I am pretty excited about what I’ve got planned for you this month. The country of Guatemala is on the docket. We’ll start out with some guacamole and chips, Guatemalan style, just to whet our appetites. Then it’s on to the main course, Fiambre Rojo. Think of an enormous Italian antipasto platter and you’ll get the idea of what fiambre is all about. And for dessert, how about some dark chocolate crepes filled with a dreamy dulce de leche filling? Yes, please!
Fiambre is a uniquely Guatemalan meal, one that is normally prepared in anticipation of All Saints Day, Nov. 1. The many small offerings are brought to the cemetery to honor the dead, and family members spend the day picnicking and sharing with loved ones. Often now, this celebratory meal takes place in the home, after visiting the cemetery.
The fiambre platter can consist of up to 30 to 50 ingredients, depending on the families who make them, individual preference, and how many cooks are available to help J
If you’re the type of DFW group that likes a bit of a challenge, or maybe you always make something from the country we are supporting, or you enjoy collaborating and cooking together, this is a great menu for your group.
So although this can be a very labor-intensive proposition, what I’d like to do for you is to break it down into easy categories so that everyone can choose something to make and bring as a contribution to the fiambre platter.
My inspiration this month comes from Amalia Moreno-Damgaard. Born and raised in Guatemala City, she has produced a best-selling book, “Amalia’s Guatemalan Kitchen -Gourmet Cuisine with a Cultural Flair.” She now lives in Minnesota, where she is founder and president of Women Entrepreneurs of Minnesota, a nonprofit organization that fosters women entrepreneurship through mentoring and leadership education. I’m including a link to her website where you can find lots of her other recipes, http://amaliallc.com. She has been so generous in communicating with me and sharing her recipes for the fiambre and the dark chocolate crepes.
As always, please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or comments about the recipes, at email@example.com
Marinated Vegetables, Meats, Cold Cuts, Seafood and Cheese (Fiambre Rojo)
Recipe by Chef Amalia Moreno-Damgaard
Serves 6 +
As you can tell by the photo above, “Fiambre Rojo” looks like a giant antipasto platter. There are different kinds: white, red and divoriciado, (in which all the ingredients are left separated and each person picks what they want). For our purposes, we are going to serve this “divorciado” style. This way, those with vegetarian and vegan diets will be able to compose a platter that suits them.
“Fiambre” means “served cold,” and “rojo” refers to the red color of this dish with the inclusion of beets. Fiambre must be prepared at least one day before serving and marinated in sauce blend of vinegar and other ingredients called the “caldillo.”
Here is the link to the full explanation and the full recipe: http://www.revuemag.com/2017/10/amailias-kitchen-guatemalan-cuisine. Please make sure to read through the recipe thoroughly so you’ll have the full picture about how the dish is prepared and assembled; there is so much information there that I decided not to try and re-invent the wheel, and will just send you directly to the recipe site. Most of all, keep in mind that this recipe is really a template, for whatever you are able to find at your store. Every fiambre is based on individual cooks likes and dislikes.
Here is a possible breakdown on the preparation of this recipe. Once you divide up all the tasks between your friends this becomes an easy project.
- One person should prepare the vegetables and the caldillo, because the vegetables need to be marinated in the caldillo overnight. Please note that in Amalia’s recipe for the caldillo, the parsley and red onion are added separately to the vegetables at the end, they do not get pureed into the caldillo—that is not clearly stated in her recipe.
- One person could bring canned or jarred ingredients
- One to three people could bring chicken, seafood and cold cuts (Possible substitutions for chorizo would be salame and pepperoni)
- One or two people could bring vegetable proteins and cheeses
- One person could bring garnishes
Set your items out buffet style and let everyone choose their own ingredients to make their perfect fiambre!
Recipe contribution: Linda McElroy
Recipe and photo credit with permission: Amalia Moreno-Damgaard http://www.revuemag.com/2017/10/amailias-kitchen-guatemalan-cuisine/