The Central Texas College Culinary Arts Patio Cafe Cuisine Nights Dining Experience features a cuisine from the Americas. Dinner will be served from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday in the CTC Student Center (Building 106) on the Killeen campus.

Starters

The menu opens with a choice of appetizer, soup and salad. The appetizer is a sampler plate from different regions of the Americas. The trio las Americas ($6.50) offers a golden brown yucca fry, then a sweet and melty cornmeal cheese stick and crispy fried mofongo ripe plantain spheres. It is served with a sweet and spicy pineapple glaze. The featured soup is asopao de camarones or shrimp and rice broth ($7.50 for a bowl or $2 for a cup with an entrée) — a fish stock, long simmered with shrimp, rice, capers, green olives and garlic. The choice salad is Caribbean chicken salad ($9.50) — romaine lettuce, sliced red onion, red bell pepper, black beans, cilantro and mandarin oranges tossed in a spicy mango vinaigrette and topped with a grilled, marinated chicken breast. Diners can also choose the house salad for $4 or free with an entrée.

Entrees

The entrees are pernil ($12.50) — a traditional roasted pork seasoned with regional herbs, spices and served fork-tender; el pascado rojo ($14.50) — Caribbean-caught red snapper sautéed and broiled then drizzled with chimichurri sauce, diced tomato, stuffed Queen Manzanilla olives and feta cheese; and chicken pibil ($11.50) — a classic meal in the Yucatan Peninsula, the dish uses both white and dark meat chicken braised with achiote paste, onion, jalapeno, citrus juices and garlic served over an in-house arroz con gandules (rice and pigeon peas).

Side dishes

Each entree is served with a choice of two side dishes, except the chicken pibil (one side dish). The choices are spiced carrot salad — carrot ribbons along with thinly sliced red onion, sautéed with cilantro and lemon juice; hongo a la Argentina — button mushrooms lightly seared with a house chimichurri sauce made from cilantro, parsley, olive oil and garlic; majado de yucca — a mash of cassava root with crispy bacon, diced onion and minced garlic; and arroz con gandules — a dish made with annatto seed to stain the rice, cubed ham, pigeon peas and other Central American spices. Each side dish is also available a la carte for $1.50 each.

Desserts

The dessert offers a choice of tapas romanas ($4.75) — a delicate three mini pound cakes layered with fluffy custard, brushed in anise liqueur syrup then topped with slivered almonds and drizzled with a tropical fruit and Marsala coulis; or the coconut flan ($3.75) — rich and creamy flan flavored with coconut milk, smothered in caramel topping then garnished with a fried banana twirl and a candied grapefruit supreme.

Reservations are required. Call the CTC Hospitality Department at 254-526-1515.

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