Over the next two weeks, I will be sharing the ‘hap-happiest season of all’ as I celebrate it here in Florida with family, friends, and food! I hope your holidays are equally festive.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…with the kids jingle belling…and everyone telling you…”Be of good cheer”.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
It’s the hap-happiest season of all…with those holiday greetings and gay happy meetings…when friends come to call.
It’s the hap- happiest season of all!
It begins with The Parties.
Right after Thanksgiving on the first Saturday of December my sister and brother-in-law host their annual boat parade party. Friends come from near and far to celebrate ‘with good cheer’, including taking turns pumping Christmas tunes on the player piano. It’s a killer, especially after a bellyful of drinks and food.
And then we all pose for silly photos. This year, it was with Rudolph’s nose.
I made a special caponata to go along with the Italian table she set out. Recipe follows.
The following weekend I attended a Palm Beach Foodie Pot Luck in the beautiful home of my friend, Maude (@4theloveoffood), who started our SoFL Foodie Group.
Pot luck takes on a different connotation with this international group. Besides native-born Americans, there were people born in Cuba, Greece, Iran, Brazil, Thailand, etc. and everyone contributed a traditional dish representative of their family holidays. Outdoors-indoors and lots of bubbly to accompany appetizers, dinner, desserts.
I made a broccoli rabe pascualina and a potage of garbanzos y chorizos. Recipes follow.
A couple of days later, I attended the Palm Beach Food + Wine Festival Grand Tasting which was very much in keeping with the spirit of the holidays in Florida. Beautiful indoor-outdoor venue, party atmosphere, drinks, and wonderful food from great chefs. Here I am with Scott Conant (Scarpetta, Chopped, etc.)
Last night was the SoFL Foodies’ 3rd Holiday Bash which we celebrated at the beautiful South Beach restaurant of Chef Douglas Rodriguez, one of the original “Mango Gang” and the king of Nuevo Latino cuisine.
With a tongue-in-cheek nod to Christmas and Hanukah and to our very diverse South Florida community, a Roast Pig and Latkes (potato pancakes) menu was created…which quickly went to ‘lechon y latkes’, ‘oink and latkes’, and then to my personal favorite ‘olé and oy vey’ on twitter.
Here’s a few scenes:
A few of my foodie besties.
We had the entire outdoor patio for our dinner and holiday grab bag.
After chopped liver mousse followed by not-so-kosher matzo ball soup, ceviche, potato latkes with rum-cured salmon and creme fraiche…the pig came out of the caja china (outdoor cooking vessel). And the foodies went crazy with their cameras!! It was served with black beans, white rice, plantains 2-ways, and 3 mojo salsas.
The restaurant graciously served the coquito (Puerto Rican egg nog with rum) made by our foodie, Natascha. Then a wild array of desserts was presented.
[If you'd like to see more photos of the food and activities from this event, you can view my facebook album.]
Thanks to DonQ and Zonin for sponsoring our event.
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Note: I had planned to include photos and recipes for the caponata, pascualina and garbanzos y chorizos here, but I think I’ll save that for another day.
A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!
I've always been a culinary improvisor which means I get my kicks out of recipe development. In the FOODalogue kitchen each meal is an adventure and the journey is as exciting as the destination. My favorite kitchen tools are imagination and intuition. I rarely look at a recipe, not even my own!
On these pages, I suggest food pairings and techniques to be experimented with...in your own kitchen...to your own spice levels...and to your preferred portion sizes.