August 08 2014

Greetings from Chicago! If there are two things we know how to do well here, it's food and music. Here are a few recommendations for you.

The Blisters, favorite songs: 21st Century Gang, One Day
Brighton, MA, favorite songs: Touch, Wake the Dead

If you're in Chicago, order from JB Alberto's in Rogers Park - my favorite is a thin crust with roast beef and giardiniera, essentially an Italian Beef pizza.
If you're into Chicago-style pizza, Mr. Gilberti's Place in Hollister, Missouri is the best Chicago-style pizza I've ever had.


I've been on a bit of a health kick lately and this has been a staple. From the American Heart Association:

Fish Tacos

2 - 4oz tilapia fillets
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 small plum tomatoes
1 jalapeno pepper
1 green onion
2 tbsp cilantro
3 tbsp yellow cornmeal
2 tsp olive oil
8 corn tortillas

1. Sprinkle the fish with the lime juice, combine the spices in a bowl and rub over the fillets, refrigerate for 30 mins.
2. Combine the tomatoes, pepper, onion and cilantro in a food processor for 15 seconds. Refrigerate until needed.
3. Coat the fillets in the cornmeal, shake off the excess. Coat a skillet with olive oil, cook the fillets over medium high for 5 minutes a side.
4. To serve, heat the tortillas, quarter the fillets, add one quarter of a fillet to each tortilla and a spoonful of the salsa. Makes 8 tacos. 1 serving is 2 tacos (173 calories).

...But when I need to carbo-load, this is delicious. Slightly modified from the tasting table website:

Purple Noodles

1½ lbs broccoli
1 lb spaghetti
1 bottle (750 ml) red wine
1 tbsp sugar
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp thinly sliced garlic (about 4 cloves)
¼ tsp red-pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese

1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook for 3 minutes or until just tender. Transfer the broccoli to a baking sheet and let cool. In the same boiling water, cook the spaghetti, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. (The pasta will finish cooking in the wine.) Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta and set it aside. Return the empty pasta pot to the stove.
2. Add the wine and sugar to the pasta pot. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until reduced by half, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the pasta and shake to prevent the pasta from sticking. Gently stir with tongs until coated and boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the pasta is al dente, about 4 to 5 minutes.
3. While the pasta cooks in the wine, heat a large, deep skillet over high heat. Add the olive oil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the garlic until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the broccoli, red-pepper flakes, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add ½ cup of the reserved pasta water, or more if desired, and stir to combine.
4. Add the broccoli mixture to the pasta pot, toss gently and transfer to a platter. Sprinkle with the cheese and serve.

Hope you enjoy. Have a great day.

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