Barely sautéed fresh peas bring the taste of spring to Fettuccine with Peas and Prosciutto, with fresh cream and Parmesan adding a subtle richness. Recipe below.

Fettuccine with Peas and Prosciutto

Fresh peas are just starting to show up in the produce section. I know this because there are some fresh sugar snap peas in our fridge right now that were expecting to become this week’s post. Next week, I promise, you will see those peas here in a new recipe. This week, their delicious brethren English peas appear in a quick, delicious pasta dish that tastes like spring. [Read more here…]

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This rustic French dish with a base of coarsely puréed scallions and potatoes is perfect for when April isn’t playing nice—as it wasn’t in April 2009, when we first shared this recipe.

Braised Chicken with Scallion Purée

The kitchen in our new old house is still half-assembled, but functional. The meals we’re cooking are still mostly functional as well—good, filling, but not necessarily post-worthy. So while we’re still getting things under control, culinarily and otherwise, please enjoy this recipe inspired by a lovely Amanda Hesser cookbook we haven’t managed to unpack yet. [Read more here…]

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Moving, cheats and getting food on the table

by Terry B on April 20, 2016

Homemade Marina Sauce

Unlike many things, moving doesn’t get easier the more you do it. If anything, it gets harder. As much as we love waking up every day in our new old house, life is still makeshift on a daily basis. Besides living among not always well-labeled boxes here, we’re still vacating our apartment of nine years. We’re working around the contractor finishing up things. We’re dealing with disappearing cats when the contractor leaves doors open (the cat was found—in a closed vanity drawer, of course). And we’re getting up and going to work every day. So instead of a fresh recipe this week, you’ll be getting a confessional post of sorts. [click to continue…]

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Yes, it’s Matzoh Crack season again

by Terry B on April 13, 2016

Marion’s addictive Passover dessert, made with white and semi-sweet chocolates, and spicy rose sugar, makes a delicious return. Recipe and variations below.

Marion's Matzoh Crack

We moved last Saturday, probably more of an evacuation than an actual move. We love our new old home, but both it and our lives are a little too chaotic right now to sensibly cook and post something new. With Passover a little more than a week away, sharing Marion’s popular Matzoh Crack seemed like the perfect idea. [Read more here…]

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Fridge (and pantry) raid: Chicken Lentil Soup

by Terry B on April 6, 2016

Chicken, lentils and things you probably already have on hand turn into a quick, hearty, healthy soup. Recipe below.

Chicken Lentil Soup

So, we’re moving. Not to another city or anything, and we’ve certainly moved plenty of times in our lives. But what has turned this into a huge monster of a time- and life-consuming project is that we’re moving into a house that needed everything when we found it. Plumbing. Electric. HVAC. Walls built, moved or removed. And most important, perhaps, work to make sure the house will continue to stand as it has since probably the 1880s. [click to continue…]

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With only four ingredients—spaghetti, Pecorino Romano, salt and black pepper—this rustic Roman favorite is enjoying a moment. Recipe below.

Cacio e Pepe

I rarely find myself ahead of the curve on anything. When I first shared my version of cacio e pepe—a popular favorite in Roman trattorias—five years ago today, it was adapted from a cookbook published back in 2002. So imagine my surprise when the humble four-ingredient pasta started lighting up the Internet a couple of months ago. [click to continue…]

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Again with no recipes

by Terry B on March 23, 2016

Oscar Wilde said, “Work is the curse of the drinking classes.” We agree.

Mezcaleria Las Flores

We’re working too hard and eating more than our share of takeout food these days. The big mystery project that has been consuming our lives for far too long continues. Happily, in the next few weeks, it should reach some sort of semi-completion, and we will be posting new recipes again. In the meantime, some random blathering. [click to continue…]

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Jim's Original Maxwell Street

Tuesday was the Illinois primary. Our polling place is in our neighborhood public school, which is predominantly Latino. School was starting as I cast my ballot, and over the PA system, two kindergartners from the bilingual program led the school in singing the national anthem. Then the assistant principal, Mrs. Trinidad Lopez, read the morning announcements. Friday is Pajama Day. Monday, the classroom with the best attendance for this week will be announced. I always feel very American when I vote. This time, I felt especially so. [click to continue…]

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We’ve shared an impressive number of duck recipes here at Blue Kitchen. This one, a quick take on cassoulet inspired by a lovely meal at Clyde Commons in Portland, Oregon remains one of our favorites.

Duck Breasts with White Beans and Sausage

French cooking is usually thought of as elegant and refined. And indeed, it’s no accident that the term that defines high-end dining, haute cuisine, is French. But fancy isn’t all they do. When it comes to comfort food, few can outcomfort the French. Hanger steaks with frites, coq au vin, gratins filled with cream and covered in cheese… [Read more here…]

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Lentils cook up faster than most other dried beans and pulses, usually in 30 minutes or so without soaking. No wonder they’re favored by so many cultures. Here are four flavorful ways to use them.

Turkish Style Red Lentil Soup with Chard

We’re quickly becoming regulars at the recently reopened Johnny’s Grill in our Logan Square neighborhood. Besides great cocktails and elevated takes on standard diner fare, Johnny’s new chef/owner Sarah Jordan offers delicious surprises like an excellent fish & chips and a fragrant red lentil dal. The latter, a staple of Indian subcontinent cuisine, inspired this post. [click to continue…]

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