If you’re looking for a quick summer dish to serve at your next barbecue, chef Michael Goldsmith of Joe’s Midnight Run shares a flavorful chicken recipe that he also makes at the funky restaurant housed in an old liquor drive-thru on 7th Street. The secret to the dish is the Ras el Hanout, a Moroccan spice mixture of cinnamon, clove, coriander and a few other ingredients, which Goldsmith says you can pick up at Mediterranean markets across the Valley. (Or, here's a recipe on Epicurious.) “I like to try to get out of the box a little bit and incorporate flavors from around the world and keep them as traditional as possible,” Goldsmith says. The recipe also includes a couscous salad and a tangy yogurt dip and can be served as an appetizer or entrée.
As I took a bite of Chef Jeff Smedstad’s "pay de queso" (Mexican cheesecake), my mind took me back to my childhood’s kitchen. I pictured my mom baking pays for the holidays and a younger me eager to eat.
“This is the real deal,” I told Smedstad. The chef and owner of the reknowned Elote Cafe in Sedona says he was influenced by a trip to Veracruz where he learned about the craft of homemade Mexican cheesecake – sort of a lighter, less sweet, less dense version of our beloved New York cheesecake. He put a spin on the traditional Mexican dessert with goat cheese from Fossil Creek Goat Farm in Strawberry, Arizona, near Payson. The result is absolutely exquisite.
Each month, we of the PHOENIX magazine creative team ask ourselves a different question about our favorite dining and drinking experiences in the Valley. Our picks are usually hidden in the back of the magazine among our Dining Guide restaurant listings. Not any more. Our picks are going digital! Feel free to follow us on social media (at least, those of us who tweet) and be sure to tag us (@PhoenixMagazine on Twitter and @PHXMagazine on Instagram) on pics of your favorite picks.
In honor of our Free PHX cover story in the June issue we're asking ourselves, What are your favorite cheap eats in the Valley?
Whether you’re having friends over for the long holiday weekend or taking food to a gathering, you probably want to find a recipe that’s quick, easy and doesn’t heat up the kitchen. Chef Danny Valdez of Luci’s Healthy Marketplace has the perfect solution for you – lahvosh.
When the temperature rises, most chefs in the Valley will sprinkle their menus with summer-friendly dishes to help us ease our way into blistering days and sweltering nights. At EVO, Executive Chef Steven Fowler has swapped out a hearty porchetta dish for a lighter pork Milanese.
This recipe calls for a bone-in pork porterhouse (available at AJ’s or a specialty butcher), but you can also use pork chops or pork loin, Fowler says. And if you don’t have a deep fryer, you can pound out the pork and fry on the stove top in 3-4 tablespoons of canola oil. “It’s quick and easy,” Fowler says. “You can have this completed in less than 15 minutes.”
For the past few years, The James Beard Foundation has sponsored a contest called The Blended Burger Project to entice chefs into making hamburgers by blending ground meat with chopped mushrooms. The result: burgers that are not only delicious, but also healthier and more sustainable for the planet.
Mother’s day has come and gone. Now it’s time to celebrate your old man. (Side note: Does anyone other than your old man still call their father "old man?") This year, instead of swinging by CVS for a discounted keyboard necktie, how about treating Dear Old Dad to something fab made right here in the Valley? We've rounded up the best gifts, activities, deals and, of course, dining options for dear old dad.
When the mercury rises, many Valley restaurants bust out lighter menus to entice customers to brave the heat and dine out. At Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, they’ve introduced a strawberry spinach salad that goes well with pizza, says Grimaldi’s Corporate Chef Cory Lattuca. The vinaigrette is made with real strawberries rather than an extract or syrup, which “gives the dressing a nice color and some structure,” he says. “It’s a great summer salad.”
Here at PHOENIX, it’s no secret we love experimental cocktails. Chile pepper-infused vodka shaken with purple mangosteen liquor and topped with palo verde essence bubbles? Yes, please. (I made that up, though I expect to see something similar on Valley mixologists’ craft cocktail lists any day now.) But while we aren’t scared to participate in “Fear Factor – Cocktail Edition,” it’s always nice to return to the classics every so often.
The Negroni is one such old faithful.
According to chef Aaron May of Over Easy, too many items on Arizona’s breakfast menus are inundated with Southwestern flavors. “Everything is jalapeños and ranchero,” he says. “You make it spicy. You make it cheesy and then you put it under the broiler and melt the cheese and everybody loves it... It’s a cheap thrill.”
Eat and drink your way through the Valley with our delectable daily dispatches on everything from craft cocktail bars to mom-and-pop neighborhood spots. To get food-and-bev news delivered to your inbox, sign up for our Eat Beat newsletter.