Tag Archives: BBQ

Southern BBQ Chicago Style

17 May

As a fan of southern style BBQ, I’m eager to check out Chef Cary Taylor’s summer menu at Wicker Park’s latest and greatest (and former Chez Lounge), The Southern. According to the Restaurant Intelegance Agency, The Southern’s getting into the warm-weather spirit with barbecue and raw oysters.

A Fried Chicken Dinner from The Southern

With BBQ season upon us (who doesn’t mind grilling in their jackets?)- The Southern is offering more elaborate and gourmet barbecue options. From the RIA:

Taylor’s fancy barbecue is so named for its innovative apricot-mustard barbecue sauce and accompanying local ingredients. Pork shoulder is the barbecued meat of choice, slathered in the sauce and served over Spence Farm wheat berries and Bare Knuckle Farm grilled ramps.

Oysters on the half shell are a refreshing counterpoint. Taylor is currently featuring oysters from the Virginia coast, which he serves with a Southern-style garnish of pepper jelly made with bell peppers and jalapeños. As the chef explains, pepper jelly is a traditional condiment in the South, and he likes it with oysters for its combination of spicy and sweet. Crushed saltines add a bit of crunch.

In addition to the barbecue fare at The Southern, delicious cocktails are a plenty, from their bacon-Bourbon Bloody Marys to the Magnolia punch bowl featuring Champagne, Grand Marnier and OJ. The menu and cocktail list looks promising,we’re eager to head over and check it out.


Truffle Butter Peach Pie… yes, I said TRUFFLE BUTTER!

10 Jul

4th of July BBQThis 4th of July was a lot of fun. We had some dear friends over for an impromptu potluck BBQ and it turned into a lovely evening. It’s nice being able to live in the heart of the city and have a great backyard and porch. We definitely take advantage of our outdoor living area during the few *ahem* days, weeks, months (depending on how cooperative summer is) it’s nice out.

As I mentioned in my previous post, in addition to providing the main BBQ essentials (sausages!), we also put together a delicious walnut and Greek yogurt pesto pasta salad. BUT- it wouldn’t be a proper BBQ wPie Prepith out the sweet stuff, yep, I’m talking about dessert.

We bought some ripe peaches at Trade Joe’s so it was obvious whatever kind of dessert I was going to whip together, peaches would be instrumental. I went back and forth between a cobbler and pie, but decided cobbler is a little more comfort while pie is all-American and it was the 4th after all.

So- I may be able to cook, but I never claim to be a baker. I have no qualms with buying pre-made pie crusts. Like everything else, it’s much better when it’s homemade, but in this case I didn’t feel it was worth the time or energy (especially since, as I said, I’m not a good baker) to get the ready-to-go stuff.

I sliced 6 peaches and put them into a bowl. I mixed in 2/3 cups of sugar and squeezed one lemon’s worth of juice. I also added about four tablespoons of butter (just for good measure). Mixed it together and it was a great consistency and the flavor was sweet (I did add about a teaspoon of salt to off balance the sugar). Then I added about 1 teaspoon of truffle oil. It really gave a nice essence without overpowering the other flavors.

Then I added the mixture into the pie tin (with the crust already rolled out) and made sure it was loaded all the way to the top since it would shrink down a bit while cooking. I used the other pie crust and cut it in strips to create a lattice top.

Finished PieInstead of a regular egg wash, I melted 2 tablespoons of butter, added 1/2 lemon’s worth of juice and 2 teaspoons of truffle oil. I mixed together and then brushed on the top of the crust.

It cooked at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes (longer than I expected) and it was WONDERFUL. Honestly, not in an attempt to toot my own horn, but the flavors of the peaches, the lemon juice and then truffles were a flavor marriage made in heaven.

Since I rarely follow recipes to a tee, this is as close as one gets for me, but email me if you’d like more specifics to make this pie at home thechicagofoodie@gmail.com

Prep: 4th of July BBQ

4 Jul

It’s drizzling today (which should come as no surprise given the weather this summer) and it feels like I’m standing smack in the middle of the produce section with the misters on. But- I won’t let this weather interfere with our 4th of July BBQ plans.

In past years we’ve gone all out for 4th parties; this year is going to be pretty low-key. About 10 or so friends are coming over for a pot-luck style evening; we’re providing the basics (chips and dip, burgers, sausages and dogs, pasta salad and dessert) and they’ll bring more sides and starters.

Just because it’s a low-key event this year, it doesn’t mean everything need naught be delicious. Instead of conventional pasta salad, I’m going to make a Greek yogurt and walnut pesto, giving it a unique and satisfying flavor. The pie will be peach and blueberry with a lemon and truffle butter finish.

More images, insights and stories to come as the prep for our BBQ  gets underway, but in the mean time, I’m just trying to will the rain clouds to take a hike.

The dinner party is back: Backyard style!

30 Jun

I read somewhere that the new *trend* in going out to dinner is staying in for dinner. That’s right, in these recessionary times, the dinner party is back. I for one am thrilled!

Growing up part of a large family, big dinner parties have been instilled in me from a young age. I remember my mom’s famous Lasagna Parties on my grandparents’ porch in eastern Long Island with about 45-50 of our nearest and dearest aunts, uncles and cousins. Kind of a go big or go home entertaining mantra. I love it!

A few weeks ago we hosted a lovely party with some friends, old and new. On the menu was: cheese, honey and water cracker spread, featuring Manchego and Drunken Goat cheese,  smoked salmon wedges, baked onions with Gruyere cheese, truffle French fries and USDA Prime steaks. For dessert we had an amazing raspberry creme tort (Patrick, one of our guest’s made and brought). Continue reading

A perfect Chicago BBQ dinner

30 Jun

It’s summer in Chicago and anyone who has endured a Chicago winter knows it’s time to get outside anphoto(2)d enjoy the weather while we can. A staple summer activity in this fair city revolves around charcoal, fire and encased meats. Yes. Grilling. Whether you’re BBQ’ing burgers, dogs, veggies or fruit, there is nothing better than eating freshly grilled food and sitting outside to enjoy it.

We recently build a table to accompany our large deck. We can now comfortably seat at least eight (up to  12) around the new table. For our first meal on the table was delicious:

Chicken sausage with a chipotle and roasted red pepper aoili with fresh (from the garden) cilantro and an arugula, endive, pear and walnut salad with turkey bacon, maple caramelized onions with a maple and Dijon vinaigrette.

It was a perfectly simple yet elegant and delicious meal to officially kick off our summer of great eats and good times on the deck!