversions were necessary.

Best dish of all time scale: FOUR and A HALF of STARS out of five for this meal!
Call it the bird, but this weekend was fowl in all the right ways. Post Turkey coma, the chicken didn’t sound like a wonderful meal option but we persevered in the name of cooking! There was something really magical about this week’s meal– the corny, grainy and crispy texture of the arepa off set by the juicy lime, mayo infused chicken topped with creamy avocado. It just had all the best texture game. I think the real stars were the cilantro and the onion… and while we all added a round of hot sauce to these, we agreed wholeheartedly that it was wonderful “as is”. I wonder if this one was made on a different weekend if it would have scored better. Perhaps we were blinded by the bird this weekend but it was four and a half stars all around. Don’t let it fool you– it really was a great treat for a Sunday.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, but we will be setting sail to Micronesia for #161. Bring your appetite and your favorite Holiday movie!

Cheers,
– L & K

 

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