Guancialini – Homemade Cured Pork Cheeks

Things have slowed down a bit work-wise and as you may have noticed I’ve been doing some adventurous stuff lately.  One experiment I was eager to try was curing some pork cheeks into guanciale.  It’s been on my ‘to-do’ list but I always kept forgetting to ask about pork cheeks when in a butcher shop. …

Soup Time: Manhattan Clam Chowder

It’s cold and damp out there.  Soup weather.  Now, soup is not that complicated to make so don’t be scared of making it from scratch.  I hadn’t made any in a while (because it was summer) and since Cheryl and I sampled some really good chowder in Seattle last weekend I decided to make a…

Tomato Bisque

Every Monday night there’s a TwitterChat I usually participate in called #FoodieChats (follow @foodiechats or @foodiechatsCHI for updates) where the moderator asks themed questions and people tweet their responses.  It’s a fun way to interact with the “Twitter Community” and I occasionally get some good ideas from it.  This week’s theme was “Eating Red” so…

Cassoulet – A Labor of Love

Cassoulet is one of my favorite wintertime French dishes.  On the surface it doesn’t seem like anything too special, basically a white bean stew with some meat in it, slow cooked into a rich, hot, warm your bones dish.  I don’t think you simply “cook” or “make” cassoulet, it’s something you actually “build.”  In her…

Braised Chicken Legs with Kalamata Olives

Way back in time when I became more serious about cooking for myself I used to read a lot of Food and Wine magazines.  This is a variation of one of the first “step-up dinners” I made where I graduated from using one of those jar sauces to cook chicken in.  Those, of course, were…

Garlic Herb Stuffed Leg of Lamb with an Orange Mint Sauce

So remember a few posts back how I said I always make a leg of lamb for Easter? (No? Well go back a few and get caught up!)  Since we were traveling I didn’t get to cook Easter dinner.  However, upon returning to Chicago I noticed ham and lamb were both on sale.  Imagine that. …