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Abrazos! xox Penny

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Getting Down and Dirty: Dirt Candy

I originally wrote this in June but pulled it to wait out some exciting news. It is now August 10th, I can't wait any longer and this The Red, White and Food is a big shout out. Amanda is the first vegetarian chef to compete on Iron Chef America!! The air date is August 29th, 10 p.m. eastern, 9 for us central folks. The battle is on! Mark your calendars. And, for those of you headed to New York...don't miss Dirt Candy!

And so, now is the perfect time to get down and dirty with Amanda Cohen and her jewel of a restaurant, Dirt Candy. I discovered Dirt Candy on one of my "walk abouts" and fell in love with her food. And, her story of opening her restaurant in 2008 is pretty amazing, too. What is "Dirt Candy"? Vegetables, of course. She says it all on her website,
"Anyone can cook a hamburger, but leave vegetables to the professionals".

Her textures and flavors are melt-in-your-mouth fabulous and so palate-pleasing even the most die-hard carnivore wouldn't miss meat. Anyway, it's all about what fabulous foods are there, not what's not! The pictures only tell part of the story. The flavors are like nothing else. You just gotta be there! And, take me.

Here is the mouthwatering scrapbook of my evening there. For starters, the must-have Jalapeno Hush Puppies with Maple Butter. One bite and you know. Yes, it's Dirt Candy.

And digging deeper and deeper into her candy jar, next came the "Mushroom" appetizer: portobello mousse, truffled toast, pear and fennel compote.

For an entree, I chose "Tomato": fried green tomatoes, toasted coconut and yellow tomato sauce over tomato spaetzle.

Lissa had "Corn": stone ground grits, corn cream, pickled shiitakes, huitlacoche, tempura poached egg.

I wish you could just have one bite of her food. Well, you must. That's all there is to it. Because, until you do, these pictures are just eye candy. Let me know if you are headed to New York and I will map out my list of treasures! A stop at Dirt Candy is a sweet treat indeed, from start to finish. Here is our sorbet-luscious dessert. We were supposed to share it. Sorry, sweetie!

When I got home, I emailed Amanda, thanked her for the beyond delicious evening and asked for her favorite cookbooks. I am going to explore each one she recommended and luckily, I already had one and look forward to digging deeper into the recipes.

I am so grateful for the "sweet people I continue to meet" like Amanda. I'll be on the edge on my seat on the 29th!!! Get down and dirty, girl. Win that thing!

And, here's a message just in from Amanda, "Thanks for the post! I hope lots of people watch the show! It was crazy fun!"

We'll be there!

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