Thanksgiving a la Criolla

Hello friends and loved ones! I meant to post this on Thursday so I could wish you all a happy Thanksgiving, but by the time we finished cooking, our guests were sitting at our table; by the time we finished eating, it was well after midnight and I was, as they say here, full. Yesterday I spent the day in Ventanilla for a conference call with some Romanians and THEN a surprise party with all of the workshop participants from Jovenes de Buena Voluntad! They are so great.

So, I send you Thanksgiving love a few days late. I hope your turkeys/turduckens/tofurkens/pasta salads were delicious. I love
you all. AND special Thanksgiving love goes to Leah, Jeff, and their baby boy!!! I don't actually know if they read this blog, but I am excited for them nonetheless. Now I'm waiting for news from Jessica and Todd... Hillson/Krause/Hanley family, let me know!

So Rachel and I decided that it would be a good idea to plan and cook a Thanksgiving meal for a bunch of our Peruvian friends. The only challenge: we've never actually made a turkey, or cooked a whole holiday meal on our own, and also there are no cranberries in Peru as far as we can tell. In light of such challenges, we decided to throw THANKSGIVING A LA CRIOLLA, taking all of the flavors of Thanksgiving and approximating them with Peruvian foods.

Our menu?
  • "Pavo" a la brasa (good thing there's a rotisserie turkey place on our block)
  • Relleno de pastel de choclo, vegetables, and aji amarillo (corn bread and hot pepper stuffing)
  • Mango/Limon Chutney and Mango Salsa-- we were aiming for sweet&tart like cranberries. It kind of worked.
  • Pure de papas nativas (mashed potatoes) & vegetarian gravy
  • Ensalada de espinaca
  • Guacamole de puta madre (a staple at all parties) ("de puta madre" is slang for crazygood, but one shouldn't say it to the older ladies at Spanish mass)
  • Pie de camote y coco-- definitely the star of the show. Our friends Leidy and Betty made this sweet potato and coconut pie; it came out tasting like pumpkin pie, but better. Much, much better. Full disclosure: we stole the recipe from the Times, and you can make it, too.
Pictures below...

Here is my mango/limon chutney... really easy to make; just combine a cup of sugar and a cup of white vinegar and bring to boil, then add mango, golden raisins, garlic, lime zest, and lime juice and let simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. WHAM.

Betty and Leidy, working on the Pie de Camote

Rach, with her stuffing made of pastel de choclo (pretty much corn bread), veggies, a chicken heart or two that we may have bought for about 68 cents, and aji amarillo.

Mmmmm... pie de camote in the center of the table

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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