My Favorite Things – Zilk’s Basil Pesto and Pimento Cheese

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Like many of you, I visit three food stores to complete my entire shopping list.  Here in Dallas, Tom Thumb is my primary go-to store.  Paper towels, ziploc bags, chicken broth, the standard stuff.  I use their app for discounts, I know which store brand products I like and I can be in and out of the store pretty fast.  The second store I shop at is Central Market.  Here I buy certain items that I cannot get at Tom Thumb.  They have an awesome marinated chicken at their meat counter, amazing italian meatballs with veal and they carry some of the foods I used to buy in the Northeast.  Whole Foods is the third. Of course I love all of their fish, meats and product but there are two or three items that I only buy at Whole Foods.   The first is Basil Pesto and the second is Pimento Cheese.

Zilks Foods is a small artisan producer in Austin;  both items are available in Dallas stores and are packaged by Whole Foods – sometimes the pesto is available on the self serve bar with the olives, other times it is with the other pestos and cheeses.  Both are absolutely fantastic and come in a variety of flavors(think hatch chile!)
Zilk’s Basil Pesto:

  • mix with cream and Parmesan to make a pesto sauce for pasta.  Add chicken and diced tomato for a great meal
  • add to a turkey or chicken sandwich with or without mayo
  • Serve over grilled chicken or fish
  • Add to a tomato and mozzarella salad

Zilk’s Pimento Cheese:

  • Use instead of sliced cheese for a grilled cheese sandwich and serve with tomato soup
  • The best topping for a fabulous cracker
  • Use on a hot roast beef sandwich

Any other recipe suggestions?


On the Road Eats: Indianapolis

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I just returned from Indianapolis and I must share how happy the airport there makes me.  Everything is just easy.  The security lines are easy(TSA pre-check has its own section), the car rental area is easy, there is finally a gas station with easy access, people movers are where you need them and of course, the dining options are great!  While I was in town, I was able to explore a few new places(new to me) and return to one favorite before I boarded my flight.

Pizzology Craft Pizza & Pub
I visited the location in Carmel and had a nice quiet dinner at the bar.  I normally bring my iPad which doubles as a book with my Kindle app and was able to enjoy a great pizza with my own choice of toppings and a nice glass of wine.  I definitely recommend you try their fennel sausage on your pizza.  For dessert, I took home an order of Zeppole.  Warm with a side of honey, the perfect treat on a rainy night!

The North End Barbecue & Moonshine
I read about this restaurant in the Indianapolis Monthly Magazine and decided I needed to try it.  I live in Texas so I get BBQ pretty often but the mention of pimento cheese and johnnycakes had me interested.  I grabbed my iPhone, clicked my OpenTable app and made a reservation for one.  When I arrived, I sat at the bar, did a little work and was ready to eat.  I wanted to try a few things so I ordered the Pimento Cheese(since that was what caught my attention in the first place) and a smoked turkey sandwich with a side of mac ’n’ cheese garnished with rib jam.  They offered 4 sauces for the turkey, all homemade and the server took the time to share the flavor profiles with me(tangy, sweet, classic and spicy).

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Now I will admit that I did not finish everything l but I ate enough to definitely recommend you visit this spot soon!

Harry & Izzy’s(at the airport)
A few years back during a visit to Indianpolis I was at St. Elmo Steak House and of course I had to try the shrimp cocktail.  It was famous.  And it was fantastic.  Harry & Izzy’s is the sister restaurant and they also serve the famous shrimp cocktail.  AND they have a location in the airport so I am always able to have a small treat before I board my flight.  What makes it famous?  Well, giant shrimp covered in the most spicy cocktail sauce with horseradish that will make you cry.  But it is amazing and now they sell it by the bottle at their locations and online.  I think this is a great holiday gift for those that celebrate spice!

For my next trip to Indianapolis, where do you think I should eat?