The Local Ladle

Carrot Ginger Dressing

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As many of you know from your childhood or last family birthday outing, the Japanese Hibachi Grill Restaurants have the best salad… Yes I said salad!  Screw the flying shrimp you catch in your mouth and onion volcano…  I dream about the dressing on my favorite Benihana Salad!  It’s actually addicting, so why not have it in my fridge at all times??

You’re welcome.  Here is my perfected recipe to the addicting tany Carrot Ginger Dressing!  Feel free to put in on just about everything!  Read more

Soba Salad with Seaweed & Miso-Ginger Dressing

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When I went to school in Ireland, I was lucky enough to live walking distance from the ocean.  It was the first time in my life I could ever say I lived by the smell of sea salt in the air.

At least 3 times a week, I would either walk or run to the water to escape the chaos of class and also at the same time do a little “grocery shopping.”  My favorite things to pick up along the way were blackberries that lined the streets and also my favorite… seaweed.  I was fascinated by the health benefits and also all the variety of uses it had in the kitchen!

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Chicken Shawarma Sandwiches

Chicken Shwarma Sandwiches

This recipe was greatly inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi, a co-owner of four restaurants and co-author of several successful cookbooks, who has quickly become an idol to me. His inspiration comes from his Mediterranean background and unapologetic obsession with ingredients. When I was in London, I was fortunate enough to be able visit his restaurant Nopi.  It was one of the most breathtaking dining experiences I have ever had! Read more

Sesame Teriyaki Chicken with Ginger Carrots

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Most of you have probably purchased eggs and chicken from the grocery store recently and I am sure have noticed the push of “cage-free” or “free-range” in the packaging, but what does this all mean? Is it worth the few extra dollars? These labels can be confusing, so I am going to try to make it as clear as possible! The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines free-range as “allowing chickens to have some access to an outside area.” This doesn’t include how long or under what conditions. To ensure you are purchasing meat and eggs from free-range chickens that foraged on plants in a natural environment, look for indications on the packing that the chickens were pastured or find the label “Animal Welfare Approved.”

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Spicy Chinese Pork Belly

Chinese Pork Belly

The idea of pairing food and beer is a satisfying echo. Tasting spiciness in the sip of a beer should evoke a similar spiciness in the bite. The lingering zesty sweetness of Spicy Chinese Pork Belly for example, pairs perfectly with Goose Island’s Matilda because of the beers peppery notes. There is also an opposite approach that suggests that using contrasting flavors can also make for a fantastic pairing. This can be discovered in the recipe below with the fattiness of the pork belly that is perfectly cut by the crisp citrusy finish of a sip of Matilda. Read more

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