Friday, December 15, 2017

Flashback Friday - Mo's Seafood

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This post originally appeared on on December 3, 2012.

My family had been going to Mo's Fisherman's Exchange on Joppa Road for years. It was one of my mom's favorite weekend dinner spots, and while there was little or no ambiance, it was a good place to get tons of food for relatively little cash.

Mo's closed that dreary location earlier in the year and opened a new place a bit further west on Joppa Road, in the revamped former home of the Orchard Inn. The menu isn't that different, but there seems to be more (and younger) clientele, plus two outdoor dining areas - the combination of which spiff things up considerably.

One thing I really like about the new Mo's is that the menu offers "small" and "large" portions of many items. A single fried soft shell crab with a single side dish costs a reasonable $12. Two soft shells cost $20. The same pricing applies to their backfin crab cake (jumbo lump cakes are also available). I asked nicely and received one each of the crab cake and the soft shell for $20. My choice of side dish was a seemingly bottomless bowl of cole slaw.

The crab cake was heavily flavored with mustard, and had a decent amount of breading, but it was also full of crab lumps. While perhaps not the best crab cake in town, it was pretty good. The soft shell was presented within pieces of buttered toast, which made for a silly-looking, but tasty, sandwich.

Mr Minx had ordered the broiled seafood platter on a prior trip to Mo's and decided to change things up by ordering the fried version, which came with a crab cake, scallops, shrimp, and a plethora of clams. That's a lot of fried food. Needless to say, I had fried clams for lunch later in the week.

MinxBro ordered a much abbreviated version of Mr Minx's dinner, the crab cake and four fried shrimp from the "lite fare" menu. I don't understand what is particularly light about fried seafood, but at $13, the price was right.

Dad bucked the trend and ordered the "crunchy burger," topped with cheese and onion straws. The hefty burger, with uninteresting fries, was only $7, and according to Dad, nicely done.

But that's not all. We also ordered onion rings, a fried calamari appetizer, and coconut shrimp. Yes, entirely too much fried food. The portion of calamari was huge, more than enough for the four of us (especially since Dad won't touch the stuff), and perfectly cooked, with a generous portion of tender tentacles. The coconut shrimp were nicely crispy, but the coconut-flavored dipping sauce is too sweet and a bit overkill.

As was the whole meal. But I dare say we'll be back to this new location far more often than we visited the old one.

Mo's Seafood
1528 E Joppa Rd
Towson, MD 21286
(410) 823-3030

Mo's Seafood on Urbanspoon

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Celebrate the Holidays RA Sushi Style

RA Sushi has introduced three winter cocktails, the Peartini, Spiced Apple Blossom, and Black Cherry Collins. They all look and sound amazing, and if you can't make it to the restaurant, you can whip one up at home. I'm partial to the Peartini myself.

Also, if you're looking for a gift for someone who already has everything, RA Sushi has gift cards available. And when you purchase a $50 gift card, you get a $10 one for yourself in return! This offer is available through Dec 31st, 2017, while supplies last.


For each drink:
4 pear slices
2 oz Absolut Pears vodka
.5 oz St. Germain liqueur
.5 oz Creme de Nigori sake
1.5 oz lemon sour

1 pear slice
1 rosemary sprig

1 cocktail shaker with strainer
1 muddler
1 martini glass

Muddle 4 pear slices in cocktail shaker until even consistency is reached. Add remaining ingredients into shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for 8-10 seconds. Strain mixture into chilled martini glass. Garnish top with pear slice speared on rosemary sprig.

Black​ ​Cherry​ ​Collins​ ​Cocktail

For each drink:
2 oz Sailor Jerry spiced rum
1 oz Black Cherry Real puree
1 oz pineapple juice
.5 oz lemon juice
1 oz club soda

1 lemon wheel
1 Luxardo cherry

1 cocktail shaker with strainer
1 toothpick for cherry garnish
1 tall cocktail glass

Add all ingredients except club soda into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for 8-10 seconds. Strain mixture into ice filled glass. Add club soda to top off cocktail. Pierce lemon wheel and cherry with toothpick and place in glass.

Spiced​ ​Apple​ ​Blossom​ ​Cocktail

For each drink:
1.5 oz (1 shot) SKYY Honey Crisp Apple vodka
.5 oz St. Germain liqueur
.5 oz Wild Turkey bourbon
1 oz Lime Sour
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 oz Apple Juice

Cinnamon sugar for glass rim
3 apple slices cut 1⁄8 inch thick
1 cinnamon stick

1 cocktail shaker with strainer
1 highball glass for serving
Ice cubes

Circle rim of highball glass with water then add cinnamon sugar around glass and 1 ice cube inside, set aside. Add all ingredients except apple juice into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for 8-10 seconds. Strain mixture into ice filled highball glass. Add apple juice to top off the cocktail. Garnish with 3 apple slices and cinnamon stick.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Toys for Tots at Nickel Taphouse

The Nickel Taphouse is collecting for Toys for Tots! Just bring in a new unwrapped toy and you can get a glass of wine or a beer from Evolution for just ONE PENNY. And while you're there, enjoy some of their delicious Buffalo brussels sprouts, a tender beef on weck sandwich, or one of the many other goodies on the menu.

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Monday, December 11, 2017

Lemon Chicken and an Instagram Giveaway

Although the "experts" don't recommend it, we Minxes do much of our cooking in extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil has a low smoke point, but we don't do much high-heat cooking. Or if we do cook over high heat, it's not for a prolonged period. We've never had any issues. (If we don't want the olive flavor in our finished dish, of course we use something more neutral.)

Recently, we've tried flavored olive oils just to up our game a little. Ariston lemon-infused olive oil is made in the Kalamata region of Greece from Koreneiki olives, which produce a buttery and smooth oil with a pronounced citrus flavor. It would be perfect as an ingredient in sweet dishes as well as savory. Think olive oil gelato or cake. I went a little more conventional with it, using it in a vinaigrette for the salad we served on Thanksgiving (made with radicchio, endive, roasted pears, and butternut squash) and as a flavoring for a chicken dish.

Lemon and chicken are a perfect pairing. Sometimes it's hard to get enough lemon flavor into the chicken by just using lemon juice and rind; it also can make the dish too acidic. But lemon-infused olive oil adds the lemon flavor without adding acidity. Check out my recipe using Ariston lemon-infused olive oil below.

If you want your own bottle of Ariston lemon-infused olive oil to play with, Gourmet Steve, purveyor of delicious olive oils and balsamic vinegars is giving one away to a lucky Minxeats reader. But you need to do a few things first.

1. Follow Gourmet Steve on Instagram
2. Follow Minxeats on Instagram
3. Leave a comment on this blog post (or on the photo on Instagram) about how you would use lemon olive oil if you won.

A winner will be chosen at random on December 18th and will be posted on the Gourmet Steve site on the 19th.

Good luck!

Lemon Chicken with Creamed Spinach

2 teaspoons Ariston lemon-infused olive oil, plus more for finishing
2 teaspoons regular extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, smashed
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs, patted dry
Kosher salt
4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 lemon, sliced
1 10-ounce bag frozen spinach
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt to taste
Chopped scallion or chives
Pomegranate seeds

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Heat the 2 teaspoons of lemon-infused and regular olive oils in an ovenproof non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic clove and cook it for a minute or so, until it starts to lightly brown. This will impart some garlic flavor to the oil. Don't let the garlic burn, or the flavor will turn acrid. Remove the browned garlic, chop finely, and set aside.

Place the thighs into the hot oil and sear on both sides until browned. Sprinkle each side with kosher salt. Tuck the thyme and rosemary around the chicken while it's cooking. When chicken is golden brown, remove the herbs and top each thigh with a slice of lemon. Place pan in the oven. Roast until chicken is completely cooked through and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°F, 20-25 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, put the spinach in a saucepan and warm gently over medium heat, stirring regularly so it doesn't stick to the pan. Once the spinach is warm, add the cream and butter and the reserved chopped browned garlic and turn up the heat a tad to get the cream bubbling. Season with nutmeg and salt. The spinach will be lightly creamy but should still taste fresh. Remove from heat and keep warm until chicken is done.

To serve: Mound spinach in a bowl or on a plate and top with a chicken thigh. Garnish with scallions, pomegranate seeds, and a drizzle of lemon olive oil.

Serves 4.

* Any products in this post that are mentioned by name may have been provided to Minxeats by the manufacturer. However, all opinions belong to Minxeats. Amazon links earn me $! Please buy!

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