Monday, April 30, 2012

A Nod to the Bluff City.

As that One Hit Wonder, Marc Cohn, once sang...

I'm walking in Memphis
Walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale
Walking in Memphis...

First off, Marc is a lying liar.

No one in Memphis walks anywhere.  And if you do walk, you are met with one of two looks:   Suspect or Pity.

But, for the past eight years I have lived in the city that is proud to call itself "The Birth Place of Rock and Roll."  It's a quirky little city, rich in music, food, and history.  Seersucker and cicada songs in the summer; Christmas trees up immediately following the Thanksgiving meal (they say in the South there are two seasons:  Summer and Christmas); collard greens and fried okra; porch sittin' and story tellin'; and Elvis everywhere. 

And now, I'm going bi-coastal.  If you consider the Mississippi River and Lake Michigan coasts.

While my love affair with Memphis has been a tumultuous one filled with more highs and lows than an episode of Revenge, I have met some of the most delightful, talented, fiercely loyal, and completely insane folks whom I love and cherish with all of my heart.

So on the eve of my pseudo-departure, I offer a tribute to one of Memphis' biggest achievements:  barbecue.

Smoky Mango Barbecue Sauce
Elvis would love this sauce.

On Meatless Mondays, slap some of this on a 'Bello Burger and serve with some grilled asparagus and spicy slaw with jicama.  If'n you like to eat things with a face, try this on grilled salmon or mix it into your turkey burgers.  Delish!

1 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbl fresh rosemary, minced
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp curry powder
2 chipotle peppers, chopped
1 14 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
2 Tbl tomato paste
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup dark molasses
1/3 cup honey
1 mango, diced
2 Tbl. olive oil

In a medium sauce pan, saute onions and garlic (with just a little bit of salt) in the oil for about 5 minutes or until tender.  Add mustard, curry, and rosemary and cook for about a minute, allowing herbs to bloom.  Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly and puree until super smooth.  Enjoy.

Spicy Slaw with Jicama
Sexy Elvis loves jicama.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with jicama, it is God’s little joke of the vegetable world. Imagine the illegitimate love child of an apple and a potato. It is sweet and crunchy and absolutely delish!

½ head of green cabbage, shredded
½ head of red cabbage, shredded
3 carrots, grated
1 red pepper, julienned
1 cup jicama, julienned.
½ cup corn
½ cup black beans
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Spicy Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Place ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss with Spicy Vinaigrette. Allow to sit for a couple of hours so flavors can marry.

Spicy Vinaigrette

2 garlic cloves
zest and juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbl Dijon mustard
3/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
just shy of 1 tsp of cayenne pepper
1 tsp pomegranate molasses
2 tsp fresh cilantro, chopped
pinch salt

In a small food processor, combine all ingredients except olive oil until garlic and cilantro has been good and mashed up. With the motor running, slowly add oil. Spicy and delish!

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