Friday, April 3, 2009

greasy enchiladas and tofu galore

A couple weeks ago, I was finally able to try Tim Love's Love Shack in the Stockyards. Our trip was on a cool, windy weeknight but the food distracted me away from my goosebumps.

I ordered the Love burger (1/2 prime tenderloin, 1/2 prime brisket) with love sauce (mayo, ketchup and pickle relish), lettuce, tomato and cheese AND the Shack dog with chopped onion and pickle relish so I could try some of each.

The dog was pretty yummy but I was wanting more onion and relish...the toppings kind of soaked into the bun and I didn't get the crunchiness I was craving. The burger was one of the best I've had in Fort Worth. The burger was cooked well, seasoned well and I liked the sauce. Next time I want to try the Boom Boom burger with portabello mushrooms.

This past (lazy) Sunday was spent at Joe T's for a very special 21st Birthday. The day was gorgeous- clear skies, nice breeze and margaritas of course. I usually split fajitas with a girlfriend, but today I went for the enchilada dinner with cheese enchiladas, guacamole, rice and beans. Although the enchiladas were greasy, they tasted great to me! I think that's the glory of Joe T's- even though the food is ok, the ambience, company and margaritas make it an event to remember.

I was so excited for culinary class this week- healthy cooking, vegetarian and Vegan cuisine. Although I've never been a strict vegetarian, I was raised with little red meat and tons of fresh fruits, veggies and healthy cooking. My aunts always teased my mother when I was little because she would give me rice cakes to snack on and they would sneak me to get french fries at "Old McDonald" instead.

Long story short- I enjoy healthy and more specifically, vegetarian cooking...the Vegan part is where it got tricky. For those who need a quick lesson on Vegan fare- Vegans exclude animal products in their lifestyle. In terms of food, that means no meat, poultry, eggs, cheese, even get the drift. It's challenging but forces you to be inventive especially in a time rut.

In class, we were given orders with specific dietary needs then given twenty minutes to create and present our dish for critiquing. This class went well but I definitely had a couple blonde moments.

Order 1: Healthy appetizer

Dish one: Grilled salmon with cinnamon, clove and an orange glaze with herbed couscous

Order 2: Evo-lacto vegetarian entree (eggs and dairy are ok to eat)

Dish 2: Fried vegetarian chicken patty with a radish, blackberry and spinach relish with a brown rice and candied walnut pilaf with grilled asparagus

Order 3: Vegan entree

Dish 3: "PB & J" with grilled baquette, peanut butter, macerated strawberries and blackberries, lemon zest and spiced peanuts with cayenne and cinnamon (before I presented this dish, I thought milk would go well too so I presented it then quickly remembered "Vegans don't drink milk, Callie"...this was blonde moment #1)

Order 4: Vegan breakfast

Dish 4: Parfait with a coconut milk, mango and lime zest yogurt with a candied ginger, dried apricot and walnut crumble with an orange, green apple, blueberry and strawberry fruit salad

Order 5: Use something with tofu or tempeh (fermented soybeans in a cake form)

Dish 5: Soy/lime marinated tofu grilled then deep fried over pickled veggies with chopped peanuts and scallions

Order 6: Healthy appetizer

Dish 6: Homemade fried corn chips with a strawberry, jalapeno, avocado and lime pico

Tonight is our seafood class in culinary school then I'm headed to Austin for the Easter weekend. More food adventures to come...


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