Thursday, August 27, 2009

Eat Real Fest

Don't miss Soul Cocina at the Eat Real Fest in Oakland's Jack London Square this weekend. Vegan Bhel Puri with three homemade chutneys and heirloom tomatoes. And tune in to KQED's radio newscast at 5:30pm Friday to hear Soul Cocina.

On Your Marks, Get Set, Eat Real!

It's time to celebrate good food

Four full city blocks stocked with 50 authentic street food vendors on wheels; 50 farmers and local food purveyors; 30 micro-brews on tap; 15 films; 18 From Scratch Kitchen Demos and talks; 12 bands; and four special programs including Ice Cream Friday, Yes I Canned Competition, Edible Pursuit and the Flying Knives Butchery Contest.

Get organized: for your trip to Eat Real tomorrow, Saturday, or Sunday, check out all your different parking and public transportation options on this downloadable map or this interactive map. Parking on site all day is $5 in a covered garage, but you can also take a scenic ferry, BART it, or hop on Amtrak. It’s looking to be a beautiful Oaktown weekend, with three days of glorious sun all day followed by cool breezy evenings. Get your degrees here.

The deets: the event is free of charge, all food is priced under $5, and tickets to the Eat Real Beershed can be purchased on site ($25 for 8 4-oz glasses of NorCal's best microbrews).

More on the plate

Join James Freeman of Blue Bottle and visit his new Oakland roastery from 10 to 11 am on Sunday 8/30. Meet at the Eat Real Info booth on Sunday at 10 am, the tour is free and total walk length is less than half a mile. Please RSVP by sending us an email.

Prizes for our two competitions are official: vacuum packers and Whole Foods gift cards for our champion canners (Friday's Yes I Canned Competition) and St George Spirits for our winning butchery team (Saturday's Flying Knives Butchery Competition). Yes you can enter our canning competition or just bring some goodies to trade, check out the categories here.

Our Partners

Good food for all means good food for the schools. Join Slow Food Berkeley or Slow Food San Francisco on Labor Day for a grand community potluck to demand healthy lunches for kids, all part of the Time for Lunch campaign. Speaking of our non-profit partners, Chipotle is hosting a fundraising day our partner, CAFF on September 1st - join in.

A word from our presenting sponsor: "One of the ways we keep it real at Whole Foods Market is by supporting our local producers. We have a Local Forager dedicated to finding the best food from around here, and we offer low-interest loans to independent companies in our communities to help them thrive. Come eat real with us at our tapas truck and then visit our stores for more treats made and grown in your backyard!" Thank you to Whole Foods for making it possible for our event to be free of charge! We are looking forward to noshing on some crunchy fried anchovies from your tapas truck this weekend.

Some special shout outs to those who have helped with in-kind donations in the final countdown to the event: Magnanimus Wines, Dashe Cellars, Daylight Foods, Oliso, Vignette, St. George Spirits, and many many more. In addition, Eat Real is proud to be supported by a grant from the California Health Care Foundation.

Tune: La Réalité by Amadou & Mariam

Tune: Yo Vivo Enamorao by Camaron de La Isla from Calle Real

Tune: Yo Vivo Enamorao by Maria Jose and Adalberto Alvarez {salsa version of Camaron tune}

Tune: Romance De La Luna by Camaron de La Isla from Calle Real

Tune: Real Thing (Music is everything) by Erykah Badu

Tune: Real Thang (Process Rebel Metaphysical Remix)

Tune: Standing In The Grit Line by Don Covay & The Jefferson Lemon Blues Band

There will be lots of tasty treats at this fest. But you probably will not find any microwaved mayo.
Tune: Microwave Mayo by MF Doom

Friday, August 21, 2009

Adobo Hobo

The homie Adobo Hobo bringing Filipino culture to the streets.

I gotta catch up on my Filipino music collection. Any Soul Cocina readers out there with recommendations, drop em in the comments.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sammy Samosa

POTATOES, they make great samosa filling.

Tune: Diggin My Potatoes by Big Bill Broonzy and Washboard Sam

Soul cocina Samosas at Dolores Park.

Yukon Gold potatoes are boiled in salted turmeric water. They become golden.

Potato flowers in June at Eatwell Farm. Photo via

My garam masala blend for samosas is about 1 part cinnamon, 1 part star anise, 1 part green cardamom, 3 parts brown cardamom, 5 parts cumin, 6 parts fennel seed, 8 parts coriander seed, a tiny pinch of asafoetida, a big pinch of amchoor and a few dried kashmiri chilies. I slowly toast all the whole spices and dried chilies. When they are nicely toasted, I let them cool down and grind to a fine powder. Then I fry lots of garlic and ginger in ghee [lately I have used rice oil to keep them veggie] along with fresh green chillies. Then i add the garam masala to this mix and cook for another few minutes as the spices cook and infuse into the ghee or oil. Then I pour this mix over the potatoes. I mix together all the ingredients and roughly mash the potatoes.English peas are shucked and blanched before mixing with spiced potatoes. When cool, chopped cilantro aka fresh coriander is folded into the mix along with a squirt of lime juice.

Filling and forming the samosas.
The dough is made of 9 parts all purpose flour to one part rice flour. A little ghee or vegetable/ rice oil. water, saqlt and ajwain seeds.

Samosa vendors on the streets of Calcutta.

Soul Cocina Mission Street Samosas with three chutneys.Tune: La Batata de Tata by PapoRap Y Juanito

Tune: Tope also by DJ Lengua from Discos Unicornio is a dubbed out trippy cumbia
Hear more dubby Lengua beats on the ones and twos mix here [recomended slept on late night listening] complete with chicha, mexelectrodisco, classic cumbia, cumbia beats, central Peruvian highlander music. Big up the sonideros around the world.

Tune: El Carrito De Mi Compadre by Alcides Navarro Cuarteto Del Monaco via Africolombiablog@sweetcart @ Dolores Park with her famous red velvet cupcakes and cheesecake.

Find some great SF street food carts, stands, bikes and a truck at the SFBC Bike-in Movie Night, Wednesday.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Quipe Gaga

While visiting the Dominican Republic a few years ago, I was on the hunt for Dominican vinyl records, cds and recipes. The recipes were easy to find. Everyone wanted to share their recipe for the best version of all the Dominican staples like habichuela con dulce, mangu, sancocho, and quipe*. I brought back plenty of CDs. The best were form the beach shacks. I would here something I liked and ask the people working there what the music was, and often they ofered to sell a copy of the cd. This was right at the time when mambo aka merengue del calle, the newest version of merengue urbano was gaining momentum. I liked the energy and rawnesss of the stripped down sped up sound, but nothing beats straight classic heavy hitting merengue. One sound I became interested in was gaga. It was mysterious because I couldn't understand most of the lyrics and the cds were all unlabelled. The explanations from the beach shack vendors were all vague and inconsistant. When I asked other people on the island about gaga, they were not very interested in the topic and were hesitant to comment on my curiosity. I have been searching for more and more gaga ever since I bought my first gaga CD about 5 or 6 years ago in Boca Chica. When I play that CD now people are always amazed and think it is some brand new stuff.
The original gaga sound uses some interesting instruments that look like didgeridoos.

Tune: Unknown Boca Chica Gaga track 7

Tune: Unknown Boca Chica Gaga track 9

Gaga is a Haitian import that has become Dominican. Here is a quote from a Dominican forum about gaga:

"Even if Gaga came to the DR via Haiti, the fact that those who practice it are Dominicans as well as Haitians, it is as Dominican as other cultural adoptions like quipes and chofan."

Chofan=Dominican version of Chinese Chow Fan aka fried rice
*Quipe= Dominican name for Levantine Kibbeh.

Ask anyone in Santo Domingo to list some famous Dominican dishes and quipe will probably make the list. Brought to DR by immigrants from Syria, Jordan and Palestine, the original kibbeh is pretty similar to the Dominican quipe. The first time I ever heard about the original kibbeh was in one of my favorite cookbooks by one of my favorite cookbook authers, Paula Wolfart's Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean, where she dedicates an entire chapter to kibbeh. Quipe is made in many parts of Latin America. But it has a special place in Dominican culture. Quipe is a snack, an appetizer, street food or a whole meal. It is basically a meat and bulgur fried quenelle filled with ground meat. Although there are variations of Kibbeh. Lamb or beef. Some are poached instead of fried and some are eaten raw. The quipe in DR is usaully fried and filled with ground beef and nuts.

I served my recent batch of quipe with a salad of tomatoes, corn and Armenian cucumbers.
The outer shell of quipe is made by soaking bulgur wheat in water for half an hour and then blending with ground beef. The ratio I like is 50/50 bulgur to beef.Ground lamb is cooked with garlic, pine nuts, currants and a spice blend of cumin, allspice, clove, and a pinch of turmeric. Lots of chopped parsley is added.
The bulghur-beef shell is formed around your finger to create a hollow quenelle shape.

The shells are filled and the quipe is deep fried.

Tune: Merengue con Gaga by Amarfis & La Banda De Atakke

Tune: Ponte Freaky by Fulanito

Tune: Dembow de Mozart by Mozart La Para

Tune: Ma I'ndi Shak by Nawal Al Zoghbi (نوال الزغبي)

I received a new merengue comp directly from Santo Domingo earlier this week called Merengue Urbano 2009. I have been checking these style comps over the last decade and they keep getting worse and worse. I am happy to report, that this year there has been a slight growth of interest in Gaga sounds for modern Dominican productions. The round of 2009 hits have a few gems.

Tune: Hippo Big by Fulanito Aka Dose Rock?
A few gaga notes on the beat.

And the big tune on the comp....
Tune: Pon Lo Patra by El Chireno
Big Gaga beat za za za tra tra tra

Tune: Bulto To (Remix) Feat Watatah & Fulanito by Rinal Klein
autotune merengue with dancehall flow! Check Watatah on the Doctor's Darling riddim up on hi myspace.

And Santero tipped me off to the new bachata sounds of DR by recommending Grupo Optimo and the new releases of Aventura and Anthony Santos.

Tune: El Cuchillo by Grupo Optimo

Wish I could make it out to Slims in SF tomorrow night for Quantic. But I will be busy in the kitchen.
Tune: So Long feat Allice Russel by Quantic from Mishaps Happening

Tune: Mi Swing es Tropical {Zeb Reggae Remix} by Quantic and Nicodemus

Tune: dubstep Halal [snippet] by Zeb

Tune: Ruperta {Zeb Remix} by Novalima

Music: Here is some Dub for Days

And cool off with some Busy/Ghislain Poirier
Tune: Cool Baby (Poirier Remix) by Busy Signal