Garlic scapes replace green onions in this potato salad, adding a mild garlicky kick. Bacon and lemon juice also play key roles. Recipe below.

Potato Salad with Garlic Scapes and Bacon

For being such a great food town, Chicago comes up short in the farmers market department. Yes, we’ve got neighborhood farmers markets that pop up in parks and plazas every weekend from mid-May to late October, full of organic, locally sourced produce, eggs, meats and more. But as exciting as these are, there’s still something missing. [click to continue…]

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Tarragon, shallots, herbes de Provence and panko breadcrumbs give Meatballs in Tomato Sauce a nicely complex finish. Recipe below.

Meatballs in Tomato and Spinach Sauce

I did not grow up in a meatball-eating household. We ate plenty of ground meat, of course—in countless meatloafs, in burgers cooked until my mom or grandma were sure they were dead, in giant pots of chili or spaghetti sauce (the word pasta was never used in our house). But never as meatballs. [click to continue…]

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Shishito peppers, sautéed until blistered in spots and tossed with lemon juice and salt, are a popular Japanese bar food. Recipe below.

Shishito Peppers

Once again, I am late to the culinary party. Last week, I happened across an article about a 27-year-old becoming the shishito pepper baron of New York. My immediate question was “what’s a shishito pepper?” The short answer is they’re apparently a thing—and have been for a few years now. [click to continue…]

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What $10 can buy—and what it can give

by Marion on June 24, 2015

Ten bucks can buy any number of little indulgences. In the hands of Feeding America, it can also feed 100 hungry people.

ten-dollar-bill-91X

It was recently announced that, by 2020, a woman’s face will grace our ten-dollar bills. That got me thinking about what a Hamilton (or Tubman or Roosevelt or…?) will get you these days. [click to continue…]

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Three simple rules, five mussels recipes

by Terry B on June 17, 2015

Paul Greenberg offers three simple rules for eating seafood, and we offer five simple recipes for delicious, sustainable mussels.

Moules Marinières (Sailor’s Mussels)

Everyone tells us to eat more seafood. It’s a low-fat, high-protein food that’s good for our hearts, our brains. But then we’re warned that pregnant women and small children should avoid canned tuna. That certain species are being overfished to the point of unsustainability. And that many forms of fish farming are wreaking havoc on the environment. So what do we eat? Or not eat? In this Sunday’s New York Times, Paul Greenberg offered three simple rules. [click to continue…]

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Sage puts a fresh, summery spin on classic basil pesto. This quick, no-cook sauce is perfect for pasta, chicken, chops, steaks, roasted vegetables and more. Recipe below.

Sage Pecan Pesto

Our friend Gloria plants a veritable truck garden every year, mostly on her patio. In contrast to her, this spring we planted approximately nothing in our yard. As a result, that’s pretty much what we have growing there. Except for the sage. We planted it two or three years ago, and it’s surprised us every year since by coming back. [click to continue…]

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Greek yogurt and lime juice lighten up and brighten up a traditional Polish blueberry cake. Recipe below.

Blueberry Lime Yogurt Cake

We are getting a lot of amusement out of describing this roller coaster weather. On Friday night, it was so clingingly muggy and hot that we turned on the air conditioning. On Saturday night, after a day of plunging temperatures and changing clothes every couple of hours to stay warm and struggling around comically in pretty much maritime gales, we had to turn on the furnace. And when we went out to a surprise party Saturday night, I wore boots and a light down jacket. [click to continue…]

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Velveting the chicken before stir-frying it, a simple Chinese cooking technique, keeps the meat moist and tender in Stir-fried Chicken with Asparagus. Recipe below.

Stir-fried Chicken with Asparagus

We have a lot of vintage china, mostly individual pieces picked up at antique shops, flea markets, yard sales and farm auctions. Some are quite old and fairly valuable, true antiques. Others fall squarely into the collectibles realm. All were chosen because we liked them and wanted to use them on our table. [click to continue…]

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Tea-smoked Grilled Chicken with Star Anise & Orange

We often ask waiters for their recommendations when we’re torn between two dishes on the menu. The other night, we were at Pl-zen, a new favorite of ours, and the choice came down to a short rib burger with jalapeño jam on a pretzel bun or half a roasted chicken with fingerling potatoes, braised kale and a tamarind-guajillo sauce. Without hesitation, our server said the burger. [click to continue…]

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Already flavorful chuck roast gets a tangy, complex, umami boost with balsamic vinegar and fresh and dried mushrooms. Recipe below.

Tangy Pot Roast with Mushrooms

For as much as we love meat, it plays a surprisingly non-starring role in our weeknight dinners. There may be the occasional braised chicken thigh or pan-seared pork chop, but more often, meat is a flavoring device. A little Italian sausage in a pasta sauce—a half pound stretched across four servings (two dinners). Some ground lamb with white beans and kale. A scattering of pepperoni slices on a takeout pizza. [click to continue…]

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