As a former resident of the Portland Metropolitan area, I completely jumped on the band-wagon of the food-truck frequenting population and tried many different cuisines among the pods of these mobile machines.

We all know that the Pacific Northwest downpours between the months of October through May, so those sit-down restaurants may seem more appealing than trudging in the rain to the local food cart. However, I’ve often times thought that the $6.75 I spent on these mobile machines and the overall dining experience was monumentally better than what I’d find spending $14-$20-some-odd dollars on an overpriced and frankly-not-as-flavorful dish from a sit-down restaurant.

Last weekend, I was fortunate enough to experience both worlds: the innovative food palette of a food truck transformed into the neighborhood diner known as Skillet. Now, even though my boyfriend and I went on a day that was absolutely gorgeous, I will totally be revisiting this hotspot once the weather turns frigid and I no longer think that frolicking through puddles is fun. But, enough about my complaints about the rain – the food here was wonderful.

I decided to try the Fried Chicken Sammy – complete with Fennel Crusted Fried Chicken, Jalapeno Charred Aioli, and a Brioche Bun. Perfection.

I normally don’t indulge in fried chicken, but I figured I had to for this occasion. Plus, the fried crust was encrusted with fennel. When else would I get to try that? My suggestion? Visit Skillet any day and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the inviting atmosphere, clever mix of menu items, and great service.



Cheddar Jalapeño Bread

I LOVE spicy food. Just ask my friends — I excessively douse my scrambled eggs, Asian inspired dishes, sandwiches, and tortilla chips with Salsa, Tabasco, Sriracha, or Secret Aardvark sauce (or any combination thereof). But, in addition to my love of fiery, heat-loaded sauces, I also happen to enjoy jalapeños. In my opinion, jalapeños are a perfect addition to nachos, sandwiches, soups, and rice dishes to provide an extra kick of flavor.

Two weekends ago, I indulged in cheddar jalapeno bread for the first time at a friend’s house. I was completely enamored by the salty, spicy, and cheesy flavors that mixed together with the bread. I’ve always put jalapenos on sandwiches that are already overloaded with other ingredients; however, I had never thought to just make bread solely with jalapenos as one of main ingredients. I found a recipe for Cheddar Jalapeno Bread; however, my first attempt resulted in a massive failure. Now, that’s not to say that the previous recipe is flawed, because it is definitely not (this recipe is one of the top ten bread recipes on Epicurious and has plenty of amazing reviews). I would totally recommend anyone to make that recipe. My main problems resulted in the fact that the yeast I had on hand did not rise for some unbeknownst reason as well as that the bread takes about 6.75 hours to make from start to finish. Even though I love to bake and I’m completely willing to take the time, I’m usually not that patient (especially after I messed up the first time!). So, I decided to take a previous recipe for bread (as seen here), and add onto it by putting cheese and jalapenos on it at the end!

Step 1: Make Other Bread

Step 2: Slice Fresh Jalapeño Dough; Grate Cheese

Step 3: Place Cheddar Cheese, Sliced Jalapeños,
and Jarred Jalapeños On Top of Bread and Bake!

[I usually wouldn’t prefer anything “jarred”
over fresh — but, in this case, jarred jalapeños
are even spicier and bake really well!]

I was a bit nervous to make this recipe; however, I’m happy at the results. For next time, I’ll definitely make one modification: add the cheese and jalapeños just a few minutes before the bread is done baking. That way, the cheese-y flavors will be more pronounced!