Cheddar Cauliflower Soup

Is it difficult to eat vegetables? Here is a savory soup to help overcome those difficulties.

Ingredients:

• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

• 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced and rinsed

• 4 cups chopped cauliflower florets (from 1 medium head)

• 2 1/2 cups low-fat milk, divided

• 2 cups water

• 1 bay leaf

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 1/2 teaspoon white or black pepper

• 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

• 1 1/2 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese

• 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions:

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring, until very soft. Duration: About 5 minutes.
2. Add cauliflower, 2 cups milk, water, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over
medium-high heat, stirring often.

3. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is soft. Duration: About 8 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup milk and flour in a small bowl.
5. When the cauliflower is soft, remove the bay leaf and stir in the milk mixture.
6. Cook  over medium-high heat for 2 minutes more, stirring until the soup has thickened slightly.

7. Remove from the heat.
8. Stir in cheese and lemon juice.

Enjoy your soup 🙂

Compliments of Tina Ramaiya

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I’ve Gone Loca for San Loco!

While walking in the East Village, my friend Rebecca and I stumbled upon a neon lit sign at the entrance of San Loco, a Mexican comensal (Spanish for eatery). All we could tell from the outside was that it was a local hang out and crowded, which is a good sign. With curiosity and empty tummies, we ventured inside. The aroma of chilli, chipotle, and fresh fried tortillas overtook us. We were greeted by a poster sized menu which offered selections from chips and dips, to various taco creations, bountiful burritos, quesadillas and newly added enchilada options. It seriously took a full ten minutes for us to decide our orders. Finally, I decided to have the Burrito Grande which included: rice, beans, shredded cheddar, diced onions, pico de gallo, with chipotle chicken, and a mild sauce.

Rebecca ordered the burrito as well, but chose beef. To my surprise, she also included Black Bean & Toasted Corn Salsa with Tortilla Chips, and…Sangria! We feasted like queens.

111 Stanton Street (btwn Ludlow and Essex)

We started with the black bean & corn salsa. The pure tasteful ingredients were bright, reflecting the traditional flavors in salsa. The corn was a vibrant yellow accented with cilantro. In my opinion, pico de gallo was the star, as I am a pico fan.  And what is better than Sangria to top off our appetizer? Nothing (aside from a Margarita). Our luscious libation was wonderfully fruity, garnished  with sliced oranges and diced apples, yet kind of strong. Thankfully, we spent more than a hour chatting and eating, so we were able to wait out the affects. Our burritos arrived shortly after. Upon first bite, I could taste every ingredient – it was south of the border bliss. Bold flavors from the beans and rice married very well with the Chipotle Chicken. The B-B-Q sauce for the chicken was the highlight of the dish! Of course, it was a secret recipe, but that secret will keep me coming back for more! This meal was completely filling.

Black Bean and Roasted Corn Salsa
Sangria (Pint)

Ambiance: The music was very eclectic. When we arrived, industrial/ techno music was playing. By the time we left, today’s hits, and even 80’s music had been on the play list. The decor was modest. The white walls housed the menu and there were couches as a dinning/ waiting area for guests. Multiple navy blue and yellow mosaic tiled tables filled the dinning room. The tables were small, so if you order many items, I hope you know how to consolidate!   Although, the furnishings are little, all the attention is funneled into the food. (Can’t complain about that 🙂 )

‘San’ means ‘saint’ in Spanish . The restaurant is appropriately named because I feel San Loco has come to us by heavenly design. Its presence is manifested throughout four locations:

1) Williamsburg, Brooklyn – 160 N. 4th Street (btwn Bedford & Driggs),718-218-8479

2) LES – 124 2nd Avenue (btwn 7th and St. Marks Streets), 212-260-7948

3) LES – 151 Avenue A (btwn 9th and 10th Streets) – 212-982-5653

4) LES – 111 Stanton Street (btwn Ludlow & Essex) – 212-253-7580

Budget Break Down:

  • Burrito and Soda: $10.75
  • Sangria: $3.25 (half price since it was split with a friend)
  • Total w/ tax: $14.00

Other Tidbits:

  • Vegetarian friendly
  • Gets crowded quickly, but a great place to grab a quick bite or catch up with friends
  • Take Out is available
  • All locations have Happy Hour Monday – Friday
  • Williamsburg location has a sports bar theme
  • Payment accepted: Cash, Visa, Master Card, and Discover

* LES – Lower East Side

Why Hello, Everyone!

Thanks for  tuning in for the first post, hope you come back for more delicious rambles.

Living so close to NYC, there is so much to learn about the bustling area. One of the best ways to get an organic feel for it and its neighborhood is through food, naturally. 😉 Another focus of the blog is to spend time exploring the many neighborhoods of Manhattan. The first featured neighborhood is the Lower East Side (LES). The Lower East Side is composed of four sections:  the East Village, Little Italy, the Bowery and Chinatown. This area is actually very historic. Before the American Revolution, the neighborhood used to be a farm area. As an early immigrant settlement, the LES became a rapidly increasing melting pot of hope and new beginnings. Once, it was known as Little Germany because of the large German community. As families began to move into crowded tenements, the area became more vibrant; “mom and pop” businesses were on the scene, and the East Village evolved from a farm land, once owned by James Delancy, into a multicultural destination.

Yesteryear Lower East Side
Yesteryear Lower East Side

Today, the Lower East Side is known for its eclectic, laid back vibe, self-expressive locals, and bohemian culture. The rich history is evident from the architecture, to the street names, unique shops, and of course, many tasty offerings!

Modern Day Lower East Side
Modern Day Lower East Side