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New Sausage: Spanish Pimenton and Fennel Sausage

An ibero-italo hybrid

An ibero-italo hybrid

Not sure if you’ve noticed yet but it’s August, halfway through to be exact.  Where did the summer go?  Kids are going back to school and the NFL is already playing pre-season games.  Having eaten up all of our sausage supply I thought it was high time to come up with a new creation and replenish the stock.  The result: a hybrid of smoky Spanish chorizo and sweet Italian sausage.  Just call me Dr. Franken-furter-stein. (more…)

Two New Sausages: Mango-Poblano Pepper and Apple-Sage

Mango Poblano sausage and apple sage sausageI’ve been practicing my sausage making skills over the winter and last week I decided it was time to test myself.  Grilling season is approaching here in Chicago so it was time to use the basic skills I’ve acquired and invent something delicious.  I settled on two new flavors: a mango-poblano pepper sausage and an apple-sage sausage.  (more…)

Stuffed Cabbage – Comfort Food the Way Grandma Made It

I know I’m in the minority here but stuffed cabbage is my all time favorite comfort food.  I could eat it all day every day for a month and not get sick of it.  I kid you not.  Like the Porlos Testa and the Green Bean Salad this is my grandmother’s recipe which she probably learned from her Hungarian mother.  My mom picked it up from her and that’s who I learned it from.  Four generations at least!  I love love love this stuffed cabbage!  Of all the things I’ve written about so far this is the one which really carries me home to Grandma’s and my Mom’s kitchens.  I really can’t decide if the stuffed cabbage is my favorite part or the bits of cabbage which get stewed in the bottom of the pot.  Together they’re great. (more…)

Couscous Salad (don’t worry, summer’s almost over)

Ok, back to summer salads!  This particular couscous salad is Cheryl’s favorite.  I’m not sure if there’s a special ingredient in it she really likes or if it’s the combination of everything, but whatever it is she gets very happy when I make it.  As with most of my summer creations, this couscous salad is very easy to make, can be made ahead, and is perfect for hot evenings when you don’t want to do much cooking. (more…)

Grilled Skirt Steak with Garlic-Lime-Cilantro Marinade

Sorry for the rather light posting lately, real world has been pretty busy which is a good thing.  Anyway, on my way back from the office the other day I stopped at Trader Joe’s to pick up a couple of items and saw a bag of limes.  I was planning on grilling some skirt steak for dinner and I really like using limes in my marinades so I grabbed them.  For me there’s just something about limes that seems to say “sunshine.”  Limes (and lime juice) give some really good citrusy flavor to cocktails, salsas, ceviche, Thai food, etc.  See?  Don’t you think of warm sun and sand when I mention those?  Good thoughts for springtime in Chicago. (more…)