I tend to get fixated on things. For awhile, several years back it was oven roasting the beautiful tomatoes that we grew in our backyard to preserve the taste of summer when the Winter rolled around. It worked too. Because I canned the tomatoes after they were roasted with good olive oil and sea salt, the jars last almost until Spring. But I digress.....
Lately, it has been empanadas. It started with my friend and Chez Panisse alum, Melissa Fernandez. She is now heading up the kitchen at Cafe Fanny in addition to running her own catering company Fig and Miel. She makes the most amazing moles and at one of the Pop Up General Store's early evenings, she also offered empanadas. Now, I love street food. Farinata......don't get me started. Tacos of all types, Bao buns....even the fancy incarnations that are roaming our streets these days. But Melissa's rendition was delicious and it lit a fire and started my current obsession.
I popped into Actual Cafe, in Oakland recently to grab a cup of drip coffee before heading in to the city for the day and low and behold, another empanada master appeared on the radar. Actual had several selections from El Porteno, Jamon e Queso, Carne (with Troy's fav Prather Ranch Beef) all looked amazing. But the one that caught my eye and that I have been nursing an obsession with is one that is normally not on El Porteno's menu, Swiss Chard with Pine Nuts.
Okay, okay! I hear you........here she goes again with this veggie, trendy take on classics. But I promise you.........the flakiness of the pastry, and the peppery bitter of the greens and the little something that the pine nuts adds.....with a touch of sea salt. Man! TOTAL DELICIOUSNESS!
You will just have to try one for yourself, and while you are there, pick me up one too?
http://www.figandmiel.com/index2.php#/home/ Melissa Fernandez/Fig and Miel
http://www.popupgeneralstore.com/ brainchild of Samin Nosrat and Christopher Lee