Yes, those handy dandy name brand recipe books come in other languages too! On Tuesday, lunch didn’t turn out so great, so I asked my student if she wanted to teach me how to make something Colombian for her next class. She agreed. She would ask her mom for a recipe and would come at 11 a.m. on Wednesday.
Adriana showed up, Colombian punctual, at 11:10 with a Nestle cookbook. We quickly scanned the recipes for one of the suggested menus and headed to the neighborhood co-operative. They didn’t have everything, so we trekked several blocks to another part of the neighborhood where a bigger Surtifruver was located. Almost everything was there: meat, cheese, habas, chives, green beans…but we still needed more-ripe platanos, dulce de leche, and something I wasn’t familiar with, adobo. Two more stops and we had what we needed.
It was noon by the time we returned to the apartment. Thankfully, Joel hadn’t arrived yet, so we had no hungry customers to worry about.
Carne Desmachada was the first thing to cook, since it would take the most time. Ooops! The instructions say 30 minutes in a pressure cooker. I don’t own one. No worries; the meat just won’t be as tender
Next, the Chopped Vegetable Salad. The green beans and carrots were familiar, of course, but the habas… when I shelled them, I found the inside was white and velvety and the seeds, smooth and glossy. Adriana chopped the carrots and I chopped the green beans.
While she finished the salad: cooking the vegetables and adding crema de leche, garlic and chicken boullion, I started on the potatoes.
That was pretty easy. Just wash the little, round guys, cut out a few eyes and throw them in a pan with some oil. The recipe said to fry them then cover them and let them cook for 15-20 minutes. I made sure to ask my student if the Spanish said to boil or just cook them whole in the little bit of oil. She assured me that it did not say to boil them, so I left her with them while I started on the postre, Stuffed & Baked Platanos.
When I was ready to put the platanos spread with arequipe (we couldn’t find dulce de leche) into the oven, I smelled burnt…something…the potatoes. Happily, they were salvagable, even though they were the small potatoes that fall apart if you break past the peels.
Adriana slaved away at shredding up the cooked beef, then added the hard boiled egg that I had chopped.
Surprisingly, everything came together with pretty good timing. When Joel walked in the door, we just had to bring the plates to the table along with glasses of water (no juice that day).