Saturday, October 5

Best Meal of my Whole Life

I'm not even kidding you, my mouth is watering before I have even begun to tell you about this.

My BFF and I went to Phoenix for a few days in September, basically just to get the hell outta here. If you have been to Scottsdale before then you know it is sort of the shopping/bars/restaurants/full of people sort of area in Phoenix. Well we didn't know where was good to eat, but having made so many trips to the local lululemon, the staff there had recognized us Canadian girls and gave us a whole list of great places to try.  We stumbled into a place called the Culinary Dropout.  We were seated on a trendy patio with super comfy couch/chairs. The only problem was the table was really low and we didn't feel we could stuff our faces sufficiently.  Naturally, we were moved to the only 'closed' section of the restaurant- being only lit with candles... furthering our lesbian impression to everyone in Phoenix. It was really quite magical. Anyway, half the menu was antipasti, written in Italian of course, so we had no clue what exactly we were ordering. There was an appetizer, however, that was written in our kind of language.

Pretzel Bites coated in Sea Salt Rocks with a Provolone Fondue. 

HELLO?!! It was only the single greatest food I have ever ingested. Even better than cactus cuts at BPs. Yeah... I said it. For the one and only time the entire mini vacay- we were silenced. We ate the entire meal only speaking words like "mmmmmm" and "mmmmggggdddddrrrrrghhtt???" with our eyes rolling to the back of our heads.  There were moments while our cheeks were puffed out, full of food, that we just stared at each other in disbelief. It is a mystery why we do not order a second helping. 

The food made her go a little crazy.

We also learned what antipasti really was when our two meat and one cheese orders arrived. I loved it, but Cassy didn't like the thought of eating little meat with her hands (she's so classy). We also had cold asparagus glazed in malt vinegar. Also amazing.

THE POINT BEING if you are ever in Phoenix- make the drive to Scottsdale and eat at this place. Definitely worth it.

I also found a recipe for pretzel bites and would like someone to make me them and bring them over. I don't know how/where to buy yeast(?) so can't do it myself/ too lazy to. 

Ingredients
  • 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 & 1/4 cups warm water
  • 5 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted and divided
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 2 egg whites
  • Kosher or coarse sea salt, for topping
  • cooking spray
Instructions
  1. In a measuring cup dissolve the yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine the flour, white and brown sugars, and salt. Pour the water/yeast mixture and 2 tablespoons melted butter into the bowl. Knead for 6-8 minutes until the dough is smooth. Add extra water if dough is too dry, until you get your desired texture.
  3. Lightly oil a large bowl. Shape dough into a ball. Place the dough ball in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for one hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
  5. In a large bowl, combine 4 cups of hot water and baking soda. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg whites and remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter.
  6. After the dough has risen, punch down the dough and then knead with hands for one minute. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and break off small chunks of dough - Roll the chunks into 1 inch diameter balls (I got about 20-25).
  7. Dip the pieces in the baking soda water and place on the baking sheet. Gently drying with a paper towel if they become too wet. Brush each pretzel ball with egg whites/melted butter then sprinkle with kosher salt.
  8. Bake for 7-8 minutes, until browned.

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Lauren Kent

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