Chicago Culture, Celebrity, Arts & Entertainment
Chicago culture, arts & entertainment with Billy Dec

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"A Grandma's Culinary Legacy" leads to Chicago

Food, General, restaurants

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Woke up to the most amazing story about our long time executive head chef & partner james gottwald’s story of his “grandma’s culinary legacy” on the cover of the sun-times food section today, by a great writer by the name of seanan forbes… I’m just dazed & amazed… and had to share it with you all… click here to read the article… or click continue reading below… and please, stories like this need to be shared, so feel free… and enjoy!

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Heating up Chicago w/ Grandma's Goulash!

chicago, General, restaurants
Chicago is a family loving melting pot!  And I love when that melting pot is shared to bring warmth to all of us… with that, I really enjoyed this story in the chicago suntimes today featuring my chef’s grandma’s secret Hungarian goulash recipe that was brought to America and is now shared with us all in chicago (click here for full story, or enjoy my fav highlights w/ the recipe below)… hope you enjoy & share too!
“The heat is on, with spices in the mix
BY SEANAN FORBES
Come winter, we lift the levers on the thermostats. People with fireplaces develop a serious interest in wood. From coast to coast, chefs break out seasonings that give food a warmth that has nothing to do with temperature…  James Gottwald, who rules the kitchen at Rockit Bar & Grill in River North and Wrigleyville, learned to cook from his grandmother, his babchi. She came from Romania, where winters are a serious business, bringing her traditions with her.
Remembering his childhood winters, Gottwald says, “We had goulash every day.” It was adaptable. Whatever was at hand — potatoes, dumplings, onions, parsley root — went into the pot. Paprika added depth of color and spicy warmth.  The stew appeared at every meal. Even in the morning? “Yes.” Gottwald grins. “It was goulash for breakfast with an egg on top. That was the best. Underneath there would be a buttermilk biscuit, potatoes, pasta — any kind of starch to stick to the guts. You could go out and play in the snow all day after that.”  Or, for that matter, survive the morning walk to the train station.  Goulash isn’t a standard on Rockit Ranch’s menu, but Gottwald plans to add it for a week, to celebrate his grandmother.  And that brings us back to Sherman’s observation. If you want to bring warmth to the table, it’s all about love.
This recipe comes from Maria Boicesco, grandmother of Rockit chef James Gottwald. “This is not a dish that can be rushed,” Gottwald says. After a day or two (if it lasts that long), it makes a hearty breakfast. As a morning dish, serve it over toasted bread with a fried duck egg on top.
MAKES 4 TO 6 SERVINGS
1    pound beef shank, cut into 1-inch cube
1    teaspoon kosher salt
Black pepper
1    heaping tablespoon Hungarian paprika (hot or mild)
2    tablespoons vegetable oil
1    medium to large onion, julienned
¼    teaspoon ground caraway seed
1    garlic clove, chopped
1    bell pepper, medium dice
1    stalk celery, medium dice
1    bay leaf
2    tomatoes, large dice
2    to 3 cups water, beef stock or chicken stock (enough to barely cover)
Season the meat with salt, black pepper and paprika. Set meat aside at room temperature, to allow it to absorb the seasonings.
Heat a heavy-gauge pot on the stove. (Traditionally, Babchi would cook it in a Dutch oven over a wood-burning fire.)
Heat the oil. (Butter or lard may be used, if you prefer.) Add the onions and cook over medium heat until lightly brown, not dark or crispy. Pull the pan off the heat and add the meat. Stir well and let the flavors get happy.
Place back onto medium heat and lightly toast the paprika-laced meat. The paprika can burn fast, so turn down the heat or pull it off the fire and stir constantly. This should take 10 to 15 minutes.
Next, add the caraway and cook for 2 more minutes. (Caraway is not always used and not necessary, but it’s a nice spice if you have it.) Add the garlic, bell pepper, celery, bay leaf and tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, then add water and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and slowly simmer for 3 hours, or until the meat is fork tender. You may need to add more water. You also may cover the pot; it’s your choice. The collagen in the meat will lend viscosity to the broth.
Serve over buttered noodles or spaetzle.
Note: There are many variations. Parsnips, carrots, potatoes can be added halfway through the cooking process. Boicesco was very fond of using parsley root. Visually similar to parsnip, parsley root is sweeter.
Half of the water can be replaced with beer or white wine. It all depends on what you have on hand.
Maria Boicesco”

zafar_s_grandma_cooking

Chicago is a family loving melting pot!  And I love when that melting pot is shared to bring warmth to all of us… with that, I really enjoyed this story in the chicago suntimes today featuring my chef’s grandma’s secret Hungarian goulash recipe that was brought to America and is now shared with us all in chicago (click here for full story, or enjoy my fav highlights w/ the recipe below)… hope you enjoy & share too!

“The heat is on, with spices in the mix

BY SEANAN FORBES

(more…)

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