Soul Cocina

Eco Chef Roger Feely

Cocoa Coffin

Kane Kwei was born in Ghana almost a century ago. He was a carpenter who built custom coffins as well as furniture. He has made coffins in the shape of a Mercedes, Nokia cell phone, airplane, and my favorite, a spring onion. The cocoa pod coffin above is on display at the DeYoung museum in Golden gate park in San Francisco. I would want a phonograph record player coffin, or maybe a jalapeno coffin... oh I know, a phonograph record player with a ristra wrapped around it!

Tune:
Coffin For Head of State by Fela Kuti
Fela is not the only one who says Waka waka waka.

Tune: Cocoa Leaf from La Clave's self titled LP
~a wild percussion suite lead by Panamanian born Benny Velarde with exciting piano work by Al Zulaica.
Maestro Velarde ebreaks down the uniqueness of the West Coast Latin scene {via Office Naps}:

“On the East Coast they were playing music that was called “Afro Cuban Jazz”. It was heavily influenced by Chano Pozo who played with Dizzy Gillespie and Mario Bauza. On the West Coast we were playing what was called “Latin Jazz” - which meant jazz standards with Latin percussion …Another difference was that on the East Coast the music was played by Big Bands like those lead by Dizzy Gillespie and Machito. But on the West Coast we did not have Big Bands but the music was played by smaller combos.”

Tune: Move Your Hands also from La Clave's La Clave LP
This is one of many great covers of the Lonnie Smith classic. This version really stands out as a unique take. Lalo Shcifrin steps in on the keys @ 1:01 and Willie Colon keeps the bass sturdy throughout!? ....not THE Willie Colon of La Murga trombone fame, but a great bass player.

Tune: Ritmo Del Corazon from Sapo's from 1974 self titled LP recorded in San Pancho, Aztlan. {AKA SF,CA}
~check the drum break at 3:12 followed by wha wha guitars then horns. Fuego.

Tune: Cocoa by Assagai from Ther self titled 1971 LP via the now defunct Captain's Crate. Check the Captain Crate crew over at Mixtape Riot for some super nice Bang Bang remixes

Tune: Bayeza also by Assagai from the Zimbabwe album
South African musical giants Dudu Pakwana and Luis Moholo, who also played together with The Blue Notes, were part of this band.

Tune: Barazinbar also from Assagai's Zimbabwe LP

Tune: Caution! by Hugh Masakela & the Union of South Africa
A cool breezer to chill the summer heat with Hugh Masekela's instantly recognizable signature trumpet groove!Tune: To Get Ourselves Together also by Hugh Masakela & the Union of South Africa

Tune: Languta from Hugh Masekela Introduces Introducing Hedzoleh Soundz
recorded in Lagos in 1973 this tune was written by Hugh Masekela.Tune: Rekpete also from Hugh Masekela Introduces Introducing Hedzoleh Soundz
This tune is a traditional song Adapted by Hedzoleh Soundz. The rest of the songs on the LP were written by the members of Hedzoleh Soundz who are from Ghana, like the coffin carpenter Kane Kwei. Inside the gatefold LP they thank Fela Kuti "without whom this album would not be realised"

Tune: Nina by Hugh Masekela from I Am Not Afraidgreatest album cover ever.

Just a few minutes late for a Miercoles de Maravilla post.. lets call this a San Jueves post with even more gems from the Soul Cocina Crates and Notebooks.

Now for a recipe from the vaults circa 2005
Warm Chocolate Cake Wrapped in Purple Mochi Crepe over Sauteed Cherries with Noyaux Ice Cream and Fried Almonds

This is one of many variations and reincarnations of the Pokemon's Purse, an old plated dessert standard at Citizen Cake. It was there before me and I am sure it lived on after me in its OG form, but I loved giving this kawaii treat different twists throughout the seasons.

Noyaux Ice Cream

3 cups milk
1 cup cream
1/2 cup egg yolks {about 6 yolks}
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup smashed cherry pits
1/2 t salt

Bring the milk cream and cherry pits to a light simmer. remove from heat and llow to steep for 2 hours. return to heat and return to a simmer. Strain and temper in the yolks, sugar and salt. Chill overnight and spin in an ice cream freezer.

It is very common to make ice cream base from 1/2 cream and 1/2 milk. French ice cream base is made like creme anglaise with more cream. Italian Gelato is made with just milk. I like this ratio of 3 parts milk to one part cream. Unlike the other recipe components in this dessert that come directly from cherry stained notebook, the recipe above is an adaptation of standard recipes off the top of my head. When I searched "Cherry Pit Ice Cream" to present some background on Noyaux ice cream, I was directed to the Eggbeater blog and found an almost identicle recipe! Same thought process went into the creation and yeild modification of this recipe by homegirl Shuna and I.

Chocolate Cake Filling

8 ounces dark chocolate from Ghana cocoa beans
8 ounces butter
6 each eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Melt the butter and chocolate together. Whip the yolks with half of the sugar until light and fluffy. Whip the whites to soft peak and slowly add the rest of the sugar. Whip to medium peaks. Fold yolks into chocolate. Fold in the whites. Sift the flour and fold in along with the salt.

Purple Mochi Crepe

8 oz sugar
8 oz Mochiko rice flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t fine sea salt
2 ea whole eggs
9 oz fresh cherry juice
4 oz red wine
2 oz melted butter

whisk together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together the liquid ingredients. Whisk the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and pour onto a buttered half sheet pan. Bake at 325 degrees for ten minutes. When cooled down to room temperature, cut into 6 squares and remove from pan.

Place a small 2 ounce scoop of cake batter in the center of the mochi square. Fold in the corners. Flip over onto a parchment lined sheet pan so that the seam is down. Bake for ten minutes at 325 degrees.


Sauteed Cherries

Pit and half cherries. Melt a little butter in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the cherries along with half of a vanilla bean and a spoonful of sugar. Saute for a minute then add some red wine away from heat. Return to stove and reduce over medium heat until the cherries are a little soft and the sauce has thickened.

Serve with ground and whole almonds that have been fried in olive oil and salted. Finish with chocolate cigarettes or chocolate dipped poke sticks.