We've been tagged!
Melissa at the blog The Traveler's Lunchbox is trying "to create a list of food bloggers' top picks for things you've eaten and think that everyone should eat at least once before they die. Think of it as kind of a global food guide, which can enrich and inform our travels and perhaps even clue us into things closer to home that we've somehow overlooked." William at Never Trust a Skinny Chef has tagged us to share our top five! Here they are.
Melissa's Picks. While there are many, many things I'd like to eat/drink before I die (among them: truffles, dinner at the French Laundry, a really expensive bottle of wine) I suppose this list has to be food experiences I've actually had that are worth recommending. So here it goes:
1. Just-caught, pan-fried trout. All you need is a lake, a good fisherman/woman, and a little bit of butter.
2. Jam that you've made all by yourself.
3. Fish and chips wrapped up in newsprint (with a side of mushy peas, of course). And if you can arrange it, be sure to be sitting at the edge of the North Sea.
4. Dinner at Hell's Backbone Grill. If this dinner follows a long backpacking trip in Escalante, the food will taste even better. Trust me.
5. Tea and dark chocolate at the top of a mountain. In the winter. At dark.
Lisa B., over at the Megastore, I'd like to hear your picks.
Sarah's Picks. Yes, this list is France-heavy, but that's where I was when I learned to cook (and to eat with gusto).
1. French fries, not too thick, meltingly potatoey on the inside, perfectly crispy on the outside, preferably as served at Bistro Vendome in Denver: sprinkled with herbs, champagne vinegar, and salt (creating a sweet-salty-crunch punch like Kettle Corn, which would be on this list if I could add a sixth food).
2. Pain au chocolat, a square croissant with a thick line of dark chocolate running through it.
3. Raclette, the traditional Swiss dish that dates back to the days when all people had left to eat by the middle of the winter was ham, potatoes, cheese, and cornichons. Something magical occurs when they're all melted together, especially if you're in a chalet on the top of a mountain with a group of foreign exchange students and one hardy professor handing out shots of Chartreuse. But that's a story for another post.
4. Salade au chevre chaud, mixed baby greens with a garlicky sherry vinaigrette and sliced garden-fresh tomatoes topped with a round of goat cheese that has been broiled, baked, or fried so that it turns golden on the outside and melty on the inside.
5. Fresh-squeezed lemonade.
Sarah tags Ringloss, a friend and dinner companion who always makes her laugh, owns a Fry Daddy, and isn't afraid to try black pepper creme brulee.
1. Eat Moroccan food with your hands. It was probably three years ago that we ate at Boulder's lush, opulent Mataam Fez with Sarah and Ed, but I still can't forget it. When you experience food this way, it engages all your senses. It's slowed-down dining that really celebrates each course. You kick off your shoes and sit on the floor surrounded by pillows. You wash your hands in a fancy bowl brought to the table, you get spritzed with rosewater, and you leisurely savor things like lamb with honey and apricots sans utensils. It's so cliche to say that you feel like royalty, but you do.
2. Go to a farmers' market in Provence -- then have a picnic. When I think of Arles, I think in terms of smells. One of my favorites is the rotisserie chickens you find at the market, with potatoes roasting underneath to catch the juices.
And some of the best meals I had in France were picnics, so after the market, take your culinary finds to a park and settle in for some people-watching.
3. Homemade macaroni & cheese. Is it wrong of me to say that my own mac & cheese is the best I've ever had? A big plateful of this cheers me up on my worst days. You have to use really good cheddar, and you have to let the noodles on top get all browned and crunchy. Oh, I'm giddy just writing this. Add a tiny bit of mustard to the cheese sauce to enhance the sharpness of the cheddar (just don't add so much that it actually tastes like mustard). It sounds weird, but I swear by this trick.
4. Salt caramel. Especially the salt caramel from San Francisco's Recchiuti Confections.
5. Slow-cooked pork carnitas. Should be melt-in-your-mouth, falling-off-the-bone tender, and allowed to shine in a very simple taco: just the pork, a little cilantro and onion, and a squeeze of lime in a corn tortilla. Heavenly. Even better enjoyed with an ice-cold Pacifico.
I could go on and on, but then, that's the beauty of having a food blog. :)
And now, I'll tag KitchenMage. Looking forward to your list!