Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Shallots Review

OK so last week my wife and I went to Shallots and sat in the main dinning room, mainly because we had gift certificates to use.

First of all, I do love the look of the new place.  It has a very natural feel.  The stone look makes me feel like I am dinning in European wine cellar, which in my opinion is a good thing.  The one problem I did have was that I think the lighting was a little to dim, but I tend to like my restaurants well lit.

I started out with the Spicy Tuna Crunch sushi roll which was delicious with good balance of flavor and texture.  Oh and remember how people used to say "If you are going to Shallots eat first or you will be hungry", well that no longer applies for the most part.  The sushi was generous portion.

My wife and I split the grilled skewer platter which I was not impressed with.  The portion was small for $32, and the food was not cooked at that well.  Especially the lamb that had both a funny texture and taste.

We both ordered stakes, although I wanted the Ribs but they were out of them. I had the grilled szechwan and my wife had the bordelaise.  Both steaks were cooked well, but the flavors of the sauces seemed to be a bit strong and overwhelmed the flavor of the meat. 
also both steaks came with a garnish of a sprig of rosemary stuck in them that I thought kind of looked stupid.  On the menu it says that my wife's steak was supposed to come with crisp onion rings in the plural, but all she got was one sad onion ring that circled the rosemary.

We ordered the  Layer Mousse Cup & Chocolate Terrine which was tasty but the portion size could have been a bit bigger and I would have preferred more chocolate and less raspberry in the Mousse cup.

Overall a nice experience, but next time I think I will sit at the bar for the cheaper menu and let you know how that is.  Although, from what I hear it is supposed to be pretty good.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What is the deal with Chalavi?

What is the deal with Chalavi?  I keep trying to go in there but there hours suck.  At first they said they were going to do breakfast but they did not open until 8 AM.  Then they changed their open time to 10 AM, so I guess breakfast is totaly out.  I walked over there at about 8:20 PM tonight to find out they close at 8.  So I guess I will have to try again another today.
Culinary Question of the Day:What do you like on your baked potato?
Culinary Question of the Day: What do you like on your baked potato?

Monday, September 13, 2010

My Mother's peanut butter flowers

Lots of people asked for this recipe after Ahuva's kiddush...these are the little peanut butter flowers that my mother makes-

Warning: The recipe makes a TON! You can use a cookie cutter to cut out small shapes and scraps can be snacked on or saved to use as crunch in an ice cream.

Peanut Butter Flowers

Layer 1:

16 oz dark chocolate

16 oz honey

2 T water

2 c Chunky Peanut Butter

4 c Chopped Peanuts

8 c Rice Krispies

Melt choc, water and honey, add peanut butter, peanuts and rice krispies. Spread over 1 cookie sheet and 1 9x13 pan

Layer 2:

14 oz white chocolate

1 ½ c creamy peanut butter

Melt together and spread over layer 1

4 oz choc chips

Melt and drizzle with a thin tip in a straight line going up and down, making lines ½” apart. Use a toothpick to make lines through the chocolate lines in the opposite direction.

Chill and cut out with a small cookie cutter for shapes or cut into small squares. Yield 1 large cookie sheet and 1 9x13 pan

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Why I hate buying Kosher fish in Chicago

OK so the way I see it there are only 3 choices in where to get fish under hashgacha in Chicago currently, and each has its own issues.
1.  Jewel: The issue at Jewel is that the if you come in the afternoon or evening, they never have a fish monger manning the kosher fish counter.  Usually someone will come over from the non-kosher meat counter to help you, but the usually they have no clue what they are doing and end up making a complete mess of the butchering, leaving both scales and bones on the fish.  Now I do have to say the guy there in the morning named Forest is the man.  He always gets me the freshest stuff and does a good job butchering it.

2.Hungarian: A few years ago Hungarian closed their full service fish counter and now has limited amount of fresh pre-cut fish.  It is usually cut OK but the selection is limited and you are stuck with it in the weights they cut it.

3.Roberts: This place is on Devon.  I went in there for the first time in years.  The place seemed smelly and dirty to me.  Everything was literally buried in ice so you could not see it.  The selection seemed small for a place dedicated to fish.  They only had farmed salmon, and they only have  tuna by special order.

My suggestion is get to Jewel at about 8 AM or talk to local competent halachic authority about the correct way to buy kosher fish from a place that does not only sell kosher.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Update on details of Wednesday Night's Sushi

I ended up going with an Alaskan salmon maki with a chipotle honey mayo and a tuna sashimi with honey chili oil vinaigrette.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Culinary question of the Day:What is your favorite traditional Rosh Hashana(Jewish New Year) dish?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Night Rosh Hashanah Menu

Homemade Round Challah
Sushi-Details TBD
Vegetable Soup
Mushroom Farfal
Tongue with Cabbage
Pomegranate Glazed Turkey Breast with Pomegranate infused craisin bread stuffing
Beef Cheek with Carrot, Sweet Potatoes, Date and Fig Tzimus
Roasted Butternut Squash and Apples
Hot Beet and Leek Salad
Apple Galette