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Eat this! The BLT, summer’s ideal sandwich

What it is: The BLT is a wonderful summer sandwich. Composed of ripe, fresh tomatoes, layered with crisp bacon and crunchy lettuce on toasted bread slathered with mayonnaise, it’s best made when tomatoes are at their prime. Though it’s such a simple sandwich, it’s harder to create a perfect version than you’d think. You want […]

Eat this! Kitfo, Ethiopia’s answer to steak tartare

What it is: Kitfo is seasoned chopped beef, mixed with ground chilies and herbed butter. Often served raw (kitfo tere), it may also be lightly sauteed (kitfo lebleb) or cooked till well-done (kitfo yebesele). The name means “to chop finely; mince.” Where it comes from: Kitfo originated with Gurage people of Ethiopia’s southern Showa province. […]

Eat this! Six hot recipes for summer in Chicago

Try some of our favorite hot-weather recipes for food and libations from local chefs and mixologists. LaSalle Power, River North, Cucumber watermelon salad, a great combination of sweet and savory flavors, with feta, paprika, cucumbers and watermelon. Texas de Brazil, River North and Schaumburg, Grape salad, a salad of fruit and gorgonzola that goes especially […]

Eat this! Red bell pepper, ripe and mellow

What it is: Fresh red bell peppers (and the whole gamut of colors from yellow and orange to purple) are the ripe form of Capsicum annuum. The hollow bell-shaped peppers are green when immature. Where it comes from: Bell peppers originated in Mexico, Central America, and South America, where they’ve been cultivated for thousands of […]

Eat this! Winesicles, an adult cooler

What it is: Popsicles are kid stuff. Winesicles add an adult aspect to frozen dessert. Where it comes from: The Popsicle brand of frozen dessert on a stick hit the market in the 1920s, the invention of Frank Epperson of San Francisco. Probably the idea of homemade alcohol-laced ice pops surfaced soon afterward. What to […]

Eat this! Lobster bisque for National Lobster Day

What it is: A thick creamy soup flavored with lobster, lobster bisque is a rich and elegant dish. Because the base broth makes use of lobster shells, it’s a good way to get every last bit of goodness from the costly crustaceans. Where it comes from: The origins of lobster bisque are obscure. Bisques are […]

Eat this! Add flavor with compound butters

What it is: Compound butters are fresh butters mixed with seasonings, such as herbs and spices, used for enhancing foods. They typically provide a finishing touch to a dish or sauce. Where it comes from: French cuisine leads the practice of making flavored butters, beurre compose in French. Auguste Escoffier listed some three dozen versions […]

Eat this! Six Chicago recipes for the start of summer

Memorial Day weekend marks the start of summer in Chicagoland. Enjoy these recipes from local chefs at at your picnics and cookouts. Chef Jeremy Brewington:Spicy marinated shrimp, a quick meal on the grill. Al Teatro, Pilsen: Pollo con olive e pignoli, braised chicken with olives and pinenuts, done on the stovetop so it doesn’t heat […]

Eat this! Terrines, flavorful French molds

What it is: A highly flavored loaf of coarsely chopped meat, vegetables or seafood, often layered and served chilled, a terrine is typically served sliced, as an appetizer. It’s similar to pate, but terrines usually have distinct components, while pates are more finely ground and homogenous. Where it comes from: The dish is considered French, […]

Eat this! Gin, from the Netherlands via the U.K.

What it is: A clear alcoholic beverage, gin is distilled from grain and infused with juniper and other aromatic herbs and spices. Four styles exist: “London dry gin,” named for that city’s once-significant distilleries, is the dominant type, crisp and clean tasting, with citrus accents and a high proof. Locally, Gordon’s makes this style in […]