@flamingo: Thanks. I thought they were lightly pickled too; I think we're talking about the same thing! Anyone know if there's an additional dressing?
Whatever you serve, it would be great to put it all in a cheesehead (in a bowl, of course!) You've made this Wisconsinite smile :).
Cheese, preferably in at least curd form, is, of course, the most notable. Sprecher's root beer will probably make your pregnant friend very happy, and offering an assortment of all their soda flavor would be festive. German potato salad is a popular side dish.
The rest of the suggestions are great (with exception of sneaky dmcavanagh :) ).
Deep dish messy and usually needs utensils. It's often compared more to a lasagna or casserole than a traditional pizza. I moved to Chicago about a year ago and agree that Lou Malnati's is the best deep dish I've had, though I found that deep dish isn't my thing (and that many people who didn't grow up with it don't like it too much). Certainly try it, though!
If you have time and patience, you can also go to the greatly praised Great Lake for a much different pie and experience, or if you like deep dish, check out some others like Uno and Giordano's. Lou Malnati's has an okay thin crust too, if you want to try that. If you go, be sure to BYOB to Great Lake and spend some time doing other things while you wait for your fabulous pie, as the wait can be quite long. Great Lake is also only open Wed-Saturday in the evening, so no Tuesday lunch there!
Enjoy your time in the Windy City!
I (and dbcurrie, I believe) was trying to provide suggestions of typical use of the Serious Eats community to a new member. Part of my response was also to explain the reason for the annoyed comments that were being given to 2sassy, so that the poster wouldn't give up on Serious Eats all together. People are, of course, free to post whatever they want unless it is against policy. Post recipes all day if you want; they just will tend to be poorly received if they are something that could so easily be obtained elsewhere. I certainly have good will for 2sassy and her participation. There was no nastiness intended.
Also, age has next to nothing to do with cooking skill. As a trend in the general population it may, but for individuals it is completely irrelevant and somewhat mean-spirited to insinuate. Obviously, the longer you have to perfect any skill, the better you may become, but those people who have been cooking poor food for 40 years (or not cooking at all!) have nothing on young people with talent and/or ambition who care to create wonderful things.
@2sassy_gal: I see you've been posting several recipes like this, it looks like you've just opened an account, and it appears that you are a real person, probably one who wants to be a part of this community and not receive annoyed comments. If that's the case, take a nice read through the comment policy page (find it on the bottom of the pages here) to find rules and guidelines. In general, we don't go around posting recipes/techniques here unless they're simply fabulous, creative, and unable to be found most other places, and cannot be found by a short search on Google. You'll learn to know the difference over time. Also in general (ignore the several recent taste tests of processed cheese foods and hot dogs), the Serious Eats community values food that is unique, interesting, and is "handmade," not a compilation of store-bought processed foods. When we do like processed foods, we generally acknowledge that they're probably not brilliant, but are nice time savers. In this way we are very different from much of the population, and that's okay with us. If that's where you are with your cooking, more power to you; we all started somewhere and several SEers simply don't have the time or kitchen resources to cook everything from scratch. Keep reading around the site and exploring more. Get to know the community and learn a bit and then see if this is the kind of place you'd like to learn and grow in. It certainly has been for me.
All the best,
The Dinner Tonight column on here has a lot of simple recipes that don't require a bunch of preparation before or during the cooking process. Browse through and see. There's a long history so you can go through and find something that matches your skill level and available resources.
If it's hot by you and you don't want the oven on, pesto looks and tastes lovely without a ton of effort. I really like sauteed asparagus and grape tomatoes over mine (and you can add chicken if you'd like that) and prefer to use linguine or fettuccine. It's a nice meal for the summer. You can leave the cheese out if you must, though if it's lactose intolerance (the optional avoidance makes it sound like not an allergy), many people are fine with these harder, aged cheeses and especially in these smaller amounts. If the cheese is only of concern to one person, it can be added on top of everything at the end instead. The recipe does require the use of a food processor.
Good luck! It's a wonderful treat to be cooked for.
My university had a stir fry bar where we were given various sauces, vegetables, grains, and proteins and could go to town making whatever we wanted. I credit that to my lack of malnutrition and trace that to the beginning of my love of cooking.
It's going to be appreciated if you have hot food choices for vegans at every meal. Being forced into a salad or pb&j because there's nothing else is unfortunate. If I ate a pb&j more than once a month I think I'd cry.
Others' ideas about foods from Indian, Moroccan, and several other cultures are right on. There are very few nights where I eat something with culinary influence I can't trace across the world. As for the spices, it's worth seeing if your vendor has blends (like some curries), or to switch to a spice merchant that does, if possible. If not, there are certainly spice recipes to be followed. It's hard to recommend cookbooks because you'll be serving so many more people in a different fashion that most of the books for home use intend.
It's worth visiting a local culinary school library, or maybe even a large public library, where you may be surprised at the wealth of large-scale recipes with specific criteria. You'll probably want to call first to see if they can help you, though. As a librarian, I cannot believe how underused some of our fabulous help like this is. We really are here to help!
Sailordave, thank you so much for being a thoughtful lead cook. I wish I had gone to your college.
I don't mind "foodie," but I know people who eat Lean Cuisine every night and have called themselves that. I usually express it in terms of a hobby, that I spend most of my time time outside of work and personal commitments cooking food; enjoying it; and thinking, talking, and learning about it. Putting it in these terms makes it feel like I may be obsessed with all things culinary, but that I don't judge others if they're not, in the same way that (most) sewing enthusiasts don't feel everyone needs to sew, but they are choosy about their materials and craftsmanship. Labels will always be misconstrued and sometimes alienating. If I told some people I know that I'm a gourmand, it would be socially awkward, because they would feel I was saying they're inferior to me in that way. I think descriptions do a better job of it and the hobby aspect makes it seem like it's an aspect of what I am and not a declaration of my superiority.
@soozm: Definitely! I'm happy with that any day.
I love to dip carrots in peanut butter and have gotten some odd looks for it, though I don't think it holds a candle to @EatMeDrinkMe's "sammy" (someone needs to check out the abbreviations post) :).
Love it! For Chicagoans, the youth sell their harvest at the Botanic Garden's Farmers' Market, at some special events, and on their sites weekly. More details are available on their website. How could we resist? Thanks for the info, Leah.
I enjoyed a caramelized onion and grape "pizza" with goat cheese a while ago, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Does anyone else have other brilliant ways to match grapes with something savory? They're nice for snacks but I feel that I'm doing the little globes a disservice with my monotony.
I would love to know too, for future reference. One of the only things keeping me from cooking all day and night is the reluctant attitude of my dishwasher, who also doubles as my husband. When we buy a home, a fabulous dishwasher is a must.
I add smoked sweet paprika and olive oil to things like collard greens or soups that call for bacon to add a smoky flavor. It's wonderful and strikingly similar, though not perfect, and makes this vegetarian (and the arteries of non-vegetarians!) very happy.
Spice House has a good blend too, but I don't want to start on the family spice wars here! Theirs has a ton of components, but you can look through it to get a rough idea if you'd rather recreate your own. I really enjoy that the blends are roughly the same price as buying everything individually and I don't feel gouged buying anything there. It's much cheaper (and fresher!) than any but the worst grocery store spices by me.
Fabulous! So, I have to ask: no librarian? If Serious Eats ever finds itself in need of an organizational and research whiz, curly's your girl!
In all seriousness (ha!), it's great to see the people behind the names and to learn a bit about your personalities. Thank you all for such a great site, community, and your thoughtful contributions.
This will come in handy when I'm in Philly next month for a wedding. I heart you, Serious Eats community!
In Wisconsin, a small grocery/butcher kind of shop should have some local varieties, as should most grocery stores (especially nicer ones like Woodman's). The farmers' market is probably your best bet, but that depends on when you'll be there. Maybe someone else can give you some more specifics, but I don't want you to miss out on cheese, and these general suggestions should serve you well. Even grocery stores will get in cheese curds made that day, so call around if you can to choose the best spot for the time you'll be there.
I went there as part of a bachelorette party and was less than impressed. My chain restaurant loving friends (including the bride-to-be) thought it was great, though. If you don't have any other fondue restaurant options and don't want to make it yourself, it's kind of fun. It is expensive (in cash and in calories), especially when you know that the ingredients aren't as good as what you could easily make at home for a fraction of the price. Fondue in general, though, I highly recommend.
My hair is curly, go figure, and "Cook" was my maiden name, so the second part works on a couple levels. I got married before becoming an obsessive kitchen dweller and don't think it would have changed my name decision, but it may have given me a moment of pause if I had been "this way" before. In Milwaukee growing up there was a traffic reporter named Tom Carr and I always found it a little suspicious, so I'm glad that I'm not his foodie equivalent. :)
My husband won't eat ice cream unless forced or hunting for the cookie dough inside. It's odd, but I love him (and his ice cream) anyway.
Nut milk is just fine and I'm guessing the same principles could be applied to rice milk; I just didn't know if there was a specific property of soy milk that allowed it to form a yogurt when other liquids wouldn't. Thanks for the link; I think I have a new project next time I go home!
Off topic and incidentally, the site you link to deals with the specific carbohydrate diet, which I have toyed with for controlling my Crohn's disease. In the end it is too restrictive without the guarantee of benefits for me to be dedicated to right now. I'm certainly going to peruse the site, though.
Does anyone know if this can be applied to rice milk or another non-soy milk alternative? My baby brother (he's not quite five-years-old) is allergic to milk and my mom avoids soy for him (her call, not mine). Anything he can have to feel more included in their "normal" foods always makes him really happy. I'd love to share this with them at my next visit.
These were a childhood favorite when my mom grew them in our garden! I adore them lightly sauteed with olive oil and garlic and finished off with some Parmesan. That's my favorite way to enjoy their simple loveliness.
I also just made (a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2010/06/eat-for-eight-bucks-quick-squash-and-hominy-s.html">Quick Squash and Hominy Stew from Serious Eats with patty pan and cousa squash and and it was excellent. You may notice in the comments of the recipe that I used sweet smoked paprika instead of bacon to go meatless.
I made this without the cheese or bacon and just put in some smoked sweet paprika (The Spice House variety) to mimic the bacon flavor and it was fantastic. Yum! I put it on top of couscous, which I would also recommend. Thanks for the inspiration.
Oy with the trolling already! Admins?
curlycook hasn't favorited a post yet.