Saturday, March 10, 2012

Mitsitam Feast

Peanut Soup
 As promised, I remembered to take pictures.  As for the food, the verdict was that it was good, and memorable, and felt like being at a restaurant to have all these courses.  But, none of the dishes were quite up to par, as you might expect reading 4 recipes for the first time, all at once in a single night.

Wild Rice Salad
The peanut soup was close to ideal, but I had to go check on a child at one point and so didn't cook the base long enough.  In the end, it was hard to blend, though I'm pretty sure the nuts were supposed to be "tender" at that point.  But it tasted nice, had a good rich zest to it to start the meal. 

The wild rice salad was the least appealing-looking (mostly due to the fact that I had a starchy rice blend to use up rather than 100% wild rice), but S. and I actually thought it tasted the best out of the meal.  Refreshing and filling, good textural contrasts.  Since it made more than expected, I think he and I will be eating the leftovers a while...

Pork Pibil Tacos
When I was putting together the meat and ingredients to cook, the smell was so heavenly that I just couldn't wait for the tacos.  And they were delicious, but there were a few problems.

First of all, I think I forgot one of the oranges, or maybe just all the citrus I used was a little older, but it had a slightly bitter taste to it after cooking.

Also, I was trying to use up some pork tenderloin I've got too much of in my freezer, but really, that's not the meat it called for.  It needed something cheaper, that could cook a long time and collagen-ize and be very tender.  This pork was moist but not tender, since it's a pretty lean cut and long cooking doesn't do it any good.  I knew that was a danger when I started, and I went with it anyway, but it does make me wonder how incredibly good it would be if it were done right.  I couldn't complain about the simple, fresh guacamole, though -- in fact, I could rave.  Put it all together, and everyone had seconds.

There was a cranberry crumble for dessert, but we're still trying to figure out what to do with it since it was more like honey pudding.  It was way too sweet and not crumble-y at all, and it didn't help that a certain assistant misread the amount of maple syrup to put in the cornmeal topping and doubled it.  Even as the recipe read, though, it was a staggering amount of sweetener.  So, we each had a few spoonfuls before we gagged, and we're going to save it for a breakfast later and bake a fresh batch of cornbread to pour it over like syrup.  I think that will actually work very well, and am looking forward to it.

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