When it comes to some of our favorite restaurants, we wish the chefs would just buckle down and put together a cookbook already. Maybe an entire book of recipes is a bit much to ask for, but how about sharing a few? So we put together a wishlist of local restaurant dishes that we would give our right arm to learn how to make at home (on second thought, we might need that arm in the kitchen). A few are healthy; some are indulgent. Most are deceptively simple; others could take all day to
ruin succeed in making at home -- but we're certainly willing to try. If we're lucky, we'll be able to cross a few recipes off our list. And if we do, we'll be sure to share.
Whether you're there for lunch, dinner, or happy hour, these Moroccan spiced meatballs are on the menu -- and we usually can't resist. Resting in olive oil and tomato sauce and topped with a fried egg and just enough cheese, this dish is a far cry from the Italian-style meatballs that grace mounds of spaghetti or are stuffed inside a sub sandwich. We'll wash dishes if it means we can learn the secret spice mix that makes these meatballs so special.
A mash-up between traditional potato pancakes and baked cinnamon apples, the apple boxty is both a comforting and very tasty breakfast. Grated apples and potatoes are formed into a patty and lightly fried. Each small stack is topped with a generous dollop of creamy honey mascarpone and strips of crispy green apple. This recipe could liven up our morning at home, replacing our regular pancake and waffle weekend rotation.
It sounds so simple: chop then marinate some fresh veggies, toss them on the grill, and wrap them up in a tortilla. But there's so much more to these tacos than that. Whatever they do to the vegetables might as well involve a magic wand because the result is so far beyond the taste of any vegetables we make at home. Of course, it doesn't hurt that they're topped with Gallo Blanco's signature guacamole. While we're at it, we'll take that recipe too.
A study of balance (as are most things that come out of Nobuo Fukuda's kitchen), this dish is composed of a thick slice of braised savory and sweet pork belly, pickled mustard greens, crisp cucumber, and hoisin sauce cradled in a soft mantou bun. Each bite is simultaneously sweet, savory, tangy, and salty -- a combination of flavors we can't get enough of. We love them so much that we have to know how to make them at home in the event of a 2 a.m. craving.
This appetizer -- basically bread, cheese, and honey -- seems like it would be easy to put together. But Davanti Enoteca takes the trio of simple classic ingredients to the next level with an ultra-thin, crispy focaccia that's filled with lusciously soft cow cheese and smeared with melting honeycomb. As a Davanti Enoteca server said, "You're going to have fun eating this...the honeycomb triples the dish's flavor." Well that's the kind of fun we want to bring home. This is one we would really love to serve (and impress guests with) for the holidays.
The craving for mushroom hits, and all we can think of is the earthy, rich taste. If you're in the mood for 'shrooms, nothing satisfies quite like the pan fry from Cowboy Ciao. Before tasting this entrée, we had no idea mushrooms could be filling enough to make a complete meal. A mix of mushrooms -- including cremini, button, oyster, lobster, black trumpet, and shiitake -- are doused with ancho cream, served over polenta, and topped with grilled portabellini, cotija cheese, avocado, and tomatoes.
Pomegranate Café makes a lot of incredible -- and typically very healthy -- lunch and dinner items that we want the recipes for, but if we can only get one, we have to know what goes into the RAW berry cheesecake (or any of the cheesecakes, for that matter). We know the crust is made from dates, nuts, and coconut and that cashews are somehow included, but how does all that turn into anything like cheesecake? And how do they jam so much fruit flavor into the bite-size portions? We have too many questions and not enough answers.
This dish it too wacky for us to understand how to recreate it at home, so a recipe is definitely required. We'll come up with excuses to visit Beaver Choice all day, but since this dish has a special wait time of 45 minutes, it's really just easier if we can make it at home. This curry-seasoned Swedish casserole combines chicken, bananas, peanuts, and mashed potatoes in a sour cream chili sauce. It's so sweet, salty, exotic, and downright odd that you have to taste it to believe it.
By nature, comfort food is typically made at home. But there's one reason -- one lady, to be exact -- who gets us out of the house when we want fried chicken: Mrs. White. Both white and dark meats are available at Mrs. White's Golden Rule, and no matter which one you choose, it's going to be a steaming, succulent, crispy golden brown masterpiece. There must be a clue to her consistency. Whether it's the batter or the method or a little bit of both, we want to have it.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.