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Taco Udon Pasta Salad

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I really think that udon is the future of pasta salad. Seriously this noodle is so chewy and perfect for cold preparations. I made this pasta salad with leftover taco meat and mixed it with yogurt and ponzu and it made a fantastic side dish for a bbq. You read it here first folks. Udon is the future of pasta salad.





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Grilled Loaded Potato Pizza

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Summertime and the grillin's easy. Especially when it comes to grilled pizzas. I made a great one with a creamy mashed potato sauce recently that was not only fun to make but well received by my friends. Check out my Grilled Loaded Potato Pizza recipe from Tablespoon.

Bacon Wrapped Kabobs

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I recently got together with some friends for a little grill session. We wanted to have kabobs, but needed a fun new twist on them. That's when I had the idea to just wrap everything in bacon! It actually worked way better than I expected. Normally I wouldn't think to use cauliflower on the grill, but since it was wrapped in bacon it was slowly basted by bacon fat the whole time it cooked to make a tender, juicy, and flavorful option. Zucchini is a standby when making kabobs, and the bacon wrap only made it more interesting. And normally you wouldn't really be able to grill fragile meatballs, but because of the bacon wrap the meatball held together great! The only thing that didn't really work out was the bacon wrapped pineapple. The pineapple was too juicy and caused the bacon wrap to not really adhere to the pineapple and fall apart on the grill. We used Jones Dairy Farm Applewood Smoked Bacon which was a perfect choice for the kabobs. It is a nice thickness that cooks fully in the amount of time it takes for the veggies to get tender, and it has so much flavor that it really enhances the veggies.





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Cheesy Mustard Mortadella Ditilini

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I had lots of mortadella leftover from my meat slicer party, and here is just another fun way I used it up. What I enjoyed about this pasta was the creamy mustard flavor, and also the fact that the pasta and all the ingredients were similarly sized. You could just sort of shovel it all into your mouth and get all the different ingredients in each bite. Shovel-able is a great attribute for any pasta dish.





Plantain and Black Bean Tacos

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Because I work at a burrito shop that has great tacos, I don't usually make them at home. The craving came up the other day though for plantain tacos so I whipped some up! They were much different than what we have at work so I was happy that I had made them. I highly recommend these as a filling vegetarian dinner and something new to eat next week!





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Pineapple Chicken Yellow Curry

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This is a really good recipe, but also look at this photo guys! For some reason I'm really into these pictures. But yea, the food is good too. Check out the easy Pineapple Chicken Yellow Curry recipe I wrote for Tablespoon.

Mortadella Fritters

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One of the best moments from my recent trip to Italy was exploring the Bacari in Venice and sampling the bar bites known as Cicchetti, Italy's version of tapas. My family and I basically stick out as tourists and can be spotted from a mile away. As we piled into these hole in the wall spots down the side alleys of Venice in the pouring rain we would first get interesting looks from the waiter/bartender/food preparer. Once he could tell that we sort of knew what we were doing with little things like ordering wine as "ombra" instead of asking for house red, everyone relaxed a bit. In the Venice bacari, ombra means a small glass of local wine. Once we got settled with our wine and dried off a bit, it was time to get to the food. All of the small bites would be lined up behind a glass case and it was easy to point at what we wanted. Little bit of this, couple of these, maybe one or 2 of the weird looking one, and we were ready to eat! We went to 3 or 4 bacari during our time in Venice, some more traditional, and others more modern, and we sampled tons of Cicchetti, most of which I hope to recreate for posts in the coming months.





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Mortadella

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The third and final meat at the meat slicer party this past weekend was a homemade mortadella. Making the mortadella was quite the undertaking but I had a lot of fun doing it! I used a recipe from Marco Canora that was published in Lucky Peach #4 and it came out absolutely delicious. Big thanks to Moody's Delicatessen for selling me the sausage casings in an emergency!





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Roast Beef With Crispy Shallots

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The second meat at my meat slicer party last weekend was roast beef. Roast beef is insanely simple to make at home, especially when you have a meat slicer to cut it paper thin. If you make this same exact recipe and try and cut it with a knife it is going to come out a little chewy unless you really are able to cut it very thin. Anyways, roast beef is roast beef right? Yea it was perfectly cooked and seasoned, and really fresh, but still just roast beef. What made these sandwiches truly memorable though, was the crispy shallots and hint of horseradish mayo, along with fresh baked onion rolls from a local bakery near my friends house who hosted the party.





Sriracha Chicken Waffle Sliders

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These sliders are so fun, easy, and super delicious. The buffalo sauce has a nice kick and is also sour and bright and will wake your guests right up at your next party! Try my Sriracha Chicken Waffle Sliders recipe on Tablespoon.

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