Browsing articles in "Food"
Jul 16, 2013

Marica Restaurant: One of Oakland’s Best Kept Secrets

Disclaimer: A good friend of a good friend’s family owns this restaurant.  BUT — I didn’t know that until I finally got to eat here.  I knew his family had a restaurant with an exotic-sounding name around there.  I just never put two and two together!

I had this place bookmarked on Yelp for a while, but I finally made it here this past weekend.  And — it turns out said friend happened to be at the restaurant that day!  Third time’s the charm :)

A friend texted me on Sunday evening and being starvin’ Marvin, I asked her if she wanted to have dinner.  She threw out a ton of suggestions, one of which being Marica.  Having just worked out, Marica sounded like the best choice because the 3-course prix fixe menu that I had read about on their website included a light appetizer choice, a protein-filled entree, and a light dessert option.

However, that idea went immediately out the door, before I even got the chance to open up the menu, when our friend offered us the off-menu chef’s tasting menu so that we could taste a few more dishes.  Getting a taste of their menu omakase-style… who could we pass that up?!

To start, we got this lovely trio of apps:

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On the top left is their chopped salad, which consists of avocado, romaine, red bell pepper, cannellini beans, egg, parmesan and white wine vinaigrette.  In the adorable miniature mug is a corn chowder’esque concoction made with clam juice with a big prawn hidden in there.  Up front is a savory cornmeal pancake with prawn and even more corn.  I loved going from one little pod of food to the next.

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Jul 9, 2013

Watermelon Smoothie Recipe

I love watermelon.  And I love smoothies and juices.  So naturally, I love watermelon smoothies and juices.  I use the terms “smoothie” and “juice” interchangeably here because when you blend up watermelon, it tends to separate pretty soon after and you’re left with juice on the bottom, and a smoothie texture with the pulp at the top.  Both equally delicious.

When I was younger, my parents would take me to a Chinese cafe that had a daily melon juice special for a mere $1.  Sometimes it was honeydew.  Sometimes it was cantaloupe.  But it was usually watermelon.  I always had to order one.  Especially if it was watermelon.  As I got older though, I ordered it less and less because it became too sweet for my taste.  The reason being that they not only added milk, but simple syrup as well.

When I was gifted a gigantic Costco watermelon on a particularly hot day last week, though, I had sudden nostalgic urge to make one of those watermelon smoothies.  What I didn’t have a craving for, though, was the added sugar.  Would it taste as good without it?  Well, as I found out — yes.  Yes, it does, because this happened:

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Jul 7, 2013

Saturday stroll along the Embarcadero

Saturday was so mad gorgeous that it would’ve been a crime not to go out and enjoy it.  So I did :)  And I decided to do so by playing tourist for the afternoon and enjoy some Ferry Building Saturday Farmer’s Market “street food”.  The beau and I shared a cheat day moco loco from Namu by the water.

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Jul 3, 2013

Mexican Cauliflower Rice Recipe

I know this may not look like much… but it is so tasty!  I saw a chef on the Food Network make cauliflower rice long ago.  Now that I’ve been on my health kick (and it’s going to be a long term one!) and I want to reduce my intake of unhealthy carbs, I thought this would be a good time to try this recipe to replace my need and desire for rice and bread.  I was very pleasantly surprised.  Not only was it really good, it was really easy and quick to make.

As you can see, though, I added my own little spin to it so this isn’t just your average cauliflower rice recipe…

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Inspired by rices that I’ve had at some taquerias as well as the white rice at Chipotle, I decided to spice it up so that this cauliflower rice could be a complement to other dishes as well as a stand alone dish.  Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 large roma tomato
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 handful of cilantro
  • the juice of 2 limes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Chop the first three ingredients and mix together.  To cut the cauliflower into rice-sized pieces, I suggest cutting off the green leafy part, cutting the head into slices and going from there (some recipes suggest grating, but that didn’t work out for me)
  2. Place your chopped cauliflower into a large glass bowl or a microwave-safe container depending on how you want to cook it.  Either steam it for 15 minutes or microwave it on high for 7 minutes.
  3. Once cooked, add finely chopped cilantro and the lime juice to it and season it with salt and pepper.

So easy!

I made this cauliflower rice yesterday because I made an awesome lean chicken ragu sauce that I just wanted to spoon over pasta and dip bread into.  But I resisted!  And I made this healthy cauliflower rice instead, and the ragu sauce was perfect over it.

By the way, besides being low carb, it’s also low calorie with no fat, and is anti-inflammatory and very high in plenty of good stuff, like antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and even has protein.  So eat up!

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May 2, 2013

Fizzy Key Limeade Recipe

I rarely ever get to say this, but… it’s too hot in San Francisco! So what do I do about it? Make ice cold fizzy key limeade :)

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