tomatoes

Saffron Stewed White Beans: Updating a Classic

white beans stewed with saffronLast Sunday I was flipping through my newest cookbook, Classico e Moderno, looking for some inspiration.  We were having roast lamb for dinner and I was searching for something new to serve alongside it.  I found a classic dish for stewed beans which supposedly is a common Tuscan side for roasts and braises and it looked to be a nice change of pace from what we’ve been having.  However, I didn’t have all of the ingredients and I wasn’t about to run out to the store on a Sunday for a few items.  No problem.  Like any cook worth his weight in butter, I improvised and turned the dish into saffron stewed beans.  I guess you could say I turned a classico into a moderno! (more…)

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Lucky Lentil Soup with Garlic Sausage for New Year’s

Lentil soup with garlic sausageHappy New Year!  Around the world you can find people eating lots of different foods in order to bring good luck and fortune.  In Italy the good luck dish is lentils and cotechino (a sausage).  No cotechino laying around la mia casa, but I did have some lentils and some of my garlic sausage so perhaps some lentil soup with sausage will bring us a great 2014.  (more…)

Soup Time: Manhattan Clam Chowder

Manhattan Clam ChowderIt’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 pot of Manhattan Clam Chowder to warm us up this week. (more…)

Tomato Bisque

Tomato BisqueEvery 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 all the questions revolved around the color red like “What’s you favorite red fruit? Cherries, strawberries, raspberries, etc.”  One question asked about lobster bisque which got me thinking about soups and how tomato bisque is redder than lobster bisque.  It’s frigid here in Chicago this week so, at that particular moment I decided to make a pot of tomato bisque. (more…)

Curry Rubbed Grilled Pork with Currywurst Sauce

That looks really good doesn’t it?  It’s not currywurst but some grilled country style pork ribs with a curry dry rub topped with currywurst sauce.  Not only does it look really good but it tastes absolutely delicious!  If you like the flavor and aroma of curry you’re going to love this. (more…)

More Summer Salad: Cucumber, Zucchini, and Tomato Salad

Been pretty hot lately so this Cucumber Zucchini Tomato Salad is a great cooler for those days you want to beat the heat.  Yeah that’s right, it’s another freaking salad.  It’s been heat wave, cool down, heat wave here in Chicago this summer which has made it interesting cooking-wise.  One week I want nothing to do with cooking outdoors, then it cools down and I get all excited to be back out on the porch in front of the grill.  You probably don’t need to read the weather reports to figure out what it’s been like here, just take note of what I’m making! (more…)

Ratatouille – Something French for Bastille Day

Ratatouille.  A dish most everyone knows but one which has lots of different versions and techniques.  One of the things I love about food (other than cooking and eating) is the debate which can surround it.  There’s Chicago v NYC in hot dogs and pizza, NY v the rest of the world with bagels, milk or no milk in ragu Bolognese; food debates worldwide.  It seems to me ratatouille fits right in to the debatable food category and from what I can gather it’s a very passionate dish regarding technique.  Do you cook the vegetables separately or combine them? Simmer in a pot or bake?  Does it affect the flavor?  Not going to answer any of these questions here.  I’m just going to offer up a passionately debated French dish for a passionate French holiday, Bastille Day. (more…)