It was a homage to the late Larry J. Cruz whose keen love of food has given birth to the LJC Group 35 years ago. Aptly titled “A Christmas Dinner Larry Would Love,’’ the cooking demo held at The Maya Kitchen on November 29, 2014 was done by LJC Executive Chef George Lizares.
It was a morning filled with extremely good food that one would expect from the LJC Group. Recipes and tips interspersed with interesting stories from Chef George made for a wonderful experience. The recipes included a fresh feta and fruit salad, a chicken and mushroom dish, alamb and couscous pairing, a seafood curry mix, sweet baklava and a mojito with just the right kick.
Take a look at the recipes and photos that follow.
Cheerful Feta and Watermelon Salad
Bright colors make for an appetizing salad idea. This one is light and refreshing, bursting with flavors from sweet fruits against the sharp creaminess of feta cheese. Larry would surely enjoy this before a heavy Christmas meal, replete with great wines and Cuban cigars.
Roast Chicken with Three Mushrooms
Larry loved Roast Chicken because of its versatility. It is a healthier alternative to frying, and is simply heavenly when it is fresh out of the oven.
Lamb Couscous with Seven Vegetables
This is one of Larry’s “cravorite” dishes and one I learned from Moroccan chefs I worked with for 14 years in the Royal Palace of Oman. We used to enjoy this dish way back when Café Havana opened in 1998 at Malate!
Kingfish and Shrimp Coconut Curry
A simple yet elegant curry using kingfish fillet (Tanigue) that is fit for royalty, as it has no messy bones to deal with. The flesh is firm yet tender and has a tasty fatty skin. Adding shrimps makes it more special. Larry loved curries and travelled to many places to enjoy them, even as far as Kathmandu.
Freshly made baklava was one of Larry’s favorite desserts and he enjoyed it with vanilla ice cream. It’s a simple but elegant dish fit for a king.
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