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.

Stone Fruit Week Wrap up…

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Stone Fruit Week Wrap up…

I want to start this week’s wrap up off by giving you a glimpse behind the curtain at MDF and no I am not the wizard, that job falls squarely on the shoulders of Traci and Heather. There is a whole lotta love,  I mean thought, at least one meeting, (yes there’s food) several days of planning, recipe writing, recipe testing and then at least one, usually two days of food styling and photography.

When it came to the planning meeting for this week, stone fruit as our subject matter was a no brainer. Summer and stone fruit go hand in hand, for that matter stone fruit is summer in your hand.  If you never make a single one of these recipes, please at the very least take a bite out of as many of these drupes as you can get your hands/mouth on.

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We started the week off with an intro to stone fruit and then on Tuesday we featured Nectarine Salsa, I am incredibly proud of this recipe, not only does it taste great, it highlights the nectarine and is a wonderful representation of how I like to cook. (Let the ingredients shine, equal balance of sweet and savory, presence of heat and several textures.)

Next we took a journey down south with a totally different take on the crumble… Our Peach and Cardamom Crumble takes advantage of a white peaches less acidic and sweeter taste paired with the herbal and citrus characteristics of cardamom to create a truly memorable dessert.

On Thursday we brought you Roasted Chicken with Pickled Cherries and Radish Sprouts… a sample of what happens when Traci and I start freethinking about a flavors.

“What does it pair with, what can we do to enhance its core qualities, what sounds wrong but tastes so right?”

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Friday brings another dessert inspired by the south but with our MDF name all over it. The Caramelized Plum Tartlets are a great example of how to incorporate several textures into a dish thats featured ingredient is high on flavor but low on crunch.

For those of you wondering where the cocktail is, let me refer you back to cocktail week for the Crazy Jane … ok, ok I can’t help myself. A classic is begging to make an appearance here:

Apricot Bellini

Add 2 tablespoons of *apricot puree to a glass of chilled sparkling wine (Those of you that follow us, know we prefer Prosecco)

*Apricot Puree

4 apricots, pitted

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest

1 teaspoon sugar

Place all the ingredients into your food processor and process until smooth. Force mixture through a sieve with a spoon then store in an air tight container in your refrigerator.

Modern Cocktail Week Wrap Up

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Recipes by: Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by: Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by: Heather of Heather Gill Photography

So what did you think of Modern Cocktail week?  We had so much fun coming up with the recipes and photographing details.  Oh and tasting everything too!  That was the most fun!  If you weren’t able to join us for the whole week here is a recap of what we did this week.

ModernDrinks-19Violet Prosecco Cocktail

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Watermelon Cucumber Cocktail

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The Paloma

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The Crazy Jane

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Jack Sour with Chocolate Covered Bacon

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Sweet & Salty Nuts

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Olive Tepanade

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Stilton-Pear Crostini

When we started working on the theme for this week we thought about a party we might like to have or at least be invited to.  We imaged this as a lovely party with drinks and appetizers being served on a lovely patio overlooking a lovely sunset.  Yes, that is a fantasy but we can dream.  With a bit of prep time, not much, you could have this party with your friends over the weekend.  Most of what we gave you can be made ahead of time so you will only need to do last minute details like the crostini, but really just assembly.

We love bringing you our stories of food but we want to hear from you.  What are some of the theme you would like to see from us?  Please connect with us in the comments or on our Facebook page.  Have a wonderful weekend.  We will be back next week with another theme.

Modern Day Forager

The Crazy Jane

ModernDrinks-72Recipes by: Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by: Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by: Heather of Heather Gill Photography

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This cocktail is currently the most popular drink at Home Restaurant in New York City.  People love the earthy rosemary juxtaposed with fresh, fragrant apricots.  Here is our interpretation.

The Crazy Jane

1 1/2 oz rosemary-infused vodka (recipe below)

1/2 oz apricot puree (recipe below)

1/2 oz simple syrup (2:1 ratio not standard 1:1, sugar to water)

1/4 oz fresh squeezed lime juice

Lime wedge for garnish

  1. Combine all ingredients, expect for lime wedge, in a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake vigorously.
  2. Serve in a rocks glass filled with ice cubes and garnish with the lime wedge.

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Apricot Puree

8 apricots, pitted and diced

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons sugar

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Pass through a sieve or other straining device to remove the coarser elements.

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Rosemary-Infused Vodka

2 cups vodka (we used Smirnoff)

2 bunches fresh rosemary

  1. Place the rosemary in a quart sized jar or other container.  Add vodka and seal.  Store in a cool, dry place and allow to infuse for 3 days.
  2. Strain the mixture and discard rosemary.  Use right away or you can store it in a sealed jar for up to 3 weeks.

Modern Day Forager

Watermelon Cucumber Cocktail

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Recipes by: Rj of Urban Table

Photo styling & Art Direction by: Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by: Heather of Heather Gill Photography

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Makes two drinks.

2 1/2 cups watermelon, seeds removed, cut into chunks

1/2 large English cucumber, peeled & cut into chunks

1 oz honey lime ginger simple syrup (recipe below)

3 oz vodka

cucumber slices for garnish (we used cocktail cucumbers but any cucumber will do)

  1. Place a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl or pitcher.
  2. In a blender, puree the watermelon and cucumber chunks.
  3. Pour mixture through the sieve into the bowl.  Use the back of a big spoon or rubber spatula to squeeze all the juice into the bowl.  Transfer to a lidded jar for storage.
  4. To serve, fill two glasses with ice and add 1 1/2 oz of vodka, 4 oz of watermelon cucumber juice, 1/2 to 1 oz simple syrup (to taste) to each glass, garnish with a cucumber slice.

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Honey Lime Ginger Simple Syrup

2 cups cold water (use filtered)

2 cups granulated sugar

juice & zest from 6-8 limes

4 tablespoons honey (we used a local orange blossom)

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

  1. In a high-sided saucepan over medium-high heat, bring cold water and sugar to a boil.
  2. Turn the heat to low and stir constantly until the sugar dissolves completely and the mixture is clear, approximately 3-5 minutes. Remember, the longer you boil it, the thicker the syrup will be when cooled.  To test if the sugar is completely dissolved: using a spoon, scoop up a small amount of the syrup.  You shouldn’t be able able to see any sugar crystals in the in the liquid.  If you do, boil a bit longer.
  3. Once the water and sugar are done boiling and removed from the heat source add the honey, lime juice, lime zest and grated ginger.  Let sit approximately 20-30 minutes to infuse the simple syrup.  Using a wire mesh strainer, strain out the flavoring then pour into a tightly sealed, clean glass jar and store in the refrigerator.  The syrup can be refrigerated for up to 6 months.

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This drink could be made into a mocktail by leaving the vodka out and adding club soda or sprite if its for the kids.  If you have a juicer you can skip the blender and just use the juice you get from the watermelon and cucumber.  Such a refreshing summer drink as the temperatures rise.  Please connect with us on Facebook or in the comments section.

Modern Day Forager