It’s hard to pick up a dinner menu these days that doesn’t feature scallops in some form – from sautéed in olive oil to drenched in browned butter and coated with panko crumbs.
The Grill at Quail Creek, a restaurant at the Robson Resort Community in Green Valley, offers a pan-seared scallop dish that executive chef Aris Cabrera says is the restaurant’s most popular menu item. “I really love the contrast with the sweetness and the spiciness and the earthy flavors of ginger and lemongrass,” he says.
When the weather forecast promises a seemingly unending stretch of of 100-degree-plus days, it’s hard to think about cooking with any form of heat. If you’re in the market for a cool dessert with a minimal amount of stove time, Robert Richter of Chandler-based Robert’s Catering offers up Lemon Snow Pudding. It even sounds chill.
According to the American Egg Board, the United States produces around 75 billion eggs a year, representing about 10 percent of the world’s supply. That’s a mind-boggling amount of eggs and cause for celebration just in time for National Egg Day, Sunday, June 3.
It’s Memorial Day weekend, which marks the official kickoff of summer barbecue season. If you’re hosting or going to a gathering over the holiday weekend, don’t just offer up a boring dessert like chocolate chip cookies or brownies. Why not try making a zippy, summer-y key lime pie with a pretzel crust?
There are many ways to eat fresh peaches, but have you ever thought about grilling them? This week, executive chef Robert Nixon of Toscana’s Restaurant & Lounge at PebbleCreek (Robson Resort Communities), offers up his grilled Arizona Peach Flatbread recipe.
The recipe calls for pizza dough, which you can pick up at Trader Joe’s in lieu of making it yourself, but Nixon says you can also use lavosh or French bread. Arizona peaches are coming into season, so it’s the perfect time to for some local fruit love. “The season is about two months,” he says. “All the farmers’ markets are going to have them soon.”
In February, Oregano’s Pizza Bistro rolled out the Power Greens Salad because Oregano's founder, Mark Russell, joked that he wanted a healthy salad he could eat after going to the gym, says Nadia Salem, Oregano’s Director of Culinary. So Salem and Russell put their heads together and came up with a kale-heavy salad that customers can’t seem to get enough of. “It gives you so much power and energy because of the protein and vitamins,” Salem says. “It’s been such a popular salad for us.”
If you're hankering for pasta carbonara, but want to forgo the eggs and heavy cream (not a traditional ingredient, but many recipes include it), Needle Rock Kitchen & Tap executive chef Paul Steele has lightened up the recipe for you. Instead, he uses heart-healthy olive oil.
The peak season for English peas is short, says Jacques Qualin, chef de cuisine of The Phoenician’s J&G Steakhouse. “At the beginning of spring, the peas are really tender and sweet.” So, once in a while – not every year – Qualin puts sweet pea soup on the menu for about 6 to 8 weeks to take advantage of the season.
When Grape Bistro owner Kellie Pruitt unexpectedly lost her 17-year-old daughter in July 2016, she stepped away from running the Scottsdale restaurant. "My whole life went crazy after that," Pruitt says. The restaurant stayed open while she spent time trying to heal. She hiked a lot on Pinnacle Peak and decided to reopen the restaurant under the new name, PNPK, as an homage to the mountain that helped her cope with her unimaginable grief.
Spring has officially arrived and Valley chefs have been busy testing out recipes and writing menus. In mid-March, Doughbird, Sam Fox's pizza and rotisserie chicken concept, rolled out a new happy hour bar menu (from 2-5 p.m.) with $4 slices of pizza and a couple of other snacks, including roasted shishito peppers.
If you're ready to tackle a multifaceted fish recipe for a special occasion dinner, this one's for you.
Match Restaurant & Lounge executive chef Alex Stratta offers a sea bass recipe that's complex in preparation, but uses simple ingredients. "This is a very traditional Provencal application," Stratta says. "It reminds me of the south of France."
March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month and Octane Raceway in Scottsdale has created a special cocktail to raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The Mountain Sunrise is $10, with $2 going to the charity, which funds research of the debilitating disease of the central nervous system.
Back in January, Hotel Adeline quietly opened in Old Town Scottsdale. The new hotel has a hip vibe reminiscent of Hotel Valley Ho and a stellar view of Camelback Mountain, if you're lucky enough to be poolside. The property also has two promising restaurants – Good & Proper, a casual café with breakfast and lunch menus, and Selfmade, the hotel's full-service dinner restaurant.
If you're looking for a vegetarian appetizer that packs a protein punch, chef Tamara Stanger of Helio Basin Brewing Co. shares a user-friendly recipe for white bean puree (akin to a creamy hummus). Stanger uses Ramona Farms white tepary beans, a product that has been cultivated for about 1,000 years by Native Americans in the Sonoran Desert. (Buy online at ramonafarms.com.)
"You can sub other white beans, but these are very buttery and have more protein than any other bean," Stanger says.
Stanger uses crème fraiche in her recipe, but you can substitute sour cream or cottage cheese and vegans can use silken tofu, she says. Also, feel free to throw in any pickled vegetables or olives you have on hand. "This dish is really good for entertaining and it celebrates Arizona."
Erick Geryol, owner of new Tempe Italian spot The Quartiere, is sharing his Bolognese sauce recipe because he wants to shed some light on the thick, slow-simmered, full-flavored ragu. "It's something everyone can make at home and I think it's one of the best sauces out there."
When shopping for ingredients, look for Fontanini Italian sausage, a brand that Geryol grew up with in the Midwest. "You can't cook Italian food without it," he says. Also, if you don't have the time or patience to make demi-glace, you can pick some up pre-made at Whole Foods.
Because the sauce is sturdy, remember to pick hearty pasta to match – something like gemelli, fettuccine or pappardelle, Geryol says. "You need something to support the weight of the sauce."
As the name suggests, J's Kaiyo Sushi + Bar is a sushi restaurant. But it's so much more than that, says the eatery's Executive Chef Jason McGrath. "We have a strong sushi program and that's definitely our guiding light, but we also have a really good hot menu."
McGrath shares the short rib recipe from his hot menu, which can be made in the oven or a slow cooker (that is, if This Is Us hasn't scared you off from the set it and forget it lifestyle).
It's important to sear the meat over high heat to lock in all the flavors, and after braising the ribs for about four hours, they're so tender McGrath guarantees you won't need a knife.
"Short ribs are time consuming, but they're really hearty and a good, clean and simple dish," McGrath says. "These are old school short ribs."
Sidenote: These short ribs were called "the best" she's had in a long time by our dining critic, Nikki Buchanan in January. Read the review here.
When you think about Brat Haus, the popular artisan sausage eatery in Scottsdale, superfood salad probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But Brat Haus Executive Chef Jeffrey Schoening aims to switch that up a bit. “We want to diversify our clientele because not everyone wants sausages, french fries and chicken wings,” he says.
Schoening started playing around with ingredients to make a salad that was healthy, but still filling enough to satisfy someone with a hearty appetite. “I’m 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, and if I eat a salad, it needs some body to it,” he says. That’s where the grains – like quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat – come in.
The beauty of this salad is that you can use whatever vegetables you have in the refrigerator, Schoening says. “It’s anything goes. And the salad dressing is good on everything.”
With cold and flu season peaking, Constance Bradley of Scottsdale Integrative Acupuncture says it's a good time to load up on nutrients and foods that boost the immune system. "I'm always thinking about what I can do with an ingredient that I see in the store this time of year besides chop it up and roast it because that gets really boring after a while."
Because squash is so plentiful right now, Bradley, a nationally board-certified acupuncturist, devised a recipe for summer squash pancakes. Since she lives in a house divided (her husband favors sweet flavors and she likes savory), the recipe can be altered to swing either way.
Butternut squash is rich in vitamins A, B and C, provides more potassium than a banana and is laden with zinc, magnesium and calcium. "Squash is amazing. Everyone should be eating it."
It’s hard to imagine going to a Super Bowl party that didn’t include a sizeable bowl of chunky guacamole surrounded by crisp, salty tortilla chips. If you’re a guacamole devotee, you’ve probably got your own special recipe that you trot out for parties. But if you want to try something different, the folks at True Food Kitchen have provided a recipe to help you take your guacamole game up a notch and even make it a little healthier by adding kale.
Avocado and kale are both superfoods loaded with vitamins and cancer-fighting elements, says Brad Brunin, manager of culinary standards at True Food Kitchen. In other words, this guacamole is good for you times two.
“It’s simple, but it has the extra wow factor,” Brunin says. “It’s a great accompaniment to vegetables and you can use it as a dipping sauce, put it in sandwiches… or you can eat it with a spoon.”
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