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.
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.”
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.”
When Executive Chef Chuck Wiley designed the breakfast menu for Hearth ’61 at the sparkly-new Mountain Shadows Resort in Paradise Valley, he looked for some healthy options. "Breakfast is usually so unhealthy and I wanted to put a different spin on it," he says. An unabashed grain lover, Wiley decided on a multigrain pancake. “I like food with texture.”
If your mom's Mother's Day wishlist falls somewhere in between handmade macaroni necklace and expensive handbag, consider baking her something sweet and pretty – handmade but still photoworthy = nailed it.
Country Velador, owner of Super Chunk Sweets & Treats in Old Town Scottsdale, has an easy yet elegant recipe for meringue teardrops that, when paired with a sentimental card, will bring a tear to Mom's eye, no prob.
When your last name is Hormel, the Spam jokes must get a little tiring. But when Jamie Hormel, owner of the Wrigley Mansion and widow of meatpacking heir Geordie Hormel, sat in on a recent menu planning session with Geordie's Steak executive chef Jason Diaz, she joked that he should make a dish using the tinned meat. “I took her seriously and went back to the kitchen and started messing around with Spam,” Diaz says.
U.S. Egg regulars already know about the breakfast spot’s secret menu made up of dishes created by customers. But for everyone else, I’m going to let you in on a secret: To access the secret menu, visit and like the U.S. Egg Facebook page and then take a peek under the “notes” section.
Even though some people are intimidated by cooking scallops, they’re very easy to prepare, says Executive Chef Anthony DeMuro of Different Pointe of View at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort. The secret? Make sure the sauté pan is smoking hot and be careful not to crowd the scallops in the pan because they’ll release too much liquid and will poach instead of sear.
Putting together a charcuterie plate usually involves selecting some good quality cheeses and cured meats. But if you want to dress things up a bit, Quiessence at The Farm at South Mountain co-owner/chef Dustin Christofolo suggests that you try adding some jardiniere (pickled vegetables) and olive relish.
Spring is in the air and Pomo’s chef and CEO Stefano Fabbri is getting ready to roll out a fresh new seasonal menu. This week, he shares a sneak peek at one of his new vegetarian dishes: campanelle verdure. It’s a recipe Fabbri likes to make for his family during the week because it’s a quick, light dish without heavy sauce or cheese, and it showcases fresh vegetables.
If you’re looking for a new appetizer to whip up for your next party, Chef de Cuisine Derek Biazo of deseo at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa has a showstopper for you to try: tartare de carne. It may not be the easiest recipe to tackle, but your guests will be talking about it long after the party is over. “If you take the time to do it, you’ll be the star of the show,” Biazo says.
When preparing, Biazo suggests making the plantain chips first because they’re the most labor intensive, then tackle the aji verde sauce, chorizo powder and finally, the tartare. Make sure you get a high-quality, deep red filet and chill the meat before slicing, Biazo says.
Making pizza from scratch requires some serious kitchen skills, but there are plenty of shortcuts you can take to make it easier, including buying prepared dough and bottled sauce. Fred Morgan, owner of one Valley-based Fired Pie locations, offers up a recipe for pesto chicken pizza that you can modify with ingredients purchased from your local grocery store.
February is fondue month and to help you celebrate, the folks at the Melting Pot have shared their cheddar cheese fondue recipe. And while a sinfully decadent meal at Arizona's favorite fondue palace makes for a great Valentine’s Day, this recipe is sure to impress for a romantic night in.
When Jim Gallen, chef/owner of Tom’s Tavern, was recovering from chemotherapy and radiation treatments for tongue cancer, he would often find himself awake in the middle of the night due to side effects from the medication. During many of those sleepless nights, Jim and his dad (who moved in to help Jim get through treatment) watched the Food Network. As they watched in the wee hours one morning, Jim’s dad mentioned that he hadn’t had meatloaf in a while, so Jim got to work on a new recipe. He came up with veal meatloaf, now a bestseller at Tom’s Tavern.
Next Thursday, Feb. 2, is National Crepe Day and to celebrate, The Crepe Club is offering a free Nutella or Parisian (butter and sugar) crepe at all locations. The Crepe Club’s owners, Fares Tarabichi and his brothers, Karim and Omar, have been eating crepes since they were kids in Syria. Every Sunday, their mom would whip up a batch of crepes for the family. “My brothers and I would compete (to see) who could come up with the best fillings,” Fares says.
Their love of crepes led the brothers to set up a crepe cart two years ago on the campus of Arizona State University, where all three attended. Today, the cart has been transformed into a brick and mortar location on the campus and they’ve opened restaurants at Biltmore Fashion Park and San Tan Village.
For taco lovers, there’s nothing better than biting into a juicy al pastor taco loaded with tender, spicy pork. You probably have your favorite taco joint, but have you ever tried to make al pastor tacos at home? To help you out, Taco Guild’s Executive Chef Dan Santos has shared the restaurant’s recipe.
In a perfect world, you’ll get the best result if you marinate the pork for 24 hours, but at least shoot for overnight, Santos says. After you marinate the pork, start on the pickled onions so they’ll be ready to serve the next day.
If you’ve been searching for a brunch dish to “wow” your guests, Z’Tejas Executive Chef James Blanton offers up a recipe that fits the bill. His Southwestern breakfast bake is based on a classic bread pudding, but on the savory side, Blanton says. For the home cook, the recipe is ideal because you can add or delete whichever ingredients you like or don’t like, he says. “It really becomes a vehicle for you to be creative.” That only applies to the bread, meats and vegetables, however. The custard needs to be made as written (with the proper egg and heavy cream ratio) in order to thicken properly.
Executive Chef Jose Paul Farias of Vintage 95 in Downtown Chandler likes this recipe for creamy Portobello pasta because it doesn’t dirty a lot of dishes. And that’s a plus whether you’re cooking at a restaurant or at home. “It’s essentially one pan and then a pot of boiling water,” he says.
The recipe listed below is fairly straightforward, Farias says, but there are two important variables to consider: When you cook the pasta, be sure to rinse thoroughly to stop the cooking process as well as to remove excess starch; and when adding goat cheese to the sauce, let it melt rather than cook it into high heat or you’ll get a grainy texture and the cheese will separate.
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