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Author: Anna Thang

Home/Articles Posted by Anna Thang
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Quick Fire Review : Lay’s Flavor Icons

Lay’s is back with another round of unique flavored chips.  This time highlighting restaurants around the United States with their iconic dishes.  Enter Flavor Icons.  A limited time offering that ends 09.10.20.  Lay’s makes it somewhat of a difficult task to get all 5 inspirations at 1 location by giving Walmart and 7-Eleven exclusivity to the Chile Relleno flavor.  They always do something that makes you shake your good fist at them.  I went to Walmart since they showed 4/5 on their website on Monday this week.  I just happened to stop for gas on the way and looked inside the Hyvee gas station and there was the last bag, Nashville Hot Chicken.  So, I lucked out…I guess.

Here’s my mini review listed in favorite to least favorite order:

Kettle Cooked New York Style Pizza – inspired by Grimaldis in Brooklyn, NY.  You get the sauce, the oregano, maybe some hints of meat, and you get the crisp bite mimicking the crust.  Bada Bing.

Chile Relleno – inspired by Cocina Azul in Albuquerque, NM.  Cheesiness with a nice spice.  Even some creaminess with a tang.

Nashville Hot Chicken – inspired by Partyfowl in Nashville, TN.  These are the spiciest Lay’s chips I’ve had.  You do get a hint of buttery chicken with that Nashville spiced seasoning as well.  Very close tie for 2nd place.  These > Flamin’ Hot Lay’s.

Wavy Carnitas Street Taco – inspired by El torito in marina del ray, CA.  Cilantro.  Little bit of onion. Maybe a hint of meat.  Some say pork, I didn’t talk myself into though.

Philly Cheesesteak – inspired by Geno’s Steaks in Philadelphia, PA. A nice onion and cheese chip. With a very slight beef bouillon taste.  I think.  Idk.  These are just okay.

Let us know what was your favorite!

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Muffaletta Bread and Sandwich Recipe

Last year we took a trip down to New Orleans and being the foodies that we are, we had to stop at Central Grocery and Deli in the French Quarters and try the Muffaletta sandwich. Central Grocery is an old fashion grocery store that was founded by a Sicilian immigrant in 1907 names Salvatore Lupo. Salvatore also created the infamous muffaletta. Each sandwich is made on a 9″ round Sicilian sesame loaf. It is stuffed with ham, salami, mortadella, swiss, provolone and olive salad. Since we are trying to limit travel during this pandemic, we decided to satisfy the craving for this delicious sandwich and make it at home!

Where to Find Olive Salad?

You can find muffaletta olive salad at grocery stores, online or do a simple google search for a recipe and make your own. We ordered ours directly from Central Grocery via their website.

Where to Find Mortadella? 

Mortadella was not as easy of a thing for us to fine. We called multiple specialty meat stores as well as grocery stores. All were out or didn’t carry it but we got lucky and found a store that had it available. If you can’t find mortadella, bologna is the closest substitute and taste great in this combination.

Where to Find the Bread? 

I’m sure if you live in New Orleans, you can find muffaletta bread at a bakery near by. If you can’t find Muffaletta in your area, you can substitute it with any round and wide loaf bread. We made our own. The recipe is below. We found the bread recipe on the Foodie and Wine website. Please note that the bread is a 2 day process so plan accordingly. Lets get started!

 

Ingredients 

Starter Dough

  • 1 Cup flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/8 tsp yeast

Dough

  • All of the starter
  • 3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp yeast

Topping

  • Egg wash – 1 egg and 1/4 cup water
  • Sesame Seeds

Sandwich filling

  • 6 oz genoa salami
  • 6 oz black ham
  • 6 oz mortadella
  • 4 oz provolone, sliced
  • 4 oz mozzarella, sliced
  • 1 cup Olive salad or to taste

Mix the starter ingredients together and leave at room temperature, covered, overnight.

When the starter is ready, add the dough ingredients as well as all of the starter to a bowl and mix until you have a cohesive dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 3 hours. After the first hour, deflate the dough and turn over. Do the same at the 2 hour mark.

Once the dough has risen, transfer to a floured work area and shape to a 10″ round. We found that a rolling pin worked best. Transfer the dough onto a greased baking sheet and let it rise overnight in the fridge.

Take the dough out of the fridge 30 minutes prior to baking. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Combine the egg and water to create the egg wash. Brush this mixture over the top of the bread and sprinkle with sesame seed. Bake for 20-25  minutes. Let bread cool before slicing.

Assembling the Sandwich 

Brush the cut side of the bread with olive oil. On the bottom slice, lay down a good layer of salami followed by the ham. Then layer on the cheese. Top the cheese slices with the mortadella. Finally add the olive salad. We placed the olive salad in a bowl and our hands worked best for placing it. Start in the middle and work your way towards the edge. Place the other half of the bread on top and you’re done! Use a long knife and cut into quarters for serving.

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Fresh and Easy Guacamole Recipe

This is a simple and easy guacamole recipe that can be whipped up in under 5 minutes and requires just a few ingredients. Lets get started!

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 of lime (more or less to taste)
  • 1 minces garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp chopped jalapeno
  • 3 tbsp cilantro
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • salt to taste

Cut the avocados in half and remove the pits. Scoop out the flesh in a mixing bowl. Mash the avocados with a fork to the consistency that you prefer. Add the remaining ingredients into the bowl and stir to combine. Taste and adjust to your liking. 

We usually chill our guacamole in the fridge for about 30 minutes so all the flavors mingle together.

Serve it with tortilla chip! Guac also goes well with vegetable or even on a piece of toast. Enjoy!

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Fried Rice with Chinese Sausage

This fried rice recipe is a simple and quick one. We used some fat we trimmed off a Wagyu steak we had the other night as our source of oil. Typically it’s not an ingredient in fried rice so any neutral oil can be used in its place. Check out the recipe below!

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups of cold cooked rice
  • 1-2 oz beef fat or 2 tbsp neutral oil
  • 2 Chinese sausage links slices
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 garlic cloves minces
  • 2 green onion stalks sliced
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat up a pan on high heat. A wok works best but if you do not have a wok, any pan will work. Add a little oil and pour in beat eggs. Swirl that around in the pan so it coats the bottom and let that set for a minute. Then scramble with a spatula. Remove the egg and put in the cut up pieces of beef fat. Render that down for 2-3 minutes. If you are omitting the beef fat, now would be the time to heat up 2 tbsp of oil. Drop the garlic in and cook until fragrant and golden brown. Next you’ll add in the Chinese Sausage. Saute for a minute or two. Add in the rice, soy sauce, oyster sauce and sugar. Cold cooked rice is important. Freshly cooked warm rice will contain too much moisture and you’ll end up with mushy fried rice. Stir everything together. Salt and pepper to taste. Finish up by tossing in the sliced green onions.

Fried rice is a very versatile dish. You can try this with spam or even bacon if Chinese sausage is not your thing or omit it all together and just have some eggy fried rice! Enjoy!

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New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimp Recipe

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 lb butter
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • small handful of whole basil leaves
  • 3 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp hot sauce
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 1.5 lbs of head-on shrimp
  • French bread for dipping – Optional

In a large skillet over medium heat, put in olive oil and butter. Once butter has melted, put in the garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes. Put the rest of the ingredients, besides the shrimp, into the skillet. Once everything is combined, put the shrimp in. You’ll want to try and spread out the shrimp so they are not piled on top of each other. Let that cook for 2-3 minutes on one side then flip them and cook the other side for another 2-3 minutes. If you are using shrimp that are fairly larger, you’ll want to cook the shrimp for another minute or two longer per side.

Remove from heat and transfer everything into a large bowl. Put a fresh squeeze of lemon over the finished product just before eating. Serve this up with some bread for dipping which we usually grill or bake. If you want some additional heat, add more hot sauce or a dash of cayenne. This was just the perfect level of spice for us. Let us know how you like the recipe! Enjoy.

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Shrimp and Crab Toast

We were sent this recipe found on https://www.thehowtoduo.com/ a couple years ago. We tried it and fell in love at first bite! Today we switched it up a bit and decided to try it with lump crab meat. Lets get started!

Ingredients 

  • 1 baguette, cut into 1/2 in slices
  • 1/2 lb shrimp
  • 1/2 lb lump crab meat
  • 4 stalks of green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • salt to taste

Sauté peeled and deveined shrimp in a skillet over medium to high heat. Shrimp cooks really quickly so it should only take a couple of minutes for it to turn pink. Remove it from the burner and let it cool. Chop the shrimp into small pieces.

Then mix all of the ingredients (besides the bread of course) together in a large bowl.

Take a large spoonful and spread the mixture onto the sliced baguette. You can ask the bakery to slice the baguette for you to make thing easier which is what we did. Bake at 325 for 25-30 minutes. The bread should be toasted and the topping should be melted and golden. We enjoyed our toast with steak and green beans which turned this into a top 10 meal. We hope you enjoy the recipe!

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Umami Fries Opens Up In Dinkytown

[caption id="attachment_6586" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Gogi Beef Fries – topped with pear infused angus beef, cheese, egg, kimchi served with house sauce.[/caption]

New to Minnesota, Umami Fries will open its doors January 11th, 2020. A culinary concept, which combines traditional Asian flavors with America style foods, brings you things such as a kimchi burger and wasabi fries. Besides fries and burgers, Umami Fries also has boba milk teas and a small selection of tacos on their menu as well. We sat down with Samon Xiong to taste some of the menu items while digging into his history and how this concept came about.

In 2018, Umami Fries opened up their first concept in Tulsa, Oklahoma. With their second home in Minneapolis, they have future plans to have multiple franchise locations. The master mind behind their menu is Executive Chef Saya Xiong whom has a versatile culinary background in Asian cuisine.

[caption id="attachment_6583" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Kimchu Burger – 1/2 lb Angus Beef patti seasoned with Korean Spices, topped with cheese and kimchi with an egg on top. Served on a buttered bun[/caption]

The original menu consist of unique flavors combined with fries and burgers, which incorporates Korean, Japanese and Thai inspired creations. Samon told us that tacos were made by request for a couple of customers and by word of mouth created a demand for them so they were later added  to the menu. While loaded fries is not new around town, this restaurant’s entire menu focuses on euphoria with every dish.

[caption id="attachment_6587" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Gogi Beef Tacos – Pear infused angus beef, cheese, kimchi, Korean slaw served on flour tortillas.[/caption]

With the winter season upon us, take advantage now and go grab some grub before the herd of student return from break.

Location:

405 14th Ave SE

Minneapolis, MN 55414

https://www.umamifries.com/

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Seafood Pot Pie with Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Brainstorming with others is a great way to come up with an awesome recipe. What started as an “oh let’s try this chicken pot pie recipe with biscuits!” Turned into “let’s try a seafood pot pie topped with cheddar bay biscuits!” We love to try new recipes and mix things up. Our original idea was to try to use crawfish tails (are they considered seafood?!) but we settle for langostino tails. Langostino, which means little lobster in Spanish, is a squat lobster. Squat lobster doesn’t sounds too appealing right? Don’t let the name scare you away as it’s very tasty! It’s not a lobster or a prawn but closely related to porcelain or hermit crabs. We found ours at Trader Joe’s but we’ve also run across them at Costco. We’re calling this a seafood pot pie because you can use shrimp, lobster and even lump crab meat in place of the langostino tails. Check out the recipe below!

Ingredients: 

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium shallots, diced

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

1 stalk celery, diced

2 red potatoes, washed and diced

½ cup dry white wine (we used chardonnay)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups seafood stock

1 tablespoon diced tarragon

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

½ cup heavy cream

¾ pound langostino tails

salt and pepper to taste

For the biscuits you’ll need:

1 box Red Lobster Cheddar bay biscuit mix

1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar

3/4 cup cold water

1/3 cup butter

 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large skillet over medium heat, coat with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Throw in the chopped carrots, celery, shallots, onions and potatoes. Sauté until tender. Roughly 5-6 minutes. Pour in the white wine and cook for about 5 minutes until it’s nearly evaporated.

Then you’ll add in the butter and heat until melted. Add the flour and stir constantly for 1 minute. It should get some color to it but not much.

Add the seafood stock and tarragon. Give that a stir and simmer for 10 minutes. At this point the sauce will be nice and thick. Season with cayenne, salt and pepper to taste.

Remove from heat. Stir in the heavy cream and then add the tails. We did not thaw my tails. We kept them frozen because we were worried that they would overcook and change in texture with the addition baking time.

We used good ol’ red lobster cheddar bay biscuit mix. Prepare per the directions on the box. We dropped large spoon falls of the batter on top of the pie filling. Then put in the oven for 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and brush on the garlic butter mixture onto the biscuits. We then put it back in the oven for an addition 3-4 minutes until it was nicely brown.

 

Some things to note. Cayenne definitely adds a kick so adjust to your liking. We would start with a dash and move up. Peas would be a good addition to the recipe. The recipe that we found and used as the base called for sherry. We couldn’t find sherry so we used a lovely chardonnay we found at Trader Joe’s called Big Churn. The bottle was $6.99 and we would absolutely recommend it. It was just as bold as a red wine. We also used one cast iron skillet to cook up the whole recipe. If you’d like, you can make the filling and transport it to a different baking dish to finish up the baking portion of the recipe. Hope you enjoy this recipe!

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Simple Dill Potato Salad

If you’re stuck in a bind and need something simple to make for your next gathering, we have the perfect recipe for you! This potato salad is one of our favorite go-to recipes for potlucks and parties because it is so easy to put together with very few ingredients. It’s not your typical old fashion potato salad which usually involves hard boiled eggs, mustard and vinegar.  It’s a little more dilly.  Check out how to put this side-dish favorite together below.

Ingredients 

  • 3 lbs red potatoes
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp dried dill (3-4 tbsp if using fresh)
  • 4 green onions chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Wash and dice potatoes into bite size pieces (roughly 3/4 to 1 inch pieces). Place potatoes into a large pot and cover with water. Bring to boil over high heat and then turn down to medium. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain and cool the potatoes. We usually just place the potatoes in the fridge for about an hour to chill but this time around we tried an ice bath and it worked just as good.

Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, dill and green onions in a bowl. Mix those all together. Season with salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

Pour the mayo mixture over the chilled potatoes and stir to combine. If you’re like us and don’t have any patience to wait, you can enjoy this right away but it’s best to refrigerate (covered) for at least 2 hours to let everything mingle together. Just give it a mix before serving.

 

We found this recipe on The Devilish Dish 

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Pumpkin Spice Spam and Sweet Potato Hash

You’re probably scratching your head after seeing Pumpkin Spice SPAM in the title. People tend to think sweet when they hear pumpkin spice so some noses will turn at the thought of pumpkin spiced SPAM. Don’t knock it until you try it because it is surprisingly tasty! Let’s get into pumpkin spice and what it consist of: Pumpkin spice is a mix of spices that are typically used to make pumpkin pie. In this mix you’ll usually find cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and sometimes all spice. SPAM released a limited edition Pumpkin Spice flavored SPAM and we were lucky enough to get our hands on some. We were brainstorming ways to incorporate this into a recipe and came up with sweet potato hash. You’ll get a bit of sweet and savory with this dish.

Ingredients 

  • 2.5-3 cups of sweet potatoes (peeled and cubed)
  • Half of small white onion, chopped
  • 1 slice of bacon, chopped
  • 1 can of Pumpkin spice spam*
  • 1 green onion stalk, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 4 eggs

*It might be hard to get your hands on a can of the pumpkin spice SPAM but don’t fret, this recipe will be just as good with regular spam. If you’re looking for the addition of the pumpkin spice, add tsp of pumpkin spice seasoning. Here’s one of our favorites: https://www.amazon.com/McCormick-Pumpkin-Pie-Spice-Ounce/dp/B075VJXTQZ/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=pumpkin+spice&qid=1571242672&sr=8-4

First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place a large skillet over medium to high heat. Add the chopped bacon and render to get some grease going in the pan. Once bacon is crispy, remove and then add the SPAM. You’ll want to fry the spam for about 5 minutes, stirring every minute, to get a nice sear on all sides. Remove the SPAM and set aside. In the same skillet add butter and the sweet potatoes.  Sauté the potatoes for 8-10 minutes or until fork tender.

Now you’ll add the chopped onion and add the SPAM we fried earlier back into the pan with the sweet potatoes. Season to taste. Toss everything together and remove from heat. Create 4 wells in the hash and crack an egg into each spot. Place the pan into the oven for 6 minutes. If you don’t like a runny yolk, go for 8 minutes. Garnish with the sliced green onions.