With the holiday season now in full swing, we've put together a little collection of some of our favorite products from the Windy City, including a collection of food, t-shirts, cookbooks, and other products that we'd enjoy receiving in the mail (hint, hint). So, whether you currently reside in the city or live far away and want a little taste of home, check it out and let us know what you think.
'Heather Shouse' on Serious Eats
The Fojol Bros' everyday roster includes two vegetarian and two meat-based dishes, such as this Butter Chicken adapted for Heather Shouse's Food Trucks. As wild as the Fojol Bros' concept is, their take on butter chicken is pretty traditional, with chunks of chicken rubbed with a chile-lemon butter, marinated in a spiced yogurt mix, and grilled, kabob-style. The skewers are finished by simmering in a creamy tomato based gravy laced with all sorts of warming spices, including cardamom, ginger, and cloves.
Parked in the backyard of an Austin dive bar, East Side Kings is imaginative Asian-inspired drinking food done right, run by talented chefs from the city's best sushi restaurant. SE editors Erin Zimmer and Robyn Lee tried it last year on their SE book research trip, and left a little obsessed with the late-night fried beets, fried brussel sprouts, and this Thai Chicken Karaage. It's genius drinking food: the sort of crunchy, fried, salty, spicy stuff that was born to be paired with cold beers.
[Photograph: Robyn Lee] Most food trucks' menus lean towards handheld foods that can be eaten on the go—sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, tacos and the like, but others, like Portland's Tabor, are more concerned with doling out delicious, authentic fare, unconcerned...
These Arepas de Queso from Food Trucks by Heather Shouse are a top seller after last call. Little cornmeal cakes kneaded with shredded mozzarella and griddled in plenty of margarine (yes, margarine) are topped with squeaky curds of queso blanco. The magic of these Colombian arepas comes from the cheese that's incorporated into the dough making for sweet-salty little cakes with mild mozzarella.
These Beijing Hot Noodles adapted for Heather Shouse's Food Trucks come from Yue Kee, a Chinese food truck parked on 38th Street in Philadelphia. An initial glance at the menu might not be too promising, with uninspired Chinese American standards like chicken and broccoli—but further investigation of the menu reveals Cantonese, Sichuan, and Hunan classics all executed well.
Chef Shack sets up shop at various farmers' markets around Minneapolis each weekend and French Toast with Shaved Apples and Bacon Beer Brats is one of their biggest morning sellers. Slices of hearty multigrain bread are dipped into an eggy brown sugary batter, fried crisp, served with salty links of Fischer Farms bacon beer brats and topped with slivers of crisp-tart apples.
Regardless of whether you prefer new-school street food or the old guard, Food Trucks has plenty of recipes to help you recreate these mobile meals at home. For anyone who hasn't made pilgrimages to food truck meccas like Portland and Austin, this week we'll be sharing a selection of their greatest hits including Street Food Profile favorites East Side Kings' Thai Chicken Karaage, arepas from the famous Arepa Lady of Queens. Enter to win a copy here.