Soul Cocina

Eco Chef Roger Feely

Filtering by Tag: dessert recipes

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!

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.

Christmas in Goa

Although Jesus was not born on Christmas, and probably not even in the wintertime, Goa, along with the rest of the Christian world, celebrates his birthday on December 25th. It may seem a little late for a Christma post, but in Goa Christmas celebrations continue until the end of winter break in the begining of January. In the USA christmas time starts in the begining of December and ends shortly after Dec 25, but here, Christmas celebrations start a few days before Dec 25. Many Xmas parties are after Dec 25th in Goa.Christmas is a very festive time in Goa that brings many special dishes to the table. Sans rival is a Goan cake that makes many appearances during the holiday season. It is a cashew cake with sugar icing. The baker, Raju, at Nostalgia in south Goa baked about 20 sans rival cakes in two days, and each cake has about five layers. Bebinca is another layer cake that takes about 6 hours to cook. Talk about slow food. The coconut batter is baked one layer at a time with a little ghee between each layer until there are 8 to 12 layers. the resulting cake becomes a dark translucent color with layers that peel apart. Everyone has there own way of eating bebinca. Another festive Goan classic that Chef Fernando and his team creates for the Christmas season is Dedos De Dama, cashew frangipane coated in sugar caramel. For the Goan parties last week we cut a watermellon in half and stick the dedos de dama (maiden's fingers) onto decorated skewers, which are then dipped into hot caramel (like making crouquembouche) then the skewers are stuck into the watermellon, making a funky spiked dome. Guests pull a stick from the watermellon and enjoy the dedos de dama like lolypops.I also enjoyed making Neuros with the hardcore Goan chefs at Nostalgia. Neuros are addictive sweets that are made for Christmas in Goa. They are fried pastries like empanadas that are filled with semolina and coconut. The first Neuro is shaped into a cross to bless the rest of the batch which are shaped like half moons using a special spoon that has a fluted pastry wheel at one end and a spoon for the filling on the other end. I found some of these spoons in Mapsa for 15 rupees each.

Tune: Spoon by Cut Chemist

Tune: Spoonful Blues by Charley Patton

Vasco de Gama arrived in Goa in 1498 to set up a Portuguese colony to control the spice trade since the land routes were cut off by the Ottoman Dynasty. Half a century later the Christian Missionary, St. Francis Xavier, tried to start an inquisition in Goa. The Goan Inquisition started about a decade after his death. His body (most of it) is in a glass couffin in Old Goa at the Basilica of Bom Jésus. It has resisted decay and they say that his fingernails continue to grow. Every ten years his body is displayed to the public and people make a pilgramige to see his corpse.One year a lady from bombay bit off a piece of his fingernail and brought it back to Bombay with her, but when her family found out they made her return it. St Francis Xavier's right arm was sent to the main Jesuit church in Rome where it is on display. His right hand was the hand he used to bless and baptize his converts.

Tune: I Had Me Hands In Me Pocket at the Time by George Formby Senior who was born one hundred years before I was. He colapsed durring the run of a Christmas performance which led to his death a few months later.

Tune: Hands of Fate by Lakim Shabazz

Many Jews who fled the Iberian Inquisition landed in Goa. The Hindu rulers of Kerala helped many Jews escape the Goan Inquisition by allowing them to move to Cochin. They were soon chased out by the Goan Inquisition. By the end of the 16th century, many Hindu Goans had converted to Christianity. It became illegal for Hindus to practice in public, and most temples were destroyed. The Portuguse built churches all over Goa. They outlawed many soulcocina staples, like Hindu instruments, food, and paan.
My computer is down, so my gospel and Jesus tribute mixes are not available. (anyone with the mixes can email them to me please). So for now, I offer some great tunes about Jesus that I have collected from some of my favorite audioblogs like Moistworks and Wayne and Wax.

Tune: Jesus Gave Me Water by The Five Blind Boys of Mississippi

Tune: Me and Jesus the Pimp in a "79 Granada Last Night by The Coup

Tune: I Heard The News (Jesus is Coming Again) by Sister Wynona Carr

Tune: Sexy Jesus by Wayne & Wax

Under the Inquisition, Hindu names were also banned. People would take the name of the priest who christianed or baptised them.
Tune: Baptise Me in Wine by Screamin' Jay Hawkins

The Missionaries did allow the recently converted Goans to keep the tradition of the caste system, which convieniently helped to keep control of the people. In 1623 the Pope, Gregory XV passed a decree that allowed all converted Hindus to keep the caste system.Another aspect of Portuguese culture that has survived in Goa is the love of booze. These kids (above) are lined up outside the Viva Liquor Shop in Panjim on Christmas day.Another part of Portuguese culture that lives on in Goa is the Siesta. These kids decided to stay awake during siesta time near the Panjim market on Christmas day while some of the ladies that sell vegetables at the market decided to take a cat nap.

There were some Hindu Brahmins that resisted the Portuguese rule that occupied the islands of Divar and Chorao, the two largest islands on the Mandovi River. They gaurded the islands against Portuguese invasion and even raided some of the Portuguese garrisons along the river. The Indo-Portuguese monk, Fr. José Custódio de Faria, (AKA Abbé Faria) was one of the leaders of a revolt against Portuguese rule in Goa in the Conspiracy Of The Pintos in 1787. Abbé Faria was one of the pioneers of the scientific study of hypnotism.

Tune: The Hypnotic by The Roots

I can't share the recipe for Chef Fernandos nueros, which are filled with roasted semolina and coconut and fragrant with cardamon. But I will share another popular versian of the Christmass Nuero. The dough for the outer crust is made from boiled sweet potatoes. This recipe comes from a book of Goan Saraswat Hindu recipes called Ishtann that I picked up in Goa.

Sweet Potato Nueros

4-5 sweet potatoes, boiled then cooled to room temp
1 1/4 cup grated coconut
3/4 cup Goan jaggery (jaggery from coconut palm)
8-10 cashewnuts, crushed
a pinch of cardamom powder
salt to taste

Put potatoes in a stock pot, cover with enough water and cook until done (they should be mushy to the touch). Drain and let cool.

Mix grated coconut, cashew pieces, salt and cardamom powder. Add jaggery and cook on moderate heat until the mixture is thoroughly combined. Keep aside.

Peel the potatoes, mash them and form a dough. Flatten into circles with your fingers. Spoon a little filling on one side and fold over into a crescent. Make ridges with a fork, press lightly and keep aside.

Heat a griddle on moderate heat. Fry the nuero using ghee until GBD. Turn over gently and fry on the other side.
Drizzle with ghee and serve hot.