Like many good things in life, the credit for today’s recipe goes to someone’s grandma. I found a version of this dish on The Kitchn, who found it via Reddit user nomoanya, who’s grandma was obviously a genius for pairing pasta, pork, and peas in a ready-to-eat gem of a dish. Nomoanya noted that this “elegant yet simple” tortellini pasta salad dates all the way back to the 70’s and I am definitely here for any recipe that still holds up half a century later. However, like the taste tester at The Kitchn, I have some thoughts.Continue reading “Tortellini Pasta Salad with Prosciutto, Shallots, and Peas”
Tomatillo and Spinach Chicken Enchiladas
Some days you literally just can’t, you know? Like, you literally cannot be bothered to make another salad, pot of pasta, or pan of roasted vegetables. The struggle of a cooking rut is real.
At times like these, only one thing can put the pieces of your crushed, crumbled spirit back together: a pan of Tomatillo and Spinach Chicken Enchiladas. The power of cheesy carbs truly knows no bounds and this assemblage of saucy, slightly spicy, utter deliciousness is here for you. Lest you feel guilty about the layers upon layers of flour tortillas, cheese, and a creamy chicken mixture, keep in mind there is an entire package of spinach in here. So, in this case… enchiladas actually = antioxidants, vitamins, and such. Let’s get into it.Continue reading “Tomatillo and Spinach Chicken Enchiladas”
Big Passion in Small Plates at Outer Banks Brewing Station
Halfway through Szechuan Tapas Night at Outer Banks Brewing Station, I was standing in the back kitchen with Chef Tony Duman, looking at little red vacuum-sealed packages covered in Chinese writing. They were opaque so you couldn’t see inside and they squished like jello when squeezed. These packets of fermented vegetables- mustard green roots, to be exact – were the thoughtful inclusion to tonight’s Dan Dan Noodles tapas that kept pulling us back for more. That’s what we surmised, anyway.Continue reading “Big Passion in Small Plates at Outer Banks Brewing Station”
Urban Kitchen: Blessed with Finesse
Urban Kitchen opened 7 years ago, with the assistance of a blessing from two nuns and a bit of holy water from France. Jen Lambertz, who owns Urban Kitchen with her other half, Chef Joe Panaras, said she thinks it’s helped; there are lines out the door in the summer to prove it and a loyal following of locals and non-residents year-round. A holy blessing can’t hurt but it’s clear to me the fandom has more to do with the clean, comfortable vibe inside and the finely finessed, deliciously seasonal food on the plates.Continue reading “Urban Kitchen: Blessed with Finesse”
A Feast for the Senses at Masala Bay Grill
Dining at Masala Bay Grill is an immersive, sensory experience. The traditional Northern Indian food they create always leaves me with a comfortable, full, glowy feeling that I suspect has to do with all the spices, flush with nourishing antioxidants, good for your body and mind. The curries, vindaloos, and tikka masalas are warming and comforting and enticing; each dish inherently rich in flavor and nuance. The bewitching accompaniment to dinner at Masala Bay is the sunset view that’s almost too pretty to post on your Instagram. The setting, the food, and the kindness of the staff blends together for a tranquil, inviting afternoon or evening meal unlike any other on the beach.Continue reading “A Feast for the Senses at Masala Bay Grill”
Gourmet Finds at Bacchus Wine & Beer Bistro
There’s a singular thrill about slipping away from a busy workday here on the beach, or maybe sneaking out of a noisy afternoon at your vacation house, and kicking back with a great glass of wine in one hand and a delicious sandwich in the other. My husband and I happily sank into that comfort zone at Bacchus Wine & Beer Bistro in Corolla this week, enjoying a late lunch, cold drinks, and a little shopping in preparation for a get-together with friends.
The Tencza family owns this gourmet retail store where the focus is on high quality, interesting finds that folks won’t see everywhere else. While I talked with Jessica Tencza about their unique wine selection, more than one person came through in search of a Bacon Pepper Dip which Jessica praises as one of their most sought-after products. It’s a staple in the 100-plus welcome gift baskets they deliver to vacation rental homes each week and is the thing that brings guests into the store on Monday mornings, in search of more. Of course I grabbed a jar to share with friends for our upcoming festivities. One whiff of the roasty, smoky spread and I understood the Bacon Pepper Dip fever.Continue reading “Gourmet Finds at Bacchus Wine & Beer Bistro”
Living the Good Life at Blue Moon Beach Grill
At 8pm on a hazy summer night in Nags Head, you may find the bartenders and servers at Blue Moon Beach Grill swaying along to Gladys Knight and The Pips as they fill drinks and pick up orders from the window. Enjoying the casual, lively vibe, my husband and I shimmied into our seats at the crowded bar for dinner. We sat perusing the menu and my attention gradually turned to the hustle and controlled enthusiasm in the open kitchen. Watching Chef Nate Robinson and his crew in constant motion, artfully plating the night’s seafood specials and other fare, sending it on its way to a packed dining room, I had the distinct feeling that there are no wrong choices on the menu at this place. And no better place to relax and have a good time.Continue reading “Living the Good Life at Blue Moon Beach Grill”
Eating and Loving Dawn Holcomb’s Food
I want to have a seat at Dawn Holcomb’s table and here’s why: her food is familiar but special, deliciously comforting, and made with intention. There’s a look, a feeling, an emotion Dawn is coaxing out of all of us when we enjoy her food; it’s love and appreciation – the same things Dawn feels when she cooks for us. Her love of cooking runs deep. She was raised in North Carolina and was surrounded by food all the time, with both commercial fishermen and farmers in the family and grandmothers who loved to feed people. Dawn described Sunday dinners to me that make me flat out jealous – her grandmother would cook to feed twenty or more people, whoever happened to drop in to enjoy plates and bowls of seasonal vegetables and platters of three or four different meats and desserts.
dawn’s kitchen OBX
As luck would have it, I did get a seat at Dawn’s table at her Taste of the Beach event in March. This event was a seven-course Italian wine dinner. More accurately, it was a showcase of beautiful, classic Italian food that my husband and I luxuriated in for the entire evening. This is the kind of food Dawn creates on a regular basis as a personal chef and caterer. Her business is Dawn’s Kitchen OBX. She can cook just about anything you ask for, and it’ll taste better than you could ever imagine.Continue reading “Eating and Loving Dawn Holcomb’s Food”