we had a party at the weekend and to try and counter the cold grey weather we are having, i decided to revisit an old favourite theme for food and music – latino! i love this for giving me the whole of south america and spain to draw my inspiration from, but do have to confess to being a bit lazy and choosing some tried and trusted recipes.
mini empanadas with a spicy butternut squash and thyme filling were cooked in batches and served as people arrived and sipped the old cuban cocktails we served (a sparkling mix of rum, lime, mint, sugar syrup and cava).
the main savoury food was slow-cooked pork, chicken tinga, sweetcorn and courgette bake, cornbreads, autumn slaw, corn and black bean salsa, chips and guacamole, yucatan pink pickled onions and two lovely sauces, both of which were particularly intended to complement the pork.
the red sauce is a brazilian style chimichurri. chimichurri is originally from argentina and is based on finely-chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, and wine vinegar – this version adds tomato, chilli, shallots (i used red onion) and lemon juice. it has a lovely freshness which means you can make it quite spicy.
a contrast in both texture and flavour was the toasted pepita (pumpkin seed) and coriander pesto. this was fabulous, with a hefty garlic kick but also a richness from the toasted pumpkin seeds and cashew nuts. the recipe gives an alternative version which also includes feta cheese, but i decided to keep it simple – this time.