Tag Archives: Dinner

Bacon-Wrapped Maple Wings with Grilled Pineapple

18 Jun

So hilariously enough, when my culinary interests peaked along with the sales of the famous Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, my parents bought me a “50 Shades of Chicken” cookbook.  It’s narrated as a saucy parody, but is chalk full of recipes and techniques. One of my favorites is the maple-glazed wings with bacon (the narration entitled “Bacon Bound”), the obvious reason being the use of a key word in my vocabulary, bacon.

You’ll need:

-1/4 cup maple syrup

-1/4 cup soy sauce

-1/4 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts

-1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine or apple cider vinegar

-1 teaspoon black pepper

-15 chicken wings (about 3 lbs), patted very dry with paper towels

-8 strips bacon

Serves 4 to 6 people, or just me, myself and I.

In a large bowl, combine maple syrup, soy sauce, scallions, vinegar, garlic, and pepper and mix well.  Add the chicken wings and toss them gently so they are covered. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.

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Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Slice the bacon in half lengthwise to yield long thin ribbons (“perfect for restraining your bird”).  Remove the wings from the marinade and wipe off any clinging garlic or scallion pieces.  Tightly tie up each chicken wing in a bacon ribbon and lay the chicken wings, tips up, on a large baking pan.  Cover loosely with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Uncover the dish and continue to bake until golden and crisp, another 10-15 minutes.

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For a burst of contradicting flavor, pair with grilled pineapple! Buy a whole one, cut across for chunks that are an inch or two thick.  Cut around chunks to remove the outside.  Toss on the grill for a few minutes on each side.

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And if you’d like to surprise a fellow carnivore with a lovely present, shop for the cookbook!

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Nommin’ Out: Dino’s Grotto

15 Jun

Happy Sunday! Planning an outing this week? A date or a ladies happy hour perhaps? Look no further than Dino’s Grotto, one of Shaw/U Street’s latest awesome additions on 9th street.  Previously located in Cleveland Park, Dino’s revamped restaurant features two levels, a robust and ever-changing Italian menu, and saucy wine descriptions.  My roommate read about Dino’s new location in this Thrillist article, so a group of us chicas checked it out last week for dinner and drinks.  And let me tell you, it did NOT disappoint.  Also, the happy hour is pretty terrific for all you winos out there.  Each glass is a healthy 8 ounce pour and $3 off during happy hour, which goes until 7pm.  I spent $12 on 3 enormous glasses of wine, which is borderline unheard of in the District.

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Below are some favorites from their rapidly-changing menu.  Thank goodness my friends are patient, and let me try and snap a perfect pic whilst staring longingly at their untouched food 🙂

The Burrata (Air freighted from Italy olive & red pepper purees – oven roasted tomato)

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Calamari Salad

 

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Duck Fat Potatoes (incredible)

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Meatballs (Truck patch pork, dartagnan veal, ricotta, bread, egg, spicy tomato sauce)

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Stuffed Squash Blossoms

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Mozzarella in Carrozza  (Fried italian mozzarella di bufala sandwich, egg, spicy sorrento tomato sauce)

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Now go figure out a time this week to check it out!

Nommin’ Out: U Street Treats

7 Apr

I love living in Shaw for many reasons.  I live right next to LeDroit Park and can hear bubbly children running after the ice cream truck on the weekends.  A community garden is near my house where Shaw residents work together on their veggie plots.  Howard University hospital and dorms are a stone’s throw away.  My neighbors are always stoop chillin’ with a smile on their faces.  Add all of that to the fact that I can walk just a few short blocks to some of the hottest new bars and restaurants in NW, and it starts to make sense why I never leave this area.  Two of the most recent additions to my favorite hood, both of which have already been acclaimed by the Washington Post, are Right Proper Brewery Company and El Rey.

Right Proper Brewery Company

Right around the corner from the Shaw/Howard Metro and next to Howard Theater on T street, this spot opened in December and has been literally packed ever since.  They offer several beers that are brewed in house, along with several other domestic items like DC Brau, all of which are shockingly low-priced between $4 and $5. Beer aside, the food is phenomenal.  I have eaten there several times, and can definitely attest to Right Proper’s undying popularity.  Below are some of my faves:

Chilled Avocado Snack & Bacon-Fried Kale Side

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Eight-hour Lamb French Dip (amazeballs)

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All Beef Chili

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check out the full menu here 

 

El Rey

The brains behind the Brixton, American Ice Company, and Satellite Room opened a fourth U Street gem also back in December- El Rey.  It’s located directly next to Dodge City and you definitely can’t miss the cool construction.  The taqueria is made entirely out of shipping containers and has a retractable roof for those beautiful summer nights.  I’ve already enjoyed several margaritas and some delicious tacos.  My favorite was the al Pastor taco, filled with pork shoulder, pineapple, and chipotle sauce.  Also convenient for U Street, the takeout window is open until 4am on weekend nights to fill your grumbling tummies after a late-night dance sesh.

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Pictured above: The al Pastor, the Carne Asada, and the Pescado.  Menu here!

Hit up one or both of these spots for a weekday date night or a weekend hangout.  Whether it be a Tuesday at 7pm or a Saturday at midnight, I can guarantee you will be pleased.

Nommin’ Out: El Centro

13 Sep

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El Centro on 14th Street NW is a mexican gem.  A DC happy hour favorite, this two story restaurant also has brunch and late night menus available.  The second story is a funky rooftop, a great meetup spot now that it’s September and not a bazillion degrees outside (hopefully?). I have only been for the happy hour- mostly due to $4 house margaritas and $6 guacamole, which they make in front of you.  There are however a plethora of other options.  The happy hours drinks include several types of bottled beer, house wine, margaritas and sangria, available from 5-7pm nightly.  The food happy hour options are extended, including 2 tacos for $6, available from 5-9pm nightly.  Pictured above are the Duck Alambre tacos, which while not on the happy hour taco menu, are definitely worth the $13.95.  Topped with cotija cheese and roasted corn, the taco trio comes with mexican rice and refried beans, SUPER filling!  The duck is definitely a stronger flavor and I only advise it to those who know they like it.  I’ve also had the Grilled Steak tacos, which are available on the happy hour menu and satisfy meat cravings without overwhelming with a specific flavor.

In conclusion, the bartenders are enthusiastic, the food is yummy and affordable, and the happy hour drink options are plentiful.  Snatch a rooftop bar stool and see where the wind blows you….

VIVA ITALIA!

14 Aug

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I hope you’re salivating, because this is some seriously awesome stuff. Welcome to my version of Italian cuisine! I have been lucky enough to visit Italy on two separate occasions, and am well aware that I cannot do the food justice.  However, after getting a little imaginative during my standard Target grocery shopping spree, I decided to try a concoction reminiscent of lunch on a terrazza outside of the Duomo.  Pictured above is an open-faced sandwich of five ingredients: Garlic Naan bread (used 1/2 for the recipe, comes in a pack of two full size pitas), Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Mozzarella, 1 Tomato and Prosciutto.  The prosciutto is the most expensive item on the list, roughly $5.50 per pack, but totally worth it.

I slathered the Naan bread with hummus and layered on sliced mozzarella, and placed in a toaster oven until the cheese melted.  I added an entire sliced tomato and several pieces (okay most of the pack) of prosciutto, topped it off with some garlic powder and more hummus– wallah! Takes 5 minutes. Coupled with a glass of red wine, and you have una cena molto buona! DO IT.

Chicken, Quinoa & Zucchini Bowl

8 Jul

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What is a better/easier way to dine in the sweet summertime than a massive bowl of grilled goodness??  The key ingredients: a healthy starch, protein, and veggies.  For this week’s Grill Bowl, I purchased one box of cous cous (comes in several flavors, like Rosemary & Olive Oil), two chicken breasts, one small yellow zucchini, and one small green zucchini.  All simple and very affordable.

Grill Instructions:

-Slice and dice the two zucchinis how you like.  Cut in long, thick strips if you are going to lay them directly on the grill.  Dice up in chunks if you  have a grill pan.  Thinly coat with olive oil, salt/pepper those bad boys, and grill for a 5 minutes or until soft.

-Choose your favorite grill rub (I use three different ones usually- hint: one is LOTS OF GARLIC POWDER).  Coat chicken with rub and toss on the grill (high heat).  Grill 3 minutes each side or until tender pink.

Assembling the Grill Bowl:

Cook cous cous as instructed on back of the box. Dice up grilled chicken and zucchini.  I threw in some Feta cheese I had in the fridge, some wasabi peas (a casual addiction of mine, buy them at Harris Teeter!), and tossed the mix with a light greek vinaigrette also hiding in the fridge door. Bon appetit!! Share the Grill Bowl with 1-2 other pals and enjoy the summertime goodness!

Nommin’ Out: Tortilla Coast

9 Jun

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Last Friday, a very good friend flew in from out of town.  We decided to celebrate and indulge in a serious hankering for Mexican food. A big group of us chose Tortilla Coast in Logan Circle, conveniently located on the corner of 15th and P street. I always get nervous going out for Mexican; a guacamole appetizer is a must and margaritas usually veer toward the pricier end, making the meal hardly a cheap event. Tortilla Coast was a pleasant surprise. We managed to get there before the happy hour ended at 7:30 (happy hours that end past 7pm are hard to come by) and enjoy a delicious $5 margarita.  Guacamole was of course ordered, followed closely by sizzling Chicken fajitas.  For less than $14, I had sliced chicken breasts, grilled veggies, warm tortilla wraps, and rice.  There was more than enough for me to share with my friends around the table, who were also enjoying their meal decisions.  My total bill was $30, including the fajitas and several margs, not bad for a meal out in the District.

Check it out:

tortillacoast.com

Locations in Logan Circle and Capitol Hill

thewinelifestyle

So close to wine

culinarychronicles.wordpress.com/

Discovering new Foodventures with each bite

A Stairway To Fashion

contact: ralucastoica23@gmail.com

Madison Sheffer

a creative communicator

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