Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A match made in heaven!

Rick Bayless + Chocolate (made from scratch!) = awesome!

From Tasting Table...a newsletter I get in my email now and then. It's good! Go there!

Hey, Little Sister

Get a taste of Rick Bayless's Xoco before it opens

Rick Bayless returned from a recent trip to Oaxaca with some good news: "What we're doing is every bit as good as what they’re doing there."

Bayless is referring to the chocolate he and chef Shaw Lesh will be making from scratch at his new 60-seat restaurant, Xoco ("Little Sister"), set to open in mid-August. Xoco will be an ode to Mexican street food--an all-day quick-serve café with a slow food heart.

Churros con chocolate will be on the morning menu; come lunch, it's all about tortas. These giant Mexican sandwiches will be filled with braised suckling pig (with pickled onions and habaneros), chorizo, lamb barbacoa, and jamón Ibérico with Otter Creek cheddar--all on Labriola bread crisped in a wood-burning oven.

At 3 p.m., it's time for caldos. The broths for these soupy meals-in-a-bowl will be simmered overnight, then heated to order with an array of additions. The drink menu will feature local craft beers, prickly pear sangria and Topolovino wines, an Albariño and Syrah that sommelier Jill Gubesch created with Qupé vineyards to match the heavily spiced food.

While waiting for the (alleged) mid-August opening date, make Xoco's chorizo-bean torta at home (click here to download the recipe). Get the ingredients at Guanajuato and Casa del Pueblo markets--two of Bayless's favorite sources for Mexican staples.