Baked Skinny Bean Nacho Poppers with Millet Crust Recipe Idea

 

Baked Skinny Bean Nacho Poppers with Millet Crust

These poppers are very easy and quick to make. They are mini sweet baby bell peppers that were stuffed with fat free vegetarian refried beans,  small pieces of cheese and jalapeño and seasoned millet. The millet makes a light healthy, crispy crust. Millet is also easy to prepare as it’s similar to rice. All you do is heat the millet in a sauce pan on medium slightly higher heat for 5 minutes till it has color and has an aroma. Then you add either water or stock just like rice two cups liquid to one cup millet. Bring to boil and then reduce to simmer and cover. 20 minutes latter fluff with a fork. They come out pretty light and tasty!

Ingredients

mini bell peppers – cut in half longways, remove core and seeds

Refried beans – any kind you like

Jalapeno – cut in small long strips – one for each pepper

some cheddar cheese cut in small match strips – one for each pepper

about a cup of cooked millet – I cooked mine in vegetable stock

cayenne pepper – a good shake -add to the small bowl of millet

annatto – a good shake -add to the small bowl of millet

fresh ground sea salt and black pepper to taste

non-stick spray or oil

Directions

Set oven to 425 degree F

Fill the peppers with refried beans with a pastry bag.

Add a jalapeño strip to each pepper.

Add a piece of cheese to each pepper.

Dip the top of each pepper in the small bowl of seasoned millet and place peppers on a lightly  oiled baking sheet.

15 minutes latter they should look like this.

Baked Skinny Bean Nacho Poppers with Millet Crust

Tasty and not fried, oily or heavy.

Everyone will like them.

The Forking Truth

My Trip to Virtu Honest Craft Restaurant in Scottsdale AZ

 

 

Virtu Honest Craft is a very small restaurant located in old town Scottsdale AZ. This restaurant has won and also was nominated for many awards. The menu they serve is considered contemporary European with an Italian Slant. You will be seated on the patio unless you have specified otherwise in your reservation.

We were seated on the patio and were slightly uncomfortable in the 93 degree F heat. Our table was very wobbly but our waiter was able to fix it.

We started with cocktails that were very detailed and contained ingredients I never heard of. Very interesting cocktails that also were delicious.

Our appetizers were a Salad of beeted cheve sformato, micro greens, citrus hazelnuts and Sicilian Rope sausage with garlic potatoes, peppers, onions and charred salsa.

My salad was fine and was greens and citrus over a disk of goat cheese whipped with beets…The Salad was great but I thought it needed a crouton or a slice of bread to spread the cheese on to. My husband enjoyed the sausage.

For dinner I tried the Big Eye Tuna with Sun-chokes.

The tuna is prepared reasonably well and rest above fried sun-chokes in a very sweet sauce and it topped with some thinly sliced fried sun-chokes. The sauce was suppose to be an agro dolce sauce….(a sweet and sour sauce) but the sauce lacked sour and mostly lacked the rosemary that was in the description. (I think one stray leaf made it to the plate) To be honest the sauce  was cloyingly sweet to me ..(and I am a BIG FAN of sweets but this is too sweet)..I started to wonder if it was me……..so I asked my husband to try the sun-chokes. He tried a forkful and said he wouldn’t be able to eat them either. I should have asked the waiter to bring me a lemon to fix the sun-chokes. Oh well now I have more room for dessert!

My husband had the Lamb Shank with Melguez Borlotti Beans, Pine Nuts and Mint.

He said the Lamb was prepared well and he liked the taste of the beans.

For dessert we had the Peaches and Cream Olive Oil Cake.

It came as broken cake in a glass with syrupy peaches and loose cream. It didn’t seem the least bit sweet after the sun-chokes.

www.VirtuScottsdale.com

This dinner didn’t hit it out of the park for me. Shame because the last time was awesome….actually better than awesome…more like life changing….

Had this last time all this dishes were very complex crafted with unique ingredients and artfully composed all genius dishes. Better than awesome….life changing.

That SHOWS you that EVERYTHING is subject to change and YOUR experience may or may not differ.

The Forking Truth

Brunch at Rodeo Grill in Mesa AZ is SMOKING HOT for Restaurant Week

 

Spring Restaurant Week this year (2017) is May 19th-28th. Around 130 restaurants are participating and some are offering some amazing deals to lure you in. One of the most smoking hottest deals is the Brunch Deal offered by the Brazilian Steak House Rodizio Grill in Mesa AZ. For Restaurant Week Brunch they are offing a complimentary cocktail, the full Rodizio experience and an extra complimentary dessert. The restaurant week offer cost $44.00 a couple ($22.00@) and I am guesstimating the value to run around $80.00 so we went for it!

I must say all the help from the gauchos (meat servers) to the hostess, various servers and management were all very friendly, cheerful and helpful.

They started us off with our restaurant week complimentary cocktails of limeade and a passionfruit martini, Brazilian cheese bread and these super yummy cinnamon glazed bananas.

Then we hit the 30 item hot and cold buffet that features some Brazilian side dishes and salads.

SO MUCH STUFF>>>>>It was so hard to decide on what to try.

Not all but some of the stuff I saw was Brazilian Bean Stew, Collards with Bacon, Hot Brazilian Pasta, Whipped Potatoes, Fried Potatoes, Eggs, Chicken Stroganoff, Fruit Salad, Quinoa Salad, Coconut Cole Slaw, Hearts of Palm, Steamed Asparagus, Buffalo Chicken Salad, Some Cheeses, Some sort of Hot Brisket Dish, a condiment station with Chimichurro Sauce, Brazilian tiny tear drop shaped mild peppers and MUCH MORE. I made myself a plate of some salads and vegetables.

Then we have a wooden cubes on the table and we turn it to the green side so the meat gauchos know they can come to the table to serve us.

Top Sirloin….

I think this one was the Hot and Sweet Chicken? Well anyway the hot and Sweet Chicken was my favorite….So Juicy and tasty. All the meats were succulent tasty and juicy. The Hot and Sweet Chicken was just delicious…tang, heat and not too much sweet.

Brazilian Sausage

Other meats that were offered were Tried Tip, Herbed Chicken, Bacon wrapped chicken, Chicken Hearts, Pork Parmesan wrapped in Bacon, Lean Ham and also Glazed Pineapple.

EVERYTHING THEY SERVED US WAS GREAT! All tasty, all juicy and succulent.

We asked for the check and they wouldn’t let us leave without serving us dessert!

This Brunch for Arizona Restaurant Week is Smoking Hot at Rodizio Grill and even at regular price it’s still a great deal that you might not know about.

The Rodizio Grill sure knocked it out of the park and went heads and heels above and beyond  what they had to offer.

www.RodizioGrill.com

Rodizio Grill is CERTAINLY Worth a Fork!

The Forking Truth

If you like to bake make a Scaccia Bread (Lasagna Bread)

 

Spinach and Cheese Scaccia Bread

Around this time last year I saw this interesting recipe in Saveur Magazine for Scaccia Bread that is also known as Lasagna Bread. I just had to make it! I do note that I had to make minor adjustments to the recipe. I don’t know if the adjustments were needed because of the brand of semolina I used (all flours are ground slightly different giving different results) or perhaps due to the hard water of Arizona???? Or maybe due to the extreme dry climate that I think is likely or partially the reason. Well anyway it’s an amazing recipe and you can stuff it however you like. I wrote the ingredients as Saveur posted the recipe but I included my adjustments if you need to use them.

The original Scaccia I made with Saveur’s sauce recipe looked like this. (but I baked it ten minutes longer. (70 minutes instead of 60)

Scaccia also called Lasagna Bread

I made it few times since. Sometimes I use my own spaghetti sauce. Once I tried it with eggplant but the eggplant. The Eggplant filling did taste good but the thin eggplant sort of melted in.

You can fill it with any combination of things. It can be anything you want.

I like to make  double batch and make two different breads. After you make one Scaccia you will want to do the same I bet!

Here is your basic recipe for the dough.

Ingredients for one loaf

Set oven to 450 degrees F.

1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons warm water (this didn’t work out in my home kitchen and I needed to add another 1/4 cup water) you can do recipe as written and add the 1/4 c extra water if needed at the end)

This was my dough after I added an extra Tablespoon of oil and then I drizzled in water and to me it looked right after a 1/4 cup more water. Then the dough was very smooth.

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast

2 cups durum wheat semolina flour

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (I added a total of three tablespoons because my dough was too dry before I added the extra water so I always add three tablespoons but you might only need two)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

extra flour for dusting

Saveur also included a sauce recipe for the bread.

1 teaspoon sugar

1 garlic clove – fine chopped

2 cups canned whole tomatoes

salt and pepper to taste

8 oz caciocavallo  cheese (this is the suggested cheese for the filling)

I did a spinach filling to make it-

I used about 3 lbs spinach

1/4 finely shredded sweet onion

a heaping Tablespoon garlic confit

a couple heaping Tablespoons of vegetable  base

1/2 teaspoon Crushed Calabrian Chili and Oil

fresh ground sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. (I just boiled the spinach in water with the onions briefly….jamming the spinach into the pot and drained it really well for an hour and then added the rest) I used pizza blend cheese but didn’t measure it. I only boil a sort time till the last of the spinach wilts.The spinach comes out amazingly delicious and very flavorful. My husband remarked that this spinach taste like spinach. Usually spinach stuffed things taste like nothing…….

 

Directions

In a large bowl add the warm water, sugar and yeast. Wait till if gets foamy and then add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well for about 8 minutes. Cover with wrap and leave it sit out at room temperature for about two hours or until the dough doubles.

Knead the dough and roll it out in about a 26 x 18 inch rectangle. (I’m using some of my photos from original so you can follow along with folding.

Filling in the middle 3rd.

Fold ends in.

Filling on left half.

Fold over right half.

Bring up bottom.

Then you pierce all over.

Wrap in parchment and place on baking sheet or loaf pan depending on shape you like best.

Bake for an hour at 450 degrees F. or until crusty and sort of brown. (60- 70 minutes)

“OMG! That smells FORKING GOOD! I’m so glad you FORKING adopted me!”

Double batch I just did.

Spinach and Cheese Scaccia Bread

“Hey RUNT, it does smell good but we are suppose to FORKING wait for the food!”

“My bad…….I know I am very young and am only a Pip-Squeek and I don’t make the right decisions sometimes.” “I’ll do what ever you say my big beautiful Aussie Amazon Queen.” “Show me the way……..I need to learn.”

If you like to bake make a Scaccia Bread!

Scaccia also called Lasagna Bread

The Forking Truth

My Forking Thoughts on Limited Edition Strawberry Nut M&M’s

 

I came across these Limited Edition Strawberry Nut M&M’s at Walgreens Drug Store so I picked them up. They came in a share size package that weighs 3.27 oz or two (or more) servings.

The first thing I do is open the pack and take a whiff. It smells delicious! Just like chocolate covered strawberries.

Then I take some M&M’s out. They come in colors of Pink Eraser, Blood and VW Green. They are irregular in assorted shapes and some have a a bonus extra nut in them.

I go to taste one. It’s different than the normal candy shell. It taste flavored like a sweet tart. It’s a slightly tart but sweet fake strawberry flavor. After the shell is melted off I think it’s a regular chocolate covered peanut. When you just eat them you get a slightly different experience. The fake slightly tart strawberry flavor is more subtle but you get hit with more fake aftertaste.

I’m not a fan of the sweet tart taste so I’m not a fan of these M&M’s.

Your Opinion May Differ.

The Forking Truth

Moroccan Inspired Potato Salad with Harissa and Preserved Lemon Recipe

 

Moroccan Inspired Potato Salad with Harissa and Preserved Lemons

Some of the Common flavors from Morocco are Spicy Harissa, Preserved Lemon and Olives so those are the flavors I need to put in this Potato side dish. It might be best at room temperature,  warm or heated. The salad will absorb much of the Harissa sauce but this recipe makes about 1/4 more Harissa than you need so you can either freeze extra Harissa or use for eggs or grilled meat. Or just reduce the Harissa ingredients by 1/4. The flavors marry better after a day. The lemon seemed slightly dominate on day one and I was going to change the recipe but by day two is tasted perfect to me so I was glad I didn’t change it.

Ingredients for about 6 generous servings

3 lbs red potatoes – peeled and cut in half

1 hot pepper cut in half long ways (to flavor boiling potato water)

3 garlic cloves (to flavor boiling potato water)

2 Tablespoons sea salt (for boiling water)

4 roasted red bell peppers – skin, seeds and core removed – peppers chopped (and use red pepper juice that came out of fresh roasted peppers) (for Harissa)

1 teaspoon cumin (for Harissa)

2 teaspoons caraway seeds (for Harissa)

4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (for Harissa)

6 garlic cloves – chopped fine (for Harissa)

2-6 hot peppers – (usually jalapeño) (preferably red in color) (depending on the heat of the pepper and your heat tolerance) – chopped (for Harissa)

4 Tablespoons tomato paste (for Harissa)

4 Tablespoons lemon juice (fresh squeezed) (for Harissa)

4 Tablespoons red wine vinegar (for Harissa)

1/2 teaspoon black pepper (for Harissa)

1 teaspoon course sea salt (for Harissa)

8 green olives -preferably a quality olive – pit removed – cut each olive in 4 pieces

2 preserved lemons – scrap out insides and pith really well. Chop in small pieces.

1/4 sweet onion – chopped

1 celery rib – chopped

6 XL eggs boiled at a rolling boiled about 6 minutes, shell removed

1/4 cup fresh cilantro – chopped

fresh ground sea salt – to taste

fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions

Fill a sauce pot with cold water to a little over half way. Add the potatoes, hot pepper that’s cut in half (longways) 3 garlic cloves, 1/2 onion and 2 Tablespoons sea salt. Add water to cover the potatoes if needed. Bring pot to boil. Reduce to a medium boil. Wash eggs and place them gently on top. After 6 minutes remove the eggs and put them to the side. Let the potatoes go till just past fork tender. About 9 minutes more or for a total of around 15 minutes. The timing will vary depending on size of potatoes and your cookware.(among other things) When the potatoes are done scoop them out with a slotted spoon into a large bowl. Throw away the onion, garlic and hot pepper used to flavor the potatoes. Set the bowl to the side.

In your blender or blending bowl add the roasted peppers, sweet juice from the fresh roasted peppers, cumin, caraway, extra virgin olive oil, garlic cloves, a few of the hot peppers (you need to taste when done and add more hot peppers at the end till you have it right), tomato paste, lemon juice, vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Blend it all up. Decide if you want to add more hot peppers and add them one at a time till the Harissa is the right heat for you.

Pour 3/4 of the Harissa over the potatoes. It might seem over sauced to you but it will soak in pretty fast. (Save the remaining Harissa and either freeze or use it on eggs or grilled meat.)  Add to the potato mixture the olives, preserved lemons, sweet onion, celery, cilantro. Mix. If you have very large pieces of potatoes break them up a little but not too much.

Peel the eggs and cut into quarters.

Top the potato mixture with the eggs and top with a light sprinkle of fresh ground sea salt and black pepper to taste.

Moroccan Inspired Potatoes with Harissa and Preserved Lemon

Moroccan Inspired Potato Salad with Harissa and Preserved Lemons

Tasty and delicious!

The Forking Truth

 

 

 

 

 

What New York Bagels are Like

 

Bagels from Gabby’s Gourmet Bagelatessen of Woodbury NY.

A great Bagel is next to impossible to find in Phoenix AZ. Most people that live here never had a proper bagel. I know this because the majority of bagels sold here don’t have the texture or taste of a New York Bagel. Not all but the majority of bagels you find in Metro Phoenix are just soft rolls shaped like bagels.

It’s really hard to describe but only in New York and the Tri  State Area (New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania) You get these bagels with a special chew and a certain shiny moist coating almost like a glaze but it’s not a glaze and the unique taste. New York Style Bagels have a sort of a soft crust……Look Close….you won’t find this in Phoenix. At least not anywhere that I know of at this time…….

It just gets that way from boiling the dough and then baking the dough.

The inside of the bagel is dense moist and chewy but not wet. There is a slight sweetness that is hard to identify. It taste similar a Philly Pretzel that fills your mouth with a certain type of yum… …………But even less people are familiar with the Genuine Philly Soft Pretzel that you buy off the streets from vendors. If I were to guess the ingredient my guess would be barley sugar but that is an incorrect guess. The secret ingredient to New York Bagels and Philly Soft Pretzels is Malt Syrup. It’s this special taste that is more delicious than just sweet.

I made a dent in the middle of the bagel bottom with my finger and you can see the bagel isn’t like a roll…It’s what a bagel is suppose to be.

Then you can lightly toast it.

Sometimes the bagel is good with butter.

But usually it’s best with $36.00 a lb. Lox and Cream Cheese…..

I ate the actual Lox and New York Bagel before I thought about taking a picture so here is another picture of a Bagel Sandwich from Goldman’s Deli in Scottsdale AZ.

Nova Lox Cream Cheese on a Bagel from Goldman’s Deli Scottsdale AZ

A little Forking Truth about What New York Bagels are like.

The Forking Truth

 

 

 

Huauchinango’s Mexican Food in Mesa AZ is Worth a Fork

 

Huauchinango’s Mexican Food Restaurant is located in Mesa AZ. This isn’t a fancy place and might be considered a little worn. The menu is in Spanish with some English but don’t worry because the family working there can answer questions you might have about the menu. Here the cuisine is authentic Mexican Puebla Food.

You might be wondering what is Puebla Food?

I can tell you that I don’t really know what Puebla Food really is but I can tell you I saw Huachitlacoyos, Chalupas, Tiacoyoes and Molotes on the menu and I believe that they all are made of corn or masa flour and are fried into a different various shapes that are stuffed or topped with fillings.

Dining Room

They started us off with complimentary chips and tomatillo salsa.

My meal came with chicken based and tomato laced soup with added pasta.

I gave my soup to my husband so I’d have room for my meal. He said the soup was very good and our server suggest adding lime and some salsa so he did.

For my meal I tried what is called Pollo en Chittepin con Cachuate. It means Spicy Chicken with Peanuts.

I received a Chicken Thigh and a Leg that were “fall off the bone” and “Melt in Your Mouth Tender.”  The sauce tasted so yummy and sort of like like peanut butter, other spices and was embellished with some really spicy peppers but not too much or too many…The peppers tickled my mouth in a fun way. The sauce was slightly oily but very tasty. The sauce also contained pieces of peanuts.  It was a treat dipping the tender chicken in the tasty sauce. This plate also came with lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, seasoned rice, beans and maybe the best home made tortillas I ever had. They were sort of on the fluffy side and really hugged whatever you put in them.

My husband had the Potato and Chorizo (4) Molotes with ($3) added Steak. (I didn’t think either photo really showed what was on the plate but with the two photos you can see how it was)

He received  Masa Tortillas stuffed with Potato and Chorizo topped with lettuce and shredded cheese. Steak wasn’t the most tender but it was tasty. (but what do you want for only $3.00) My husband said it was all delicious together. He wants to come back to try other things. I want to return to try the Spicy Peanut Chicken again!

A pretty amazing value that’s certainly Worth a Fork!

Not big on atmosphere and lacks a restroom but Authentic Style Puebla food that saves you BIG BUCKs on airfare and a Hotel in Puebla Mexico.

The Forking Truth is that EVERYTHING is subject to change and your experience may or may not differ.

No website but you can find Huauchinango’s Mexican Food on Facebook.

The Forking Truth

Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe

 

Butternut Squash Risotto

Butternut Squash Risotto is easy to prepare. I like to roast up the squash in small cubes and half I mash up when I add it to the risotto so it’s creamy butternut in every spoonful. I usually don’t use heavy cream when I make a risotto because I don’t need the cream taste. Unless it’s a truffle risotto I usually pass on cream.  I think this risotto is usually creamy enough. Feel free to substitute a cup of cream for a cup of stock if you care to. The risotto comes out creamy and flavorful with sweet chunks of butternut squash. The Butternut Squash Risotto holds up better than regular risotto for re-heating.

Ingredients for about 6 servings

1 small butternut squash (mine weighed 1 lb. 10 oz before removing skin and seeds)

1/2 large sweet onion – chopped close to fine

1 cup arborio rice

2 Tablespoons sweet butter

4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup dry white wine

2 garlic cloves – ground to paste

5 cups hot vegetable stock

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

big pinch saffron

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup parmesan cheese – shredded

1/4 fresh nutmeg – grated (mine was a smaller nutmeg)

1 Tablespoon fresh marjoram – chopped fine

2 Tablespoons fresh sage – chopped fine

fresh ground sea salt – to taste

fresh ground black pepper – to taste

Directions

Set oven to 350 degrees

Peel butternut squash and chop into small cubes….(around frozen peas and carrot size) put in a medium size bowl and mix with 2 tablespoons olive oil to coat squash. Put squash on a baking sheet(s) in a single layer on top rack. Roast till tender about 25 minutes. When squash is done mash 1/2 with a potato masher. Set to the side till your ready to add it to the risotto.

In your sauce pot on medium high heat add the butter and remaining olive oil. when the butter is melted add the onions and rice and fry it for about 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and stir it around a little till you smell it. Now add the wine and keep stirring till it absorbs. Add a cup of stock and stir till it absorbs. Repeat 3 times till you only have one cup left. Now all the remaining ingredients and and squash except for the fresh herbs. Add the last cup of stock and the fresh herbs last. Stir it a few times and taste it. Adjust with fresh ground sea salt and black pepper to your liking.

Butternut Squash Risotto

Enjoy!

The Forking Truth

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Forking Thoughts on New Caramel M&M’s Candy

 

There is a new flavor of M&M’s out there and it’s Caramel.  I’ve found the package in the share size that is 2 or more servings.

I start by opening the package and taking a whiff. It smells just like a typical chocolate candy bar that contains caramel.

I open the bag and I see that the M&M’s are irregular in shape and size. They come in the normal M&M’s colors of Yellow, Orange, Red, Brown, Green and Blue.

I bit into one M&M. It’s very chewy. The M&M has lots of chewy caramel in it.

The Caramel taste similar to the caramel in Twix Candy Bars but I don’t recall that caramel this chewy.

It’s a good taste but a little too chewy for me.

New Caramel M&M’s…not bad! Taste good but too chewy for me but worth a Fork if you like very chewy caramel.

The Forking Truth is that your opinion may differ.

The Forking Truth