August is such a slog for both the candidates and me too. So what is there to talk about besides the Olympics? How about what both candidates eat on the road and where they like to dine?
Ok so its not a great subject, however after my wander thru the websites, I did find out some trivia that allows us just a little peak into their notions of healthy eating or for that matter favorite foods at least.
So do you want to know Senator Obama’s favorite and least favorite food? Here goes;
Planters Trail Mix: Nuts, Seeds & Raisins
MET-Rx chocolate roasted peanut protein bars
Vegetables, especially broccoli and spinach
Handmade milk chocolates from Fran’s Chocolates in Seattle
Salt and vinegar potato chips
Asparagus (“if no other vegetables are available, he’ll eat it”)
Soft drinks (he prefers water)
AND how about Senator McCain? Ok, so it must be a secret. All I could find out is that he is an eater of pizza, pizza, pizza wile on the road.
When campaigning in Brooklyn, Sen. McCain dropped into Verrazano Pizza and bought a pepperoni slice, according to press accounts. Sen. Obama opted for vegetarian pies (all-cheese and the classic tomato-and-mozzarella Margherita) at American Dream Pizza in Corvallis, Ore. Even when he eats Pizza, its with his arteries in mind!
Obama’s Chicago Haunt.
Altogether more interesting to me is the Obamas’ favorite haunt of Topolobampo, Rick Bayless’s (Sheila’s hero) superb little shrine to the full measure of Mexico’s cuisine. I gorged there happily when on a personal culinary pilgimage, enjoying its authentic, even scholarly versions of classic dishes such as chilaquiles and Yucatecan roast pork.
Topolobampo (named after a Mexican port) is one of the reasons I think Chicago is arguably America’s top eating city……sorry Brian……
Topolobampo says, Sen. Obama often orders sopa azteca, a dark broth flavored with pasilla chilies, grilled chicken, avocado, Meadow Valley Farm handmade Jack cheese, thick cream and crisp tortilla strips. (From the Menu)
When the McCains are in Phoenix he likes to go to Tee Pee, says a spokeswoman for the senator’s campaign, Brooke Buchanan. The perfect place for a chilly retreat in this standby Tex-Mex saloon, escaping the 110-degree heat and taking comfort from the strings of tiny red chiliesque bulbs overhead. The beer was very cold but the enchiladas with rice and beans were a disappointing mess of cheese and flabby tortillas. This was the “presidential special” ordered by George W. Bush on Jan. 21, 2004, a date hallowed in Tee Pee legend and commemorated with a picture of the event posted on a wall near the entrance. Bush 41 always DID like little hole in the walls for dining.
Here’s a thought! Is Sen. McCain’s loyalty to Tee Pee a sign that he would continue the policies of the current administration? I personally wince at the thought of it, but I’ll let you decide.
My point of this foray into the two candidates culinary habits? Well…….again…what do you think would have more a chance of physically warding of a heart attack while in the Oval Office? Roasted Almonds or Pizza?
Rick Bayless’ Sopa Azteca (reportedly Obama’s favorite)
1 large dried pasilla chile, stemmed, seeded
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled
8 cups chicken broth
1 large epazote sprig, optional
1¼ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 avocado, pitted, flesh scooped out, cut into ¼-inch cubes
1½ cups shredded Mexican melting cheese (Chihuahua, quesadilla or asadero) or Monterey Jack or mild cheddar
4 cups roughly broken tortilla chips
½ cup Mexican crema, sour cream or crème fraîche
1 lime, cut into 6 wedges
• Quickly toast the chile by holding it with tongs an inch or two over a gas flame, turning for a few seconds until its aroma is released. Alternatively, toast the chile in a dry pan over medium heat, pressing it flat for a few seconds, then flipping it over and pressing it again.
• Break the chile into pieces. Place it in a blender along with the tomatoes and juice; set aside. (A food processor will work, however, it won’t completely puree the chile.)
• Heat the oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 7 minutes. Remove pot from the heat. Scoop up the onion and garlic with a slotted spoon, pressing them against the side of the pan to leave behind as much oil as possible; transfer to the blender. Process until smooth.
• Return the pot to medium-high heat. When it is quite hot, add the tomato mixture and stir nearly constantly, until thickened to the consistency of tomato paste, about 7 minutes. Add the broth and epazote, if using. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt, about 1 teaspoon.
• Just before serving, add the chicken to the simmering broth. Meanwhile, divide the avocado, cheese and tortilla chips among the serving bowls. When the chicken is done, usually about 5 minutes, ladle the soup into the bowls. Garnish with a dollop of crema. Pass the lime separately.