Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mr. Cobbs Does 'Cue-Corn and Ribs...PART I

Oh my these ribs and chicken got so much smoke. Mr. Cobbs, named after his corn, of course, can smoke some mean meats. His ribs are like eating a smoked pork chop, they are that meaty, beaty, big, and bouncy. He explained it all to me but all I remember is 'Rib Frenzy'. I can only recall that once before, with the Fat Man (search the blog-I'm too hungry looking at these photos to provide the links). Scroll down to the video and you'll see what makes a barbecue what it is-smoke. For more info hit

Part II coming soon....

Best Coffee in Miami?

Lots of products on the shelves...

Orinoco Coffee...

Moises Bakery in North Beach has a lot going for it. A Venezuelan bakery run by Portuguese (very traditional in Venezuela for Portuguese people to own bakeries), they have all the fresh cachitos (chopped ham-filled baked dough), pan de jamón, hallacas (like super-sized tamales) for the holidays, arepas, and even the Venezuelan-style empanada (thicker than a traditional empanada) sometimes filled with perico, which is scrambled eggs with tomato. And of course tequeños, those long thin melting cheese-filled fingers, the perfect snack with a coffee in the afternoon.

And that brings me to my secret find-Moises is the only place in Miami (for now) where you can buy a bag of the incredible coffee from Orinoco Coffee & Tea, Ltd. Orinoco is a family-owned coffee importer and roaster, whose coffee is only available in certain cities at specialty gourmet stores like Dean & Deluca and Balducci's. In fact, I first met Juan Carlos Ramirez, president of Orinoco Coffee, when he was peddling his coffee by bicycle (pedaling?) on the streets of Washington, DC. This was many years ago, and he has since expanded his business, to the point where the Washington Post has called him "the Juan Valdez of Venezuela". I like to make coffee in a French press-you get the best results that way, as Juan Carlos himself will tell you. You should also buy whole beans, and grind them in the morning before you make your coffee (okay, maybe the night before-who needs that racket first thing in the morning?), for the freshest taste.

Juan Carlos's passion and expertise is the product of "four generations of experience in the coffee business as growers, exporters, importers, and roasters." He travels the world in search of the best coffee (he just got back from Ethiopia), and specializes in organic and fair trade coffees, from exotic locales including Papua New Guinea, Sumatra, and, of course, Venezuela. For more info on his amazing coffees, please go to , or stop by Moises and grab a bag before they are sold out. Sadly, the coffee that Moises sells by the cup is not Orinoco-but maybe with enough demand, they might change brands-I guess it would only make sense for a Venezuelan bakery to sell a Venezuelan's coffee, right? In any event, grab a few tequeños to go, too.

Arepas filled with reina pepiada (shredded chicken)

Fresh-baked cookies...
Moises Bakery
7310 Collins Ave
Miami, FL 33141

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Braised Goat Canelloni

Goat is cheap and plentiful in Miami, and I just braised about 5 pounds of goat ribs for about 5 hours down at 250 degrees in a covered pan. I laid down a bunch of carrots and onions, then covered the meat in coconut milk and raisins. I wanted to stay away from tomatoes, and add ingredients that would emphasize the sweetness of goat meat. After picking the meat off the bones, it went inside al dente cannelloni, then covered by some leftover oxtail ragu and a bunch of cheese. Bake covered at 350 until heated through and cheese is melted, about 30 minutes.

Throw the goat in the oven in the morning, then let it rest until it comes near room temperature; then refrigerate and reheat the next day-just warm enough to shred the meat off the bones. You can use any kind of sauce to cover-even the liquid from the goat braise. The whole thing cost me about $20 and made 20 cannellonis.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Smut All Over...


Truffle (I Know What It Looks Like...)

I was rummaging through my pantry, doing a little Sunday cleaning, when I discovered my last can of Huitlacoche. Known variously as corn truffle (classy) or corn smut (dirty), it's the black fungus that grows inside an ear of corn. Like most fungi, huitlacoche takes some getting used to; but like the humble button mushroom ($4/lb. at the supermarket). or the exotic white truffle ($600/ounce at Dean & Deluca), once you've eaten it, its origins won't matter anymore. It is very earthy, and it tastes a little like something that has spoiled, but in a way similar to the truffle, which has a rotten egg aroma. I also had some Halloumi cheese lying around (it's similar to Mexican frying cheese), so I thought I'd grate some of that on top. The butternut squash is a fall classic-just wrap in foil and bake until it's soft-I also roasted some mushrooms. I like to mix the raw and the cooked, so the chayote I diced and left raw, and the raw avocado smooths out the serrano peppers. Place it all in a couple of warm tortillas, and top with cilantro. Oddly, I had already eaten my fill of Mexican food at 'brunch' at my favorite undiscovered Mexican restaurant in Miami, so I was able to stop at one huitlacoche taco for dinner. By the way, brunch to me just means breakfast with booze. Maybe that goes for everyone?

Butternut Squash

Huitlacoche Tacos...

Friday, January 09, 2009

Karaoke at the Schnitzel Haus on Miami's Upper Eastside...

Jeff and Chef/Owner Alex Richter duet

Karaoke King Armando Saenz

Max channeling Patsy Cline

Wendy on the sax?

You've lusted after the goose , now come for the giant German beers and the Karaoke stylings of Armando Saenz (a dead ringer for Javier Bardem in 'No Country for Old Men') and Chef Alex Richter, who does a mean Marlene Dietrich. This was so much fun; and I was able to walk home! Come for the sausages, stay for the Patsy Cline. Mondays starting at 8PM.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Bro's(ia) before Ho's

Hey thought I'd do one of those cutesy Daily Candy/Urban Daddy/Thrillist headlines that make you wonder what they're writing about so you open the email? So did it work? I guess so. Thank you DC/UD/T! Had a bite at Brosia and the afternoon on the plaza there is fine-decent music, coupla decent appetizers (mezze platter was the best-$15) and 2 bottles of Echelon, a French Pinot Noir at $34/bottle (full name-Echelon Pinot Noir Vin de Pays de I'Ile de Beaute 2006). Not a great bargain, as it's about $13 at Total Wines; but the service was good and the weather was nice. Also had the fries which are crispy, and the BBQ chicken empanadas at 2 for $8-super tasty and a nice crunchy dough. Carb-loading also with the extra bread for $1.50. You know if they're gonna give you some spreads and cheeses that can only be eaten on some bread, they should probably give you more than three dinky slices with the platter. But like I said, I was carb-loading.