How to Make Grassroots Tuna Poke

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Poke, pronounced po-kay for those of you who are wondering, has quickly emerged as a popular food trend. And despite the fact that we live in a landlocked state here in Arizona, poke has made its way here from the Hawaiian Islands and by way of beach towns. And it’s easy to see why. It’s a simple dish, light, and refreshing; three factors that make it perfectly-suited for Phoenix’s hot temps and warm seasons. And with summer on the way, we thought that we’d share our recipe for tuna poke with you, enjoy!

Serves 8-10

Tuna poke
½ cup agave ponzu (recipe below)
1 pound ahi tuna, cut into ½-inch cubes
¼ cup green onions, finely sliced
¼ cup cilantro, rough chopped
2 seeded jalapeños, diced into ¼-inch pieces
2 avocados, cut into ½-inch chunks
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 limes, quartered
24 wonton chips

Agave ponzu:
¼ cup soy sauce (such as Kikkoman)
¼ cup agave syrup
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons hot sauce

We like to begin with the agave ponzu. It’s simple, to make the agave ponzu, whisk all ingredients listed above together, then set aside.

Next, combine your ahi tuna cubes, green onions, cilantro and your jalapeños in a mixing bowl. Dress the ingredients with the agave ponzu and stir using a spatula until it’s thoroughly mixed. Add avocado in and stir gently to avoid bruising; because nobody likes mushy brown avocados.

When you’re ready to serve, serve your ahi tuna poke in a chilled bowl and garnish it with sesame seeds and a little something citrusy such as lime wedges. We suggest serving your ahi tuna poke with wonton chips, but tortilla chips or sliced vegetables are just as tasty.

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3 Reasons to Join Chris Collins at the Scottsdale Culinary Festival

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Happening on Saturday April 14 through Sunday April 15, the Scottsdale Culinary Festival will bring together all of the good things in life, like local food, libations, and live music. The multi-day festival will take place at Scottsdale Civic Center Mall and our own Chef Chris Collins is teaming up with the folks from Phoenix Magazine for a special showcase featuring wines, beer, and spirits from across Arizona at the festival. Here are a few reasons to come out and celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Scottsdale Culinary Festival with us this April.  

Local Food
Taste what local restaurants across the Arizona culinary scene are offering up, from barbecue and classic American-style noshes to European fare and Latin-inspired eats, a variety of cuisines will be available to sample.

Liquid Arizona
Making its grand debut this year, Liquid Arizona, presented by Hensley Beverage Co., will showcase local wines, craft beer, and spirits from across the state of Arizona. Liquid Arizona will feature multiple beverage booths as well as tastings that will be focused exclusively on spirits from our state. There will even be a cocktail class called “Outside the Box” that will feature cocktail recipes from our restaurant. And don’t miss the seminar on shandies. The beer cocktails are a specialty at our sister-restaurant Twisted Grove Parlor + Bar.  

Live Music
A sort of throwback the 90s, the two day festival will see megahit headliners EVE 6 and Everclear on Saturday. Additionally, over 25 bands will perform across four stages throughout the weekend. All entertainment is included with a $12-$15 general admission ticket.

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6 Warm Weather Drinks to Enjoy from Our Menu

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The weather is heating up and if you are looking for a good way to wet your whistle on a sunny Arizona day, look no further. We have got you covered with our top drink picks for a warm weather day.

Georgia Iced Tea
At Grassroots, you can find a variety of Southern-influenced dishes on our menu. The same goes for our drink menu, where you can spot our Georgia Iced Tea. This spiked iced tea is constructed with 360 Peach Vodka, Bacardi, peach puree, lemonade and finished with iced tea.

Moscow Bull
Our take on the signature Moscow Mule, the Grassroots Moscow Bull combines Deep Eddy small batch vodka, ginger beer, lime and Red Bull.

Provisioner White Wine
From Arizona’s own Graham County, Provisioner Wine’s white blend is dominated by peaches and white flowers at the nose, and is complemented with more palate-pleasing peaches and apricots. The wine really shines when paired with simple seafood dishes. Enjoy it by the glass, or bottle.

Pink Cougar
This pretty little cocktail is made with Deep Eddy Vodka, a splash of bubbles, chamomile-lemongrass syrup and is garnished to perfection with a sweet, pink-hued candy wedge.

White Sangria
Sangria of any color is practically synonymous with springtime and summer. The warm weather-friendly spirit can be served up in a glass, or you can order a pitcher to share for $21. Our White Sangria is good, too good to give out the recipe. But we will give you a hint: we use lots of fruit.

SanTan HefeWeizen
Support Arizona’s beer scene and drink local with SanTan HefeWeizen. This Bavarian Wheat beer is a satisfying thirst quencher on a warm day.

Enjoy discounts on your favorite drinks during Social Hour, our take on happy hour, happening daily from 3pm to 7pm.

Check out our entire wine, beer and cocktail list here.

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3 Wines from Our Menu to Sip This Month

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At Grassroots we have over two dozen different wines by the bottle or glass to choose from. Ranging from premier wine growing regions the country-across, from Napa and Washington State’s Columbia Valley to right here in Arizona. Fill your glass with one of these three wines on your next visit.

White Blend, Provisioner
It’s true. Arizona is a great wine growing destination. In fact, we have three premier wine growing regions throughout the state. Located in Graham County, Arizona, Bonita Springs Vineyard in Wilcox was planted by the Minchella family of Arizona and the Lescombes family of France in 1991. One wine that yields from this region is the Provisioner white blend, an aromatic wine that has a balanced acidity that makes for a smooth and tantalizing palate. This wine is great with our simple seafood dishes, yet it’s bold enough to stand up to heatier dishes like our Roast Spit Fire Chicken and cream-based recipes. $9 by the glass, $32 by the bottle

Rosé, Hogwash
Great for any season here in Arizona, the official wine of the spring and summer months, rosé, pairs delightfully with seafood and shellfish and light salads. Hogwash Rosé has notes of watermelon and rose petals on the nose, and a lovely Bing cherry, currant and rosewater palate. The salmon pink wine has a sweet/tart finish and we think the California appellation wine best enjoyed on our patio. $11 by the glass, $40 by the bottle

Red Blend, Truth or Consequences
The Columbia Valley is one of the nation’s largest wine growing areas. Located in the southeastern corner of Washington State, the region has similar growing conditions as France’s famed Bordeaux and Burgundy regions. Truth or Consequences Red Blend is bold, textured and rich, but not over the top. It has aromas of black cherry, blackberry and other savory, earthy notes such as herbs, tobacco, vanilla and cocoa. This red blend pairs great with beef. $10 by the glass, $36 by the bottle

Check out our entire wine, beer and cocktail list here.

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5 Dishes to Celebrate National Southern Food Day on January 22

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Find some southern comfort at Grassroots on January 22, on what might be one of our most favorite foodie holidays to date, National Southern Food Day. Southern food lovers can always get their fill of down-south eats at our restaurants, but we thought that we’d share five of our personal favorites to enjoy.

Shrimp Po’ Boy
Dressed all the way and tucked in a French baguette, this po’ boy doesn’t lack rich flavor. Chef’s Shrimp Po’ Boy is served with his iconic Nola remoulade and is an obvious pick for National Southern Food Day.

Southern Shrimp and Grits
A true southern classic, Chef Collins combines Gulf white shrimp, Tasso ham, which is a specialty of Louisiana cuisine, jalapeno cheddar grits and hearty slices of focaccia to complete this full-flavored shrimp and grits dish.

Carolina Baby Backs
Bring your appetites, southern food lovers, you might need a to-go box for this one. Slow-smoked with a thin bbq sauce and grilled to finish, Chef Collins’ Carolina Baby Backs are worthy of writing back home to Carolina about.

Louisiana Red Beans and Rice
Our soup of the day menu perfectly coincides with National Southern Food Day, which is happening on a Monday this year. Each Monday diners can savor Chef Collins’ Louisiana Red Beans and Rice soup, available in a bowl or a cup.

Housemade Smoked Salmon
Salmon gets a southern makeover with this sharing plate. Chef Collins smokes his salmon with cherry and applewood flavors to make this tastebud-pleasing appetizer. The shareable app is finished with Collins’ signature Nola remoulade and toast points.

Book your table here.

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How to Make Chef Collins’ Braised Short Ribs

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Impress your guests with a Southern-style dish, taken straight from Chef Collin’s own recipe book. Here’s how you can make this Grassroots classic.

Serves 4
8 pieces short ribs

½ cup bacon fat or olive oil
1 cup brown sugar rub
1 cup yellow onion, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup celery, diced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
4 ounces tomato paste
2 cups red wine
4 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon thyme
2 bay leaves
3 ounces short rib glaze

Short Rib Glaze:
2 cups short rib jus, strained and fat removed
½ cup hoisin
½ cup honey

Brown Sugar Rub:
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
½ cup kosher salt
¼ cup black pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon celery salt

Let’s start with the brown sugar rub. Mix all ingredients together and set aside, we’ll need this in a few moments.

To prepare the braised short ribs, preheat your oven to 350-degrees. Pat dry the short ribs. Next, coat all sides of each cut with your brown sugar rub. Heat a large pot on medium-high heat and add four tablespoons of olive oil or bacon fat. Careful, do not bring heat to a high temperature, the sugar on the short ribs will burn. Working in small batches, brown the tops and bottoms of the ribs, transferring the browned cuts to a clean braising pan. Once all ribs have been browned and removed from the pan, add the leftover oil or fat to the pan and turn to high heat.

Next, add onions, carrots and celery, and sauté for about 10 minutes or until soft. With a rubber spatula, scrape the bottom of the pot, this will release the charred flavor of the ribs. Add some garlic and cook for five minutes while stirring. Next up, add tomato paste and cook for three minutes. Combine red wine, chicken stock, thyme and bay leaves to the mix. Bring it all to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes, then, pour over short ribs.

Cover your pan with two layers of foil. Bake in oven for three hours. When the time is up, remove the pan from the oven, open one corner of the foil and allow it time to cool on your countertop. Remove short ribs from braising liquid, strain braising liquid and reserve for your glaze.

For your short rib glaze, add your strained jus to a sauce pan and bring it to a boil, then reduce by half, about 20-30 minutes. Add some hoisin and honey and mix well. Finally, brush the glaze onto your short ribs before serving.

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4 Sweet Reasons to Order Your Holiday Pies from Common Ground Culinary

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It’s pie season! This Thanksgiving our entire family of Common Ground Culinary restaurants will be offering up holiday pies. Here are a few reasons to order with us.

Easy Ordering
Ordering is as easy as 1-2-3. One, stop by or call us with your pie order. Two, pick up your holiday pie. Three, serve and enjoy! We’re taking orders through November 1 to November 22. We just ask that you give us a 72-hour notice.

We Love Local
Like our entire family of Common Ground Culinary restaurants, our sister sweet shop Sweet Provisions uses local ingredients, such as dairy from Arizona dairy farmers, and other fresh ingredients whenever possible.

Always From-Scratch
Forget frozen. Every sweet treat, ice cream scoop, baked goodie and slice of pie is made-from-scratch and comes out fresh from our ovens.

Big Flavor
Pie lovers can slice into a variety of house-made flavors including coconut cream, butterscotch pecan, apple, and pumpkin. At the Phoenix location of Grassroots Kitchen & Tap diners bring home pumpkin, coconut cream and key lime varieties. Twisted Grove Parlor + Bar in Phoenix will be offering apple and butterscotch pecan pies to go. Sweet Provisions will feature additional flavors including strawberry rhubarb, blackberry and chocolate mousse. Each pie is $24.

To pick up in Scottsdale, call Sweet Provisions at (480) 275-2678 with your orders.
For Phoenix orders, call Grassroots Phoenix at (602) 368-8766.

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6 Things You Should Know About AZFWE

 Photo via azcentral’s Food and Wine Experience Facebook

Photo via azcentral’s Food and Wine Experience Facebook

AZCentral is taking over Salt River Fields again. The Food & Wine Experience is back, and this year it’s bringing together an impressive amount local culinary talent, and internationally-known culinary superstars. Our own Chris Collins will be heading out to join in on the food-centric spectacle. Here’s six things to know before you go.

Seeing Stars
Last year’s event saw celebrity chef, author, restaurateur and host of ABC’s “The Chew,” Mario Batali, and now local chef, Scott Conant, who’s also an author and judge on Food Network’s “Chopped.”

This year, festival attendees have the chance to meet Martha Stewart. That’s right, the Emmy award-winning television show host and best-selling author is coming to Scottsdale.

Martha Stewart Experience
Martha will be sharing her culinary knowledge live at the Martha Stewart Experience, where guests can have a rare “up-close” experience with the lifestyle leader. Although the experience will require a special ticket, it’s well worth it, as it includes wine tasting, a Martha-curated gift package, book signing, two complimentary bottles of wine, access to the VIP Grand Tasting and much more.

Insider Exclusives
AZCentral Insiders can get $15 off tickets for the festival. Admission ranges from $85 to $325.

Wines Galore
Fancy fine wines? We sure do. If you’re like us, this event is for you. There will be a hefty selection of spirits, including over 200 fine wines, craft beer and spirits.

Unlimited Sampling
Come hungry! The Food & Wine Experience will offer an unlimited sampling from more than 35 participating restaurants.

Location
The culinary event is happening November 4-5 at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. To get there, take Via de Ventura of Exit 101 at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Scottsdale

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