Asian steak tacos

East meets Tex-Mex

Originally appeared in the March 31, 2011 edition of the Southside Times.

The crowds drawn to on-the-go, “streetfood” gurus West Coast Tacos, is a local testament to the macro trend of “fusion”—a movement which, over the past few decades, has been blurring the culinary line between tradition and amalgamation.  In this sense, a humble stack of corn tortillas parts ways with predictable Tex-Mex milieu, and transforms into a three-to-four-bite device, ideal for showcasing flavors which are seldom paired together.  Read the rest after the jump: (more…)

Chile rellenos con queso

Stuffed poblano?  No problemo

Originally appeared in the March 24, 2011 edition of the Southside Times.

Chile rellenos are poblano peppers—large, mildly spicy chilies—stuffed with a variety of ingredients.

There’s some debate about whether cheese or shredded meat is the most faithful interpretation of the dish; but in my encounters, queso’s the most ubiquitous.  In many Mexican kitchens, chile rellenos con queso (cheese-stuffed peppers) are frequently filled with Chihuahua or Oaxaca cheeses (although Monterey Jack’s a suitable U.S. substitute).  But as far as fillings go, there aren’t really any rules.  Example: I cherish a memory of “Maggie R”—a culinary acquaintance during my more formative days in Chicago—who introduced me to a version of chile rellenos stuffed with creamy mashed potatoes, and served with a roasted red pepper sauce (at the time, a delicious yet unthinkable medley for this novice young cook).  Check out more after the jump: (more…)

Guinness pot pie

When Irish eyes (and pies) are smiling

Originally appeared in the March 17, 2010 edition of the Southside Times.

I used to joke with my friends that drinking a Guinness was like drinking a steak.  So for this week’s installment—and in honor of St. Patrick’s Day—I decided to make them a pair.  More after the jump: (more…)

Goat cheese ravioli with herb cream sauce

Ravioli in a pinch

Originally appeared in the March 10, 2011 edition of the Southside Times.

Some culinarians are devout about traditional classifications of well-known specialties and the techniques employed to achieve the hallmarks those dishes.  Without doubt, among these purists are those who’d dare not deign subscription to a designation which fell short of that orthodox criteria.  Understandable.  To a great degree, I’m still one of these purists.  I wince each time I hear Guy Fieri’s ignoble brand of “gringo sushi.”  I mean, come on—pulled pork, French fries, wrapped in rice paper?  More after the jump: (more…)

Published in: on March 11, 2011 at 6:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,