Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ina... you get me in trouble every time!

The week was light, the weather was beautiful and it seemed time to head back to the kitchen.  I wanted to host my weekly party, and use up the groceries intended for the my unexpected no-show, so, a Thursday night Mexican fiesta was scheduled. 
After roasting two rock cornish hens with a diligent white wine basting, I began making the best chicken enchiladas my kitchen has ever seen.  I attribute the success to the rare step of faith made with the sauce: recipe deviation.  Yes, after a quick read of the instructions and 32 parties of experience, the enchilada sauce procedure reminded me of making gravy.  Keep in mind, I’m a home cook and not a chef so I can’t say if it technically is a gravy or not.  Rather than using chicken stock, I used the strained and skimmed pan drippings from my two hens.    Exhilarated, I whisked until the sauce had reduced and thickened and, after a few dashes of Tabasco sauce, my enchiladas were filled, rolled, sauced, and placed inside the fridge with great anticipation.  
A few hours later, guests arrived to a spotless kitchen and a poised blender.  Wanting to keep the integrity of the no repeat rule (which went to hell later that night) I threw together Ina’s Real Margaritas with an added twist: freshly squeezed orange juice and a few pinches of raw sugar.   The result?  For some, it was a smooth and dangerously delicious drink, for others it required another handful of sugar.  Soon, Little Brother compared these cocktails to the Broccoli Soup ordeal and opted for white wine leaving more margaritas for the rest of us which seemed like a great idea at the time.... not so much the following morning.  
On to the entree, the enchiladas were heavily praised.  With a glow of both pride and tequila, I munched through the laughter, stories, and deep discussions as guests ate plate after plate of my creation. I would love to continue with a description of dessert success, however, after my husband passed out some leftover mexican brownies that I had made the day before, nobody cared for ice cream.  Thus, I give you my first no-repeat infraction: with freshly made ice cream sitting in the freezer, spicy Mexican brownies were served and happily devoured... the same way they were at party #2.  
Around 1:00 the next morning with guests safely at home and dirty dishes littering the counters, I made my way to bed pleased with the evening on two levels:  after a plethora of formal events, this small and comfortable evening was a welcome reminder of why I began this blog 33 parties ago.  Add to that, I now have the courage to AWOL an enchilada sauce and that’s a damn good night. 
Cooking Notes:
Brownies: A dessert with chocolate and peanut butter usually makes guests swoon; however my homemade ice cream took a backseat.... more accurately, was left in the driveway.  These are easy, delicious, and it is possible that you already have the ingredients in your pantry. 
The Party In Numbers:
Parties Completed: 33
Weeks Before Deadline: 20
Bottles Consumed: 2 pitchers margaritas
Justified Purchases: none! 

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