Monthly Archives: August 2017

NEW Different WEIRD and Special Edition Foods out there August 2017

 

There is ALWAYS something new, different, weird or special edition out there in the world of food. I never know what I’ll see when I go to a store and here are just a few of the things I saw recently. Here are Lay’s BLT “limited” potato chips. They are suppose to taste like a bacon , lettuce and tomato sandwich. How does that sound to you?

Lay’s also has out “limited”Lime and Sea Salt Flavored Potato Chips. I like lime but potato chips???? Don’t know?????

Lay’s “limited” 40% less fat sweet chili and sour cream. They had me at 40% less fat and sweet chili…….but lost me at sour cream….and really lost me with sweet chili and sour cream together.

To my surprise Tostitos Corn Chips also offers “limited chips” Here are Sopapilla Cinnamon and Sugar Corn Chips. Who knew that these were out there?

Italian Herb Ritz Crackers. Now these could be a good appetizer. A little Cheese, a slice of tomato and a basil leaf. It will be a little crunchy pizza.

Pop Chips are potato based snacks that are slightly healthier being low fat and not fried. These are the Crazy Hot Flavor. I purchased this bag and it wasn’t crazy hot…….My bag was CRAZY TART, Forking SOUR and Acidic. I think I Forking got a defective bag.

Speaking of defective……If there is something out there that is defective somehow I seem to find it.

Landies Milk Chocolate Pretzel Bites with peanut butter drizzle. These Pretzels look like they taste amazing……….but they don’t taste the way they look…..Oddly they taste like fruit…..sort of like artificial cherry…..maybe with a touch of mint in the drizzle….I ate the drizzle and the coating over the pretzel separately to figure it out. I contacted this company on the web with the lot number inquiring about these pretzel bites but nobody felt the need to contact me back….

Fork Them!

I was excited when I saw Krispy Kreme Glazed something that looked like chocolate bar….Thinking about Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Chocolate…..BUT WTFork……THESE ARE COFFEE…..oh well not for me.

It seems Americans can’t go on without new flavors of Oreos. Here is Jelly Donut. This one sparked my interest but I didn’t purchase them……. just like I don’t purchase any Oreo for me since I don’t like that cheap store bought cookie taste. But I am interested….too bad I’ll never Forking find out how these cookies taste

.

Here is something New and Unique. Bake in your oven Pillsbury Smores Rolls with Marshmallow Cream…. I don’t know why but I think Klingons eat them…?

Macadamia Milk…who knew!

Coldstone Creamy is a popular American Chain of Ice cream Parlors. How the Fork can you bottle a milk shake without it being melted…..?

Tampico is a popular Mexican Hot Sauce. Who knew they make beverages too?

Sunny D is a popular breakfast drink or a sort of artificial substitute for orange juice. Now they make substitute orange and strawberry flavored gushing candies………..

Fruit flavored Gumies that look like bandages.

Key Lime Pie FILLED? Twizzlers candy. Sound fun and tasty.Might be good?

Sriracha Diced Tomatoes and Red Chilies…OH MY!

Whataburger is an American Fast Food Burger Place that I have never been too. They are selling their own Ketchup now at the grocery store.

Three kinds of Apricots who knew?

I thought this was mighty weird. Something called Cocktail Caviar. It’s Blueberry and Wildflower infused beads in vodka. I guess you use a little and garnish a fancy dessert with the “Caviar” maybe it’s fun to decorate a cannoli with this “caviar?” Or maybe you just want to eat it like a Forking Tub of ice cream?  I thought it was weird and it reminded me of something you might remember from ten years back.

Photo via Pinterest

Remember orbitz? I tried to drink this once because it looks really cool but I can’t stomach it. FORKING TRUTH! I couldn’t get one sip down. It just turned my stomach.

AS THE STOMACH TURNS…………….

The most different thing I came across at the Asian and International Market is a WTFork…

Sourleaf…Trust me you don’t want to try this one unless you have a hankering for something that is foul tasting, a mild narcotic, dulls pain and makes pink foam in your mouth and possibly turns your teeth to a color of blood red…….Sourleaf….it’s not for everyone.

Well that was the NEW, DIFFERENT, WEIRD and Special Edition for August 2017. I don’t know WTFork I’ll come across next month.

The Forking Truth

Got LOTS of Tomatoes & Eggplants make Alla Norma Recipe

 

Alla Norma

I sort of almost was gifted with a whole box of not so great tomatoes…you know the supermarket round cardboard tasting like kind…..and 8 small eggplants that were firm but were starting to rot near the tops so I either had to trash them or do a bit of work and make something delicious out of them.

To make the tomatoes delicious- they had to be cored and peeled.

Then I cut the tomatoes in thirds. The tomatoes were sprinkled lightly with sea salt and some extra virgin olive oil in half pans. The pans were put in a 225 degree F oven for 8 hours and reduced some.

While the tomatoes were doing their thing in the oven I used my other oven for the eggplants. I usually fry the eggplant for this dish but the eggplant always absorbs a lot of oil so I did the eggplant two ways on the oven to use less oil.

But first I sauté –

2 Tablespoons olive oil

3 green bell peppers – chopped

1 large sweet onion – chopped

5 red jalapeños – almost fine chopped

7 large garlic cloves – fine chopped

1 Tablespoon course sea salt.

I sautéed them till soft.

Next

1 1/2 cup dry white wine – let it reduce – put to the side

6 of the eggplants I cut in cubes and sprinkled with extra virgin olive oil. They went in a 500 degree F oven. I checked on them about every 15 minutes and mixed them up so they could get caramelized all over.

The other 2 eggplants I cut in half long ways and made cross hatch marks on them and also sprinkled them with extra virgin olive oil. They went in the same oven with the other eggplants at 500 degrees F for an hour.

They get scooped out like a mango or avocado. They have a buttery texture and more char taste.

In a pot add  the sautéd vegetables.

Season with –

1/4 cup sugar

1 Tablespoon ground aleppo pepper

1 teaspoon Hungarian sweet pepper

1 Tablespoon ground Urfa Biber Chili pepper

Add the eggplants

At this point the eggplant is very delicious and you just might want to use the eggplant as a bread dip.

 

The tomatoes aren’t done yet so you will put away the eggplant mixture. Tomorrow you finish.

After 8 hours I put the tomatoes away for the next day.

Day two-

I put the tomatoes in a 8 quart pot and cook them down some more on medium low heat for a few hours. These tomatoes are still not the meatiest or have the best flavor so I add two small cans of tomato paste and let the pot go another maybe three hours. Added a small amount of sugar.

Next

I add the eggplant mixture and let it cook together for about an hour.

added a small palm full of dried oregano

and a small palm full of dried basil

At this point it FORKING DELICIOUS so I let it cool on the counter and then put in containers for most to go off to the freezer.

Alla Norma

I know most people wouldn’t season the eggplant with Aleppo, Urfa biber and paprika but those ingredients make eggplant shine. My husband normally hates eggplant but when he tasted the sauce he said “That REALLY IS DELICIOUS” If you use better tasting salts and better tasting peppers your food will turn out more delicious! For the next few days my husband kept saying that is really GOOD Norma Sauce.

Alla Norma topped with a little parmesan and home made fresh ricotta

This kind of sauce is usually served with pasta and Italian cheese but you can serve it however the Fork you want.

Forking Delicious!

The Forking Truth

 

 

My Visit to Thao Sandwiches in Phoenix AZ

 

Thao Sandwiches is a small “hole in the wall” Vietnamese Eatery in Central Phoenix. This is not a fancy place. It looks a bit worn. They serve up a long menu of Vietnamese Soup, Rice, Noodle dishes, Banh Mi Vietnamese Sandwiches and more. I noticed they offer Penny Wort Beverages.

I went for a dish that is seldom offered on Vietnamese Menus. The Com Da Ga Roti (Red Rice Chicken) I was very curious about this dish. I found only two recipes for it on the internet. It sounds like it might be basically Spanish Rice (tomato based) but seasoned with Asian Flavors from the two recipes I read.

Here it is Red Rice Chicken.

I received a large portion of chewy orange rice that have lots of pieces of small carrot and some sweated onions. A small cup of Asian Smoky Spicy seasoning is on the side and a cup of Chicken Broth. The Chicken has a great crispy skin and tasty moist tender meat. The rice was very mild and had little flavor on it’s own so you use the smokey slightly spicy sauce to kick it up.

My husband got a Pork Bun Dish.

It was filled with noodles, herbs, sprouts, peanuts, scallions, fried pork rolls and pork slices and fish sauce for dipping.

That was my visit to Thao Sandwiches.

No website you just will have to visit them at 6025 N 27th Ave in Phoenix.

I do note that menus posted on popular review sites for this restaurant have changed.

EVERY Forking thing is subject to change and your experience may or may not differ.

The Forking Truth

6 Degrees Urban Kitchen in Scottsdale AZ is Worth a Fork

 

6 Degrees Urban Kitchen recently opened in Scottsdale in the Gainey Ranch Center. They serve up a sort of New American type of menu in a comfortable casual atmosphere.

We started with a Smoked Salmon Rillette.

The Rillette was adorned with pickled mustard seeds and onion, pesto, creme fraiche and toasted bread. The salmon was lightly smoked and wasn’t too fatty. The pickled mustard seeds and onion elevate the salmon to another level. I like the pesto….It’s a nice little break from the other flavors.

For Dinner I had the Halibut.

The fish was moist and flaky. I liked the flavors in the pea puree with the addition of fresh peas. The flavor was great and then I gots these sweet pops of texture from the peas. The assorted fingerling potatoes with creamy centers were yummy goodness. A bit of creme fraiche added some richness and completed the dish. A very nice dinner….

My husband had the Porchetta.

The Porchetta was served over soft creamy grits and was topped with peach/tomato basil relish, maple mustard and candied bacon. The bacon was very unique and was candied with sesame seeds and some cinnamon for a unique sensation. Sort of busy but a unique spin on the classic.

We left full and happy.

Can’t wait to try the lunch menu!

www.6DegreesAZ.com

Too soon to rate but everything was great so I just have to say it was …

Worth a Fork!

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

The Forking Truth

 

 

Jicama Carrot and Mango Slaw Recipe

 

Jicama Carrot and Mango Slaw

I was reading about salsa and learned of carrot salsa and other salsas so I came up with something different that’s a slaw. There isn’t any difference in salsa and slaw it’s just the way you cut the vegetables. This slaw is light and refreshing with a little sweet from the mango and jicama and a little heat too. Jicama is a fruity crisp vegetable. Some people describe it as a cross between an apple and a potato but I think it taste and crunch more like a cross between a pear and a water chestnut. I used my pickled jalapeño to zip up the slaw but if you don’t have good pickled jalapeños you can just use a fresh one instead. For best results and flavors let the salad rest in the refrigerator a few hours before serving. This slaw can be served cold or warmed up.

Ingredients for about 4 servings

1/2 a medium/small jicama (about 8 oz) -shredded

4 medium carrots – peeled and shredded – I used rainbow carrots

2 small yellow mangos – thin slices

8 grape tomatoes – cut in quarters

1/4 cup scallion – thin slices

1/4 cup fresh cilantro – chopped

1 pickled jalapeno – my recipe is preferred – chopped fine

2 garlic cloves – ground to paste

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 Tablespoon course sea salt

2 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 Tablespoon canola oil

Jicama, Carrot and Mango Slaw

Directions

In a large bowl add the jicama, carrots, mango, jalapeño, tomatoes, scallions, cilantro and set to the side.

In a small bowl combine the remaining ingredients that make up the dressing. Mix well and pour over slaw. Gently mix. leave it sit on the counter for a half hour to let the flavors develop. Set in the refrigerator and serve latter.

Jicama Carrot and Mango Slaw

These are the colors of carrots I used and the Asian side slicer for the shreds.

This is how I made the mango slices.

Jicama Carrot and Mango Slaw

It came out light refreshing and delicious! I bet it would be Forking Great in a fish or chicken taco!

The Forking Truth

The Chicken Fajita Salad Battle Glendale AZ Popo’s VS Phoenix AZ Carlos O’Brien’s Mexican Food

 

This is a well matched battle. The competitors are two established local Sonoran Style Mexican Restaurants that have two or more locations. For the most part they offer a similar menu. I do note the Carlos O’Brien’s is a new location for the Local small chain but this company has been in business for over 20 years so I feel they are free game to battle. Both competitors are located in North Phoenix or what locals call the Way North.

Ladies and Gentlemen……. In the Phoenix corner is Carlo’s O’Brien’s Mexican Restaurant.

The Set up is-The Fajita Style Chicken Salad- Fajita Style Chicken, salad, cheese, tomatoes, guacamole and sour cream $13.95

The chicken is moist, a little greasy and nicely caramelized. The tomatoes are unripe and the iceberg lettuce is very plain. This is a very plain salad…..very very plain. My guacamole was forgotten but latter arrived. It was a small side of mashed avocados with non-detectible seasoning.

Pros-

nothing is burnt.

nothing is spoiled.

I didn’t get sick after eating here.

Cons – This salad is very uninspired.

Suggestions –

Alert the public that this salad lacks any seasoning or flavor.

Consider changing the recipe or your order if you are a customer.

and now Ladies and Gentlemen!

In the Glendale corner is Popo’s Fiesta Del Sol.

The set up is – The Chicken Fajita Salad – Fajita Chicken, Garden Salad with the grilled onions, bell peppers, avocado, scallions, tomatoes, cheese, olives served in a flour tortilla bowl. $10.99

Chicken Fajita Salad with Cheese on Side ( and a s/o of guacamole given to me off my husband’s plate.)

The chicken is moist and nicely seasoned. I received lots of fresh avocado, tomatoes, olives, grilled peppers and onions over mixed greens. The salad is flavorful and very hardy.

Pros- The salad taste good.

It’s a salad that I most likely won’t make at home so it’s a treat.

I don’t feel the least bit deprived ordering a salad.

The salad cost about $3.00 less than from the Phoenix competitor.

Con’s- This salad is a gut buster.

It’s impossible to eat the whole thing and leftovers turn to a soggy mess.

The Verdict

Chicken Fajita Salad with Cheese on Side ( and a s/o of guacamole given to me off my husband’s plate.)

Glendale’s Popo’s Fiesta Del Sol Mexican Restaurant – It’s a much better tasting flavorful salad bursting with thoughtful ingredients and priced at about $3.00 less.

I do note that EVERY FORKING THING is subject to change and your experience may or may NOT differ.

The Forking Truth

 

 

 

Potato Cakes so Easy You Don’t Need a Recipe Recipe

 

Potato Cakes so easy you don’t need a recipe recipe

I whipped up these potato cakes without measuring but it was pretty easy and I don’t think you need an exact recipe for this kind of thing. You can do this kind of thing free style and maybe add an interesting ingredient to the potato cakes if you want to make them fancier than I did. I wasn’t going to publish this recipe since I didn’t measure but these potato cakes came out really great. My husband really enjoyed them. He said they are really perfect. The ingredients were all guesstimated…….This is the kind of thing you just guesstimate. They would be really good with added spinach or even seafood…ummmm!

Ingredients for about 25 potato cakes about 6 servings

2 lbs potatoes (peeled)

2 jalapeños (cut in half longways for boiling with the potatoes just to add flavor and you throw them out after the boiling)

2 XL eggs – slightly beaten

1/4 cup flour

1 Tablespoon kosher salt (for boiling the potatoes)

1/2 onion – grated and in paper towel squeeze all the juice out)

1 fried serrano chili – finely chopped

about 2 teaspoons sea salt

about 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Canola oil for frying

Directions

Boil the potatoes with the jalapeños and salt till they are almost fork tender ( about 15 minutes)

Put them away in the refrigerator and let them chill three or more hours.

When the potatoes are chilled grate them on the bigger holes and add in the eggs, onions, chili, flour and salt and pepper. Mix. This should be like extra thick mashed potatoes.

Put your fry pan on medium high heat with about a 1/2 inch of oil.

Use a fork and grab about a meatball size amount of potato mixture and made it into a patty shapes.

When the oil seems hot carefully fry up the patties. They need a few minutes on each side.

They should look like this.

Potato Cakes so easy you don’t need a recipe recipe

Really yummy! Give them a try and you will enjoy!

The Forking Truth

 

 

 

My Trip to Pho For Days Vietnamese Restaurant P83 Peoria AZ

 

I’m thrilled that lighting struck again and another new independently owned restaurant has opened near to Arrowhead in Peoria. A new Vietnamese Restaurant named Pho For Days recently opened in P83 Entertainment District near to the Peoria Sports Center. Pho For Days is a nicely furnished Vietnamese Restaurant with a bar and a wine list and offers indoor and outdoor seating.

I decide to order the Broken Rice Plate with Lemongrass Chicken.

My plate came with tender flavorful white meat chicken that was mixed with sautéed scallions, bell peppers, onions and hot spicy peppers. They were generous with grassy cilantro. The plate also contain crisp vegetables and fresh hot rice. They brought a smokey spicy chili oil and a pork/chicken soup. The Chicken was delicious but the flavors differed from other similar plates I tried elsewhere. Good but very different.

My husband not always but most times orders the Soup called Hot and Spicy. (Bun Bo Hue)

The soup was described as containing beef, well done pork and pork roll.

Look closer and see what I see.

The Blocks in the soup are congealed pork blood.

None of the other Vietnamese Restaurants we’ve been to put congealed pork blood in the Hot and Spicy. I do watch Anthony Bourdain on his food travels and I know congealed pork blood is one of the things he looks most forward to eat. Many people do enjoy congealed pork blood but neither of us find it appetizing at this time.

The waiter was very understanding with my husband and brought him a rare beef and brisket soup that he would enjoy more.

No problems with the rare beef and brisket pho.

Your Vietnamese favorites might have a different spin here!

Pho For Days located next to the Peoria Sports Center.

The website is under construction at this time www.PhoForDays.com

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

The Forking Truth

MidiCi The Neapolitan Pizza Co. Affordable Fast Casual Pizza + More!

 

MidiCi The Neapolitan Pizza Company is a fast/casual concept that recently opened in the Desert Ridge Marketplace in Phoenix AZ. They offer authentic Neapolitan Style Pizzas, appetizers, burrata, salads, desserts, coffee, tea, beer, wine and some Italian pantry goods in a fast casual modern open and airy environment.

The pizzas are light and thin made from Neapolitan double zero flour, water, sea salt and yeast and then cooked in a 900 degree oven imported from Italy. They offer a menu of pizzas but also offer about 38 topping options with most priced at only $1.00 each.

It’s the casual order at the counter and pay at the register pick up a number and seat yourself kind of place. They offer a pizza condiment bar stocked with fresh basil, hot chili oil and some other condiments.

Your neighbor becomes your new best friend because the seating is very crowded.

We started out by sharing a Walnut and Gorgonzola Salad.

Gosh it was delicious! We received a heaping bowl filled with fresh greens, peppery arugula, sweet grape tomatoes, lots of tasty parmesan, yummy chunks of gorgonzola with delicious reduced balsamic dressing. This salad was bomb and I think it might be among the salads I’ve tried for it’s price range. ($8.50)

I tried the Margherita Pizza.

It a thin and light pizza.

It’s a really good pizza but maybe with an extra pinch of salt in the dough and a little more char on the crust I think we can kick it up a little. Don’t get me wrong it’s a very good and very reasonably priced at only $7.50. Not all but many full service restaurants that serve this kind of pizza charge about twice as much. I do note that the top pizzas of metro Phoenix do offer pizzas with crust that taste more developed, cheeses that are milkier and tomatoes that taste sweeter…..I don’t mean to sound disappointed because I’m not……..(just Forking Truthful)………………….The GOOD news is that this pizza has the edge over other fast/casual pizzas that I’ve tried due to high quality ingredients, taste and options…THAT is a BIG Accomplishment! This pizza is the first to change my mind about fast casual pizza!

My husband tried a Margherita and added half house made sausage and half spicy salami. He said the sausage was good but the hot salami was really GREAT! He loved the hot salami.

MidiCi The Neapolitan Pizza Company is Worth a Fork for Fast Casual Pizza and More!

Worth a Fork! Among the best for fast/casual pizza.

www.mymidici.com

EVERYTHING is subject to change and your experience may or may not differ.

The Forking Truth

Spicy Hatch Chili and Peach Brownie Recipe

 

Spicy Hatch Chili and Peach Brownies

It’s Hatch Chili Time again in Phoenix so I have to come up with more ways to use Hatch Chili Peppers. Here are my fudgy Brownies that I added some fire roasted hatch chilies too and added some peach to counter the heat. For a little added taste and texture I topped the brownies with just a Tablespoon of Turbinado Sugar and just a Tablespoon of Salted Roasted Pepitas. The brownies are moist with a great deep chocolatey flavor with heat and sweet and more! If you can handle a little heat and you like chocolate then you should love the brownies. BTW- they are super easy to prepare.

Ingredients for around 18 servings

ingredients

4 oz unsweetened butter

10 oz 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips

1/3 cup dark brown sugar

2/3 cup sugar

1 1/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon course sea salt

3 large eggs – beaten

1 teaspoon pure vanilla

1/4 cup fire roasted charred hatch chili peppers – stem and seeds removed – chopped

1 large ripe white peach – pit and stem removed – cube the peach

non – stick spray (either canola or vegetable)

1 Tablespoon turbinado sugar (to finish brownies with)

1 Tablespoon pepitas  (pumpkin seeds) – roasted with sea salt

Directions

Turn oven on to 350 degree F

Use an oblong cake pan that is around 12 1/4 inch by 8 1/4 inch in size and spray the pan with non-stick spray.

Put a small fry pan on medium heat and melt the butter. When the butter is melted add the chocolate chips and stir. Shut off the heat and take the fry pan off the burner. Stir again and set the pan to the side. Doesn’t matter if the chips aren’t all melted yet.

In a large mixing bowl add the sugars, flour, baking powder, salt, beaten eggs and vanilla and hand stir till 1/2  mixed. Now stir in the butter/chocolate mixture. Stir. Add the peppers and the peach and gently stir. Pour into sprayed pan and top by sprinkling the turbinado and pepitas across the surface of the brownies.

Put in the oven for about 25 minutes or until the center feels just cooked.

After 25 minutes mine came out like this.

I let the brownies rest and set on the counter for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes they were still warm and ready to serve.

Spicy Hatch Chili and Peach Brownies

We got a FORKING WINNER here!

These brownies are smooth, rich and moist with that just right chocolate flavor. The Hatch Chili peppers, peach go well with the rich brownie. A little crunch from the turbinado sugar and salted pepitas add another layer and texture that makes the brownie more interesting and not too sweet.

Better than many of the desserts I eat out!

The Forking Truth