Adventures in Eating & Cooking
Ahhh, I am finally coming out of boards hibernation so expect a bunch of random photos and ramblings about food that I may not recall as clearly. But that’s how one can truly distinguish the memorable from unmemorable! Finishing up my last Houston trip a few months ago, allow me to introduce Caracol – a beautiful, vacation-reminiscent Mexican-coastal restaurant.
Ceviche de Caracol – Never had conch ceviche before but, what a pretty pinwheel it makes! I’m weirder than most people in that I prefer chewy seafoods (octopus) over soft seafoods (scallops). The conch represented a nice balance between the two, paired with pineapple and jalapeno. The pineapples did not taste that fresh, which was a minus in my book, but provided a fruity undertone for the filets of conch.
Tostadas de Pez Vela Ahumado – These were not super-memorable, but it was my first time trying tostadas. These are basically tacos, except made with a soft-shell tortilla that is slightly toasted or fried. (Tostada for “toasted.”) This gives is a crispy consistency. These particular tostadas were topped with a layer of slow-cooked black beans, chopped smoked spearfish, and tomato-salsa garnish.
Taquitos Tronadores de Carnitas – Taquitos!!! Also called “flautas” in Mexico for “flute.” Of course, these are tortilla-like structures rolled up into joints — or ummm ice cream cones! Stuffed with savory, smoked pork; bathed in guac-tomatilla sauce and crema fresca. This was a lovely combination of savory meatiness, tart-spiciness, dampened by light cream. One could also choose to dip in the mound of black-bean puree on the side.
Repollitos Asados – THESE WERE AMAZING!!! Probably the highlight savory dish of the night was surprisingly an easily-overlooked side dish. Thank goodness Miss Cosmopolitan did her research and recommended these as part of the meal. The brussel sprouts were charred to perfection, rich with smokey flavor before getting burnt. The smokiness highlighted the natural earthy scents innate to the brussel. The pesto had a unique twist – unlike the heavily basil-garlic-style pesto classic of Italian dishes, this pesto had mild basil, cilantro, lime juice, and a hint of mint. These blend of herbs was one of the most interesting pesto combinations I had ever tasted.
This massive Ferrero Rocher-like monster! El Coco is the highlight of Caracol’s dessert menu. (It even sounds like the name of some formidable haunted volcano or a formidable Six Flags roller coaster, hehe.) It’s… an exploding ball of chocolate-coconutty gooiness. BOOM!
And there you have it folks – the El Coco the erupted piles of coconut cream rubble and streaming ganache-lava. Definitely a crowd-pleaser and easy to share. We all took bits of the thin dark chocolate shell and dipped it in the wonderful concoction of coconut-chocolate innards.