Am home from "Taste" (as the locals call it). No, we didn't miss ANY meals. And, thanks to everyone for their suggestions on Chicago dining--we had a few highs, just one low but no need to dwell on that. A couple things I loved about the weekend: photo opp under the Taste sign had me flanked by a biracial family and gay couple--both posing for a pic. Aside from all the other tons of folks I saw and met in Chicago--this says it all for me. Every family/marriage no matter what it looks like is equally beautiful!
The turnout for my demo was great. I cooked Chicken wings from Mad Hungry (see earlier post for the recipe) and two Everyday Food recipes: An arugula corn salad and THE MOST delicious drink, a watermelon-cucumber cocktail which is as good soft and it is hard (with added vodka). See EveryDay Food Blog for more on ideas like that. The pics of these boys who turned up in their own homemade shirts really touched me. Mostly because they printed lines on the back which are from the book and are very meaningful to me.
Dinner at Publican with my colleagues Jen and Katie was a thrill. Aside from the ham sampler--this roasted beet and burrata salad has me dreaming for the first chance I get to make it at home. That's often how it works folks. You taste something out that you can't get out of your head--something you hadn't thought of yourself. Then you go home and try to replicate it. And sometimes you nail it and it becomes a home favorite. Every single detail of this meal was right. I'll post more pics tomorrow. For some reason this blog format limits me to 5 pictures (unless I just haven't figured it out yet). The pork belly, ham roasted in hay, glazed turnips with honey and fried rosemary, pickles, etc. The wine pairing--a Gruner Veltliner (an Austrian white) and a few other treats too. A Flemish sour ale came with the ham and a sparkling mead wine came before dessert. Oh the dessert was a simple dream too. Strawberry granita (from the best, fresh, local strawberries layered with whipped cream and topped with the same berries sliced and dehydrated (crunchy)--a perfect ending to a porky festival.
Today Jen (MSL's Editorial food director) demo's the Apricot stuffed pork and creamed corn form the July Issue of MSL. Both dishes are perfect for summer entertaining. Embedded in the recipe is the simplest peach jam recipe you ever did see. So if you want homemade jam but are intimidated then check it out. It doesn't even have added pectin in it!
Funny to arrive home to a meal cooked by hubs and sons featuring marinated and slow smoked pork shoulder. I was just in time to clean up since the thought of any more pork (until tomorrow) could not be entertained.