Monday Meal Review: Colombia

“What’s a poached egg” Mr Picky asked me.

“Hold on a second,” I said, cracking the crooked egg into a dish. The egg was laid just two days ago from our friend’s chicken. Hence it was crooked. The yolk was brilliant gold… almost orange.

I thought about how runny the yolk would be after poaching. How creamy and delicious. And I thought about how much Mr Picky hates runny eggs. Or claims he hates them. After all, I’ve never seen him eat a runny egg yolk, so who knows if he’s ever actually tried one.

“The egg white will be set, but the yolk will be…”

“Runny?” he interrupted, with a grimace.

“Yes. Give me a minute and you’ll see.” I slipped the egg gently into the steaming milk and watched as it quickly dove beneath the surface. He snapped a few pictures.

After a few minutes I began fishing around with my spoon. Seconds later, I found the egg beneath the milky white broth. I fished it out and ladled it onto a bed of thinly sliced green onion and cilantro.

Without pausing, I broke Mr Picky off a nice ooey-gooey piece of egg with a spoonful of broth and lurched it towards his mouth.

“Just give it a try” I said.

He obliged and gave it a taste.

“Hmm” he said.

That’s it. Not another word was uttered. Dub me flabbergasted.

So. Here’s the million dollar question. I’d like to know – is that guy code for good… or bad … or what?

Ideas?

Salad Greens with Avocado Dressing (Vinagreta de Aguacate) [Recipe]


What I liked most about this dish:

I don’t normally eat creamy dressing. In this case, the dressing was extra thick, like mayonnaise. Thankfully the flavor distracted me from the thick texture – it was bright and tart thanks to the fresh lime juice. I found it perfect to dip corn chips and veggies in. Granted, this wasn’t the purpose of this recipe but if we always stuck to how things are “supposed to be,” life would be pretty boring.

What I liked least about this dish:

Although I don’t particularly care for thick, creamy dressings, I really don’t think anything is wrong with this recipe. In all reality, avocado makes everything taste better. Be sure to season with salt and pepper to make the flavors jump out at you. Because avocados come in all sizes, taste as you go. You may need to adjust the olive oil to make the dressing thinner or thicker.

Party Rice with Cola (Arroz con Coca Cola) [Recipe]


What I liked most about this dish:

The novelty of cooking with cola was fun. This is the perfect dish for a holiday potluck because rice travels well – just put it in a heavy-duty casserole to keep warm. Plus, everyone will ooh and ahh over the fact that you made rice with cola in it (if you decide to share your secret!)

What I least about this dish:

The cola flavor itself is one dimensional. The slightly caramelized onion adds interest. A few herbs stirred in at the end would be nice touch (whatever you like, although cilantro would be consistent with Colombian seasonings). This rice begs to be eaten with spicy food – especially meats.

Poached Eggs in Broth (Changua con Huevo) [Recipe]


What I liked most about this dish:

I love the idea of breakfast soup which is especially warming in the fall and winter. The broth is light and delicate, as is the poached egg. A bit of thinly sliced green onion adds healthy crunch. This soup is so delicate, so beautiful … I can see ladies with hats eating it… you know, at country clubs. As for me? I like to close my eyes and pretend I’m eating it on the Colombian seaside.

What I least about this dish:

Not much. Just add as much green onion and cilantro as you think you’ll like. You can always add more. If you have rebellious taste buds that hate cilantro you might try parsley, but then the dish won’t taste so distinctly South American. Mr Picky claims to hate cilantro, but he eats salsa all the time. This tells me he likes cilantro in moderate quantities. I sprinkled a bit in his soup and all was well. Yay!

Colombian Oatmeal Smoothie (Avena) [Recipe]


What I liked most about this dish:

Avena is everything I love about oatmeal (cinnamon, sugar, and warm fall flavor), but in a glass. Make this creamy smoothie for brunch next time you have guests. You can mix it up a day or two ahead and then thin it with milk when you are ready to drink it. Now that’s the kind of fuss-free entertaining I love! :)

What I least about this dish:

The drink gets very thick by the time it chills. Make sure you have enough milk sitting around to “thin to desired consistency.” Other than that? Get out some cookies and enjoy this Colombian Global Table! :)

Ava’s Corner

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Comments

  1. These recipes are awesome, the sort of complex dishes I can’t find in Colombian restaurants in NYC. But just in case someone reads this and thinks that Colombians are vegetarians who eat healthful food, let me reprint my Hillbilly Platter panegyric.

    In that wonderful black comedy set in Medellin, “Our lady of the assassins”, which plays like a mix between Kubrick and Visconti, one character says, lets go far far away to New York City. And the reply… no, too many Colombians. Most of the Colombians in New York live and eat near Roosevelt Av and though I’ve never been to Medellin, whenever I go to a Colombian resto on Roosevelt Av in Queens, I always get the plato montanero. There are a lot of other Colombian dishes, some I’ve seen only in cookbooks. I think the coastal regions have special seafood dishes. But I’ve never tried to find them. So this post is a panegyric to the plato montanero.

    The mountain platter, which some people have tried to make the Colombian national dish (but people from Bogota and the coast oppose) is indeed a mountain of food. It is too blg for the biggest platter so it’s usually served on two huge plates, sometimes three. It contains… a huge floppy top round steak, a piece of fried pork belly as long as my forearm and half as big, rice, brown beans, two fried eggs, some fried plaintains, an arepa, maybe an avocado. There’s also bread and salad in case you’re still hungry.

    I think it’s more a symbol of abundance than a dish people like to eat, but whenever I get one on a cold winter day I devour it all in a fit of gluttonous ecstasy. My favorite part is the pork belly, the chicharron. I skip dessert though.

  2. Collette Lemons says:

    I thought everything this time is something I would try.

    Loved Ava’s video.

    She took a drink and her eyes got big and she looks at you as if to say “This stuff is for me? Really?”

  3. Loved Ava’s face when she took a drink of the oatmeal smoothie!
    Speaking of cooking with Cola…I recently discovered coca cola chicken at a Girl Scout campout. I made it at home for friends and it was a big hit! It’s basically chicken, ( ichopped up an oinion) a cup of cocke, and a cup of ketchup. Mix it together and simmer liek 30 minutes. Th ecoke really tenderizes the chicken. At the campout it had a wonderful smokey flavor from being made over the campfire.

  4. Ava is just cute as can be! I tried a new recipe today and Abigail ate! It gave me a glimpse of hope! I remember my grandma making poached eggs when we were kids, I might have to make them for myself some time!

  5. I really enjoy such a variety of Colombian food, but definitely, the best of all of them is the “Plato Paisa” in its variations of “Bandeja Paisa” or “Típico Montañero”. I think the variety of its ingredients represents all the flavors of the Colombian regions (Grilled steak, rice, beans, fried pork rind, sweet plantains, corn bread “Arepa”, and fried eggs) and whoever is still hungry can enjoy some fried blood sausages with fried cassava and fried plantains “Patacones” , and for salad avocado with cilantro, onions, lemon, tomato, and vinegar.
    For desert, I recommend sweetened figs with fresh cheese “Quesito”, and caramel. Buen apetito!

    I think Ava Marie will enjoy it!

    Bye

    • globaltable says:

      Thanks Alejo – what a inspiring menu you’ve written out. Makes me wish I had more time for Colombian food :)

  6. Alejo = Alejandro = Alexander!!!

  7. Too bad I found this post so late! But I am so happy you enjoyed Colombian food! I just wished you’d had some more time to taste some other things, like the exquisite chicken and potato soup “ajiaco” from Bogotá, that will warm up any winter’s day, as Alejo mentioned, “bandeja paisa” is the most typical dish though it can be quite heavy on your stomach.

    “Patacones”, my God… I really do feel for people in other parts of the world who don’t get to taste the amazing variety of ways to cook a plantain, both sweet and salty (patacones are salty) because it’s a piece of heaven.

    Another fantastic soup, “sancocho” can be made with meat or chicken or fish, but with organic chicken, by the side of a river on a wooden fire, after swimming for a couple of hours… let me tell you, it is like nothing you have tasted before.

    Where I come from we drink the oatmeal as a refreshing cold drink, it’s a bit thick (like a smoothie), yeah, but with some ice cubes inside it, it’s yummy!

    Desserts? How long do you have? I could go on and on about Colombian food which is just fantastic, I hope when you’re done, you go back to A and start over! That way you can re-visit Colombia! Thanks for a great post.

    PS. Ava’s face when drinking the oatmeal, is priceless!

  8. Hey! I thought I’d also share an article about 10 Traditional Dishes to Try When Visiting Colombia which you can find at http://medellinliving.com/10-traditional-dishes-to-try-when-visiting-colombia/
    Thanks!

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