Yellow Lentils with Pickled Ginger and Watercress

As promised here’s the second part of last week’s NOLA inspired dish of Ginger Beer Pork Cheeks. These lentils are a really flavorful side dish which, while fantastic when paired with the pork cheeks, can easily stand on its own as a separate dish or even side salad. Like revenge I think they’re best served…

Blue Moon Braised Pork Cheeks Basquaise

A few weeks back I was at the butcher shop and picked up some various pork parts, 2 pounds of cheeks being part of the haul.  They were really inexpensive at $2.49 per pound and I had intended on curing them but ended up putting the pork cheeks in the freezer to save for another…

Rabbit in Mustard Sauce (ou en Francais, Lapin à la Moutarde)

Wednesday nights are reserved as date night for Cheryl and me.  Most of the time we go out for dinner but occasionally she lets me cook a ‘fancy’ mid-week one for her.  The whole point is to spend some quiet time together while trying something new.  I’m pretty sure the idea for rabbit came up…

White Bean Bruschetta with Duck Skin Crackling

It has been a real whirlwind spring so far.  I’ve been really busy with work (a good thing) and in our spare time we’ve been revamping the back yard, tearing out shrubs, expanding the patio, making some raised bed gardens (an even better thing).  Cooking has temporarily taken a back seat.  However, this past Sunday…

Getting Colder Outside, Make a Hearty Vegetable Garbure!

Your first question is what the heck is a vegetable garbure?  Short answer: a ham and vegetable French peasantry stew.  Long answer: a French stew I found in Ruhlman’s Twenty which enabled me to use up the bacon rind I’ve been saving in the freezer from the last time I made bacon.  Doesn’t it always…

Pumpkin Risotto – Another Flavor of Fall

It sure has gotten cold recently here in Chicago.  Time for a hearty warm dish which reflects the autumn season upon us: pumpkin risotto.  Yes, pumpkin risotto.  The great pumpkin’s time is now (just ask Linus).  My unofficial pumpkin season starts in late September and ends at Thanksgiving.  That Thanksgiving pumpkin pie is usually the…

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…

Grilling Season in Chicago Already? Add Some Acid: Chimichurri

Can’t believe it’s been so long since I posted!  Very busy this past week, which has also seen some record-setting temperatures here in Chicago.  70s and 80s.  In March.  Now that’s my kind of Chicago winter.  Of course we’ll probably get some snow at Easter now.  Oh well, what can you do?  It’s pretty awesome…

What’s for Sunday Dinner: Braised Pork Ribs with Apple-Curry Sauce

Yesterday was a beautiful day in Chicago.  The sun was shining, temperature was in the mid-60s, and everyone was out soaking it all up.  It reminded me of something I read once about Calvados, the French apple brandy, being like a glass of summer sunshine.  That description has always stuck with me and I think…

Fettucine with Bay Scallops in a Saffron Cream Sauce

Fridays in Lent can be tough for Roman Catholics, especially when you have some leftover meatloaf and osso bucco in the fridge.  Bad for me, good for Cheryl who’s one of those rebellious Protestants.  Well it’s not really that tough, but we like to try to convince everyone it’s difficult.  It usually doesn’t work though…