Sometimes the holidays can be a bit tricky when you want to spend time with more than one family. I split the holiday by visiting my parents on Christmas Eve and spending Christmas evening with Carlos and his dad. For Christmas Eve, my Dad cooked up his traditional octopus. However, he didn't quite remember how to make it so it wasn't quite like it was in previous years. It was still delicious though.
My mother made this vegetable rice with carrots, peas, olives, capers and mushrooms. It was delicious!
We had some fresh salad, Portuguese olives and bread with our meal. For dessert, it was pasteis de belem (egg custard cups) from the local Portuguese shop (not as good as mine though!).
Since I didn't do any cooking for Christmas Eve, I spent a lot of time planning a Christmas dinner. Most of the recipes come from My Colombian Recipes, a blog I recently discovered and adore. Lots of great Latin dishes there to try!
Appetizers were garlic stuffed green olives (from a jar) and homemade Black bean dip. I served the dip with tortilla chips. The dip was amazing and we scraped the bowl clean.
For the main meal, we had a fresh salad of sliced cucumbers and plum tomatoes along with chunks of avocado, dressed in lime juice, extra light olive oil, salt and pepper. I also made fried sweet plantains. Carlos isn't a big fan of sweet plantains cooked with sugar, so these were naturally sweet plantains that I just fried in canola oil. I've been experimenting with frying tostones so it was nice to try another way of frying plantains.
We also had Breaded Pork Cutlets. These were tricky because we didn't pound the meat enough so it didn't cook all the way through. I ended up baking them in the oven so they would be fully cooked. However, baking them made them soggy. Oh well. They tasted fine but I really wanted crispy cutlets.
For a starch, I had Arroz con Fideos (Rice with Noodles). I didn't cook the noodles enough. You are supposed to brown them in the owl so that they are more visible against the white rice. Oh well. Tasted fine though and it was a great side with the pork, salad and fried sweet plantains.
For dessert, it was Mango Flan. It didn't come out clean as I cut up some of the edges with a knife. I'm still learning how to make flans so I'm not quite there yet. This flan had Mango and sweetened condensed milk which made it different from other flans. It was like cheesecake in texture and flavor (almost). I have to say, this surprised me! It was absolutely delicious. I put a slice of lime on top just to make it look pretty. The caramel came out better than expected. I'm still very nervous about cooking caramel so it was nice to have a decent color on the flan from the caramel I made. The mango isn't very noticeable in the flavor though. It might be because I didn't have mangoes that were ripe enough or perhaps the sweetened condensed milk overpowered the mango flavor.
I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday!