Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mexican Thanksgiving, and I didn't even cook a thing!

I have the Best, Friends. Ever.


Anyone who knows me understands that my favorite day of the year is the day that I get to throw a monster-sized dinner party that is an ethnic interpretation of Thanksgiving Dinner. It's always the sunday before Thanksgiving. This year, with having a kitchen that's torn apart, less furniture than normal, and a cross-state move to Richmond just five days later, I couldn't pull it off. Being a realist is hard.

I was really devastated about this. Tradition is tradition. And while I'm always up for change, some things, like "Thanksgiving with Friends" remains sacred.

Luckily, my kind-hearted and thoughtful besties in DC knew this and made sure Thanksgiving with Friends happened in spite of the circumstances. They told me to arrive at 4:00 p.m. ready for a walking tour and suggested I bring a camera. "Sweet!! A scavenger hunt!!" is what I thought.

However, when I walked into Nancy's apartment an entire Mexican thanksgiving spread awaited. There were appetizers (an herbed goat cheese, guacamole, homemade pita chips, crudites, veggie quesadillas), Sangria, and a beautiful table complete with menus and chili pepper floral display. I was beyond touched.

We ate:

Ensalada Yucatan (greens with avocado, grapefruit and a ginger/coriander dressing that I implore Meredith to post here)

A Jalepeno Cornbread Pudding

Roasted Turkey Enchiladas

Slow-cooked black beans over corn and cilantro rice

Shrimp Gazpacho

Spicy Chipotle Sweet Potatoes


Not only did I roll out the door warm, glowing and satisfied; I was inspired. And as a group we decided that Thanksgiving with Friends would go on next year. Perhaps it would happen another weekend, but it will always happen.

Ladies, thank you for making my last week in DC so special and memorable. I love you dearly.

I can take not one ounce of credit for these sweet potatoes. But major props to La Nance for turning out a miracle of texture and flavor for even people who don't generally like sweet potatoes (me, included).
Chipotle Sweet Potato Potatoes

2 cups heavy cream (oohhh, so THAT's how they were so delish)
2 red jalapeno peppers
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 tablespoon tomato sauce
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced 1/8-inch thick
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In small bowl, mix finely diced jalapenos, chili powder, vinegar and tomato sauceWhisk together cream and chipotle mixture until smooth. In a 9 by 9-inch casserole dish, arrange the potatoes in even layers. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the cream mixture and season with salt and pepper. Repeat with the remaining potatoes, cream, and salt and pepper to form 10 layers.

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