Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Midweek eats: Food trucks and Killer Tomatoes

(Picture from http://www.roadfood.com/)
Food trucks have been popping up all over the place since Food Networks “Great Food Truck Race with Tyler Florence”. Granted Food Trucks have been roaming the streets of many metropolitans way before this…think about it, who travels to a city like New York without indulging in some street food. Some of my ‘must eats’ when I travel to NYC is the good old food cart hot dog, a yummy gyro and I can’t forget a little paper baggie of roasted almonds. 

*insert longing sigh here*

This craze is finally spreading around our very own city of Atlanta. Believe it or not the first mobile food truck permit was granted a little less than a year ago to one of Atlanta's first food trucks Yumbii, a popular truck that boasts an interesting Asian-Mexican fusion cuisine.

(Picture from  Virginia Highland Food Truck Wednesdays)
Here’s the typical rundown for where you can find mobile yumminess throughout the week…

Tuesday:
Howell Mill Food Park (Howell Mill Rd & Collier)
6:00pm-9:00pm

Wednesday:
Lunch at Stove Works in Inman Park (112 Krog St.Atlanta, GA 30307)
11:00am-2:00pm

(Photo from Historic Inman Park Blog)

Food Truck Wednesday (841 N. Highland Avenue)
6:00pm-10:00pm

Thursday:
Street Food Thursday (Woodruff Arts Center & 10th + Peachtree)
11:00am-2:00pm

Buckhead Theater (3110 Roswell Road)
6:00pm-10:00pm

Friday:
11:00am-2:00pm
(Picture from Food Truck Friday Facebook Page)
You never know which trucks will show up at a particular location, most of the vendors are on Facebook or Twitter and they list where they are for the day. Check out the list below (each has a clickable link for more information) or checkout Roaming Hunger for updates, they even have a free iphone app! (all very sad Blackberry users please pray for equality with me.)


I am going to make it my mission to get out and try some of these convenient snacks...updates and pictures to come soon!

Another delicious event coming our way is JCT’s Kitchen 3rd annual Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival on Sunday, July 17 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.



July marks the beginning of tomato season and what better way to kick it off then with a bunch of amazing local Chefs teaming up with local farmers and their pick of the crop?

There will be a array of tomato inspired dishes and cocktails prepared by over 40 different Chef’s and Mixologist from a long list of top Atlanta restaurants.

You can purchase tickets here--- $55 for Georgia Organics members or $60 for the general public. Tickets will go up to $70 per person after July 1, so make sure you get your tickets before Friday!

There is always something yummy going 'down' in our fair city... get out there and enjoy!


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Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday Funday!

Monday Funday is a real thing in my house. My better half and I are both off work and we look forward to Monday all week. Monday is synonymous with sleeping in, quality time and sitting on someone’s patio eating yummy food.
Last Monday we enjoyed Parker’s on Ponce thanks to their %50 off coupon on Scout Mob. I’m a Yelping/Urban Spoon/Gayot junkie… I check out all the reviews before I visit anywhere, and well, the reviews for Parker’s left something to be desired. We decided to try it out anyway and boy am I glad we did. It was delicious! And a great experience... go figure!
The server was pleasant and very accommodating, he even laughed at one of my dumb jokes. :-)
I stared with the Heirloom Tomato Special Appetizer of the day, with Argula, an Homemade Apple Jam and both Mozerella and Feta cheese. So Yummy.

 My girlfriend had the Caesar salad… which wasn’t that impressive presentation wise, but the cornbread croutons were delish!

For the main course, I had the Flat Iron Steak over Pancetta Mac and Cheese, Zucchini fries and Marinated Tomatoes. The steak was perfect…. So good, I ate every bite.

My sweetheart had the Scallops with the Grit Cake, Chipotle Onion Jam, Charred Tomato Remoulade and Polenta fries, which was super delicious

All in all, everything was a perfect addition to our Monday Funday.
If you haven’t used your Scottmob discount yet… go, asap.
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Friday, June 24, 2011

What’s for Dinner?? Personal Chef edition...

Two of my favorite clients, a vegetarian couple from East Point, got a little hungry this week, here is the menu I created for them...

Crab Cakes with Cajun Aioli and Cabbage Salad
Warm Tomato Saffron Vinaigrette over Salmon and Spinach
Spicy Shrimp and Scallops with Black Bean Mango Salsa and Cilantro Rice
Shrimp Risotto


Crab Cakes

Cabbage Salad

Cajun Aioli

Crab Cake dinner for 2

Salmon

Warm Tomato Saffron Vinaigrette

Salmon dinner for 2

Shrimp Risotto
Spicy Shrimp and Scallops, Black Bean Mango Salsa and Cilantro Rice


All 4 dinners packed and ready for delivery

Email us at citrus.catering@gmail.com for your very own personalized dinner created by Chef Michelle. Try something new…. We promise it will be delicious! :-)



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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Midweek eats: The ‘no time to cook’ edition

As much as I love to spend hours experimenting in the kitchen, sometimes life happens and I just don’t have the time. I know so many of us face this dilemma, between work, school, kids, spouses, the gym (ha!) and every other miscellaneous thing that enters our stratosphere, so I thought I would share one of my go-to meals that I like to make on those nights I get home way too late and my tummy is growling.

Here is what I whipped up last night in about 20 minutes…

Spicy shrimp in a white wine butter sauce over Jasmine rice and a mixed green salad.
 
First I should mention that I always keep frozen shrimp on hand. It thaws out quickly and it’s super versatile. I typically get the Jumbo or Large; Frozen-Raw-deveined (either tail-on or off which ever is available), that way all you have to do is pull out what you need and defrost under cold running water and not have to worry shelling or deveining—a big time saver… and it’s totally budget friendly, only about $8 for a 1lb bag at Walmart.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the meal:

Spicy Shrimp in a white wine butter sauce over Jasmine rice:  Go ahead and put your rice on while you wait for your shrimp to defrost- I personally love my rice cooker, but the stove top works just as well. Season your shrimp to taste- salt, pepper, cayenne, a touch of red pepper flakes for an extra kick… and whatever other spice tickles your taste buds.  Add a couple of tablespoons of unsalted butter to a hot pan and then add a couple cloves of minced garlic (the more the merrier). Once the garlic is fragrant, drop your shrimp in and let cook for a few minutes. Add about a ½ cup of white wine (I used some Pinot Grigio that I already had open in the fridge—don’t forget to pour a glass for the cook!) and a splash of stock (I used chicken stock since it was already open, but veggie stock or seafood stock works too—use what you have on hand). Let the shrimp finish cooking and let the sauce cook down just a tad (about 5-6 minutes depending on the size of your shrimp). Once the shrimp is done add 1 more tablespoon of unsalted butter and some fresh chopped parsley (if you have it on hand). Remember to taste—adjust seasonings as needed. Serve the Shrimp and white wine butter sauce over the rice.

Mixed Green Salad- Use what you have on hand! Some kind of greens, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, bell pepper, maybe some cheese—raid your fridge! Make a simple homemade vinaigrette to go with it—just add 2 parts oil to 1 part vinegar (I like Gourmet Salad Vinegar by Heinz) and whatever spices and herbs you enjoy—garlic, parsley, dill, salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder—shake it up and enjoy over your salad.

Life gets busy sometimes, but you gotta eat… so make it something yummy!

Bon Appetite!

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Funday!

Welcome to Monday! :-)
Hope you all had a fantaboulous  weekend.  Monday tends to bring with it a little bit of dread... but it doesn’t have to!  Not when you have awesome deals on delicious eats to look forward to all day!
Check it out...
Coast- $24.95 1 lb Lobster, Choice of Soup or Salad and a Dessert.
Shout- $10 All-you-can-eat Tapas from 5:00pm-10:00pm
Eclipse Di Luna- $15 All-you-can-eat Tapas from 5:00pm-7:00pm  
Daiquiri Factory- $24.95 All-you-can-eat Crab Legs
Theses specials run all week long…

Agave- 2 for 1 appetizers from 5:00pm-7:00pm

Tin Lizzy’s Cantina- $4 Margaritas from 11:30am-12:00am

Shout- All-you-can-eat Sushi Lunch from 11:30am-2:30pm for $10
Thanks to Scoutmob you can get %50 off your bill at  these two restaurants as well:
La Fourchette (1 per table/ $25 Max– Code: 1083 expires 12.17.2011)

Parker's on Ponce (1 per table/$20 Max– Code: d671 expires 09.19.2011)

Everyone is on a budget these days so discounts come into use and it is a great way to ‘eat’ your way around the city… however, if you are in the cooking mood you have to try this yummy dish that I adapted from Food and Wine magazine (click here for the vinaigrette recipe)...


Salmon, Spinach and Jasmine Rice topped with warm Tomato-Saffron Vinaigrette

I added some beautiful yellow tomatoes and I used Salmon instead Sea Bass and it was delicious! You should definitely give it a try!
Enjoy!
Have a rockin’ Monday :-)


Remember we are offering 10% off our Personal Chef Services to anyone that follows this blog, shoot us an email to setup your menu.   What’s better than a home cook meal delivered to you? Nada.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

What’s for Dinner??

Feta stuffed Turkey Burgers with ‘Garlic-y’ Green Beans... that is "What's for Dinner"!

Yum!

Here’s a quick breakdown:

Turkey Burgers: In a bowl mix ground turkey meat, diced onions, minced garlic, and plain crumbled feta cheese (the more the merrier cheesier). Season the mixture—this is when your own creativity comes into play. Some seasonings I like to use are; Michelle’s Essence (of course) perhaps a touch of red pepper flakes for a little heat and don’t forget salt and pepper. Form the mixture into good sized burgers. Cook burgers in a sauté pan with a splash of vegetable oil over medium heat until they have a nice sear and are cooked all the way through, about 15-20 minutes depending on the size of your burgers.

*Insider Tip* don’t you dare clean that pan after your burgers are done! Use that delicious burger residue to toast your buns. Just place them face down in the left over fat until your buns are nice golden and tasty.



‘Garlic-y’ Green Beans: (I’m seeing a trend here with the ‘garlic-y’ veggies, clearly we love garlic!) Blanch your fresh green beans for 1-2 minutes, drain, and then put directly on ice. Once the cooking has stopped add a splash of olive oil to the pot with a hefty amount of minced garlic. Add your green beans and toss for a couple minutes until they are well coated with that garlic-y goodness. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Finally grab your toasted bun and build your burger with sliced tomatoes, a few spinach leafs and ketchup and mustard (and whatever else your heart desires). Add some of those yummy Garlic-y Green Beans to your plate and you’ve got dinner!


Feta stuffed Turkey Burgers with ‘Garlic-y’ Green Beans.

Bon appetite!


Let us know if we can make this meal (or any other meal for that matter) for you sometime soon!

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mid-week eats...

I mentioned in a previous post how much I loved Loca Luna… so I couldn't help but highlight it for mid-week eats!

Last Tuesday my better half and I enjoyed all you can eat Tapas for $15. I can’t say enough how delicious it was.

Here are some of the goodies we tasted…

Crispy Calamari
Papaya Salad (in front) and Grilled Chicken Skewers and Plantains (in rear)



Flank Steak with Chimichurri














Mac and cheese















The food was just as yummy as it looks. I was a little disappointed in the Calamari because it was a tad bit on the salty side, but everything else was excellent. The Papaya salad was a refreshing suprise with the cilantro and toasted nut garish. The mac and cheese was suprisingly delish, very creamy and cheesy with a nice cruchy cheesy top layer, and of course the Flank steak is my faviorte, it's tender and seasoned perfectly and the Chimichurri is cilartro-y heaven in your month!

You can't beat this spread for $15 bucks! They have live music and strong drinks so it is a great date night spot too. :-)

I'd give it 4 out of 5...Check it out soon!

Loca Luna on Urbanspoon



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Friday, June 10, 2011

Simple Food…

Here’s what we had for dinner the other night…


Grilled ribeye steak, ‘garlicky broccolini and mixed green salad with  ‘sexy-homemade-salad dressing’ (as my better half likes to call it)

Dinner time can often times cause some stress. You’ve been at work all day, you’re hot, tired, hungry and the last thing you want to do is stand in front of your open refrigerator and find something halfway edible to put in your tummy. We sometimes like to make things... especially dinner, more complicated than they have to be. Fresh ingredients, 30 minutes and a sizzling hot cast-iron grill pan was all I needed for this tasty meal. Good food really doesn’t have to be complicated. 


Here’s a quick breakdown:

For the steak- Thin cut ribeye seasoned with ‘Michelle’s Essence’ (a mix of paprika, garlic powder, white pepper, kosher salt, dried parsley and a few other sprinkles of goodness. No long marinating process here just some yummy spices to kick up the flavor.) Sear in a piping hot cast iron grill pan (or whatever type of pan you have available) for about a minute or 2 on both sides and take it off the heat, because the steaks are so thin they cook almost instantly to a perfect medium-rare.  Leave the steaks on for just an extra minute or so if you like your steak more well-done. Remember to let them rest for a minute before you cut… you don’t want to loose all that good flavor.

For the ‘garlicky broccolini’- Blanch (drop your broccolini spears into boiling water for 1-2 minutes then remove immediately and plunge into an ice bath to stop the cooking) then toss in a hot pan with butter, garlic, salt and pepper.


 For the salad- Mixed greens, grape tomatoes, English cucumber, red onions, raw broccoli and cauliflower, and shaved parmesan cheese. Season with a little salt, white pepper and dill and toss with sexy-homemade dressing (which is a top-secret oil and vinager based recipe, I need to bottle it and sell it!)



 
Simple, fresh, yummy… food.







 Let us know if we can make this meal for you sometime soon!


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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fellow foodies, check this out...


Creative Loafing: 100 Dishes to eat in Atlanta before you die.
This was posted a few weeks ago in Creative Loafing and I just stumbled across it. I thought it was worth mentioning. The list includes lots of diverse dishes from restaurants all around the Atlanta area,  everything from Waffle House to Bacchanalia. Sounds like a fun project…. “Operation: Eat all 100 dishes in 100 days” (without becoming fat… or penniless. Ok, maybe we should leave that project to someone else?)

Find a user friendly check list here… print it out and get started!

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Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday Funday!!

Summer isn’t officially here yet… but the fun has already begun! Something about the sweltering heat and bright sun makes us want to go out, lounge around on a patio (or in a cool air-conditioned dining room) with a yummy cocktail and let someone else do the cooking. What better way to do that than with 50% off?!
Concentrics restaurant group is offering 50% off all summer long starting today!
Yep… that’s all those pricy restaurants that we love, but we don’t go to nearly as much as we’d like because the $100 plus tabs are painful for our pockets…One Midtown Kitchen, Two Urban Licks, TAP, Parish , Murphy’s , Lobby Bar and Bistro, and Room at Twelve.
Of course there are a few restrictions… $25 max discount at all restaurants except Murphy’s which has a $20 max, and only one discount per table per visit.
I’m not loving the restrictions, but it’s definitely necessary, otherwise it could get a little out of control.  :-/
So go and enjoy a date night and save some money!
Here’s another little tidbit…. Checkout Find me specials, it's a great website that lists all the specials that are going on in the city (and OTP) each day.
The great deal for tonight is all you can eat Tapas at Noche for $10. The menu changes daily and there are always a varity of delicious Spanish inspired dishes to enjoy.
And one of my absolute favorite restaurants in Atlanta, Loca Luna, has their $15 all you can eat Tapas every Tuesday.  I have to honestly say, the food is better than Noche… the flank steak with chimichurri and plantains are amazing! So many enticing flavors! Give it a try if you haven’t been.

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