Béchamel Sauce – Creamy Truffled Cauliflower Gratin

In the Top Chef Texas season there was a challenge where the chefs had to rework Escoffier’s “mother” sauces, one of which is béchamel.  This is an awesome, versatile, easy sauce for the home cook.  Once you learn to make this preparation you can make all sorts of creamy, gooey, cheesy things.  It’s perfect forContinue reading “Béchamel Sauce – Creamy Truffled Cauliflower Gratin”

Top Chef Episode 16 – Will This Season Ever End?

I’m beginning to think it won’t.  Man, this season has really dragged on.  Much like my time spent at O’Hare this morning while waiting for a flight to New Orleans.  We had a snow storm move through Chicago last night and while it didn’t dump much snow it mucked up travel nonetheless.  So, while waitingContinue reading “Top Chef Episode 16 – Will This Season Ever End?”

The Bad Apple – Nothing Bad About It!

Sitting on a corner of Lincoln Ave. between Irving Park and Montrose is a place called The Bad Apple.  I’d heard good things about it from some co-workers and since it’s just a few blocks away from my office on Damen, it’s perfect for a quick lunch.  The food is good, moderately priced, and they’veContinue reading “The Bad Apple – Nothing Bad About It!”

Quick Post: It’s Paczki Day Here in Chicago!

Hey Chicago!  Did you get yours this morning?  Did your boss stop and bring some to the office like mine did?  Did your friend who got up early in the morning save you one?  No?  Cheryl wasn’t so lucky either so I thought I should pick some up for her. For all the non-Chicagoans (andContinue reading “Quick Post: It’s Paczki Day Here in Chicago!”

What’s for Sunday Dinner – Braised Short Ribs

Short ribs!  Always be on the lookout for when these go on sale at the grocery store, when there is one they disappear quickly.  Short ribs are delicious, juicy, and tender.  These are wholly unrelated to “boneless short ribs” which aren’t even from the rib area.  They’re packed with layers of fat which melts awayContinue reading “What’s for Sunday Dinner – Braised Short Ribs”

A Tale of Two Thai’s: Eater 38’s Tac Quick, and Indie Cafe

Recently we’ve been to two extremely different Thai restaurants.  One is our neighborhood place here in Wrigleyville, Tac Quick (Eater 38), and the other is up in Edgewater, Indie Cafe.  Both are very good but very different dining experiences.  At one you’ll find some unique, authentic Thai dishes, the other is more mainstream.  Oh andContinue reading “A Tale of Two Thai’s: Eater 38’s Tac Quick, and Indie Cafe”

Top Chef Episode 15 – I thought it was the Finale

I was so excited for Top Chef last night.  You read that correctly: Excited!  Mostly because I thought it was the big final and we’d get a winner and be done with this train wreck of a season.  I was wrong.  Cheryl kept asking if I was sure this was the final episode.  Yes, yes,Continue reading “Top Chef Episode 15 – I thought it was the Finale”

Welcome! I Made a “Best of” List? How’d that Happen?

Hello to all the new readers clicking through or coming to my little piece of internet real estate from Chicago Rants.  Hopefully you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. And a big Thank You to Chicago Rants for deeming me worthy of any Top 10 list!  It’s always nice to beContinue reading “Welcome! I Made a “Best of” List? How’d that Happen?”

Change it up for Valentine’s Day, Apple-Almond Tart

What, no chocolate?  That’s right no chocolate.  Why?  I’ll tell you why.  Because everyone always expects chocolate and if you really want to make an impression you should think outside the box.  Apples fit in perfectly on Valentine’s Day.  Folkore, mythology, legends are full of stories where the fruit represents both good and evil.  WeContinue reading “Change it up for Valentine’s Day, Apple-Almond Tart”

What’s for Sunday Dinner – Duck a l’Orange (also a great Valentine’s Day dinner)

I started making this dish for Cheryl when she was back in business school and the first time I made it for her was on St. Valentine’s Day.  Seriously, if you’re a home cook this is a pretty awesome dinner to make.  Classical French, not too difficult, delicious, and it’s duck, which is a niceContinue reading “What’s for Sunday Dinner – Duck a l’Orange (also a great Valentine’s Day dinner)”