Southern (or Mississippi) Caviar

Southern caviar incorporates black-eyed peas and veggies. (Nikki Sawyer Moore photo)

Southern caviar incorporates black-eyed peas and veggies. (Nikki Sawyer Moore photo)

Nikki Moore bugBeans are a pantry staple in my house. Economical and a good source of protein, they can be kept around in canned and dried form. Canned beans in particular are good in an emergency when the pantry is bare and people are hungry.

Heated with a few seasonings one can serve them atop rice, throw them into a salad, or blend them into a quick dip. Canned beans compared to dried beans are a time-saver, but they are also more expensive and often contain a high amount of sodium. I justify the higher price based upon convenience, and I cut the sodium by always rinsing canned beans under water before serving. This simple step can reduce the sodium count by up to 50% and makes me feel better about taking the shortcut. Continue Reading

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Mussels with white wine, shallots and tomatoes

Nikki Moore bug

Mussels with white wine, shallots and tomatoes. (Nikki Sawyer Moore photo)

Mussels with white wine, shallots and tomatoes. (Nikki Sawyer Moore photo)

I typically advocate a jump right-in approach to cooking. After all, more often than not, it’s a lack of confidence on the part of the cook that gets them in trouble. The nervous back and forth between the dish on the stove, rapidly charring before them in a most undesirable way, to the recipe, where they search for answers. When should I remove it from the skillet? Is this golden brown? Has it been exactly 3 minutes? Is it normal for it to be smoking this much?

Most people would benefit from relying on their own instincts a bit more. Despite our personal cooking skills, most of us know what burnt looks like and most problems in the kitchen are easily solved with a little commonsense. With that being said, there are some things that need a bit of prior knowledge on the part of the cook in order to be approached with confidence. Mussels are one of these things. Continue Reading

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Meatballs on Main shuts its doors, after less than a year

dining bugMeatballs on Main, which operated less than a year in an old house on North Main Street in Cornelius, closed abruptly on Tuesday, leaving behind unpaid employees and surprised customers. Continue Reading

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Gallery: Opening day at Davidson Farmer’s Market

Market goers tasted a bit of North Carolina scuppernong wine from Fiddlers Vineyard of Cherryville. More photos below. (David Boraks/DavidsonNews.net)

Market goers tasted a bit of North Carolina scuppernong wine from Fiddlers Vineyard of Cherryville. More photos below. (David Boraks/CorneliusNews.net)

Last Saturday, April 6, was opening day for another season of the Davidson Farmer’s Market, with sales shifting from twice a month to weekly for the spring and summer season. Continue Reading

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Stir-Fried Long Beans

Stir-Fried Long Beans (Nikki Sawyer Moore photo)

Stir-Fried Long Beans (Nikki Sawyer Moore photo)

Nikki Moore bug
With sizzle and steam this fragrant recipe yields a side dish of intense flavor in minutes. You briefly sauté ginger, garlic, and shallots before you add the long beans (or green beans) to the wok or skillet. Add the sliced green onions and toss everything together just long enough for the long beans to sear in spots before you add chicken broth, soy sauce and a pinch of sugar to the wok. Cover the dish and let it steam until the beans are crisp tender before serving as an accompaniment to your favorite Asian meal. Continue Reading

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Market’s new season here, with food trucks, new faces

Barbee Farms will be back again this year. These carrots were from a previosu year's crop. (David Boraks/CorneliusNews.net file photo)

Barbee Farms will be back again this year. These carrots were from a previous year’s crop. (David Boraks/CorneliusNews.net file photo)

Vera Samuels

Vera Samuels will give cooking demonstrations at the market’s opening day Saturday.

By DAVID BORAKS
CorneliusNews.net

DAVIDSON – Eight new vendors ranging from food trucks to poultry and vegetable farmers to a scuppernong winemaker will join the Davidson Farmer’s Market for the 2013 spring and summer season. After a winter of twice-monthly tailgate markets, sales shift back to a weekly schedule this Saturday, April 6, from 8am to noon at the market ground next to Davidson Town Hall.

Shoppers will find a slightly revised layout, with the same popular features as past years, including cooking demonstrations (with a new roster of chefs), live local music, and kids’ activities, along with new workshops on gardening and composting. Continue Reading

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Vegetarian Pad Thai with Baked Tofu

Vegetarian Pad Thai with baked tofu

Vegetarian Pad Thai with baked tofu (Nikki Sawyer Moore photo)

Nikki Moore bugStir-frying requires a bit more from the cook than your average culinary technique. It demands organization and a hefty amount of prep work. Dinner happens in a flash with lots of sizzle and steam. The aftermath, lots of prep bowls, mere minutes ago filled with a little bit of this and some of that, need a bit more attention.

My husband cringes when it’s Asian night in our home. The dishwasher of our partnership, he dutifully cleans up after every meal, and I, in gratitude, try to clean as much as I can as I go. On Asian night however, it’s all saved for the end. My bowls of ingredients, carefully lined up in the order in which they will go into the dish, are quickly emptied into a blistering wok and then stacked haphazardly by the sink as the house fills with the aroma of ginger, garlic, and soy. Continue Reading

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Grilled Fish Tacos with Mexican-Inspired Slaw

Grilled fish tacos, with homemade flour tortillas. (Nikki Sawyer Moore photo)

Grilled fish tacos, with homemade flour tortillas. (Nikki Sawyer Moore photo)

Nikki Moore bugLast week, when spring was supposed to arrive, but didn’t, I made this recipe. It would be perfect eaten with a cold margarita in hand in the fading light of a warm spring day. Instead, I enjoyed the brightly colored slaw atop smoky grilled mahi-mahi inside my home where the thermostat remains set on heat. No matter. It’s a dish I’ll make again.

This dish is a fine illustration of the point that delicious food isn’t complicated food. Good ingredients, combined with the proper seasoning, make this Mexican-inspired slaw refreshing and the perfect accompaniment to the mahi-mahi’s earthy rub that brings just the right amount of spicy kick. Store-bought flour tortillas will bring dinner together that much more quickly, although I urge you to make your own. Far from complicated and assembled from ingredients you are sure to have on hand, flour tortillas take this meal from satisfying weeknight dinner to something that demands a little more celebration. Continue Reading

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With the snip of a ribbon, TCBY opens in Davidson

TCBY Manager Greta Hobson and Davidson town officials joined customers for a ribbon cutting Saturday. (Kim Fleming photo)

TCBY Manager Greta Hobson and Davidson town officials joined a ribbon cutting Saturday. That’s Commissioner Rodney Graham (second from left) and Mayor John Woods (fourth from left). (Kim Fleming photo)

A ribbon cutting and a day of free yogurt Saturday formally opened the new TCBY yogurt shop at Davidson Commons shopping center, off Griffith Street. The fro-yo chain took over the space at 610 Jetton St. vacated by rival Red Mango, which closed its doors in November after a year in business. Continue Reading

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Food Network Sun.: Maddy’s Fatty’s on ‘Cupcake Wars’

Madeline Baucom and Enza Friedman of Maddy's Fatty's (Maddy's Fatty's photo)

Madeline Baucom and Enza Friedman of Maddy’s Fatty’s (Maddy’s Fatty’s photo)

By DAVID BORAKS
CorneliusNews.net

Cornelius bakers Madeline Baucom and Enza Friedman will be in the spotlight Sunday night – the “Cupcake Wars” spotlight. Their Maddy’s Fatty’s bakery on West Catawba Avenue is among this week’s contestants in the cupcake vs. cupcake battle on TV’s Food Network.

  • Stop by the shop Monday for free cupcakes at their Claim to Fame party. Details below.

Continue Reading

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Recipe: Buttery Brioche

Baked Brioche

Baked brioche.

Nikki Moore bugMy husband and I celebrated the arrival of 2013 in Paris. Except for taxi rides to and from the airport, we explored Paris by foot.

We stumbled upon pastry shops, ate meals that demanded more walking, and drank cups of coffee and wine while resting our feet in bistros. On our last day in Paris, being good tourists, we shopped and our first stop was to famed cookware store Dehillerin in Les Halles. Continue Reading

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New in Davidson: TCBY and Davidson Pizza Co.

dining news bugOne frozen yogurt shop has given way to another at Davidson Commons shopping center. TCBY, has opened in the former Red Mango space near Harris Teeter, and they’re planning a free yogurt grand opening day on Saturday, March 23. Meanwhile, Davidson Pizza Co. has opened its doors in a small storefront on Davidson’s West Side, offering takeout pizza, heroes and calzones. Also below, news about Easter brunch at Alton’s Kitchen & Cocktails. Continue Reading

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Beekeepers’ summit planned Wed. at college

Local beekeepers will host a variety of round table discussions on beekeeping in Davidson, in a “Davidson Beekeepers Summit” Wednesday afternoon at Davidson College. The summit will run from 4:30-6pm at Davidson College Alvarez College Union 900 Room. Continue Reading

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Recipe: Kale, pepper, onion and Gruyere frittata

Nikki Moore bug

Kale, roasted bell pepper, onion and Gruyere frittata.

Lunch is served: Kale, roasted bell pepper, onion and Gruyere frittata.

I’m on a mission. My pantry and cabinets are stuffed to overflowing with food. I’ve got half-empty bags of pearled barley and farro, scant teaspoons of xanthan gum, about eight different types of flour, and enough chilies to catch a hundred mouths on fire precariously stuffed in my cabinet. Vinegars, from champagne to white balsamic, sit between an assortment of preserves and a plethora of dried fruits and nuts. Typically I find comfort in having so many staples close at hand, but recently I’ve found it a bit overwhelming. I’ve felt the urge to spring-clean my pantry.

So over the past couple of weeks, I’ve limited my grocery store shopping and instead have looked to the freezer and the pantry for inspiration. Continue Reading

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A weekday market sprouts at old Davidson warehouse

David Meeks (left) of Flying Fish Seafood and a few other Davidson Farmers Market vendors are hoping to build a weekday indoor farmer's market in the warehouse at 106 Eden Street. (Chuck McShane/DavidsonNews.net)

David Meeks (left) of Flying Fish Seafood and a few other Davidson Farmers Market vendors are hoping to build a weekday indoor farmer’s market in the warehouse at 106 Eden Street. (Chuck McShane/CorneliusNews.net)

By CHUCK McSHANE
CorneliusNews.net

DAVIDSON – Fans of fresh fish and farmer’s market products will soon have a new place to find those items in downtown Davidson. David Meeks has moved his Flying Fish small biz spotlightSeafood from a roadside stand on N.C. 115 north of Davidson to the Metrolina Warehouse at 106 Eden Street, near the intersection with Depot Street just behind the railroad tracks.

Bigger plans are in the works. Mr. Meeks, a regular vendor at the Saturday Davidson Farmers Market, hopes to turn the 4,000 square-foot space into a weekday market with several vendors. Continue Reading

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