Hostess Sara declared that the theme for June would be
None of us have ever been to Venezuela
Nor has any of us been to a Venezuelan restaurant
We did learn that:
Venezuelan food is both tropical and Andean, with European infuences (especially Italian) as well as traditional dishes from native cultures. Coconut, plantains, seafood, goat, corn, and Italian pasta dishes are all part of the vibrant mix that makes up Venezuelan cuisine.
And we learned enough to put on a very traditional Venezuelan meal:
The food on the table --
We're ready to tuck in
My contribution which was "bread"
Not a dinner bread but a sweeter dough, wrapped around ham, brushed with egg white mixed with sugar and baked. They're eaten for breakfast.
They're not all that difficult and they are tasty.
I think of them more as an appetizer than a breakfast bread!
Venezuelan Chicken and Avocato Salad
Donna's Contribution -- a chicken salad with no mayo and no dairy.
We all thought it was a good recipe and I think some of us may make it instead of our tried and true chicken salad
Main Course Beef
The hostess always provides the entree and Sara choose this beef dish
She took 3 recipes to come up with this final dish --
We all liked it!
However, it needs to be served with:
A cornmeal bread that is the National Bread of Venezuela
You put the meat inside . . . and you can use Donna's chicken salad to fill arepas as well.
It does take an ingredient that's not readily found in a small town
but Sara improvised.
They tasted to me like a thick corn tortilla
Corn cakes with cheese
Michelle brought these filled not with a Spanish cheese but rather with provel from St. Louis.
They were good!
Rhonda brought this. It's fried plantains and yes, you can find plantains in
a small town on the prairie. Rhonda told us that they needed to be black to be ripe . . .
unfortunately, our markets think the black ones are past their time . . .
Ensalada de Remolacha
Beet Salad. A pretty pink dish that Rita brought. It's really potato salad with beet and it was good! And look how pretty it is!
Angela brought the next dish which is a two part dish . . .
Very good and very Spanish -- beans and rice. We all liked the flavors
Corn Cakes 2
Similar to Corn Cakes 1 -- but no cheese and Rhonda, who brought this version, added a cilantro lime sauce which we all thought was very good!
A tale of two flans . . .
Our dessert persons were not in attendance
And so, Sara and Belynda stepped to the plate
And each made a flan!
The first one served with strawberries
And a light caramel
The second one with a deeper caramel
And, of course, we all had to have a slice of each!
It was a fun choice.
We all agreed that we really felt as if we were really in Venezuela and had been invited
to a local's home for dinner.
It was that good!
And just before we started . . .
Around the table at Sara's . . .
ready for our first experience with Venezuelan food!