Pineapple and arugula aren't really flavors I've ever thought of combining, never mind in a daiquiri. But I was more than convinced otherwise when I tried it at SY Kitchen on my recent day trip to Santa Ynez and now it's my go-to unexpected drink I shake up for company.
To me, Daiquiris have a time and place to be consumed — namely, warm weather in the Carribbean. But, last month while in Santa Ynez, I had a Fall version of a daiquiri with tart pomegranate seeds, Luxardo maraschino liquor, and lots of great rum, and I realized I've been typecasting Daiquiris sooo unfairly.
On a taco-eating trip to Baja California, I became completely obsesed with the tostadas at La Guerrerense. And every tostada was even better when topped with their salsa; it's a toasted garlic and peanut salsa that was hot, smoky, crunchy — pretty much it was instant love. Since then, I reverse engineered that salsa and put it on everything from grilled chicken to seafood and, most recently, these squash tacos.
Santa Ynez has a downtown that looks like it's a freeze frame from an old Western movie, but then has gems like SY Kitchen. We couldn't stop raving about this Fusilli alla Salsiccia so I recreated it here; but, let's be real, you should travel there to taste for yourself!
Jackie Dodd aka The Beeroness knows a thing or two about beer and how to cook with it. In her latest cookbook, The Craft Beer Bites Cookbook, she brings the beer into small bites for everything from tailgating to fancy entertaining. But, without a doubt, one recipe we had to share was this Beer-Battered Shrimp Po'Boy Sliders with IPA Creole Mayo. You're welcome!
Back in the day, onigiri was little more than a ball of rice with a seasoned coating, but a lot of time has passed and onigiri has been improved, filled all sorts of non-perishable ingredients from cooked tuna to Japanese pickled plum -- and now our breakfast version wtih ham and eggs.
On my trip to Zurich, I was focused on finding great rösti (possibly the best potato pancake ever created). At its best it's crispy and buttery and I found a lot of great versions: during breakfast at the Ambassador Hotel, a rustic dinner at Zeughauskeller, and during both of my two meals at Hiltl vegetarian restaurant.
One of my favorite stops while filming Off Menu Chicago was the ramen shop, Yusho. In addition to the insane ramen there were the cocktails on tap that were every form of interesting. This Sparkling Yuzu Lemonade is loosely inspired by their cocktails.
Between the people, food, and culture, San Sebastian is by far one of our favorite places we've ever set foot. Very much Basque but still distinctly Spanish, one of the must dos in this seaside town is a tapas crawl. You'll see foods familiar to tapas in Madrid and Barcelona and other flavors that are 100% Basque. This piquillo pepper is a variation on the tapas bars and we now make it on the regular.
One of the stops on our Off Menu: Los Angeles episode was at Mohawk Bend, where they served us an addictive Buffalo Cauliflower with Blue Cheese Dip. Their version is 100% vegan, but I couldn't help but make a legit blue cheese dressing because I love the real deal.
One of my favorite discoveries from my trip to the Azores was this pineapple cake I found on the menu at A Tasca in Ponta Delgada. Nothing like those 60s era upside-down cakes, this pineapple cake was filled with fresh pineapples, perfectly textured, and totally messy — and I was determined to recreate it when I got back home.
Remember in school when you'd get back from summer and you'd share your favorite memories? I'd always make a collage of my favorite moments of the summer break. Now that I'm older, I do the same thing except that know I capture those memories in food (and cocktail) form. And, if I had to define the summer of 2015 in one sip, it'd be with an Aperol Spritz.