Saturday 25 May 2013

Costa Rica: lourobbo's kitchen

Another trip into the kitchen for Costa Rica, and thankfully a tad more successful than the previous foray to the Cook Islands.

Costa Rica certainly seems to have a Spanish influence over it's cuisine. For the main event, I chose Papas con Chorizo (or potatoes with sausage), both being particularly favoured ingredients in this household. It was an easy one to cook, basically fry the chorizo for about 15 minutes, then add the cubed potatoes and a heap of spices and fry some more.

The final result was tasty, but perhaps a bit too much and actually quite dry. It could have done with a nice tomato sauce.
It did however go very well with a cheeky bottle of malbec.

On the menu for afters, I attempted Empanadas de Pina (pineapple). These were made using a corn flour dough which was extremely difficult to work with. I'm not sure I had the dough quite wet enough as it kept crumbling when trying to roll out and fold the little parcels. The filling was pineapple jam, something I'd never noticed on the shelves of the supermarket, but Morrison's came up trumps, and it's quite delicious stuff.

Once cooked, they didn't look too bad and they certainly smelt nice. But once again, just a bit dry and I hadn't got the pastry rolled thin enough. I'd be tempted to try these again sometime.
I reckon I'd quite like eating in Costa Rica...but these were not necessarily the easiest of dishes to cook at home.

Cook Islands: lourobbo's kitchen

What a complete disaster! You would have thought with such an auspicious name as the Cook Islands, that this was going to be a great meal. Sadly not.

But a cook should not blame her kitchen implements. It was probably  a combination of factors - poor choice of recipes and a distinct lack of the "right type of fish" left in Morrisons on a Sunday afternoon.

For main, I decided to try a pan-fried fish coated with coconut and spices. The fillets I did manage to get hold of (not even sure I can remember what they were now) were quite small and here comes mistake number one, I cut them into chunks rather than treat them as whole fillets. So when it came to rolling them in the desiccated coconut and spice mix and shallow frying, what a mess!

Although it didn't look that appetising, it didn't taste too bad. But not really what I would call a success.
A traditional dessert for the Cook Islands is something called Poke. Poke  is cooked bananas mixed with milk, thickened with arrowroot, and sweetened with sugar that's then baked and served in coconut milk. The recipe calls for you boil bananas until they go purple and then blend them with the other ingredients and bake.  After about 45 minutes of boiling and boiling, there was no sign of my bananas turning anything like a shade of purple. I tried to add the arrowroot and carry on with the baking, but again after much cooking, it was so runny and ended up straight in the bin.

Not good cooking at all. Sorry Cook Islands, I'm sure you all do much better with your Poke!