Wednesday, January 31, 2007

little havana


For anyone who hasn't yet heard, South Bay is 2007's South Beach of the west. I say this, not because the Googleplex breathes sexy in that beachy-pastel/Art Deco-kind of way, but because Scott's awesome mojito recipe comes not from Mango's Tropical Cafe but rather La Bodeguita del Medio, which sits right along California Ave. in Palo Alto.

12 mint leaves with stems
1 tsp sugar
2 oz citrus rum (I make a living marketing alcoholic beverages and am not afraid to suggest Bacardi Limon)
2 oz fresh citrus juice (lemon/lime)
2 oz soda water

In a collins glass, place mint and a teaspoon of sugar. Crush the mint using a muddler. Add rum and citrus. Mix again with muddler. (Scott actually has a muddler - and it did a great job releasing the flavor of the mint - but for those of you without, use a spoon.) Finish with soda water followed by crushed ice. Garnish with full stem of mint.

The original plan was to have a mojito-off, Berkeley vs. San Jose, limes, lemons, and mint. But considering each tasting amounted to two mojitos each, we never actually made it to Contestant No. 2. Though I'm fairly certain that Berkeley would have won.

I feel guilty saying that it was all very fun, given that it was a day of mourning for anyone whose heart belongs with New England. (And I would proudly describe myself as such).

Tom, Troy, Corey, if you wanted to drop by, we'd be happy to fix you a few, extra strong...for another kind of Miami experience.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

baba ganoush

بابا غنوج
[baba ganoush]

So it looks as if Blogger speaks Arabic.

Georgia's visit last week left me pondering the whole East Coast vs. West Coast thing...though less so from a Biggie/Tupac/gangsta rap perspective and more from a Alice Waters/Daniel Boulud/food philosophy perspective.

I am saving my complete thoughts for another space. But her visit did bring me to a deeper level of self-understanding with the realization that, if I could choose only three foods to eat for the rest of my life, they would be maki with white tuna and unagi, peshwari naan, and baba ganoush.

Which led me to a compelling desire to mash up some eggplant. I was pleased with my first attempt:

Baba Ganoush
1 medium-sized eggplant
Juice of 1 small lemon
1 tsp salt
2 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
3 tbsp sesame tahini
2 tbsp olive oil

Prick eggplant all over with a fork and place whole in a baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees F for 30-45 minutes (eggplant should be very soft). Remove from oven, halve, and scoop the flesh into a small bowl. Add lemon juice and mash mixture with a fork. Mix in salt and garlic, then tahini. Let the mixture cool. Before serving, drizzle with olive oil. Serve with pita bread.

Georgia just graduated from the French Culinary Institute and will be starting next month as garde manger at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. And I love her for that. Congratulations G!