Friday, April 30, 2010

Food Paparazzi

One of our friends and followers, Casey, was kind enough to send us a link to this ABC News piece about "food paparazzi." Check it out!

As food bloggers who value the visual component of dining, we've been taking part in this growing national trend. Given that humans eat with their eyes first, we feel that it's important to include photos of the dishes we sample at local restaurants. Per The BA Foodist, a.k.a. Andrew Knowlton, Restaurant Editor for Bon Appetit, we try not to disturb other diners when we're out in public by keeping flash photography to a minimum.

What are your thoughts on food paparazzi? Are you cool with food bloggers and other patrons taking pics in restaurants or do you get as angry as Britney Spears during her shaved head phase?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

News Flash: Time to Stock Up on Wine at Whole Foods

Heads up wine lovers! Whole Foods offers 20 percent off cases of wine a few times of year, and all stores are holding a Spring sale from April 26 through May 2. Here's how it works: put together a collection of 12 bottles that you like and see significant savings at the register. You can mix and match 12 or more bottles, and the discount even applies to sale prices. There are a few exceptions (like Veuve Clicqout), but most vintages are eligible and there are great deals to be had. I picked up a bottle of Redtree, a fantastic pinot noir out of St. Helena, California, last night for only $7.99. Kinger and I are going back later this week to put together a case of cheap bottles and split the cost. Call to reserve a case or stop by your neighborhood Whole Foods and talk to one of the wine specialists, who will order and set aside your wine. Happy drinking!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Southwestern with a Twist

Other than French, our favorite fare here at AF is southwestern - we are suckers for anything in this genre. So, when the most foodie–esque person I’ve ever met (name to remain anonymous) made this dish for me years ago, I immediately demanded the recipe. It sounds like an odd pairing: a salmon burrito with bacon? While anything with bacon is typically better in my book, I still had to taste this one to believe it. But I promise if you give this dish a chance, it will become a staple in your cooking repertoire moving forward.

The dish itself is easy to make; however, there is quite a bit of prep work, which can be done ahead of time to break it up. Really, the salmon burritos are three dishes combined for one extraordinary result, and it’s wise to consider each part – the sauce, the preparation of sides and the burritos themselves – as three separate recipes as you get started.

I must really like you all a lot because I hate giving this recipe away! This dish has long-since been my very favorite; my "hole in one." But, as Kara says, “It’s for the blog,” so I'm releasing it to the public with love.

We paired the burrito with a southwest rice and corn salad with lemon dressing, yet another recipe we had been dying to try in this month’s issue of Bon Appétit! We recommend pairing the food with a homemade Margarita – only fresh lime juice, grand marnier and agave tequila will suffice. When we served this meal last weekend to Beard and Elisha, they brought over the perfect wine pairing, La Crema Chardonnay. It compliments the salmon and is under $15 dollars. Hope you enjoy!

Southwest Rice and Corn Salad With Lemon Dressing (serves 8)


1 cup long grain white rice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (we recommend doubling this)
4 tablespoons olive oil (we recommend doubling this as well)
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels, or frozen corn kernels
1 cup chopped fresh poblano chilies
1 cup diced seeded yellow bell pepper
1 cup 1/2-inch cubes yellow zucchini
1 avocado, halved, peeled, diced
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Cook rice until just tender. 12 to 15 minutes. Drain and rinse in cool water. Drain again. Meanwhile whisk lemon juice and 3 tablespoons oil in a small bowl. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add corn, poblanos, yellow bell pepper, and zucchini. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute until vegetables are just tender, 6 to 7 minutes; scrape into large bowl. Add rice, avocado, green onions, cilantro, and dressing; toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Salmon Burritos with Adobe Chipotle Cream Sauce (serves 8)


8 small salmon filets (Whole Foods usually has a good deal - look for their "Great Cuts")
Ground cumin
Ground coriander
Extra virgin olive oil
1 cedar plank
1 can chipotle chilies in adobe sauce
½ cup sour cream


Soak cedar plank in warm water for at least one hour. Rub salmon with extra virgin olive oil. Then season to taste with salt, pepper, cumin and coriander. Place over medium-high heat coals and cook for 15 - 20 minutes until the fish reaches your desired temperature (We prefer ours cooked through but medium rare will work for this recipe). Remove fish from grill and break up the salmon into nice sized chunks for the burritos.

While the salmon cooks, mix together chopped chipotle chilies and sour cream. Add sauce from the can to taste. Chill until ready to serve.

Build Your Own Burrito Bar


1 cup of black beans
1 cup of fresh corn, roasted on the grill or sauteed in a pan
1 cup sauteed red onions
1 avocado, sliced into wedges
1 cup freshly cooked, crumbled bacon (We suggest Wrights bacon, it's the best bacon hands down)
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 cup pickled jalapenos
1 cup of adobe chipotle cream sauce (see recipe above)
1 cup freshly shredded extra sharp white cheddar cheese
8 12" flour tortillas
1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro
2 limes, cut into wedges


It couldn't be easier - assemble the toppings and invite your guests to serve themselves from the burrito bar. Avoid over stuffing your burrito. Otherwise, you'll have a heck of a time rolling it. Below are some visuals of the proper way to roll yours. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

News Flash: Cheap Eats at Food Truck Rally Tonight

Souper Jenny is hosting an underground food truck event tonight in its Buckhead parking lot. Local vendors like Taqueria del Sol, Artichoke Bliss, The Pickle, the King of Pops and Souper Jenny (duh) will be selling their delicious fare, and most items will be priced at $5 or less. Please come out to eat on the cheap and support this burgeoning movement. The vendors accept cash only, so don't forget to hit the ATM on your way there. It's sure to be a delicious gathering!

56 E. Andrews Dr., Buckhead
6 - 9 p.m.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Cure for the Common Dessert

As news about our blog slowly spreads, many of our friends are expressing interest in securing a dinner invitation from The Affordable Foodie. We're absolutely thrilled by this turn of events and are trying to entertain small groups (Kingsley's apt. only holds about 8) on a regular basis. After all, there's nothing better than chowing down on good food with good friends, and we have so much fun cooking for the people we love! However, with recognition and attention comes pressure to perform.

Last weekend, our friends Elisha and Casey (a.k.a. Beard, his Majesty the Rev. Zilla, Beardinator, Casey #1, etc.) came in from D.C. for a short visit. Kinger and I decided to dazzle the engaged couple, my brother David and Mr. C with some sophisticated dishes we saw in the May issue of Bon Appétit. We ended up making a Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble for dessert, which turned out very well if I do say so myself.

According to Bon Appétit, the crumble is the British version of the American crisp. All I know is that it's one of the simplest desserts I've ever made and delivers a huge payoff. It took me less than 30 minutes to put the dish together, and it cooked while we were eating our dinner. This recipe easily feeds at least 10 people for only $10. It also features the classic combination of tart rhubarb, which is in season right now and available at any local farmers market, and sweet strawberries. We did not include the hazelnuts that are part of the Bon Appétit recipe to our streusel topping because Casey isn't a fan, but feel free to add them if you're looking for some extra crunch.

Don't even attempt to enjoy this dessert without ice cream. I don't care if you're lactose intolerant, trying to lose weight or just don't like ice cream. The value of adding a cool, creamy component to the warm crisp is too great to ignore.

Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble


3/4 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar
Large pinch of salt
6 tbsp. (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup husked hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 lb. fresh strawberries, hulled and halved (about 4 cups)
12 oz. rhubarb (preferably bright red), ends trimmed, stalks cut crosswise into 1/2 inch-thick pieces
Vanilla ice cream


Combine flour, 2/3 cup sugar and salt in medium bowl; whisk to blend. Add butter. Rub in with fingertips until mixture sticks together in clumps. Mix in oats and nuts. NOTE: Topping can be made one day ahead. Cover and chill. Also, the strawberries and rhubarb can be cut up in advance, but do not mix it with the other ingredients any sooner than 30 minutes before baking. Otherwise, you'll end up with a soupy crumble (not ideal).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter 11 x 7 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Place 1/2 cup sugar in large bowl. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean and whisk to blend well. Add strawberries and rhubarb to sugar in bowl; toss to coat well. Scrape fruit filling into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle oat topping evenly over filling.

Bake crumble until filling bubbles thickly and topping is crisp, about 45 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes. Spoon warm crumble into bowls and serve with ice cream.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

News Flash: Save at ATL Whole Foods Locations Tomorrow

We just got word that all Atlanta Whole Foods locations are waiving the sales tax at the checkout counter tomorrow, April 15. It's a great opportunity to hit the salad bar/prepared foods counters for dinner, stock up on your favorite pantry items and frozen goods or treat yourself to some amazing cheeses sans tax!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Throw One on the Grill

The weather is warm, which means it's finally time to grill out! Last week, we decided to try out a super simple flank steak recipe. Here at AF, we like our meals to be quick to prepare but also impressive and flavorful. Our entire Spring/Summer grilling menu meets all of those critera and also happens to be incredibly affordable, feeding four people for only $20.

The flank steak is best served medium rare and sliced thinly across the grain. Our two-ingredient marinade tenderizes the meat and gives it a sweet and tangy, Asian-inspired flavor. Our sides: grilled aspargus, which is in season right now, and veggie kabobs made with zucchini, yellow squash, red and yellow sweet peppers and red onions. We seasoned the kabobs with olive oil, kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. These dishes are a synch to make, so fire up your grill and give it a shot!


2 - 3 lb. flank steak
About a 1/2 cup of low-sodium Kikkoman teriyaki sauce
About a 1/2 cup of any brand of red wine vinaigrette salad dressing/marinade
3 cloves of garlic (minced)
One bunch of asparagus
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 red onion
1 large zucchini
2 yellow squash
4 skewers (metal or wooden will work; if you use wooden skewers, soak them in water for about 15 minutes before use)


Cover flank steak in the teriyaki sauce and red wine vinaigrette. Add minced garlic on both sides of steak. Let steak rest in marinade at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour. In the meantime, fire up the grill to medium high heat. Add asparagus and veggie skewers and grill to your liking (we prefer ours crispy).

While grill is still hot, add steak and grill over medium high for 6 minutes on each side. Serve hot and enjoy.

*Also great to try for fajitas

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Recipe Magic from Real Simple

As much as we love to cook at the Affordable Foodie, it can be really hard to decide what to make for dinner night after night. It's especially challenging during the week when time is limited. We often need an easy recipe that we can throw together quickly when we get home from work, happy hour or the gym. Ideally, whatever we cook will satisfy our current cravings and incorporate basic ingredients we already have on hand.

Thanks to our friend, Shana, we just discovered Dinner in 15 Minutes Flat from Real Simple, and we're already obsessed! With three clicks of the mouse, the Web site pulls up a customized list of recipes from Real Simple's collection based on your favorite ingredients and cooking style. The best part is all of the recipes are budget-friendly and take 15 minutes or less to make.

We could spend hours playing around with the different categories like Cheese and Breakfast for Dinner, Vegetables and Surprise Me or Pasta and 5 Ingredients or Less. Have fun and let us know what 15-minute Real Simple recipe you're dying to try!