Kahlua Shake

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Vivid memories I have from growing up include times  when my dad used to make an event of home made vanilla malts. They were such a treat and we gazed at the Cuisinart as he divided the recipe among four small glasses. His were (and are still) better than any restaurant I’ve come across.

I can also remember his fondness for a white Russian, a fondness that my brother and i both inherited. Hence the reason we are never without Kahlua in the freezer. Yes, the freezer. You wouldn’t want the Kahlua to melt the ice and water down the Russian. We don’t play around.

I don’t know many people, personally, who are malt fans but I just love it and a vanilla milkshake without it, seems really plain to me. Although it is optional, I just don’t think that joining these two forces would quite be the same with out it.

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I bring you, the Kahlua Shake. A fantastic dessert and quite possibly the name of the next big dance move. Forget everything you know about twerking and the moon walk.

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get out vanilla ice cream, powdered malt, vanilla extract, Kahlua and milk

fill the blender with ice cream,  loosely to the top and add additional ingredients

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blend and add a few splashes of milk, if necessary

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pour into glasses and serve with a straw

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Kahlua Malt

1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream (use about 2/3 of the carton)

6 tablespoons malt powder

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

milk (a few splashes)

1/4 cup Kahlua (or more)

instructions and directions: 

fill 6 cup blender loosely, to the top. (about 2/3 of a half gallon of ice cream). add the rest of the ingredients and blend on high until incorporated and until a whirlpool forms in the center, adding a few extra splashes of milk if needed to reach desired consistency.

Pad See Ew

This is one of the few steak dishes I enjoy at Thai restaurants. Usually I am inclined to order chicken or tofu. After a recent trip to a sweet local Asian market, I picked up some of the ingredients for this Pad See Ew recipe that I created.

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I think this is the perfect dish to aquatint someone, who may be nervous to try new things,  with Thai food.

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I’m not sure this is authentic but I loved it and it’s Monday, so give me a break.

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start out by marinating the sirloin filet

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next make the sauce and set aside

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then get out your wide rice noodle to soften. you could use thinner noodles but the wide ones are best. (if you are in a rural area and you can’t get to rice noodles, use fettuccine?)

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when the noodles are softened, drain and drizzle with oil so they don’t stick together.

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Now get everything ready so you can work fast. the skillet is going to be hot.

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and just like that, you’re done.

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this dish has a hint of spice from the sriracha with a little sweetness from the brown sugar and fish sauce

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PAD SEE EW

ingredients: 

4 tbsp soy sauce, divided

2 tsp brown sugar, divided

1 tbsp  sriracha

1 TBSP rice wine vinegar

3 TBSP fish sauce

1/2 pound sirloin filet, very thinly sliced, almost shaved

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp  sesame oil, divided

4 tbsp  beef broth

10 ounces of wide rice noodles/sticks

2 eggs, beaten

1 bunch green onions, white and green parts, chopped

2 (big) cups fresh broccoli florets

instructions and directions: 

In a small bowl add one tablespoon  of soy sauce and one tsp brown sugar. Stir and add sirloin, toss to combine. Set aside or refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

In a separate small bowl, combine the other 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, the remaining tsp of brown sugar, sriracha, red wine vinegar, fish sauce and garlic.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add rice noodles. Turn off heat and let noodles soften. Drain and drizzle with a little olive oil so they don’t stick together. This should take around 8-10 minutes but don’t let the noodles get mushy.

This is the point where you want all your items to be ready because they cook fast!

Heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil on medium high heat and let the oil get hot. Add steak and a tablespoon of soy/vinegar mixture and  cook 3-4 minutes until beef is medium rare. Remove from pan to a plate to rest.

In the same pan, heat the other tablespoon of sesame oil on medium high and add broccoli and a tablespoon of soy/vinegar mixture. Cook 3-4 minutes until tender adding a tablespoon of beef broth, every minute. Add green onion and saute a minute more. Add eggs and stir often until done.

Add softened rice noodles,sirloin and remaining soy/vinegar mixture to the pan. Toss to coat and remove from heat.

Chicken Ala King

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The 80’s called? They want their fancy dinner back? Well they can’t have it!

Does anybody make this stuff any more?

Have you ever even heard of it?

Well, it was a family staple when I was growing up. There isn’t much too it and it doesn’t have a bunch of crazy ingredients but I still like it, well into adulthood. The flavor isn’t exactly explosive, it’s more like creamy. The flavor is creamy and comforting. We always served it over rice, biscuits or puff pastry, if we were feeling fancy.  Nothing says fancy like puff pastry, right?

In the 80’s, people seemed to boil chicken a lot but what flavor comes from that? Besides the flavor of water which I appreciate, but not with my chicken. To make things easier on myself and more flavorful, I used a rotisserie chicken and just shredded the breast meat.

Chicken

I sauteed mushrooms until all the water was evaporated and then i removed them from the skillet to a small plate.

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A diced up bell pepper was next.

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Then I made a very causal roux with a little butter and some flour and mixed those right in  with the sauteed bell pepper. Just be sure to whisk quickly so you don’t get any lumps.  After about 2 minutes of whisking, the mixture should begin to thicken and become saucy.

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When you reach the desired consistency, add the shredded chicken and the jar of pimento and stir through to warm. Voila!

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A meal fit for a person who wants a quick weeknight meal with around 10 ingredients.

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CHICKEN ALA KING

a hungry apple original recipe

ingredients: 

3 tablespoons of butter, divided

1 8 ounce container of fresh mushrooms (you could use canned if you had to)

1 4 ounce jar of diced pimento, drained

1 bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 small yellow onion, diced

1/4 cup all purpose flour

2 cups milk, i used 1 %

2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken

1 teaspoon salt

20 fine grinds fresh pepper

pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

pinch of dried thyme (optional)

instructions and directions: 

over medium heat, melt one tablespoon of butter and saute mushrooms and onion until water has evaporated, about 7 minute. remove the mushrooms to a plate and melt another teaspoon of butter and saute green bell pepper until tender, about 5 minutes.

add the last tablespoon of butter and let it melt. sprinkle flour over butter and green bell pepper and stir with a silicone whisk. when flour is cooked (about 2 minutes) and well incorporated, slowly add milk, whisking constantly to avoid clumps. When all the milk has been added, continue whisking on medium heat until the mixture has thickened to a gravy like consistency.

add salt, pepper, mushrooms/onion , pimentos and chicken and stir to combine and warm. (add cayenne and thyme if using)

season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over: rice, biscuits, toast, egg noodles or puff pastry! Or eat it by itself!

Eat Here-And Here-And Here! Nashville Restaurant Review Roundup

My phone is overloaded with pictures of restaurants I have been to this summer in and around town, so I am going to unload them all at one time in an effort to make my phone move a little faster so that you have the skinny on some Nashville gems.

MAS TACOS

First Up? MAS TACOS-East Nashville. Now you know I’m a sucker for anything Mexican and this place is no different. They have the classics (ground beef, pork, chicken) and they also have unique menu choices like fried avocado and quinoa tacos. Aquas Frescas are a refreshing addition to your meal and the cinder block decor cannot be beat. Prepare yourself to wait in line and dine in a get-in-and-get-out fashion. The tables are small and you need to let others have their turn.  I wish they had longer hours for me, but good for them.

8 apples. (+ Food, Cost, Vibe, Unique Quality) Yum, yum, yum.

Mas Tacos

SKY BLUE

We  hit up Sky Blue for the first time, also located in East Nashville and perfectly perched on the corner of Fatherland and 7th.

Breakfast did not dissapoint.  He went with their special: Em’s Bowl while I opted for an omelette with avocado and bacon.  The coffee was smooth and bright and the service was friendly. We sat outside at one of their sidewalk tables and it was ever so pleasant.

7 apples (+ atmosphere, food quality, service, coffee) to you Sky Blue.

Sky Blue

FROTHY MONKEY

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Company came to town this summer and after introducing them to Arrington, we tried out Franklin’s Frothy Monkey during dinner, for the first time.  We’ve been for breakfast (see biscuits & gravy/pancakes)  before which as always been good.

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 We were really wanting a night time gem. It turns out, it was really good! Throughout the table we had a side salad (simple and delicious), shrimp and grits (better than most), tomato pasta (substantial and creamy), trout (unique!) and a burger (hearty and fresh).

7 apples to Frothy Monkey!  (+ proximity to (my) home, outdoor dining, fresh ingredients, friendly staff, pricing) (-out of a few things but as far as freshness goes, i guess that’s a good thing)

I am looking forward to going back again for round two.

Frothy

ROLF AND DAUGHTERS REPEAT

A return trip to Rolf and Daughters ended with them maintaining their 9 apples from our last visit. It was just as wonderful the 2nd time around and has officially landed them with the prestigious “Hungry Apple’s Favorite Local Restaurant Award”. This is big.

I drank Moscow Mules. We dined on creative starters,   4 different types of pasta and finished up with Stumptown Coffee. What a night.

Rolf

RIFF’S FOOD TRUCK

I ate at Riff’s Food Truck 3 times in 6 weeks and let’s just say, I’m a fan. Among my meals there was a chicken burrito and a really tasty burger with goat cheese and poblano peppers. I usually topped it off with Jeni’s ice cream. duh.

8 apples in the food truck zone (+creativity and freshness)

(check out the love birds in the foreground (?)  of the taco and beer pic. is that you? want this cute picture of yourselves?!)

Riffs

CORI’S HOT DOGS

Cori’s Hotdogs on West End were also on the radar for trying out this summer. I must say their staff was happy and excited to see us. Their HUGE menu names hotdogs after US states and they have good draft beer. The Texas toast like buns are put on the flat top like a grilled cheese  and this was not my favorite way to eat a hot dog. It made them a too greasy and some things are better left undone. I definitely would go back, if they made traditional buns an option. Whad’ya say Cori’s?

The Philly would have been awesome too but then….there was that bun again and it was just too much.

5.5 apples for Coris’s (+creative menu, friendly staff, beer, location) (-buns or lack there of)

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TAVERN

And last but not least, Tavern in Midtown. I think I’ve mentioned Tavern before but I’ve never done a post on them. They have extremely good bar food and it still seems to be a pretty hot spot, even though they have been opened for some time.  Among the table favorites were: Philly style egg rolls, mussels, the bologna sandwich and the make your own s’mores dessert.

7 apples right here. (+creativity, beer selection, fancy bar food, tv’s)

Tavern

Grilled Chicken with Creamy Spinach, Tomatoes and Mushrooms

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Sometimes when I am planning dinners for the week I get to the end and have to completely start over because I realize that pasta is in every meal I was planning.

This night, I omitted the pasta, added cream (hey-i took out the pasta) and came up with this.

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roasting those veggies

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sauteed shallot

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flour and chicken broth

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cream

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mix in the vegetables

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serve with your choice of protein. i used chicken.

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add parmesan if desired

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GRILLED CHICKEN WITH CREAMY SPINACH TOMATOES AND MUSHROOMS

ingredients:

1 large shallot, diced

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup flour

1 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup cream

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes

8 oz container of mushrooms

6 oz fresh spinach

salt

pepper

grilled chicken, fish or steak

instructions and directions:

heat oven to 400 degrees. toss cherries and mushrooms in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  spread evenly on a parchment lined baking sheet. bake for 15-20 minutes until tomatoes begin to burst.

meanwhile, in a medium sized skillet, melt butter and saute shallot until soft. sprinkl shallots with flour and whisk constantly until the flour starts to turn brown. about 3 minutes. slowly add chicken broth and whisk constantly (to avoid clumps) until all the chicken broth is in and the mixture is smooth. add cream.

add spinach and saute 1-2 minutes until it begins to wilt. add  cooked mushrooms and tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. stir to combine and let simmer 1-2 minutes until sauce thickens.

serve under your choice of protein.

Mascarpone Pasta with Asparagus and Mushrooms

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A lot of people (read: two) have told me that when they think about mascarpone cheese, they think about dessert. Italian desserts to be more specific. Today, I am here to change that thinking with this pasta.

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I got this recipe from my friend Giada. While I usually don’t trust skinny chefs, her recipes usually impress me.

With less than 10 ingredients, this will be ready in no time.

She says it serves 6-8 but who are we kidding? It serves 4.

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sautee asparagus and mushrooms

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melt in the mascarpone

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the addition of nutmeg, walnuts and parmesan give this pasta a really unique flavor/texture

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ready in no time!

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top with grilled chicken if desired

MASCARPONE PASTA WITH ASPARAGUS AND MUSHROOMS

ingredients: 

sea salt

1 pound farfalle pasta

3 tablespoons butter

1 pound mushrooms, sliced

1 pound thin asparagus, trimmed, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces

1 cup mascarpone cheese

Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

3/4 cup walnuts, toasted

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

instructions and directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the farfalle and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and saute until tender and most of the juices have evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and saute until the asparagus is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add the farfalle. Stir in the mascarpone and nutmeg and toss until the cheese coats the pasta, adding the reserved cooking liquid 1/4 cup at a time to moisten. Stir in 1/2 cup of walnuts. Season the pasta, to taste, with salt and pepper. Mound the pasta in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and remaining 1/4 cup of walnuts. Serve.

courtesy of foodnetwork

LINGUINE WTH SUMMER VEGGIES AND GOAT CHEESE

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I’ve been slacking and only posting once a week  because I am doing some renovation work to the hizz-ouse, before we put it on the market. Half of my house is in my kitchen and nobody wants to see a food blog about Christmas decorations, a bedside table and a toothbrush. My hungry-apple-iphone-camera is full and I can’t make food in my kitchen anyway.

If you don’t like summer recipes, this may be a good time for you to close your eyes. I’m thinking the blog is going to be very summery for a few weeks so I can fit in all the recipes I have to share, before I dive into things like pumpkin and butternut squash and dreary cold weather.

This recipe is straight from Real Simple and is straight up delicious.

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i used all kinds of small tomatoes. tomatoes do not have to just be red people.

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zuchinni ribbons=an easy way to look fancy without having to actually be fancy

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summah corn

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taste the rainbow

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topped and ready to go a la 1976

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are these colors blowing your mind?

LINGUINE WTH SUMMER VEGGIES AND GOAT CHEESE

ingredients:

3/4 pound linguine (i used fresh)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups fresh corn (from 2 ears)

2 cloves garlic, sliced

sea salt and  fresh black pepper

2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

2 small zucchini (about 1 pound), cut into thin ribbons with a vegetable peeler

2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves

4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled yourself

instructions and directions: 

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve ¾ cup of the cooking water; drain the pasta and return it to the pot.

Meanwhile, heat oven to 350° F. Spread the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the corn, garlic, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, tossing occasionally, until the corn is tender, 2 to 4 minutes.

Add the corn, tomatoes, zucchini, and ½ cup of the cooking water to the pasta. Cook over medium heat, gently tossing, until the liquid is slightly thickened and coats the pasta, 2 to 3 minutes (adding more cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce).

Serve sprinkled with the oregano, walnuts, and goat cheese.

Eat Here Restaurant Review! Etch

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I recently had the pleasure of trying out a new-ish restaurant, in downtown Nashville. Etch opened at the end of last summer and although I am not sure what took me so long to try it, I am sure I will be going back again.

My findings:

First thing is first. I will get the thing I didn’t like about the restaurant, out of the way so we can move on to more positive experience-shall we?

Etch is in no way relaxed. I have a laid back approach to food and like to enjoy it in an environment where I feel comfortable to throw a leg up  while my shoe sits alone on the floor and my bare foot sits under my other leg. You probably won’t want to do that here and I tend to enjoy restaurants where you can.  Excited laughing and bantering with friends will probably get  a few funny looks from other diners dressed in the usual “I just left a business meeting and came to dinner” garb. If you like that type of environment, then you are most certainly, in luck. If you don’t, try to suffer through it because the food is  well worth it.

Moving on……We were cheerfully greeting by 3 hostesses that were all accommodating and welcoming. They were also friendly as could be on the way out. Our server, Kenneth, was decidedly wonderful from the moment we sat down. He was knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the menu and gave specific (ingredient) descriptions of each meal we ordered. His passion for food was really so evident and appreciated.

They had a short but varied (by the glass) wine list that I can’t comment on because they happened to have my favorite beer (Turtle Anarchy Portly Stout) on tap and I was in the mood for that.

Below are pictures of what we ordered with description:

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Octopus and Shrimp Bruschetta: The octopus in this was so amazing that I found myself really wishing that it was only octopus.

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Fried Short Rib App: A must order. Fancy comfort food on a plate. Creative while still being familiar.

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Venison: I thought this was the most interesting dish on the table all night. The flavors (cranberry relish, Moroccan spices, sweet potato) were sort of like Thanksgiving, in a really good way. The venison was not gamey at all and instead tasted like a very tender filet. Absolutely amazing. This dish gets a 10.

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Pork Tenderloin: This was my second favorite 🙂 It almost resembled Marsala, but it was even better. The mushroom sauce and the chorizo were  exotic and I would definitely consider ordering this next time. The tenderloin was cooked perfectly and you could cut it with your fork.

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Scallop Entree: The greens were great and the scallops were cooked perfectly, but the fried mushrooms made this dish too oily and I was wishing they weren’t there. (Least favorite entree but still delicious) Those red dots? Those are beet sriracha. Yum.

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Filet: I wasn’t surprised that they had a terrific filet. The red wine gravy was awesome. I am not a fan of mashed potatoes but these were some of the best I have ever had.  Topping things with duck butter, never hurts either.

I was stuffed but had a scoop of their homemade cantaloupe (flavors rotate) sorbet for dessert. It was so good. Could use a pint of that right now. (It came on top of some graham cracker type crumbs that I wasn’t too fond of though. They took away from how “cantaloupey” the sorbet was.)

I give Etch 8 1/2 apples. I will definitely be returning. Thanks for the fabulous food and A+ service!

apple rating

Lighter Shrimp Po Boy

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Shrimp Po Boys are a fun thing to order when you’re at the beach or a local seafood restaurant. Because they are fried and covered in delicious sauces, navigating your way through both eating them and trying to maintain a healthy diet, can be impossible.

I created (don’t I sound artistic) this recipe with healthier eating in mind. I baked the shrimp instead of frying! Now, don’t get the wrong idea. It still has french bread and a sauce, but it is MUCH better than your restaurant alternative, if you’re craving this sort of thing.

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Toss shrimp with olive oil

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Dredge in panko breadcrumbs and bake, instead of frying

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The baguette I found at the grocery store bakery that day, was still warm from the oven!

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Slice the baguette almost all of the way through but without cutting the inside, to make it easier to stuff

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Top with remoulade (i used a Ziploc bag-with a small hole in the corner-to pipe out the remoulade)

LIGHTER SHRIMP PO BOY

ingredients: 

1 pound large shrimp (about 21-25), peeled and deveined

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs

sea salt

freshly ground pepper

lettuce (i used mixed greens)

large baguette cut into 4 (or 4 small baguettes)

remoulade: 

1 cup olive oil mayo

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

10 grinds fresh pepper

1 green onion, finely sliced

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

the juice of half a lemon

1 clove garlic, minced

pinch of celery salt

instructions and directions: 

In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the remoulade and let it set in the fridge.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl, toss shrimp with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Dredge in bread crumbs and place shrimp evenly on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for about 10 minutes, until shrimp are cooked through. Remove from oven.

Slice baguettes 3/4 of the way through, so that bread is still attached on one side. (This makes it easier to eat. ) Warm if desired.

Layer baguettes with mixed greens, 5-8 shrimp (depending on size) and top with remoulade.

Grilled Bread with Ricotta and Peach Jam

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The other night, I was famished but had a while to wait for dinner to be ready. Since I’m sort of magic, I whipped this up. It reminded me of a small plate I had at this restaurant once upon a time.

Fast and perfect for summer.

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Ricotta and homemade peach jam

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Butter your bread

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Grill and spread with the ricotta

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Sprinkle with salt and pepper then top with peach jam

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Eat whole

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Or slice and share

GRILLED BREAD WITH RICOTTA AND PEACH JAM

ingredients: 

4 large slices, farm bread

4 tablespoons butter, room temp

1 cup, room temperature ricotta (homemade is best but store bought is still yummy) that has been whipped with a whisk or stirred thoroughly

8 tablespoons peach jam (i’m sure any of your favorite jam would do)

sea salt and fresh pepper

instructions and directions: 

Heat grill or grill pan to medium.

Butter bread with 1/2 a tablespoon of each side. Grill each side about 1-2 minutes until lightly brown with grill marks. (Watch the bread! Don’t let it burn 🙂 )

Remove from grill and spread each piece on one side, with a thin layer of ricotta, about 2-3 heaping tablespoons. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a small twist of pepper. “Dribble” each piece with about 2 tablespoons of peach jam.

Eat whole or slice into strips for sharing.