Author: Peter - The Roaming GastroGnome

Born and raised in the beautiful Mid-Hudson Valley of New York State, moved to DC for a job, stayed way longer than I thought, got married and moved to Chicago for her job. It's an awesome city!

Homemade Chicken Soup From Scratch

Chicken Soup2I was a little under the weather last week and really needed some good old-fashioned chicken soup. As you may have heard, chicken soup is supposed to help cure the common cold or at least alleviate some of the suffering. Over the years there have been studies about chicken soup’s alleged healing properties and from what I can gather it’s a combination of certain things: cold fighting compounds in the chicken and carrots; the hot liquid which…um loosens things up; and vitamins and nutrients in the broth which make easier for the body to absorb. Of course I wasn’t really thinking of the science behind it all, I just wanted some homemade chicken soup to make me feel better. (more…)

Riso al Salto: All Leftovers Should Be This Good

Riso al Salto with truffle hunter sauceNormally, when you make risotto you make just enough that it all gets eaten. Even if there is little extra you finish it off leaving just an empty pan. However, this past weekend I made an extra-large serving for us and lo and behold what was in the fridge the next day but a small plate of leftover risotto. Of course you can just do what you do with normal leftovers; re-heat and eat. Or you can take that leftover risotto and make riso al salto: a quick and easy crispy fried rice cake. Now that’s a good leftover! (more…)

Pork Shoulder Speck: One Result From My November Cold Smoking Experiment

Bonless pork shoulder speckJust before Thanksgiving I cured and cold smoked a boneless pork shoulder and a picnic ham then hung them in my curing fridge in the basement. This past weekend the speck cured shoulder was ready. I was pretty excited to see how it turned out. (more…)

Savory Buckwheat Crepe Breakfast – Galette Complète

Galette CompleteHappy New Year! Once again, I’m finding inspiration from our trip to Paris. While waiting to check into our Airbnb flat on Ile St. Louis we ate brunch at a place on the tip of the island called Café St Regis. I had a ridiculously fluffy omelet and Cheryl had a buckwheat crepe with ham, cheese and egg. It looked so simple I made a mental note to give it a try at some point. Today was that point. (more…)

Vin Chaud – Mulling Over a Paris Inspiration

Vin ChaudI could not let our Paris trip go by without trying my hand on at least one thing we experienced there. As I mentioned before, the chilly December weather in Paris made vin chaud a perfect café drink to warm ourselves up with. Perfect winter warmer for Chicago too. (more…)

Roast Duck with Apple-Chestnut Hash

Roast Duck with apple chestnut hashA few weeks ago I decided to roast a duck for our weekly Wednesday date night. Looking at The Flavor Bible, duck has a pretty wide and interesting mix of flavor ingredients and most are very seasonal for fall and winter; like apples, potatoes, ginger, allspice, chestnuts, cinnamon, and more. There were many ingredients on the list I liked and wanted use but bringing them all together for one dish seemed way over the top, so I decided to pick and choose a few favorites and add them to separate parts which when later combined would complement each other. Thus the idea of making a sort of hash seasoned to pair with a glazed roast duck. (more…)