Rampy Shrimp Scampi – or To Be More Precise: Shrimp Prawn

Shrimp Scampi with rampsRamp season is winding down but I’ve still got a few bunches left. This week I’m taking an old restaurant classic and adding a seasonal twist, turning shrimp scampi into a rampy shrimp scampi. Yeah that’s right, shrimp sc-ramp-i. (more…)

Chicago Beer Cheese: Spring Ramps, German Cheese and Begyle Brewing Beer

Chicago Beer Cheese with ramps2We’re really getting into ramps season here in Chicago and lucky me, I have a very good source for them. It’s all about being creative when you have a limited supply of seasonal ingredients which is why I came up with a very Chicago-themed post this week. German cheese representing part of the city’s immigrant history, beer from our favorite local brewer Begyle Brewing, and of course the plant Chicago was allegedly named after, ramps (see last year’s ramps post for the story). Ladies and gentlemen I give you: Chicago Beer Cheese! (more…)

Homemade Guanciale – So Good!

Homemade GuancialeIf you’ve been following along the past few months you know I’ve been doing a lot of curing and sausage making with lots of different pork cuts. While this isn’t the first time I’ve made guanciale I think the batch which recently emerged from the basement is quite possibly the best I’ve ever made. (more…)

Beluga Lentils and Grilled Sausage

Beluga lentils and grilled sausageThere’s a reason you always see sausages with lentils. They pair well together. Over the years I’ve tried to make lentil dishes which stand alone on their merits and have been successful with some. But when paired with sausage the combination is downright magical. I don’t know if it’s the saltiness of the sausage reacting with the lentils or the earthiness of the lentils acting on the sausage. Whatever it is, it works. (more…)

Simple Spring Egg Salad

Egg SaladEgg salad reminds me a lot of lunches at my grandparents when I was little. A visit to their house on the weekend usually happened around lunchtime and that meant sandwiches. I really can’t recall ever having anything BUT sandwiches. We never had leftovers for lunch or whatever was lying around in the fridge. If there was a leftover, like meatloaf, it went into a sandwich. Some salad maybe if it was summer and Pop-Pop’s vegetable garden was in full swing, but alongside a sandwich. Always sandwiches. (more…)

Pork Belly Porchetta

Pork Belly PorchettaLast week I picked up an epic piece of pork belly for another project and couldn’t resist trimming off a chunk for our weekly date night dinner. I was quite excited about it and knew cooking a pork belly porchetta was going to get a “WOW! You rocked it!” reaction from Cheryl (which it did). (more…)

Corned Beef Hash: Delicious Simplicity

Corned beef hashCorned beef hash. A no-brainer when you stop off at the diner on your way home from the bar at 4am. At least it used to be. On Sunday I surprised Cheryl with this tasty breakfast made from our St. Patrick’s Day leftovers. Yes we still had some corned beef and potatoes, that’s the benefit of cooking a six pound brined brisket, plenty left to chew on! (more…)