Alright, here it is. I love antojitos. I think the term technically applies a certain type of fried Mexican fritter, but I have a book the wife bought for me last Christmas that extends the term to all Mexican small plates/snacky offerings. And I love them. Love love love them.
The book and the entire pursuit in general, really, opens many wonderful otherwise undeveloped culinary worlds like the dried chile world and the meat+paste world (these sound like levels from the new Super Mario game). The real star of this evening was the árbol chile and peanut salsa. It was an incredible mix of flavors where peanut butter was certainly a member, maybe a lead, but in no way a focus or solo act. The dip was salty and spicy and so savory that I insisted on putting it on everything for the following days until I used it all up. It’s from the book and I don’t want to post it, but I will start working on my own version as soon as possible.
The shrimps we have done before, but they go fast and they’re tasty and it’s a great recipe to keep in your back pocket for when a friend comes over you need a quick opener to impress some guests. The wings were rubbed with achiote paste, a lovely mix of chiles, spices, and bitter orange juice or vinegar. Wings are a fun way to add some full-weight sustenance to a cadre of finger foods and they’re unexpected and fun. These were good, although not as amazing as Emeril’s Vietnamese version, which I made here and may come back for New Year’s as a 2010 Food All-Star. Small plates mean more tastes; vary your roll and until next time, cook on!