Bahn Mi

Don’t ever go to the K-Roger when you’re hungry and they have a sale on pork.

Or, do.

This was delicious. I’ve had about what seems like 16 different meals from that little pork chop incident at the store. But, this was, by far, the best.

Ingredients

2 (6-8oz) pork chops, thinly sliced

2 demi baguettes or bolillos, horizontally halved

1 TBS fish sauce

1 tsp Truvia (use sugar if you roll like that)

1 TBS Sambal (sub Sriracha if it floats your boat)

3 large garlic cloves, peeled

2 green scallions, roughly chopped (are there other colored scallions? why do we say green?)

1 TBS cilantro, chopped + a few springs to top your Bahn Mi

1 TBS canola or coconut oil

1 TBS butter

Salt/pepper to taste

2 TBS hoisin sauce

Instructions

Place the fish sauce, Truvia, sambal, garlic cloves, green scallions (not the orange ones), cilantro, and oil into a mini food processor and zap until the ingredients create a loose paste/marinade. Set aside.

Place the thinly sliced pork into a gallon-sized resealable plastic bag, season pork with salt and pepper. Add the marinade into the bag over the pork. Remove air from bag by carefully rolling up the bag a bit and then sealing the bag. Once the bag is tightly sealed, massage the bag with your hands or roll around on the counter until the pork is completely covered with the marinade. Set aside.

Heat a skillet to medium-hi temperature. Butter the interior four sides of the halved demi baguette and place the baguettes open-side-down onto a skillet to toast. If you don’t butter your bread, why are you in the kitchen? Get out. You don’t deserve this Bahn Mi.

Once the buttered baguette is toasted, remove from skillet and set aside.

Open bag of marinating pork and add to skillet to cook. Increase heat to sear pork on all sides, stirring infrequently to ensure browning occurs. For best results, use a cast iron skillet.

While the pork is browning, you can use this time to make a quick pickle of cucumber and carrot for the Bahn Mi topping. Super easy. Ready?

Slice matchsticks of one carrot and one cucumber. Add to a bowl, add 1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar, 2 tsp of Truvia, and season with salt and pepper. If you want, throw in a little cilantro. If you’re daring, throw in a few slivers of jalapeño. You’re welcome.

Back to the Bahn Mi. Once the pork is cooked through, remove from heat and set aside. Grab your BUTTERED and toasted baguettes, and smear some hoisin sauce on each side. Add a healthy amount of pork to the sandwich, top with your sweet and spicy pickled veggies, and don’t tell me I never brought anything good into your life.

Billy Can Can and Billy Did Did

The atmosphere is exactly what you’d expect at a “saloon extraordinaire.” Loud. Fun. Walls brimming with rifles. A community table with an ax in it. And a beautifully crafted bar where plenty of Dallas social climbers were firmly planted. Plus, there were plenty of fancy drinks among the expected whiskey options at Billy Can Can in downtown Dallas.

But, we weren’t there for anything but the food. And, they delivered.

Stellar service and sous chef Carolyn Treadwell locked down an rootin’ tootin’ good time, I tell you what.

– Roasted Snapper and Gumbo


– NY Strip Streak

– Lamb Duo


– Duck Pappardelle


– Scallops and Grits

Let’s not forget the apps …

The venison tartare alone is enough to get your ass down there. Seriously. Now, stop staring and go make a reservation.

They serve dinner Sunday – Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m. and Friday – Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m.

~~~

Call 214-296-2610 or write to reservations@billycancan.com

2386 Victory Park Lane

Dallas, Texas 75219

Spatchcocked Rosemary Lemon Chicken

One of The Hub’s favorite meals is roasted chicken with crispy skin. So, for his birthday recently, I whipped this super simple recipe up just for him, and he loved it! I know you will, too!

Spatchcocked rosemary lemon chicken with garlic herbed roasted potatoes.

– 6lb whole chicken
– 1 small bag red potatoes
– 1 bunch parsley
– 5 sprigs fresh rosemary
– 3 large cloves of garlic
– 2 TBS olive oil
– 5 TBS softened butter
– 1 large lemon zested/juiced
– salt/pepper

Preheat oven to 375F. Par-boil the potatoes in salted water, drain and set aside. Chop parsley and divide into two medium-sized bowls. Chop rosemary and add into only one of the bowls. Chop garlic cloves and add 3/4 to the parsley bowl and 1/4 of the garlic to the mixed herb bowl.

Add one (1) TBS of olive oil and two (2) TBS of butter to parsley and garlic bowl. Toss par-boiled potatoes into the parsley and garlic bowl. Season with salt/pepper. Set aside.

Add lemon zest and juice to the mixed herb bowl. Add remaining butter to mixed herb bowl and combine well. Season with salt/pepper. Set aside.

Spatchcock chicken. Spread mixed herb butter mixture under chicken skin and over all sides of the bird. Season with salt/pepper.

Lightly oil large heated skillet. Sear chicken skin side down in large skillet for 5-7 minutes. Carefully turn over chicken and sear on the underside for 5 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Add herbed potatoes and all mixture into the heated skillet and toss potatoes. Using a masher, lightly press potatoes to break open but not mash.

Add chicken skin side up over the potatoes and roast at 375F for 90 minutes or until thickest part of the breast is 165F. Remove chicken from skillet, set aside and lightly cover with foil to rest. Return potatoes to oven and broil until golden brown and lightly crisp.

Independence Day Salad

Super easy summer salad for a sunny day!

Freedom from complicated recipes and hours in the kitchen is what this super simple summer salad serves up! (alliteration, anyone?)

This is one of the best salads to make using my absolute favorite Greek salad dressing, John the Greek Original Salad Dressing. I first saw it at a Texas specialty grocer, Central Market — a brand close to my heart since I used to work for them years ago. And, I fell in love!

I don’t know what John put in that dressing, but it’s zippy and makes my tastebuds happy. Plus, it’s sugar free — another plus in my book. Here’s the quick and easy recipe to enjoy on any summer day.

12 Petit Cucumbers, 1/4 inch sliced
2 Roma Tomatoes, cubed
1/4 Red Onion, thinly sliced
1 TBS Fresh Dill, chopped
3/4 Btl John the Greek Original Salad Dressing

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate in a covered bowl for at least one hour. Serve as a side salad or over grilled meats and veggies.

Beto and Son at Trinity Groves

Pre-Happy New Year! It’s the end of 2017, and before we hop on a plane to begin our foodie adventures in Europe (follow me on Instagram for frequent moments of food envy), I wanted to share my last DFW restaurant meal of 2017 — Beto and Son at Trinity Groves — you’ll want to check this out. Continue reading “Beto and Son at Trinity Groves”

Meso Maya

So, I’m late to the game — Meso Maya has been around for a while now. I’ve driven past and even called to ask a few questions about the menu. And, honestly, based on its early reviews and the lackluster love received over the years, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to try it. That was until it inched its way across the loop and into my neck of the woods. Meso Maya had planted its huarache where I could no longer ignore the smells of handmade corn tortillas and mesquite grilled meats. Continue reading “Meso Maya”

Classic Roasted Tomato Salsa

Last week, Chef Rick Bayless posted a challenge to create a personalized version of Classic Roasted Tomato Salsa and a dish you’d use it in. I’ve always been a sucker for a good salsa. And, when he announced this salsa contest, I armed myself with fire and tongs. Continue reading “Classic Roasted Tomato Salsa”

To Tamale or Not To Tamale… That is the Question

Once a year I get this harebrained idea (which I believe stems from my upbringing) that urges me to spend two 19-hour days back to back, standing in a hot kitchen, working with argumentative ingredients that ultimately result in a severe backache and the euphoria that comes from eating a homemade tamale with a hot cup of coffee. Continue reading “To Tamale or Not To Tamale… That is the Question”

Verify THIS!

UPDATE: Verify Road Trip will air the week of September 12, 2016 on all Texas stations listed in the video below!

If you’ve been anywhere even remotely close to my Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages lately, you noticed I’ve been on a two-day breakfast taco adventure by way of WFAA’s David Schechter and his new show, Verify: Road Trip. I can’t shut up about it and for good reason! This experience was thuh-SHIZnit! It was the bomb diggity damn, and I absolutely loved every second of it!!

Wanted to offer up a little recap of our adventures and also give a HUGE shout out to David Schechter, Alex Krueger, Chance Horner, and Cameron Gott – the elite – the ultimate newscrew/superhero photojournaling/wicked Cirque du Solei balancing/mutli-task wizarding/kung-fu masters of bad-assery team who invited me into their inner circle for two days.

These guys were non-stop, and this was IN ADDITION to other things they were juggling from the home office in DFW while we were on the road. PLUS, they were super cool, funny, and they not only let me ask a million questions, but they offered up some killer advice within their responses. I was taking a friggin’ master class for two days with these guys – a la Oprah, yo. Just amazing.

We have NO IDEA how much work goes into news reporting, folks. No idea. It’s long hours, hard work, integrity-driven commitment to responsible research, and the ability to go with the flow. Be prepared for anything was the motto.

I got a taste of it for two days, and it was so flippin’ awesome but so flippin’ hard. These guys are quick on their feet, so intelligent and witty, constantly churning out ideas and working on the fly – their writing is just off the hook, and their camera work is crazy awesome. The two days were incredibly exhausting, and I just sat in the A/C most of the time while they were scouting locations and carrying equipment around in 90+ degree weather.

I have nuthin’ but love for these guys. Just killer. Nuthin’ but love.

So, here’s a sneak peek at what we did for two days, but if you want to know who reigns supreme as the breakfast taco capital of Texas, you’ll just have to watch any of the Texas stations listed in the video at 10pm during the last week of August!

Livin’ La Vida Taco

My head’s about to explode.

Four days ago, I was scrolling down Facebook and noticed a video in my feed with the title, “Are you a foodie?”

Naturally, I hit pause on the cat video and clicked on the foodie link. It was ABC affiliate WFAA’s David Schechter and a producer, Alex Krueger, asking for one foodie viewer to join them on a road trip to help determine the true breakfast taco capital of Texas.

If ever there were a task I was thoroughly qualified to exceed at, this was it.

To be chosen, you had to fill out a three-question survey and submit a video talking about why you should be the one taking up that last seat in the mini-van.

Here’s how it went down…

YOU HAVE ONLY ONE HOUR TO SAVE THE WORLD FROM A ZOMBIE ATTACK, WHAT DO YOU DO?
I would fry bacon, eat the bacon, and use the hot, rendered fat as a weapon against the zombies, in the hopes that I wouldn’t run into any vegan zombies where pork fat as a weapon would clearly be futile. I would leverage social media and the news outlets to spread the word and help others defend the world using the same method. This way, no matter what happened, people would either die happy or at least not waste pork fat before dying.

WHAT WAS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MEAL? 
In Madrid, Spain, we were fortunate enough to eat at the oldest restaurant in the world, Restaurante Botín. It opened its doors in 1725, and there’s a reason it’s still open and even made its way into Hemingway’s novels. The crisp skin of the roasted suckling pig (cochinillo asado), the fascinating subtleties of the blood sausage (morcilla), the deeply rich and creamy chicken/ham croquettes (croquetas), and the noble cured ham (jamón ibérico) were like food of the gods. Sitting in those tiny chairs, pressed up next to our neighboring tables, listening to Madrileños whip their way through conversations, purposely closing my eyes with every succulent bite, imagining that very room where thousands of patrons had enjoyed a very similar experience… it was something I will never forget.

WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AND WHY?
Wow. Where do I start? So many colorful spices have been simmering a long time in the magical sauce that’s my life! Caroline McNinch, my smoking, 400 pound, denture-wearing, narcoleptic babysitter, introduced me to the poetry of James Whitcomb Riley when I was just four years old and spent hours teaching me the magic of spoken poetry, all while making the most amazing potato bread that she would promptly toast with a pat of butter straight from the oven. Once seated at the red, retro four-top in the middle of her tiny kitchen, we would swap turns coating the still-warm pillowy delight with sweet, homemade blackberry jam. She taught me how to enjoy life and find joy and humor in all things. My Grandma Ollie still inspires me today at age 97. She’s a pistol and loves to party. Frying bacon in a cast iron skillet on a brisk and fog-laden early morning at the ranch, my Grandma would have five-year old me watch from a stool as she prepared my Grandpa’s breakfast. She taught me love comes in many forms and can be leveraged as a seasoning. And, quickly after breakfast was done, she and my Grandpa would head out to work the ranch, teaching me hard-work and discipline combined with laughter, song, and love. My Grandpa was a World War II veteran and instilled a respect for our country and a passion for education in each of us. He introduced me to PBS, long before cable came to our town, and there I met Julia, Jacques, Rick, Paul, Lidia, Jeff, Martin, Ming, Charlie, Joanne, Sarah, Daisy, and many, many more amazing chefs, all focused on teaching me magnificent skills! I was hooked.

I was incredibly fortunate to have such powerful role models lay the groundwork for me at such an early age. While I could say I’ve been inspired by many a talented and remarkable chef, leader, and mentor, by far, the most inspirational were the ones who nurtured the sparks they could see when creativity met food met love met me.

VIDEO SUBMISSION:

And, guess what???Taco RD Trip OMGSDFWFOOD

We’re going on a road trip, baby!

Don’t worry – I won’t embarrass the family… or maybe I will… nowadays that makes for good television.

Lemme ‘Splain

So, this is awkward.

Okay, I know! It’s been forever! And, I won’t make any excuses because I cooked plenty of times; I ate plenty of times, took plenty of pics, and I neglected to tell you any of it since September 2015. So, here’s a quick catch up… since last we spoke:

So, this is awkward.

Okay, I know! It’s been forever! And, I won’t make any excuses because I cooked plenty of times; I ate plenty of times, took plenty of pics, and I neglected to tell you any of it since September 2015. So, here’s a quick catch up… since last we spoke:

Chicken Pesto Bake

I made a killer Pesto Chicken Bake in my handy-dandy toaster oven, using the last four sticks of mozzarella left in the fridge, a few remaining Roma Tomatoes, three skinless chicken breasts I reluctantly purchased in an effort to “be better,” and tons of garlic and basil that were in their last days of glory. I felt like I was on “Chopped” but instead of a basket, it was a molcajete full of garlic cloves next to items on my counter.

Emporium Pies in McKinney

I discovered Emporium Pies in McKinney, TX, and if I remember correctly, this one was a banana cream/caramel concoction – I really can’t remember for sure. It’s all a blur. I just remember taking this picture and waking from a sugar/happiness pie-eating induced coma on the couch – smiling and with a little bit of pie crust stuck to some whipped cream on my cheek.

Pan Braised Chicken Thigh with Herbed Potatoes

I hung out with my Grandma Ollie and made her some rustic braised chicken thighs with pan-roasted herbed potatoes. Easiest, no-frills deliciousness ever! She loved it. Basic but bomb-tastic and totally what I would also serve to Jon Snow if he ever came over to visit – and if wanted to bring over Melisandre as a thank you for the whole “bring me back from the dead” thing, that would be cool, too. Bear would love to chat her up, and maybe she could even whip up some magical dessert???

Charred Potato

At some point I went on a rustic/fire-roasted kick. We went camping in the mountains, and I pulled a Chef Mallmann move. I threw

Fire Roasted Meal in the Woodspotatoes into the burning embers of our campfire, and it was amazing. We ate “fire food” for days in the woods… right outside of our air-conditioned cabin that included cable TV. It was awesome.

Menudo and Horchata at Tipicos

Upon returning from the wilderness, I needed a taste of home, and so I indulged (using the term loosely here – I eat it all the time) in one of my favorite weekend comfort foods, menudo. Tipico’s in Dallas or off Beltline in Carrollton, TX has the BEST! And, what makes menudo taste even better??? Horchataaaaaaa! Just say it with me… “Horchataaaaaa!” Doesn’t it make you happy just saying it??? Horchataaaaaaa!

Pomegranite

I pretended I was mining for rubies and that I hit the motherload. So, I took a picture and then decided to eat the pomegranate because who was I kidding? I was hungry. There were no rubies. This pomegranate was the object of my desire, and I delighted it in, okay??? It was delicious.

Almond Milk Pancakes

I decided I should really start paying attention to my food allergies and that I should try not to drink milk straight-up anymore. So, I began a love/hate relationship with almond milk. I searched for “how not to hate using almond milk for pancakes,” and this recipe popped up. It was UH-mazing! I love these pancakes and have added all sorts of twists and turns to these bad boys. I make banana nut, blueberry, lemony, and bacon-filled pancakes using that recipe as a base, and it’s fantastic! Go almond milk! And, yes, I use Silk, but they didn’t pay me for that. Silk! Are you listening??!!!??

Attempted Pan de QuejoI made all sorts of stuff and played various versions of refrigerator “Chopped” like “I’m hangry and want something sweet – what goes with frozen almond slivers and a slightly browning apple?” I have to say, I’m pretty good at this game.

I had some huge wins in the kitchen, and I had some serious failures, like when I decided to try almond milk when making Brazilian Pan de Queijo instead of real milk – yeah, no bueno. Or, “no boa” as it were.

Christmas Cats

 

I got in touch with my inner cat-lady.

Met a Pretty Cool Husky

 

 

 

 

 

 

I made new friends with random animals waiting for their people on cool evenings, a.k.a. prepared to dial the cops if the dude with the dog in the car didn’t return very quickly, even though it was 60 degrees outside. He did, and the dog was definitely very happy and healthy.

Mariachi Pants

 

I wondered about the various types of fabrics that could have possibly been used to hold this mariachi in place while he beautifully belted out such high notes.

And, I visited several new spots in DFW, as well as Phoenix, Chicago, Kansas, Atlanta, Oklahoma, and a few other places during my business travels. And, many of those visits will find their way here!

So, there you have it! We’re all caught up!

Thanks for being patient – thanks for following my adventures via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram , and thanks for checking in.

Consider this my official re-entry into the stratosphere. We’ll chat soon… I promise! Horchataaaaaa!!!!

 

Get Mash’d, Hold the Spuds

I’m alive! It’s been too long; I know. So, here’s what gives: I have zero excuses, and I simply ate/cooked a great deal, took pictures, took videos, posted to social media and totally ignored you. I’m an honest engine – what can I say? It’s the truth. I’m also good at dusting off, moving forward and trusting you can do the same; so, let’s virtually shake hands, make up and get Mash’d!

Mash'd - DFW - Food - Moonshine - Life

Four words: Fried Chicken and Ribs.

I’ve known about this place for a while and thought it was about time I went in to see what all the hub-bub was about.

Mash’d features American fare with a twist, infusing a library of house-made moonshines into a variety of unique offerings across the menu. Their bar and beverage menu is killer. Every drink we ordered stealthily delivered a mighty wallop with every smooth and graceful tasty sip. They incorporate infused moonshine into just about everything, and it works. Watermelon-infused moonshine, blueberry-infused moonshine, vanilla bean house-infused moonshine – good Lord, these people have caramel moonshine for those special occasions where you need a little more sugar with your alcohol! It’s brilliant!Guacamole - DFW - Food - Mash'd

Their moonshine magic also works its way into their mussels and bbq sauce. Mmmmm, bbq sauce. Their Bootleg Ribs are no less than spectacular. I’ve eaten a lot of ribs. These moonshining masters know what they’re doing with these babies. They’re fall-off, lip-smacking, finger-kissing, hum-while-you’re-chewing spectacular. And, it’s not like bbq-place ribs. Totally different animal. (well, not different animal but you know what I mean) These are more like “slow-roasted, basted in moonshine bbq and finished on the grill individually” sort of amazing. The flavors are sweet and spicy, tangy and salty, smoky and rich but not smokehouse sort of ribs. And, they’re served with a fresh and crisp coleslaw and “MASH’D tators” that need a little MASH’D makeover.

Those potatoes were the ONLY thing on the menu we tasted that were sub-par in comparison to the bar the other dishes had set. The appeal was that they were named as if they were some sort of special treat, and when they reached the table, they were just plain ol’ slightly garlic and cheese enhanced potatoes plopped on by a scoop that someone at Luby’s may have lost. They were just out of place, man. Totally out of place with everything else they had going on. So, if you get any dishes with the spuds, sans the Shepherd’s Pie, sub them out with coleslaw. Believe me, you’ll be happier for it and not feel like you just saw your childhood hero pick up a $20 bill someone else dropped and put it in his own pocket. Those tators were just wrong for the brand this place has clearly workedShepherd's Pie - Mash'd - DFW hard to build. All it would take is a little lemon zest – just sayin’.

But, let’s move on because that little side dish incident shouldn’t deter you from enjoying every other damn thing on the menu. And, let me say that the use of the potatoes on the Shepherd’s Pie is fabulous. They slather spiced meat and veggies on a pastry crust and top it all off with Parmesan-loaded mashed potatoes, a huge punch of flavor in a creamy bite.

Another killer dish was The Chicken. They serve up hot, crispy, juicy marinated fried chicken atop a soft bun with fresh, cold coleslaw and pickles. Chick-Fa-Who? Chick-Fa-What? This sandwich is just what the doctor ordered – she may not be AMA certified, but trust me – she wants you to eat this.

Overall, a killer vibe, outstanding service and badass food that will require some serious naptime after consumption.

 

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