December 7, 2014 Tapas at Cynthia and Ricardo’s house and Dinner with T.R. and Linda at Jinja in Santa Fe
At 2:00 we grabbed a bottle of large green olives and a bottle of 2007 Eguia Rioja Tempranillo Reserva and went to Cynthia and Ricardo’s house. When we arrived we discovered that Dick and Nora were visiting on their way to California to visit their son. We also discovered that the appointed time for tapas was 3:00 and we had arrived an hour early. But Dick and Cynthia started cooking and Ricardo started making drinks. Ricardo first made a Moscow Mule with Ginger beer and a couple of other ingredients, which I did not taste because we were still drinking the Eguia red wine. He then made a Mexcal drink with St. Germain liquor and lime juice that Suzette and I enjoyed.
Around 2:30 peopled started arriving, first Lew who had made chicken breast with a soy dipping sauce, then Cynthia put out her dishes, a tray of asparagus garnished with sauted garlic cloves and an olive oil dressing, a BBQ chicken wings with a lovely gorgonzola and sour cream dipping sauce, her lovely tuna salad with capers and fresh chopped parsley. Finally around 2:45 Cynthia started cooking a tortilla Espanola with 5 whipped eggs, artichoke hearts, potatoes, and two kinds of cheese (light white cheese and grated Parmesan). For me the hit of the meal was Cynthia’s Tortilla Espanola. It was lusciously soft in texture, with good flavor.
|Dick's shrimp and Cynthia's asparagus|
|egg cooking for tortilla|
|potatoes and artichoke hearts for tortilla|
|cheese for tortilla|
|the tortilla after being baked in the oven and garnished with parsley|
|the tapas table|
Before we left Cynthia was kind enough to serve me a dessert of her lovely panna cotta with berries mulled in honey and a bit of liquor.
|Panna Cotta with fresh berries|
It was delicious and she told me the recipe which sounded really close to the following recipe, except that Cynthia seems to use water to melt and heat the gelatin instead of milk:
Panna Cotta with Fresh Berries
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon unflavored powdered gelatin
- 3 cups whipping cream
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Pinch salt
- 2 cups assorted fresh berries
Place the milk in a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over. Let stand for 3 to 5 minutes to soften the gelatin. Pour milk mixture into a heavy saucepan and stir over medium heat just until the gelatin dissolves but the milk does not boil, about 5 minutes. Add the cream, honey, sugar, and salt. Stir until the sugar dissolves, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat. Pour into 6 wine glasses so that they are 1/2 full. Cool slightly. Refrigerate until set, at least 6 hours.
Spoon the berries atop the panna cotta and serve.
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
My second favorite dish was Dick’s anchovy stuffed olives. Dick also made a sautéed shrimp in olive oil and red peppers that was tasty.
We left early at 4:00 to try to find some Noche Buena for T.R. and Linda, but could not find any, so we drove on to Santa Fe and arrived at the appointed time of 5:30 at their house. We talked and drank beers and had some appetizers and then drove to Jinja for dinner at 7:15.
We each ordered something different. T.R. order sautéed chicken breast with an inverted ramekin stack of flaky white rice. Linda ordered chicken stuffed lettuce wraps, Suzette ordered the coconut soup and I ordered Pad Thai.
|T.R's Grilled chicken with rice|
|Coconut milk soup with toasted noodles|
|Pad Thai with chicken and shrimp|
I thought the food was presented nicely and tasted fine. Neither Suzette nor I finished our dishes, probably because we had eaten so much at the tapas party.
We loved spending time with T.R. and Linda. They are funny and have had great experiences and been successful in their chosen endeavors, so have lots of interesting history to talk about. T.R. is a trader, mostly specializing in Moroccan goods. He and Linda used to own Nomads of Santa Fe and they continue to deal in imported goods. We stayed in their apartment in Marrakesh in April, which they now rent and have stayed in their house near Sayulita Mexico named Baliville.
My Pad Thai actually tasted pretty close to the real deal, especially when I added fresh lime juice to it. I should have asked for prik nam (Thai hot sauce), which would have juiced it up another notch of flavor. Suzette's coconut soup was also pretty good but i did not like the use of pasta in it and it was a bit sweet to my taste. It would have been better with some lime juice in it also.
At 9:48 we said our good byes and got home by 11:00.