Rock ‘n’ Roll Fingers, Tempe, AZ

This place is a little mom-and-pop kind of establishment, but it is so good! The atmosphere is quaint and very rock and roll, considering LP’s act as a border for the room, there are pictures of Elvis, Jim Morrison and U2 on the walls, and let’s not forget their logo, the rock and roll chicken. He reminds me of Rockadoodle.

This is a map to their location. They are on the SE corner of Broadway and Rural, sitting next to the FYE.

This is a map to their location. They are on the SE corner of Broadway and Rural, sitting next to the FYE.

We went there just because I had seen it from across the street, and I’m in love. They make a special mayo-based sauce for their chicken, homemade Texas Toast,  and a tasty spice on their french fries. And the best part, you can get enough chicken for a hearty lunch for less than $10. Yay!!

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Surf and Turf

shrimp cooking

This is the shrimp in process

Steak, garlic, wine, and shrimp. Mix it all together for a simple, quick and super tasty dinner! Technically, according to the recipe, I’m supposed to add vermouth instead of wine. But I used what I had on hand. What was interesting is that I’ve never actually cooked with alcohol before… so I was a little worried about burning down my kitchen. But success! The kitchen is still intact.

The basic steps to this dish are to cook the shrimp in olive oil for about 30 seconds, add in the minced garlic, and then add herbs and the wine (or vermouth!). The trick is to cook the shrimp only until they are lightly pink and a little firm. I seared some steak to go on the side – that’s the turf of the surf and turf. Voila!

And it even looks pretty!

And it even looks pretty!

Rachel Ray gave me some help with this one too, I improvised from her “Italian-Style Garlic Shrimp with Cherry Tomatoes and Thin Spaghetti” for the shrimp.

Stuffed Pork Chops – a complete experiment

Knowing the basics can be essential. You can’t break the rules until you know the rules, right? So I knew I wanted stuffed pork chops – something different from the BBQ pork that I’ve been making. But what to put in it?

Egg. Yes, that holds it together. Breadcrumbs. To absorb the egg to hold it together. Veggies. Duh! Spices. Even more obvious – that’s how I cook. The correct combination of the bunch was the trick. I felt like I was doing a science experiment.

It doesn't look highly appetizing, but it tastes AMAZING.

It doesn't look highly appetizing, but it tastes AMAZING.

After talking to mom about her ideas on the topic, we came up with garlic and onions, essential in almost any super tasty dish that involves other veggies. Carrots, grated, not chopped. They’d cook faster that way. And I don’t like to wait. Celery, for a little crispness; mushrooms…because they’re awesome. On to the spices. Oregano, to give it a smoky flavor; salt and pepper, of course ( that’s another one of those essentials); sage for it’s unnatural and earthy flavor that doesn’t get the pleasure to be in a lot of the dishes I make; parsley to bring out the flavors of the other herbs; basil to go with the oregano. I might have missed something there…Here’s the recipe.

Part two of the experiment. To grill or to bake? I had two different cuts of pork chops – both which were a pain in the butt to butterfly. Note to cooker: don’t use pork chops that you want to butterfly that have a bone, it’s rather difficult. Therefore, the smaller, boneless pork chops were butterflied, stuffed and grilled, ready in about 15 minutes. The thicker cut, bone-in pork chops were butterflied to the best of my ability and baked at 350 degrees. That took closer to an hour. And frankly? The grilled ones tasted better. Maybe baking the pork chops in some chicken stock too? They were surrounded by the stuffing though…curiouser and curiouser.