Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Attention All Foodies

When composer Craig Bohmler told us he was headed to Santa Fe, New Mexico, we recommended our favorite restaurant there: Santacafe.

All right, it's hard to call it our favorite when we haven't been back to Santa Fe in several years, but it was definitely the best food we ate there on a few visits. And since we purchased their cookbook (East Meets West) and have been preparing several of their dishes on numerous occasions, it's natural that we still feel attached to it!

Well, an e-mail from Craig confirms that not only is it still there, but still superb. I quote:

WOW!! We had the stuffed poblano pepper with quinoa* and the spinach/shrimp potstickers, calamari and then that yummy desert you served us! It was a great meal and impeccable service, so thanks for the recommendation.

The dessert he's referring to comes from their cookbook, and is called Asian Napoleon, frying wonton wrappers as the pastry instead of pastry dough, layering a lemon custard whipped cream between each wrapper, and surrounding it all with a raspberry coulis. During Craig's visit here, strawberries were in high season so I made a strawberry coulis. In the autumn, I typically make a cranberry coulis. A little confectioners sugar on top and a mint leaf garnish the dessert.

Speaking of cookbook recommendations, I've just made about a dozen dishes from a 25 year old cookbook we received free at a special promotional event in St. Petersburg, Florida, when I was working there. The Sheraton World Cookbook(Sheraton hotels--not Mimi Sheraton) is a compilation of favorite recipes from chefs at Sheraton Hotels around the globe. Over the years, we've tried some of the dishes and always liked them.

Well, I've been on a cooking rampage, and been plowing through recipe after recipe in this book, and there hasn't been a dud in the bunch. They are consistently good and, for the most part, not too complicated. We've had south Asian, middle eastern, north and south American and European dishes.

I believe the book must be out of print, but when I did a search, I found one on eBay, so I suspect you might be able to find one.

Bon appetit!


*PS--you notice Craig had quinoa at Santacafe? If you've never had it, it's a must. Remember when, a few years ago, couscous began taking the place of rice. The current trends I see are Israeli couscous and quinoa. Quinoa is a great starch--not truly a grain, but rather a nut, I've read. It needs to be rinsed a few times before cooking, but has a distinctive flavor that is well-tempered by strong main courses. Try it.

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