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It’s a Wedding!

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Dirt Candy will be closed this Saturday, July 2 because we’re all going to a wedding.

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And it’s not this creepy taxidermy kitten wedding.

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Danielle, my prep chef who’s been here pretty much since the first day Dirt Candy opened, is getting married and all of us from Dirt Candy are heading out to celebrate with her. So you can’t have dinner here this Saturday, but if you’re somewhere having a meal, raise a glass and wish her the best. She deserves this happiness.

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“S” is for “Sizzle Plates”

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Something you’ll see in every restaurant kitchen, but never in a home kitchen, is the sizzle plate. No, this is not a fajita special, and it’s not something used in a Vegas nightclub in the 60′s (“Get me a sizzle plate act, Joe!”). It’s just a small, steel plate that we couldn’t survive without. Think of them as mini-baking sheets. If you want to put something in the oven to heat, or in the salamander, you toss it on a sizzle plate and pop it in. It’s small, it’s convenient, they get super-hot super-fast, and the sides are sloped so they’re easy to grab with tongs.

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If you’re in a restaurant and you want to keep a protein warm, you toss it on a sizzle plate and throw it in the oven. Or if you’re toasting some nuts, or roasting some beets, the sizzle plate is your solution. At home, you may as well use a baking sheet or a tray, but in a restaurant kitchen, especially one as tiny as Dirt Candy’s, where space is at a premium, the sizzle plate is your friend.

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Horseradish


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Horseradish is one of my favorite ingredients.

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Plus, it’s outrageously phallic!

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At Dirt Candy, I use it to make a horseradish cream sauce for the cauliflower and waffles, so come on inside to get the recipe and hear some more about fresh vs. jarred horseradish.

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(More NSFW photos after the jump)

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Read the rest of this entry »


Four Spices

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These are four of the more exotic spices I’ve been using a lot at Dirt Candy: Urfa, Sumac, Za’atar and Sambar.

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Allow me to introduce them to you…

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Read the rest of this entry »


Summer Vacation

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I need a vacation and because Emily, my sous chef, is heading out of town this week, I’m taking one. Dirt Candy will be closed for the week starting 6/8 and re-opening on 6/17.

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I’m heading to a place where I don’t have to do a whole lot of anything, just sit and relax and stare at a wall until my brain stops hurting.

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I’m also hoping to have some wacky hijinx…

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And harness cool technology to have some hot summer fun.

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See you guys on the 17th!

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Dirt Candy sells out!

So this month, the Mexican restaurant mini-empire, Rosa Mexicano, is doing a Healthy & Organic Mexican Festival. They asked me to work with them and so I met with their chef, David Suarez, and he developed two dishes based on Dirt Candy’s menu. One is Tofu con Salsa de Guajillo y Pina (Coconut-Poached Tofu with Guajillo Chile and Pineapple Broth) which is a Mexican version of my crispy tofu and the other is Queso Fundido con Coliflor Ahumado (Smoked Cauliflower with Melted Goat Cheese) which is a mutant, Mexican version of my cauliflower & waffles. They’ll be on the menus of all 10 Rosa Mexicanos, from New York to LA, for the entire month.

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I’ve never done any kind of superhero team-up like this before, and I’m sort of excited to go to a Rosa Mexicano and demand to get my dishes for free, then send them back to the kitchen for some made-up reason (twice), throw a hissy fit when the plating is different than what I think it should be, smash my plate on the floor, insist on signing a stack of menus, then swoop out the door with my entourage into my double-parked towncar, flipping a table and elbow-checking the hostess on the way out.

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I mean, isn’t that what I’m allowed to do now?

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“Yes, dear. That is EXACTLY what you can do now.”

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Rosa Mexicano locations

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The press release

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menu


Menu

Snack

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Jalapeno Hush Puppies $6
served with maple butter
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Appetizers

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Mushroom $13
portobello mousse, truffled toast
pear & fennel compote

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Cucumber $12
roasted cucumber hot and sour soup,
black sesame, garlic chili oil, wood ear
mushroom, cucumber jelly

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Tomato $13
tomato cake with smoked feta,
yellow tomato leather, herb puree

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Potato $12
warm potato salad, crispy Japanese
yams, grilled sweet potato, olives,
bitter greens, apples

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Entrees

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Beets $20
salt-roasted beets, thai green curry,
beet gnocchi, whipped coconut galangal cream

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Pepper $18
fennel & pepper tofu,
parsley spaetzle, grilled
yellow pepper broth,
mustard crumbs

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Broccoli $21
smoked broccoli dogs,
broccoli kraut, salt &
vinegar broccoli rabe

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Corn $19
stone ground grits, corn cream,
pickled shiitakes, huitlacoche,
tempura poached egg

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- everything on the menu can be made vegan on request.

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Dessert

Rosemary Eggplant Tiramisu $12
grilled eggplant, rosemary cotton
candy, mascarpone

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Ice Cream Nanaimo Bar$11
sweet pea, mint, chocolate

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Popcorn Pudding$11
salted caramel corn

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Celery Cheesecake Roll$10
celeriac ice cream, peanut filling,

& candied grapes

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- vegan dessert selection changes regularly, please ask your server.

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Our wine list (and other beverages)

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Gift Certificates

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