Category Archives: eating

Sunday Food Porn

I love macarons…but then again, you probably already know that. As such, I am constantly sampling macarons around the Chicago area (and outside Chicago as well). Feast your eyes on these Vanille Patisserie creations, (picked up from Chicago French Market)

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under eating, likes, restaurants, snacks

Ben Makes Me Dinner – Take 1

While I love to cook and share dishes from my kitchen, from time to time, Ben will come home, surprising me with the makings for dinner.  (Who doesn’t love that?!) A couple of weeks ago, he made some delicious bruschetta and Italian-marinated grilled chicken salad.

Bruschetta

  • Favorite fresh bread, sliced and toasted
  • Sliced grape tomatoes
  • Onion, chopped
  • Garlic, minced
  • Parmesan cheese, thinly sliced

Assemble the tomatoes, onion, and garlic on top of the toast. Top with a slice of parmesan. YUM!

Italian-Marinated Grilled Chicken Salad

  • Chicken Breast
  • Favorite Italian Dressing
  • Lettuce (I prefer arugula, spinach, or a mix)
  • Tomatoes, sliced
  • Cucumber, sliced
  • Onion, sliced

Place chicken breast and dressing in a plastic bag and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes. (The longer the better.) Grill chicken until cooked (about 7 min on each side when cooked on my stove). Meanwhile, add lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, and onion in a bowl. Slice chicken and add to bowl. Enjoy!

Leave a comment

Filed under cooking, dinner

Restaurant: Gilt Bar

Until a couple weeks ago, I had never been to Gilt Bar, but always wanted to go. It’s has rave reviews from everyone who visits; it has even been written up in the New York Times. So when I was able to go several weeks ago, I was estatic! My friend and were lucky enough to sit right near the most gorgeous chandelier (pictured in the NYTimes article).

Neither one of us had ever had steak tartare, so we decided to order it as it sounded delicious! It was completely divine. the steak was served with an egg yolk that we broke and mixed with it, along with grilled bread and a delicious dijon mustard sauce. I’m salivating just thinking about it!

For our main courses, Becca ordered the pork belly (yum! notice that she can’t wait to get it back in front of her because it smelled and looked so good)

…and I got the braised short rib.

I’m a sucker for a braised short rib and this dish was really amazing. The meat was so tender that you could cut it with a fork and the gravy on the top of the meat was so succulent. I cannot wait to return to Gilt Bar!

Gilt Bar
230 W Kinzie St
Chicago, IL 60654-4908
(312) 464-9544
www.giltbarchicago.com

1 Comment

Filed under dinner, eating, restaurants

Risotto Fritters

I love weddings. More specifically, I love appetizers at weddings. In October, my cousin Gretchen got married and had phenomenal food and appetizers at the reception. Some of my favorite appetizers were the risotto fritters: little golden brown square nuggets of cheesy rice bliss.

Using the leftover risotto from my earlier batch, Ben and I decided to make our own (slightly larger) fritters. I would recommend making them out of plain cheese risotto instead of the mushroom asparagus if you want smaller fritters. But both are delicious.

Ingredients

  • Day-old (at least) risotto
  • Bread crumbs mixed with salt & pepper
  • Oil for frying (we used canola)

Shape the risotto into the size and shape you want. We used a 1/4 measuring cup lined with plastic wrap. Coat the ball in the bread crumbs.

Fry until golden brown on each side.

Top with cream cheese or sour cream for a truly decadent treat.

Leave a comment

Filed under cooking, dinner

Mushroom Asparagus Risotto

I love risotto. There’s something so homey about it. It really warms the soul. A couple weeks ago, I found some nice looking asparagus and decided it was time to try my hand at risotto again. I’ve made risotto several times, but am still searching for my favorite recipe, a recipe that I whole-heartedly love. This time around I decided to add some mushrooms for a meatless wonder. It was quite yummy.

Ingredients (adapted from La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy from Accademia Italiana della Cucina)

  • 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 5 cups broth
  • 1 cup mushrooms (I used a Woodland Medley of dried mushrooms that I rehydrated)
  • 1 bunch asparagus (I used about 20 stalks)
  • Olive Oil
  • Parmesan Cheese

Heat approx 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan and saute the onion until nearly browned. Add the mushrooms & asparagus.

Once the onion is browned, add the rice and toss to coat in oil. When the rice is translucent, add the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat until the rice is al dente (“tender, but not mushy”).

It will be approximately 20 minutes. Grate cheese over the risotto and serve.

2 Comments

Filed under cooking, dinner

My favorite “fancy”, crowd-pleasing cracker spread

Now at the outset, I need to credit my mother with this recipe because it is just absolutely divine. Anytime we would have guests over, she would whip up a quick batch of pesto and create a “wow”-worthy dip with another ingredient always in our kitchen: goat cheese logs.

Most days, I don’t have the time to whip up pesto, so I just grab a small container at the grocery store around the corner. But if you have time, make your own pesto for an even better version of this delicious spread.

Ingredients

  • 1 batch pesto (see below for pesto recipe)
  • 1 log of your favorite plain goat cheese, at cool room temperature
  • basil leaf, for garnish
  • favorite crackers

Press goat cheese into bottom of serving dish to make a thin layer. Spread pesto over goat cheese, completely covering the cheese. Add basil leaf in center of pesto as a garnish. Serve. Receive lots of compliments and silently thank my mother for giving you the easiest appetizer recipe ever. Enjoy!

Annie’s Mom’s Famous Pesto

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 1 cup walnuts (my mom uses whole walnuts)
  • 1 cup EVOO
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 freshly grated romano cheese

Process first 3 ingredients together until moderately chopped. Add Olive Oil in drizzle while processing, then add cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until use, although I recommend using immediately.

adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook

7 Comments

Filed under cooking, eating, snacks

Events in the City: Chicago French Market Brunch

In February, I went to a brunch event at the Chicago French Market. If you haven’t been to the market, you really must go because it’s set up like a European market and they have some really phenomenal vendors (including those that sell macarons…but we’ll talk about that another time). The event, “Meet Alpana Under the Eiffel Tower”, was sponsored by Wine D.O.C. & Wine Cru and was an 8-course tasting menu of foods prepared by the vendors of the market. Alpana Singh of Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants and WTTW’s Check, Please! was the special guest of the event and provided us with some reflections on the wines that were paired with the food that we tried.

It was lovely getting to meet Alpana, as she was gracious meeting everyone and even taking the time to answer our questions. This was the first time that this specific event was hosted, and while they have some kinks to work out if they decide to host the event in the future, it was all-in-all a fun and well thought out program.

Each attendant received a signed copy of Alpana’s new book Alpana Pours, which I have really been enjoying, as well as a goodie bag filled with snacks and other tidbits from the vendors. It was truly a lovely Saturday morning.

MENU

Beverages
Veuve de Vernay Brut Rose (France)
Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
Lavazza Tierra Blend (Rainforest Alliance Certified)
Espirito Lagoalva (Portugal)
Monastery Tvrdos Cabernet Sauvignon (Bosnia & Herzegovina) <–I loved this
Domaine Saint-Vincent Brut (New Mexico)

Course 1

Grape Leaves Stuffed with Rice by Chicago Organics <– delicious
Cavapi Beef and Lamb Kabobs by City Fresh Market
Fresh Feta Salad by City Fresh Market
Course 2
Raw Vegan Lasagna by Raw <– couldn’t even tell it was raw (except that it was cold)
Crushed Red Pepper Popcorn by Pop This! Gourmet Popcorn & Candy Shop <– unreal
Course 3
Op la Frittata by Saigon Sisters
Hot Chili & Teriyaki Chicken over Fried Rice by Bowl Square
Course 4
Pastrami on Rye Bread by Fumare
Belgium Fries with Curry Mayo by Frietkoten <–i can’t even begin to explain how much i love curry dipping sauce
Course 5
Sole Fish Taco by City Fresh
Homemade Guacamole and Chips by Buen Apetito
Course 6
Croque Monsieur by LM Cafe
Rigatoni and Marinara Sauce Fasta Pasta
Course 7
Ambre Dessert by Vanille Patisserie
Red Velvet Cupcake by Sweet Miss Giving’s
Strawberry and Cheese Kolacky by Provo’s Bakery
Sorbetto Cremespresso by Lavazza Espression
Marzipan and Raspberry Macarons by Delightful Pastries
Course 8
Delice de Bourgogne
Aged Marieke Gouda
Aderkase Reserve
Fig and Black Tea Spread
Cinnamon Roasted Almonds
Assorted Berries

Leave a comment

Filed under drinking, eating