Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Chili rellenos, Pokerfest 2007, and my best wave yet!!

Hey all:

Life here in Tamarindo is still creeping forward at it´s lulling, Costa Rican pace. A friend of mine remarked today that it is a bit like the movie Groundhog´s Day, since every morning we walk the same couple of kilometers to the beach, see the same people and animals lazily shuffling about, and hear the same merchants hawk their wares. It´s as if we´re all in a perpetual Sunday morning. These last couple of days have been dominated by surfing, cooking, and evening parties--the most recent of which I whipped together some red pepper chili rellenos.

For those interested, I started the process by roasting the chilis on an open flame until the waxy skin was charred black. The smell is tremendous and right about this time you can expect fellow hostel mates to poke their heads in and casually ask what´s for dinner. After removing the peppers from the heat, I stored them between two plates (the top inverted to make a small enclosure) to let them sweat. Next, I combined some Mexican cheese and cream cheese in a blender, along with a little garlic and a touch of milk. This makes a delicious and thick white cheese paste that you can put in the freezer to thicken as you prepare the rest of the meal.

After letting the chilis sit, the charred skins are easy to scrape off. A quick slit down the pepper and you can remove the seeds and begin stuffing them with 1 or 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture. I used toothpicks to seal these puppies back up and set them aside to cool some more.

Here is the hard part--the batter. Separate about 6 egg whites and yolks (for about 7 rellenos) and set aside the yolks. Whip the whites until semi stiff peaks form. This is not an easy task with a crappy bowl and a fork... But with some cursing, determination, and a few cold beers, it can be done. Whip the yolks together with a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of flour. Fold the yolks into the egg whites, add a bit of paprika, and the bam! You´ve got a light airy batter just waiting for some chilis.

Heat a pan full of oil, dredge the stuffed peppers in flour and then drop them into the batter, then into the hot oil. Flip. Take these bad boys out when they are golden brown and you´re done! I didn´t even get to eat a whole one of these before they were all snatched up, so when you make them, more is better.

Whew! Just recounting that recipe has me sort of sweating.

After dinner, Pokerfest commenced!

The idea for poker night (besides the fact that a bunch of 20 something males are drinking together in a hostel looking for something to do), is the copious amounts of change you get here in Costa Rica. 10, 20, 25, 50, 100, and 500 colones coins makes for a huge amount of clanging metal in your pocket so we generally leave a giant stash of coins in our hostel rooms. Splitting them up, we each had a couple thousand colones.

The match quickly declined into shenanigans, and so Christian, (a German friend of mine here at the hostel) and I, put the shades on. Below are some vids of the action. Anyhow the game lasted for hours and in the end it was Cash and I duking it out for a pile of tin. Cash won. Damn.




And today!

The best wave yet. I was at Playa Longosta, and there was no one there except for the La Botella de Leche surf crew. On my second attempt I caught this wave--and I kid you not--there was a moment of silence as I dropped into the pocket. Blue sky, blue water, hangover, perfect break, and I was on the face of this 2 foot wave (yeah yeah I know... 2 feet? but come on, that felt like a 6 footer you know... damn they always look bigger then they are) cutting right. The feeling was amazing. Everytime I get to a new plateau with surfing, I realize I haven´t surfed before that moment.

Takin´a break

The Crew

Needless to say, I was buzzing. The only downer was that late in the day some local kid committed to a ride when i was clearly paddling back out right in front of him. We made eye contact and everything, but I think he thought he had control... unfortunately for me, he grazed me and dinged my board pretty bad. Time for some epoxy. Little turd.

Well, this really is the home stretch for Tamarindo. About 10 more days of this and then time to relocate. So until then-- ¡Pura Vida!


Anonymous said...

I wonder if you read my comment further down - at Halloween. Could be cool....

-Tracy Skondin (not a coincidence there) tracyskondin@hotmail.com

Kitsune said...

Where can we see the poker videos? It's late, I might have mis-read or over looked em.