Thursday, July 30, 2015

SF Eats: Taquerias El Farolito

Rating: A+  There are a ton of taco shops in San Francisco and surrounding areas.  But, on a recent venture out to satisfy a serious taco craving we headed over to Taquerias El Farolito.  A good-sized hole in the wall spot on an unexpected strip of Mission and across the street from another competing taco shop, we found a delicious taco home. 

We ordered the carne asada steak with just some onions and cilantro on top (the basic, and honestly, the REAL way to have a Mexican taco) and a chicken taco all dolled up with cheese, sour cream, avocado and salsa.  And, as if that wasn't enough, the place has its own salsa and toppings bar.  Which, well, a lot of taco shops in the Bay area have, but still I thought I should highlight this.  Absolutely delicious! 

You gotta go to this place!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

#327: Chicken Thighs Stewed with Chickpeas, Onion and Cabernet

I'm not going to sit here and make some wild claim that this is truly an authentic Moroccan dish, but I kind of like to think there's a bit of Moroccan inspiration in this one.  Maybe it's the cinnamon/paprika, chickpeas going on?  In either case, this is a rather mild dish, meaning I didn't add a crazy amount of hot spices as I usually do.  This is such a great cold weather dish, too bad it's 90 degrees outside right now! In either case, it's delicious and warm, and not too difficult to make. 

Yes, this chicken is overcrowded in the pan, give me a break here! Besides, that's what makes the whole dish turn into a stew-y situation?  Yep, that's an excuse.

Chicken Thighs Stewed with Chickpeas, Onion and Cabernet


2 lbs skinless boneless chicken thighs

2 tbsps hot sauce
3/4 cup white flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp paprika
2 tsps salt
1 tsp pepper
3 tbsps canola oil
1/2 yellow or red onion, sliced thin
2 tsps chopped garlic
3/4 can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1/2 can tomato paste
3/4 cup red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)

  1. Prepare your dredging mixture.  Place the flour, cinnamon, paprika salt and pepper on a plate and mix together with a fork.  
  2. Prep your thighs.  Take a cast iron skillet or dutch oven -- or just use a nice handy sauce pan like I did.  Add your canola oil and turn the heat to medium.  
  3. Place the chicken thighs in your plate of flour one at a time and lightly coat with the flour mixture on all sides.  Add to the pot or pan you're using.  
  4. Turn the heat to high and cook for 2 minutes on high heat on each side.  Turn to medium low heat, cover and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes.  I had to cook my chicken in two batches, so repeat these directions as many time as you need for your batches.  Use half the oil for each batch.
  5. Between batches be sure to wipe out the water and oil to avoid splatter, before adding your next bit of oil.  Once the chicken is cooked (most of the way through - 90%), then keep them to the side and spoon over them the hot sauce (I used tabasco). 
  6. In the same pan, toss in garlic, onions - cook till translucent, then add chickpeas.  Cook for another 5 minutes.  Add tomato paste and 1/4 cup wine. Mix thoroughly and let cook for about 2 minutes.  
  7. Then place your chicken back into the pan with the onion-chickpeas mixture.  Add the rest of the wine and 2 cups of water.  Turn the heat down to medium-low/low heat (should be simmering) and cook covered for 20 minutes.
Serve this dish with quinoa or pilaf with toasted almonds.  

And, in case you mess anything up while making this dish or any other, you should try out the TalkToChef link floating on the side of the blog or even check out their iPhone app.  This tool is so creative, I can't believe it took someone this long to come up with it.  It's an interactive two-way video chat where you can talk to an actual CHEF who can either provide guidance to you on a recipe that needs some fixing or can answer any cooking-related questions you might have.  I mean this is completely free, so why wouldn't you try it out! 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

My Week In Food

Saturday, July 18:  You know that feeling when your Groupon voucher expires, and you have the amount you paid to expend on the restaurant and you want to rush and use it before your forget? Well, that hit me and we ran over to London Curry House for a snack after purchasing Sachin's new car (hurrah!).  We shared the  Lamb Sheek Kabob and Bombay Fish.  Well, there's a reason I didn't take a photo...I was a bit disappointed.  The flavor just wasn't there, especially in the fish, which was coated in a way too heavy batter.  The curries ordered around us looked a bit better, but we just were in the mood to have a quick snack.  Not that it was horrible, but, I don't think I anticipate a return trip here.

Sunday, July 19:  Went to happy hour at Ruth's Chris.  This restaurant is a steak house, but surprisingly their happy hour menu is filled with enough non-steak items to make you happy.  I stuffed my face with a Crab BLT with Zucchini Fries, Seared Ahi Tuna, and the Spicy Lobster, lightly fried and tossed in a spicy cream sauce.  The crab bake BLT was a bit too mayo-y (is that a word?) so the garlic toast it was built on was getting a bit of my biggest sandwich pet-peeves.  But, the lobster did not disappoint, per usual it was fantastic! 

Monday, July 20:  I went to the deli at my work for lunch today.  It's sad when they know your order, even though I probably only go about once a month (at the most).  Turkey and Avocado on Sourdough bread with onions and hot peppers (yes, I take a breath mint afterwards).  Delicious! 

Tuesday, July 21:  Lunch today was pan fried and braised chicken thighs with chick peas, onion and a little Cabernet Sauvignon.  I topped the dish with some pomegranate seeds for added freshness, and a side of broccoli, to get those veggies in!   

Wednesday, July 22:  I'm not sure how many of you have heard about Graze, the healthy snack mail delivery company, but today at work a colleague of mine had a few snacks from Graze to share.  Peppercorn Pistachio and this Thai Chili snack.  I was debating whether to try Graze out, and I don't know, after having the snacks I think I'm convinced to try this out! I'm trying to watch my sugar intake, and they even have a box specifically targeted for whatever you're looking for - low sugar, low calorie, sugar treats, etc.!

Thursday, July 23:  I use to spend a good amount of time in Baltimore, when a few college friends moved up their and I have to say it can be a pretty fun city.  Mind you there are some unsightly parts, but this article makes me rememer a lot of fun things to do in Baltimore - including #4 :) 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

DC Eats: Thai Cafe

Rating (A+)  Yes, you're seeing this rating right.  This restaurant is an absolute family fame, no contest, no question.  Every time we cohesively try a new Thai restaurant, we're always disappointed. I think everyone has that restaurant where all others are determined as disfavored or favored based on.  It's the love that you hold all others up to.  I think that sufficiently introduces all of you to Thai Cafe.  This restaurant is in a small strip of shops next to Springfield Mall.  Yup, nothing fancy here, just a simple northern Virginia restaurant, but with some deliciously tasty food.  

I recently posted in one of the "My Week in Food" posts that we had stopped by Thai Cafe, to share the Drunken Noodles and Pad Thai.  I generally like to get one noodle and one curry dish, but someeeebody only likes to get noodles when we have Thai food, so I compromised on that.  Drunken Noodles is hands down both of our favorites, and while I'm not usually a Pad Thai fan, this one always makes me happy - it's the perfect sweet, limey, savory flavor.  I mean obviously I asked for the 'spice tray' or 'chili tray' however you term it, which comes with four different spicy toppings - (1) pickled jalapeƱos in vinegar; (2) prik nam pla (fish sauce, diced Thai chili, and lime juice); (3) garlic red chili paste; and, (4) dried red chili pepper flakes.  Most Thai restaurants offer some sort of combination of these four. My personal faves are the prik nam pla (because fish sauces makes every Thai dish better - at least I think so!) and the garlic red chili paste ( I mean garlic + chilies? What more do I need to say?).  

Drunken Noodles are flat rice noodles with onions and green peppers and all tossed in a chili basil sauce.  We added chicken into the whole shebang - mmm!  Then we ordered the Pad Thai (also with chicken).  The Pad Thai is thin noodles with stir-fried egg, bean curd, onions, bean sprouts, scallions and crushed peanuts.  All freakin delicious! 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

#326: Acai Bowl with Flax and Blueberries

The Acai Berry is a reddish-purple fruit that comes from the acai palm tree in Central and South America.  Many tout acai berries as having immense antioxidants.  Although whether or not these have more than other fruits is not certain.  Either way, clearly I've succomb to the trend of acai bowls - they're everywhere, along with their friend, the acai smoothie.  

Once in a while I make a trip to the local Whole Foods.  I say "once in a while" because that place has some pretty steep prices to make it my 'go-to.'  Either way a guaranteed purchase for me are the Sambazon Acai Berry Smoothie Packs.  It's basically pureed acai berry portioned out into the perfect individual amount, and placed in a convenient plastic bag. You just cut off the top and prepare your bowl or smoothie.  When I'm in a rush I make the smoothie, but since I had time on Sunday I thought I'd make myself a bowl.  Mine is made up of acai berry puree, almond milk, plain Greek yogurt, blueberries, and organic flax hemp blend.  

Acai Bowl with Flax and Blueberries - 1 bowl

1 Acai Sambazon Smoothie Pack
2 tbsps Greek yogurt 
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 tbsps organic flax hemp blend 
handful of blueberries, washed


  1. Empty your smoothie pack, greek yogurt and almond milk into a blender or NutriBullet.  Blend until smooth and pour into a bowl.
  2. Top with the flax hemp blend and blueberries. 
It is so delicious and a great way to start your morning.  This recipe is certainly not finite.  You can use any toppings you'd like - chia seeds, chopped nuts, coconut flakes, mangoes, strawberries, bananas - the options are limitless! 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

My Week in Food

Saturday, July 11:  Tonight we went to a housewarming party for a friend of Sachin's.  Elizabeth is always the perfect host, for me that means providing your guests with an awesome selection of food and drinks, and coming up with a fun activity to keep everyone occupied.  So, when we got to her new home we weren't disappointed!  Besides the great company and a fun visit to the South Riding Golf Club to hit a few balls (or at least try) :) the food was phenomenal.  We started off with appetizers - cheese tray, which had a blueberry goat cheese that was amazing - the perfect combo of salty with sweet, a flatbread pizza topped with spinach, tomatoes and feta, and a bunch of other fantastic finger foods.  Then, as though that wasn't enough, dinner included Pad Thai from Thai Basil, sushi, korean noodles and Bon Chon Chicken (the best Korean fried chicken around).  I wish I had taken some photos of the food for you all, because it was fantastic! 

Ended the night stuffed and happy.  

Sunday, July 12:  A lot of car searching and negotiations today left us without a new car and hungry (or should I say 'hangry').  So, we went to Thai Cafe in Springfield, VA for dinner.  This is home to my favorite Pad Thai, and is also our family's favorite Thai restaurant in the metro area.  We ordered the Pad Thai and Drunken Noodles to share.  I'll be doing a DCEats post on this next week, so keep a look out! 

Monday, July 13: Today I tried out the Trader Joe's Turkey and Rice Stuffed Bell Peppers for lunch.  I had a feeling this was going to be a busy week and some pre-made meals or frozen dinners might have to do.  This one tasted really homemade and was completely satisfying and filling.  Probably not the healthiest thing, and the better option would be to make my own, but it got the job done today.

Tuesday, July 14:  Before you order your Friday night pizza, I mean that's what everyone has for dinner on Friday nights right?  Well, either way read this article with a handy pepperoni de-greasing tip from 'the kitchn'.  It brings me back to Pizza Hut orders when we were kids, which eventually turned into my mom deciding that instead she would make homemade pizza - and sometimes even a brunch pizza.  

Wednesday, July 15:  N and I both love Mindy Kaling, so of course we're sad that 'Mindy Project' got canceled, but lo and behold Hulu has picked it up woohoo.  And on that note, I thought I'd share this funny article about 'important things we've learned about food from Mindy Kaling's instagram'. 

Thursday, July 16:  Nutter Butters were my favorite childhood snack.  For some reason I hated PB&J sandwiches, but loved Nutter Butters.  I guess I was the kind of kid that wanted a savory sandwich, but a sweet treat now and again.  This recipe for homemade Nutter Butters is getting me pretty excited! (and nostalgic).  I need to try my hand at baking! 

Friday, July 17: Before N left to head back to San Francisco, Sachin and I met up with her for happy hour and dinner in Reston.  We started off at Il Fornaio, where we enjoyed some white wine and a delicious pizza with sausage, mushrooms, and a spicy fradiavola sauce (chilies and garlic and tomatoes, um, yes please!).  Afterwards, clearly we were still hungry, so we went to Ted's Bulletin, where we did some serious damage.  We shared a strawberry pop tart (yes, they make homemade pop tarts here), a coconut rum adult milkshake, and then dinner! But, I'll do a full review with photos another time ;)  

Thursday, July 16, 2015

DC Eats: Enat Ethiopian Cuisine

Many Americans aren't aware of this, and would be surprised to learn, that the largest population of Ethiopians living in the United States, is right here in Washington, D.C. (estimated around 350,00).  Right behind D.C. is Los Angeles (96,000) and New York City (10,000) (source).  

Ok, so I might've used Wikipedia by way of Google to get to this information, but they do cite reliable sources such as The Washington Post and CNN.  The block around U and Ninth Street in D.C. is known as "Little Ethiopia," but trust me when I say that the population spreads into the surrounding metropolitan area. So, it's no surprise that most people living in the Washington, D.C. area have at some time experienced Ethiopian food.  The number of restaurants serving Ethiopian cuisine in the D.C. area is pretty high!

Meskerem and Dukem are the two most famous and are right in D.C.  But,for some of us locals we like to try the smaller hole in the wall restaurants right in our own backyard.  So, when N was in town we both went to Enat.  I mentioned this in last week's 'Week in Food' post and it was up on our Instagram, so I wanted to go into what we ate and a bit more about the cuisine in general.  

The meal is served on a large circular platter covered with injera (a bread made with teff flour).  The bread is soft and spongy and works as both an eating utensil and to soak up the delicious flavors of the stews and dishes laid on top of it.  We had five dishes on our platter.  We ordered a beef stew (kay watt), spiced lentils (yemisir watt),  collard greens (gomen watt), minced raw beef with clarified butter (kitfo) - you can ask for the level of 'cooked' that you'd like, and braised spinach.  

There are two, what I'd like to call, hallmarks of Ethiopian cuisine - berbere and niter kibbeh. Berbere is this spice mixture/sauce that makes some of the dishes have a deep red color (see the dish in the lower left corner below).  It's a spice mixture of of chili peppers, garlic, ginger, and other ingredients and is often added to stews.  The other hallmark is niter kibbeh, or "Ethiopian butter," which is clarified butter steeped with onion, garlic, ginger and spices.  Both of these add such immense flavor that is truly unique.  

I just love it.  While Enat is N's favorite Ethiopian restaurant, one of my favorites is Meaza, but there are so many delicious restaurants, that I think you'll be safe picking any of them.  

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

#325: Parmesan Crusted Salmon with Roasted Kale and Parsnips

This dish is more mild in terms of spice and heat, than what I usually prepare.  But, sometimes it's nice to give your tummy a little break.  Generally when I prepare salmon, I do a honey soy version, but every once in a while when I'm rushed for time, this parmesan crusted version is just the ticket.  It might just be me, but I also feel like the mayonnaise makes the fish taste a little creamier and softer than it otherwise might be.  

Anyway, lately I've been trying to get dinner in before 8pm.  Some days that can be tough after a long day at work, but I've been trying to be better at it, and when you have simpler recipes with less preparation time involved during the week, it helps you manage these little goals all the better. 

Just a suggestion, but I like to squeeze a little lemon and a dash or two of hot sauce on my salmon before eating, but to each his own!  Enjoy!


For the Salmon
1/4 cup mayonnaise 
2 salmon filets
1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp Panko or any breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste

For the Roasted Kale and Parsnips
4 parsnips, peeled and chopped/cubed
3 cups of roughly chopped kale
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper


For the Salmon
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Lay salmon filets on foil lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle with some salt and pepper.  
  3. Spoon half of the mayonnaise onto each salmon filet.  If you use filets with the skin on be sure you place them skin side down.  
  4. Spread the mayonnaise out.  Then cover the mayonnaise with half of the parmesan cheese on each filet and then the Panko on top. 
  5. Bake for 15 minutes. 
For the Roasted Kale and Parsnips
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Lay parsnips and kale on baking sheet in single layer. 
  3. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Coat all of the veggies by tossing them thoroughly (get in there and use your hands!). 
  4. Roast for 30 minutes, turning the veggies over about halfway through.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

My Week in Food

Saturday, July 4th:  HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!  I was in Ocean City with my parents, so obviously a stroll down the boardwalk isn't complete without Thrasher's Boardwalk Fries. I'm really not a huge french fries fiend, I know I know, I'm probably among the minority on this one, but I just feel like I've been consistently disappointed by french fries - it's so hard to find that perfect one!  But, these are just great to munch on!

Sunday, July 5: Before we left Ocean City we stopped by this Indian and Chinese restaurant, a little further away from the main strip on Philadelphia Avenue, called Asian Garden.  You would think when a restaurant offers two such distinct cuisines that you may not get anything that really tastes that good, but we were pleasantly surprised.  I ordered the Shrimp Masala Curry, my mom ordered the Schezuan Shrimp and Scallops, and my dad ordered the Lamb Korma.  They werre all fantastic.  The flavors in each dish were unique, which is so great, because I've definitely been to Indian restaurants where everything just tastes the same after a while.  This little hole in the wall restaurant houses some seriously good food.  Worth the trip!

Monday, July 6:  I'm obsessed with mediterranean bowls, what can I say.  Quickly downed a Falafel Salad from Cava Mezze Grill today.

Tuesday, July 7:  Today I came across a pretty great (and 'chuckle funny') video, on one of our least favorite cooking to chop an onion 7 different ways.

Wednesday, July 8:  For lunch today I brought in a Quinoa Salad.  I baked one chicken breast, my usual "easy, lets get this done" way - 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes -- works every time.  I just put a bit of lemon pepper, paprika, salt and pepper to both sides, add a drizzle of olive oil, rub the whole thing down and pop it in the oven.  I had some leftover mangoes, so I chopped up a bit and added it to the dish.  Along with some Quinoa flavored with chopped mint and a handful of raw kale.  

Thursday, July 9: N is in town for a couple of weeks! N says that Ethiopian food is the one of the cuisine's she misses the most after moving to San Francisco.  The D.C. area has such a large number of Ethiopian restaurants, the options are limitless.  After a while you definitely start understanding what most of the dishes are, even if they're in Amharic.  N's favorite is Enat, an Ethiopian restaurant in Alexandria, VA.  They don't have a formal website, but check out their Yelp! reviews and you'll understand why this place is so popular.  We ordered a plate to share.  It came with Kitfo (ground beef with Ethiopian butter and herbs), a lamb stew, collard greens, spicy lentils, and a spinach dish. I'm not sure how much injera (Ethiopian bread) we went through, but I was so stuffed afterwards.  I absolutely love Ethiopian food - the flavors are so distinct! 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

SF Eats: Saravanaa Bhavan

Sarvanaa Bhavan (Rating: A) is one of N's favorite South Indian restaurants.  I've heard this restaurant come up in conversation numerous times, so when I was out in San Francisco we made a point to check it out.  

The restaurant isn't quite close to the city.  In fact, it's about a 45 minute drive from San Francisco, in Sunnyvale, California.  Sunnyvale is home to a number of Indian restaurants and shops, probably due to the large Indian and South Asian community.  

We decided to order two entrees and share:  the Paper Dosa and a Thali. A thali is a meal made up of a number of dishes.  This one was different from most I've had, in that the meal included three rice variations.  The meal itself contained: Papadum (the disc shaped 'chips' you see below), Achar (or pickle - spicy mango), three different types of rices (Sambar rice, Vegetable Pulav (aka pilaf), and Thayir Sadam (aka yogurt rice), sauteed green beans and coconut, and Kesari (a cream of wheat based dessert - the orange item in the top right of the plate).  Usually the Thali's I've seen  have a portion of rice along with several curries, but this was a different twist from what I've had.  The Sambar rice in the middle and the Vegetable Pulav (aka pilaf) were our favorites! 

Here's the Paper Dosa.  'Paper' because it is so thin.  I love dosa like this because it's extra crispy and fun to share.  I'm not a huge fan of Masala Dosa (Dosa filled with a spiced potato mixture), so N compromised with this plan Paper Dosa.  You dip the crunchy, warm dosa into the sambar, tomato chutney, and coconut chutney and just nosh away.  It's absolutely delicious, especially with some Madras Coffee or Masala Chai to wash it all down with. Saravanaa Bhavan's Madras Coffee is the absolute best! Strong and delicious.  I appreciated that everything was served in steel dishes, just like they are in India! Gives you that real "down home" authentic feeling.  When we left the restaurant I told N this is definitely one of the places in California I'll be returning to time and time again! 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

#324: Caribbean Themed Dinner

We all remember our childhood birthday parties, right?  Streamers, games and cake!  The last time I had a birthday party was for my 15th.  N actually made it a surprise birthday party. Sadly the surprise was ruined by one friend who wrote in my yearbook "hope you have a great summer! can't wait to see you at your party!,"  but, regardless my 15th arrived with a bang and I was super excited to have a birthday party.  Since then, I've brought in a new year with happy hours and dinner.  But, this year, for my 30th, I decided to throw myself a birthday party! 

Yes, I turned 30 a couple weeks ago, and to bring it in I hosted my own birthday party, complete with a themed menu. I invited about 15 friends over to a cookout on my apartment building's rooftop, where we have a few gas grills and long tables - the perfect setting for a cookout and to lay out a huge spread.  I decided to go with a Caribbean themed menu.  I went to the local latino grocery store and bought the freshest ingredients, and plantain and yucca chips of course, and began to cook.  The menu was as follows:

To Start:      Plantain and Yucca Chips served with Guacamole and Pineapple/Mango Salsa

To Drink:     Watermelon Sangria (courtesy of my friend, Supreet) - it was fabulous! 

The Mains:  Roasted, Spiced, Almond-y Cauliflower (courtesy of Food52 Blog)
                     Cabbage Slaw with Mango and Black Beans
                     Jerk Chicken Kebabs  

The Sweet Ending: 
                     Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (courtesy of my roommate, Shelly)

I can't take any of the praise for the Roasted, Spiced, Almond-y Cauliflower.  The recipe I used is from Food52.  The dish was incredibly simple and added a different dish and taste to what would otherwise be a pretty standard menu.  This dish isn't very spicy at all, which I liked because I wanted to be sure that everyone could enjoy the dishes without burning their mouths.  The cauliflower and the cole slaw allowed for everyone to have a cooling break in between bites of the moist and spicy jerk chicken kebabs.

Jerk Chicken Kebabs - Makes ~20 kebabs

3 lbs of chicken
1 can or chopped pineapples
2 red bell peppers, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
20 skewers 

For the Marinade:
1 scotch bonnet OR 4 habaneros, chopped (I used the habaneros, because I could only buy scotch bonnets in bulk at my local grocery)
2 jalapenos, chopped
4 cloves garlic
4 tbsps packed light brown sugar
2 tsps sea salt
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsps ground black pepper
2 tsps grated ginger
3 tsps all spice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
zest of 1 lime 
  1. Chop your peppers.  Remove some of the seeds and the veins if you would like.  The more you remove the less spicy the kebabs will be.  The heat is really in the white veins, not the seeds, so remember to take those out. 
  2. Add everything to a blender and let it run.  In a large bowl or ziplock bag place your raw chopped chicken and add the marinade.  Set aside about 1 cup of the marinade to baste your kebabs as they cook.  Refrigerate overnight to let the marinade absorb into the chicken.
  3. The next day soak your skewers in water (the skewers should be submerged in the water) for about 15 minutes.  Then start making your skewers, by layering chicken with the pineapple chunks and chopped peppers.
  4. You can bake these in the oven but they taste so much better off the grill.  I placed these on an oiled (take a brush and oil the grill) gas grill and then placed about 5 kebabs at a time on the grill at high heat for about 3-4 minutes per side.  Then you're ready to eat.  Remember to baste the kebabs halfway through cooking to keep the flavor going. 

Coleslaw with Black Beans and Mango

2 bags shredded cabbage (with carrots and purple cabbage) or any mix you like
2 ripe mangoes, chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 green onions, chopped

For the Dressing:
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup olive oil
2 tsps sea salt
2 tsps black pepper
2 tsps all spice

  1. Place your shredded cabbage in a bowl.  Chop up your mangoes and add them into the bowl along with your black beans. 
  2. In a separate bowl make your dressing.  Add the dressing on top of the cabbage mixture and toss thoroughly.  
  3. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Then top with the green onions and toss one last time before serving.  

Sunday, July 5, 2015

My Week in Food

Saturday, June 27:  Went to Priyanka and Navi's wedding at Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, Virginia.  Home cooked Indian food is delicious, but every once in a while I get that itch for restaurant style Indian.  An Indian wedding is the perfect place to satisfy that itch.  We stuffed our faces with lamb kebabs, palak paneer, butter chicken and more delicious food!  And, we had ras malai and cake pops for dessert.  

Sunday, June 28:  Probably not the best thing to have the day after you stuff your face with spicy Indian food, but we went to Chipotle.  I mean, it was one bowl.  Legitimately that was all I ate that day. 

Monday, June 29:  Met up with Mirona for happy hour and oysters at Hank's Oyster Bar in Dupont Circle.  This is often our go-to spot.  We just can't resist!  We both ordered the Lobster Rolls.  These were Maine Lobster Rolls, not Connecticut ones.  The difference being Maine Lobster Rolls have cold filling with mayo, while the Connecticut versions are warmer with butter.  I prefer the latter, but I couldn't resist having one. 

Tuesday, June 30:  Well we have a new Mediterranean "bowl" fast food spot on our hands. We've all heard of Cava Mezzee Grill and Roti, but there recently opened up a new place called Mezeh.  They had their grand opening in Crystal City this week, so I checked out the new location and was super excited to get a FREE chicken shwarama bowl with the purchase of a drink.  Then, I promptly ate it for lunch today.  

Wednesday, July 1: I don't know how many of you all may have heard about Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Pizza, but even I'm a little grossed out, and I love extra food on food! 

Thursday, July 2:  Had a great dinner catching up with Sonia at one of our favorite (and probably one of the few) sushi spots in Ballston, Shiki Sushi.  We shared the Out of Control roll (my personal favorite) and a few other delicious ones!  Sorry to give you just a view of the menu and not the phenomenal rolls.  

Spent the rest of the evening packing for our family Fourth of July weekend.  The plan was to stop by the Rehoboth Beach area in Delaware to visit some family, and then head to Ocean City, MD for the weekend.

Friday, July 3:    First thing we ate when we got to Ocean City, these amazing Crab Balls.  The waiter said everything at the restaurant was "made to order," and I have to think he was correct, because everything tasted absolutely fresh.  From the crab balls to the cole slaw and the anchovy filled (and that's a good thing) flavorful Caesar Salad, all at Captain's Table.  

Thursday, July 2, 2015

D.C. Eats: Boss Shepherd's

I mentioned in a post a few weeks back that I went to dinner with Rabia at Boss Shepherd's. She wanted to treat me to a celebratory dinner to bring in the week of my 30th birthday. Yes, "the week", because it really ended up being an on-and-off celebratory week.  She told me I could pick any restaurant.  Well, I have a huge list of restaurants that are ones I've heard good things about or merely wanted to check out.  This was on my list of new restaurants in D.C. to check out.  Southern, stick to your ribs kind of meals!  

Their website seems so unassuming, but when you head down into this restaurant, and yes, down, because you walk in the doors and there are a set of steps immediately to your right that you head down.  And, you're thinking "where are we going?,"  and when you reemerge, it's actually into a pretty and much fancier than expected restaurant.  I mean now don't go pulling out your evening gowns and tuxes, I'm just saying it was a lot prettier than I anticipated, and the food options just sounded amazing. 

As always, I had already scoured and read every detail of every dish on Boss Shepherd's dinner menu.  But, I was stuck between the fried chicken and the steak.  So, we ordered both to share.  Before our meals even arrived, we were given a snack of pimento cheese and crisp flatbread.  Pimento cheese is this quintessential southern dish of this creamy yellow cheese with pimentos (aka cherry peppers) mixed in - it's usually some processed cheese and mayo that forms the base, and different regions of the south have their own ideas of what to mix-in, from hot sauce to cream cheese to onions and garlic.  But, this one seemed fairly simple, with a bit of onion, pimentos and the cheesy base.  I enjoyed myself snacking away until the dinner arrived.  

The star of the show was the fried chicken.  I mean I have never had fried chicken outside of a soul food restaurant, that was this good.  Usually restaurants of this caliber can't hold a flame to the delicious fried chicken that comes out of so many 'hole in the wall' style restaurants.  But, this one was so crunchy on the outside and perfectly juicy on the inside. Phenomenal!  The plate comes to you on a cutting board with three pieces (breast, thigh and leg), three different dipping sauces (egg yolk based, hot sauce, and honey mustard), and a delicious (and large) biscuit.  We inhaled this chicken.  

Boss Shepherd's Fried Chicken is a 12-hour brined half chicken, which probably accounts for why it's incredibly juicy.  

Then we dove into the Bavette Steak, having no idea what a 'bavette' is.  Apparently the bavette steak is an extension of T-bone and Porterhouse on the short loin.  It was tender and almost like a flank steak.  Boss Shepherd's version comes with a horseradish mixture and cauliflower puree, along with grilled romaine and preserved lemon buttermilk.  I would have to say as much as I love the idea of 'preserved lemon buttermilk,' I thought it could be excluded from this dish, and in its place perhaps a more savory warm sauce.  But, all in all a different and delicious dish.

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