It has been a long hiatus but I am finally home. I had quite an adventure that I may share one day but for now, I would like to get back to writing my blog, Baja Beat.
My husband and I drove from San Diego to Los Cabos and it was breathtaking. This is my second time driving through the Baja and we were coming from the opposite different direction – north to south this time. We literally had no traffic – it was almost eerie that there were no trucks or cars on the road – but it made for a very relaxing drive enabling us enjoy the natural beauty of the Baja even more.
I want to thank Ramon and Isaiah from the Jardines Restaurant in San Quintin for taking such good care of us. The swordfish was outstanding and their kindness to us was even more impressive. Hotel Jardines is a little oasis in the desert with palm trees and lovely gardens filled with plants natural to the Baja. It was the perfect stop after crossing the border in Tecate and driving through the Guadalupe Valley where we stopped for lunch and wine tasting at the Guadalupe Hacienda restaurant. The room at Jardines was clean and comfortable and everyone from the night manager to the chef went out of their way to accommodate us.
I am grateful to be home and look forward to sharing the holidays with my friends and family. I grew up in Iowa and corn has always played an important role in my cooking. I have been preparing this silky corn custard set on a bed of rich shiitake mushroom sauce for almost 25 years and it still has that “wow” factor. I generally do not prepare the shiitake mushroom sauce for Thanksgiving as the custard is lovely on its own and the sauce can be heavy with all of the other dishes being consumed.
Courtesy of Bix Restaurant San Francisco
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 cup heavy cream
½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 ½ cups corn kernels (2 ears)
¾ cup Monterey Jack cheese
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 green onion finely sliced
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a bowl combine the eggs, cream and mustard. When smooth, fold in the remaining ingredients except the butter. Pour into 6 buttered ramekins. Place the ramekins in a shallow baking dish filled with 1 inch of water. Cover with tin foil. Bake for 30 minutes – serve immediately.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ teaspoon finely minced garlic
1 teaspoon chopped shallots
¼ cup chopped fresh fennel
¼ cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
¼ cup champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon white wine
¼ cup chicken stock
3 tablespoons minced fennel leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet. Saute’ the garlic and shallots until soft. Do not brown. Add the fennel and mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with vinegar and wine.
Add the chicken stock, reduce by half, and add the rest of the butter. When sauce has thickened, add the fennel leaves and season to taste with salt and pepper.
I made up this little poem a few months ago and it seems appropriate for Thanksgiving since we will be cooking, sharing recipes and creating new memories.
Cooking is Love
Love of ideas, history, family and friends
Love of the bounty of our planet
Love of quality and integrity
Love of artistry
Love of taking the first step
Love of sharing the last bite
Buen Provecho, Akiba