“Friends with benefits” should include friends that cook. When my friend Jackie entertains, guests are spoiled rotten. Picking up your finished plate will earn you daggers.
First, you’re served a hand-muddled cocktail, made with small-batch tequila, lime and sugar.
While you sip, you can linger in Jackie’s spotless kitchen and steal plantain chips fresh out of the fryer.
Buen provecho! Shrimp ceviche, home-fried plantains, tortillas and homemade salsa are served fresh.
After the meal, guests are offered shots of MamaJuana, an earthy libation from the Dominican Republic that’s said to cure any ills, from digestion to libido.
Dessert is a tres leches-style cake with fresh fruit. The creaminess tempers the heat from our spicy meal. Not too sweet and 100% delectable.
Every time we leave Jackie’s home, we’re left wondering what we could have done to deserve such star treatment. But we keep that to ourselves. We wouldn’t want Jackie to start wondering that too.