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When life hands you baby eggplants (and it did), sauté it up, add some herbs [de provence], melted Munster cheese and serve along-side a juicy vine-ripened tomato, dusted with salt and pepper.
Wrong. Easiest vegetarian dish, ever.
Whoa…fine, you wanted it vegan, too? Ok, omit the cheese, please!
But if you go that route, I’ll have your share of cheese, because it is so yum-erific atop this herbed eggplant.
Such a masterpiece. It’s really amazing how a little extra water soakage before sautéing will really yield such crispy and flavorful eggplanty results. This trick should be used for Eggplant Parmesan, as well! .
Herbed Baby Eggplant & Vine-ripened Tomatoes
Serves 1 as an entree, or 2 as a side-dish
2 baby eggplants, sliced in ½-inch slices
1- 1½ tsp olive oil
1 tsp Herbs de Provence (thyme, basil, garlic, onion, bay leaf, salt oregano, rosemary, lavender, black pepper, spices)
1 oz (about 1 slice) Munster cheese, torn into pieces
1 vine-ripened tomato, sliced
salt & pepper, to taste
Slice the eggplant and with a paper towel, press each eggplant round between the palms of both hands, to soak up extra moisture. This way the eggplant does not get soggy and maintains all of it’s flavor. Drizzle the olive oil over the top of the eggplant pieces, along with a pinch of salt and the Herbs de Provence. Using the hands, toss the eggplant around, being sure that each side is slightly coated with the olive oil and the spices.
In a hot skillet, place the eggplant pieces in an even layer, and let cook on high heat for about 8 minutes, flipping them over halfway through, and drizzling more olive oil over top, if needed. Meanwhile, slice the tomato and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper; set aside. When eggplant is somewhat crispy, they are done. Transfer to a plate alongside the tomatoes.
Add the cheese pieces on top of the eggplant and the cover the whole plate with the hot skillet, upside-down, to allow the cheese to melt. Enjoy the crispy eggplant, melted cheese and fresh tomato all in one bite!
Rockin’ Baja Coastal Cantina has a brand new menubrewing up, and we were so lucky to have had the opportunity to a private tasting before it is unveiled! First we started off with the Wabo Red Rocker Margarita [contents: Tequila, Grand Marniner, Agave, citrus, cranberry juice, grenadine] and the Michelada de Clamato [contents: Tecate Beer, Clamato juice, lime juice, Worcestershire, Cholula, salt and pepper, in a spice-rimmed glass]. These treats were a great end to the day of work, and a great start to a much anticipated meal!
Wabo Red Rocker Margarita
Michelada de Clamato
Then, we helped ourselves to the loaded self-serve salsa bar, to help ease the grumbling bellies. While we snacked on the wide-variety of fresh-made salsas, we ordered our food and then we were brought some warm homemade flour tortillas and honey chili butter. Man, that butter was to die for. We were eating it like it was candy.
Soon after ordering, the food was brought to us in a timely fashion. Please, take a gander.
mmmm…Honey Chili Butter, sweet with a little kick to it!
Appetizer: Spicy Ahi Tacos
This ah-mazing appetizer comes with two overflowing ahi tacos, that would be great as a lighter meal if you weren’t famished. But we were starving, so we definitely needed more than an appetizer. The large chunks of super fresh ahi was generously portioned in each taco. The toppings of red onion, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers and avocado were a perfect combination of crunch and flavor alongside the tender ahi sashimi. But it was the cilantro-lime ranch dressing that tied the taco together. The only critique we have to offer is that they were not spicy enough, but with that self-serve salsa bar, that can easily be changed. We could eat these ALL day long. I am craving them as I write this. If it wasn’t so late at night, I would be halfway to Old Town, with my pedal to the metal to place an order…or 5…of these delicious Spicy Ahi Tacos!
Entree: Bahia Bucket
Piled high witha flavorful Alaskan Snow Crab Leg Cluster, four large wild Mexican Shrimp, two pieces of char broiled chicken, anda single San Felipe Style fish taco, this bucket means business. Your hands will get dirty, your table will be littered with used wet-naps, and your belly will be oh so happy. The Alaskan Snow Crab Legs came with butter dipping sauce, but it was not needed; the crab meat was loaded with flavor and was cooked perfectly. The shrimp had the same flavoring as the crab, so after moving from the soft succulent crab meat to the shrimp, they tasted similar but a little too chewy, and thus must have been a wee bit over-cooked. The chicken had a great char broiled taste, but we would have liked it better if it were a tender breast meat, rather than the thigh meat that we suspected it was. The San Felipe Style fish taco was basically a battered and fried whitefish, surrounded by cabbage, avocado, cilantro, and a white sauce. Either the tantalizing ahi tacos we had eaten minutes earlier were still on the mind and set the standards high, or this San Felipe taco was just not flavorful enough and the fish was very very dry, we moved right onto the Al Pastor tacos.
How awesome is this presentation?? It was almost too pretty to eat. But that didn’t last long, we dug in right away.
San Felipe Style Taco
Wait, where is the rest of the food? Oh, neatly tucked away under the taco, but of course!
Entree: Tacos Al Pastor
First, let’s talk about the sides. Bacon bits in the refried beans? YES, PLEASE! Moist Mexican rice with bits of corn? Oh yea! Now, about the Al Pastor Tacos, they were fabulous! We were initially hesitant to order these because our normal Al Pastor taco place is Funky Garcia’s in downtown San Diego and they make the best adobada sauce. We had high expectations, to be clear. And these Tacos Al Pastor certainly left us wanting more. If we weren’t so full we would have been begging for another round. So, now we have two favorite Al Pastor places. Who knew you could have two favorites?
Yum. Yum. Yum. Pineapple Mango salsa, sliced avocado, cilantro, onion, and a squeeze of lime, this Al Pastor has got it going on!
The service was great, the food was tasty, and overall, it was a great experience and we will definitely be back to try more food on the delicious new menu! I guess until then, those amazing ahi tacos beckon our return.
The atmosphere and ambiance allows for a comfortable dining experience.
Thank you servers, bartenders, chef and kitchen-folk for bringing us a great experience! We will be seeing you soon!