Behind the Food Carts' New Book + A Giveaway!

www.behindthefoodcarts.com

We first discovered Behind the Food Carts earlier this spring, when we became finalists in the Saveur Best Food Blog Awards.  Phil, Kim, and Terri won last year for their work in the “Best Culinary Travel Blog” category - our category! - so we immediately looked up to them.  They were the cool kids to aspire to.  Then, joy of joys, we got to actually meet them in Las Vegas, and we instantly hit it off.  We all became buddies while standing in the Bellagio’s gallery, feverishly talking about road trips and food, all of us forgetting to look at the actual art……

Now it’s five months later, and they’ve just released their first cookbook!

Food Truck Road Trip shares the stories and recipes behind America’s favourite food carts, and is based on an ambitious road trip of their own.  To collect the 100+ recipes and stories found in the book, they visited a total of 63 food carts in 12 cities.  That’s a lot of carts.  That’s a lot of photos.  That’s a lot of eating.

We’ve gotten our eager little paws a copy already, and have spent untold amounts of time flipping through it, reading the compelling stories, and pointing out all the recipes we want to make; turns out, we pretty much want to make everything. 

To get started, we chose the Braised Chipotle Coconut Pork Shoulder with Carrot Slaw by San Francisco’s “Eat Fuki” food truck.  It’s been chilly in Vancouver the past few days, so this dish was perfect. 

It’s meaty, slightly sweet from the coconut, and warmly spiced from the adobo sauce; it’s also easy as heck to make.  You can find the recipe below.

We’re also thrilled to say we have a beautiful copy to give to one of you, dear readers!  You can enter to win* by telling us about your favourite food truck dish, OR your favourite road trip snack.  Here's how:

1.    Comment on this blog post (by telling us your favourite food truck/road trip dish).
2.    Like our Facebook page, and comment on the link to this post.
3.    Follow us on Instagram (@feast_on), and comment on the photo we’ve put up about this cookbook. 
Or.....
4.    Follow us on Twitter and tweet at us (@feast_on) and Behind the Food Carts (@behindfoodcarts).

That’s a whole lot of ways to enter, and yes, you CAN do all four to increase your chances of winning!  The winner will be picked at random and announced on Wednesday, November 19th.

For our fellow Canadians, the book can be purchased from Amazon.ca, or at regular old Amazon.com for our American readers.     

*Unfortunately, the giveaway can only be extended to our readers in Canada or the US.   

UPDATE: Congratulations to Isabela Cravo, lucky winner of the Food Truck Road Trip cookbook!

BRAISED COCONUT CHIPOTLE PORK SHOULDER WITH CARROT SLAW

PORK SHOULDER
1 lb (454g) pork shoulder
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp (26ml) vegetable oil
1 to 2 (14-oz [392g]) cans coconut milk
2 tsp (10ml) fish sauce
Sauce from 3-oz (84g) can chipotle in adobo

CARROT SLAW
¼ tsp sugar
½ tsp caraway seed
¼ tsp cumin seed
2 tbsp (30ml) olive oil
½ tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp lemon juice
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 large carrots, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp (5g) cilantro, for garnish

Quinoa or rice, for serving

To make the pork, cut the pork shoulder into ½-inch (1.3cm) cubes. In a bowl, mix the pork with the garlic and salt. In a skillet or large pan, heat the oil over medium heat and add the pork. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until brown.

Transfer the pork to a pot and add enough of the coconut milk to cover. Add the fish sauce and chipotle sauce. Bring the mixture to a slow boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 1 to 1 ½ hours, until the pork is tender.

To make the carrot slaw, in a bowl, whisk together the sugar, caraway seed, cumin seed, olive oil, sweet paprika, lemon juice and cayenne pepper. Add the shredded carrots and stir thoroughly; add salt and pepper to taste.

When the pork is done cooking, garnish with the cilantro. Serve over quinoa or rice with a side of carrot slaw.



Signing Off. Until Next Time, Newfoundland!

The time has come for us to finish writing about Newfoundland (again).  We are so grateful to Legendary Coasts for giving us the opportunity to explore Eastern Newfoundland a second time; truly, we’ll never tire of writing about these mystical lands.

(If you’re new to our blog and haven’t had your fill of Newfoundland stories, check out the series of posts from our visit last year—one post even includes a video of cod at the bottom of the ocean!)

The last night of our trip was spent at The Compton House, a grand Victorian mansion just a few minutes from the heart of St. John’s. 

A new friend we met at the Roots, Rants, and Roars Festival explained that the only criteria for ‘fitting in’ in St. John’s is that you have to love it.  Check!  We adored our time there last year, and were charmed by how welcoming the city is.  That included the warm and supportive food community to which we were introduced; we spent an afternoon returning to our old favourites from last year, and as it turns out, we have a lot of them!

We first stopped in at Rocket Bakery for a lunch of fish cakes.

Then we went back to the marvelously picturesque Quidi Vidi Village, home to rafters of pickled goods from the award winning Mallard Cottage,

iceberg beer brewed by the Quidi Vidi Brewery, and the Plantation, an organization providing studio space and business mentorship to artists. 

There are number of talented artists doing extraordinary work in that building, and this year we were particularly taken with Brindy Linens' hand-printed tea towels.

Any one of these would make an excellent Christmas gift, and you can order online.  DO IT.

This year, we also managed to see the infamous George Street in the light of day. 

This two-block stretch in downtown St. John’s is lauded as the highest concentration of pubs and restaurants in North America; it’s pretty much the party centre of the city.  

We shot up Signal Hill for a quick (and very windy) stroll. 

Between the ocean and harbour views atop Signal Hill, it feels like you’re at the edge of the world on one side,

and on the brink of a colourful city adventure on the other.

And speaking of colourful, we just couldn’t get enough of the jellybean houses. 

They‘re everywhere, and they’re gorgeous.

A big part of why we love Newfoundland so much is the authenticity we encounter in each community.  There are so many unique ‘attractions’ that exist simply because the community takes pride in their town’s heritage and landscape, and actively work toward preserving, celebrating and cultivating it. 

There is a sincerity and authenticity that makes Newfoundland—both its people and its places—so unbelievably lovely, and their stories such a pleasure to share.  

We may be done in Newfoundland, but we won’t be gone long!  We’ll soon be sharing a recipe from one of our new favourite cookbooks, also the result of a food-fuelled road trip…

Thanks again to Legendary Coasts, and to everyone who helped make this trip so extraordinary.

-DV