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Friday Foodie: B Spot

The Love Bungalow

Apparently, there exists a celebrity chef named Michael Symon who started a chain of “industrial-chic” burger spots after a successful run on Iron Chef. Never heard of him. But I have heard of spiked milkshakes, so after learning they were being served at the newest B Spot location on the north side of Indy, I made a trip to the Ironworks building to try them out.

Moral of the story? Don’t go.

B Spot offers “gourmet” burgers, but the toppings are nothing new, unless eggs, BBQ sauce, and chorizo suddenly became gourmet while I was on Christmas vacation.

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And that’s all they serve! Like you better like burgers or you’re left with a couple salad options or a chicken sandwich. And the boozy milkshakes? You get 1 oz liquor compared to the 20 oz milkshake, so the taste is long lost in chocolate foam.

My friend and I split the…

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Ground Beef Tostadas

(from pages 51 and 53 of The Mexican Cook Book by George and Inger Wallace.  Published by Nitty Gritty Productions, Concord, CA, 1971)

Some weeks ago, I got a package of corn tortillas at work and didn’t know what to do with them.  Lucky for me my parents had this cookbook!  I found this 43-year-old recipe for delicious, albeit messy, tostadas.

For tostadas
8 tortillas                                                          1 large sliced avocado
Vegetable oil for frying                                     1/2 c shredded cheese
2 c refried beans                                             1 pt sour cream
2 c ground beef filling (see below)                   Sliced black olives
2 c shredded lettuce                                        Pickled or canned chiles
2 sliced tomatoes

For ground beef filling
1 T vegetable oil                                   2 oz black olives, chopped
1/2 onion, minced                                 1 envelope taco seasoning
1 clove of garlic, minced                       Salt and pepper to taste
1 lb ground beef

Brown beef in the vegetable oil.  Remove from skillet and add onions and garlic.  Saute onions and garlic until tender.  Add meat back to skillet and mix in other ground beef filling ingredients.  Set aside.

Fry tortillas on both sides in hot vegetable oil until crisp.  Drain on paper towels.  Spread the tortillas with refried beans and then meat filling.  Add lettuce, tomato, and avocado slices.  Sprinkle with cheese, and then top with sour cream, olives, and chiles.

Fannie Farmer Meatloaf Recipe

This is by far, the best meatloaf I’ve ever had.  It’s an old recipe, but it still works.

2 cups breadcrumbs
1 onion, chopped fine
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 pounds ground beef
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a loaf pan.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, using your clean hands.  Pat into the loaf pan and bake for at least an hour.

Fresh & Creamy Guacamole

A delicious-sounding guacamole recipe–I’ve made guacamole of my own before, but I’d be interested in trying this.

nom and nom

Not much beats the freshness of hand-made guacamole. If you have 10 minutes and a handful of simple ingredients, this green beauty can be yours to dress up your tacos, salads, sandwiches, or chips!

Guacamole! Guacamole!

Ingredients

1 1/2 Persian limes, juiced

3 Haas avocados, peeled and pitted

Handful of cilantro (smaller stems are okay!)

1/3 yellow onion

1 large clove garlic, peeled

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp Kosher salt

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, pulsing to achieve the level of creaminess or chunkiness you prefer. I use (and adore) the Ninja Master Prep system. Serve fresh or chilled. Great with chips, on tacos, or as a tasty garnish to enchiladas or soups.

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Microwave Spaghetti Squash

I had quite a hard time with this spaghetti squash recipe.  The original recipe said to cook the squash in the microwave without cutting it in half, but because the squash was so big, it seemed to take forever to get it to soften.  Finally, my mother and I came up with a solution: soften the squash until it’s soft enough to cut in half, then microwave each half for three minutes on each side.

1 spaghetti squash

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 small clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 lb. mushrooms, thinly sliced

1/3 c sliced green onions

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/3 c grated Parmesan cheese

Pierce squash all over with a sharp knife.  Place on 2 paper towels in microwave.  Microwave on high about 15 minutes, rotating the squash 3 times during cooking, until you can leave an impression on the squash surface by pressing it with your finger.  Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes or until cool enough to handle.  Cut squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds, and place each piece of squash on a microwave-safe dish.  Microwave each piece for three minutes on each side.

Place oil, garlic, and oregano in 2-quart microwave-safe casserole.  Microwave on high 1.5 to 2 minutes until oil is hot.  Add mushrooms and green onions; cover loosely with waxed paper.  Microwave on high 2 to 3 minutes, stirring once, until mushrooms are just tender.  Stir in salt and pepper.

Using a fork, remove the flesh from the squash shell (it should come out in spaghetti-like strands) and add to mushroom mixture.  Toss until coated with oil.  Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Farfalle with Roasted Garlic and Eggplant

This is a recipe my mother cut from the Columbus Dispatch in 2007.  We’d been growing eggplant in our garden that year, so we tried out a bunch of recipes.  This was our favorite.

3 Tbsp olive oil

2 small or 1 large eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices

Salt and pepper

1 head roasted garlic

1 lb cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

1 lb farfalle (bow-tie pasta) or rigatoni

3 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into small pieces

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Brush 2 Tbsp of the oil onto both sides of the eggplant slices; season with salt and pepper.  Place on 2 baking sheets, making sure the slices don’t touch.  Roast until browned, 20 to 25 minutes.  When cool enough to handle, dice.

Squeeze the roasted garlic into a large serving bowl with the remaining Tbsp of oil, mashing to blend.  Stir in the tomatoes, basil, eggplant, 1/2 tsp of salt, and pepper to taste.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water until tender but still firm to bite.  Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water.

Add cooking water to sauce as needed to loosen sauce.  Serve over pasta.

Mexican Egg Salad

Mexican Egg Salad

If you’re in a hurry, try making this egg salad. It’s very good, and one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever followed. All you need to do is mix up the following ingredients in a bowl:

6 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup prepared salsa
1 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tsps. lemon or lime juice
1 tsp. ground cumin
Minced sweet white onion to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: minced jalapeno to taste

The result is delicious and healthy. It certainly beats fast food any day.