The Flavor Bible

Rhubarb Ice Cream

Rhubarb ice creamCSA time is here! In our first box of the season I ordered some rhubarb not quite knowing what I’d do with it. Cheryl pointed out I hadn’t made any ice cream in a while and since it was turning into summer (ever so slowly here in Chicago) it might be nice if I made some. So for the very first CSA-box recipe of the summer post I give you: rhubarb ice cream! (more…)

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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…)

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…)

Braised Pork Belly with Apple and Fennel

Braised pork belly with apple and fennelOne thing I really like about cooking pork dishes is that pork does fantastically well absorbing the flavors you surround it with. Yet another reason why the pig is such a magical animal. Think about it, from sausages to bacon to tenderloin and chops, a lot of the flavor comes from the herbs and spices used in the preparation and cooking. Pork is a wonderful blank canvas for any cook and pork belly is very good choice because it has layers of delicious fat to keep it moist. Reasons enough for me to make braising a perfect technique for preparing pork belly. Especially as we head into cooler Fall weather. (more…)

Elevated Elote: Sweet Summer Corn Salad

elotes summer corn saladFor me, August means sweet corn. Back home where I grew up, in the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York, this is the part of summer when sweet corn is coming into peak harvest and ‘fresh corn’ stands sprout up on rural roads like…well…corn stalks. I love to eat corn on the cob but variety is the spice of life so this week I’m taking elote, the grilled Mexican corn treat, and turning it into an even more savory summer corn salad. (more…)

Grilled Kohlrabi Fava Beans and Horseradish Greens ‘En Papier d’Aluminium’

Grilled Kohlrabi with fava beans and horseradish greensA few posts back I wrote about how we’ve been receiving a CSA box each week from Montalbano Farms and warned you I’d be getting creative with it. In that post there was a photo of some weekly goodies which held a couple of items I’d never used before: kohlrabi and horseradish greens (even prompted a call from my mom asking how I use the horseradish greens). First, I needed to know what the heck kohlrabi was and how to use it and the horseradish greens. Yup, sometimes I just order things blindly. (more…)

Yay Spring! Ramp Gougères

Ramp gougeres Chicago rampsA few weeks ago when the weather finally turned gorgeous, my friend Chef Julius Russell and his wife Jada stopped by for a visit to catch up. As you can imagine, food was one of the topics and Chef told me all about some really cool things he was doing with ramps this spring. I mentioned I hadn’t gotten any yet and he said he’d get me some to play around with. A couple of weeks later on Memorial Day we got together with them (and the Martins!) for an impromptu cookout and some ramps were delivered. Even though these ramp gougères were not served, it was still a pretty awesome party! (more…)