Street Food Week: Wrap-up

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Street Food Week

We had a very busy and productive week.  We were very excited to bring street food to the pages of Modern Day Forager; it is a subject matter that is near and dear to our hearts for so many reasons, it is a culture we truly enjoy when we travel both here and abroad, it is a part of what we think will bring “community” back to our communities, it’s a connection to a simpler time and its just so darn tasty!  Monday we got even more excited when we learned that our Summery Watermelon Soup from last week’s post was being re-published on a national healthy living web site called Hella Wella… Healthy living for the real world.  Then, Tuesday we got an email from the Huffington Post asking us if they could use our photograph and recipe for the Simply Sensational Melon Sangria on their HUFFPOST TASTE .


Singapore by Modern Day Forager

Our week was filled with the hunt and we were in of search of ingredients and inspiration, our first stop was at the Super L Ranch Market at The Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix, where we found several ingredients on the MDF shopping list, a whole bunch of provisions that just looked fun and of course props, we are always in search of that perfect little treasure and this is the place.  Next, we were off to Pro’sRanch Market in search of the perfect tortilla, specialty produce and props, of coarse. props.  Our last stop was to Saffron Market which is located in north Scottsdale, were we found our dried chickpeas and ingredients to make our tahini sauce.

Singapore by Modern Day Forager

One of the best parts of our field trip was that Heather’s daughter Bailey, who is nine, was along for the ride and adventure and how many cool food products we got to experience with her, she is not a stranger to these kinds of trips, however, we were thrilled we got to see it through her eyes as well as share and show her some things we have learned about these foods and cultures.  The hunt, the find and the get is something we talk about a lot here at Modern.  Doing the R&D is a blast and is so satisfying.  We reap the rewards by going to these markets and learning new things.

If you missed any of the posts this week page down and take a look.  Tuesday featured an introduction written by Traci explaining why we are so fascinated with street food, the street food culture and why we think it is so important that we embrace it. Wednesday we gave you our first impressions of the new Scottsdale Food Truck Caravan, what a treat, you should stop by some Saturday evening and check it out and please let us know your thoughts in the comments area or on our facebook page.  We jumped right into recipes on Thursday with our take on one of the most popular United States street foods, the Korean short rib taco, popularized by the LA food truck scene.  If you have never experienced a First Friday in Venice CA. you are truly missing out.   Next, we jumped across the pond to the United Kingdom (and Australia) for one of my favorite dishes Fish and Chips featuring a double or triple cooked chip and simple beer battered haddock or cod. For those of you that jump all over me for using lard in my recipes I fought the urge this time and went with peanut oil just for you, and its high smoke point.  Yesterday we featured what I think is the most under appreciated sandwich here in the States, the  Banh Mi.  We did our MDF version with a lemongrass and spice infused pork, but you can use any meat you have on hand, the crunchy, sweet, savory and spicy elements in this sandwich are what pushes it over the top and Traci added an MDF twist to ours with Granny Smith apples and pickled watermelon rinds.

Let us know your thoughts on the anything and everything we are doing here at MDF.  Thanks.

MDF’s Banh Mi Sandwich

Banh Mi Sandwich

Bahn Mi Sandwich by Modern Day Forager

Recipes by Rj of Urban Table
Photo Styling & Art Direction by Traci of Urban Table
Photography & Art Direction by Heather of Heather Gill Photography

Banh mi is humble, but it packs a real flavor punch and with all the traveling we do, we have found one thing is for sure, no two versions are the same.

Here is ours, we started with a golden crusty baguette with the right amount of chew, we hollowed out the interior of the bread just a bit, so we could add creamy Sriracha mayo, next we add the marinated pork (overnight) flavored with lemongrass and blended spices so the meat would be juicy, tender and succulent, then added it to the bread so that the bread could “sop up the juices”, packed it with a crunchy cucumbers, our twist with the addition of crispy Granny Smith apples, pickled carrot, daikon and added watermelon rind for our take on the traditional pickled veg and put it all together for a real show stopper.

Bahn Mi Sandwich by Modern Day Forager

Ingredients:

French baguette or French style hoagie roll (Traditional Banh Mi uses a Vietnamese style french baguette; usually made with a combination of rice and/or wheat flour, resulting in a very light, crackly crust and not overly dense bread.  We like just nice French baguette, don’t use sourdough.

Sriracha Mayonnaise (3 Tablespoons good mayo, 1 Tablespoon Sriracha, squeeze of lime)

Maggi sauce

Lemongrass pork shoulder (recipe below)

English cucumber, sliced very thin

Granny Smith apple, matchsticks

Cilantro, chopped

Jalapeno, sliced thin

Pickled Daikon, watermelon rind and carrot (recipe below)

Directions:

Slice the baguette into 6 inch pieces and then slice in half.

1. Slice the bread lengthwise, and then use your fingers to make a trough in both halves.

2. Generously spreading the inside with mayonnaise.

3. Drizzle in some Maggi Sauce.

4. Place pork steak on bottom of bread

5.  layer remaining ingredients on top of pork.

6.   Enjoy!

Lemongrass Pork Shoulder

Ingredients:

1 pound boneless pork shoulder steak, about 1/2 inch thick cut into 3 inch pieces

Marinade:

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 tablespoon chopped shallot

1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed and finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoon black soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon oil

Directions:

In a food processor, process the sugar, garlic, shallot and lemongrass.

Add the pepper, soy sauce, fish sauce, and oil and process to combine well.

Transfer to a zip lock bag add the pork, and turn to coat well.  Refrigerate up to 24 hours.

Let meat come to room temperature before grilling.

Preheat a grill to medium-high.

Grill for 6 to 8 minutes, until cooked through.

Let rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Pickled Daikon, watermelon rind and carrot 

Ingredients:

1 large carrot, peeled and cut into thick matchsticks

1 pound of daikons (2), (we used green and sakurajima daikons) peeled and cut into thick matchsticks

1 cup watermelon rind, peeled and cut into matchsticks

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons plus 1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cups distilled white vinegar

1 cup lukewarm water

Directions:

Place the carrot, watermelon rind and daikons in a bowl and sprinkle with the salt and 2 teaspoons of the sugar.  With your hands, knead the vegetables for about 3 minutes, daikons should bend but not break.  Drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water, squeeze out all excess water.  Place veggies in a pickling jar. (we used Weck jars)

In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the 1/2 cup sugar, vinegar, and water.  Stir to dissolve the sugar.  Pour over the vegetables, making sure the brine covers the vegetables.  Let the vegetables marinate in the brine for at least 1 hour before eating. 

Bahn Mi Sandwich by Modern Day Forager

Modern Day Forager

Modern’s Tasty Fish and Chips with Malt Vinegar

Fish and Chips by Modern Day Forager

Modern’s Tasty Fish and Chips with Malt Vinegar 

Ingredients:

2 pounds of russet potatoes, cut into 1/2  inch strips (hold in a large bowl of ice water)

Peanut oil for frying

1 1/2 pounds of haddock, (or cod) skinned

Salt and Pepper

Beer Batter:

1 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup flat beer

 Place all ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl and stir until there are no lumps.

Directions:

  1. Bring large pot of salted water to boil.
  2. Cook potatoes in boiling water until just soft, about 5 min.
  3. Remove from water; pat dry and let sit at room temperature for at least an hour, up to 4 hours (or freeze for an hour, you are trying to remove as much moisture as possible)
  4. Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven to 375F
  5. (If you choose you can add a step here, fry at 350 until just brown, remove and freeze again. Then raise temp to 375F and fry for an additional 5 min.)
  6. Add potatoes, frying in batches, stirring often for about 5 minutes
  7. Remove with a skimmer or slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels. (We like to keep fries hot in a warm oven)
  8. Cut fish into equal portions (about 4) Pat dry with paper towel and then in batter, fry one at a time until golden brown about 3 min per side.
  9. Drain on paper towels.
  10. Salt and pepper to tasteServe on newspaper with malt vinegar

Fish and Chips by Modern Day Forager

Recipes by Rj of Urban Table
Photo Style & Art Direction by Traci of Urban Table
Photography & Art Direction by Heather of Heather Gill Photography

Modern Day Forager

Asian Short Rib Tacos

Asian Tacos by Modern Day Forager

Asian Short Rib Tacos

Bring your curbside cuisine inside to create your own table top taqueria.  This recipe is the real deal, starting with a range of flavors, a smoky sweetness with a spicy kick, sesame seeds blended to bring out the nuttiness, brightness from all of the citrus, a punch of flavor with the addition of ginger and if that wasn’t enough a crispiness from the shredded romaine lettuce, red onion and juicy tomatoes, crowned with jalapeños and cilantro, all served in soft warm grilled flour tortillas.  Embrace the taco trend and jump on the ubiquitous band wagon or should I say ubiquitous food truck.  Enjoy!

Asian Tacos by Modern Day Forager

Ingredients:

3 pounds beef short ribs (about 11-12 pieces)

1/2 Romaine lettuce, shredded

1/2 red onion, sliced thin

2 Roma tomatoes, diced

1 jalapeño, sliced thin

flour  tortilla

Cilantro leaves to taste

2 limes, wedged

Marinade:

1 cup white onion
, diced

1 cup black soy sauce

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup club soda

1/2 cup orange juice

1 tablespoon freshly ginger, minced

1/4 cup sesame oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

Place all marinade ingredients and short ribs to a large zip lock bag marinade the beef short ribs overnight in refrigerator.

Sauce:

3 tablespoons sesame chili oil

1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice

zest from 1 lime

1/4 cups soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

3 tablespoons  sesame seeds

1 teaspoon sugar

Salt to taste

Add all sauce ingredients to a medium sized mixing bowl and mix well. Refrigerate until use.

Directions:

  1. Grill the short ribs, about 5 minutes each side
  2. Grill tortillas
  3. Cut meat of bones
  4. Place meat on the tortilla add  lettuce, red onion,jalapeño, tomato and cilantro
  5. Drizzle with sauce
  6. Squeeze of lime

Asian Tacos by Modern Day Forager

Recipes by Rj of Urban Table
Photo Style & Art Direction by Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by Heather of Heather Gill Photography

Modern Day Forager

Scottsdale Food Truck Caravan

Scottsdale Food Truck Caravan


Scottsdale Food Trucks by Modern Day Forager

Looking for something to do with family or friends this weekend?  Check out Scottsdale’s Food Truck Caravan on the northwest corner of 5th and Goldwater every Saturday 7:30pm to 11:30 pm.

Scottsdale Food Trucks by Modern Day Forager

MDF stopped by a couple weeks ago (week 6 of the caravan) and enjoyed every minute of our visit.

Scottsdale Food Trucks by Modern Day Forager

The first thing you notice is there is ample parking (for car or bike) and the event is set-up with your comfort in mind, from the large candle lit communal tables, concierge tent and a mister system, (heaters in the winter) not to mention weekly entertainment.  The week we attended acoustic guitar player Michael Signorelli played and the next week a local blues act.

Scottsdale Food Trucks by Modern Day Forager

As you stroll through the trucks reading the menus and making your decisions, or while you are dining at the long comfortable tables you glance around and notice neighbors and friends, young families and senior citizens what an awesome hodge podge of community.  We were struck by the notion that this is the reason for the incredible growth of the food truck movement around the country over the last several years, this is what has been missing in our faster and faster paced lives, a chance to take a stroll and have a meal with others, sharing a brief respite of time in the company of like-minded people.   All roads (worth taking) lead to food.

Scottsdale Food Trucks by Modern Day Forager

The week we visited there was a nice diverse selection of trucks on hand and they change weekly:

Riteway Cateringhttp://www.ritewaycatering.com/truck.html

Satay Hut: http://www.satayhutaz.com

Sweet Magnolia Smoke House: https://www.facebook.com/sweetmagnoliasmokehouse

Sandra Dee’s Catering: (always our favorite, “we love you Sandra!) http://www.sandradeescatering.com

Grilled Cheese Truck: https://www.facebook.com/TheGrilledCheeseTruckPhoenix

Smitty’s Kitchen: https://www.facebook.com/SmittysKitchen/app_190322544333196

Super Farm Super Truck: https://www.facebook.com/SuperFarmSuperTruck

Torched Goodness: http://www.torchedgoodness.com/schedule.htmlLiberty Biscuits: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Libertys-Biscuits/299579633491167

Udder Delights: http://www.udderdelightsaz.com

Scottsdale Food Trucks by Modern Day Forager

Scottsdale Food Trucks by Modern Day Forager

Scottsdale Food Trucks by Modern Day Forager

Scottsdale Food Trucks by Modern Day Forager

Scottsdale Food Trucks by Modern Day Forager

Every week is going to be a different themed event all based around “Ate on 5th” a special dish prepared by each truck.  The theme while we were there was a competition for best dish, week 7 was BBQ.

The competition was judged by Chef Becky Wendells of The Herb Box at SouthBridge, Jeff Caswell of EVO Scottsdale and Joanie Simon of Restaurant Live AZ.  The prize was a guest spot on Restaurant Live AZ with Joanie Simon.  The online show airs from 3 to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays at http://www.doublewidenetwork.com.  The winner was Smitty’s Kitchen with their  Goat and Curry Stew.  Congratulations!

Scottsdale Food Trucks by Modern Day Forager

Hope to see you there next time!

Scottsdale Food Trucks by Modern Day Forager

Modern Day Forager

Street Food

Singapore by Modern Day Forager

Street Food

Street food is authentic, affordable and approachable; it pulls no punches and is straightforward.  We are hitting the pavement and eating curbside this week, no passport required!

Food hawking has long played a role in our rich global history; it links us to our past, another place, time, how we eat and how we explore.

Chances are, when you taste on the street, you are tasting a traditional family recipe, handed down from generation to generation.  This take-away fare is so satisfying, chocked full of flavor, honestly prepared and there is a sense of pride in every bite.

Singapore by Modern Day Forager

What we find so exciting about the street food scene is that it gives us a sense of continuity and community.  There is an informality that promotes ease, reassurance, and comfort when eating with your hands.  It truly has a way of uniting us all.

There is also a wonderful proficiency, resourcefulness and economy of effort of street traders.  Everything has its place and there is a rhythm , theatre, and  celebration of human ingenuity.

Singapore by Modern Day Forager

You walk up, take in the sights and smells, order your food, wait in line, and no matter what your economic background, everyone coexists and in the end, it is always about the food, how it is crafted and where it comes from.

So do the legwork and take to the streets, experience the outdoor food stalls, halls, trucks and street side vendors.   Culinary integration plus cultural diversity equals an experience that is a veritable moveable feast.

Singapore by Modern Day Forager

Enjoy!

Modern Day Forager

Asian Short Rib Tacos

Asian Tacos by Modern Day ForagerAsian Short Rib Tacos

Bring your curbside cuisine inside to create your own table top taqueria.  This recipe is the real deal, starting with a range of flavors, a smoky sweetness with a spicy kick, sesame seeds blended to bring out the nuttiness, brightness from all of the citrus, a punch of flavor with the addition of ginger and if that wasn’t enough a crispiness from the shredded romaine lettuce, red onion and juicy tomatoes, crowned with jalapeños and cilantro, all served in soft warm grilled flour tortillas.  Embrace the taco trend and jump on the ubiquitous band wagon or should I say ubiquitous food truck.  Enjoy!

Asian Tacos by Modern Day Forager

Ingredients:

3 pounds beef short ribs

1/2 Romaine lettuce, shredded

1/2 red onion, sliced thin

2 Roma tomatoes, diced

1 jalapeño, sliced thin

flour  tortilla

Cilantro leaves to taste

2 limes, wedged

Marinade:

1 cup white onion
, diced

1 cup black soy sauce

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup club soda

1/2 cup orange juice

1 tablespoon freshly ginger, minced

1/4 cup sesame oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

Place all marinade ingredients and short ribs to a large zip lock bag marinade the beef short ribs overnight in refrigerator.

Sauce:

3 tablespoons sesame chili oil

1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice

zest from 1 lime

1/4 cups soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

3 tablespoons  sesame seeds

1 teaspoon sugar

Salt to taste

Add all sauce ingredients to a medium sized mixing bowl and mix well. Refrigerate until use.

Directions:

  1. Grill the short ribs, about 5 minutes each side
  2. Grill tortillas
  3. Cut meat of bones
  4. Place meat on the tortilla add  lettuce, red onion,jalapeño, tomato and cilantro
  5. Drizzle with sauce
  6. Squeeze of lime

Asian Tacos by Modern Day Forager

Recipes by Rj of Urban Table
Photo Style & Art Direction by Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by Heather of Heather Gill Photography

Modern Day Forager

MDF’s Icy Melon Granita

Cantaloupe Granita by Modern Day Forager

ICY MELON GRANITA

Our version of a childhood summer revival with a twist, a little bit more sophisticated and all grown up.  Chill out, cool down and make the most of your long hot days.  Using white and orange cantaloupe makes for a very fragrant and well-balanced combination.   The addition of basil and the spicy, salty, sweet sugars really liven up this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups cantaloupe chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups white cantaloupe chunks
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • curry sugar, didi’s sugars for the spicy component and for the salty and sweet component we used “martini” from go lb. salt rim-licks.
  • chiffonade of basil

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan, stir the water and sugar over low heat just until the sugar melts.  Let cool completely.
  2. In a blender, puree the cantaloupe with the syrup and lime juice.
  3. Strain puree into a bowl through a fine mesh sieve, pressing through with a wooden spoon.
  4. Transfer the puree to a shallow container and place in freezer until frozen around the edges and slushy, about 30 minutes.
  5. Using a fork, stir the granita every 20 until it is completely frozen, about 1 1/2 hours.  Just before serving, fluff granita with fork.
  6. Scoop into bowls, sprinkle with curry sugar and garnish with chiffonade of basil.

Cantaloupe Granita by Modern Day Forager

Our good friends Liz and Aaron Eckburg own a great company, go lb salt which is a local salt bar here in Arizona and boy, do they know their stuff.  We highly recommend their website, there is a wealth of information, along with a user friendly online store,  filled with everything you could possibly need, and if that wasn’t enough they offer classes as well.   Check them out at golbsalt.  We also used another favorite resource of ours for this recipe, Didi Davis’s Food Sugar Blends.  This is a great source for all things spicy, salty and sugary, and they focus on small-batch handmade productions.  Check them out at salttraders.  So many new ways to play with your food.

Cantaloupe Granita by Modern Day Forager

Recipes by Rj of Urban Table
Photo Style & Art Direction by Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by Heather of Heather Gill Photography

Modern Day Forager

Scottsdale’s Food Truck Caravan

Scottsdale Food Truck Caravan


Scottsdale Food Trucks by Modern Day Forager

Looking for something to do with family or friends this weekend?  Check out Scottsdale’s Food Truck Caravan on the northwest corner of 5th and Goldwater every Saturday 7:30pm to 11:30 pm.

Scottsdale Food Trucks by Modern Day Forager

MDF stopped by a couple weeks ago (week 6 of the caravan) and enjoyed every minute of our visit.

Scottsdale Food Trucks by Modern Day Forager

The first thing you notice is there is ample parking (for car or bike) and the event is set-up with your comfort in mind, from the large candle lit communal tables, concierge tent and a mister system, (heaters in the winter) not to mention weekly entertainment.  The week we attended acoustic guitar player Michael Signorelli played and the next week a local blues act.

Scottsdale Food Trucks by Modern Day Forager

As you stroll through the trucks reading the menus and making your decisions, or while you are dining at the long comfortable tables you glance around and notice neighbors and friends, young families and senior citizens what an awesome hodge podge of community.  We were struck by the notion that this is the reason for the incredible growth of the food truck movement around the country over the last several years, this is what has been missing in our faster and faster paced lives, a chance to take a stroll and have a meal with others, sharing a brief respite of time in the company of like-minded people.   All roads (worth taking) lead to food.

Scottsdale Food Trucks by Modern Day Forager

The week we visited there was a nice diverse selection of trucks on hand and they change weekly:

Riteway Catering: http://www.ritewaycatering.com/truck.html

Satay Hut: http://www.satayhutaz.com

Sweet Magnolia Smoke House: https://www.facebook.com/sweetmagnoliasmokehouse

Sandra Dee’s Catering: (always our favorite, “we love you Sandra!) http://www.sandradeescatering.com

Grilled Cheese Truck: https://www.facebook.com/TheGrilledCheeseTruckPhoenix

Smitty’s Kitchen: https://www.facebook.com/SmittysKitchen/app_190322544333196

Super Farm Super Truck: https://www.facebook.com/SuperFarmSuperTruck

Torched Goodness: http://www.torchedgoodness.com/schedule.htmlLiberty Biscuits: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Libertys-Biscuits/299579633491167

Udder Delights: http://www.udderdelightsaz.com

Scottsdale Food Trucks by Modern Day Forager

Scottsdale Food Trucks by Modern Day Forager

Scottsdale Food Trucks by Modern Day Forager

Scottsdale Food Trucks by Modern Day Forager

Scottsdale Food Trucks by Modern Day Forager

Every week is going to be a different themed event all based around “Ate on 5th” a special dish prepared by each truck.  The theme while we were there was a competition for best dish, week 7 was BBQ.

The competition was judged by Chef Becky Wendells of The Herb Box at SouthBridge, Jeff Caswell of EVO Scottsdale and Joanie Simon of Restaurant Live AZ.  The prize was a guest spot on Restaurant Live AZ with Joanie Simon.  The online show airs from 3 to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays at http://www.doublewidenetwork.com.  The winner was Smitty’s Kitchen with their  Goat and Curry Stew.  Congratulations!

Scottsdale Food Trucks by Modern Day Forager

Hope to see you there next time!

Scottsdale Food Trucks by Modern Day Forager

Modern Day Forager

Summery Watermelon Soup

Summery Watermelon Sips

We are just head over heels about our stylishly rustic soup.  It strikes the perfect balance of tart to sweet.  Who says we can’t summerize and make it our main dish instead of relegating it to a side.  Gather up your family and friends and go out with a bang.

 Slurps up!!!

Summery Watermelon Soup


Ingredients:

.   1/2 cup sugar

.   1/2 cup filtered water

.   12 basil leaves, bruised

.   5 cups watermelon chunks (experiment with yellow and orange)

.   3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

.   1 teaspoon lime zest

.   1/4 cup sparkling wine (as always we use Prosecco)

Directions: Place sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Once sugar has dissolved add the basil leaves and bring mixture to a boil, then remove from heat and let it sit for at least 15 min.  Then discard basil and let continue to cool to room temperature. Working in batches, blend 4 1/2 cups of watermelon with basil simple syrup and lime juice. Push juice through a fine mesh sieve, over a bowl or pitcher with a wooden spoon.  Cover and refrigerate 1 hour to overnight. To serve, add sparkling wine, pour soup into 4 bowls and garnish with remaining cubed watermelon (important for a textural element) and lime zest.

Summery Watermelon Soup

Experiment with this recipe, try adding canned tomatoes, english cucumbers, beets or granny smith apples we have done all 4 with great success.

Summery Watermelon Soup

Modern Day Forager