23.10.14

A Girl Travels: Machu Picchu, Peru 2000 #throwbackthursday #TBT



Machu Picchu, Peru 
2000

with my Father, Jack

Food Network in Concert at Ravinia Around the World Dinner presented by The National Pork Board #PorkBucketList

The biggest names in food and music united for the first ever Food Network in Concert at Ravinia, presented by ThankYou from Citi, which benefited Share our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign to end childhood hunger in America. 

The National Pork Board invited me  to the Around the World Dinner hosted by Iron Chef Jose Garces.  The pork-led culinary adventure, Around the World in four courses, was led by four chefs who each prepared a course inspired by a different region of the globe.  Terlato wines paired cocktails and wine and live music from Season 6winner of The Voice, Josh Kaufman

I was seated at Chef Jose Garces table with Chef Wylie Defresne and his wife Maile Carpenter, the editor-in-chef of Food Network Magazine,  grabbed my pork passport and began my pork led journey. 






Chef Wylie Defrense and I 



 Jimmy Banno's Jr of The Purple Pig 

Destination: ITALY

Italian cuisine relies heavily on the quality of the ingredients. While pasta, cheese and tomatoes may come to mind first when thinking about Italy's gourmet delicacies, pork is actually a mainstay to many Italian dishes. It's versatility makes it easy to incorporate in a variety of Italian plates-from Porchetta and salumi to milk-braised pork shoulder, the options for pairing are endless

What's on your #porkbucketlist? 
I want to play around with the Southern Italian tradition of combing blood and chocolate!
-Jimmy Bannos, Jr. 



'Nduja 
House made 'nduja and giardiniera crostini 
Nino Franco "Rustico" Prosecco 




Tim Graham of Travelle

Destination: AFRICA 

African cuisine blends the traditions of many cultures-each region having a different influence. Dishes are characterized by an abundant use of spices, including cumin, saffron and ginger, which are often paired with pork. Traditionally, regional cuisines reflect a combination of locally available fruits, cereal grains and vegetables as well. 


Piri-Piri Pork Chop 
with tomato and chickpea salad 
Lapostolle Cuvée Alexandre Chardonay 






What's on your #porkbucketlist?
What can't you do with pork cheeks? One thing on my #porkbucketlist I can't wait to check off is to cook pork cheeks all different ways-in a breakfast hash, fried like osiers in a po'boy, and just straight braised on top of polenta. Cheeks are delicious because they are a muscle that consistently moves, which fives them a great deal of flavor. 
-tim graham


Chefs Beth Patridge & Dan Pancake of Autre Monde Cafe

Destination: The Mediterranean
Mediterranean dishes have a deep flavor achieved by the simple preparation of ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and beans, olive oil and spices. Authentic Mediterranean dining, which is often done over pintos like tonight's pork pintos with apple and cannelloni bean puree, is ad much about the social experience as it is the food. 


Basque Style Pork Pintxos 
braised belly and shoulder, smoked pimento, salsa verde 
Loveblock Pinot Noir




What's on your #porkbucketlist?
One thing we've crossed off our #porkbucketlist is recreating a Spanish Style Whole Sucking Pig, slow roasted over grapevines, we first  had when we were living on the Costa Brava in Spain. We feel in love with that way of roasting a pig over open flame. 
-beth patridge and dan pancake

Andrew Zimmerman of Sepia

Destination: ASIA

Pork's versatility and great taste make it a perfect partner for Asain flavors. From pork belly to boo chou and sitrfry, adding Asian influences to a pork dish brings out its taste in more savory ways-pure umami! 

Pork Cheeks
Hoisin Braised Pork with Grilled Watermelon and Shishito Peppers
The Federalist Zinfandel








What's on your #porkbucketlist?
I can't wait to go back to Spain and try as many Jamon ( back leg ham) and Paleta Iberico de Bellota (shoulder ham) as possible for my #porkbucketlist. 
-andrew zimmerman


dessert 






























16.10.14

One night only!! Jason Vincent & Lee Wolen cooking a dinner at BOKA

Jason Vincent & Lee Wolen
via Eater 


For one night only, the former Nightwood chef, Jason Vincent, will be cooking up a storm, with chef Lee Wolen of Boka, on Tuesday, October 21 at Boka. These masterminds are joining forces to highlight local and seasonal vegetable dishes from Genesis Growers. I can't contain my excitement as I adore both these chefs and their wonderfully delicious vegetarian creations. Tickets are $85. To Make reservations, call Boka 312-337-6070

1749 North Halsted Street
Chicago 




15.10.14

Zucchini Noodles aka Zoodles with Slow-Roasted Tomato Marinara





Recent weather here in Chicago has been dreary, so I grabbed the last of my fresh garden tomatoes and basil, and created this colorful and healthy lunch in hopes to fuel up "my happy tank".  Three days filled with cold and non-stop rain brings everyone down.  Argh! What happened to an Indian Summer?

My slow roasted tomatoes will make your kitchen smell like Nonna's house as they roast for several hours. If that smell can't make you feel all warm and happy inside on a dreary day,  I am not sure what will. Food is comfort. 

The zucchini noodles recipe I am sharing with you today is: 
  • paleo
  • gluten-free
  • meatless monday
  • clean eating
  • vegetarian
  • low-calorie 
  • dairy-free 
  • it's just so good for you! 
I swear by my Paderno Tri-Blade Spiral Vegetable Slicer. Available at Williams-Sonoma. It is a game-changer when preparing apples, potatoes, carrots, cucumbers, and zucchini! 

Williams-Sonoma

Zucchini Spaghetti (Zoodles) 
serves 2




ingredients

2-3  Zucchini, medium-sized

preparation 

Note: 
Zucchini is rather moist, however, so you should rinse them even if you plan to consume the noodles raw. If boiling or sautéing zucchini noodles, you should place the noodles inside a colander tossed with a teaspoon and let the noodles drip dry for 20-30 minutes. When done, rinse the noodles and wrap the noodles in paper towels and squeeze gently to absorb as much excess moisture as possible.

raw:

Slice off the ends of each zucchini, set in Paderno vegetable slicer to create noodles. Top with slow-roasted tomatoes or slow-roasted tomato marinara and fresh basil leaves. Season to taste with fresh ground pepper. 

hot:

Slice off the ends of each zucchini, set in Paderno vegetable slicer to create noodles. Once the noodles are created, place the noodles inside a colander tossed with a teaspoon of slat and let the noodles drip dry for about 20-30 minutes. When done, rinse the noodles and wrap the noodles in paper towels and squeeze gently to absorb as much excess moisture as possible. 

In this recipe, I sautéed the noodles with some olive oil and minced garlic of one clove. Heat your skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat with about a tablespoon of olive oil.  Sauté the noodles and garlic for about 6-7 minutes, stirring frequently. Top with slow-roasted tomatoes or slow-roasted tomato marinara and fresh basil leaves. Season to taste with fresh ground pepper. Enjoy! 











9.10.14

Blistered Shishito Peppers


An amazing looking bushel of shishito peppers caught my eye this week at the farmers market.  As they are in season, and I haven't cooked with them since last year, I thought I would give them a try (you can also find them at any Asian market like Joong Boo).  Sautéed shishitos (aka blistered shishitos) are absolutely the best thing to nibble on, and they're insanely easy to prepare. I usually serve them as a snack or appetizer, but they are great additions to many dishes as well.  A newly opened restaurant, Dove's Luncheonette, serves them as a hash, with fried potatoes and an aioli, then garnished with charred scallions and queso fresco.  The recipe below, while simple, can make a hero out of any home cook.






ingredients

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 

3 cups of shishito peppers
Sea salt 

preparation 


Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Cook the shishitos by tossing and turning frequently until they blister. It should take up to 10-15 minutes to cook a panful of peppers.  Sprinkle with salt and toss the peppers. Next, slide the peppers onto a plate or bowl and serve immediately. You pick them up by the stem and eat the whole pepper, minus the stem. (Duh!) 




22.9.14

Meatless Monday {Clean Eating} Roasted Beet Carpaccio



As a Polish girl, I was born with a beet in my hand.  We go together like peanut butter and jelly.  Every week, I am sure to buy them at the farmers' market and incorporate them into my (Polish) diet.   Eating whole and clean is very important to me, and it is not as difficult as people make it out to be.  The following recipe is from the book Clean Eats, by Dr. Alejandro Junger, the person I consider to be my clean eating guru.

A few months back, my husband and I hosted a small dinner party.  I was looking to make something, like a gorgeous starter or passed appetizer that would impress my guests.  When I saw the roasted beet carpaccio pictured in his book, I instantly knew this dish would be the one to get everyone at the party talking.  It did not disappoint.  The presentation was colorful and elegant, and most importantly it was delicious.  As most people usually eat a meat or fish carpaccio, a vegetarian option makes for an attractive option.



adapted from Clean Eats  


ingredients

4 large beets, peeled (use rubber gloves when peeling beets!)
2 handfuls of frisée, spinach or arugula
1 small handful of fresh herbs, such as mint, dill, parsley, ideally some edible flowers
Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for beets
Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 

preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place beets in a baking dish, pour about 1/2 inch of water and then cover the dish with tinfoil. Roast the beets for about 45 minutes or until the beets are fork tender. remove them from the oven, drain the water, and allow the beets to cool. 
Once the beets have cooled, use a mandoline to slice them unto very thin rounds. Be careful as I sliced my finger on my mandoline, if you don't have one use a sharp knife to slice the rounds. 
Arrange the thinly sliced beets  over two serving plates, covering the entire surface of each plate. Drizzle the beets with olive oil and sprinkle them with the  sea salt. In a medium mixing bowl, toss the greens and herbs with the lemon juice, olive oil and salt and fresh ground black pepper.  grab a small bundle of greens with your hand and place it in the center of each plate, on top of the beets. Serve immediately and enjoy!