|Maude Eaton beckons with a "come eat" look and her Persian Polo (steamed basmati rice with golden saffron crust).|
I'm American but you can keep your turkeys, cranberry relish, green bean casseroles, bread stuffing and mashed potatoes for another day.
This is what I'm talking about: a great afternoon savoring delicious food and wine in the company of friends without having to rush through a meal that took an entire day to cook just to stand in line at some megastore. Forget about Black Friday. How about Sunshine Sunday?
Because that's what happened last week in Miami.
"This is better than Thanksgiving," said my friend.
"Better than what you'd get at many a restaurant," I replied.
So there was much to be grateful for when South Florida Foodies gathered at Zonin Wine's hospitality suite for an afternoon of gourmet delights, thanks to Maude Eaton and over a dozen folks who prepared 16 dishes, paired perfectly with prosecco, red and white wines chosen by Casa Vinicola Zonin.
And in true American fashion -- after all, we're a country made up of immigrants from around the world -- these potluck dishes served up flavors from French Polynesia, Lebanon, Scandinavia, Asia, Italy, India, the Middle East, Britain, Colombia and France.
So let our palates be thankful for variety and the pleasure of eating in good company, without having to set foot on an airplane.
Behold a sampler. If Pavlov was right, get a napkin.
The appetizers alone were enough to satisfy ...
|Sardinian Octopus Salad (made with conch instead of octopus) for a Bahamian twist.|
|From other islands, across the globe: Poisson Cru with Coconut and Lime Juice, inspired by Tahiti.|
|Quick stir-fry bell peppers for Asian tacos by Wokstar.|
|Asian pork meatballs in sesame-toasted wonton cups with sweet chili aioli and pickled scallions by FOODalogue.|
|Unfortunately, the Italian wasn't on the menu, but the Prosecco was.|
And then the main courses ...
|Cooking, laughing, eating, drinking at the Zonin hospitality kitchen.|
|Tuscan grilled chicken with rosemary, lemon and olives.|
|Khoresh Gheimeh (Persian meat stew), saffron rice and Masto Khiar (yogurt salad with shredded cucumber and mint).|
|In the cup, a tribute to Louisiana: spicy Cajun crawfish sausage with creamy smoked gouda grits.|
|To sip it all down: Zonin's selections for the gourmet potluck.|
And last but not least, dessert ...
|Il Diplomatico Cake by yours truly.|
|Truffles, Sticky Toffee Pudding and Cheese Platter.|
Hungry? More photos on Flickr or mouse-over and click on the arrows to see a slideshow.