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

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 Ecburg 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

Modern Day Forager

“Day in the Life” A video

Check out “Day in the Life” A video by Gooi Films LLC a Phoenix, Arizona-based video production team, that specializes in developing creative video content for businesses & organizations.

This one is about Modern Day Forager, as we worked on this weeks posts.  We had an amazing time working with Andrew he is a consummate professional. we hope you enjoy watching this as much as we did doing it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEtJZ69V1i8

Melon Week (oh by the way, this is week # 9 for us)

Melon Week

Melon Week by Modern Day Forager

Celebrating the simple pleasures of summer, we are giving melons top billing this week here at Modern.  Summer melons are vibrant, fragrant, extremely versatile and bursting with fresh flavor.  Just one taste and you will sure to be hooked and stay cool all summer long with the season’s “hot” essentials.

 We have come up with a few questions we would love for you to answer

What is your favorite thing about summer?

What is your favorite summertime meal?

What are you reading this summer?

How do you stay cool and make the most out of these long hot days?

Relaxing by the pool, beach or are you having a big summer adventure?

Melon Week by Modern Day Forager

We love hearing from you, it is one of the best parts of our day.

Modern Day Forager

Open Faced Grilled Cheese with Creamy Tomato Soup

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup 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

Tomato Soup by Modern Day Forager

One of my most cherished memories of eating an open faced grilled cheese sandwich,  a steamy bowl of creamy tomato soup and a cold glass of milk, is when I was a little girl and my GG , would lovingly prepare me this meal for me whenever I was sick, stayed home from school, or needed some extra TLC.  There is just nothing better than having your Grandma take care of you and her making your favorite comfort foods.  I could always count on her to do that for me and make me feel special.   As a I grew older, the tables had turned , and I was the one lovingly preparing this recipe for my GG to comfort her when she was ill.  I will always be very grateful for the time I got to spend with her.

Ingredients:

For the creamy tomato soup:

  •             4 lbs. ripe heirloom tomatoes
  •             2 T olive oil
  •             1 T unsalted butter
  •             2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  •             1/3 cup shallots, finely chopped
  •             1/2 cup chicken stock, or as needed
  •             1 t fresh basil, chiffonade, extra for garnish
  •             1/2 t sugar
  •             1/2 cup heavy cream
  •              salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup by Modern Day Forager

For the grilled cheese: 

  • 3/4 lb. mild cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
  • 6 slices whole grain bread
  • 1/2 pound cream cheese, softened
  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature

Directions:  To make the soup, preheat an oven to 400°F.  Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet. Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise and place them, cut side up, on the prepared baking sheet and brush with olive oil.  Roast until the tomatoes look somewhat shriveled, about 45-50 minutes.  Let cool for about 20 minutes.  Transfer the tomatoes and any juices to a food processor, pulse until chopped, then put the tomatoes and their juices through a food mill placed over a bowl.  You should have about 3 1/2 cups tomato purée.  Discard the contents and tomatoes skins from the food mill.
 
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat.  Add the celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes.
 
Stir in the tomato purée, 1/2 cup stock, and the basil and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes.  Stir in the sugar. In 3 or 4 batches, transfer the soup to a blender and process until smooth.  Transfer to a clean saucepan; add the cream and heat until piping hot but not boiling.  If the soup seems too thick, thin with more stock.  Season to taste with salt, pepper and garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve warm.  To make the open face grilled cheese sandwiches; heat a griddle or 2 large frying pans over medium heat until hot.  For each sandwich, place one-fourth of the cheese on top of bread slice and top cream cheese, then layer with fresh tomatoes, season with salt, pepper and garnish with extra basil.  Place on the griddle, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the undersides are golden brown, 3–4 minutes.  Ladle the soup into warmed bowls.  Serve and enjoy!!!
Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup by Modern Day Forager

Modern Day Forager

Strawberry Shortcake

grandma-22

Recipes by Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by Heather of Heather Gill Photography

grandma-21

Strawberry Shortcake

Ingredients:

4 cups fresh strawberries – tops cut off and sliced thinly (remove 1/2 cup and mash)

1/2 cup sugar

Directions:

Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup crushed strawberries.  They will be syrupy.  Add this to the remaining sliced strawberries.  Serve over biscuits and top with fresh whipped cream.

Whipped Cream

Ingredients:

· 1 cup heavy cream

· 1 tablespoon confectioners sugar

· 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

Directions:

In a large bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks are just about to form. Beat in vanilla and sugar until stiff peaks form.  Make sure not to over-beat, or you will have butter.

grandma-24

We used the biscuits from yesterdays post.  In case you didn’t catch it here is the recipe again.

Gran’s biscuits are all gussied up with macerated strawberries and old fashion whipped cream.  Change up the ingredients and embellish with 1/2 cup of crumbled bacon and 1 cup of buttermilk to the dough and now you have a rich and creamy savory biscuit

Grandma’s Biscuits

Ingredients:

1/2 cup leaf lard, cold and coarsely chopped plus more to grease pan

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1/4 cup of warm water (105F-110F)

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon coarse pepper

3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 cup yogurt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.  Grease baking sheet with lard and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water, let stand until it becomes foamy (5-10 minutes).
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, pepper, cream of tartar and baking soda.  With a pastry blender or two knives, cut the lard into the flour mixture until pea sized coarse crumbs form.
  4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, add yogurt and yeast all at once and carefully toss with a fork until just moistened, careful to not over mix.
  5. Flour your work surface; roll out the dough to 3/4 of an inch thickness using a rolling pin.
  6. Cut the biscuits using a 2 1/2 inch round biscuit cutter.  Gather trimmings re-roll and cut.
  7. Place biscuits 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.  Leave to cool for 5 minutes on wire rack, serve warm.*** For a MDF take on Grandma’s Classic ***Replace vanilla extract with balsamic vinegar or any of your favorite extracts and/or bitters, then for an urban table twist try a chiffonade of basil.

grandma-23


Modern Day Forager

Grandma’s Biscuits

grandma-13

Recipes by Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by Heather of Heather Gill Photography

grandma-14

Here is a tried and true recipe from my dear grandma who made these by the dozens for my family and boy did we feel special when she made them and  we ate them.  If you master these biscuits and know your biscuit basics you will be on your way to making a mouth-watering golden brown biscuit with a soft and tender interior.

My Grandma’s Biscuits

1/2 cup leaf lard, cold and coarsely chopped plus more to grease pan

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1/4 cup of warm water (105F-110F)

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon coarse pepper

3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 cup yogurt

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.  Grease baking sheet with lard and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water, let stand until it becomes foamy (5-10 minutes).
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, pepper, cream of tartar and baking soda.  With a pastry blender or two knives, cut the lard into the flour mixture until pea sized coarse crumbs form.
  4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, add yogurt and yeast all at once and carefully toss with a fork until just moistened, careful not to over mix.
  5. Flour your work surface; roll out the dough to 3/4 of an inch thickness using a rolling pin.
  6. Cut the biscuits using a 2 1/2 inch round biscuit cutter.  Gather trimmings, re-roll and cut.
  7. Place the biscuits 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.  Leave to cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack, serve warm.

grandma-23

Modern Day Forager