Sunday, 25 August 2013

Peacocks, Ponds and Iron Chef Cooking

Last Saturday my friends and I went to a beautiful outdoor location called La Vega to have and iron chef-like cookout. The place was gorgeous and I didn't even see half of it. The pond, the birds, the caimans (an alligator like creature), the huts. This is my first time to La Vega primarily because I've never wanted to make the drive, it's a long, long, looonnnnnnng drive and I have no sense of direction what-so-ever. I'm very glad I made the drive this time around though.

I will say though I cannot live in a time without indoor everything; plumbing, cooking, etc. I will make a horrible camper of the tent variety. I survived this day and had fun and this place had electrical outlets for us to use but having to walk to the wash area to wash up multiple times in preparing the meal was a hassle. I can live without a dishwasher, no problem but I like having a sink and everything else right there.

The cookout between our two teams each choosing their own secret ingredient from which we had to create three dishes and we had to incorporate the other teams secret ingredient in at least one dish. We created our own Iron Chef rule for equality sake and also easy shopping, we were outdoors and the only pantry is the stuff we brought. It was a friendly competition between friends so we had no problem sharing anything that was needed. Our team's secret ingredient plantains and the other team's ginger.

In true Iron Chef tradition the ice-cream makers came out. Yes we made plantain ice-cream.

 in the cup plantain ice-cream

I will confess it was not my idea but I do wish that it was, it tasted good. It had a slight figgy taste I would say, and was more savoury than sweet but I love it. The other team made ginger ice-cream which was also delicious. I love ice-cream and many of us myself included grew up with home-made ice as a regular addition to Sunday, I haven't had that in a long time so it was really good to enjoy it again (even if it was Saturday).

 getting ready for the judges

The other team made coo-coo, a ginger pork that was delicious and a ginger fish (coo-coo goes best with fish, one reason it is very popular for Good Friday). Our team made plantain tempura served with sorrel sauce on a bed of salad and moussaka (we switched out the eggplant for plantain), the was also a warm sauce to compliment the dishes.

 the plantain tempura

Everything was prepared on site so I can cross the cooking and baking over an open fire off my bucket list. There are no pictures of that since I was too busy cooking but I nearly burned of my eyebrows a couple times.

After the cooking it was a great day I got to hang out with a few friends I don't see that often and the whole place was beautiful. I kept trying to get pictures of the caiman but all I got were their air bubbles as they were going back down. I did get some of the peacocks though with their offspring.

Going to end this post with a photo dump.

I have no idea how I took this with my phone, the ripple in the middle was a caiman. The birds kept flying over

male and female look at their tails

trying to figure out presentaion