Friday, July 23, 2010

The Great American Road Trip Round 1: My New Home

There were many high points on my road trip but on Wednesday, I finally had the opportunity to check out my new home. We went to the farmhouse for a minute but weren't able to go in so we just took photos outside and checked out the gardens. We did get the chance to stroll around downtown Princeton which is absolutely adorable and luckily, we stumbled upon this, so I think I'll be just fine living there!

Now, I know I promised Memphis style BBQ next but we ended up going to Graceland instead of going for BBQ. BUT to make up for it, a little food highlight from Kingston, NJ... The mama and I found a restaurant just a few short miles from the farmhouse called Eno Terra. It's rustic Italian Mediterranean and was totally delish! I am sure that it will be one of our faves when we live just down the road. Our dinner included a little of this...

4 kinds of bread: sun-dried tomato, rustic sourdough, rosemary, olive

Grilled Tuna on a bed of perfectly roasted tomatoes with eggplant crisps and an eggplant tapenade

Shrimp wrapped in prosciutto and grilled over a bed of couscous

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Great American Road Trip Round 1: Real Deal Texas BBQ

Today was absolutely the highlight of my trip, food-wise. I finally got to try some REAL Texas BBQ. My mom and I split a combo plate which included the following.

Clockwise from top: little bucket o' bbq sauce; frito pie (apparently a local delicacy made with actual Frito's, beans, bbq sauce and plenty of cheese); crazy good potato salad; chopped beef brisket; to die for summer sausage; bbq beans; coleslaw; lightly toasted bun just in case you need a mop for some sauce.

I think it's safe to say that today I died and went to Texas BBQ heaven. Next up, Memphis style BBQ after we make our way through the incredibly flat Oklahoma- where the wind blows gently through the plain...

The Great American Road Trip Round 1: Owl Lovin in Owlbuquerque

Yesterday was a bit of a longer day than the mama and I thought we'd have. It was a great day being that we were able to check out the vast beauty that is the Grand Canyon and also Petrified Forest National Park but our trip was a few hours longer than we'd thought. I wasn't sure what to expect at the Petrified Forest, but if you ever get the chance definitely visit. The Painted Desert is absolutely breathtaking!

We rolled into Albuquerque, New Mexico around 10:30 last night which was going to be our home for the evening and luckily, there was a diner across from our hotel open until 11:00 PM. Now, I love duck and quail and fois gras but I'm just as happy with a deliciously greasy, succulently fatty diner any day... and delicious it was. The diner was called the Owl Cafe, so cute...

We were in New Mexico so we opted for some greasy Mexican, yum...

chile relleno, cheese enchilada, beef taco

And finally, we opted to fore-go free breakfast at the hotel for a little more owl lovin in Owlbuquerque...

huevos rancheros, heuvos mexicanos, smokin hot jalapenos

Next stop... real Texas BBQ!!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Great American Road Trip Round 1: BBQ Ribs a la Williams, Arizona

Or should I say "Round 4" since this is actually the fourth time I've travelled across our beautiful country. Either way though, this is Part 1 of 2 parts that will take place this summer due to my big move to the farm house in the Jers (aka New Jersey). This first trip is taking place with a pretty darn good road tripping buddy- my mama. We've had a blast so far looking for Golf Courses in Yosemite National Park and an overnight at a slightly shady hotel outside of Death Valley that well, we'll just chalk up to experience. I'm sure there will be lots more "experiences" to come!

And now it's officially bed time of Day 2 but by far the best food day I've had so far. The main goal of this trip is not so much the food, but more the sites. But as you know, I love food and therefore, I'm going to try to eat as locally and as delicously as possible. That being sad, instead of posting recipes the next few days (unless I stumble upon a really good one somewhere between here and the North Country, which I'm thinking is totally possible) I think I'll post a pic or two of the best food-related moment of my day. Today, it was the ribs!

I'm guessing this will be the first of many BBQ experiences as we are travelling across Texas and a bit of the south but I have to say, for Arizona, they were pretty damn good. So, without further ado, a beautiful photo of sweet, spicy, perfectly smoked and snappy... some delish Arizona style BBQ Ribs, with a yummy Grand Canyon IPA as the backdrop. On to the Grand Canyon and New Mexico tomorrow...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

San Fran Forever In My Tummy Part 2: Stuffed Poblanos

One of my favorite things about living in the bay area is the Mexican food. Being a small town girl from the Northeast, I never ate mexican food growing up, but after moving to California, I fell in love. After living out here for a bit I realized how much I love different kinds of peppers. My go to pick any time it is on the menu is definitely a chile relleno. How can I resist a delicious poblano pepper stuffed to the brim with cheese and deep fried... my mouth is watering just thinking about it and I just got back from a very fulfilling dinner!

I found this recipe from the ever fabulous Martha a year or so ago. It is a great meatless weeknight meal that isn't quite a chile relleno but does use delish poblanos and is a much healthier option being that its not packed with cheese and deep fried. Don't worry, there is still some cheese and a little cornmeal goodness, but no where near the fat filled amount of the fabulously fatty chile relleno, which unfortunately should probably be enjoyed in moderation- bummer!

Stuffed Poblanos

1 can whole tomatoes in puree (28 oz.)
1 jalapeno pepper, minced (ribs and seeds removed for less heat)
2 small onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves (2 whole, 1 minced)
salt and pepper
1 can black beans (19 oz.), rinsed and drained
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1 tsp ground cumin
4 large poblano chiles, halved lengthwise, ribs and seeds removed

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a blender combine tomatoes in puree, jalapeno, half the onion,S 2 whole garlic cloves and puree. Season with salt. Pour sauce into a baking dish and set aside.

In a medium bowl combine beans, cornmeal, 1/2 cup cheese, remaining onion, minced garlic, cumin, and 3/4 cup water; season with salt and pepper.

Dividing evenly stuff poblano halves with a portion of the bean mixture. Place on top of sauce in baking dish. Sprinkle poblanos with remaining half cup of cheese. Cover baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake about 45 minutes. Uncover and cook until sauce is slightly thickened and cheese is browned, 10-15 minutes more. Makes about 4 servings.

photo and recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

San Fran Forever In My Tummy: Juliet's Broccoli Salad

My time here in this beautiful city by the bay is rapidly, and very sadly, coming to an end. One week from tomorrow I will be starting my journey east. BUT, that is seven, hopefully long, days away so I think I'll spend this next week paying tribute to the incredible city that has inspired me, taught me, and all around loved me for the last 5 years and post a few recipes that have contributed to my happiness here. 

This first recipe is perfect as a side dish for a summer bbq and was passed onto me by the most beautiful blondie I've ever seen and one of the most amazing friends I've met in San Fran. My first few years here I spent hours on end enjoying wine at her kitchen table while chit-chatting about our boys and our relationships or reminiscing about the wild weekend nights we spent out on the town. This recipe is super easy and involves very little cooking so can be quickly thrown together by any and all cooks. So for my first of a weeks worth of recipes that will forever remind me of San Francisco with every tasty bite, I give to you... drum roll please....

Juliet's Broccoli Salad

1 large head of broccoli, cut into pieces
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
6 pieces bacon, cooked and chopped
1 cup Vermont Cabot Sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup raisins (optional)

1/2 cup miracle whip
1/4 cup sugar
1-1 1/2 tbsp cider vinegar

Whisk together ingredients for dressing in a a small bowl. Combine first 4 ingredients and toss with dressing. Serve chilled or at room temperature.