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BULLETBest Restaurants 2013
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Cliff Dwellers LodgeViews of the Vermilion Cliffs are a trademark of the Cliff Dwellers Lodge, located on the road that connects the Grand Canyon's North and South Rims.

© Paul Markow

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Best Restaurants 2013: Recipes
This year, we asked Arizona Highways photographers to tell us their favorite places to grab a bite to eat. They're all worth a visit, but you can re-create some of the flavors of our featured restaurants in your own home with these recipes.

Editor’s Note: These recipes were provided as is by their respective chefs.

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Indian Gardens Oak Creek Market
Nani's Granola

1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 pound butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons vanilla

Place above ingredients together in a saucepan and melt together on low heat to combine, stirring often. 

Meanwhile, in a separate mixing bowl, combine:

4 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup broken walnut pieces
1 tablespoon poppy seeds (or chia seeds, flax seeds or other small nutritious seed)

Once saucepan ingredients have warmed, melted and combined, add to the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl. Mix well so that all of the ingredients are well integrated. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray and pour mixture into tray, using spatula to spread out evenly. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Take out tray and let it cool down, stirring occasionally, and adding:

1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup raisins
1 cup shaved coconut flakes

Cliff Dwellers Lodge
Ahi Tuna Dinner for Two

2 uncooked yellowfin tuna fillets (6 to 8 ounces each)
2 cups soy sauce
1 cup white sesame seeds
1/2 cup black sesame seeds
3 tablespoons Chinese five-spice 
1/2 cup mango puree
1/2 cup wasabi powder
1/4 cup mayonnaise

Mix sesame seeds and 1 tablespoon of the five-spice in a bowl. Mix soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of five-spice in another bowl.

In a small saucepan, mix mango puree and one tablespoon of five-spice together and simmer for 5 minutes. Don’t burn it.

Make wasabi with water (following directions on label), add the mayonnaise and mix with a whisk until smooth.

Take each fillet and soak in the soy mix for 1 minute, then place the filet into the sesame seeds — first the large side, then turned over. Sear the tuna (just the large side of each fillet), in a large skillet at about 350 degrees, until 1/8 inch turns gray. Cut into 3/16 inch slices, following the grain of the tuna.

On a flat dinner plate, drizzle the wasabi in a tight zigzag design. Do the same with the mango puree. Carefully place tuna on plate in an overlapping formation. Add more mango and wasabi to taste if needed. Serve with sweet potato fries or rice.

Booga Red's
Easy Salsa (serves 10-12)

2 cans Mexican-style stewed tomatoes, drained
1 can tomato juice
1/4 cup chopped white onions 
1/8 cup sliced green onions
5-6 pickled hot jalapenos (sliced)
1 heaping tablespoon garlic salt
Toss all ingredients into a blender, top off with tomato juice and blend on pulse until chopped. Mix until the right consistency. We like ours slightly chunky.

Dahl & Di Luca
Gnocchi Con Funghi E Tartufi

2 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 whole garlic cloves
10 ounces crimini mushrooms
2½ cups whole cream
1/8 teaspoon truffle salt
1 tablespoon truffle oil
¼ cup gorgonzola (optional)
Fresh ground pepper and kosher salt to taste

Cream sauces like this give so much enjoyment for so little cooking. They cook in the pan in a matter of minutes, so start your pasta when you start the sauce. And, for meat lovers, a more perfect sauce for finishing a steak does not exist!
A big, rich cream sauce like this will stand up beautifully with gnocchi, tortelloni, ravioli or your favorite stuffed pasta. Your choice!
Heat a sauté pan with the olive oil. Add the garlic cloves and cook over low flame to brown, but not burn, the garlic on all sides. This will infuse their flavor into the oil. Remove the garlic when caramelized and discard. Add sliced mushrooms, sprinkle with salt, and again delicately brown. Continue cooking, ensuring all surfaces are golden. Add cream and cook over medium flame until the sauce reduces and thickens. Finish by stirring in truffle salt, truffle oil, gorgonzola and a few grinds of black pepper. Check for salt. 

The key to insuring a silky sauce is timing the pasta to finish as the sauce is in its final stage, bubbling and creamy. Use a colander to drag the pasta (with water clinging to it) into the pan containing the sauce. Fold the sauce and pasta together quickly with tongs or spoon.

Caffe Torino
Ragu' alla Bolognese

1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups good quality strained peeled tomatoes
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a heavy-bottom pan. Add onion, celery and carrot and let cook until softened. Add ground beef and pork (you can use all beef if you want) and cook until well browned. Add wine and let it cook until it evaporates. Add strained tomatoes, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for about one hour. Remove bay leaf before serving.

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>> Best Recipes 2012
>> Back to Dining Archive
>> Visit Dining Guide

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