Found this roasted corn soup recipe online and gave it shot last night. It was delicious.
I didn’t follow the recipe exactly. For one thing, corn is out of season, so instead of 3 ears of corn, I used two cans. I really need to make this again in the fall when fresh corn is available, but I had a corn craving. I also didn’t add the raw agave. Seemed unnecessary to me. I couldn’t find good heirlooms, so I used regular beefsteak tomatoes. Not sure how big of a difference it made. I didn’t use Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes. Not really necessary. I got a can of fire roasted tomatoes from Trader Joe’s. Instead of four roasted chilies, I roasted a single Anaheim. Gave just the right amount of heat. I also took about a pint and half of the soup, blended it and returned to the soup. Made for a much thicker, more chowder-like consistency. Worth the trouble, for sure.
If I make it again, I’d leave out the curry and bump up the cumin, swap out a Yukon Gold potato for the sweet potato and roast my own chicken.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 to 1 teaspoon curry or chili powder or paste, mild or hot, to taste
4-5 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
1 medium sweet onion, diced
3 ears of corn, roasted, kernels removed
1 large sweet potato, peeled, diced
1 14-oz can Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles
1 cup seeded, chopped fresh heirloom tomatoes- I used yellow and pink
4 oz. chopped roasted green chiles
1 quart light vegetable broth
1 14-oz can coconut milk
2 rounded cups torn cooked chicken pieces
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
A quick drizzle of organic raw agave, to taste
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
Fresh lime juice from 2 juicy limes
After driving and cycling by the Puerto Rican Restaurant Sol Food in San Rafael for so many years, I finally made it out there for dinner. They have two locations downtown on Lincoln right down the street from one another. One (“The Small Place”) on Lincoln and 4th has some tables, but is more of a takeaway joint. The one we went to (“The Big Place”), is a sit down family-style joint. If one is packed, you can just walk down the street to other one (although it’s likely to be packed too).
Raquel and I got there at the right time as the sun was setting. There was a line out the door, but it was just long enough to allow us to take in the menu and figure out what to order. Raquel had a fried shrimp sandwich and I went with the Beef Stew. Her sandwich was ok, but not something you’d be coming back for. The stew, on the other hand, was wicked delicious and I savored every bite and washed it down with the homemade limeade (a little tart for me-but perfect once I watered it down a bit.) It with both a sweet and a savory plantain that were seriously delicious.
The place is a little chaotic and if it gets really busy, the wait for a table could be rough since you order your food and then find a place a sit, I can easily imagine food arriving before available table, which would suck. But it’s a fun place. Great ambiance. Not a place for an intimate meal, since the din is impressive and you might be sharing a table with strangers, but the food makes what inconvenience you might suffer worth it.
If you don’t want to deal with the Big Place, Sol Food has just opened “La Bodega” right next door. It’s another takeaway joint, similar to the Small Place, but has no seating. They do have a large rotisserie oven right out front for roasting chickens. Fantastic.
Today we headed across the Richmond – San Rafael Bridge over to Marin to have some oysters up in Marshall along the Tomales Bay.
We left around 11. It was a gorgeous day. Sunny. Blue skies. No clouds. About 70 degrees. Our first stop was for coffee in San Anselmo. I’ve spent a lot of time in Marin, but mostly on my bike, so it was nice to have a look on foot. I’ve ridden up and down this corridor that includes Sausalito, Ross, San Anselmo and Fairfax so many times, but I’ve never had a chance to just wander around San Anselmo. After coffee, we had a nice stroll around town.
There’s no real direct route up to the Marshall Riviera, so back in the back in car, we headed west on Sir Francis Drake through Fairfax, Lagunitas, and the redwoods of Samuel P. Taylor Park, before hitting Olema at Highway One. From there, we headed north and after a brief stop in Point Reyes Station, another cyclist mecca, we continued up through Marshall and finally landed at the Hog Island Oyster Company.
Again, I’ve passed by here many times on my bike headed for the Marshall Wall or points further north on the MS Waves to Wine ride, but I had never stopped. We picked a good day. The place was booked out and all the picnic tables were reserved, but we were able to find parking right across the street and managed to find a family from Atlanta willing to share their table with us.
My new favorite cooking show is Eric Ripert’s Avec Eric. Ripert is the chef at Le Bernadin in NYC. His show is a combination travel log and cooking show. Typically, in the first half of the show, he travels to the culinary centers of the world, Tuscany, Provence and Northern California, for example. Then he returns to his kitchen filled with inspiration from his journey to create exquisitely simple dishes.
There are samples on You Tube, of course, but if you want to watch whole episodes they are available on the Avec Eric website.
Here he yukking it up with Jimmy Fallon:
We ordered sushi from a place in Berkeley that delivers and it was pretty good—better than expected at least. The delivery was quick, the selection was impressive and the sushi surprisingly tasty. Mak definitely approved.
We tried to go to Langer’s for Pastrami on Saturday, but it was closed for Thanksgiving weekend. Instead, we ended up at Cantor’s on Fairfax. When I ordered it, I asked for Corned Beef on white bread with mayo and the waitress nearly had a heart attack until I said I was just joking.
It was good, but I don’t if it was $11.25 good, if you know what I mean. The sour pickles and Dr. Brown’s cream soda were awesome though.
One of the great discoveries on this past trip to Brazil was Açai (pronounced AH-SAW-EEE). I’d been hearing about it for a long time now. It has arrived with a vengeance in the US (via email spam mostly) as a supplement touting all sorts of positive health affects: energy, weight-loss, blah, blah, blah. Who knows if the claims are true. What is true is that açai is delicious. Served cold and mixed with guarana syrup, it tastes something like a mixed berry sorbet. Add in banana and granola and have a superbly tasty treat. I’m going to have to find a place in Oakland, or more likely Berkeley, that sells good açai. If I can’t I’m going to start importing the pulp and open up a shop in the Bay Area to sell it to the masses.
I was insipired this morning by two things:
1) My new espresso maker (and foam maker).
2) The prospect of eating at Riva Fish House in Santa Cruz, CA where I worked as a busboy and host in 1996 and learned to make wicked lattes.
This is the first one I’ve made since I skipped Santa Cruz to take an (unpaid) internship at CNN. It was as delicious as it looks.
I couldn’t find the restauarant so I went into a cyber cafe to see if I could find the address on the internet. I couldn’t. So I asked the woman downstairs running the place. I could ask the question in Spanish but couldn’t understand the answer. I asked if she could write directions, but instead she called down her husband who spoke English and he walked me to the restaurant.
On the way he was telling me that he lived in Melbourne so we had an instant connection. He was lucky, he said. He was there in 1973 so he was out of the country for the Pinnochet coup. He brought right to Las Vacas Gordas which is on aside street of a side street. No wonder I missed it.
I’m seated upstairs in the non-smoking salon. The place is very warm. Wooded ceiling. Wooden chairs. Tile floors. Every table is packed people are having a great time. It’s someones birthday. The waiter lights the candles and leads the restaurant in a rousing chorus of feliz cumpleanos. Everyone is singing and clapping. It’s about 10:40pm.
The menu is all in Spanish and while I know many words, I’m lost when it comes to cuts and preparation of beef. I text my brother whose girlfriend is from Ecuador to get some help but before he can answer, the waiter comes back and I wing it. I go for the Biffe o lo pobre. Medium rare. Good choice.
While I’m waiting, the musicians arrive. Sort of like mariachis, only less annoying. There are five of them playing guitar, mandolin and tamboruine. The crowd loves and sings along.
Turns out biffe o lo pobre is a massive perfectly cooked grass fed steak served with a pile of papas fritas and two huevos fritos. It comes with a complimentary visiit to the cardiologista de la casa and an after dinner aperitif. It’s delicioso!
While I’m getting ready to leave, the table next to me is being served dessert. The kid closest to me has ordered some kind of flambe dish. The waiter fills one gravy boat with the alcohol lacd topping and sets it aflame. He then pours that into a second gravy boat creating a stream of fire. He repeats half a dozen then pours over a plate of ice cream, all without setting the house on fire.
I’m sipping my very green mintuy aperitif while waiting for the check to show up. My cheeks are aglow with the alcohol. I am extremely satisfied. Even if the waiter added a 20% tip for himself.
Alright, it’s exactly midnight now. Time for a stroll home and to sack out (and maybe there’s even room for an ice cream on the way).
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