Category Archives: restaurants

kogi inspiration

This sandwich was inspired by the Midnight Torta, a popular late-night sandwich from the Kogi Truck in LA.  Around 50,000 people follow the Korean BBQ tweets and show up all over LA for a chance at some food from the Kogi Truck. I have yet to experience the Kogi Truck so when I came across a recipe, I knew I would have to give it a try. And try it that day – there was no waiting with this recipe.

There were a few problems I had with this recipe however, the main one being that it calls for pork belly. I’ve searched high and low for this pork delicacy but have yet to have any luck finding it.  I even asked a local farmer if he had any, but alas, once again I was denied. “I just can’t keep up with the bacon,” he replied to my plea. Screw the bacon slices, I want a whole big slab of it! I’ve been looking for pork belly ever since a dinner in Denver but I’m not so sure that I’ll ever be able to find it. (If you know how to track some down, please fill me in!)

Originally, I was going to sub the pork belly with some bacon, which seems like the logical replacement, but when at the store I decided on a different direction. My pork of choice? Prosciutto. Cheese of choice? Graskaas. (Graskaas is a special spring cheese that is made from the first milking after the cows run and jump out of the barn to the pastures after the long winter. Apparently, cows, much like humans get overly excited for spring. Their happiness, in turn, produces an incredibly creamy, smooth and once-a-year cheese.)

This sandwich, while it certainly required napkins, had a variety of flavors, was filling, and pretty easy to throw together for a casual summer dinner. I’m starting to think that I may be able to survive without that pork belly after all.

Kogi Inspiration – 2 servings adapted from Food & Wine

  • 1 demi french baguette (the small one)
  • 4 slices of prosciutto
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 slices Graskaas Cheese
  • 4 cups spinach
  • 2 red onion slices
  • 2-4 green onions
  • 2 jalapeños

Grill onions and jalapeños until soft and lightly charred. Thinly slice green onions and jalapeños. Set aside.

Pre-heat broiler.

Heat large pan and spray with cooking spray. When hot add prosciutto and cook until crisp. Set aside. Add spinach to pan until just wilted, about 2 minutes, and set aside. Crack eggs into pan and cook until just set, 2-3 minutes.

Cut bread in half and then cut each piece lengthwise. Add slice of cheese to bread and broil until cheese has melted. Spread other side with mayonnaise if desired.

Layer prosciutto, egg and veggies on sandwich. Enjoy!

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Filed under cheese, great meals, Recipes, restaurants, Uncategorized, vegetables, whole foods

boston

Last weekend the taster and I spent an amazing few days in Boston. That is what I love about vacation. It doesn’t matter where I am or what I’m doing, but bumming around a city, soaking up whatever I can, is my idea of a perfection.

I hadn’t been to Boston in a few years and complete with the tasters love for history we managed to squeeze in a trip to a museum, a history tour, a baseball game, a wedding, seeing both sides of our families and of course, a lot of delicious food.

First time having pho, and now officially addicted. Any Minneapolis recommendations for me?

Kennedy Library Museum

Seafood, Seafood, Seafood

Red Sox Game

Many trips to Dunkin Donuts.

Your boys Patty! 🙂

And a beautiful wedding to top things off!

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Filed under coffee, great meals, restaurants, travel, Uncategorized

entertaining:butter & salts

A few years back, I met the tasters sister Amy at a great little wine bar in Chicago and one of the items that we had was butter with various salts. I’ve never forgotten how delicious it was and I’ve been building my salt collection ever since. When the truffle salt made its way into my collection, I knew I was ready for my own butter and salt experience.


The concept is simple and the preparation is minimal – simply sprinkle the salt over pieces of high-quality butter and serve with bread or crackers. Wine is optional but highly recommended 😉 Although I love red, I think a crisp white would pair beautifully with the saltiness and creamy butter.

Left to right: Truffle Salt, Himalayan Sea Salt, Smoked Sea Salt, Citrus Sea Salt

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Filed under appetizers, entertaining, fats, great meals, restaurants, Uncategorized, whole grains, wine

breakfast quesadilla

The Breakfast Quesadilla at the French Meadow Cafe has got to be one of my favorite items on the menu. Sprouted tortillas? Love. Eggs? Love. Spinach? Love. Cheese? Obviously.

It has been far to long since I’ve visited the cafe, but I was craving that quesadilla so I decided to make it myself. The taster suggested adding some peppers, onions and mushrooms to the egg mixture and I’m always happy to add some extra vegetables to meals – the more vegetables the better in my book.

While this may be called a Breakfast Quesadilla, I consider  to be a well-balanced meal anytime of the day. And I can tell you from experience that it happens to taste wonderful at dinner time.

Breakfast Quesadilla – 2 servings

Spray pan with cooking spray and add onions, peppers and mushrooms, stirring occasionally over medium heat. Add eggs and cooked until set, 2-3 minutes. Heat large pan over medium heat. Place one tortilla in pan and layer with egg mixture, spinach and cheese. Top with other tortilla and cook until cheese has melted. Slice and serve with guacamole, salsa and jalapeño sour cream.

 

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Filed under cheese, eating local, eggs, great meals, protein, Recipes, restaurants, Uncategorized, vegetables, whole foods, whole grains

Colorado

The trip to Colorado was a wonderful one! The taster and I walked around Denver so much that my legs actually hurt! (Sedentary job much?) The food was fantastic, some interesting drinks were had (a cucumber mojito that will have to be re-created) and I love that flip flops and a fleece are totally acceptable for pretty much everything! I’ll spare you every last detail and get right to my favorites:

Dinner at Rioja was amazing to say the least. It was recommended to us by friends and we would have gone back every night if not for the sake of variety. My favorite was the paella gnocchi: “rice crusted saffron gnocchi, PEI mussels, Hawaiin blue prawn, calamari, orange scented chicken sausage, artichoke hearts, smoked paprika tomato broth.” Could be a strong contender for the best thing I ever ate.

Daily trips to Larimer Square (Mary Beth I thought you would like the anthro-like banners in the street)

Rockies Game

Pictures around Denver


Day trip to Estes Park

Fondue & Flowers in Boulder, which I’m convinced is the hippiest city ever, in addition to being the home of many of my favorite food brands: Justin’s Nut Butter, Simply Boulder Sauces, Skinny Crisps, Celestial Seasonings, etc…

Red Rocks Amphitheater and some very necessary stair-climbing.

 

The Denver Art Museum

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Filed under bacon, beans, eating local, great meals, restaurants, travel, Uncategorized, wine

photographing everything

A recent article in the New York Times, First Camera, Then Fork pretty much sums up the flow of many of my meals as I’m sure it does to many of you too. Food photography as a means of an online diary or journal has been quickly rising for years and we certainly know that the number of food blogs increases exponentially every day.

I never quite realized what a large phenomenon this was until the taster and I were having dinner at La Belle Vie, which is a restaurant that I would consider very fancy and Andrew Zimmern considers it the place in Minneapolis to take your wife for Valentine’s Day. I had my camera in my purse (of course) but assumed it wouldn’t really be appropriate to be snapping pictures –  imagine my surprise when I saw three other people, all female I might add, doing the same thing! I immediately wondered if they are food bloggers and if so, why haven’t I come across their blog yet? (Fabulous dinner by the way, I never blogged about it but did take the pictures)

I have  been pondering the “rules” regarding taking pictures in restaurants, holding up dinner companions to get the perfect shot, etc. after reading 3 Rules for Camera-Happy Diners (aka Food Bloggers) in Bon Appétit’s The BA Foodist column.  Because I don’t blog everything I eat I don’t really run into these issues of using a flash in a fancy restaurant or explaining to business companions why I’m taking pictures instead of eating but for those of you who do, how do you handle these situations? Do you ever refrain from taking pictures for the sake of dining companions or depending on location? Or, do you think nothing of taking pictures at restaurants? What are your “rules”?

If you aren’t a food blogger, what are your thoughts when others do this?

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Filed under article, in the news, restaurants, Uncategorized

duck confit pizza

I had one item in mind when a Groupon for Surdyk’s came through my inbox. Duck Confit. This seemingly quite-common creature is quite pricey and we’ve been eyeing it up for a few months now so I knew just what I wanted to do with it. A pizza was made, much like the one we had at Restaurant Nola and much like the one I’ve been thinking about ever since. Because I was getting ready for my trip, I didn’t make my own crust, but opted for a pre-made crust for the sake of convenience. It made the pizza come together all the faster.

Duck Confit Pizza serves 2

  • pre-made pizza crust
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • duck confit (1 leg), shredded
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1 egg, sunny-side up
  • parmesan shavings
  • salt & pepper

Pre-heat oven to 450°F. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil and bake for 5 minutes. Top with duck and bake another few minutes, until duck is hot. Top with arugula, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Place the egg on the arugula and sprinkle parmesan shavings over top.

The ingredients are simple, but of the highest quality, making this pizza oh-so-flavorful and definitely unforgettable. Switch out the duck with caramelized onions for a vegetarian version.

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Filed under eggs, great meals, protein, Recipes, restaurants, salad, vegetables