You’ve probably had the experience of cupping a steaming mug of apple cider in your hands on a cold night. But have you ever had hot pumpkin cider? At Cider Corps, a spanking new, veteran-owned craft cidery in downtown Mesa, brothers Jason and Josh Duren usually make hard cider, but in an effort to make something kid-friendly, they came up with non-alcoholic pumpkin cider.
Josh says that lots of folks make pumpkin beer, but it’s never really about the pumpkin. “It’s always just about the spices,” he says. “Pumpkin has a real earthiness. It’s a unique flavor.”
The brothers started Cider Corps after Jason (Sgt. USMC, Ret.) returned from a tour in Afghanistan with two traumatic brain injuries from IED blasts. What started as a hobby for the brothers, and a therapeutic outlet for Jason, has turned into a thriving business.
Chef Lisa Dahl says there’s something about a good soup that can put you in a trance. We completely agree. Whether you slurp it in a restaurant or make a steaming batch at home, soup is the ultimate fall/winter comfort food. Dahl, owner of Sedona’s Cucina Rustica, Dahl Ristorante Italiano, Mariposa and Pisa Lisa, says she finds joy in making and serving soup to her customers. “Soup has a magical healing quality.”
When preparing the short ribs, Pacheco advises seasoning the meat generously so that it penetrates the beef. “It’s a fairly thick cut of meat and you can’t season the inside,” he says. Another tip: Be sure to use a hot pan to initially sear the meat because that will help seal in the flavor.
Until recently, Pacheco served the short ribs with creamy polenta, but this year he’s offering a cheddar polenta cake, which he says adds a nice texture. “You cut into the polenta and the cheese curds just ooze out once it’s cooked.”
You had us at cheese curds. Actually, you had us at braised meat.
Josh Garcia, vice president of the family-owned Miracle Mile Deli in Central Phoenix, settles an age-old deli debate: Is corned beef more popular than pastrami? Pastrami wins by a lot, Garcia says. “We sell over 5,000 pounds of pastrami a month.”
But for the record, Miracle Mile also sells anywhere from 3,000-3,500 pounds of corned beef each month, which is not exactly small potatoes. And speaking of potatoes, Garcia has graciously shared the restaurant’s number one breakfast item: pastrami hash loaded with red potatoes.
Garcia likes the eggs to be cooked over medium because “they get a little crisp around the edge” and add texture to the dish. Most restaurants offer corn beef hash, but Garcia thinks Miracle Mile is the only restaurant locally to offer a pastrami hash. “It’s really phenomenal.”
When you bring meatballs to the office potluck or neighborhood gathering, people always make a beeline to the Crockpot armed with wooden toothpicks for jabbing. Sometimes you have to jockey for position and the competition can be fierce. The ever-popular meatball has many preparations and some are better than others.
If you’re ready to up your meatball game, Paul Millist, executive chef of Lincoln Restaurant and Bar 1936 at JW Marriott Camelback Inn, has the recipe for you. The best news of all? It’s made with bacon, a food that Millist quips is “America’s favorite vegetable.”
If you’re looking for a new way to get your marshmallow fluff fix, Fairytale Brownies co-owner Eileen Spitalny offers up Moonfetti Pie, a sweet concoction that marries a dreamy combination of chocolate, marshmallow fluff, caramel sauce and sprinkles – kind of like a whoopie pie meets brownie sundae. The recipe is the result of a collaboration between Fairytale Brownies and local candy maven Tracy Dempsey of Tracy Dempsey Originals.
When you melt chocolate in the microwave, be careful not to overcook because it will burn, Spitalny says. You can also melt the chocolate over a double boiler: “Just make sure you stir, stir, stir. That’s the key to melting chocolate.”
You can find Fairytale Brownies at AJ’s Fine Foods and Duck and Decanter or order them at brownies.com.
According to Bradley, who is trained in Chinese nutritional therapy, soup is a good way to nourish the body and warm up the digestive system. “I was raised to think that there’s nothing better for you than a big, cold, raw salad and a big, cold smoothie, but in Chinese theory, cold foods impair digestion,” she says.
If you’ve never heard of kabocha squash, you’re not alone. It’s also known as Japanese squash and is available at most local grocery stores. “Kabocha is unique because you can eat the skin, so you don’t have to peel it,” Bradley says. “You scoop out the seeds and cook as is, throw in the blender and you have a nice soup within about 30 minutes.”
Today (Oct. 13) is World Egg Day and to celebrate, Sharman Hickman of local Hickman’s Family Farms is sharing a recipe that’s easy to make and jam-packed with essential nutrients. “Eggs are nature’s vitamin bottle,” she says.
The recipe is easily amended and tailored to your preference, Hickman says. “If you don’t want it to have meat, you can substitute spinach or kale. And if you don’t want ham, you can use turkey. Our recipes are designed for whatever you have available in your refrigerator.”
For those who enjoy a hearty breakfast at home, this one’s for you. Matt Pool of Matt’s Big Breakfast shares the recipe for Chop & Chick that was once featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives several years ago. In the episode, host Guy Fieri chows down on the pesto marinated pork chop and deems it “fantastic.”
“We make everything from scratch the old-fashioned way,” Pool says. “The home fries remind me of something you’d have in your grandma’s kitchen.”
If you want to try the dish before attempting it at home, scurry down to Matt’s Big Breakfast and learn from the experts. But be prepared to wait. This place is hella popular.
As a kid growing up in Texas and Louisiana, TEXAZ Grill owner Steve Freidkin now has fond memories of his mama’s mashed tater salad. So when he got tired of throwing away the leftover mashed potatoes at his popular Phoenix restaurant, he recalled the potato salad of his youth. “I thought, well, dang. It worked for my family. Maybe it will work here.”
The verdict? “Some people like it and some people are a little freaked out by it,” he says. “It’s a little different, but c’mon, it’s got bacon in it so it’s got to be good.”
Freidken uses russet potatoes with the skin on and makes the dressing separately from the salad. “It has most of the ingredients of a Southern-style potato salad, but it’s got a little Louisiana flair to it.”
Pancake lovers, your special day is coming. Tuesday, Sept. 26 has been deemed National Pancake Day and if you’re looking for a new recipe to wow your friends and family (perhaps this weekend since pancakes are more "lazy Sunday" than "gotta get to work Tuesday"), we’ve got a good one for you.
As we approach cooler autumn nights, it’s hard not to dream about simmering soups and soul-satisfying stews. It’s almost time to turn on the oven again.
To that end, Chef Jean-Christophe Gros of Voila! French Bistro shares a recipe for traditional beef bourguignon that he serves at his Scottsdale Ranch restaurant. He’s fond of the recipe because it reminds him of moments he’s shared with his family over the years.
Football season has officially started, and it’s time to up your snacking game. Trent Averhoff, assistant general manager of Dave & Buster’s at Tempe Marketplace, offers a suggestion for an easy, crowd-pleasing appetizer that you can whip up at home. And everyone loves tater tots, he says. “Tater tots call to your inner child.” He makes a good point.
To raise awareness and funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Chompie’s is partnering with Singleton Moms, an Arizona-based nonprofit organization that supports single-parent families affected by cancer.
During September, Chompie’s will donate $1 to Singleton Moms from each entrée ordered from the deli’s special three-item menu, which includes Josh’s Whole Grain French Toast, Classic Grandpa Ruby’s Reuben and the Fitness Omelet.
French toast is one of those breakfast items that most people tend to order in restaurants rather than make at home. The folks at Taco Guild whip up a mean coconut French toast for their Saturday and Sunday brunch, but market chef Dan Santos has gladly shared the recipe for those who want to try their hand at griddling the bread at home.
If you’ve stopped by The Phoenician lately, you’ve probably noticed that the grand dame of Scottsdale resorts is undergoing a major renovation. Along with a new lobby and bar, spa and pool area, the hotel will be replacing the longstanding Il Terrazzo restaurant with a more casual concept, Mowry & Cotton, named after two gents who opened one of Phoenix’s first fine liquor establishment (or so the legend goes).
Oh, Sprinkles red velvet cupcakes, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways: Regular, sugar-free and gluten-free. Yes, our celiac-brethren can now enjoy these moist sweet bombs, or even make them at home.
By the time August rolls around, Phoenicians have had it with brutal hot days. But August also brings a different kind of heat – Hatch chile season, that two- to three-month window when the flavorful, tear-inducing peppers from New Mexico are harvested and plentiful. Z’Tejas Southwestern Kitchen recently rolled out its annual Hatch chile menu that boasts everything from chile and watermelon gazpacho to pecan pie with green chile ice cream. Also on the menu – poached cod with Hatch chile sauce.
The Hatch chile menu will run through Oct. 31, according to Z’ Tejas Market Chef Dan Santos, but if you’d like to try making the cod at home, he has shared the recipe with PHOENIX magazine. When shopping for the fish, Santos advises buying pieces that are no thicker than two inches: “Any more than that, the bottom of the fish is going to burn and the top isn’t going to cook all the way through.”
Two years ago, Nantas Sodano quit his day job and joined the family restaurant business. He opened CM2 Pizzeria & Bake Shop right next door to Casa Mia, his family’s eatery in North Scottsdale.
To make a good pizza crust, Sodano says you must give the dough time for the gluten to develop, but don’t over handle. “Allow the dough to rise and rest,” he says.
If you’ve ever tried to make ice cream at home, you know it’s pretty easy – just combine the ingredients in an electric ice cream maker, churn and freeze. The same simple directions also apply to making frozen yogurt, says Kody Harris, chef/owner of Fresko Mediterranean Kitchen.
Keeping with Fresko’s Mediterranean theme, Harris whips up a batch of tahini frozen yogurt that her guests are wild about. “Even though tahini is a savory ingredient, once it’s added to the yogurt with a little bit of sugar, it’s got kind of a peanut butter flavor,” she says.
If you missed National Fried Chicken Day (July 6) and didn’t get a chance to feast on fabulous fowl, don’t fret: Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles is celebrating all month by offering a free side dish for the table with the purchase of any “Hood Classics” meal.
But if you’d rather try making your own, Larry White, the Valley's king of fried chicken and founder of Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles, has rustled up a variation of his secret fried chicken recipe.
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