Upon arrival, we threw the apartment door open to witness Boogie, spinning like a top from counter top to stove top, stirring one pot, adding seasoning to another, setting timers, stopping to swig from a slowly vanishing wine glass. It looked like a scene from a reality cooking show, the kind where a disgruntled chef is hovering over and cursing at the short-handed and flustered contestant. After a few quick greetings and a slew of kind-hearted profanities, we were whisked away to mingle in the living room. Things were clearly behind schedule, and with a conga line of sous chefs sauntering in and out of the kitchen, the heat was on to finish prep and feed the hungry masses.
Everyone seemed to forget about the behind-the-scenes chaos when the first course appeared. The fresh guacamole didn't even make it out of the bowl it was mixed in, and it hardly stood a chance to our quick hands.
With some chilled imported beers and sweet plantain chips to dip, this was an excellent way to shut us up and stop the collective stomach grumbling. Another way? A homemade cocktail of course. Multiple pitchers of Sangria, surprisingly brandy-free (perhaps for our protection?), yet again proved that fruit is always best when soaked in booze.
When the snacking subsided and the lengthy banquet table of guests and Club members found their seats, the courses came out in rapid fire succession.
First up, scallop ceviche. It had all of the traits that good ceviches should have, fresh sweet seafood, a tangy acidic base and a crisp, vegetable crunch.
I wasn't too familiar with Calo Verde, to the point that I had to look it up before hand to see what the hell was being served to us. It ended up a nice, light soup and had a wonderful halo-like orange ring of flavored oil around outer edge from the long-cooked Chorizo and Kielbasa slices. The sausage pieces fell apart and lent an excellent savory spike to the broth.
Much like the marshmallows in a bowl of Lucky Charms, I tried to quarantine all of the sausage to the side until the greens and broth was done to save the stack of meaty goodness until last. Maybe that was just me though.........
The salmon fillets were huge portions, considering they came off of a 14 lbs. beast of a fish, I guess we got off light. It was a beautiful bit of fish though, bright in color and perfectly firm. Boogie simply broiled them all in the oven to a nice medium rare. It barely needed a fork's slight twist to flake off mammoth size bites. Extremely juicy for a cut of meat that never roamed the earth on four legs, which I am usually quite partial to, it was a great combination with the heaps of sweet ripe mango and punchy jalapeño relish.
More avocados (this time with tomatoes and a citrus dressing) made sure that we got our daily intake of vitamins......and fat. Good fat of course.
Although not everyone had room to finish the whole thing, the coconut flan dessert might have been the best of all the dishes. It was a great consistency, not too sweet, until a liquid pool of caramel unearthed on the bottom layer tying the whole individual cup together.
Nice work keeping it together under pressure and feeding the mob. Clearly, we would burned your apartment to the ground otherwise.