cooking

Markham Street Cafe

Happy Friday everyone! I hope everyone had a great week. I don’t know about you, but I am so ready for the weekend. Last week, I had the pleasure of reviewing a new restaurant, Markham Street Cafe, that opened up in my neck of the woods. Markham Street Cafe is still in their soft opening stage, but is planning on having their grand opening. This beautiful restaurant/cafe is more than what I can try to describe. Cozy, absolutely amazing decor, ambiance. Markham Street Cafe is going for the California cafe vibe, and with their succulents and decor, I can say they nailed it! The best part is that the owners (including the chef), and staff are so polite and friendly. Oh, forgot to mention that the food is nothing less than their service: impeccable! I was able to try a few items from their menu, which isn’t set in stone due to the soft opening. However, a more concrete menu, a full bar, live music, decor from local artists, and much more are in the works post grand opening. Check out their amazing food below and what I thought about each one! Plus, some views of their decor.

Paragon Salad, minus the beef: Thai beef (not included), red and green cabbage, fresh greens, spicy cashews, cucumber, sliced radish, onion, spicy Thai vinaigrette.

OMG, I thought this salad was amazing. I am not a fond of salads as they tend to be dry, bland, and just not exciting. However, this salad was full of flavor and the thai vinaigrette was just wow. 5/5 for me.

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Gruyere Mac and Cheese with Applwood Smoked Bacon: Cavatappi pasta, gouda, gruyere, parmesan with crispy applewood smoked bacon, and fried shallot.

Ok, this dish may be biased because I can kill for mac and cheese or any dish that is loaded with cheese. Mac and Cheese is my go to comfort food and this did not dissapoint. 5/5 for me. Would give it 10/5 if I could.

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Creamy Tomato Bisque:  Roasted tomato-extra virgin olive oil-cream.

This tomato bisque was definitely creamy. The flavor was on point! Of course, the name of the dish stated it’s creamy, so I would give it a 4/5 just because it was a little too creamy for me (I like not too bisque-y bisques), however if that’s how you roll, then its a 5/5 for you. Definitely a 5/5 for presentation!

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Cubano Sandwich: Mojo pork, pickled cucumber, provolone, smokey bacon, mustard dressing.

What a filling sandwich! Served with a pickle and fries, it surely does hit the spot. The Cubano is not dripping with sauce; a little more would’ve been nice. However, it has so much flavor and bread is toasted the right amount. The pork was succulent. 4/5.

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Overall, the food was amazing. I would definitely recommend stopping by and having a bite to eat. Check out their pages below as well as their decor!

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https://www.instagram.com/markhamstreetcafe

https://www.facebook.com/TheMarkham/

https://www.yelp.com/biz/markham-street-cafe-annandale-2

Click follow and hit the like button to keep updated on new recipes!
See you next Wednesday!

– Mitz

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cooking

Tostada Bowl

Happy Wednesday everyone! Today, I will be sharing my recipe on how to make a tostada bowl. This is a great dish because you can personalize it to however you want. The options for this bowl are bottomless! It’s quick and easy. Fun to make for dinner and great to eat the leftovers as just a salad. Let’s get started!

Ingredients:

  • Tostada bowl
  • Mexican beans
  • Mexican Rice
  • Mexican crumbles
  • Bell Pepper
  • Corn
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole
  • Jalapeno
  • Mexican shredded cheese

Directions:

  1. Bake the tostada bowl in a oven at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes.
  2. While baking, prep the fillings.
  3. Cut the bell peppers into thin vertical slices.FullSizeRender-5.jpg
  4. Chop the onion and tomato.FullSizeRender-10.jpg
  5. If making fresh guacamole, add salt, lemon juice, chopped onion and tomato, and garlic powder.FullSizeRender-7.jpg
  6. Finely chop the garlic and lettuce.
  7. In a hot skillet, cook the veggie crumbles and add taco seasoning and the chopped garlic. FullSizeRender-12.jpg
  8. Cook for about 10 minutes.FullSizeRender-9.jpgFullSizeRender-8.jpg
  9. Set the crumbles aside.
  10. In the same skillet, add the bell peppers, corn, and onions. Add taco seasoning and garlic.FullSizeRender-4.jpg
  11. Cook until well sautéed and soft.FullSizeRender-11.jpg
  12. In a small pot, cook the Mexican beans and rice and add taco seasoning.FullSizeRender-6.jpg
  13. Cook for about 10 minutes.
  14. To fill the tostada bowl:
    • Add a layer of beans
    • Add rice
    • Add the fajitas and crumbles
    • Add lettuce, onions, tomatoes
    • Add sour cream, guac, and cheese
  15. Plate and serve!FullSizeRender-15.jpgFullSizeRender-13.jpg

Suggestions, Substitutions, Tips & Tricks:

  • One tostada bowl serves one person.
  • You can substitue the veggie Mexican crumbles for ground turkey or beef. You can add Mexican seasoning to it. You can also add seasoned chicken

Tag me on Instagram, @cookingwithovenmitz, if you do make it. I would love to see your version of it. Click follow and hit the like button to keep updated on new recipes!

See you next Wednesday!

– Mitz

cooking

Mozzarella & Arugula Panini

Hi all! Hope everyone is having a fantastic week! Today, I will be sharing a simple yet delicious recipe that I tried from Blue Apron. Mozzarella and Arugula Panini is the perfect go-to recipe to make for lunch or even a simple dinner. It’s filling and healthy, such a win-win. The fact that this can be made in 30 minutes or less is a bonus! Let’s get started!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Ciabatta Rolls
  • 15 oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 4 oz Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
  • Garlic
  • Arugula
  • Summer Squash
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Black Olives
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Oregano

Directions:

  1. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve the squash lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Using the flat side of your knife, smash the olives; remove and discard the pits, then roughly chop.unnamed-4.jpg
  2. Peel and finely chop the garlic; using the flat side of your knife, smash until it resembles a paste. Halve the rolls. Tear the mozzarella cheese into small pieces.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the squash, olives, vinegar, and up to half the garlic paste. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.unnamed-3.jpg
  4. Set aside to marinate, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. While the squash marinates, in a small pot, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the dried oregano and remaining garlic paste; season with salt and pepper.unnamed-2.jpg
  6. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the crushed tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 4 to 6 minutes, or until slightly reduced in volume. Turn off the heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.unnamed-5.jpg
  7. Place the rolls on a clean, dry work surface. Spread half the tomato sauceonto the cut sides of the rolls. Top the roll bottoms with half the arugula, the mozzarella cheese, and all but a pinch of the parmesan cheese; season with salt and pepper. Complete the paninis with the roll tops.
  8. In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a thin layer of oil on medium until hot. Carefully add the paninis. Place a heavy pot on top of the paninis and press down. Cook, occasionally pressing down on the pot, 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until the rolls are lightly browned and the cheese has melted.
  9. (If the pan seems dry, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil before flipping the paninis.) Transfer to a cutting board; immediately season with salt and pepper.
  10. While the paninis cook, to the bowl of marinated squash, add the remaining arugula. Toss to thoroughly combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the remaining tomato sauce to a serving dish; garnish with the remaining parmesan cheese.
  11. Cut the cooked paninis in half on an angle. Divide the paninis and salad between 2 dishes. Serve with the tomato sauce on the side. Enjoy!unnamed-7.jpgunnamed-8.jpgunnamed-6.jpg

Suggestions, Substitutions, Tips & Tricks:

  • This recipe serves about 2 people.
  • You can add grilled chicken or any other meat if you’d like.

Tag me on Instagram, @cookingwithovenmitz, if you do make it. I would love to see your version of it. Click follow and hit the like button to keep updated on new recipes!

See you next Wednesday!

– Mitz

cooking

Roasted Cauliflower & Freekeh Salad

Happy Wednesday everyone! It’s super gloomy here on the east coast. I thought all of these showers were supposed to happen in April, not May…”April showers bring May flowers” Anywho, this recipe on Roasted Cauliflower & Freekeh Salad provides wonderful flavors to make up for the gloomy weather! A friend of mine is subscribed to Blue Apron and had the privilege to send free boxes to friends. Luckily, I snagged one! Although this is my first time trying any subscription meal delivery kit, I had mixed thoughts on it. However, this blog isn’t a review but I will provide my thoughts and opinions at the end of this post. Roasted Cauliflower & Freekeh Salad provides such an abundance of flavor and Middle Eastern/Mediterranean taste, it truly was one of my favorite dishes by far. It only takes about 40 minutes to make and is very healthy! Let’s get started!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup cracked freekeh
  • 1/2 cup plain green yogurt
  • Persian cucumber
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • Lemon
  • Garlic
  • Parsley
  • Roasted almonds
  • Tahini
  • Tahini dressing spice blend
  • Medjool dates

Directions:

  1. To prepare and roast the cauliflower, heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high heat.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  3. Wash and dry the cauliflower and cut off and discard the stem end and leaves.
  4. Cut the head into 1 inch thick slices and then place on a baking tray. Season with salt or pepper to taste.
  5. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes then remove from oven when tender and then set aside.
  6. To prepare the freekeh, bring a pot of water to boil on high heat.
  7. Add the freekeh and cook for 25 minutes until tender.
  8. Drain any excess water and set aside.
  9. While the freekeh is cooking, prepare the tahini dressing.
  10. In a bowl, combine the tahini spice blend, juice of 1 lemon wedge, 3 tbsp of water, and a dash of olive oil. Whisk until smooth.
  11. In another bowl, combine the yogurt, juice of 1 lemon wedge, as much garlic as you’d like, and a dash of olive oil. Whisk until smooth.unnamed-3.jpg
  12. To the pot of cooked freekeh, add the sliced cucumber, dates, almonds, and half the parsley, and juice of the remaining lemon wedges. unnamed-2.jpgunnamed-4.jpg
  13. To plate your dish: spread some yogurt sauce into a thin layer on the plate.
  14. Top with the finished freekeh and roasted cauliflower. Garnish with half of the tahini dressing and remaining parsley.
  15. Serve and eat up!unnamed-5.jpgunnamed-6.jpgunnamed-7.jpgunnamed-8.jpg

Suggestions, Substitutions, Tips & Tricks:

  • This recipe is supposed to serve 2 but I had probably 4 servings of freekeh leftover.
  • With Blue Apron, everything comes packaged for you, so I found it difficult if I wanted a little bit more of something such as lemon or tahini.
  • This recipe is supposed to take 30 minutes to cook, however it took me a little less than an hour.
  • Nonetheless, its very delicious and very healthy!

It’s very easy to find these ingredients in your local grocery store. This recipe is perfect for dinner or a weekend lunch. I can’t tell you enough on how delicious all of the flavors are! Go ahead and make Roasted Cauliflower & Freekeh Salad right now!!

Tag me on Instagram, @cookingwithovenmitz, if you do make it. I would love to see your version of it. Click follow and hit the like button to keep updated on new recipes!

See you next Wednesday!

– Mitz