Recreating an authentic Italian beef at home sounds easy, but it's surprisingly hard to do without an industrial meat slicer. I don't know about you, but that's one piece of kitchen gear that I don't have. Fortunately, if you give up on roasting the beef yourself, there's another way.
'Chicago' on Serious Eats
Combos, the classic Chicago sandwich of Italian sausage and Italian beef, can be made and held for a crowd in the slow-cooker.
Shrimp De Jonghe, a classic Chicago dish, consists of shrimp baked underneath garlicky breadcrumbs.
Instead of serving the Italian sausage with the typical topping of onions and peppers, owner Doug Sohn of Hot Doug's in Chicago advises a strange mix of caramelized onions, mustard, and giardiniera (the ubiquitous condiment in Chicago, featuring a combination of pickled vegetables, chiles, and oil). I'd never dream of combining those three together in any normal setting, but here they work absolute wonders.
Spiaggia is one of Chicago's most famous restaurants, known for a wonderful Italian cuisine and surpassing attention to detail (like a tradition of making every risotto to order, rather than par-cooking it halfway like most restaurants). So I was interested to flip through their cookbook and see what, if anything, would be possible to pull off in under an hour with a small number of ingredients. Cookbooks from four-star restaurants are often full of dishes with so many ingredients and steps it's hardly a weeknight project, but this one was fairly simple while feeling four-star.
Recipes that use bottarga are usually breathtakingly simple, letting the pungent fish flavor do most of the work. This recipe is no different. The sauce is nothing more than garlic, parsley, and red pepper flakes cooked for a minute in olive oil. It's all a frame to let the bottarga shine. A dusting of toasted almonds helps give the pasta a bit more texture, but it's still the developed funkiness of bottarga that makes this dish.
A more grown-up version of my childhood favorite made with pears, hazelnuts, and cinnamon sticks. [Photographs: Jenny McCoy] I recently decided to make caramel apples for the first time. Not the bright red, hard candy-shelled type, but the sticky, gooey...
At the Logan Square Farmers' Market in Chicago recently, I came across yellow beets and was told they are sweeter than regular red ones. Whether that's true or not, I was sold. I just had to think of how to...
Just a quick note here to introduce our newest voice on Serious Eats, Michael Nagrant. If you're not already familiar with his work, Michael's a food writer living in Chicago and also the publisher of Hungry magazine. He'll be joining...