“Always let your meat rest.” – Dad

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” Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one’s life. ” – Anthony Bourdain

I wish I could take credit for this dish but I must give it up to my father who is one part of the reason I’m obsessed with all things food. Every now and then I get to enjoy a home cooked meal that reminds me of why I started Fond Media and The Fond Chef blog. I want to show how the act of preparing and eating good food is more than what you see. It’s trial and error, it’s history, it’s science,it’s beautiful, it’s love,comfort, nature, simplicity, and the surest way to humility!

Seared Porkchops with Onion Fig Reduction

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Pork chops and onion fig reduction

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Ingredients :
2 Pork chops
Salt and pepper
Cooking oil
1/2 white onion julienne
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 Lemon tea bag
1 1/2 cup water
4-5 brown turkey figs halved or mashed

Step 1.
Season pork with salt and pepper

Step 2.
Combine tea bags, sugar, figs and water bring to a boil and remove tea bags.

Step 3. Add onions and simmer on low heat until reduced to desired thickness stirring frequently.

Step 4.
Pan sear porkchops with cooking oil about 3-4min each side. Remove to serving plate and top with fig and onion reduction.

5 Important Dining and Dating tips

Some things are obvious like don’t chew with your mouth full, use proper cutting technique or even to remember to not slurp the last drops of creamy lobster bisque! But throughout my career and personal life so far I have gathered five things which I believe to be rising
in importance of our etiquette and respect for whomever we select to date.

5. Never disrespect your server.
This one should be obvious but something about paying for a meal or ordering in front of people makes some folk act down right mean. I’ve heard the nastiest most demeaning words come out towards servers. Any problem can be fixed in the kitchen without the attitude. Most of the time these uncouth people will only be satisfied with a complimentary meal or atleast a dessert. This behavior makes you look unstable (at the very least) instead of powerful .

4. Bring a freshener
I remember one of my first movie dates and the girl got up to grab what I thought was going to be popcorn. A few minutes go by and she returns with a smile on her face ” You want a pickle” she said? Why? Why WOULD I want a pickle? I never knew they even sold pickles! I use to like them but “NO THANKS”. They make your breath less than desirable and the kisses will be sour! Of course this is the part where she wants to lock lips! I always carry some sort of freshener for dates. Don’t worry about it too much. If something looks good eat it! As long as you make the attempt to cover any lingering smells you won’t offend anyone.

3. Don’t gawk

I’ve asked bartenders and servers about what they think is a big offense people make while on dates in restaurants and the consensus is gawking. According to them the wandering of the eyes is mostly a male trait. Atleast so blatantly (women are more sly with it). If someone takes time out their life to spend with you you owe them 100%attention (within reason). Make them feel like you really wanted their time and are happy to have it. Focus!

2. Thank you, Thank you
You can’t really say thank you enough on a date. Let the other person know you don’t expect but appreciate them paying for the meal, drink, dessert whatever it is be thankful!  It’s not sucking up, it let’s the other person feel appreciated and willing to experience more with you.

1. Respect the cuisine
If you have not selected the restaurant but have no special requirements by all means ORDER OFF THE MENU! Whoever wanted to take you to this nice restaurant wanted you to try something along the lines of what the establishment is known for not something off the kids menu. If your at an Indian restaurant make an attempt to order something ethnic. It’s Easier than you! Don’t order pork chops and then ask for ketchup ( I once had a server yell at my date for brutalizing Vietnamese cuisine). Thus is what I mean by respect the cuisine.

The other side of happy hour!

  First off let me say sorry for being away so long!  I’ve been hitting the gym hard as well as sampling the cuisine and nightlife. The rare occasion happened when me and a coworker both had the day off. We ended up at Lindey’s in the historic German Village in Columbus, OH. Although established in 1981 Lindey’s feels like you stepped into a 1950s upscale restaurant. Everything shines, leather seats, and the bartenders wear long sleeves and tucked in ties.

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Honey sriracha wings and truffle fries

Our sampling began with honey sriracha wings and truffle fries. This was my first time having truffle oil fries and although pleasing they were overshadowed by the wings. Under the sticky sweet glaze that didn’t drip off was the amazing crisp skin. The thing about these wings is they didn’t get soggy as they cooled!
For dinner I ordered Tempranillo red wine and beef carpaccio. My wine choice was based solely on the fact that I never seen Tempranillo on any other wine list in the area.

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Tempranillo is the dimunitive of the Spanish Temprano (“early”), a reference to the fact that it ripens earlier than other Spanish grapes. Tempranillo has low acidity and sugars so is often blended with merlot or cabernet to liven the flavor profile. The aromas and flavors can include plum, berries, tobacco, leather, and vanilla. I definitely get a berry aroma followed by a plum like flavor.

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Most people know I rarely eat beef but I have heard so much of this dish it’s been on my list for awhile now! The Italian version of sushi, beef Carpaccio, is thinly sliced beef marinated in olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper, topped with mushrooms, parmesan, and spicy arugula. So simple but so satisfying!

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Do like I did and take advantage of happy hour at various places to sample the atmosphere and goods for cheap and save money for dates and business dinners . Then when your ready for date night you are familiar with all the restaurants in the area.

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Pan seared Scallops and foie gras with butternut squash puree, fruit mostarda and microgreens

” Eating is not merely a material pleasure. Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship. It is of great importance to the morale. ”

– Elsa Schiaparelli Italian fashion designer

Spanish limes/Chinese longan

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Longans and Spanish limes

“If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got!”-Mom

This is just one of many mantras I heard from my wonderful mother growing up. I love trying new things anyway but sometimes I need a little extra push! When I’m craving crisp grapes, sweet cherries, juicy pineapple, or the always versatile banana I must remember there’s more to this world! This trip to the market I bring back Spanish limes and longan fruit.
  Native to the Caribbean, Spanish limes go by many names. Mamoncillo, quenepas, genip, and limoncillo are the most common. This small round citrus fruit is about the size of an olive with a thin hard shell. Inside the shell is a large seed with a pulpy sweet membrane surrounding. The flesh is orange to salmon in color. Since the seed takes most of the mass of a Spanish lime they are sucked until the pulp is gone. The fruit can be sweet or sour. Despite the name the taste is not like lime to me and more like a tangerine or the Tang drink mix.

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Spanish lime

  It’s common to enjoy these fruits with a sprinkle of chili powder, salt, and lime juice. The seeds can be roasted and salted for a snack. Spanish limes have great citrus flavor and help curb appetite but I think a little too much work to prepare any dishes from it. Be careful eating these despite the light color of the fruit it stains a dark brown.

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Longan fruit or dragon’s eye fruit is native to southern China and I’m surprised to actually find them fresh and not canned or dried. Nicknamed the dragons eye for the translucent flesh and dark seed with white spot resembling an iris. The longan shell is reddish brown and thin with a smooth bark like skin. The fruit is shelled by squeezing like a sunflower. Each 100-gram serving contains just 60 calories but with 3 ounces of water, so they help you keep thin and hydrated throughout the day . The longan has a crisp, juicy texture like a firm ripe white grape but a mild sweetness something like a cantaloupe.
Traditional Chinese medicine holds that longan fruit is a great aphrodisiac, relaxant, and skin tonic as well. The fruit is high in iron making it great for blood production. They give a relaxing effect to the nerves and are shown to enhance the nerve function, lower irritability and reduce fatigue. The benefits are a plus but you can eat these like crazy just because too! Definitely a new favorite of mine, I encourage you all to give the longan a taste test whenever you come across these little market gems!
Let me know what you think! If you like this please “like” it! – FC

 

My love for Prosciutto and Mozz

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   This is a simple dish with tons of flavor and very little prep that is a perfect snack anytime of day. I like to make a plate and keep it in the fridge for snack time. The biggest thing to watch here is eating too much as this dish is full of fat! Definitely not what you want to be snacking on if you have any sort of fitness goals!
   Prosciutto is an Italian dry cured ham commonly thinly sliced and served uncooked. It’s a great topping for pizza and bruschetta or wrap for thin cuts of meat or seafood. Salty but sweet with a light mouthfeel combine to make this meat irresistible and downright addictive!
One of my favorite cheeses , mozzarella, was traditionally produced only from Italian water buffalo. Today sometimes cow’s milk is used but I’m not sure how the taste differs. Fresh mozzarella is the semi-soft cheese held in brine not the dry shredded stuff! Mozzarella comes in many sizes from tiny nuggets to one pound balls . I usually get the larger size and slice into thin rounds. Mix fresh chopped basil, thyme,garlic, dried oregano, olive oil, and red pepper flakes for some kick. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature for best flavor! If you enjoyed this please like and follow. – FC