23.11.14

Grilled Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas

  • Once a week, I like to get creative and participate in my own "food challenge" by using whatever ingredients or food pantry items I have on hand. Its a great way to ensure you are actually using and consuming the food you buy.  Every couple days its smart to scan through the food in your fridge and pantry, and make a plan to utilize what you got before it spoils.

  • This past day, I knew that I had some flour tortillas that were a few days old, a left-over half of one red onion and a chicken breast. I figured I could turn these into some sort of quesadilla.  I headed over to pantry and found a can of chipotle salsa to spice things up, a perfect complement to the flavors of fresh cilantro and lime. I chose to grill the flour tortillas for the quesadillas because the grill marks add character and give the tortilla a mild smoky flavor. 



  • Grilled Chicken Chipotle Quesadillas 

  • Serves 2 

ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 7oz can of chipotle salsa (I used San Marcos) 
  • 1 green onion/scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1-1/2 cups or 1 large grilled free-range chicken, sliced thinly 
  •          (this can be pre-cooked or grill at at time)
  • 2 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 4 10-inch diameter flour tortillas
  • 4 handfuls of shredded cheese
  • Sour cream, for serving (optional)
  • Lime wedges, for serving (optional)

preparation 


Grilling the Chicken 

Before laying your seasoned chicken breast down on your grill pan, you are going to want to make sure your surface is CLEAN, OILED, and HOT!  I promise your chicken will like you better, and you will like your chicken much better if you do this.  This, in addition to a little patience (don't even move the breast for at least 3-4 minutes), alleviates the issue of the chicken sticking to the grill.
Heat your grill pan to 375-450 degrees.  Place the chicken on a clean, oiled, and hot grate.  Cook the chicken breasts for about 4-5 minutes per side depending on thickness.  I like to do a "touch test" with  my finger to see if  the chicken is done, but feel free you use a meat thermometer, it should read 160 degrees. Remove the chicken from the heat, let it rest for a couple minutes, and slice in thin strips, and set aside for a moment. As it rests, begin making the chipotle mixture. 

Chipotle Mixture

In a large sauté pan or cast iron pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute or so. Stir in the chipotle salsa for 3-5 minutes, stirring often. I would slice the chicken at this point. Stir in the scallions, sliced chicken and cilantro. Keep warm on low heat. 
In the same grill pan as you cooked the chicken breast on, over medium-high heat, put down a flour tortilla. After a minute or so add a little cheese and wait until it begins to melt, then add an even layer of chipotle chicken mixture, sprinkle more cheese, and cover with another tortilla. Turn the quesadilla over, and let cook on each side for a few minutes until grill marks are perfect and golden.  If grilling in batches, keep finished quesadillas warm in a 200° oven until ready to serve. Enjoy! 






19.11.14

Chicago Food Film Festival is here! Get 10% off your pass with GIRLFOOD10


TASTE WHAT YOU SEE ON THE SCREEN!

Tickets on Sale for 5th Annual
Chicago Food Film Festival,
November 19th-November 22nd, 2014

10% off with code: GIRLFOOD10


Tickets are now on sale for the 5th Annual Chicago Food Film Festival, returning to Kendall College (900 N North Branch St.) on November 19th-November 22nd with five events that feature over 20 food films, including 15 Chicago premieres. The Chicago Food Film Festival is the only film festival in the world where guests can taste what they see on the screen.

“We’re so excited for the 5th Annual Chicago Food Film Festival,” said Festival Director George Motz. “This year’s line-up is better than ever, with films ranging from Award-winning director Craig Noble’s beer film Craft, to fantastic food porn shorts, all screened alongside amazing foods and drinks.”

-FESTIVAL EVENTS-


Wednesday, November 19th, Opening Night
·      A screening of director Matt Reynold’s The Great Chicken Wing Hunt, the full-length documentary about Buffalo Wings and the band of misfits who set out to find the world’s best one
·      Feast on an all-you-can-eat assortment of the world’s best Buffalo wings on the 50th Anniversary of the Buffalo Chicken Wing
·      The best hot wing in America, as discovered in Matt Reynold’s epic feature, will be in Chicago for ONE NIGHT ONLY
·      Scrumptious pies from Hoosier Mama

Thursday, November 20th, Edible Adventure #012 Sriracha & More
·      Die-hard heat seeking fans won’t want to miss this screening of Sriracha, the documentary that traces the origins of everyone’s favorite condiment
·      The after-party brings the heat with an entire menu of sriracha-inspired dishes
·      Tacos from Big Star with a spicy twist

Friday, November 21st, The Night Aquatic
·      An evening of sea-centric films including Squid Chips, The Mobile Blues, Sweet, Sexy Ocean, and more
·      Enjoy a deep-sea spread of seafood favorites including squid, sea urchin, crab, oysters, and sushi
·      Keizo Shimamoto of Ramen Burger fame will be in Chicago to exclusively debut a seafood ramen for the festival
·      Chef Phillip Foss (EL Ideas) will be creating a special uni dish unique to this night
·      All you can eat oysters from Martha’s Vineyard

Saturday, November 22nd, #ILoveBeer
·      Beer aficionados won’t want to miss the craft beer bash with a screening of Craft, a feature-length documentary that takes you on a beertastic voyage to the front lines of the Craft Beer Revolution
·      An entire afternoon of craft brews including Two Brothers, Stone Brewing, Half Acre, Smuttynose, and Begyle
·      Plus custom sausage and beer pairings from Artisanal Wilmette

Saturday, November 22nd, The Food Porn Party
·      The notorious (and crowd favorite) returns with an array of saucy shorts and antics from Larry Cauldwell, the world’s first Food Porn Star, who returns with his new short film, Balls!
·      Brooklyn BBQ Pit Master Billy Durney of Hometown BBQ will be serving his celebrated beef ribs to accomapny George Motz’s film, For The Love of Beef Rib
·      Milwaky Trace frying up some arancini balls
·      Meatballs from Schweid & Sons

Tickets for all events go on sale today at http://thefoodfilmfestival.com/  Code: GIRLFOOD10 for 10% off 

18.11.14

How to Make Bone Broth

In case you haven't heard, bone broths(s) is seriously trending right now. I'm happy that it is finally getting the spotlight it deserves, as I have been sipping on broth in my coffee mug/tea cup for years now.  Something, in fact, that I grew up with in a European household. I have my mom to thank for it.  
I'm sorry I haven't shared my recipes yet, but that's all going to change now. 

If you aren't already making bone broth or your own broth regularly, I'd encourage you to start today.  Many people moan about cooking their own homemade stock/broth, it's not that hard and fool-proof.  Ditch the boxed crap, its super high in sodium and other unnatural flavorings and preservatives. Trust me, once you can make a homemade brother, you will never go back to fake stuff. I promise! 

Every single Chef or restaurant incorporates a bone broth in their cooking. Besides giving rich flavor to your dishes (soups, stews, risotto), it has a tremendous impact on health. It is filled nutrients, it helps boosts your immune system and aid digestion.   I am so obsessed with bone broth I sip on it almost daily in the Winter months to keep colds and flu away.  It also gives me glowing skin and loads of energy. 
You can always make bone broth and keep it in the freezer, when a cold comes on, you'll be glad you did. 

With Thanksgiving around the corner, it's a perfect opportunity for you to take the turkey bones and carcass to make a bone broth. 
There are some of my secrets to making good bone broth:
Use the highest quality of bones you can find, I recommend grass-fed. I only use meat from The Butcher and Larder.
Add vinegar, like Bragg's apple cider vinegar, to the water to draw the minerals out of the bones into the broth.
Roast and brown the bones in the oven before adding them to the stock. This is a tip I received a couple years ago from Chef David Dworshak from Takito Kitchen when I was in a gumbo-off. 




ingredients 

2 pounds of bones (I used the remains from a roasted chicken ie. the bones and carcass) 
2 yellow onions, unpeeled 
2 organic carrots 
2 stalks of celery
2 cloves of garlic 
1 bunch fresh parsley 
a handful of fresh thyme
sea salt and pepper  
1 1/2 tablespoons of vinegar (I use Bragg's apple cider vinegar) 

preparation 

In a stock pot add all ingredients. Make sure to wash the carrots, celery and herbs. I like to keep skin on onions as it adds a beautiful golden color.  Pour in water, I use filtered water, enough to cover the ingredients. Over medium heat, bring to boil. When it's boiling, a film of foam will begin to form, start skimming the foam out. Once the film is removed, cover the pot, lower to a simmer. Let simmer 3 hours-18 hours. The longer it simmers, the more flavor your broth will have. I like to store my broth in glass jars or freeze in ice cube trays. 



14.11.14

Whole-Grain Mustard Baked Chicken {Clean Eats}





If you follow me on social media, you know that I have been traveling, and therefore eating out almost every night.  While I do enjoy this part of my life very much, all I wanted to do was make a healthy and wholesome dinner once I got back home.  I turned to a chicken recipe from one of my favorite sources of clean eating, Clean Eats by Alejandro Junger M.D. founder of the Clean Program

It is important to know that the food you are putting in your body comes for good reliable sources that don't cut corners and process your foods.  This is especially true when discussing poultry and meat. Therefore, if I am cooking with proteins I always try to go to my local butcher, because I know they are sourcing amazing products that not only taste great, but are ultimately healthier for my body as they do not contain any preservatives, hormones, or antibiotics.

If you can think a few days out and plan to cook more than once, buy the whole chicken and have the butcher break it down for you.  I had the guys at Butcher and Larder break down one fresh chicken from Gunthorp Farms into wings, breasts , thighs and drumsticks.  From that, I was able to make this dish and two other dishes that I had 2 nights later, which included grilled buffalo chicken wings and chicken paillard from the breast.  It is always great to be able to cook with all parts of the animal and not waste anything. You can even use the bones from the chicken to improve the flavor of a soup stock!





Recipe adapted from Clean Eats 

ingredients 

2 pasture raised chicken legs, thighs and drumsticks 
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 
2 Tablespoons whole-seed mustard 
(like American Spoon  available at Publican Quality Meats or LocalFolksFoods at many locations like Whole Foods, Plum Market, Sunset Foods, etc
3-4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar like Braggs
2 teaspoons sea salt

preparation

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

In a large bowl, toss all the ingredients together and allow the chicken to marinate for 15 minutes at room temperature. Transfer the marinated chicken into a baking dish and make sure to pour the leftover marinade over the top chicken by using a wooden spoon. 

Bake the chicken for 20-30 minutes, or until it is nicely browned. I set the oven to broil for 2 or so minutes to create that nice brown crust on top of the meat. Serve and enjoy! 

I spread mashed celery root with horseradish and scallions the bottom and placed two pieces of chicken on top. 











12.11.14

5-year Wedding Anniversary Dinner at Boka

My Husband, Steve, and I celebrated our 5-year wedding anniversary at Boka.
When Steve announced that we were celebrating at Boka I was extremely excited as it is one of my favorite restaurants in Chicago.  The space is very romantic and Chef Lee Wolen always blows my taste buds away.  As a blogger, I don't like to review restaurants as I leave it for the professionals like my girlfriend, Sarah Freeman of Zagat. However, I love to share what was "on Kat's plate" and its up to you decide whether you want to go and eat there. 
The Boka team made our night very special and I highly recommend heading there for your next special occasion or a fabulous dinner.  
I also want to include  that the Eater Awards are upon us, I am proud to say I voted for Lee of Chef of the year,  find out if Lee wins this Monday! 

I apologize for dark or blurry pictures, as my main focus was on my husband, to enjoy our dinner and not stage picture perfect food photos. 

via Boka Chicago

Chef Lee Wolen bringing smiles to our faces. 






Heirloom Carrots

pistachios, amaranth, smoked goat cheese







Marinated Fluke
ginger, grapefruit, vietnamese coriander





Corn Soup

peekytoe crab, pickled blueberries, tarragon







Salt Cod Ravioli 
corn, arugula, radish






Grilled Spanish Octopus 
plum, garlic, roasted pork broth 






Roasted Pekin Duck Breast 
sunchokes, prunes, mustard 




Crispy Skate Wing 

matsutake, pears, brown butter




Desserts by pastry chef Genie Kwon:




Chocolate Cake

huckleberry, gingerbread, cardamom ice cream


Coconut Rice Pudding
tres leches, lime, cassis sorbet 





Boka Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon