I recently had the opportunity to visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s fabulous school of architecture in Scottsdale, AZ. Taliesin West is a wonderful mix of tranquility and excitement. Young, creative students from all over the world are buzzing with energy and fresh ideas. You can sense they are on the verge of the next big architectural statement. Being among Frank Lloyd Wright’s work is fascinating and very personal. I felt I was in his home as much as his school. Interested in a tour?: http://www.franklloydwright.org/about/TaliesinWestTours.html
I was fortunate to be the guest of my good friend Anna who is on the school’s board of directors. We were there for a gala mid-century formal dinner party that was planned, prepared, cooked and served by the kids. Amazing! These young men and women are here to learn more than just architecture. The meal was simple, elegant and delicious. We started with hors d’ouevres and cocktails in the library and moved to the main dining room for dinner. Simple green salad dressed with herb viniagrette, very rich boeuf bourguignon (ala Julia) and ended with light French meringues topped with raspberry sauce.
On our way out of town the next day Anna suggested we have brunch at one of Andy Weil’s new restaurants. True Food Kitchens (http://www.truefoodkitchen.com/) are located in AZ, TX, CO, and CA. Very hip decor with yummy and healthy food!
|This is the smile that “Bright Eyes” puts on your face!
Anna started with a concoction called, Bright Eyes. I like that the menu really spells out all ingredients. This refreshing drink was made with juice of pear, ginger, beet, pineapple and tumeric. Not too sweet and priced right at $6.00. In fact all the prices were very reasonable. We split a carmelized onion tart ($10.00 and worth every bite!) with smoked garlic–you could taste the smoke!, black figs and gorgonzola. That combination is super and this could easily be replicated at home although not sure how he did the smoked garlic.
For her main course, Anna ordered some interesting Grilled Albacore Tuna Sliders ($15.00) with wasabi aioli, daikon, avocado, and cucumber. I had Two Organic Eggs with Turkey Sausage and Sweet Potato Hash ($10.00).
The sausages were nice and spicy and eggs cooked to perfection. It tasted much more like pork than turkey (thank goodness!). I like a little more thyme in my sweet potato hash so decided to make some when I got home.
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium sized red onion, peeled and diced (or shallots or yellow onion)
3 large cloves garlic, peeled, diced finely
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Butter
1 tsp. dried thyme or big bunch fresh, leaves plucked from stem
Salt/Pepper to taste
Dash of hot sauce or hot pepper flake
In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add everything except the Tbsp. of butter. Get a little crisp on the veg and then turn the heat down to medium low and let cook until potatoes are tender, but not soft; about 25-30 minutes. Stir every 5 minutes or so as sweet potatoes can stick because of their high sugar content. Check the flavors and add more herb, hot sauce, salt or pepper. Stir in the Tbsp. of butter and let cook another 10 minutes. The butter brings all the flavors together. I like hash with a little zip so added more than a dash of hot sauce. Hash can be any combination of vegetables with or without meat. It doesn’t have to be made with corned beef and mushy white potatoes all looking and smelling like your puppy’s favorite Purina. Experiment and have fun!
|Here’s my Sweet Potato Hash with Eggs over Easy and Ham Steak.
I would recommend Andy Weil’s restaurant to anyone who likes attention to detail in their cooking, interesting food flavors, cool contemporary dining environment, and all healthy at a reasonable price. I have never recommended a restaurant in my blog, but know you will not be disappointed with this one.
Until next time, as always…
HAVE FUN IN THE CUCINA!
Try different ingredients and combinations of flavors.
And, please let me know what you come up with!
|Enjoying a LARGE Guinness at Tiny’s in Tucson before the John Oates concert.
Remember Hall & Oates? John Oates performing solo was fantastically entertaining.
Thoroughly enjoyable night of music and personal stories.