One of my coworkers loves Turkey & Turkish food so for her birthday we ordered lunch from Dervish!!
I’m not at all familiar with Turkish food so I had to do a little research before writing all about it!

After scouring the menu and asking lots of questions, I decided on the Grilled Lamb Adana. Adana is typically a long, hand-minced meat kebab mounted on a wide iron skewer and grilled on an open mangal filled with burning charcoal. It’s named after Adana, the fifth largest city of Turkey and was originally known as the Kıyma kebabı (minced meat kebab) or as just Kıyma in Adana-Mersin and the southeastern provinces of Turkey….thank you Wikipedia!!

Another fun fact I learned is that the an “original” Adana is a meter-and-half long, made from hometown meat (only male lamb), red bell peppers and tail fat all hand minced together. Served with charred peppers and tomatoes, onion-sumac-parsley salad, and lavaş.  Sounds like a delicious labor of love!

Grilled Lamb Adana 
Hand Diced Lamb Tenderloin Mixed with Vegetables and Mediterranean Spices 
Over Lavash Bread and served with Cracked Wheat Pilaf

My Adana was served with veggies and bread over pilaf. It was sooo good! I loved the gamey and smoky flavor of the lamb paired with the nutty rice and tangy veggies. After a few bites I made everything into to a sandwich… which was a perfect way to enjoy all of the flavors together! My introduction to Turkish food was wonderful and I'll definitely be enjoying more of this cuisine in the future! 

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Shrimp Tacos with Spicy Slaw & Avocado

I created this recipe after receiving a bag of 
California Avocados at the Ivy Stark luncheon... 

So this week's Taco Tuesday was livened up with these
 zesty shrimp tacos!

You'll Need -

1 Pound of Shrimp (cleaned)
1 Clove of Garlic (minced)
Cumin (to taste)
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
Juice of 1/2 Lime

1 Bag of Slaw Mix
3 Teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar
1-2 Jalapenos (chopped)
Fresh Cilantro (chopped)
Juice of 1 Lime

Soft Taco Shells
1 Avocado (sliced)
Queso Blanco
Re-fried Beans

Start by making the slaw.  It's super easy and with two jalapenos it's really spicy... the vinegar draws the heat out of the peppers so beware! Chop your desired amount of jalapeno, I used two because my heat tolerance is pretty high. As you may know, the heat lives in the seeds and the membrane so if you'd like your slaw with less of a kick remove those parts before chopping! Empty the slaw mix into a large mixing bowl, add the chopped jalapeno, about a cup of chopped cilantro, lime juice, and the vinegar. Mix well and set aside!

To cook the shrimp, add a little water and chopped garlic to a large saute pan. Add the shrimp and cover. Cook until the shrimp are nice and pink and no longer translucent. It should take about 5 minutes! Strain any liquid from the pan and then squirt with lime juice and sprinkle with cumin, salt and pepper. This will give your shrimp a nice smokey flavor that will complement the heat in the slaw but not push it over the top!

My husband and I added re-fried beans to the tacos give them a little more substance but you can certainly leave those our if you'd like! Once all of your components are prepared, warm the taco shell and layer in the beans, slaw, shrimp, avocado, and cheese!  

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The California Avocado Commission's Luncheon with Chef Ivy Stark of Dos Caminos

I was so excited to receive an invitation to this event 
which took place on Saturday, May 19th at the Dos Caminos on Park Ave.

The California Avocado Commission planned this wonderful interactive luncheon for some of their media friends. The event was super fun and a great way to showcase their delectable California Avocados and for us to try some of Ivy’s innovative avocado recipes! I’ll definitely be recreating and blogging about them :) (BIG THANKS to The California Avocado Commission, Dos Caminos, & Chef Ivy Stark)

The afternoon started out with some cheerful cocktails and a Guac-Off Challenge where we broke into teams and competed to see who could make the best Guacamole! In addition to the California Avocados there was a huge assortment of ingredients to use…everything from the standards (tomato, jalapeno, onion) to the wacky (banana’s, hard boiled egg, soy sauce)!!

The invitation I received mentioned the challege and I knew right away if there was bacon provided I wanted to make BLT Guac! Lucky for me bacon was an option and my awesome partner agreed that it sounded yummy! We used bacon, cilantro, tomato, jalapeno, red onion, avocado of course, and seasoned with a little lime juice and salt.  

The array of guacamoles...

I’ll recreate our guac and post a recipe soon! You’ll definitely want it…because IT WON!!! Ivy herself was the judge and my BLT Guac took FIRST PLACE! I’m still super excited about it!

After the Guac-Off we were seated for a very interesting lesson on California Avocados followed by a creative lunch and cooking demonstration by Ivy. The “avocado-centric” menu featured recipes from Ivy’s Mexican Street Food cookbook. 

We started our lunch with Crab Molotes. Ivy gave us a great step by step demo on how to create them and I couldn't wait to sink my teeth in! They were just as delicious as I had expected and I will definitely order them next time I'm at Dos Caminos!

Crab Molotes with Avocado Tomatillo Salsa

The next thing we sampled were avocado tacos. They featured a crispy tempuraed avocado topped with a refreshing slaw and smoked chile aioli. They were so light yet the fried avocado added the perfect amount of substance to the dish without weighing it down!

California Avocado Tacos

And for dessert...Avocado Ice Cream! They honey and lime added a perfect balance to this treat! It was savory, sweet, and a little tart all at the same time! This was one way I NEVER thought of using avocados and I'm happy to report it was quite tasty!

California Avocado Honey Lime Ice Cream

The California Avocado Commission also hooked us up with a wonderful goodie bag full of cool products and a bag of perfect Cali avocados! 

Fresh avocados on hand means look out for lots of avocado recipes to follow!

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Gravy has a contemporary southern style, serving traditional favorites like 
Po' Boys and biscuits & gravy among modern dishes like their BLT & D 
(Black Pepper Bacon, Duck Confit, Romaine with Tomato Aioli). 

I visited Gravy with a group of friends for brunch and we had a great time!

I started my day with an omelette...packed with cheese, bacon, and mushroom. It was HUGE and very tasty! And surprisingly the potatoes were the star, they were perfectly crispy and tender and dusted in delicious herbs and spices! I'm usually able to stay away from breakfast potatoes... but not these!!

Omelette - Choice of 3: 
Bacon, Mushrooms, Red Peppers 
Arugula, Spinach, Cheddar Cheese
Goat Cheese, Red Onions, Asparagus
Ham, Chilies

My husband went the the Tasso Benedict (sans arugula, cause he's scared of veggies!) and it was also very good! The chipotle hollandaise had a nice smokey heat and it made the dish truly unique. The only bummer was that the ham wasn't crispy. 

Tasso Benedict
Poached Eggs, Crispy Tasso Ham
Arugula, Chipotle Hollandaise

For the table, we ordered the biscuits & gravy and honey grits! I don't claim to be an expert on either of these dishes but my Carolina boy has had me sampling his favorite southern treats for 7 years now! 

I'm a savory food fan so the honey grits didn't knock my socks off...Gravy's lunch menu features Grits Three Ways (Honey, Cheesy, and Porky) which I had planned on ordering, but because we were there for "brunch" they wouldn't make them!! (boo!) 

Honey Grits 

The biscuits and gravy were right up my alley though! They came out a little dry (the biscuit to gravy ratio was off) so we ordered some extra gravy and that did the trick...yum!

Biscuits & Gravy

Overall the brunch was great...even though I didn't get the grits I had my heart set on. 

The lunch and dinner menus are also packed full of mouth watering dishes that I can't wait to try...I'll most definitley be making a trip back, and I WILL get my grits three ways :) 

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My Nana's Sloppy Joes

This is my Nana’s recipe and it’s super easy and soooo good! 
Nothing fancy, nothing gourmet, just plain old delicious sloppy joes!

You’ll Need –

1lb ground beef
1 chopped onion
1 cup water
¾ cup ketchup
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
1 tablespoon worcestershire
Salt & Pepper
Hamburger Rolls

Start by chopping the onion and sautéing for a few mintues. Add in the ground beef and cook through. Drain. Next add in the water, ketchup, mustard and worcestershire. Cook down until the sauce is nice and thick.  Serve on a squishy roll and enjoy!  (a family secret…sloppy joes are extra delicious served with  good old cheese whiz or velveeta and sliced pickles!...TRY IT, I SWEAR IT’S GOOD!!) 

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Mozzarella Sticks

Panko are Japanese breadcrumbs they are super light and flaky and absorb less oil than regular breadcrumbs! 
This recipe is super easy and a crowd pleaser for sure! 

You'll Need - 

Mozzarella String Cheese
Salt & Pepper

Start by scrambling two eggs in a small bowl and pouring a little bit of flour and a pile of panko onto two separate plates. Quarter each cheese stick and roll in the flour. 

Next, dip the floured cheese into the scrambled egg, then roll in the panko until fully coated. Deep fry until they are golden brown and ooey gooey! 

Set them on a paper towel to pull off any excess grease and season with salt and pepper.... Enjoy!! 

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Joe's Shanghai

Let me start with the two most important words...
Soup Dumplings!

Joe's has three locations in New York, one in Chinatown, another in Midtwon Manhattan, and the last is in Flushing, Queens. MANY New Yorkers, celebrities, and tourists seek out Joe's for their famous Joe's Shanghai Soup Dumplings!

All of the food at Joe's was fabulous, but it's no surprise that the dumplings were the star!
Xiao Long Bao (aka Little Dumplings in the Basket) were originated in a suburb of Shanghai. At Joe's they are freshly made to order and when you sit down you are immediatly asked which kind of dumplings (crab meat or pork meat) you're having...because even if you dont know it yet...THEY know that you want some!

The perfect dumplings come to the table piping hot in a bamboo steamer. Each plump dumpling contains a little meatball surrounded by a the most delicious broth. (to prevent burning your mouth and to savor the dumpling, I was taught to bite a tiny hole into the doughy wrapper then drip the broth to a spoon or suck the broth with a "slurp", then eat the rest)

The other wonderful dishes we enjoyed were...

Spring Rolls

Kung Pao Chicken

Shredded Beef

Eggplant with Garlic Sauce

Shanghai Fried Flat Noodle

Over the years, Joe's has been awarded and recognized by the New York Times Restaurant Guide; Gourmet Magazine; Travel and Leisure; New York Magazine and Zagat Survey!

Joe's should absolutely be on your New York City bucket list!!

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