Monthly Archives: June 2014

Cassava or Yuca Root

 

Cassava also called Yuca Root

Cassava also called Yuca Root

Cassava also called Yuca Root is a starchy root that’s as easy to prepare as a potato. You do need to peal the skin and then your ready to boil, bake, or maybe fry cassava.

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I cubed my pealed cassava covered them with some water and a little Kosher Salt in a covered pan for an hour in a 375 degree oven till fork tender.

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I blended the cassava in a corn soup I was making. The cassava made the soup very creamy without adding cream.

Forking Good!

Forking Good!

Whipped Sweet Roasted Garlic Recipe

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Garlic gets totally transformed when you roast it at 375 degrees in a covered pan with a heavy sprinkle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil for an hour.

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All this peeled garlic only cost about $2. from the Asian Market.

 

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After the garlic is roasted just Blend.

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The Garlic gets so sweet and mellow. It’s excellent in spreads or sauces and keeps fresh for many weeks in the refrigerator.

Forking Good!

Forking Good!

 

Best Forking Italian Restaurants I’ve Been Too

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I haven’t been forking everywhere but I have been to many Great Italian Restaurants in Arizona, Nevada and California over the past couple years.  I’ve been inspired to write this story after a very disappointing  exsperience at an Italian Owned restaurant. I thought instead of writing about Forking Notorious Predators who lack skills and taste to prepare decent food without remorse. I think posting a  list of Great Italian Restaurants would be more helpful. This list is in no particular Forking order and is subjective.

Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare  in Las Vegas NV

Stroriapreti  with Turbot Butter and Sage

Stroriapreti with Turbot Butter and Sage from Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare

Fresh caught Fish from Italy are flown in daily and a Marine Biologist is on staff to monitor the fish at Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare.  (You forking know that this  isn’t going to be cheap) Fish such as Gilthead Sea Bream and Scorpian Fish are among the fish you might order. The pasta is fresh hand made and the fish you select is prepared table side on a cart with a choice of fresh made sauces. The food is simplistic but is pristine fresh and absolutely perfect. Chances are you are only going to dine here once unless your forking made of money but if you do it’s a dinner you will remember for ever.

Gianfranco Ristorante in Scottsdale AZ

Fresh Made Buratta

Fresh Made Buratta from Gianfranco Scottsdale AZ

If you dine here you might get serenaded by the Chef singing in Italian and greeted by Italian accented waiters. Gianfranco Ristorante is classic Italian featuring many veal dishes and both times I was here had fresh flown in Branzino as the special.

Franco’s Italian Caffe in Scottsdale AZ

Fettuccine Tartufo Franco's Italian Caffe Scottsdale AZ

Fettuccine Tartufo Franco’s Italian Caffe Scottsdale AZ

You will be personally welcomed and thanked by Mr. Franco himself when you dine here. Franco’s serves up classic Italian and Features House Made Pastas. The Fettuccine Tartufo is lightly sauced, made with real truffles and is delicious.

Merenghata Dessert

Merenghata Dessert from Franco’s

Franco’s Merenghata Dessert Recipe was created by Mr. Franco’s Mother. The dessert is a combination of Semifreddo and Meringue and is light as air and is a favorite dessert of the Food Critic from the Arizona Republic.

Bottega in Yountville CA

Potato Dough Raviolo with spinach and Egg in Brown Butter Sage Sauce from Bottega

Potato Dough Raviolo with spinach and Egg in Brown Butter Sage Sauce from Bottega

Bottega is owned by Celebrity Chef and Wine Maker Michael Chiarello. I’ve been here three times so far and every time I received well crafted creative Italian Food. Your water is served in hammered Copper cups that they also sell at his adorable store across from the restaurant. Everytime I’m here I remember the pasta dishes thinking they were always one of the best I ever had anywhere.

Virtu Honest Craft in Scottsdale AZ

Branzino with Truffled Salsify crisps from Virtu Honest Craft

Branzino with Truffled Salsify crisps from Virtu Honest Craft

The BEST Branzino I ever had anywhere came from Virtu Honest Craft. Not only was the fish fresh flown in and prepared to perfection but it was an adventure of different flavors from the interesting and pretty sauces on the plate. The Truffled Salsify Crisps added the most interesting texture. This dish was multidimensional in flavors and stayed interesting the whole time I was forking chowing it down.

If you dine at Virtu Honest Craft you might want to partake in a cocktail instead of wine because they make hand crafted interesting quality cocktails as detailed as their dinners. I do note they also take a long time to prepare as they are very detailed but worth it. I also recall the dessert I tried here was masterfully created.

Two honorable Mentions are ……

Sassi in Scottsdale Arizona

Very Simplistic. A perfect protein and simple roasted vegetable for dinner but prepared perfect the two times I was here.  I do note they have the most breath taking patio dining in Scottsdale.

Noca in Phoenix AZ

Perhaps the Best Pasta I ever tasted came from Noca when a Chef Claudio Urciuoli was there.

Beef Short Rib Ragu from Noca

Beef Short Rib Ragu from Noca

I never tasted pasta like this before and had to ask what it was made of. I was told it WAS Semolina but the Chef charred the flour to give the pasta it’s unique taste. That particular Chef moved on to pursue his dream job of baking bread. He currently is an advisor to Noca  and bakes Bread for Noble Bread CO. Noble Bread is served at many restaurants in the area and is sold at the Scottsdale Farmer’s Market and other locations.

Arrivederci !

Forking Truth

Forking Truth

 

Vietnamese Style Stuffed Beef Grape Leaves in Summer Rolls Recipe

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The recipe for the Grilled Beef Rolls with Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce  is by Chef Andrew Zimmern and was published in Food and Wine Magizine.  The recipe is very easy to make and is a wonderful refreshing light snack or meal when you serve it in a Summer Roll or is delicious as is as an appetizer.

Grilled Beef Rolls

2 lbs. Ground Sirloin

3 Garlic Cloves Minced

3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste

2 Tablespoons Cornstarch

2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce

2 Tablespoons Rice Wine or Sherry

1 Tablespoon Asian Fish Sauce

1 Tablespoon Sambal or other Asian Chili Sauce

1 Tablespoon Sugar

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

40 jarred brined – drained-rinsed and patted dry Grape leaves

Vegetable or peanut oil for grilling

I made this recipe twice and the first time didn’t have fish sauce so I substituted some minced anchovies and really forking liked it. This 2nd time I made it I used Red Boat Fish Sauce that’s made of anchovies but different with bells and whistles as fish sauce is. I made one sample to see how it taste. I don’t know why but when I used the fish sauce I didn’t  like the bitterness and found the flavor too strong and added about an inch of fresh grated ginger and 3 additional tablespoons of sugar the second time I made them to balance out the taste.

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(Be Cool and pretend you don’t notice I rolled the example the wrong way. I was on a roll and didn’t forking feel like photoing more. It worked and still was good.) The best way are grape veins inside.

Directions just combine ingredients.  Place a small cigar shape of meat in grape leaf near stem, fold sides over meat and roll up in a mini burrito shape. You can grill them but for me they will fall threw the grill so I just roasted them off on a covered pan in the over at 350 for about 15 minutes.

One of two pans

One of two pans

(I rolled most of them right I think I only forking rolled two of them wrong)

I made a bunch and froze all but what I would eat in the next two days.

Then I put them in Summer Type Rolls. I used lettuce, Carrots, Zucchini and Mint.

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I soaked the Rice Paper in warm water for a couple seconds till it softened.

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I rolled them just like the leaves.

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My Companion doesn’t care for Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce so I made a simple dipping sauce of combination of Sambal with Peanut Butter and water.

Forking Good!

Forking Good!

The Forking Truth

The Forking Truth

 

 

 

How MANY FORKING Kinds of OREOS do we Need?

I only needed Fat Free Cottage Cheese and a few other forking  things so I thought I’d hit my closest grocery store for those things. Not one brand of any kind of Fat Free Forking Cottage could be found. I thought I’d move on and sight see and pick up whatever else the Fork I needed.

I breeze threw the snack aisle and my mouth drops open when I see all the Forking varieties of Oreo Cookies. I know they put out special ones different times of year but I had no idea it was normal to forking have so many varieties. Four of the varieties were called creamies and were one cookie with a different flavor cream Forking Embalmed  in chocolate.

I saw ALL THESE on the Forking shelf!

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I don’t know how many different forking  kinds I saw but this forking store has screwed up priorities.

No WHEY was Forking Fat Free Cottage to be found.

I don’t even eat Oreos. How many kinds do I need?

Forking Truth

Forking Truth

 

 

The Famous BARBIE’S Tuna Salad Recipe with Slight Adjustments

The story of Barbie’s Tuna salad is that it was created by a Caterer named Barbie. Nobody ever tasted tuna salad like that before and everyone who tasted it wanted the recipe. Someone who goes by the ID Tanaquil posted the recipe on www.allrecipes.com .  The recipe is a little unusual with a tiny bit of curry and Parmesan Cheese but all the flavors are delicious together.

I tried out the recipe. I thought it had interesting flavors that were different. I liked it but wanted less creaminess, wanted more texture, and a little more balance so I made a few adjustments. Instead of White Tuna I used light, I like the flavor and texture of light better and it also has less Mercury in it. I had to cut the Mayo down a bit. I swapped out as much as the dried herbs as I could and replaced them with fresh that seem much brighter to me. I added shredded carrot, salt, pepper, and fresh squeezed lemon juice. I will post the two recipes together. Just follow whatever you like or a combination to make your own. Makes around two servings.

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5oz. light tuna drained and flaked (Barbie’s 7oz. White Tuna drained & flaked)

1 1/2-2 Tablespoon Parmesan Cheese (Barbie’s 1 Tablespoon Parmesan Cheese)

3Tablespoons Mayo, I used light Mayo (Barbie’s 6Tablespoons Mayo or dressing)

1 1/2 Tablespoons Hot Sweet Pickle Relish, I used Famous Dave’s Sweet and Hot Pickle Relish (Barbie’s 3T Sweet Pickle Relish)

1 1/2-2 Tablespoon Sweet Onion Grated (Barbie’s 1/8 teaspoon dried onion flakes)

1/4 teaspoon Curry (same)

2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley Chopped (Barbie’s 1 Tablespoon Dried Parsley)

1 teaspoon dried dill (the same I didn’t have any fresh dill here)

1 small (tiny) garlic clove mashed (Barbie’s a pinch of garlic powder)

Fresh Lemon Juice from 1/2 a lemon for my taste it needed acid for balance.

one small carrot grated This adds to the texture and eye appeal and the flavor plays well against the dill.

Fresh ground Sea Salt

Fresh ground Black Pepper

Just mix and chill and your ready!

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Forking Good!

Forking Good!

When to Send Food the Fork Back in a Restaurant

There are a few forking circumstances when you can and should send food back in a restaurant.

1- If food you receive has something forking gross in it like a used finger bandage, packaging material, chewing gum, tooth pic or some other kind of not a food kind of object.

Not Worth a Fork

Not Worth a Fork

2- Burnt or really over forking cooked food.

Not Worth a Fork

Not Worth a Fork

3- Forking Raw or really undercooked food.

Not Worth a Fork

Not Worth a Fork

4- A Totally unexpected ingredient not revealed that’s something your allergic too or just don’t forking eat. I do note the RIGHT thing to do is to reveal all allergies or dislikes when ordering but sometimes these are surprises you don’t expect.

Not Worth a Fork

Not Worth a Fork

A difficult one to decide on is Seasoning. On one hand if you order something spicy and you are too forking  whimpy to eat it you are screwed, you Can’t send that back. If it’s slightly salty you sort of are forking screwed too but if you received a massive salt bomb or massive salt malfunction then it’s OK to send back.

Most times you really can’t send food back but if you do tell the wait person in a forking nice way. If they take something off your bill you should tip on all the forking food you received.

Forking Truth

Forking Truth

Have a Knife Day and see Ya Spoon!

When you see TEENS as the Cooks – – – RUN!

Tom's Thumb Fresh Market Scottsdale AZ

Tom’s Thumb Fresh Market Scottsdale AZ

After my most recent less than stellar meal out I’m forking convinced whenever I see Teens as the forking cooks in a kitchen I’m going to have a messed up meal. I recently went to a BBQ Bistro in Scottsdale AZ. This place has GREAT ratings on all the forking review sites. I did see all teens threw the open part of the kitchen and sort of worried but ordered something anyway.

The Brisket Sandwich I received really did have a very good flavor but somehow someone ruined it because I received it just warm and forking very dry. All I saw were Teens. I know this is an Award Winning BBQ Place  but I was here when the Teens were on.

Thee Pitts Again Glendale AZ

Thee Pitts Again Glendale AZ

Another Award Winning BBQ place I went too had all TEENS working the forking night I went. I had a pretty good view from this mostly open kitchen.  Besides some service problems I encountered from a teen, I received dry, almost cold BBQ  food with forking dry cracked corn bread.

Thee Pitts Again Glendale AZ

Thee Pitts Again Glendale AZ  Dry and almost Cold BBQ

 

Anther Forking place with an open kitchen and lots of TEENs working was A Certain Well Known Hot Dog Place in Tempe Arizona. I didn’t take a photo of the food from there but I should have. The main foods we tried were good. But I got this  Forking Iced Tea that seemed like a mixture of diet cola soda SYRUP and who know’s what else. I also remembered we ordered a side of onion rings. We received a bag of mostly just Forking crumbs! I didn’t feel like complaining to the teens working there. We just left and never Forking went back.

FROM NOW ON WHENEVER I SEE TEENS as the COOKS I WILL FORKING GET THE FORK OUT OF THERE!

Forking Truth

Forking Truth

Some restaurants don’t have kitchens with a view. I possibly received less than stellar foods from some Teens I didn’t see cooking.

I note I don’t know if Teens were responsible for all the improperly prepared foods I received.

 

Green Pea Muffin Recipe

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Recently I had these Pea Cakes out at Southern Rail Restaurant in Phoenix and I was inspired to do my own twist on them. Theirs were tasty but fell apart when you ate them. Mine do differ from the taste of the ones I had from Southern Rail but hold together well and are moist. I don’t know what the Southern Rail Recipe was but they had an almost falafel taste, seemed pan fried or grilled and came with a really Great Flavorful Tomato Jam that complimented the cakes very well.  I found them interesting nonetheless.  Mine are more a corn bread taste. I guess I could have called mine cakes if I made them flatter or made them like pancakes in a fry pan but choose the muffin shape so I called them muffins. Mine came out moist with a delicate flavors I liked and I didn’t want to add anything else to them. My oven is set at 350 degrees and I used oiled muffin pans.

Ingredients are

1 Cup Cornmeal

1 Cup Flour

1 Tablespoon Baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

1 teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Cup soft butter

1 egg beaten

1/2 Cup Buttermilk

1/2 Cup Milk

1 lb. Peas (I used a 1 lb. frozen bag thawed)

1 cup of chopped Scallion

1 clove minced garlic

Fresh Ground Black Pepper

I had my dry ingredients in one bowl.

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My wet in my other bowl.

Then I spilled out 1/2 my wet and added the garlic,  half of my peas and all the scallions.

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Then I blended mixture.

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Then I added the Fresh Ground Black pepper to all bowls and combined all mixtures. The mixture did look sort of dry but I knew it would be fine since I based this recipe on my Corn Muffin Recipe I haven’t Published as of yet.

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Filled oiled Muffin Pans about 3/4 full.

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Baked them at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

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They came out moist and with a nice texture. They do have some slight sweetness to them but are without sugar. you can also taste onions without them overpowering the peas. This recipe made 17 muffins for me.

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I think they are a good for breakfast, or as a side, snack  or a side dish for dinner.

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Forking Good!

Forking Good!