Saturday, February 19, 2011

rules and ranch dressing

A few weeks back when I was shopping for kitchen supplies in Managua, I came across a great find- cooler bags! Because we don't have refrigeration, the bags I got help store produce with (some) ease, without soaking it or using disposable plastic bags arranged carefully in coolers with ice each day. I also use them for transporting and storing chicken. That's right, raw chicken au jus all over the other foods is a thing of the past! We pour the ice directly on top of the bags, plus they are reusable!

Thelma, a great new addition to our kitchen team, came in the other afternoon noting, "Calley, one of the cooler bags is on top of the laundry bodega." She continued to talk about a story of how a gardener brought it down to get washed, yada yada yada... say what? Enough. Why on earth was that thing even out of the kitchen? Washing it with the laundry, which is about 300 yards away, and not in our kitchen sink? Luckily, I was in a good mood so could laugh about this weird occurrence,Thelma is very proactive and got it down right away, but not without some video footage!
The video displays island-themed reggae by Jimmy Cliff... and also showcases our brand new vintage-style chef coats, sewn by a neighbor of ours. Thanks again, Thelma!





video




The next day I had a meeting with the head of the grounds' crew to confirm that no one should be taking anything out of the kitchen without my permission, be it cocoa powder for a fresco, plastic wrap for their extra lunch, or an expensive bag from PriceSmart. I'd been telling the guys individually, but a little support always helps. WIP.

In other news, for dinner, that same evening we served a green leaf lettuce salad (hard to come by 'round these parts) with fresh tomatoes and an "island style" ranch dressing. eat your heart out, Hidden Valley! For me, it's a touch of home with a dash of Little Corn flair.

island ranch dressing
1 Tbs. minced garlic
1 1/2 Tbs. fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 Tbs. white vinegar
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup crema acida**
1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp. iodized salt

Mix all ingredients with a whisk, or shake in a plastic bottle or jar. Use liberally on salads, or, if in the USA, pizza. Or anything.
** (Nicaraguan loose sour cream- it can be simulated by adding 2 Tbs. water to 1/3 cup sour cream)

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