Posts Tagged fried chicken

Around the World Thursday at Forty Two

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One of the biggest shortcomings of the Little Rock food scene is that many of the chefs/restaurants tend to play it safe with menu items. Forgoing creativity in favor of familiarity, they often lose the opportunity to introduce diners to new and innovative dishes. That’s a soapbox issue I’ll save for another day, but it did get me to thinking about why I enjoyed my recent seven-course, Around the World Dinner at Forty Two (inside the Clinton Presidential Center) so much.

It was creative … and it took some chances.

Chef Burrow and his team prepared a themed menu for the evening, all part of an event the restaurant holds each month centered-around the cuisine of a chosen country. This month was Korea.

While Forty Two obviously does not specialize in Korean food, I certainly applaud them for branching out and attempting a style of food unfamiliar to both their chefs and many local diners.

Was every course a homerun? No. Some missed the mark, like the stone grilled mussels and Korean barbecue short ribs, but others were absolutely fantastic, like the bulgogi, a marinated Akaushi beef with scallions, sticky rice and soy-brewed shiitakes, as well as the Korean fried chicken, and a dessert course of street-vendor pancakes.

The insane amount of food, coupled with a low price tag and an admirable amount of risk-taking, earned Forty Two a certain amount of leniency for any minor missteps. I’ve never eaten that much well-cooked food for such a low cost, making the entire evening feel almost like an act of kindness from the restaurant. I’ll shut up now before Forty Two raises the price for September, but just know that if you’re in the mood for a fun evening filled with innovative cooking, these Around the World Thursdays provide a wonderful option.

It’s also worth noting that chef Stephen Burrow exuded a calm command over his kitchen, a trait we were fortunate enough to witness while dining at the chef’s table. He and his team rifled through course after course with a controlled, systematic precision that was both unexpected and quite impressive. And the best part? They all seemed to be genuinely enjoying themselves.

As were we.

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More Info: Around the World Thursdays are held on the third Thursday of each month and cost $27.95 per person. Seating is limited and reservations are required. For more info, visit their website or call 501.537.0042

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You Are What You Eat: Redefining “Comfort” Food

Lyndi-pixMonthly Feature
Lyndi knows what it’s like living without certain foods due to allergies, sensitivities, and conscience.

The funny thing about food and eating is that it is constantly changing. We eat to live and some of us love to eat. Most of us manage that love with proper balance or else we know it can easily have it lead us down a path of destruction.

Life is bursting with ups and downs. We eat to celebrate. We eat to comfort.

Somewhere in the middle is balance.

Too many celebrations can lead to excess if we aren’t careful. Too many stresses can do the same.

A few days ago a posted I comment on facebook about comfort foods. I asked, “…what’s your poison?” The choice of “poison” was purposeful. After all, it is comfort food that we were talking about. It’s how we self medicate.

The answers took the expected route: ice cream, chips, whiskey (that one cracked me up), fried chicken, you know, all the tasty stuff we all love to indulge in. Yet, there were two things I was curious to see in the answers: (1) who would list something actually healthy and (2) who would call me out because I didn’t list my answer.

It made me wonder…

Why is comfort food usually something you should not consume in excess… or even in small doses?

Why couldn’t I come up with answer to my own question?

A small seed of an idea is planted within me.

Why can’t we rethink the definition of comfort foods? Why don’t we ignore conventional wisdom and step out from the crowds. Think about how much sensory pleasure you get when creating a simple dish with clean foods that celebrate its unique flavors. Think about how great it feels to sit down with a beautiful dish of just ripe avocado, with sliced Vidalia onions, cherry tomatoes, lime juice, and heart of palm. Most of the time these types of dishes take less time to prepare than it does to heat up or run out and buy our traditional bowls of calories.

Who wants to join me in this revolution?

Lyndi

Please check out Lyndi’s blog, as well as follow her on Facebook and Twitter!

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