Friday, July 9, 2010

a sexy yolk & pretzel votes

I haven't made my Saturday morning Cowtown Farmers Market visit in months.

Shame on me!

It shouldn't be an excuse but my schedule has become topsy-turvy working nights, random days and weekends. This Saturday, I brushed my excuses aside and arrived bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (err...sweatpants, matted hair and no makeup) to my favorite market.

After arming myself with fresh baked goods, lovely tea blends and an armful of my favorite produce, I left at peace with myself muttering, "Never skip market again! Never skip market again! Never skip..."

I've always been one to cast away the "filler fruits" in fruit salads.

You know, those never ripe enough chunks of cantaloupe, pineapple and honeydew. After I aggressively reassemble my salads, only seldom berries, apples and bananas remain that I would choose over melon any day!

Growing up, my Mom would slice huge cantaloupe wedges over the kitchen sink and serve them with yogurt or crème fraiche. I could never get hooked on the ole' melon. I decided to re-introduce my taste buds to melons with a smoothie using a modest, green melon with a gorgeous, fragrant scent.

Market Melon Smoothie with Banana & Cinnamon

Surprisingly, the minor dash of cinnamon truly enhances the spicy melon flavor that lovingly tickles the back of your throat.

Serves 2.

1 c ripe green melon (I used local Green Nutmeg Melon)
1/2 banana
1/2 c fine grapefruit juice (I used Simply Grapefruit)
1/2 c skim milk
1 c ice
dash of cinnamon & turbinado sugar

Combine all ingredients and process in a blender or food processor until smooth and frothy. Serve cold with a melon chunk. On a recent warm afternoon, I quickly blitzed these in my cherry-red blender and sipped the entire glass over the kitchen sink-- reminded me of Mom.

After my energizing afternoon sips, I went into carb-overload with an extended patio session at Mellow Mushroom. Although the place has become a bit gimmicky for my taste with "too corporate" menus and excessive kitchen times, the homemade dough truly shines.

My beau and I sat on the misty patio (sans those pesky flies) and gulped icy Fireman's #4 with an array of hand-twisted pretzels:

garlic salted with mustard,
parmesan dusted with marinara
& cinnamon-flecked with luscious honey.

After an integral deliberation, the sweet confection reigned king for my taste buds. Go figure. After shared bites of piping hot pie with wicked pesto-draped chicken, sharp fresh garlic and delicate mozzarella, we were quickly calmed to carb zombies.

Everyone has done it.

You know, had one of those self-fulfilling prophecies when you make a homemade treat, take your first bite and think,

"Damn, I'm good."

This pasta dish triggered one of those moments for me. If you have time to boil water, you have time to make this dish-- sure to be a hit!

Farfalle with Organic Chicken Sausage, Brown Sugar, Okra & Crumbled Feta

Don't get me wrong-- I love me some fried okra.

I wanted to take a different approach with this recipe and truly showcase the starchy vegetable in a comforting environment with flavorful, seared sausage (lightened up with chicken), fresh garlic oil and a luxurious hit of brown sugar.

Serves 4.

2.5 c whole wheat farfalle (bowtie) pasta, cooked to al dente
4 organic chicken sausages, fully cooked
2.5 c fresh okra, sliced vertically
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil

1 T fresh garlic, minced
1/4 t red pepper flakes
3 T brown sugar
splash of dark beer (optional)
1/4 c crumbled feta
salt and pepper to taste

In a large sauté pan, brown chicken sausages with a bit of olive oil over medium heat until evenly seared. Set aside to drain on paper towels and slice on the bias.

Add garlic, okra and extra virgin olive oil to same hot pan. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Sauto combine then add splash of beer to deglaze brown bits of sausage left on bottom of pan.

Finally, add brown sugar, pasta and sliced sausage. Toss to evenly coat with sauce and readjust seasonings with salt and fresh-cracked pepper. Fold in feta. Serve hot.
There is nothing sexier to me than cutting into an over-easy poached egg.

When seeking my favorite just-broken yolk indulgence,
Tillman's Roadhouse sealed the deal with their Fried Farm Fresh Egg Sandwich (scandalous enough to make a priest blush).
I guiltily savored two sexy eggs
laid between a homemade Kaiser bun,
house-smoked bacon,
white cheddar,
peppery arugula
& sofrito mayonnaise with glee.

Take one bite with a Bloody Mary and let your eyes roll back...


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