lunch with dominica

my friend, dominica, is currently on island; she's been here for weeks, but we haven't spent any time together, so teresita and i planned on having lunch with her. we didn't really set a menu, but i wanted to do something spanish or tapas influenced. not because i wanted to do something out of the norm (although filipino and chamorro food is heavily influenced by spanish cuisine, it doesn't really exist as a separate entity here), but because i seemed to have an abundance of ingredients that would lend itself well to genre. so basically--my apologies to dominica--i was cleaning out my fridge.

the meal turned out pretty well considering the ulterior motive, the fact that the cooking range where dominica was staying didn't work, and that teresita didn't show up (and as a result, neither did her tortilla española). i'm sure part of that had something to do with the white sangría (an oxymoron, certainly), made with white wine, cointreau, sparkling lemonade, and lime juice:

with such a tasty refreshment on a warm sunny day, it didn't matter what the food was! however, the dishes were successful, mainly because the ingredients used were quite fresh and of a decent quality. we basically had four dishes: braised lentils and pork, albóndigas (meatballs) made with turkey and simmered in a tomato-wine sauce, queso fundido (melted cheese dip), and a salad of mixed field greens, assorted herbs, tomatoes, niçoise olives, and red onions drizzled with balsamico and olive oil.

the queso fundido was super simple, just melted smoked provolone with a mix of chopped fresh herbs and chili peppers, then drizzled with some olive oil. it was served with some crusty bread, dry cured salami, and more olive oil.

the albóndigas were sort of a tribute to a guy i knew in college; he didn't really cook that much, but if he wanted to make an impressive meal, he would buy a piece of beef, throw in some veggies and garlic, pour a whole bottle of wine on top, then simmer it. it worked out more times than not. the meatballs were made with ground turkey meat, bread crumbs, eggs, garlic and chopped parsley, browned, then simmered in a bottle of white wine and some tomato puree.

i had originally intended on making crispy lentils with ham, with some lentils i had braised earlier with lots of onions, garlic, and some leftover roast pork. however, since the cooktop didn't work (my fault), i just decided to serve the lentils as is, on a bed of mizuna (chrysanthemum leaves), that would wilt from the heat. it was delicious--the tiny, creamy, salty green lentils complemented the sweetness of the pork, and the mizuna added a little bit of bitterness to the dish. however, i'm still keen on taking the leftover lentils, fishing out the pork, and sautéeing them in crushed garlic and olive oil with some prosciutto until they are crispy on the outside, but retain that sweet creaminess on the inside. it would be lovely paired with some fried sage leaves and a smoky tomato salsa.

mmm. i would make that into another meal with dominica, but i promise, i'll actually go shopping for the next one!


Hi Santos,

Did you really have all of that for lunch? For me, that would be lunch, dinner and then some.... =) Looks yummy BTW.

The oxymoronicity of white sangria would depend on the white blood cell count. I'm sure the White Stripes would approve.
Top lunch and you're friend is to be commended for his steely discipline in emptying the whole bottle into the dish.


yeah it was a *lot* of food, which is why i'm refraining from calling it tapas, as these were definitely not in small quantities! i was expecting at least one more person, and it was lunch, merienda, and dinner....and i threw in chunks of the cooled cheese into an omelette this morning as well!
i did convince myself, however, that the sangria is not a proper substitute for orange juice. although, really, come to think of it, i don't know why not.


the actual recipe calls for 3 bottles of wine: one for the beef, one for chef, and one for the table. oh, duh. perhaps that's why those meals were successful....

you were just cleaning the fridge?!?!?