James Mulhern, What Are You Eating?

James Mulhern

The singer/guitarist of local band What Laura Says, who just issued their second studio effort, Bloom Cheek on Terpsikhore Records, plays at Yucca Tap Room in Tempe Saturday, September 25.

What'd you eat for dinner last night? Various hand-rolled sushi--California, eel avocado, yellowtail, spicy tuna.

Favorite food: My grandmother poses this very question to me about once a week. I am very partial to the more Southern Mexican foods of the non-Bertos variety. In all honesty, though, I'd have to say a healthy, heaping bowl full of peanut curry shrimp and vegetables holds a special place in my heart these days.

Least favorite food: Fast food. Specifically burgers. Gross.

Favorite dessert: Homemade hot rice porridge with cinnamon, apples and raisins.

Favorite local restaurant and meal to order there: There are a lot of good up-and-coming restaurants around town, the best of which lately has been America's Taco Shop. They serve delicious lard-free beans, Al Pastor ("shepherd style" marinated pork), tacos con pineapple, and ice cold Mexican cane sugar Coca-Cola. Fresh chips and housemade salsa round out the meal.

Favorite local bar and cocktail to order there: Casey Moore's has the most consistent quality food and drinks. I find myself there at at least once a week and here's why: Jimmy's Jameson and Ginger is good as gold in yer grille. Michael makes a mean (nice) martini, and if you ask real nice, David has your back on the White Russian of your dreams.

Favorite thing to cook at home: Cranberry rosemary reduction over pan fried pork chops, mashed red potatoes with garlic, bacon, and Widmer Bros. Drifter Pale Ale spinach salad with avocado, tomato, almonds and strawberries.

Favorite memory involving food: Trying to recall all my favorite cook-outs and family meals makes me feel lucky to be surrounded by good food junkies--birds of a feather, and so on. Let's go with Friendsgiving this past November. About 30 of our closest friends got together a pot luck-style Thanksgiving dinner to celebrate our comraderie. Highlights included a beautiful turkey, homemade pies, salads, casseroles, potatoes (the grand debut of the Drifter red mash mentioned above), a selection of both red and white wines, and too many laughs to count.

Recipe or food tip to share: Timing is everything. Consider your multitask skill level and seek the appropriate help before diving headlong into dinner prep. Half the work for the same reward. Besides, it's more fun with another person or three. Cooking with fresh ingredients is key. Lower your cooking temperatures and times to preserve enzymes and other nutrients. Olive oil or Earth Balance/Smart Balance are great substitutes for butter when you saute or bake. There is no need to overcook the beef!

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