August 24, 2013 by tvo320
Many of us are back in Brisbane as second semester is in full swing and tonight was the second installment of the BISA Potluck Series. We had cuisine from North, Central, and South America. I was very excited to co-host with Ines (Peru), Laura (Colombia), Rubens (Brazil), and Sofia (El Salvador) and share a few American classics.
I decided on a classic appetizer, potato skins, Twinkies since they had JUST returned to supermarket shelves, and homemade apple pie. When cooking for 20+ guests, it is an all day affair. Potato skins are VERY labor intensive and must be taken in and out of the oven on three separate occasions. Even before you put them in the oven, you must wash the skins carefully. Then after you let the potatoes bake, you split them in half and scoop out the insides so you can top it with cheese. You pop them back in the oven to melt the cheese and then finally take them out to include the essentials (bacon, sour cream, and chives) on top. The work was quite worth it when my friend Remy told me he was on his fifth one. I had never made apple pie in my life so I was quite nervous. I tested out a pie crust recipe and thankfully it stayed together. I used three different types of apples (Gala, Pink Lady, and Granny Smith) and mixed them with sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and a bit of flour. My friends were super duper champs and ate the entire pie. It made me feel great knowing that my pie was 1.) edible and 2.) enjoyable! Don’t worry. We had vanilla ice cream with the apple pie.
I loved trying my fellow chefs dishes too. If someone ever offers you Peruvian Chicken Chili with rice, potato, and boiled egg, immediately accept. Ines did such a beautiful job and I need to ask her for the recipe and to give me a tutorial. Brazilian Feijoada is a delicious black bean soup that is super tasty and I am not the biggest fan of black beans but loved this soup. Laura’s empanadas were incredible!!! They were super popular and Sofia gave us a taste of El Salavador with her pupusas.
Sharing your culture through food is really special. It takes a lot of effort to cook for a large group of people and everyone showed great respect as we were describing the dishes and seeing the food disappear is always the best part! I included the full menu of the evening and hope that you’ll be inspired to make a homemade dish from your culture and share it with your friend in the near future! I’m so glad I did because it gave me the chance to reflect on American culture and food while challenging me to create a classic dish I had never attempted to make.
Brazilian Feijoada (Black Bean Soup)
Colombian Corn Fritters
El Salvadorian Pupusas with pork, cheese, beans, relish, and sauce
Peruvian Chicken with Chili Sauce with rice, potato, and boiled egg
Brazilian Brigadeiro (Chocolate balls with condensed milk)
American Apple Pie with vanilla ice cream
Colombian Caramel Flan
What an evening for the Americas!