Rice, Polenta and Costillas
Before the final grilling
Remember the Brazilian father aka professional photographer and passionate cook? I've succeeded in getting myself invited to lunch at his place. No, I didn't force my way there. He's just a well-brought up guy who knows how to return an invitation. Quite unlike a number of people I've invited over the past few years to lunch, if I may say so.
Together with me were 5 other lucky ladies. Those who were at my last lunch and who were by default invited to CT's lunch too. On the menu were Costillas and Capirinha, but the other Brazilian father who was supposed to be making the latter couldn't come because of some A&E hold-up with his child. We had free-flow red wine in its place and it was a wonder I managed to drive back to school (with 3 other mums in my car) and home with no mishap.
You would think that it's no big deal to be eating pork ribs. Just an hour in the oven and it'd be done. Wrong. CT started marinating his ribs in a pail of water (filled with salt, parsley and garlic) 2 days ago. Then at 7:30 this morning he heated up his oven to high and cooked the ribs for 20 minutes after which he lowered the heat to the very lowest (maybe even switched it off) and let the ribs finish cooking in it for 3 hours. Then just before serving, he turned on the heat again, brushed the ribs with olive oil and grilled them for 20 minutes. The meat was literally melt-in-the mouth tender and moist, and he was able to remove the bones easily before serving it to us with some BBQ sauce.
Before the final grilling
Before serving the costillas he made us a salad. Dressed in a lime-salt-oregano-mustard-olive oil dressing. The ribs were accompanied by rice cooked in garlic and onions and also a polenta cooked in olive oil with garlic, fresh button mushrooms, dehydrated porcini mushrooms, truffle oil and milk.
For dessert, we were treated to a Brazilian Maracuja Mousse. It's a very simple and delicious dessert made with maracuja (or passionfruit) juice, sweetened condensed milk and cream. Wow.
It was interesting meeting him in a more intimate setting (his wife called from a business trip in Kuala Lumpur to
check say hello) though I probably shocked some of my lady friends with my "brazen" questioning. It is interesting to see how different people can be in our diverse international community. And I have long ago decided to just go ahead and ask or say something because it takes too much time and effort to work out everybody's sensibilities, taboos and limits. Doesn't mean that if you're careful and diplomatic you wouldn't step on anybody's toes. There are just so many different sorts of people out there. I figured that since one can never please everybody and that if I should make the occasional effort to come out of my comfortable, happy and self-contained world, I should only do interesting things and meet like-minded people. I was told that I may offend a number of people with my attitude, which I am aware of, actually. Either that person decides to let me know so that I may apologise and take note of his/her sensibilities, or he/she decides to brood in private and avoid me. Either way it works out well for me.
So in a way we had an informal cooking lesson from CT. He's a founding member of the cooking club that I'm starting - but we haven't been able to find a suitable time to get it going. Still it's going to be interesting if today is any indication. I am looking forward to it.