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BULLETBest Restaurants 2014
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Asi Es La VidaJake's on the Green

© Paul Markow

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Best Restaurants 2014: Recipes
Arizona has a long list of great restaurants, and every April, we feature some of the best. The selections are typically based on a combination of food, service and ambience. This month, however, we took it to a higher authority: We enlisted the help of the local fire departments.

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

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Grand Canyon Coffee & Café, Williams
Caramel Apple Cake

Cake Ingredients:
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon soda
2 eggs
2 cups fresh apples, diced

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine ingredients in mixing bowl. Pour into 9-inch-by-12-inch pan and bake for 30 minutes.

Frosting Ingredients:
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup soft caramel
1 teaspoon vanilla

Using hand mixer, mix first three ingredients. If necessary, add milk to thin.

Jake’s on the Green, Flagstaff
Gluten-Free Oriental Chicken Lettuce Wraps

1 pound chicken breast, cooked and finely diced
1 small can sliced water chestnuts, coarsely chopped
4 large button mushrooms, coarsely chopped
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
1/2 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
1/4 cup gluten-free soy sauce
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup cooking oil, preferably grape-seed oil
2 ounces rice sticks
1/2 head Bibb, iceberg or Romaine lettuce

Sautee mushrooms and peppers for 2 minutes, then add ginger and garlic and reduce heat so you don’t burn garlic. Sautee for 2 more minutes, then add chopped chicken, sweet chili sauce, soy sauce and black pepper. Heat until warm. Finish with green onions and cilantro. Remove from heat. Heat frying oil to 400 degrees, then add rice sticks (they will “puff” almost immediately, so be ready to remove them with a metal strainer; these should be attempted only by experienced cooks). Drain rice sticks on a paper towel. Serve chicken on rice sticks, and fill lettuce leaves as you would a burrito or taco. 

Nana’s Sandwich Saloon, Wickenburg
Nana’s Bread Pudding

4 cups white bread, diced
1/2 cup dried fruit, any kind
6 eggs
2 cups cream
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large casserole dish. Mix all ingredients together and bake for 1 hour.

Kasa Mia, Nogales
Albondigas (Meatball Soup)

1 pound ground beef
4 cups water
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons cooking oil
21 ounces (two 10 1/2-ounce cans) beef broth
6 ounces tomato sauce
2 cups cubed potato
1 cup carrot, sliced
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup snipped cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup long-grain rice

Heat oil in a quart-size saucepan, then saute onion and garlic until tender. Carefully add water, broth and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, then add potatoes and carrots. After 8 to 10 minutes, lower heat. Separately, combine egg, salt, pepper, oregano and cilantro. Add ground beef and uncooked rice, and mix well to form a large ball. Form 1-inch meatballs from mixture. Once all meatballs are formed, add to soup. Increase heat for 15 to 20 minutes, then check meatballs, making sure rice is tender.

Trail Riders, Eagar

4 cans stewed tomatoes
1 can fire-roasted tomatoes
1 onion, quartered
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1 tablespoon garlic salt
5 stalks fresh cilantro
5 jalapeño peppers

Thoroughly blend onion, garlic, Mexican oregano, garlic salt and half the fire-roasted tomatoes. Add cilantro, jalapeños and the rest of the fire-roasted tomatoes, and blend well. Separately, blend stewed tomatoes lightly. Combine both mixtures and mix well.

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>> Best Recipes 2013
>> Best Recipes 2012
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