Monthly Archives: January 2018

Spicy Avocado and Orange Salad Recipe

 

Spicy Avocado and Orange Salad

This is a chunky salad of avocado, a couple types of oranges tied together with guacamole type seasoning. I used home made pickled jalapeños and a very special pepper called chile pequin to heat things up. You will have no trouble finding chile pequin at WinCo or any Mexican Grocery Store. The chile pequin pepper is very small and very mighty. It’s delicious and doesn’t seem hot at first but it builds. It’s very similar to the very expensive chitepin pepper. ($23.00 for two ounces). Anyway this is a tasty topper for tacos, nachos or grilled meats. This Avocado salad seems lightened up some with all the sweet oranges in it. I think the oranges cut the richness of the avocados and give this topping a unique flavor. I note that I used all small sized produce so your results may differ due to the size of fruit used.

Ingredients for about 6 servings

3 avocados (smaller sized)

2 garlic cloves – ground to paste

2 clementines – peeled with a knife so the out side of the fruit is skin free and slice and peel out the segments. (In this step it’s very easy to remove the membrane)

2 smaller oranges – supremes (that means skinless if you can do it if not just peel the skin off with a knife so you remove most of the skin – then slice the orange across a few times. When you pull apart the segments you can also remove most of the orange membrane.

1 lime – just the fresh squeezed juice

1/4 cup sweet onion chopped

2 home made pickled jalapeños -preferably my recipe on site or use someone else’s home made pickled jalapeños

2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro – chopped

2 Tablespoons fresh parsley – chopped

2 chile pequin

1/2 teaspoon course sea salt

Directions

Get a medium size bowl.

Supreme the oranges. You basically are peeling the orange with a knife and are removing the outer membrane of the orange. Then slice into each segment to remove it from the orange.

I wasn’t able to supreme the clementines but was able to remove the outer membrane like from the orange. Then I just sliced the clementine across a few times and removed the segments and peeled the membranes off.

Put the oranges and clementines in your bowl.

Add the chopped onions, pickled peppers, cilantro, parsley, salt.

Cut the avocado in half around the pit. Score the flesh with a knife all the way but not threw the skin. Remove the avocado flesh with a spoon.

Add the avocado to the bowl.

Sprinkle the bowl with all the fresh lime juice.

Take the chile pequin and rub it with your fingers over the bowl and break it down the best you can over the bowl. Repeat with the second chile pequin.

Stir very gently and try not to mash things up.

Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

Spicy Avocado and Orange Salad

I made tacos and use sliced jicama for the shells and this topping went really great with them! The next day over maui maui….both were really great and the salad stayed fresh and didn’t brown.

The Forking Truth

Nagoya Sushi Peoria AZ – Worth a Fork!

 

When it comes to sushi I have to admit I am spoiled…….I truly was……….Back east I lived not too far from a certain China Town.  My introduction to sushi came from no other than the original Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto himself………he was a working chef at that time and worked the sushi bar himself day and night…….Sorry….I really was Spoiled….I GOT USED TO THE BEST! ….. Small tight sushi…each one was stunning and each one looked like a tiny painting……. I haven’t had sushi since that was the same. ………… (wish I took food photos back then)

It was culture shock food wise and other wise when I moved to Metro Phoenix…Wow…so much lousy bread (from supermarkets), inedible ricotta sold at most supermarkets, inedible American Cheese, so much expired food, no fish cakes, no roaster chickens, limited variety of mushrooms, far less dairy items, no India relish…No Hot Cherry peppers, canned things taste more canned, soda taste poisonous here……  ….Why The Fork isn’t  Cooper Sharp Cheese sold here?…and God did I have to loose sushi too?…..and there are a lot of other things …I’ll stop  rambling……..for now.

Not all but the majority of sushi I tried in the North-West metro Phoenix was mostly unappetizing to me.

The above sushi came from a place in Glendale AZ. It was HORRIBLE and not fresh tasting either. It still lives here today and most people think its great!…(review-wise on a certain review site) .But The Forking Truth is that it was HORRIBLE!

This sushi was from another Glendale AZ Restaurant

Sushi from a Glendale restaurant

Often I’d get served BIG GIANT thick bands of loose not so tasty unseasoned rice with big globs of fish that were hard to chew or tasted fishy…….IT WASN”T THE SAME at all….. I note that I am only talking about casual not fancy local sushi restaurants in the North-West Valley. HORRIBLE….maybe most people are happy with the large amounts of lousy fish and rice………that are questionably edible……

I happy to say I enjoyed sushi again when I tried the Sushi Catcher on Bell Road when it was owned by KC and his Lovely Wife Sue.

It was not at all like Morimoto’s…..NOBODY’S IS…..hear it again….NOBODY’s is……….NOBODY’s is………….NOT ANYTHING like Morimoto’s……. but the sushi that  this little casual place served was flavorful, clean tasting, easy to chew,  and not fishy) and didn’t have those super fat globs of bad rice…instead their rice was thinner (like it should be) and good tasting. This was the only CASUAL sushi I enjoyed most since Morimoto’s.

I’ve been to higher end sushi restaurants that I also enjoy (I really do) that are REALLY GREAT but it’s so good to have a local casual sushi restaurant that’s good.

KC and Sue sold the Sushi Catcher a few years back and recently have opened Nagoya Sushi in Peoria AZ   a few months back. Remember we are talking casual sushi……you won’t get table side tofu here……I’ve been there a few times and these some of the things we tried there.

Clean tasting sushi, Nigiri style correctly seasoned under the fish like better sushi places do. Little spicy tuna rolls…..Not all mayonnaise up like most places do…..really delicious and also spicy. More flavorful than any other spicy tuna roll I had before and it’s only around $4.00….a steal at such a tasty treat!

They call this screaming “O” roll. It’s really Tuna Tataki. Lightly seared and pounded tuna with radish strings, sprouts and greens….. The Forking Truth is that at many sushi places I can’t eat the tuna………because it doesn’t taste good to me…….too fishy……….but at Nagoya I enjoy tuna here.

A rainbow Roll of Yellowtail, Tuna and Salmon…….Spicy Tuna Roll, (delicious) a few Nigiri Style Sushi…..

Spicy Garlic Fish Roll and other sushi……

Takoyaki…..Octopus Balls…Interesting Japanese Style Fried tasty Doughnuts with  a little octopus adorned with a little spicy creamy sauce and shaved bonito flakes. Doughnuts are so tasty and seem light……Very tasty treat! that you don’t find at many places……

Hoedeopbap – Korean Style Sashimi salad, spicy sauce and rice that you mix up before eating.

At the moment Nagoya Sushi is the best I know of for sushi in the West Side or Peoria area….It’s not a high end sushi place like a Morimoto’s when he was the chef……but what they serve is very much above what most neighborhood sushi restaurants serve ( at the moment on the west side).

At the time of this review KC is the only chef preparing sushi……he loves his work so much he wants to make sure your sushi is correct but this might cause a delay in receiving your food in a timely matter when they get busy.

Nagoya Sushi is Worth a Fork!

Worth a Fork!

No website.

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

The Forking Truth

 

 

 

 

 

My Last Meal at Christopher’s & Crush at Biltmore Fashion Park Phoenix AZ

 

Christopher’s and Crush Lounge Phoenix AZ

Christopher’s & Crush Lounge is a Contemporary and Classic French Restaurant located in the Biltmore Fashion Park in Phoenix…….. that is until near the end of this month January 2018. The lease is up at the Biltmore Fashion Park but it’s not a good-bye…….The Chef Christopher will be the Executive Chef at near-by Geordie’s at Wrigley Mansion and will later this year is expected to open a new Christopher’s as well…..Incase you didn’t know the Chef and owner Christopher Gross is a MULTI AWARD WINNING CHEF. Not only is he a James Beard award wining chef he is famous for an appearance on the PBS Television TV Show Julia Child and presented her with his famous Chocolate Mousse Tower. The Chef has also been known for cooking for a few past Presidents and much more!

The Famous Chocolate Mousse Tower

The atmosphere is a mix of contemporary and classic. Heavy silverware, crisp linen and crystal clear polished wine glasses grace the tables. Service is very professional and formal. It might seem old fashioned to some…..but old fashioned is sort of refreshing and special now and then.

From this part of the restaurant I’ve always been greeted by Chef Christopher himself at dinner time and while he was working always asked how things were and thanked us for coming….no matter how busy he was……

I enjoyed every past dinner and incredible wine dinners I’ve been to here. I’ve never dined here for lunch so I did that today!

Just like at dinner they started us off with the best French Baguette I tasted anywhere. The bread is shattering crisp and has a great structure like no other. The butter is also special….as it sure doesn’t taste like Costco butter……it’s a whole lot better! This butter is delicious…

I tried a Signature Plate that was written in Big Lettering without a description. Christopher’s House Smoked Salmon.

It’s a wonderfully detailed plate! It looks almost too pretty to eat. The main of the plate was buttery carefully smoked salmon that was masterfully sliced razor thin. The salmon was buttery, not too smokey and sliced so perfect that it melted in my mouth.

The fish rested over this very crisp thin crepe that contained a sort of magical fancy baby mixed green lemony salad. It seemed like the salad was gift wrapped. This salad seemed unlike any salad I had before…It seemed marinated but also crisp…different. Off to the right side of the plate is an edible spoon (I think it was made with squid ink?)……that contained a dot of creme fraiche how cute! (but not enough I needed a another dot more) Off to the side were rich crisp round toasts. This plate was something special…..Now this is dining out!

My husband tried the Wood Oven Bacon and Taleggio Pizza.

The pizza was good and the cheese used (taleggio) is an above average cheese that cost more and has more flavor than most cheese most pizza places use but pizza is not as special like the House Smoked Salmon Plate. Don’t get me wrong it’s still very good……

From the first time I dined at Christopher’s I found out that dessert is a must!!! Your meal is not complete until you have dessert at Christopher’s…..Among the very best you can get!!!!!!

Today the Lemon Tart was calling my name.

The dessert is detailed beautiful and very delicious! The lemon flavor in the tart is absolutely perfection. Not too sweet or too tart but powerfully lemon-ee with a light richness in a thin crust. The plate was also adorned with a rich custardy cream, berry sauce, the freshest sweetest mixed berries and a scoop of a mixed berry frosty confection in a tasty thin crust. This was a delicious elegant ending….

Last time was the Famous Chocolate Tower….(you need to see it again)

The Famous Chocolate Mousse Tower

Certainly Worth a Fork!

Worth a Fork!

www.ChristopherAZ.com

YOU KNOW THINGS HERE ARE CHANGING! Next Month they are moving to the Wigley Mansion. I know things will change but am hoping the experience will be just as good there…….

The Forking Truth

Chinese Mustard Cabbage Recipe

 

Chinese Mustard Cabbage

I was at the Pinnacle Peak Farmer’s Market and Crooked Sky Farms usually has something interesting to try. I saw these really BIG Greens. I had no idea on what they were but I thought I’d try them. I asked the man at Crooked Skys what kind of green it was and not for all the money in the world can’t I remember the name of this vegetable but is is some sort of Chinese Cabbage. In studying pictures of Chinese Greens this one most resembled one of about 50 kinds of Chinese Mustard Greens. The most popular way to use Chinese Mustard Greens is to pickle and jar them. The second most popular way to to stir fry them simply with a Thai Chili little oil and some Garlic…..but it was suggested at www.ChinaSichuanFood.com to blanch the vegetable first. I prepared the cabbage similar to what and how www.ChinaSicuanFood.com did but I added a few extra ingredients for my taste.  In my research I don’t recall where I read this but someone suggested adding half a teaspoon of baking soda when you blanch the greens for when the stems are thick. So I prepared the vegetable and in the end this once bitter tasting green now taste very similar to spinach. I do note you might have to cut back on the Thai Chili peppers, garlic and sesame oil if your green is smaller than mine or for your taste.

Ingredients for about 6 servings

1 Chinese Mustard Cabbage (a really big one) – all cleaned up and chopped up like in pictures below. Put the pieces with wide stems in a separate bowl.

a few drops oil (this is for blanching. I used canola)

1/2 teaspoon salt (for blanching)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda (for blanching)

5 garlic cloves – chopped fine – or to taste

3 Thai Chili peppers – chopped fine – or to taste

1 Tablespoon canola oil

2 teaspoons sesame oil – or to taste

fresh ground black pepper to taste

fresh ground sea salt to taste

Directions

Put a pot of water on to boil with the few drops of oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.

Chinese Mustard Green

REMEMBER Wide Stems in a separate bowl!

Dogs are very interested…could be because I just browned up some chicken to go with the greens and rice.

The wide stems need to boil 10 seconds. Take them out with a strainer or a wide slotted spoon and place in a bowl of ice bath. Mostly ice a little cold water.

The leafier parts only need 2-3 seconds. You will notice that the water left in the pot smells very unpleasant. You just removed this taste from the greens. Then take the greens out and they get the ice bath too.

Then put all the greens in a colander to drain.

Get your wok hot on high heat and add the Tablespoon of canola oil and the chopped garlic and Thai Chili peppers.

then stir in the greens.

season with salt, pepper and sesame oil. Mix well and serve.

Chinese Mustard Cabbage

They taste great and are suppose to be very healthy for you! A special Thanks to www.ChinaSichuanFood.com for directions on how to work with this type of green and another special thanks to Crooked Skys Farms for offering such great produce at The Pinnacle Peak Farmers Market too!

The Forking Truth

www.ChinaSichuanFood.com

 

 

My Forking Thoughts on Caramelized Creme Hershey’s Gold Peanuts & Pretzels Bar

 

It’s some sort of big deal that Hershey’s candy company created a new candy bar that doesn’t contain chocolate. The new bar is called Caramelized Creme Hershey’s Gold Peanuts and Pretzels. I think it sounds good. I feel I need to try it.

I open the package and it looks like no other candy bar I ever have seen before. Different size butterscotch colored pips that interlock like flooring. I take a whiff. It smells like peanut butter. The bar smells very appetizing.

I let one pip slowly melt in my mouth.

I don’t really get the caramelized cream. I guess the caramelized creme is the white chocolate Easter Bunny taste.

It’s very sweet but very peanut-ee.

I think it taste like Reeses Cup Peanut Butter filling that collided with a white chocolate Easter Bunny……But at the end of this all melting in my mouth I got a weird collection of grainy mess in my mouth. I pull the grains out and I can see They didn’t actually put pretzels in the bar. I got pretzel dust with lots of salt and Peanut dust……did I say lots of salt? I don’t like the grainy mess of the peanut dust and pretzel dust. It’s kind of like the bottom of the pretzel bag and bottom of the peanut jar stuff that you throw away……mixed with a white Easter bunny and a Reese’s middle.

The Hershey’s Gold is slightly too sweet for me and too salty….I’m a sweets fan….I do really love sweets. I do love me some frosting now and then.

I KNOW the bar would be so much better if it had small peices of pretzels instead of that bottom of the pretzel bag or pretzel box (Bachman’s) stuff. I also would like the peanuts to be either all smooth or chunkier instead of the bottom of the peanut jar stuff.

This bar sort of depresses me. Of course I DON’T KNOW how it was made but I think it’s made from leftovers. Leftover white Easter Bunny trash, Pretzel and Peanut Trash and some sort of Reeese’s leftover Trash.

Those are my Forking Thoughts on the New Hershey’s Gold Bar and I do note that YOUR THOUGHTS on the Hershey’s Gold Bar may Differ!

I note I don’t know How THE FORK the Hershey’s Gold Bar was made. Maybe they meant it to be this way?

The Forking Truth

Star Anise Infused Chipotle Corn and the Corn Stock that keeps giving Recipe

 

Star Anise Infused Chipotle Corn

I came across this Chipotle Buttered Corn Recipe on the Tasting Table by Chef Christopher Lee of Sophia’s a Philadelphia Restaurant. I know Chipotle goes amazing with corn but Star Anise is a flavor I never thought of to go with Chipotle and corn. I did some research and I tried to find other recipes combining Star Anise and Chipotle. In my search I discovered the EXACT SAME RECIPE is posted on Genius Kitchen by Cluich..?…..I don’t know if Cluich and Chef Christopher Lee are the same person or not???????? (thought that was interesting) I don’t know if either Chef Christopher Lee or Cluich would approve or want to have anything to do with what I’ve done with Star Anise, Chipotle and Corn but I can tell you that it’s delicious and great. I take what I did a little further. What might be even better is the amazing corn stock that you get if you make the dish my way. The leftover Chipotle Corn Stock is great for chipotle mashed potatoes. Just boil the potatoes in that stock and after the potatoes are fork tender add enough stock to make them moist and then they are delicious with almost no fat or dairy (or you can add some butter to make them a little rich and better). The other thing I did with the Chipotle Corn Stock was to blend butternut squash into it. I made a Chipotle laced puree and later thinned it down with vegetable broth to make a soup.

Ingredients for about 6 servings

8 ears of corn

2 star anise

2 Tablespoons chipotle in adobo sauce – chipotle peppers chopped fine

1 meyer lemon cut in half

2 Tablespoons kosher salt

4 cloves garlic

1 onion cut in 8 slices

8 cups water

1/2 cup chopped scallions

Directions

Set your oven to 350 degrees F.

Get out two large pans (1/2 buffet pans) and lay out the corn and ingredients just like the photo below.

Four ears of corn in each pan and half the ingredients (except scallions) in each pan.

Add the water – 4 cups in each pan.

Cover very tightly with foil.

In the oven they go for two hours at 350 degrees F.

After two hours pull the pans out and carefully loosen the foil – WATCH OUT! – there will be hot steam – but leave the foil hang over.

Let the pans cool on the counter for an hour. Then throw out the star anise and the lemon.

After an hour you can serve the corn….I think it’s better on the cob……You will get the most amazing taste like you can’t imagine….very sweet juice you can suck out of the cob that’s infused with crazy flavors. Most people I know prefer the corn removed from the cob. So you can move the kernels and mix with sliced scallions. Either way it’s delicious and you can’t do any wrong.

Star Anise Infused Chipotle Corn

DON’T THROW OUT THE LIQUID FROM THE CORN.

Take it and boil peeled potatoes in it…..(used vegetables and all except the lemon and star anise you already threw out)

The potatoes will be delicious. Remove the potatoes from the pot. Make them more delicious and mash them with some of the strained liquid…….add a little butter if you want and these potatoes will be super yummy!

You can get one more use out of the liquid if you want……

Peel and roast up cubed butternut squash. Puree it up with some of this still very flavorful liquid. Now you have a flavorful figure friendly Butternut squash puree.

Maybe you’d enjoy the butternut squash more as a cream free soup. Just add vegetable stock and a small amount of finely chopped and sautéed carrot, celery and onion and puree again. You might want to add a small amount of more finely chopped chipotle pepper. I added a few peas for color and some really cute butternut squash pasta I found at Trader Joes.

Star Anise Infused Chipotle Corn

The Anise Infused Chipotle Corn is Worth a Fork!

A special Thanks to The Tasting Table with Chef Christopher Lee’s Recipe and To the same recipe at Genius Kitchen by Cluich. That recipe inspired me and helped me to create all these dishes.

The Forking Truth

 

My trip to The Cabin Whiskey & Grill in Peoria AZ

 

The Cabin Whiskey & Grill is located in Peoria AZ a little past P83 Sports Complex and before WestGate Complex. It also is among a few places for your last stop for food if you want to eat before you go to the World Wildlife Zoo. The Cabin offers a variety of mostly American Foods with some international twists at reasonable pricing. The atmosphere is rustic with many trophies (dead animals). It’s worn looking and woody like a cabin…..either at a ski resort or the woods…..it’s also loud with what some people would consider party music and there is a very large bar and an outdoor patio. It doesn’t feel like Phoenix here at all……I see Deers, Antlers and Bears Oh My!……and a metal pig butt.

 

We start with by sharing the Fried Mac ‘N” Cheese Balls served with House Made BBQ Ranch Dressing.

These Fried Mac ‘N’ Cheese Balls do seem oil free and have a nice thin crisp crust and are filled with creamy macaroni and cheese. Texture wise these are the best Fried Macaroni and Cheese I ever tried anywhere but I do need to note that they also were very bland…….I never add salt to food in a restaurant…..Usually I find the food too salty for me often and my husband complains that I am too sensitive but I found myself adding salt to these balls so they were really under seasoned.  With only a minimal amount of parmesan and or  seasoning these balls could have been  amazeballs! ……Maybe it’s just a slightly off batch? ….The house made BBQ ranch sauce is very flavorful for me the sauce is too strong for the balls but it taste good.

I ordered the Korean Street Tacos. They are described as Corn Tortillas stuffed with pan seared marinated flat iron steak, ginger-lime slaw with cucumbers and cilantro.

These are Street Sized Tacos on a single shelled warmed up Corn Tortillas. I take a bite. The meat is very tender and very good but lacks Korean Flavors (soy, vinegar, ginger, sesame oil, hot pepper). The slaw is fresh and very lime-ee and lacks cilantro. I use some hot chile sauce..it helps but it also wets the thin single layer shell and the shell then disintegrates………..any who

My husband tries the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich.

It’s Cute how they branded the soft bun with a ‘C” for Cabin!

The Chicken is VERY lightly breaded. It juicy and doesn’t even seem fried. The Buffalo Sauce it was tossed in has a nice tang and a nice kick to it…………the fries are coated and were seasoned nicely and arrived hot. Good sandwich!

Service was average.

That was my trip to The Cabin Whiskey and Grill in Peoria AZ.

www.TheCabinWest.com

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

The Forking Truth

Helio Basin Brewing Phoenix AZ is Worth A Fork

 

Helio Basin Brewing  is located in Phoenix not too far from the Phoenix airport and the Phoenix Zoo. They specialize in serving 6 varieties of handcrafted beers and elevated Arizonian Influenced bar food. They are very well received by magazine articles as being a top brewery in the county and the chef has created award wining food at various food events.

We enter…to my surprise it doesn’t smell like beer when I walked in and looks like a typical brewery.

I see many kegs and brewing and a Fermentation Cellar with great big giant vats.

The wall behind me are garage doors that someone just opened.

The menus are an interesting read and there are many detailed creations I never saw anywhere else before…..There are also some unusual game meat offerings like wild boar, elk and rabbit sausage…….

The Trout Tacos are calling my name so that’s what I ordered.

I received three street sized tacos on house made spent grain (by-product from beer making) tortillas. The tacos are filled with smoked rainbow trout, deviled egg mousse, pickled fresno peppers, capers and pretty frilly little greens. I take a bite. The tacos have a nice texture and nutty flavor. I like the tortillas very much! The smoked trout is firm textured, rich and it indeed is SMOKEY. The pickled fresno peppers are punchy and are an excellent pairing with the trout. They go very well together. To be Forking honest (like I always am) I can’t taste the deviled egg mousse over the smoked trout and fresnos because my mouth is still smoking…the eggs are just something creamy that’s in there. The pickled vegetables on the side were also very good….softer than I was expecting and very acidic but not harsh, very good…..different!

My husband said the Sonoran Sausage was EXCELLENT!

There’s a lot going on here. Listen again……..There’s a LOT going on here……….This sandwich is painstakingly detailed………Spicy house made brat, smoked bacon, duck-fat beans, stewed nopales (cactus), pickled fresnos and onions, piccolo de gallo, ancient mustard (not sure but I think it’s an almond, pine nut, dark seed mustard) jalapeño pesto, cotija cheese, crema on bolillo bun.

Helio Basin Brewing – Craft Beer and Chef Crafted  Arizonian Influenced Fine Bar Food.

I’d say that’s Worth a Fork!

Worth a Fork!

www.HelioBasinBrewing.com

Every FORKING THING is subject to change and YOUR experience MAY or May NOT differ.

The Forking Truth

Pastrami Carrots & Beets with Kraut Style Chickpeas Recipe

 

Pastrami Carrots and Beets with Kraut Style Chickpeas

I was inspired to create this recipe when I read about Chef Binkley’s Pastrami Carrot Corn Dog on his menu this week……I know my creations can’t compare to the Great Chef’s Masterpieces …..but this one here is might be considered to be Forking Great! I had a pound  of beets and a pound of carrots in my refrigerator. I was thinking that beets might be great also to pastramize…So I did two pans, one with carrots and one with beets.Then I figure I have to make something to go the beets and carrots….I first thought of Russian Dressing….Of course a simple basic Russian Dressing is delicious with these carrots and beets…….Then I thought a better idea was my Kraut Style Spaghetti Squash but I didn’t think squash and root vegetables are very appetizing together so Chickpeas was it because they go great with Carrots and Beets……I did the quick soak method for beans but you are welcome to do the over night soak….I think the two methods produce different textures to the beans……The overnight soak makes the beans super creamy and sweeter….I wasn’t sure if I wanted super creamy beans so I did the quick soak for more texture. I think I would have been happiest with 1/2 and 1/2 but I didn’t think of that at the time.

Ingredients for about 6 servings

1 lb. carrots – peeled (needs to be peeled so the flavorings get in)

1 lb. beets – peeled and sliced in thick slices (needs to be peeled so flavorings get in)

2 Tablespoons kosher salt

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon juniper berries

2 teaspoons allspice berries

2 bay leaves

1/2 cinnamon stick

1 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves

1 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

2 Tablespoons black peppercorns

1 teaspoon ground ginger

8 garlic cloves – smashed

1 hot dried pepper – torn in half

1 teaspoon liquid smoke

4 cups water

coriander to taste (to top carrots and beets)

fresh ground black pepper to taste (to top carrots and beets)

1/2 lb dried garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas)

3 cups water (keep the leftover bean water)

1/2 sweet onion – very thinly sliced and rough chopped

2 cloves garlic – ground to a paste

4 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or a little more to taste)

4 splashes sherry vinegar

2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon course sea salt

8 juniper berries – fresh ground in spice grinder

2 teaspoons caraway seeds

1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seed

Directions

set oven to 350 degrees F

Get two baking dishes or two 1/2 pans.

Put all the carrots in one pan.

Put all the beets in the other pan.

Get out a medium sized mixing bowl.

add the salt, sugar, juniper berries, allspice berries, cloves, mustard, peppercorns, ginger and mix well. Put 1/2 the mixture in each pan.

Put one bay leaf, 1/4 cinnamon stick, 1/2 dried pepper and 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke in each pan.

Add 2 cups of water to each pan and cover tightly and lace in 350 degree oven.

Cook till fork tender. About one hour.

When ready to use drain.

Rinse and sort beans.

Put pot of 3 cups water to boil. When boiling add beans and boil the beans for two minutes. Then shut the heat off cover the pot and leave it alone for an hour. After an hour drain and rinse the beans. Put them back in the pot with three cups of water. Bring the pot to boil and then reduce to a low simmer covered. These beans should be done in about 90….. minutes….maybe 2 hours. (******make sure that any bean you prepare is fully cooked because undercooked beans can cause illness or be toxic!)

While the beans are cooking get a small mixing bowl and add the onion, garlic, sherry vinegar, sugar, 1 teaspoon course sea salt, ground juniper, caraway and mustard seeds. Cover and put in the refrigerator while the beans are cooking. This mixture will cook itself.

When the beans are done drain them. Add the small bowl of onion mixture to your pot. Add the drained beans and about 1/2 cup of reserved bean water and bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to simmer for 15 – 25 minutes…..you want things to get absorbed. Wa la Kraut Style Beans.

Plate it up! (make sure you sprinkle the beets and carrots with fresh ground black pepper and coriander.

Pastrami Carrots and Beets with Kraut Style Chic Peas

WOW! I feel like I could stuff the beets in with rye bread and Swiss cheese! This is a FORKING Special vegetable plate. Ummmm I’m thinking of quick rye bread waffles and drizzling  everything with a Swiss Cheese Sauce….

The Forking Truth

 

 

 

 

 

Dash Mini Waffle Grill – Might be Worth a Fork?

 

I was at Sur La Table and they had this teeny tiny waffle maker called the Dash Grill. It makes four inch round waffles. I sort of thought about purchasing a real waffle maker but never did because I can’t stand the thought of a large appliance I’d rarely use. We very rarely ever eat waffles so I thought if this tiny $7.50 (normally $9.99)  appliance works it would just right for me and my limited waffle needs.

I follow the recipe for classic waffles that are included with the owner’s manual.

The recipe is very easy to prepare but it doesn’t say how long to leave the batter in the waffle iron or how many waffles it makes……So I flat out guess to leave the batter in for three minutes.

WOW my waffle came out perfect! and BTW it’s a very good recipe that I don’t have to change. The waffles are very light and fluffy and taste great!

The recipe makes 7 waffles.

Of course this mini waffle iron isn’t for everyone. I wouldn’t recommend for families that want to eat together. At three minutes a waffle it might take a very long time to feed a family.

There are pros and cons to the Mini Dash Grill

Pros-

Cost $10.00 or less.

Doesn’t take up much space as it’s only as big as a fast food burger.

Comes with recipes.

Cons-

Takes 3 minutes to make each four inch waffle.

You have to guess when your waffle is done.

It will take you forever to feed a family with this tiny waffle iron.

The Dash Mini Waffle Iron is very difficult to clean. While it does have a non stick surface that you are only suppose to wipe out it’s next to impossible to get in all the tiny nooks. I kept cleaning it and it still wasn’t clean…took me 4 times till I thought it was clean. Maybe I’ll try with a Q-Tip next time if………. it still works.

Hope I get to make a few new creations with My Dash Mini Waffle Iron! I’m really excited to make a waffle falafel or quick waffle bread sandwiches.

The Dash Mini Waffle Grill – Might be worth a Fork?….(That depends on how many uses I get out of it.)

I note that your experience may or may not differ….

The Forking Truth