Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Ghini's Cafe A Quaint Spot For Delicious Food In Tucson

By:The Food Hunter

Tucson has a long list of delicious restaurants but none quite like Ghini's Cafe. Ghini's is a small French bistro that offers breakfast, lunch and happy hour to a devoted following of customers. Ghini’s owner and Chef, Coralie, hails from Marseilles, where she developed a lifelong passion for the culinary arts. Using only the freshest ingredients Coralie creates signature dishes, like Eggs Provencal as well as the popular Croque Madame sandwich and savory omelettes.

Similar to the cafes throughout Paris, Ghini's is a casual neighborhood spot that serves not only delicious food but also offers a full bar and a boutique wine list. There's even an adjacent boulangerie and patisserie where you can get fresh breads and pastries to go.

I had the opportunity, during my last food adventure in Tucson, to dine at Ghini's for breakfast and it was simple, fresh and absolutely delicious. After hearing so much about the signature eggs Provencal I knew I had to try them. Locally sourced hot house tomatoes are sautéed in extra virgin olive oil with fresh garlic, and thyme, served over eggs. Definitely one of the best egg dishes I've had in quite sometime.

My dining partner ordered the Croque Madame, which was thinly sliced ham, layered with béchamel, Gruyere and Parmesan cheese baked on house-made French bread. Served with a side salad this is an excellent choice for both breakfast and lunch.

Although, we were stuffed, we couldn't leave there without sampling Chef Coralie's Strawberry Shortcake. Fresh strawberry coulis, two buttermilk biscuits and house-made whipped cream tasted exactly how you imagine it would.

Whether your in the mood for a delicious breakfast, a quick pastry or an afternoon of lingering on the patio with a sandwich or salad Ghini's Cafe has you covered. So the next time you find yourself in Tucson may I suggest you don't leave before enjoying a meal at this quaint restaurant.

This experience was provided complimentary, all opinions are my own. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Greek Yogurt Creamy Italian Dressing

By: The Food Hunter

Back in September fellow food blogger, Christine Pittman launched TheCookful.com website. The Cookful.com is a contributor based site that delves into every aspect of a topic, helping readers cook and eat better. Included with each topic are how to's, facts and tons of recipes.

Today, I have teamed up with TheCookful.com and Stonyfield Yogurt to share a delicious yogurt based salad dressing. I love creamy dressings as much as the next person, but what I don't love is all the fat and calories that come along with it. Substituting Greek yogurt for mayonnaise is all I did to make this healthier version of my favorite Creamy Italian dressing. The yogurt gives the dressing a nice tang, and makes going back for seconds, almost guilt-free.

Want more delicious yogurt based dressings? Head over to TheCookful.com and learn how to make the following: 1. No Egg Caesar, 2. Blue Cheese and my favorite 3. Lemon Poppy Seed

Greek Yogurt Creamy Italian Dressing
(printable recipe)

1 cup Greek Yogurt (full fat)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Whisk together all of the ingredients except the yogurt & vinegar. Add the yogurt and whisk until combined. Add the vinegar a little at a time to reach desired taste and texture.

Refrigerate in a sealed jar for up to 3 days.

Friday, May 20, 2016

The Farmers Market Cocktail

By: The Food Hunter

The Farmer's Market Cocktail is a delicious drink creation from Zachary Blair, lead mixologist at Lake Placid’s award-winning Whiteface Lodge. According to Blair, the Farmer's Market Cocktail was inspired by his childhood memories of eating fresh watermelon in the summer.

"When I was a kid, my summertime snack of choice was watermelon. I took a childhood favorite and made it into an adult cocktail using fresh watermelon juice, fresh citrus and a nectarine potato vodka. I make the most of the watermelon and try to use the entire fruit when juicing it. Then, I use the rind as an edible garnish."

This light and refreshing cocktail is perfect for sipping poolside on hot summer days.

The Farmer's Market Cocktail
2.5 ounces of 44 nectarine potato vodka
2 ounces of homemade watermelon basil juice (see below)
.5 ounce of Cynar artichoke bitters

Shake in a cocktail shaker with ice and serve straight up. Garnish with salted lemon and watermelon rind.

Watermelon Basil Juice
1 quart chopped watermelon
2 oz lime juice
2 oz simple syrup
6 basil leaves
Blend ingredients together. Strain through large strainer
Yield -1/2 quart

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Sage Blueberry Collins Cocktail

By: The Food Hunter

David Conley, lead mixologist at 3800 Ocean Lounge at Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa, is known in the area for creating amazing drink menus and innovative cocktails that utilize local, tropical fruits.

His Sage Blueberry Collins is the perfect example. Utilizing fresh ingredients like organic agave nectar, fresh squeezed lemon, Plymouth Gin and blueberries makes this a refreshing farm to table drink loved by all. Conley originally created the drink in the mold of a punch, but scaled it down to cocktail format to serve at 3800 Ocean.

Sage Blueberry Collins
David Conley

1oz Plymouth Gin
.5oz Pavan Cognac
.5oz Lemon Juice
.5oz Agave Nectar
Splash of Soda Water
2 leaf Sage, fresh
10 each Blueberries

Muddle Sage, Blueberries, Lemon Juice, Agave to a paste. Pack cocktail shaker with Ice. Add gin and cognac and shake well.

Add a splash of Soda and double strain over fresh ice. Garnish with Sage Leaf and blueberry skewer.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Smoked Salmon & Horseradish Canape

By: The Food Hunter

Smoked salmon canapes are sophisticated, effortless and perfect for a party. For those that don't know a canape is a thin piece of bread topped with your choice of savory foods. The canape recipe below, which I adapted from Jamie Oliver, mixes smoked salmon and tangy horseradish. Though it is a combination I hadn't tried before I can attest that this dainty appetizer is quite delicious.

Smoked Salmon & Horseradish Canape
(adapted from Jamie Oliver)

prepared horseradish to taste
½ small tub crème fraîche
sea salt
loaf ciabatta
extra virgin olive oil
smoked salmon
radish sprouts

Add prepared horseradish to crème fraîche until desired tang is reached. Season with salt and mix well. Set aside.
Cut ciabatta into thin slices and toast. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Top with smoked salmon. 
Add a dollop of horseradish crème fraîche to each toast and top with radish sprouts. Finish with a  drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.