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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

CULINARY CURISE CONTINUES OVER HILL, OVER DALE, TOASTED RAVIOLI WE GO

                                                               ART BY COJANA SMITH

Staying in St. Louis is always complicated as there are so many great hotels, my favorite however is the
Mayfair, I love old historic places especially hotels. Their histories and culinary offerings set the standards for which all others strive to achieve.  I began my career at such hotels (Jasper Park Lodge, Jasper, Alberta and The Marlborough Hotel in Winnipeg.)  Historic hotels have great personalities whereas most modern hotels are cookie cutter styling the old hotels spoke of elegance, class and the highest quality. The Mayfair is one such hotel, the choice of actors, actresses, Presidents  what is exactly what the owner Charles Hess wanted as his clientele, only the finest for his customer no matter their standing, if they stayed at the Mayfair then the experience stayed with them due to service that
exceeded even the wildest expectation.  These historic hotels became so in cuisine as well,  may create dishes that are held by chefs as the standard today, some one hundred years later are still the standard. The Mayfair's contribution is a dressing known simply as Mayfair dressing, a versatile condiment that is excellent on salads, with fried foods, fish, chicken and seafood.

Every major community has special areas settled by those coming from other countries in search of a better life for their children and their children. Many cities today are so multinational that a visitor can experience the world just by visiting the neighborhoods. St. Louis, of course, is no different the foreign influences are rooted deep within Oriental , German, Polish, Mexican, Irish all are part of the makeup of this great city.  There is one community, however that has truly made an international name for itself, that being the Italian community.
"The Hill" a delicious area of dining and entertaining and a must visit when in St. Louis in fact you haven't experienced the city without visiting the hill.



The Hill has some of the finest Italian restaurants not only in St. Louis but in America. The neighborhood can be located just off the Interstate 44 along Shaw Ave. Bordered by  Lilly Ave. and MacKind Ave.  contains immaculate prewar homes, various shops, bakeries, tattorias and of course the restaurants. The Italian food here is that kind that warms the heart and the stomach, for the family or the romantic The Hill has something for everyone. Famous waiters Yogi Berra and Joe Garagiola are from the hill, they lived on the same street across from each other, sure they were famous baseball players but they were waiters before the baseball careers. Joe's brother Mickey was actually the first to experience what would become one of St. Louis' gifts to the world, that being the toasted ravioli. Mickey was seated at the bar in Oldani's (now Mama's On The Hill) when chef Fritz accidentally dropped the little pillows of pasta into hot oil instead of hot water, Mickey ate them instead of tossing them out and declared them a hit, soon thereafter every restaurant on the Hill served toasted ravioli and now are found on menus throughout the world. Depending on the region the ravioli are filled with what is local to the area,seafood in the northeast,chicken in the southwest, beef and cheese on the prairies. The ravioli are lightly breaded then deep fried, served with marinara sauce and garnished with fresh Parmesan cheese.










Did you know the hot dog on a bun, hamburger in a bun, cotton candy, peanut butter, Dr. Pepper and canned chili are all foods that were created in St. Louis.



Next St. Louis Barbecue.





TOASTED RAVIOLI WITH TOMATO CREAM SAUCE

1 quantity          Tomato Pasta Dough (follows)
1 tbsp   15 ml    olive oil
¾ lb      345 g    shredded beef chuck
2 oz      60 g      minced prosciutto 
3          3          eggs
½ tsp    3 ml      each of basil and oregano
½ cup   125 ml  freshly grated Romano cheese
1/2 cup 125 ml milk
1 cup    250 ml  flour
2 cups  500 ml  fine bread crumbs seasoned
4 cups  1L         vegetable oil

For Sauce
2 tbsp   30 ml    butter
2 tbsp   30 ml    flour, all purpose
1 cup    250 ml  half & half cream
2 cups  500 ml  fresh marinara sauce

Process the pasta as directed. Roll out into thin sheets. Cover with a moist cloth until required.

Heat the oil in a skillet and brown the beef. Drain oil and allow the beef to cool in a large mixing bowl. Blend into the cooled beef the prosciutto, 1 egg, seasonings and cheese.

Place tablespoon amounts of filling evenly over a sheet of dough, moisten the dough surrounding the filling with a little water. Place a second sheet of dough over the first. Cut between the filling with a scalloped edge pastry cutter. Freeze for 1 hour.

Mix the milk with the remaining 2 eggs.

Dip the ravioli into the flour, then the egg mixture and into the bread crumbs. Place back in the freezer for another hour or until required.

Heat the vegetable oil to 350F, fry the ravioli in small batches, Serve with hot with the sauce.
For the sauce:

In a sauce pan, heat the butter, add the flour and cook for 2 minutes over low heat. Add the cream and simmer into a very thick sauce. Whip in the Marinara, simmer for 20 minutes..   


SERVES 6

TOMATO PASTA DOUGH
2          2          eggs
¼ cup   60 ml    tomato paste
1 tbsp   15 ml    olive oil
2 cups  500 ml  semolina flour
ice water, only if required

Blend the eggs, tomato paste and oil together. Place in a mixing bowl. Slowly add the flour. Knead into a smooth ball (add ice water if required), Knead the dough for 15 minutes and allow to rest for an additional 15 minutes. Roll out the dough. Lightly dust with flour, fold in three, and roll out again. Repeat 6 to 8 times.
Now pass the dough through the pasta machine setting the rollers gradually down until you reach the desired thickness. The result should be a smooth sheet of dough ready to process as you require.
Pass through a pasta machine, or cut by hand to desired size. If processed by hand, simply roll the dough and cut into thin strips for noodles (fettucini) or into wider strips for lasagna, cannelloni, ravioli, etc.
Process as any of our recipes direct.
NOTE:  Use only enough flour to prevent sticking while rolling.

MAYFAIR DRESSING
1/2 chopped large onion,
1 stalk celery,
1 clove, peeled garlic,
2 -[2oz] cans flat anchovies,

4 whole fresh, cold egg yolks,
1 cup corn oil
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup sparkling wine or champagne,
2 tablespoons prepared mustard,
1 tsp cracked black pepper

In a food processor, add the onion, celery and garlic and puree. Add the anchovies and egg yolks, then with the machine running, add the oils very slowly to emulsify.  Finally, add the wine, mustard and pepper, blend for 1 minute or until very smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt. Reserve and store refrigerated for up 7 days. Yields 3 cups.


CK’s Dr, Pepper & Jack BBQ Sauce

1 cup Dr. Pepper soda
1 pound fresh peaches
3/4 cup chopped sweet onion such as Vidalia
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh jalapeño with seeds

1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup Jack Daniels Sour Mash bourbon
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon light brown sugar
2 Tbsp Chef K Seasonings

Heat the soda in a small sauce pan and reduce to 1/3rd cup.
Coarsely chop the peaches.
Cook onion, jalapeño, and a pinch of kosher salt in oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add reduce Dr.Pepper, the peaches and remaining ingredients and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until peaches are very tender, about 30 minutes.
Purée in a blender (use caution when blending hot liquids).

Here is the bun, but read up on the Perfect Hamburger at http://chefk.blogspot.ca/2013/09/the-prefect-hamburger.html

Dough Enhancer

1 cup wheat gluten
1/2 cup diastatic malt powder
2 tablespoons lecithin granules
1 teaspoon ascorbic acid crystals
2 tablespoons powdered pectin
2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
1 teaspoon powdered ginger


Mix together and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. For 100% whole grain breads, use 3
Tablespoons per loaf. Add to your recipe along with the flour.

Burger Buns 
Makes 8 /4-inch to 5-inch burger buns
1 cup warm water
3 tablespoons warm milk
2 teaspoons active dry yeast

2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups bread flour
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons dough enhancer (above)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Black and white sesame seeds and/or poppy seeds (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a glass measuring cup, combine one cup warm water, the milk, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about five minutes. Meanwhile, beat one egg.

2. In a large bowl, whisk flours and dough enhancer with salt. Add butter and rub into flour between your fingers, making crumbs. Using a dough scraper, stir in yeast mixture and beaten egg until a dough forms. Scrape dough onto clean, well-floured counter and knead, scooping dough up, slapping it on the counter and turning it, until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. (You may also use a stand mixer for this, eliminating the need for a bench scraper. You want the dough to remain slightly tacky, as the more flour you add, the tougher they will be when baked.

3. Shape dough into a ball and return it to the bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a dough scraper, divide dough into 8 equal parts. Gently roll each into a ball and arrange two to three inches apart on baking sheet. Cover loosely with a piece of plastic wrap lightly coated with nonstick spray and let buns rise in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours.

5. Set a large shallow pan of water on the oven floor. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in center. Beat remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water and brush some on top of buns. Sprinkle with sesame seeds ( I used both sesame and poppy seeds), if using. Bake, turning sheet halfway through baking, until tops are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

REALLY GOOD CHILI

900 g (2 lbs) lean ground beef
45 ml (3 tbsp) safflower oil
2 jalapeños, seeded, diced
1 Spanish onion, diced
500 ml (2 cups) tomatoes, peeled, seeded, diced

250 ml (1 cup) beef broth
500 ml (2 cups) V-8 juice
15 ml(1 tbsp)cumin
15 ml (1 tbsp) chili powder
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
375 ml (1 1/2 cups) cheddar cheese, grated
Tortilla chips

In a Dutch oven or a large kettle, fry the beef in the oil.  Add the pepper and onion.  Sauté until tender.
Add the tomatoes, broth, juice and seasonings.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 35 minutes.
Pour chili into bowls, garnish with tortillas and cheese and serve.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

CUISINE CRUISE ST.LOUIS

GO SOUTH YOUNG MAN, OLD MAN ANY MAN

Chicago is great anyone would be right in staying there for a long vacation or forever, but we must proceed on, leave the great lake and head south. Our destination is St. Louis, MO. You'll drive mostly the interstate 55 south, passing through Joliet, Bloomington, Springfield once you get to Collinsville you're just 12 minutes to downtown St. Louis. Here you find the Worlds largest Catsup Bottle 170 ft. The tall water tower was built in 1949 by the W.E. Caldwell Company for the G.S.
Suppiger catsup bottling plant - bottlers of Brooks old original rich & tangy catsup. In August of 2002 the bottle was named to the National Register of Historic Places. Brooks Tangy Old Original Catsup once made at the bottling plant here is still available in supermarkets in the St. Louis area so be sure to pick up a supply during your visit.

Driving the final 12 miles into downtown St. Louis can be a little tricky as here several interstate highways meet, 55 meets up with the 44 southwest, the 70 North and the 64 heading northwest to Kansas City.  Of course the main attraction of the downtown core is the Gateway Arch kind of a doorway to the west, is the tallest man-made monument in the United States (630 feet high) that's three and three quarters the
height of Niagara Falls.

Beginning with an idea in 1933 by Luther Smith, the arch was meant to be the crown jewel of the St. Louis downtown core and waterfront, it took a while to build through many trials and a war but the arch was complete and ready to greet the public June 10th 1967. You may take a special cable type car to the top and enjoy the spectacular views of the city and the Mississippi, waterfront and river, you will have to lie on your belly along the window ledge to see the views, but they are well worthwhile even for a person my size, not flattering but you're experiencing a great view.
Once you leave the arch hurry over to 10st and into Park Avenue Coffee for a true St. Louis treat, your own slice of a "Gooey Butter Cake, " they say they have 76 flavors of this dense yellow coffee cake.  Strangely, you can get a slice of this special cake in bakery, markets and restaurants throughout St. Louis yet outside the city it has hardly even been heard of. It is said to have begun (like many great dishes) as a mistake in a bakery during the depression era, one butter was exchanged for another, the cake is a yeast raised with rich buttery topping. Although there is a cheat version using yellow cake mix and cream cheese it is not the St. Louis Gooey Butter cake. This truly is a must try in the city, see recipe below.


If coffee and Gooey Butter Cake isn't your what your in the mood for then maybe you should go for pizza, not just any pizza but St. Louis pizza. Where Chicago loves the deep dish pizza, St. Louis has a passion for a thin crust style pizza topped with an oregano tomato sauce and Provel cheese. What is Provel cheese you ask (so did I when I moved to Missouri) well it is a cheese unique to the city. More often than not the St. Louis pizza is baked in a rectangle shape and then cut into squares, thus allowing the pizza to be heavily coated with various toppings and the Provel cheese.

The cheese is said to be a blend of cheddar, Swiss and Provolone developed in the 1940's by Roma Grocery (then known as Costa Grocery) with the assistance of the Hoffman Dairy of Wisconsin. Now the cheese is produced by a Kraft owned company. This cheese is excellent in soups, sauces and pasta dishes, but is absolutely needful in the making of the famous St. Louis Gerber sandwich. A french loaf is spread with garlic butter, topped with ham and Provel then sprinkled with paprika before it is broiled to perfection.  Another (perhaps more famous) sandwich in the St. Louis area is the Prosperity Sandwich, said to be a snub at  President Hoover's constant Depression-era promise that "prosperity is just around the corner" the sandwich is served open faced and hot. Believed to be a St. Louis answer to the Kentucky Hot Brown sandwich. If you're really in a mood for a different sandwich, then try the other of the St. Louis sandwiches called the St. Paul. This is a sandwich offering from Chinese restaurants, made with mung bean egg foo young, a hamburger patty, mayonnaise, lettuce, onion and dill pickle. Some use chopped shrimp, cooked pork, turkey or chicken instead of the hamburger patty, then all is placed between two slices of very fresh (soft) white bread (not toasted). Said to created by Steven Yuen at Park Chop Suey in Lafayette Square in the 1940's to attract Americans into his restaurant , it is said he named his sandwich after his home town St. Paul Minnesota.

Do you know what Patent #DRP 37435 refers to, well if you visit the Kemp Auto Museum in St. Louis you will find out (It is the first German patent for the motor car), here you will find the finest collection of the world's best cars, it houses a premium Mercedes Benz display of cars in one location. Leaving the car museum you will want to head over to Ted Drewes Frozen Custard and enjoy a "concrete", the forerunner of Dairy Queen's Blizzard the Concrete is a mixture of frozen custard mixed with your choice of candy, fruit, or nuts. Frozen custard was a Coney Island treat that became a quickly sought after treat Ted Drewe open his first store in 1930 and has operated a location since. Frozen custard is a mixture of 18% and 35% creams (AKA half & half cream and whipping cream), egg yolks, sugar, and flavorings (much like French vanilla ice cream) whipped like ice cream, but incorporating less air than ice cream but more air than sherbet.

Gooey Butter Cake

For the cake
3 tablespoons milk at room temperature
1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
For the topping
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Confectioners’ sugar, for garnishing

Make the cake dough: In a small bowl, mix milk with 2 tablespoons warm water. Add yeast and whisk gently until it dissolves allow to rest until the yeast becomes foamy.

Cream the butter, sugar and salt, scrape down sides of bowl and beat in the egg. Alternately add flour and the milk mixture in equal thirds, scraping down sides of bowl between each addition.  Knead the dough into a smooth dough, about 10 minutes.

Press the dough into a greased 9x 13x2-inch baking dish. Cover dish with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel, put in a warm place, and allow to rise until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Make the gooey topping: Heat oven to 350 degrees. To prepare topping, in a small bowl, whisk corn syrup with 2 tablespoons water and the vanilla. Cream the butter, sugar and salt until light. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat in the egg. Alternate adding the flour and corn syrup mixture again in thirds, scraping down sides of bowl between each addition.

Spoon the topping in large dollops over the risen cake and spread it in an even layer. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, the cake will rise and falling slightly in the center and have a golden brown top, but will still be liquid in the center when done. Allow to cool in pan before sprinkling with confectioners’ sugar for serving.

Before you head to the "Hill" you may need another product invented in St. Louis to help you enjoy dinner and that is Tums. Jim Howe, a pharmacist in St. Louis, Missouri, developed Tums in the basement of his home while treating his wife's indigestion, while on a cruise some passengers experienced indigestion Mr. Howe gave them his tablets and the were a huge hit giving Tums the exposure they needed and resulting that they are now the number one  choice of the people today, available in assorted sizes and flavors.
In our next writing we will continue in St. Louis looking at barbecue, the Hill and of course more beer.

ST. LOUIS STYLE PIZZA

2 cups all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons dark corn syrup
1/2 cup water plus 2 tablespoons water
Sauce
16 ounces whole tomatoes (diced into fine pieces)
6 ounces tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon crushed basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon thyme

Cheese
2 cups of Provel cheese, shredded  or the cheese mixture listed below.
Italian Seasoning
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons basil
1 teaspoon thyme

Directions:
Crust: Mix until thoroughly combined - Divide the dough in half, shape into a round ball and roll out paper thin.

Sauce: Combine together and it's ready to use - do not pre-cook the sauce! This Makes enough sauce for about four (4) 12" pizza pies, so that should give you some idea of how much to use on each pizza.
Cheese: Toss until cheeses and smoke flavoring are completely incorporated. Typically it's enough cheese for two (2) 12" pizza pies, but if you like extra-cheese you'll want to make more.

Seasonings: Combine all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and blend well. Sprinkle on the cheese.
Bake in a preheated 450 F oven for 10-12 minutes, remove from oven slice into squares and serve.

Cheese Mixture:
1 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup swiss cheese, shredded
1/2 cup provolone cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon liquid hickory liquid smoke
Blend the cheeses together, sprinkle with the liquid smoke, use as required.

PROSPERITY SANDWICHES

Serves 4
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and sliced thin
1 shallot, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
8 ounces Provel cheese, shredded (2 cups)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 (3/4-inch-thick) slices rustic white bread
8 ounces thinly sliced roast turkey
8 ounces thinly sliced deli ham
2 tomatoes, cored, cut into 8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices, and patted dry

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, shallot, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to bowl.

Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in now-empty saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 4 to 6 minutes. Off heat, stir in 1/2 cup cheddar, mustard, Worcestershire, and pepper; set aside.
Adjust oven rack 5 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with vegetable oil spray. Arrange bread slices on prepared baking sheet and broil until toasted, 1 to 2 minutes per side.

Divide mushroom mixture between toasted bread slices. Arrange 2 ounces turkey, 2 ounces ham, and 2 slices tomato over mushrooms on each slice of toast. Spoon 1/2 cup cheese sauce evenly over each sandwich and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar. Broil until cheddar is browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Serve.

FROZEN CUSTARD

1 1/2 cups half and half
1 cup granulated sugar
1 whole vanilla bean, split and scraped
5 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1.  Heat the half + half, sugar, and  vanilla beans and pod in a medium saucepan over low heat, whisking constantly to avoid a skin forming on the top of the mixture.  Turn off the heat when the mixture is just about ready to start simmering – the mixture should coat the back of a metal spoon.

2.  Beat the egg yolks by hand or in a stand mixer until slightly thick.  Slowly drizzle in about half of the half + half mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly tempering the cream. 

3.  Pour the egg mixture back into the pan with the remaining half + half mixture and heat on low or medium-low heat until thick, stirring constantly.  DO NOT BOIL.

4.  Pour the custard into a bowl with the heavy whipping cream and stir to combine.  Cover with plastic wrap, pressing on the top of the cream mixture.  Chill in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight.  

5.  Following the manufacturer's directions, freeze in an ice cream maker until it reaches your desired consistency, about 20-30 minutes.  Place mixture in an airtight container and freeze in freezer to harden for at least 8 hours.

ST. PAUL SANDWICH

4 eggs
Salt and pepper
1 c. Mung bean sprouts
2 scallions, chopped
1 t. Soy sauce
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 t. Cornstarch
4 Hamburger patties cooked  or 1/4 c. Chopped ham with  1/2 c. Chopped, cooked shrimp
8 slices white bread
Shredded lettuce
Mayonnaise
Bread and butter pickles
Oil for frying

Put 1 T. Cooking oil in a wok and stir fry the bean sprouts and scallions for four to five minutes. Remove and let cool.

Whisk together the eggs, salt and pepper, the sauces and the cornstarch. Fold into the cooled bean sprouts. Stir in the ham and shrimp (if using instead of the hamburger).

Lay out the bread slices, spread well with mayonnaise, and have the shredded lettuce and pickles at the ready.

Put an inch of oil into the wok. Get it hot. Pour in 1/4 c. of the egg mixture. Fry for two minutes, flip and fry one minute more. Remove from oil, let drain, place on a slice of bread, top with the the hot hamburger, lettuce and pickles, serve.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Still On The Road, Chicago Chicago It's My Kind of Town

A SMALL FRYING PAN, A DEEP DISH AND A LONG BUN

Leaving Milwaukee you must decide direction, head north toward Duluth, west to Minneapolis or south along the great lake to Chi Town.  Let's go south, Chicago is only a quick 2 1/2 hour drive south and there is so much to do and see there why would you want to spend the time behind the steering wheel?  You know a city is great when Frank Sinatra sings about it, New York and Chicago or lesser known L.A. My Lady. So get there quickly so you miss out on nothing and be sure to arrive hungry. For some great views and a listen to Sinatra check out this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2N9SPvtZ6pE Chicago is my kind of town for sure and can be yours too.


Absolutely  a city for everyone, there is something here no matter what you are looking for, be assured Chicago has it. Shopping along the Magnificent Mile, strolling along State Street (or dancing as Sinatra sang) the Navy Pier, The Old Water Tower, Lincoln Park Zoo and so much more.

Chicago has made many contributions to the culinary scene globally, deep dish pizza, Italian beef, Chicago hot dogs everyone knows. But what of Greek Saganaki, or the Brownie, Chicken Vesuvio even the cafeteria is a Chicago creation.  You simply haven't experienced  Chicago unless you have had seafood at the Drake or Prime Rib at Lawery's  (the seasoned salt of the same name created for the original California restaurant) Lou Malnati's for deep dish pizza, steak and chicken at Gene & Georgetti and 312 Chicago for fine dining Italian style. Grab a bag of Jay's potato chips for a snack (an Al Capone favorite) and course you haven't dined in Chicago unless you have visited the Billy Goat Tavern where the "curse of the Billy Goat began.

It is said that the tavern  tried to bring a goat named Murphy into a world Series game at Wrigley Field in 1945 as the Chicago Cubs played the Detroit Tigers, but was denied entry by the owner of the club stating
that "goats stink". William "Billy Goat" Sianis, upset over this crused the club with  "The Cubs ain't gonna win no more. The Cubs will never win a World Series so long as the goat is not allowed in Wrigley Field." so far the curse holds, although the descendants of William and Murphy were finally given access in 1984 and the curse was lifted by them, who knew.

If you wanted a great steak and to dine where Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. Dean Martin and other celebrities dine then a visit to Eli's Steakhouse was a must. However, more than steak this is the home of the famous Eli's Cheesecake, created on Independence Day of 1966 this creamy cheesecake
is rivaled only by the more famous New York cheesecake. In 2005 Eli's closed the restaurant and is focused on the production of the best cheesecake in America you can tour the bakery and enjoy a great meal at the Eli’s Cheesecake Bakery Cafe 6701 W. Forest Preserve Dr.

What may be surprising to many is that Chicago has great Mexican food. Rick Bayless calls Chicago home for his Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, Xoco, full service restaurants, and when you shop Macy's  in Chicago visit Rick's QSR Frontera Fresco. Visit Ricks web site for exciting recipes and information on his restaurants, television program and products at: http://www.rickbayless.com/

Chicago is also the second largest Polish city in the world, next to Warsaw, so you can be sure the restaurants will service authentic Polish foods like pierogi's (Polish dumplings), Gołąbki  (cabbage rolls) and Nalesniki z kury z grzybami (crepes or thin pancakes).

African, Indian, Caribbean, Asian foods all have strong influences in Chicago, why you can visit a different ethnic restaurant every day of the year, taste the world and not even leave the city.

DEEP DISH PIZZA

Deep Dish Pizza, what would a trip be without trying a Chicago deep dish pizza? With a 3 inch crust side, generous amounts of toppings and cheese who can resist. The Uno's Deep Dish (The creators of the pizza) calls for a higher but thin crust as compared to the "pan" pizza sold throughout the rest of the country. Baked in a cake style pan rather a traditional pizza pan the pizza requires a long cooking time, which could burn the pizza if assembled like pan pizzas. Instead the dough is pressed into the pan, then the cheese is layered on the dough, next the toppings and finally an uncooked sauce this is completely the  reserve of other pizzas, this method ensures excellence in the product.

CHICAGO DOG
Begin with a Vienna pure beef hot dog using the 6 per pond count. Steam the dog, never boil it (this gives the dog a nice snap), while the dog is steaming take poppy seed coated hot dog buns,  mustard is placed on the bun, then a green relish, the steamed dog, a bit of chopped Spanish onion, a sprinkling of celery salt finally hot peppers, chopped tomato and dill pickle completes the hot dog, the only thing left is to eat it.

SAGANAKI
Saganaki refers to the two-handled vessel wherein such appetizers are served , not just the flaming cheese, but to any appetizer served with the two handle skillet. The flaming cheese dish was created in the Greek area of Chicago known as the Delta at a restaurant called the Parthenon in 1968 when a customer requested a little brandy to be poured and flamed on the fried cheese.


2 tbsp  (30 mL)  all-purpose flour
1 slice (4 oz/125 g) Kefalotiri or Kefalograviera cheese

1/3 cup  (75 mL)  extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp  (15 mL)  ouzo, brandy or vodka
1 lemon wedge

Preparation
Spread flour on plate; press both sides of the cheese into flour to coat. Discard remaining flour.
In small skillet, heat oil over medium heat until hot enough to produce small bubbles when a wooden spoon is inserted into the oil; fry cheese, turning once, until golden brown, 4 minutes.
Using slotted spatula, transfer to warm plate. In small saucepan, heat ouzo over high heat until steaming hot (or microwave for 10 to 15 seconds).
At table, pour ouzo over cheese and ignite. When flames subside, squeeze lemon over cheese.

ITALIAN BEEF
Beef is King, Chicago Italian beef, New Yorks Bookmaker, Buffalo's Beef on Weck and even The Philly Steak  Sandwich all rely on good quality beef to make the perfect sandwich.  The Italian beef sandwich had its beginning around the turn of the last century and is believed to have been popularized by a butcher (Pasquale Scala) who took thinly sliced beef soaked in beef jus, sautéd green bell pepper slices and giardiniera a bun with "wet" strength  to create the perfect Italian beef sandwich.

2 tablespoons seasoned salt (recipe follows)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried thyme
4½ pound boneless beef rump roast
2 cups dry red wine
4 medium onions, sliced 1/4 inch thick
6 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
16 6-inch sub rolls or lengths of Italian bread
4 stalks celery, sliced 1/2 inch thick on the bias
4 bell peppers (red and green), sliced 3/4 inch thick
6-8 pickled giardiniera

Directions
Mix together 2 tablespoons seasoned salt, 2 teaspoons dried oregano, and the dried thyme in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture all over the beef, and put the meat in a large resealable bag. Combine wine, 1 sliced onion, and the garlic, and pour this marinade over the meat. Seal tightly, and let marinate in the refrigerator from 4 hours to overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the meat from the bag, and rub with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Place the meat and the marinade in a large pan, and roast, uncovered, until tender and the meat is pink in the middle, about 11⁄₂ hours, flipping the meat once during cooking. Remove, and let the meat rest 15 minutes before slicing, reserving the cooking juices in the pan. Slide the sliced rolls into the oven to toast slightly as the oven cools down.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet, and toss in the remaining onions and the celery. Sauté until the onions begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Season with the remaining salt and remaining dried oregano. Stir the bell peppers and the giardiniera into the onions, and cover the skillet to cook, stirring occasionally, until the bell peppers are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Slice the meat, against the grain, as thinly as possible. (Use a meat slicer if you have one.) When the peppers are tender, add the sliced meat to the skillet, along with any juices left in the roasting pan. Cook until the meat is just heated through, about 3 or 4 minutes. Serve meat with peppers and onions, on the toasted rolls.  

SEASONED SALT

1/3 cup fine salt
3 1/2 teaspoons superfine sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons celery salt
1 tablespoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Place the  ingredients into a small bowl.
Combine until well blended.
Transfer into a coffee grinder and grind until very fine.
NOTE: Lawerys Seasoned Salt contains MSG a chemical made from sugar beets, I do not recommend the use of it in any cooking, if you choose to use add no more than 1 teaspoon to the above recipe.

CHICKEN VESUVIO

2 tsp dried Oregano
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
5 lb Bone In 8 piece cut chicken
3 tbsp olive oil
4 medium Russet Potatoes, cut into wedges
1 1/2 Cups White Wine
1 1/2 Cups Chicken Stock
10 to 12 Whole Roasted Garlic Cloves
1 cup Frozen Peas
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour

Mix the salt, pepper, herbs and granulated garlic together in a small bowl use to season your chicken pieces on all sides.
In a large cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil, and brown your potato wedge’s and chicken pieces, then remove and place in a roasting pan.
Place the  garlic cloves in the skillet and cook for 2 minutes.
Deglaze your pan with the wine, add your chicken broth. Simmer for 3 minutes.
 Pour into the roasting pan with the chicken and potatoes. Bake at 375F till chicken is cooked through, about an hour and 15 min’s. The last 15 minutes, toss in the frozen pea’s.
Heat the butter in a small saucepan, add the flour and cook for 2 minutes, Strain the broth from the chicken and simmer for 5 minutes.
Plate the chicken, potatoes and peas, smother with sauce and serve at once.
Serves 4

POLISH STYLE PIEROGI OR PEROGY

Dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup cold mashed potatoes
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 cup cool water (approx.)
Melted butter

Filling:
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups warm mashed potatoes
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup cooked bacon bits
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sauté the onion in the butter until softened, about 6 minutes.
Combine with the potatoes, cheese and bacon mix well.
Season with salt and pepper.
Let cool thoroughly before using.

(The filling can be made a day ahead and kept covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using.).
Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.
Add the egg yolks, mashed potatoes, melted butter and just enough of the water to form a medium-soft dough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. (Too much kneading will make the dough tough)
Divide the dough in half and cover with an inverted bowl.
Let stand for 10 minutes.
Roll out the dough until it is quite thin and cut rounds about 2 to 3 inches wide with a large biscuit cutter.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a little salt.
To each round of dough, add a spoonful of filling and fold over to form a half circle.
Press the edges together with well floured fingers, making sure the perogy are well sealed.
Transfer them to a lightly floured surface and cover them with a clean tea towel so that they do not dry out.
Drop a few at a time into the boiling water, stirring gently with a wooden spoon to separate them and keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Boil for 3 to 4 minutes, at which point they should be puffed and bobbing on the surface. (The thinner the dough and the smaller the perogy, the quicker they will cook).
Transfer with a slotted spoon to a colander, drain thoroughly and place in a warmed bowl.
Drizzle with melted butter and toss gently to keep them from sticking together.
Cover and keep warm while you cook the remaining Perogy.

CABBAGE ROLLS

FOR THE FILLING
1/2 lb of cooked ground beef or pork
2 cups rice
2 cups or less of boiling water
1 medium onion diced
2 teaspoons salt
4-5 tablespoons butter or other type of fat
salt and pepper

1). Add the rice to the boiling water. Stir in the salt. Bring it to a boil again and let it cook for one minute. Cover, lower the heat and allow it to stand long enough to absorb the water. The rice is only partially cooked at this point since it will finish cooking in the rolls.
2). Cook the onion in the fat until it is slightly golden. Mix with the cooked ground beef or pork and season to taste with the salt and pepper. Season well because the cabbage leaves will absorb some of the taste. Cool until ready to use.

FOR THE ROLLS
1 large cabbage head
Sauce:
1 large can tomato sauce
1 small can tomato paste to thicken sauce (if needed)
2 tablespoons or more of butter or bacon fat
salt and pepper

1). Remove the core from the head of the cabbage by cutting around it with a sharp knife.
2). Place the head of cabbage upside down in a large pot and pour boiling water into where the core was. Cover the head completely.
3). Let it stand until the leaves are soft and easily removable. Drain and remove the leaves from the head very carefully. Do not tear them! Cut off some of the hard center rib of each leaf without removing it from the leaf.
4). Cut the largest leaves into two or three sections and line the bottom of a large pot with them.
5). Place a generous spoonful of the meat and rice filling on the end of one leaf and roll lightly. Tuck in the ends.
6). Place the completed rolls in layers in the pot and sprinkle with some sauce and some salt, but do not add too much. Combine the fat with the sauce first. The liquid should barely fill the gaps between each roll.
7). Protect the last layers from burning by covering it with a few large leaves.
8). Place a lid on the pot and bake in a moderate over at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until both the cabbage and the filling are thoroughly cooked.
Serve hot with chopped crispy bacon and onions, large spoonfuls of sour cream or a mushroom sauce.

NALESNIKI z KURY z GRZYBAMI

Crepes:
1 cup     250 ml   flour
¼ tsp     1 ml        salt
¼ tsp     1 ml        each of pepper, nutmeg
½ tsp     3 ml        Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp    30 ml     safflower oil
¼ cup    310 ml   milk
¼ cup    60 ml     soda water
2              2              eggs
¼ cup    60 ml     butter

Filling:
3 tbsp    45 ml     butter
½ lb        225 g      Mushrooms
2              2              chopped green onion
2 cups   500 ml   cooked diced chicken
1 cup     250 ml   Ricotta cheese
½ tsp     3 ml        basil leaves
2              2              eggs
¼ cup    60 ml     milk
1½ cup  375 ml   fine dry seasoned bread crumbs

Sauce:
4 tbsp    60 ml     butter
4 tbsp    60 ml     flour
2 cups   500 ml   milk
½ tsp     3 ml        salt
½ tsp     3 ml        white pepper
pinch     pinch     nutmeg

Crepes:
Sift the flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg together.  Blend in the Worcestershire, oil,  milk, and soda water. Beat 2 eggs and add to the liquid.  Blend into the dry ingredients.  Beat until a smooth thin batter is formed.
To cook the crepes, spread about 3 tbsp (45 ml) of batter in a lightly buttered hot skillet. Cook about 1 ½ minutes.  Turn the crepe and cook 1 minute over medium heat.

Filling:
Heat the butter in a large skillet.  Sauté the mushrooms until all the liquid has evaporated. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the green onion, chicken, cheese and basil leaves. Place 2 tbsp (30 ml) of filling on each crepe.  Fold over the ends and roll. Blend the eggs with the milk.  Dip each crepe into the egg mixture and roll in the bread crumbs.
Heat a small amount of butter in a skillet and fry each crepe until golden brown.  Repeat the process until all crepes have been cooked.  Reserve warm in a greased casserole dish.

Sauce:
Melt the butter in a sauce pan. Add flour and stir into a paste (roux).  Cook for 2 minutes over low heat.
Add the milk and stir.  Simmer until thickened. Add the seasonings and simmer for an additional 2  minutes.
Pour sauce over crepe casserole.  Bake in a preheated 350F (180F) oven for 15 minutes.
SERVES 6

BROWNIES

¾ lb                        340 g                  semi sweet chocolate
¼ cup                    60 ml                    honey
½ cup                    125 ml                  butter
1 cup                     250 ml                  sugar
2                              2                        eggs
1 tsp                      5 ml                      vanilla
½ cup                    140 ml                  flour cpl.+ 1 tbsp
¼ tsp                     1 ml                      baking powder
pinch                     pinch                     salt
3 tbsp                    45 ml                    heavy cream
¼ cup                    60 ml                    walnut pieces

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
In a double boiler, melt half the chocolate and stir in the honey.
Cream together half the butter with ¼ cup (60 ml) of sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time.  Add ½ tsp (3 ml) of vanilla. Stir in the melted chocolate.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Add to the creamed mixture.
Pour into lightly buttered 9 in (23 cm) square cake pan.
Bake in oven 20 to 25 minutes.  Cool.
In a saucepan, blend the remaining sugar and butter with the cream.  Bring to a boil.
Add the remaining chocolate, walnuts and vanilla.  Stir until chocolate melts.

Pour over brownies.  Cut into squares.

CHICAGO STYLE CHEESECAKE

CRUST:

3-2 cups               graham cracker crumbs
1 tbsp                    ground cinnamon
1/4 cup                 melted butter



FILLING:

32 oz                    cream cheese
4 cups                   granulated sugar
3 cups                   heavy cream
2 tbsp                    lemon juice
1 tbsp                    vanilla
8 eggs,                   room temperature
2 cups                   sour cream

CRUST:
Combine crust ingredients. Press into the bottom and sides of a buttered 10" spring form pan. Chill. C).F (160Preheat the oven to 325

FILLING:
Beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the cream, lemon juice and vanilla, beat until well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the sour cream.

Pour mixture into prepared shell and bake in the oven until the center is set, about 90 minutes. Turn off the oven and prop door open slightly.

After about 30 minutes transfer to a rack to cool, chill overnight. Serve with fresh fruit or fruit sauce.

Makes two 10" Cakes

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Drive Continues, On To Milwaukee

Leaving Two Rivers (the name derived from the East Twin and West Twin Rivers) we drive south along the lake's shoreline on Hwy. 42 until Hwy 42 meets with Hwy 10W here we head west to the Interstate 43S, we're off to Milwaukee.

The largest city in the state, Milwaukee (originally spelled Milwaukie and changed by a newspaper in the 1830's) has a rich history which can be traced as far back as 1785, the name is said to be Ojibwa for "a gathering place".  First settled as a trading post by French Canadians Milwaukee grew out of the growth of three towns, Kilbourntown,  Juneautown and Walker's Point, which after the Milwaukee Bridge War of 1845 amalgamated into one town.  Not long after immigration saw an influx of Germanic people, so large was the amount of German immigrants (both high and low German, referring to their area of Germany and to a status) that Milwaukee has the unofficial title of "German Athens of America or The most German of American Cities". The American German people had huge impact on all areas of American and Milwaukee culture from the introduction of kindergarten (garden of the children at the time a new idea of Friedrich Fröbel in Germany reinvented for the US school system,) to politics and social areas, influencing most areas of life in the Midwest USA and doing so with rarely ever holding the highest elected offices.

Some notable German Americans:
Henry A. Kissinger- United States Secretary of State
Karl Pfizer-founded the Pfizer Inc. pharmaceutical company
Levi Strauss-founded the first company to manufacture blue jeans ( Levi Strauss & Co.)
Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg- founder of the piano company Steinway & Sons
Johann Peter Roggenfeller-ancestor of John D. Rockefeller
Johann Philipp Kreißler -ancestor of Walter Percy Chrysler (founder of Chryler)
Wilhelm Böing- father of William Edward Boeing (founder of Boeing)
Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel-inventor of the diesel engine
Nikolaus August Otto- inventor of the otto engine (gasoline engine)

The German people however are not the only groups to come to the city, many Eastern Europeans as came along, Polish, Ukranian, Serbian and others.With the influx of the eastern European people , their cuisine is what is sought therefore many restaurants in Milwaukee still serves food influenced by these styles. Each group offers national dishes of their country, but more exciting are the regional foods that have been reworked into American  palate. One may enjoy dishes like, Hasenpfeffer, Wienerschnitzel, Goetta, Goulash and Rouladen along with the best of the "Wurst" such as Jagdwurst, Blockwurst, Knackwurst, Bierwurst.  The sausage was and remains a mainstay of the common persons lunch box, safe and tasty each culture have many, many varieties, but the Eastern European along with the Italian has swept the world and are favored throughout, from the "Sub" sandwich and the panni to "cold cuts" they are the choice of the working man's lunch.  Desserts of course are extraordinary, Schwarzwalder Kirschentorte  (Black Forest Cake\\\0, Apple Dumplings, or for the chocolate lover there is the Schokoladentorte.

What would that lunch be however, without cheese, in fact, what would Wisconsin be without cheese, lacking at best.  Wisconsin is the home of America's cheese (however, not American cheese, the creation of J.L. Kraft & Company see http://chefk.blogspot.ca/2013/09/national-cheeseburger-day.html for more information on American cheese) Remember the tale of Little Miss Muffet? Her curds and whey were an early version of cottage cheese. From these curd's come all varieties of cheese.

As one drives the state you will see large dairy farms with Jersey, Holstein, Guernsey and other milking cows grazing on the vast grasslands. It takes a lot of milk to produce the more than 2 billion pounds of 350 varieties of cheese produced by the state every year. Americans love cheese, the average American eats more than 27 pounds of cheese each year--30% more than 10 years ago--and will consume about a ton of cheese during a lifetime!

It takes:
10 pounds of whole milk to make one pound of cheese.
12 pounds of whole milk to make one pound of ice cream.
21.2 pounds of whole milk to make one pound of butter.

One quart of milk weighs 2.15 pounds.
One gallon of milk weighs 8.6 pounds.

Jeanne Carpenter is the cheese geek, here are her top Wisconsin cheeses: BelGioioso Cheese: Aged Provolone, Bleu Mont Dairy: Bandaged Cheddar, Capri Cheesery : St. Pauline, Carr Valley: Cocoa Cardona, Cesar's Cheese: Queso Oaxaca, Cedar Grove: Butterkase, Chalet Cheese Cooperative: Baby Swiss, Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese: Petit Frere, Edelweiss Creamery: Grass Based Emmentaler, Emmi Roth USA: Grand Cru Gruyere Surchoix, Fantome Farm: Fleuri Noir, Hennings Cheese: Peppercorn Cheddar, Hidden Springs Creamery: Driftless, Hollands
Family Cheese: Foenegreek Gouda, Hook's Cheese: 10-Year Cheddar, Klondike Cheese: Feta, LaClare Farm: Evalon, Maple Leaf Cheese Cooperative: English Hollow, Meister Cheese : Eagle Cave Reserve, Nordic Creamery: Capriko, Roelli Cheese: Dunbarton  Blue, Sartori: SarVecchio, Saxon Homestead Creamery: Big Ed's, Seymour Dairy: Ader Kase Reserve, Uplands Cheese: Pleasant Ridge Reserve, Widmer's Cheese Cellars: Brick.

Most of these cheeses can be found in the many cheese shops throughout the state. If you stay in Milwaukee then you must stroll along the Riverwalk, a three mile walkway along both sides of the Milwaukee river running through the downtown core of the city. Here you find interesting shops, many restaurants and of course local breweries. You can rent a boat or take a tour boat cruise and stream along the river for an even better look at the markets, historical building and works by local artists. This stream is listed in US Today as one of the top 10 places to stream in North America, so it's not to be missed.

A short walk from the river and you'll come to The Wisconsin Cheese Mart  located at 215 W. Highland Avenue, where you can buy a 22 lb round of cheddar (called hoop cheese), a 16 year cheddar that is incredible (I had this and want more) or a basket of different cheese like this basket that i
ncludes Gouda, sharp Cheddar, Sarvecchio Parmesan, and Gruyere Grand Cru.

The journey to Milwaukee is well worth it no matter where in the world you may be travelling from.

ROULADEN

6 slices top round (see hints below)
3 slices lean bacon
1 onion, sliced
3 garlic dill pickles, sliced
2 tbsp butter
mustard, salt, pepper, corn starch
1 - 2 cups water

Instructions:

Season beef slices with salt and freshly ground pepper. Thinly spread mustard on top of each slice.
Divide bacon, pickle, and onion slices on one end of each slice.
Roll up slices, tucking the ends in and securing with skewers, wooden cocktail picks, or thread.
Heat butter in skillet. Brown rouladen well on all sides. Do not crowd rouladen in skillet, or they will not brown nicely. Do in small batches if necessary. Add extra butter if needed.

Once all rouladen are well browned, add 1 - 2 cups of hot water, gently stirring up browned bits. Return all rouladen and any accumulated juices to skillet, bring to simmer and cover.
Simmer for about 1 1/2 hours.

Remove rouladen. To thicken gravy, combine about 1-2 tbsp corn starch in a little cold water and stir gently into cooking liquid until slightly thickened.

Season gravy to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. If you wish, add sour cream to the gravy.
Remove skewers, picks, or thread to serve rouladen with their gravy.

GOULASH

2 lbs boneless beef chuck, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 tbsp butter or oil
3 tbsp tomato paste
3 - 4 onions, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
2 carrots, sliced
1 - 2 tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika
1 cup red wine (or water)
2 cups beef broth (or bouillon cubes & water)
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper

Instructions:

In a large pan, brown the beef cubes in two batches in the butter or oil over high heat, removing browned meat to a bowl.
Add onions and garlic (if using) and fry until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients and the browned beef cubes.
Bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover.
Simmer for about 1 1/2 hours or until meat is tender.
Check seasoning and adjust as needed.
If you wish to make the gravy thicker, mix about 1 -2 tbsp cornstarch with a bit of cold water and stir in as needed to thicken.
Serves 4 - 6.

CHEF K'S SCHWARZWALDER KIRSCHENTORTE  (BLACK FOREST CAKE)

2 tbsp    30 ml     cocoa powder
2 cups   500 ml   pastry flour

4 oz        120 gr    semi sweet chocolate
½ cup    125 ml   butter
1-½ cups              375 ml   sugar
2              2              eggs
1 cup     250 ml   milk

Sift the cocoa, flour, baking powder and salt together three times.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
Cream the butter and sugar until very light.  Add the eggs one at a time beating after each addition.
Stir in the chocolate. Incorporate the flour and milk in  additions each. Pour batter into 2   8" buttered and floured round cake pans. Bake in a preheated 350F (180C) oven for 35 40 minutes. Cool 10 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack, turn cake out and cool completely. Frost.

FILLING AND FROSTING:

2 cups   500 ml   black cherries   pitted, canned
½ cup    125 ml   juice from the cherries
2 tbsp    3 ml        cornstarch
¼ cup    60 ml     kirsch or cherry brandy
2 cups   500 ml   whipping cream
½ cup    125 ml   confectioners sugar
1 cup     250 ml   chocolate shavings

Heat the cherries in a sauce pan. Mix the cherry juice with the cornstarch, add to the cherries and boil until thick.  Cool to warm.

Sprinkle cakes with kirsch.

Spread the cherries on the first cake and top with the second.  Whip the cream, fold in the sugar and spread or pipe onto the cake.  Garnish with chocolate.

SCHOKOLADENTORTE
2 tbsp    30 ml     cocoa powder
2 cups   500 ml   pastry flour
1 tsp      5 ml        baking soda
¼ tsp     2 ml        salt
½ cup    125 ml   butter
1-½ cups              375 ml   sugar

2              2              eggs
4 oz        120 gr    semi   sweet chocolate   melted
1 cup     250 ml   buttermilk

Sift the cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt together 3 times.  Cream the butter and sugar together until very light. Add the eggs, one at a time.  Add the chocolate.  Incorporate the flour and buttermilk in thirds.  Pour into 2 8" round greased floured cake pans.  Bake in a preheated 350F (180C) oven for 35 40 minutes.  Cool 10 minutes, turn out on a cooling rack.  Cool and frost with double chocolate frosting.

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE FROSTING

2 oz        60 gr      bittersweet chocolate
2 oz        60 gr      milk chocolate
½ cup    125 ml   heavy cream
1 tsp      5 ml        butter, melted
1              1              egg yolk
2 cups   500 ml   confectioners sugar
½ tsp     3 ml        vanilla


In a double boiler, melt the chocolates.  Blend in the remaining ingredients until very smooth.  Use as required.

SUDS, BUDS AND MILWAUKEE BREWING


As important as cheese is in Wisconsin and Milwaukee there is another food product that to many is as important if not more so than the curd and that would be .....beer. Milwaukee is the home to many of the international breweries such as  Pabst, Schlitz, Miller, Blatz gives the city the title of "Beer Capital of The World" it may be open to discussion but there can be no doubt the city with its breweries produces huge volumes of the liquid suds for America and the international consumer.


Although no longer owned by Milwaukee interests Baltz and Schlitz are still brewed by other breweries after falling for one reason or another. Both breweries date back to the mid 1800's Schlitz was the worlds top brewer for many years from 1900 to 1950's battling for the title they eventually lost with Anheuser-Busch of St. Louis.  You may remember the slogan of Schlitz "When you're out of Schlitz, you're out of beer"  the company began to change the recipe and eventually lost market share and was sold for far less than its value.  Beer lovers and history buffs find the history of beer in Milwaukee educational and very interesting.

In 1893, Pabst beer was awarded the title “America’s Best”at the World’s Columbian Exposition, the original Pabst beer, was called Best Select as Pabst was originally The Best Brewing Co. Then Pabst Select, earned the name Pabst Blue Ribbon due to the company’s practice of tying blue ribbons around the necks of its beer bottles from the years 1882 to 1916. People would continually ask for “the blue ribbon beer”, and so the name stuck. During prohibition the brewery could not produce beer so the owners decided to make the other product Milwaukee is famous for, cheese.

From Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine craft breweries are finally coming into their own and whether you're in Milwaukee or St. Louis (home of the big brewers) you and your bud can enjoy a specialty brew at many of the city's most popular brewpubs. One of the best sipventures you can take is a Riverwalk cruise that stops at the city's 3 best mircobrew pubs, stops at brewpubs like Milwaukee Ale House, Molly Cool’s Seafood Tavern or Rock Bottom Brewery will certainly make your day. Go for the beer, but stay for the food most brewpubs have excellent cuisine as they believe that service is all in their hospitality and great beer must be accompanied by great food. At Molly Cool’s Seafood Tavern you can enjoy P.E.I. Mussel's steamed in Spotted Cow beer or Molly Cool's Fish and chips, at the Milwaukee Ale House enjoy Drunken Chicken or Pot Roast braised in Sheepshead Stout and the food at  Rock Bottom Brewery is just excellent try their Lobster & Shrimp Enchiladas and miss out on the Woodford Reserve Bourbon Glazed Salmon.



BRAISED BEEF WITH STOUT

4 lbs. Boneless beef chuck roast
2 tsp. Salt
3/4 tsp. Black pepper
2 tsp. Vegetable oil
1/2 lb. Onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/2 lb. Carrots, thinly sliced
1/2 lb. Celery thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp. Chopped fresh thyme
1 tbsp. Chopped fresh rosemary
12 oz. Stout
1 cup beef broth
1 lb small new potatoes

Directions

Put oven rack in middle position. Preheat oven to 325F. Pat beef dry and rub with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Heat oil in oven proof, 5-quart, wide heavy pot over medium high heat until hot - not smoking - and brown beef on all sides, about 15 minutes total. Transfer beef to a plate.

Add onions, carrots and celery  to pot and saute, stirring, until tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, rosemary, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring, for two minutes. Add stout and broth, bring to a boil, return beef to pot and cover. Braise in oven, turning after one hour until beef is tender, cook for  three to three and a half hours total. Add the potatoes at the final hour and continue to cook for the final hour. Let stand uncovered in sauce about 30 minutes before serving. Plate the potatoes, vegetables, carve the roast and strain the sauce serving it on the side.

MUSSELS STEAMED IN BEER

1 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, sliced
2 pounds of mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
1 bottle of lager
1 shallot, minced
1/4 cup of chopped parsley or cilantro
Crusty French baguette

In a Dutch oven, heat the butter and saute the onion until tender.

Add the beer and shallot to a large saucepan. Bring to slow boil over medium-high heat.

Add the mussels, cover, and steam until all the mussels have opened (toss any that don’t open).

Divide mussels and broth among bowls. Sprinkle with parsley or cilantro and serve along with some crusty bread.

DRUNKEN CHICKEN

5 lb.  Whole chicken
2 oz unsalted butter, melted, cooled
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
375ml can lager
1/2 lemon, cut into thin wedges

Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high. Rinse the chicken under cold running water and pat dry with paper towel.

Combine butter, honey, paprika and two-thirds of the garlic in a bowl and season. Pour one-third of the beer from the can, then push the lemon wedges and remaining garlic inside the can. Place the beer can upright on the grill, then sit the chicken on top so that the can is inside the cavity. Baste the chicken with the honey marinade and transfer to the barbecue. Close the lid and cook, basting occasionally, for 1 1/2 hours or until cooked through (the juices should run clear when the thigh is pierced with a skewer). Remove the chicken from the barbecue - be careful as the can will be very hot. Allow to cool slightly, then remove the beer can from the cavity and discard. Rest, loosely covered with foil, for 15 minutes.

BEER LOBSTER & CRAB ENCHILADAS IN A CHIPOTLE CREAM SAUCE

16 ounces lobster and/or crab meat
1 cup ale
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 yellow onion -- finely minced (approx 1/4 cup)
3 tablespoons flour
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup chicken stock
4 cups provolone or Monterey Jack cheese -- shredded & divided
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 to 2 tablespoons chipotle chile canned in Adobo pureed**
1cup salsa Verde -- (green salsa)
8 flour tortillas

 COOK LOBSTER:
In a medium saucepan, bring the beer to a simmer. Add lobster meat and simmer until just done. Approximately 2-3 minutes. (Do not over cook, as lobster will continue to cook as the enchiladas heat in the oven)

Remove lobster and place in small bowl to cool. Roughly chop or tear into bite-size pieces.

TO MAKE CHIPOTLE CREAM SAUCE:

In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Add onions and sauté until just translucent. Do not brown.

Add flour to cooked onions and stir for 1-2 minutes.

While whisking, pour in milk and chicken stock. Add garlic. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until sauce just  begins to thicken.

Reduce heat to low and add 2 cups of the shredded provolone cheese one handful at a time. Whisk until each handful is completely melted. Remove from heat.

Add in chipotle puree and stir. Note, more chipotle puree can be added to taste, depending on desired level of spiciness.

 TO ASSEMBLE ENCHILADAS:

In large sauté pan, add salsa Verde (can be thinned with 1/4 cup chicken stock or beer). Warm salsa over medium heat.

Take one flour tortilla and dip in warm salsa Verde so that both sides are moistened. Place on plate. Put in 1/8 of  lobster meat and 1/4 cup of shredded cheese. Roll into enchilada and place in a greased 9x13 baking dish.

 Repeat with remaining tortillas, lobster meat and cheese.

Once all enchiladas are in the baking dish, pour Chipotle Cream Sauce over the top of the enchiladas. You can add additional shredded cheese on top if desired.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until warmed through and cheese is bubbly. Serve with extra salsa Verde.

BOURBON GLAZED SALMON

2 lb salmon fillets
1/2 c. Bourbon
1/4 c. Dark brown sugar
1/2 c. Ketchup
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. White vinegar
1 tbsp Chef K Seasonongs
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 whole garlic cloves chopped
1/4 tsp dry mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Combine the bourbon, sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, seasonings, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper; mix well. Brush salmon with a thin coating of the glaze and place on grill. Continue to baste when turning the salmon.


Cook fish for 10 minutes per inch, or 5 minutes per side for a 1 inch steak or fillet.