Anatomy of a Dinner Party: a day in the life of a hospitalityaholic

Fun Find Friday-Kahlua’s Delicioso Night In

Written by Patti on January 7th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

I just received a fun message from Jaclyn in New York telling me about Kahlua’s Delicioso Night In 2011. Not only do they have Food Network Chef Aaron Sanchez on board, but they are giving away a trip for FOUR – one night in NYC and three nights in Veracruz, Mexico. And the evening in NYC is accompanied by a dinner hosted by Chef Sanchez in New York. Wouldn’t that be swell? Log on to the website and you could win! I might win, too!

Chef Sanchez had some great ideas for entertaining at home and they are budget conscious – just like you asked for.

“You don’t have to be a chemist to create memorable aromatics for your next evening of entertaining at home. Let robust spices (think cloves, canela – the real cinnamon – cardamom and black pepper) help set the mood with the help of a standard frying pan. Toast the spices just to their smoking point, and the room will fill with an inviting – and delicious – bouquet.”

“When prepping for a perfect evening, pairings are a fun way to turn any meal into a special occasion and spice up the fun. Plan three courses and pair each with a small cocktail; use one base spirit in three different ways. Keep in mind when choosing your menu to pick a spirit that embodies the flavors you are working with; for example, Kahlúa will bring out beautiful notes of vanilla that pair nicely with complex and robust dishes that involve such flavors as molé.”

“Ready for an intimate night at home? Feeding someone can be a loving, playful proposition, especially sans fork. In Mexico, where my family is from, we love to entertain with botanas – small bites – that incorporate foods indigenous to the region like seafood and black beans. Reconnect with your partner over a selection of botanas like plantains, garnachas (a small fried masa, or dough, topped with pork or chicken), mushrooms or fresh-cut fruit.”


Need a recipe to get you started? How about something super inexpensive and delicious? This is for yummy little bites named Memelas. The recipe is from Gourmet Magazine 2001.

1 lb tomatoes
2 fresh serrano chiles, 1 jalapeno chile or a handful of pickled nacho sliced jalapenos
2 tbsp chopped white onion
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup fresh chopped coriander

2 cups masa harina
1 1/3 cups or so of water

10 oz queso fresco, feta cheese (2 cups) or Panuelo Mexican cheese

Prepare Sauce
Broil the tomatoes and green chile(s) about 2-3″ from the coils, on both sides. Peel tomatoes and chiles, core tomatoes, puree with onion in food processor with a little salt.

Heat oil in frying pan over medium high heat, pour in sauce, a little first, then the rest, heat bubbling until it thickens 2-5 minutes. Add coriander

Mix 1/2 tsp salt, 2 cups masa harina and 1 1/3 cups of water with a wooden spoon Turn into a nice dough.

Divide into 16 pieces

Heat frying pan over medium high heat

Roll out memelas to about 3″ x 4″ between sheets or parchment, wax paper or plastic.

Fry 3-4 at a time until lightly golden on each side
If possible, shape them into little dishes with raised edges

Sprinkle cheese on each memela, spoon on sauce, heat them in a 350F oven for 2-3 minutes.

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Shakira – Hips Don’t Lie


1 Comments so far ↓

  1. {oc cottage} says:

    Gracias por la informacion!