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Eat this! Quinoa, the gold of the Incas

What it is: Pronounced “KEEN-wah,” quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) is a tiny, grainlike food with a deliciously nutty flavor and a light, fluffy, slightly crunchy texture. It’s a complete protein and high in calcium, lysine, manganese, magnesium, folate, riboflavin and other healthful nutrients. A member of the goosefoot family, quinoa is related to lamb’s quarters, and […]

Eat this! Pappardelle, wide pasta from Tuscany

What it is: A wide, flat egg pasta cut into a broad, straight ribbon shape, pappardelle is a rustic noodle not quite as wide as lasagna. Where it comes from: The name pappardelle derives from the Tuscan dialect peppare, which means to gobble up one’s food. The pasta likely originated in Tuscany, where it was […]

Friday food porn: A Lenten wiener to love

Giving up meat on Fridays for Lent? You can still enjoy a Chicago-style hot dog with all the trimmings. Phil’s Last Stand makes its own veggie dogs in-house from roasted onions, sweet potatoes, eggplant and yellow peppers and then tops them with traditional Chicago condiments. The dog is $3.50 and comes with fresh-cut fries. Phil’s […]

Eat this! Nicoise olives, tiny and flavorful

What it is: One of the smallest olives cultivated, oval Nicoise olives range from purplish to brownish black in color. They’re cured in a salt brine and then typically packed in olive oil, developing a have a nutty, slightly sour flavor. Where it comes from: Originating in the French Riviera, Nicoise-style olives today mainly come […]

Eat this! Butternut, a squash to know

What it is: Butternut squash, a flavorful variety of Cucurbita moschata, is an edible gourd related to pumpkins and zucchini. A hard-shelled winter-storage squash, the butternut has a tan exterior, a long bulbous shape, and an orange flesh. Its sweet, nutty flavor is similar to pumpkin, for which it makes a fine substitute once Halloween […]

8 great holiday entertaining recipes from Chicago chefs

Holiday cooking and entertaining season has come upon us. If you’re looking for new ideas for your own holiday parties or dishes to take along to friends’, try these terrific recipes from Chicago chefs. Lillie’s Q, Wicker Park, pimento cheese, a Southern party spread. Shokran, Irving Park, zaalouk, Moroccan eggplant spread. Rhapsody, Loop, arancini, Italian […]

65 Chicago places to eat Thanksgiving dinner, 2011

North Side, South Side or in the Chicago suburbs, you don’t have to cook your own Thanksgiving dinner. Chicagoland restaurants offer bountiful holiday feasts. Call for hours and menu details. Reservations are highly recommended if not required everywhere. Many restaurants also offer complete Thanksgiving dinners for carry out — several days’ notice is typically required. […]

Five places to learn to cook with Chicago chefs

Cooking season is here. Time to tune up your cooking skills. These Chicago restaurants want to help you gear up for the holidays with culinary classes. Flip Crepes at the Chicago French Market in the West Loop team demos the art of the French crepe in a “Sweet and Savory Couples Crepe Class” at 10 […]

Eat this! Bok choy, delicious, nutritious and not fattening

What it is: A member of the cabbage family, bok choy or pak choi (Brassica chinensis), sometimes called “white cabbage” or “Chinese cabbage,” is a crisp, stalky vegetable that typically has long white stems and crinkled green leaves and mild flavor. It’s common to several Asian cuisines but rarely seen in Western cooking. Both leaves […]

Friday food porn: Pillowy comforts

Just the thing to warm up with on cool fall nights: Gnocchi al pomodoro, comforting little pillows of pasta, coated with tomato sauce, basil and parmesan, $14 at Il Poggiolo in Hinsdale.