Friday, August 31, 2012

Mini Eggplant Pizzas

Mini Eggplant Pizzas

Mini Eggplant Pizzas

This a slightly healthier take eggplant parmigiana that is also gluten free. 

1 eggplant peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1 can of you favorite tomato sauce
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Italian Seasoning
1 8 oz bag of shredded mozzarella
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Season the eggplant with the salt and pepper and let it sit for 15 minutes to draw out some of the moisture and bitterness.

Add the garlic powder onion powder and Italian seasoning to the canned tomato sauce to taste. Lubricate a sheet pan with the olive oil and spread the eggplant rounds across the pan.  Top the rounds with the sauce and cheese and bake at 450F until the cheese in melted and the eggplant is soft but not mushy.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Secret Off Menu Item at Kotel Kosher

I present to you the grilled pastrami dog....

This is a great item at Kotel Kosher, that is not on the menu.  The only thing that would make this better is if they had sauerkraut. 

Pizza Pictures

I bought a pizza stone a few weeks back here are some of the results:

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Mango Peach BBQ Sauce

Mango Peach BBQ Sauce
2 Large Peaches
2 Large Mangoes
1/4 Cup Cider Vinegar
1/4 Cup Heinz Ketchup
3 Tablespoons Spicy Brown Mustard
1 Tablespoon of your favorite hot sauce

This is a recipe that came out of something I made for a July 4th BBQ at my friend Dani's (of Yeah That's Kosher fame) house.  It has since been tweaked.

Peel and chop the peaches and mangoes, and throw in the food processor and puree until almost but not quite smooth.  Add the pureed mango and peach to a small sauce pan with all the rest of the ingredients and cook on a low heat until reduced my 1/3.

This goes great of chicken or pickled brisket.  Try with an egg roll instead or duck sauce. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

7 Day Spicy Pickles

7 Day Spicy Pickles

Just a quick picture of some more 7 day pickles.  I used a 5% salt brine (50 grams of salt per liter of water), with a lot of garlic, black and green peppercorns, coriander, whole mustard seed, a couple of bay leaves, and 3 hot peppers.  I also added a few grape leaves to help the pickles stay crunchy.  Special thanks to The Gan Project for providing the cucumbers and garlic.  This time they came out perfectly.  The major difference from the last time was I used less brine relative to the number of pickles, so they were not to salty.  I put it all together and just let them sit on my counter for about a week.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

First Look at The Main Grill

First Look at The Main Grill




I picked up some take-out from The Main Grill yesterday.  I ordered a two piece fried chicken, my wife had the baykon burger, and my kids each had hot dogs.  The burger and chicken came with fries and the hot dogs were supposed to come with chips which I was told were "round fries."  I also ordered a side order of sweet potato fries.

I had a taste of the burger and it wasn't bad, but nothing to write home about.  There was one  notable feature to the burger, it came with chipotle mayo, which is a condiment that I am generally fond of.

I also had a bite of my kids hot dogs which was decent.

The fried chicken was breaded as opposed to a traditional batter or flour dredge.  The guy behind the counter did not know what type pieces came in the order.  I asked for one dark and one white, and they gave me a leg and a breast.  The breast was semi-boneless, and by that I mean it looks like the tried to pass off a piece of shnitzel as fried chicken, but did a poor job boning it.  It was also a little over done.

Both the regular fries and the sweet potato fries were under done and under seasoned.  The hot dogs just came with regular fries, which makes me sad, as I really like round fries, as they remind me of old school fries from Kosher City.

As for the look of the restaurant, they have a semi open kitchen, which is not a great thing, unless you like watching your dinner being tossed in the fryer.  They have a decent looking salad bar.  Based on the decor you can tell this was a different restaurant at one point.  There were 2 different types of tables and 2 different types of chairs. Also for some reason they have a "Subsational" sign.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Oh how the mighty have fallen.....the fall of Ken's Diner

I was in Ken's Diner in Skokie tonight, for the first time in a while.  The place just seemed tired and dirty.  The ceiling was stained, the table was dirty, and the booths looked worn.  I ordered a Bay-Ken burger and was sad when there were no sesame seeds on the bun and the beef fry was not cut evenly. It feels like the owners have given up on the place.  Rumor has it they want to sell the place, but want too much for it.  This once bright star in the Chicago Kosher culinary scene is a shadow of its former self.  Have you been there recently?  Let me know what you thought in the comments.

Carrot And Fennel Slaw

Carrot and Fennel Slaw

4 Carrots Shredded
1 Fennel Bulb Shredded (Just the White Part)
1/4 Cup of Rice Wine Vinegar
Celery Salt and Black Pepper to Taste

Toss everything together and let sit in the fridge for 1 hour so the flavors come together.

Crockpot Mini Italian Beef Sandwich

1 3lb Chuck Roast
2 Green Peppers, Cut Into Wide Strips
2 Red Peppers, Cut Into Wide Strips
2 Large Onions, Sliced
5 Smashed Garlic Cloves (Mine came from The Gan Project)
Oregano, Mustard Seed, Red Pepper Flake, Celery Seed, Black Peppercorns (To Taste)
The Green Part of a Whole Fennel Bulb
Enough Flavorful Liquid to Cover All the Ingredients (Wine, Stock, or it you must, Water)

Trim the roast of fat and connective tissue.  Drop everything into a slow cooker on low, and let it cook until the meat shreds easily.

Serve on a mini French roll with the peppers and onions from the pot.  Serve with jalapenos if you like a little more heat, a fennel and carrot slaw on the side, and some the liquid from the pot for dipping.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Things are Changing at Kotel Kosher

Things are changing for the better at Kotel Kosher in downtown Chicago.  They had some significant flaws when they first opened. (See my original review of Kotel Kosher)  They have started making some of their own salads and wraps instead of bringing them in from outside.  Although the most exciting news in my opinion is the fact that they are now serving hot dogs.  Not just any hot dogs, regular and garlic hot dogs from Romanian Kosher Sausage Company, with ketchup, mustard, mayo, and relish available to accessorize. 
There are also plans to serve hot corned beef or pastrami some time soon and possibly soups when the weather cools down.  This is definitely a step in the right direction.