New WEIRD diFferent and Special Edition Foods Out There June 2017

 

There is always something NEW, WEIRD, Different or Special Edition out there in the wonderful world of food! I never know what I’ll come across when I go to store. Here are some Cannoli Chips in two different varieties. A Cannoli Shell traditionally holds sweetened ricotta type of cheese….These Cannoli Chips might be like Cannoli’s without the filling….

It’s kind of odd that Cooking Light Magazine sells food to me. It is even more interesting that Cooking LIGHT sells fried chips…..But they are multi grain I noticed….

Wow! I’ve never seen Irish Potato Crisp. Bag on the left is Shamrock and Sour Cream Flavored and bag on the right is Irish Farmhouse Cheese and Onion.

They are flavoring Macadamia Nuts now. Here is Maui Onion Flavored Macadamia Nuts.

I’ll go out on a limb here and put something food related here.

Ice Pop Molds of Monsters! Forking Cool!

Could go a little nuts for Creme Brûlée and Italian Black Truffle Almonds…..

Jammit Brand Jam in Apple Cinnamon Bourbon and Strawberry Chili Shiraz…..Yes Please! Dammit Jammit that might be good!

Twinkies has invaded the Ice Cream Section with Sponge Cake Crumbles and Cream Flavored Frozen Cones.

Latte Flavored Puddings……maybe these pudding are “X” rated and for adults only???

Welch’s the Jelly People now put Chia Seeds in the Grape and Strawberry Jelly….This I don’t understand…..If I wanted Chia Seeds with my Jelly I would just sprinkle the Chia Seeds on….

I note that I am a Dog Enthusiast but even I think this is Forking Strange.

A kit to decorate Dog Bones for your Dog’s Birthday.

It’s a little strange even if you are lonely and have nothing else to celebrate.

Here is a decorated Happy Birthday Pup – Pie for a Male Dog. This is also a little strange.

Birthday Cake Bites for Dogs…..?

Maybe this one s the most Forked up?

Peanut Butter Pie in different packaging…

Pink for female Dogs and Blue for male dogs.

WTFork?

 I’m only one year old and I know that’s Forked up.”

Here we are back to people food and here is something different I never thought I’d ever come across.

Figgy Pops…….I wonder how these would go over if I gave them out on Halloween?

Spicy Sweet Beef Trail Mix??????

Chocolate Bar with added Olive Oil??????

Pumpkin Flat Bread sounds kind of tasty….

These Vegan Burgers look like they went MOO at one time!

Maybe this is the weirdest of all?……..Seedless Cantaloupes…..I never have seen them before. I didn’t purchase one so I don’t know what it looks like inside. That was the New, Weird, Different and Special Edition Foods for June 2017. Who the FORK knows what I’ll come across next month.

The Forking Truth

Dining Out with DOGS in Metro Phoenix AZ June 2017

 

Where the Fork are we going?”

Dining with Dogs in Metro Phoenix is just a “fluff” story about taking my dogs out to eat. We usually go to most of the same casual places that aren’t too far from home but we do hit a new places now and then. You do need to know that there are some rules for dining with dogs. Many restaurants here in the Metro Phoenix Area do have patios but not all patios are dog friendly. It’s always best to call a restaurant first before you decide to dine there with your dog because the patio could be booked already for a party or closed for another reason. Once you decide on a dog friendly patio you must make sure to keep your dog(s) by your side at all times. Dogs are NOT to sit on restaurant furniture or eat off of restaurant plates. It is always suggested to dine at off times to avoid as many people as possible because some people other diners don’t want to dine around dogs and it’s best to avoid screaming children as they tend to spook dogs. You also need to be aware that most of the foods you eat can be harmful or toxic to your dog. You should get a list of these foods from your veterinarian. Basically it’s usually safe to feed your dog a few small pieces of place meat with any sauce removed. You might consider purchasing a collapsible bowl for water for your dog.

For our first Dining with Dogs Adventure with our new member we decide to try out Banh Mi Bistro Vietnamese Eatery in Phoenix AZ. This is a Pho Free Vietnamese Restaurant that specializes in the Banh Mi Sandwich. A Banh Mi Sandwich is served on a rice and wheat flour Vietnamese Style Baguette that has a crisp exterior and a soft interior and is filled with pickled Daikon & Carrot, jalapeños, house made aioli, cucumbers and your choices of around 10 fillings. The sandwich is a mix of savory, spicy, sour and sweet. They also serve a variety of tasty appetizers, noodle bowls, really good rice plates and MORE!

“My first Dining with Dogs in Metro Phoenix….I’m on TOP OF THE WORRRRRRLD”!

“I’m so FORKING GLAD these people adopted me!”

I decided to get the Chicken Curry with Rice and my husband gets a Pulled Pork Banh Mi.

The curry is a nice light and aromatic with good flavoring and tender chicken. The pulled pork is tasty and satisfying.

“This is a FORKING GREAT DAY!”

“We couldn’t be more pleased!”

www.BanhMiBistroAZ.com

“Hey Big Mama!” “Where are we off too?” “Don’t you FORKING call me Mama you RUNT!” “We’re off to Salad and Go in Phoenix AZ”

Salad and Go is a small local chain that serves a variety of about ten kinds of quick packaged salads, breakfast items, wraps, soups, smoothies and more! Salad and Go is only a Drive Threw Restaurant without a Dining Room but they do have a Dog Friendly Patio and Usually hand out Dog Biscuits to Dogs.

I Forgot to Photo our salads but they both looked similar to this one.

It’s a pretty good sized salad with lots of seasoned moist chicken. This time I got the seasonal salad that included Quinoa, Roasted Beets and Candied Walnuts. My husband got a Greek Style Salad with Chicken and Shrimp.

“My first time at Salad and Go!”   “Yum!”

“I better get up as close as I can to get the most food!”

“Your playing DIRTY you FORKING runt!”

“This food is pretty tasty isn’t it!”

“We did alright at Salad and Go!”

www.SaladandGo.com

“Woo Hoo where am I going?’

It’s been mighty hot in Phoenix but we had one day the next week where the high was only 94 degrees F and it was still comfortable and cool at lunch time so we sneaked out for Lunch again at Banh Mi Bistro Vietnamese Eatery in Phoenix.

Banh Mi Bistro Vietnamese Eatery is a Pho Free Vietnamese Restaurant and they recently expanded the menu slightly with a few newer offerings. A Cheeseburger Banh Mi, Coconut Curry, small Chicken Cabbage Salad and Asian Flavors of Ice Cream. This time I got a Chicken Banh Mi because I haven’t had one in a while.

“Hey Runt, you only get to eat after I eat first.”

My husband got a BBQ Pork Banh Mi.

There was more than enough to go around for everyone. I even got to take half of mine home with sharing.

“We FORKING ENJOY Banh Mi Bistro Vietnamese Eatery in Phoenix.

www.BanhMiBistroAZ.com

It seems that Dining Out with Dogs in Metro Phoenix will be more like Dining IN with dogs in Metro Phoenix because it is Forking Hot Here Already. We took the dogs to the Burger King Drive Threw for a Breakfast Sandwich.

“I just started dining out in Metro Phoenix and it’s already so FORKING HOT” The cement burns our paws and we can fry in the heat!”  “Where are we going?”

“We’re going to Burger King.” “Get used to it Runt….this is about as good as dining out gets for us because it so hot outside.”

“It Forking looks like food comes out the window”…..”My Big Beautiful Aussie Queen!”

“That’s all Folks!”

It’s very hot in Phoenix now. We had some record breaking heat already. It already got up to 120 degrees F. We can only hope for a monsoon to cool things down.

We’ll see you when we can!

That was Dining Out with Dogs in Metro Phoenix for June 2017…take care and we hope to see you next month.

The Forking Truth

In Memory of Louie 5-5-2001 – 3-3-2017

 

 

My Visit to Pizzeria Bianco at Town & Country Phoenix AZ

The owner is James Beard Award Wining Chef Chris Bianco. He might be the only chef that has won a James Beard Award for Pizza. His pizza is legionary. It’s Arizona fused with Italy and the East Coast. Bianco’s Pizzas are considered to be the very best pizzas in the country by many publications and food TV shows. Oprah Winfrey herself and many other celebrities have dined at Pizzeria Bianco announcing to the world that this pizza to be the best.

What are Pizzeria Bianco Pizzas?

The pizzas are Neapolitan in style with a thin crust that’s blistered and charred with a wet middle. They dough is made with special Arizona Heirloom grains that are ground fresh for Chef Bianco. The milky cheese is Bianco house made and the sauce is made from tomatoes that are authentic in style specially grown in California for Chef Bianco.

Between me and my husband we had all the pizzas a number of times.

I do apologies for not indulging in pizza today after I might have wet your appetite for a slice.

I’ve been to this restaurant several times and had many different experiences here.

Here’s a little bit of the history and hopefully I am recalling it correctly.

If I recall correctly this restaurant opened as Italian Restaurant and offered a more involved menu. Somehow the name of the restaurant didn’t quite fit and latter the restaurant was split in half as two restaurants and the front dining room was called Pizzeria Bianco and the back dining room stayed more formal and was know for a short time as Trattoria Bianco serving pastas and dinners.

Now this restaurant is just known as Pizzeria Bianco. It’s not a fancy place. It sort of has the look that it’s been here forever.

Here is the current menu.

They started us off with complimentary house baked crusty bread and high quality extra virgin olive oil.

I soon received my Two Wash Farms Chicken Salad served with AZ Creamer Potatoes and Local Greens.

The greens are simple and very plain. The chicken is a mix white and dark meat. It is extremely tender, moist and very lightly dressed but flavorful. The salad contains some sweet chunks of apple, fresh herbs and crispy celery. The potatoes are cooked till they are very creamy and are tossed in a fresh tasting sweet whole grain mustard and mixed with bread and butter pickles, onions and seasoning. Pretty darn tasty!

My husband had the Francesca’s Meatball Sandwich.

Well my husband didn’t have any trouble finishing this off so I guess it was good!

The Italian Ice is like no other….it truly is Amazing so we had to have it!

On the left is nutmeg and on the right is chocolate. The Italian Ice is slightly creamy….I grew up on the East Coast were Italian Ice is very popular and I have never come across Italian Ice like this before but it is also delicious. Today they served the Italian Ice with very rich but also delicious shortbread cookies.

Pizzaria Bianco is Worth a Fork!

Worth a Fork! The Food is simple but good and is made of local and quality ingredients. The Pizza is legendary…..It’s up to you to decide on the Pizza!

www.PizzariaBianco.com

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

The Forking Truth

Dishes from the past we had here.

Swiss Chard Lasagna

Beef Bolognese Pappardelle

Market Salad

Arancini

Chicken Salad

Grilled Mortadella and Cabbage Sandwich

Pasta E Fagioli

 

 

My latest visit to Ocotillo Restaurant in Phoenix

 

Ocotillo is among one of my favorite restaurants in Downtown Phoenix.  It might be a one mile square compound filled with multiple patios, an outdoor coffee bar and an outdoor cocktail bar in addition to the restaurant.

115 degrees F today

empty at 115 degrees F

Ocotillo offers a large ever changing menu that’s broken down into salads, vegetables, small plates, sandwiches and large plates. Everything is quality and much of the menu is locally sourced.

They were very busy today at lunch time and the dining room was full since it was too hot to dine on the patios in the 115 degree F heat today. They asked us to wait an hour or to sit at a lone table they added to the bar so we sat there.

This seat wasn’t bad. We are away from the dining room but we gained full view of the kitchen and bar.

We started by sharing a Tomato Tartine off the Vegetable Menu….I sort of forgot what a Tartine is…….I was thinking tart……but I was wrong a Tartine is really a French Bruschetta. Anyway is was delicious.

It started with quality toasted bread that was topped with what tasted like fresh made ricotta cheese and fresh herbs. There was shaved squash, nuts and the sweetest grilled tomatoes ever. This was very good!

I tried the Korean Style BBQ Brisket Sandwich.

Wow! What an enormous portion. This is enough to feed a lumberjack. It smells delicious. Here’s a better look at the sandwich.

It’s a generous amount of tender and not too fatty brisket topped with kimchi slaw, lettuce and Sriracha mayonnaise. It’s very tasty and I get to bring home the other half for another day. The fries are very above average and are very good. Really super fluffy moist interiors and crispy and seasoned well on the outside. I think they were fried at least twice to make fries this good.

My husband had the Roasted Pork Torta.

The sandwich came with a spicy sauce.

I’ve always been to full to think of dessert at Ocotillo so sadly I’ve never tried dessert here.

Here are some but not all of the plates we tried in the past at Ocotillo.

Salmon and spinach salad

Thai Style Chicken

Tandoori Style Chicken Sandwich

Japanese Style Fish and Chips

Chicken Mole Salad

Ocotillo is Worth a Fork!

www.OcotilloPhx.com

Worth a Fork! You might travel across town to dine here because it’s a very nice restaurant that offers a very nice menu.

Everything Forking Thing is subject to change and your experience may or may not differ.

The Forking Truth

 

 

Spicy White Bean Green Chili Recipe (Vegetarian or Chicken)

 

Spicy White Bean Green Chili (Vegetarian or with Chicken)

This recipe includes many peppers and some are already roasted, peeled, seeds and most of skin removed. This recipe is spicy so if you aren’t a fan of spicy you need to skip this one. You also might need to adjust the amount of peppers you use in this recipe because every pepper does differ in heat and your tolerance for heat will differ. You can make this recipe as Chicken White Bean Chili or Vegetarian Bean Chili depending on the fat and stock you use.  For Chicken just add about 3-4 ounces of pulled chicken per person. I do note this chili grows hotter the next day.

Ingredients for about 4 servings

2 ounces chicken fat (from the chicken you just roasted for pulling) or 2 Tablespoons oil (canola or vegetable)

1 sweet onion – chopped

4 red jalapeños – chopped (reds are mild and mostly just flavor and will look better in dish)

4 garlic cloves – smashed and chopped

2 poblano peppers – roasted, most of skin and seeds removed – chopped

7 oz hatch chili peppers – fire roasted, most skin and seeds removed – chopped

1 cup corn (already prepared from fresh and off the cob)

1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons masa flour

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 cups chicken stock (substitute vegetable stock for vegetarian)

16 oz can large butter beans (drained – rinsed at least three times)

15.5 can cannelloni beans – low sodium preferred (drained – rinsed at least three times)

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon ground achiote

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 Tablespoon low sodium chicken base (instead of salt) (or vegetable base for vegetarian)

1/4 cup cilantro – chopped

1/4 cup lime juice

1/4 teaspoon fresh epazote (chopped) (substitute Mexican oregano if you don’t have epazote)

1/2 cup scallions – chopped

Optional 3-4 oz of pulled chicken per person

Directions

Put a sauce pot on medium high heat with fat or oil and when it’s hot add the onion and jalapeños. When the onions are transparent and the jalapeños are soft turn down the heat to medium and add the garlic.

Add the hatch chili and poblanos.

Add the wine and let it reduce.

In a small mixing bowl mix the masa with the stock.

When the wine is reduced add the masa mixed with stock and add to pot. Stir occasionally and when the liquid bubbles and thickens add the beans, corn, cumin, coriander,  chili powder, achiote, black pepper, chicken base. Mix and lower the heat to low and let it go about 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

“That Smells Forking Good!” “Don’t feel offended by that Big Aussie as she doesn’t have the nose us hound dogs have” “We are different we love aromas and when traveling in cars we stick our heads out the window to enjoy the buffet of aromas all over.”

“FORK YOU! Runt!” “We Aussies are different too…..We like to herd hound dogs up and nip at them….so bug off Runt!”

“I still love you Big Mama..You are the only one I want nipping at me.”

Near the end add the cilantro, lime juice, epazote and scallions.

Leave the pot on warm till ready to serve.

Spicy White Bean Green Chili (Vegetarian or with Chicken)

Serve with corn chips and other desired toppings like sour cream and or shredded cheeses.

 

The Forking Truth

 

 

 

 

Fast Food Usually is Forked Up!

 

I very rarely eat fast food because nearly every time I try it there is something wrong with it and it’s always horrible. Over the past 12 months I only tried fast food twice.

Last November I tried some fast food fish from a fast food seafood chain near my house and got this filet of fish.

It was oil logged with a nasty old oil taste. It wasn’t even cheap and was expensive. It was Forked up! I felt really bad because I offered a piece to my elderly dog I had at the time and the food was so bad my poor old dog spit it out.

A new to Arizona Popular Fried Chicken Restaurant opened not too far from me and the independent place I planned to do Take Out at wasn’t serving food that day….So it seemed like a good day to try the Fried Chicken and we got some sort of family pack that included several assorted pieces of fried chicken, extra soft rolls

and two sides. We picked Macaroni and Cheese with Mashed Potatoes.

The Fried Chicken was almost good. The Chicken was fried nicely, was crispy, seemed oil free. The meat was very tender too! But a careless person working there put enough FORKING Salt on the crust to melt snow off a driveway. That chicken was lethal. That much salt can kill a person.  I had to peel off the crust to eat the chicken. I guess I should be happy and not complain because at least the chicken was cooked in fresh oil. YIPPY!

That’s FORKED UP!

The family meal also came with rolls…They were sweet and super soft like I never felt before……I don’t know how they can possibly be this squishy soft……I think they might be made from yoga mats……the rolls are like.. artificial bread…YUK!

The Halloween Orange Colored Macaroni and Cheese was really scary. It doesn’t even taste like cheese………………….It actually taste like eating a tub of margarine with added chemicals. It was sickening.

Lastly the mashed potatoes are also inedible. The potatoes are unusually thick with lots of pepper and another flavor that I can’t identify that isn’t food related. I don’t know what THE FORK it was…….I  was more upset about the potatoes than the salty chicken because the salt was a slip that I understand. Maybe the salt container lid fell off and the person said Oh well…I’m not tossing all that chicken…..but……The mashed potatoes didn’t taste like food! Neither me or my husband could eat the potatoes….my husband tried to eat the potatoes with the enclosed gravy and he still couldn’t stomach them either. Who knows what kind of person made it?…….  ICK!

Fast Food is Usually Forked Up!

NOT WORTH A FORK!

Did I hit these restaurants on off days…….?

Do they make food this bad all the time………??????????

Would they be in business if they do ……..??????????.

Is it possible that some people don’t care what food taste like and will eat anything…….???????????

“You get more food when your not picky…remember the picky ones don’t make it in the jungle.”

“But I only want the food to taste edible”

“It’s Fast Food Human……you forking get what you get and there are 5 lights up there too!”

For me Fast Food from 2 national chains……2 out of 2 times was Forked up!

In my case fast food was Forked up 100% of the time.

The Forking Truth is that your Forking experience may or may not differ.

The Forking Truth

Roasted and Fried Sunchokes with Mushrooms and Snowpeas Recipe

 

Roasted and Fried Sunchokes with Mushrooms and Snowpeas

I came across these sunchokes at the Asian Market that looked incredible and were very inexpensive so I picked them up. I don’t eat sunchokes often but they sort of remind me of a potato so I purchased some sort of green garlic, seafood mushrooms and red jalapeños to go with the sunchokes. I read on www.seriouseats.com that Chef Ian Alverez formally from Momofuku Noodle Bar, French Louie and now of Bara in New York likes to use the golf ball sized sunchokes and dry roast them at 300-325 degrees F for 4-5 hours. He says it creates a crispy exterior and an soft molten interior…..HOW INTERESTING! so I thought I’d give this method a try. After doing the recipe I feel the recipe has some stuff left out or has some misprints because it didn’t work out as written. My sunchokes were dried out and overcooked at 3 hours. I am certain that someone like Chef Alverez makes fabulous sunchokes and knows how to prepare them . I DO NOTE I HAVE NO IDEA if it’s my oven or if sunchokes differ on their own. So I picked up some more sunchokes and tried again.  I found that if you cook dry sunchokes slow at 300 degrees F in the oven you just have to check them every 1/2 hour and by two hours they all will be done. I checked mine every half hour and pulled them out when they felt soft. When they were cool enough to handle I cut them  down some and slightly browned the ends. I didn’t have green garlic the second time around so I just used scallions and added a handful of snowpeas.

Ingredients for about 4 servings

1 1/3 lb sunchokes – cleaned and about golf ball sized

5 oz mushrooms – seafood mushrooms preferably with base removed

1 + 1/3rd green garlic – bulb and 2 middle greens- sliced thin and end of the 3rds of green finely chopped (the very end 3rd of the green garlic might be woody so you just use it to boil with other things for flavor) Or a handful of scallions.

2 red jalapeños – chopped fine

2 oz unsalted butter

small handful of snowpeas -de-stringed

2 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil for frying

fresh ground sea salt to taste

fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions

Set your oven to 300 degrees F.

Place your cleaned sunchokes on a broiling rack.

Check on the sunchokes every 30 minutes and pull the soft ones out. Mine were all done within two hours.

Get a fry pan on medium-high heat with the butter.

Toss in 2/3rds of the jalapeño. Let it go a minute.

Then toss in the garlic bulbs and 2/3rds of the finely chopped green stir and then toss in the mushrooms. Stir after maybe 30 seconds. You want to brown the mushroom some. It should smell like seafood if you purchased the seafood mushrooms. About now everything is browning so get the pan off the heat and toss in the remaining jalapeño, green garlic and snowpeas. Add fresh crushed sea salt and pepper to taste. If you are using scallions just toss them in at the end.

Parts are crispy and nutty. Some are sweet…

Cut the sunchokes down a little if you want to and put the mushroom topping to the side and brown up the sunchokes lightly in a fry pan with the oil on medium heat. When done take off the heat and put in a serving dish. Add fresh ground sea salt and pepper to taste.

Add the mushroom topping, fresh ground sea salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Roasted and Fried Sunchokes with Mushrooms and Snowpeas

Yummy and something different.

The Forking Truth

 

 

Fabio On Fire Restaurant in Peoria AZ is Worth a FORK!

 

Fabio on Fire is well known and established as a mobile food service that specializes in Italian Food. They feature hand made baked goods, pastas and Neapolitan Pizzas. You might come across Fabio on Fire at local festivals and Farmers Markets. Now Fabio on Fire has a Brick and Mortar location in Peoria AZ. The restaurant is fresh and new looking. It’s casual with an open kitchen so you can see all the action.

The menu offers appetizers, mostly authentic style Neapolitan Pizzas, house made pastas, breads, baked goods and house made gelato.

For our fist visit we decided to try the pizza and went with a Diavola and a Marinara.

Diavola

Marinara

The crust is blistered and charred but not burnt. The pizza has a chewy crust with great structure and is developed with flavor. The pizzas are both very thin and also typical of the Neapolitan Style with a wet but not too wet center. The Diavola is topped with milky cheese, certified tomatoes and a hard to come by quality spicy salami. The marinara is topped with a wildly flavorful sauce that is also very garlicky. Both of these pizzas are light and don’t weigh you down. Thanks to my husband we had room to try the house made gelato.

The chocolate is different and has a great mouth feel and taste like Italian Chocolate. The Strawberry is Amazing. Taste like the very best strawberries ever. It’s so amazing I can only dream that they open a gelato shop next door……..

Fabio on Fire at the time of this first visit has only been open a couple days and is already a gem of Peoria.

The pizzas already are among the best on the west side of metro Phoenix.

www.FabioOnFire.com

Fabio On Fire is Worth a Fork!

Worth a Fork!

Every Forking Thing is subject to change and your experience may or may not differ.

The Forking Truth

Original Cuisine in Mesa AZ is Worth a Fork for Sichuan Food

 

Original Cuisine Chinese Restaurant was on my radar for a number of weeks. This week I happened to read a glowing rare 4.5 star review from the Arizona Republic so Original Cuisine got catapulted to my short list on new places to try. I must start by saying that Original Cuisine specializes in Fiery Mouth Numbing Sichuan Food. Not everything they serve is spicy but they serve mostly foods you don’t find at American Chinese Restaurants. Like Pork Blood Intestine in Hot Chili Oil and Spicy Duck Feet.  If you are only used to take out Chinese like Beef and Broccoli, Shrimp Lo Mein or Orange Chicken it’s possible that you won’t enjoy yourself here because this is real Chinese Food. Here’s the menu and see what you think.

One might think of formal dining with a 4.5 star rating but the rating might be mostly based on the food. This isn’t a fancy place but the hanging lights are kind of fun to look at.

This restaurant looks like it used to be a fast food restaurant to me. It has the same woody fake brick floor I remember from the OLD Burger King and Hardy Fast Food Restaurants by my childhood home. The walls here are covered with a variety of wall papers. Some of the wallpapers looks like brickwork. Some wallpaper looks like paneling and some are sort of Asian Cartoonish. On my visit service was ok it was fast and my order was efficient but I never got the extra napkins we asked for……….that we really needed.

They use the tiniest peanuts I’ve ever seen to hold the chop sticks.

All the Dish-ware is cute.

We made our order and decided to share three plates….One of the plates we asked for was Spicy Fried Chicken with Chilies. We were there when they were only open less than an hour and they were already all sold out…..

So we started with Pan Fried Rice Balls with Sautéed Bell Peppers.

The Rice balls are thin shells that are made of pounded rice filled with black sesame seeds that are creamy like tahini. They kind of burst in your mouth when you eat them. Our rice balls were seasoned with something brine-y and sautéed bell peppers. The rice balls are tasty so if you like things like hummus you should enjoy them. I do warn you the rice balls are tasty but seem very rich so you will only want to eat 3-4 balls in a sitting.

The one dish I always wanted to try from Miu’s Cuisine (now closed for business) was the Lettuce in Garlic Sauce. We saw that dish here and also remembered The Food Critic from the Arizona Republic Review enjoying this dish so we decided to try it.

This dish reminds me of my Aussie Shepard because one of her favorite treats is the crunchy part from Romaine Lettuce. She actually slaps my leg when I prepare salads and begs for the crunchy romaine middles. The Lettuce in Garlic Sauce seems like a crunchy romaine leaf in a mild garlicy chicken sauce. The middle of the lettuce stays crunchy and the leafy part is almost unnoticeable. This dish is tasty light and mild and cuts the heat from our main dish.

We shared the House Special Barbecue Fish that is a whole catfish bubbling with molten hot oil, spicy chilies, mouth numbing ash berries (Sichuan Peppercorns), potatoes, peanuts, lotus root and wood ear mushrooms. It’s quite a feast.

I normally don’t care for catfish but I have to say this was really delicious!  I was able to eat some of the fish like pieces of fried chicken. I pulled off the crispy ends and just picked it up and ate it like a leg. It’s spicy but not too spicy because of the mouth numbing pepper. My nose is running yet I am almost craving more heat. But it’s so tasty….

Original Cuisine in Mesa AZ is Worth a Fork for Sichuan Food

No Website you just have to visit them at 1853 W Broadway Rd in Mesa AZ

Worth a Fork! You will travel across town to get the best there is in Sichuan Cuisine.

Remember….Everything is subject to change and your experience may or may not differ.

The Forking Truth

Quinoa Butternut Squash Salad with Pinenuts and Barberries Recipe

 

Quinoa Butternut Squash Salad with Pine-nuts and Barberries

This salad is light and healthy and contains the smallest amount of fat. The salad  is so flavorful that not much salt was needed either. I used spices from Turkey to the Mid-East and down to Morocco. I really like these spices with butternut squash. Some of the spices or ingredients are difficult to find but you can be creative and adapt. The salad might sound spicy with the different peppers and jalapeños but it isn’t because none of the ingredients are very spicy they are just very flavorful. The barberries are very intense and add another level. I do warn you to be careful with the barberries because with the just right amount they add sparkle to food but too many barberries are unwanted bitterness. Most people will like it. It came out delicious!

Ingredients for about 4 servings

1 small butternut squash – peeled, seeds and membrane removed – cubed – small

1 teaspoon urfa pepper

1 teaspoon zahtar

1/4 teaspoon piment port (Moroccan Pepper) (just leave out if you don’t have..this one is very hard to find)

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 + 1/3 green garlic sliced very thin on a diagonal (don’t use the top thirds because they are tough but save the tips to flavor things with)

1 orange bell pepper – core and stem removed – chopped

2 red jalapeño peppers – seeds and stem removed chopped fine

1/4 sweet onion – chopped

2 garlic cloves – grated

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

fresh ground sea salt to taste

fresh ground black pepper to taste

2 cups quinoa – (already prepared)

1/2 cup fresh parsley – chopped

1/2 cup toasted pinenuts (300 degrees F for about 10 minutes)

2 Tablespoons barberries

Directions

Set oven to 350 degrees F

In a medium mixing bowl combine the butternut squash, 1 Tablespoon of oil, urfa pepper, zahtar, piment port. Mix well and place on a baking sheet in a single layer. Cook in the oven till fork tender. (about 45 minutes)

In a fry pan add a Tablespoon of oil. As soon as it’s warm add the green garlic, bell pepper, jalapeños, onion on medium high heat till the peppers are soft and the onions are clear. Turn the heat down to medium and add the garlic, salt and black pepper.

Around now the butternut squash will be done.

When the butternut squash is done get a big bowl and add the squash and fry pan mixture.

Turn down the oven to 300 degrees F and toast the pinenuts. Be careful because they can burn. They only need about ten minutes and then add them to the bowl.

Stir in the quinoa, parsley and barberries.

Tasty isn’t it!

Quinoa Butternut Squash Salad with Pine-nuts and Barberries

The Forking Truth