The following food review captures the passion for cooking that embodies Elba Merino a close personal friend and family member. She is a hobbyist cook who should have her own restaurant and is a wonder in the kitchen. For her anywhere is a kitchen; the barbeque pit in the backyard with pots and pans or the stovetop range.
Earlier this week I was treated to a home cooked Latin meal that gave my stomach the ultimate in gastronomic pleasure. We had lunch planned for several days but the menu was kept top secret. When I arrived at the house there was a splendid aroma in the air, but I could not place the smell. All I can say was that my stomach immediately started growling and my nose had been fancied and sold upon entry.
The meal consisted of homemade refried beans that no restaurant could replicate. They were light and so smooth to the taste. You could tell that they were made with love and careful precision. After eating you didn’t feel like you just ate a ton of bricks. She calls them simply frijoles refritos. Along side them was her homemade Pico de Gallo (aka Cilantro). A simple play on traditional Pico de Gallo with radishes and pear and cherry tomatoes in alternating yellow and red. The main course was something I had never had before but I will request again. She did not have a specific name for it but I have dubbed the entrée, “Croquettes de Pollo Asada.” Translation chicken cakes similar to a crab cake or potato pancake. These chicken delights contain chicken, onions, red peppers, cilantro and some other secret ingredients. They were flash fried and then baked in the oven. Homemade infused white rice accompanied along with corn tortillas.
The pairing of the croquettes, rice, beans, Pico de Gallo and corn tortillas provided an incredible flavor palette. I was full for the entire day, but had that kind of satisfied fullness because the meal was incredibly light. Now when I think of this meal all I can say is “Que Sabor, Me Encanta” Translation; Such flavor, that I love.
Stay tuned for more culinary delights from “La Cocina de Elba”