August 2008 Archives

Introducing Our New Blackberry Float

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Blackberry Float.jpgWe're always on the look out for new ways to show off our local fruit- presenting our most recent "show-off-our-local-fruit" innovation, Tucos' Blackberry Float.  This dessert came together when the blackberries began to show up at the market this season.  We love to make them into a compote and usually serve them over our house-made vanilla ice cream (delicious).  This time though, we had a hidden agenda- we've been anxious to get our favorite dessert on the menu (that is, Pru's favorite dessert)- Molotov Pudding, a portuguese merengue that is baked soft and spongy in a water bath and is usually served with a caramel sauce similar to the sauce on flan.  It is extremely difficult to find on menus, even in Portugal and Brazil where it originates.  We took this spongy merengue and "floated" it over a creme anglaise, similar to a floating island dessert, and then topped it with our wonderful blackberry compote... the results are magic!  We're so proud of our new dessert and Pru's extremely happy to have his favorite, hard-to-find dessert available to him any time at Tucos.

Decoding Ferran Adria DVD Review

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Ferran Adria.jpgRecently, I watched "Decoding Ferran Adria Hosted by Anthony Bourdain" on DVD.  (Many consider Adria to be today's best mind in western cuisine).  I was very curious (and a bit anxious) to be able to go behind the scenes and hear from the father of "foam", pasta-less raviolis, fried fish skeleton and other mind-bending creations.  The DVD did not disappoint.  It took us through a fairly detailed look inside Adria's "Taller" (laboratory) where he and his team work on their innovations and we get to sit through a meal with Adria and Bourdain... intriguing and educational.. I ate it up (excuse the pun).  However, the most interesting and exciting take away for me has to do with the two restaurants that Adria takes Bourdain to before immersing him in El Bulli, Jamonisimo (a specialist in Spain's jamon serrano) and a tiny hole-in-the-wall restaurant, Rafa's, that specializes in absolutely fresh fish caught that day.  These two places speak loud and strong about what Adria is all about (at the core)- wonderful, fresh, wholesome ingredients, prepared straight forward by folks who respect their ingredients and have an intimate understanding on how to bring these ingredients to the plate- this is just what we're passionate about at Tucos!  Adria is one of us!  As for the foam, pasta-less raviolis, and the fried fish skeleton...  I understood from the film that Adria is just having tremendous fun with food- rethinking the value we place on it, experimenting with technologies for getting it on the plate, entertaining with it, searching for that next "chocolate chip cookie" that becomes a part of our world from here to eternity.  Who can argue with that?  Adria has inspired me to continue on with my passion for big, happy, proud food and to continue on with my creativity.  Who knows I might some day come up with that next "Chocolate Chip Cookie" too....

Morgan at Chez Panisse.jpgThose of you who visit Tucos regularly might have had the occasion to see one of our younger regulars, Morgan.  She loves cooking, she loves eating local, organic, happy produce, and she loves Tucos.  Recently she was the lucky recipient of an invitation to spend the day in the kitchen of one of the nation's top restaurants, Chez Panisse, in Berkeley.  She's still smiling from the wonderful time she had there.  Next up, Morgan will be helping Tucos at the Yolo Land Trust " A Day in the Country" Event, September 7, 3-6pm, at the Beeman  Ranch, in Yolo County.  We'll be one of 20+ restaurants from Northern California, including Chez Panisse, Zuni Cafe, Oliveto, & Lalime.  By popular demand, Morgan will be helping us serve our hand-shucked caribbean snowcones with local syrups.  Last year we served over 500 snowcones! 

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