Thursday, February 7, 2013

You Say Ajiaco, I Say Chicken & Potato Soup

Everyone makes a big deal about ajiaco (that's Ah-hee-ah-co), which is a soup indigenous to the Bogotá area.  Well, frankly, the first couple of batches I tasted were OK, but nothing to e-mail home about.
However, making an effort to learn the local cuisine, we pulled a normal-looking recipe for it from the 'net and went to work.  We discovered that you have to have guascas, which we figured to be an exotic Colombian herb.  On further looking, we learned that Galinsoga parviflora, also known as 'gallant soldier,' is something that Paula believes she has pulled out of her flower beds many times in North Carolina.  Indeed, no less an authority than Wikipedia states, "In much of the world, it is known as 'potato weed,' and is considered one."
Which, of course, begs the question, "What desperate Colombian grabbed some weeds, threw them in the pot, tried the goulash and pronounced, '¡¡Now that's AJIACO, baby!! Come 'n' get it!! Yee Hah!!'"
Figuring that what we had previously was kind of <boring> we took some liberties.  Like when they said "2 cloves," (right) we put in (left) a head.
When they said skinless a chicken breast, we threw in two whole legs, skin and all.
When they said 2 cubes of bouillon and 12 cups water, Paula said, "Throw in three and put in some water."
They said "Add a dollop of heavy cream."  We said, "Cream is for wimps! We want good old, salty Colombian SOUR cream!!"
"And while we're at it, toss in some capers, a bunch of cilantro and some good ripe avocado on the side!"
Now THAT's ajiaco!  Or Colombo-Gringo ajiaco!
We hope that all your potato/chicken/weed/ajiaco soup turns out so good!
Dave and Paula


bestgrandkidsever said...

Can we please have a dinner of some of your favorite dishes while you're here? (Sans any heads, feet or eyeballs?)

Patti said...

That looks fantastic! Gonna go find me some weeds!

Liz Brown said...

This last weekend Dylan and Grant Hall had their Eagle Courts of Honor. And as I went through pictures for a slide show, I was reminded again of what a great leader you were for so many boys.

You started them off on the right foot and had it not been for you and your tremendous efforts, there would not be as many Eagle Scouts as we've had.

Mattney Beck has a walking stick with nine Eagle Scout mentor pins from boys in our troop. And more are on the way. Pretty impressive. He holds it dear.

I thought you might want to see the slide show I put together for the two boys (since you don't have much to do down there). Hope this link works.

Thank you again.

Liz and Rod Brown