SOL Cocina’s Winter Menu Warms Up Scottsdale
SOL Cocina Executive Chef Deborah Schneider is constantly working to evolve her menu which includes changing things up with the changing of the seasons. Her new winter menu features the season’s freshest ingredients intermingled into her bold, modern interpretations of traditional Coastal Mexican cuisine. There is a hefty focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, sustainable proteins, and whole grains all packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. This approach to Mexican cuisine allows for dietary accommodations of all kinds.
“My philosophy is simple in that great flavor comes from great fresh ingredients, so we start with the best quality and build from there,” says Chef Deborah, who oversees the kitchens at four SOL Cocina locations in the country, as well as two locations for its sister concept, solita Tacos & Margaritas. “Our new Winter Menu presents the season’s best ingredients in bold and satisfying dishes, many of which come from my own cookbooks.”
What New Additions to the SOL Winter Menu Can You Look Forward To?
Shrimp taquitos are a popular Mexican street food that are also frequently made by home cooks. This dish combines buttery shrimp and Mexican cheeses all rolled up in corn tortillas and fried until golden and crisp. The taquitos are served with lettuce, guacamole and pico de gallo, and then drizzled with Chipotle Sauce and green onions. These are a great starter guests to share. Try dipping them into guacamole or our warm goat cheese!
Crab Stuffed Deep Fried Avocado
A whole avocado is split, peeled and pitted, then stuffed with Baja blue crab meat spicy sambal sauce and fresh lime juice and re-assembled to create this dish. The avocado is rolled in crisp panko crumbs and quickly fried to make a light, crisp shell, then served on shredded lettuce and a ring of Mango Habanero Sauce with a drizzle of spicy mayo, tamarind sauce, and a few cocoa nibs for crunch! At the table, the ‘egg’ is cut in half to present to the customer, who can then mix everything together to make a guacamole or enjoy as is.
Spanish Grilled Octopus
This new winter menu option features tender octopus grilled and thinly sliced, served atop fingerling potatoes sauteed with garlic, chorizo, smoked Spanish paprika, white wine, and green olives. This presentation is called ala gallega for the region in Spain where is it popular.
Paunchos are a popular stuffed and fried antojito from the Yucatán made with fresh corn masa and fried. SOL’s are stuffed with a mixture of four Mexican cheeses (menonito, jack, queso fresco and cotixa), as well as vegetables and herbs, fresh spinach, diced nopales, epazote and cilantro, and a few minced serrano chiles. The dish is served on Borracho Black Beans and topped with lettuce, crema, pico de gallo and cotixa cheese, with a tequila-pickled jalapeno and a side of Salsa Ahogada (SOL’s ‘enchilada’ type salsa, made with beer). Insider tip: add chicken or carnitas!
Grilled street corn is a favorite of mine and I am definitely going to be checking out this new winter menu addition! This single ear of corn is roasted in the husk, then grilled with butter and served “esquites’ style with chipotle sauce, lime, cotixa cheese, ground guajillo and green onions. The corn is cut from the cob tableside and makes for a great dish for the table to share. Sign me up!
A very typical and traditional combination of cooked seafood: Mexican shrimp, fresh scallops, baby calamari rings & tentacles, and grilled octopus in a chilled broth of tomato, fresh lime, hot sauce, pico de gallo and cucumber, topped with diced avocado. Guests may add a shucked raw oyster or two to make a Vuelve ala Vida (literally, “Return to Life”) or add a shot of tequila! Best enjoyed with an ice-cold beer or margarita.
Corn & Poblano Soup
This hearty but simple soup is made of just sweet corn, roasted poblano and anaheim chiles cooked with a small amount of onion and garlic, and a bit of rice to thicken. The soup is pureed, then topped with a swirl of Mexican crema, a few toasted pepitas and a tiny sprinkle of guajillo chile. Can be made vegan without the crema garnish.
These tender calamari steaks are marinated with fresh citrus, smoked paprika and garlic. They are quickly grilled, cut into strips and served with chimichurri sauce. A terrific gluten-free alternative to our popular coconut calamari, which features panko breading and is fried.
Mole Negro on Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Kabocha Squash
Every Winter, SOL’s menu features a mole recipe from Chef Schneider’s cookbook, Salsas & Moles. The rich flavors and spices are perfect for cooler weather. Moles are ancient traditional sauces, usually reserved for special occasions because of their complexity and long preparation. SOL’s Mole Negro is composed of almost two dozen ingredients: dry chiles (including chile negro,) spices, ground corn, fruit, nuts, and seeds. It is finished with a very small amount of Mexican chocolate. In this presentation, the mole is draped over a boneless chicken breast stuffed with Mexican cheeses and herbs, alongside wedges of roast kabocha squash seasoned with sweet agave and olive oil. The mole is finished with crushed roasted peanuts.
Lobster & Shrimp Enchiladas, Golden Tomatillo Sauce, Crema, Mole
SOL’s latest iteration of enchiladas features a combination of large shrimp and Baja spiny lobster meat sauteed with butter, white wine, and heavy cream. The unique salsa is a beautiful golden color – it is made with preserved yellow tomatoes, yellow bell peppers, and tomatillos, and topped with the golden salsa, a bit of melted Mexican cheese and a quick drizzle of our Mole Negro.
Filet Entrée on Fingerling Potatoes, Rajas, and Cream
This 8oz filet of top choice Angus filet is seasoned with olive oil salt & garlic, grilled and then served atop a saute of tender fingerling potatoes with roasted poblano chile rajas, onion, garlic, heavy cream, herbs, Mexican cheese and a dash of white wine.
Toffee Date Cake with Piloncillo Butterscotch & Walnuts
Happy holidays, indeed! This moist, wonderful miniature bundt cake flavored with chopped dates, brown sugar, orange zest and vanilla. Served warm, filled with Butterscotch Sauce, and topped with whipped cream, more candied walnuts, and sugared orange peel. Why is this Mexican? Because Baja California is home to the largest date plantations in Mexico!
Want Some More Info About SOL’s Winter Menu?
- SOL is healthy and fresh! SOL’s kitchen makes more than 34 fresh salsas daily, and most items are grilled or braised, and served with these fresh salsas, rather than heavy sauces.
- Chef Deborah’s sides are all nonfat, and her salad dressings are thickened with avocado and are made with fresh fruit juices and almost no added oil.
- SOL is sustainable – Chef Deborah is also committed to using only sustainable fish, bought locally whenever possible.
- SOL is accommodating – SOL’s menu features many items that are or can be modified to be vegan, vegetarian and/or wheat-free.
- SOL’s bar menu revolves around the same philosophy our kitchen follows with a commitment to the freshest ingredients to ensure the best tasting, most flavorful cocktails, and SOL’s Farmers Market Margaritas, which change monthly, focus on the purity of fresh ingredients, including fresh juices, fruits, herbs and vegetables.
- Margarita mixes are made in-house with fresh citrus juices and sugar, and contain no HFCS, preservatives or coloring. Fresh fruit-based margaritas are often sweetened with agave and utilize tequilas that are organically produced.
Cookbooks Make Great Holiday Gifts and Chef Deborah Has A Few To Choose From
- Baja! Cooking on the Edge (a Food & Wine Magazine Best Cookbook choice)
- Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta (James Beard Award nominee)
- Mexican Slow Cooker
- Salsas & Moles
- Amor y Tacos
- Williams Sonoma’s Essentials of Latin Cooking
- William Sonoma’s Rustic Mexican (May 2017)
SOL Cocina | 15323 N. Scottsdale Road | Scottsdale | 85254 | 480.245.6708
Let us know if you’ll be headed to SOL to check out their new Winter Menu. We’d love to know what you try and what you think!
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© Taryn Jeffries 2016