Entries Tagged as 'potato'

Japanese Curry

May 20th, 2008 · 6 Comments

In the wintertime when it’s cold I love to make a pot of chili and let it cook all day. Just as much as Dallas and I like to make chili, a comfort food from my childhood, we also love to make Japanese curry stew, a comfort food from his childhood. It’s just as much a perfect winter comfort food a chili is.

Basically, you just need to buy the curry, which is available in the “ethnic” section of any supermarket, and follow the instructions on the back. We get beef and cut it up, or just buy beef stew meat, carrots, potatoes and maybe some onions.

Adam Kuban wrote a great piece on Japanese curry for Serious Eats. Oh, and remember these photos of the Japanese curry we had in Honolulu?

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Birthday Weekend

September 9th, 2007 · 8 Comments

This weekend has been a pretty good birthday weekend for me, not that it’s over and I’m not still trying to use it as an excuse to get Dallas to do things for me.

Birthday Menu at Spring
Special Birthday Menu at Spring, Wicker Park, Chicago

On Friday my parents sent me flowers and then on Friday night Dallas and I went out to eat at Spring, a restaurant in my old neighborhood that I’ve always wanted to try. Spring on North at Damen so I used to walk past it when I lived by Wicker Park. When I first moved here, though, Spring was a hot spot and you had to plan your reservations well in advance. Now that they’ve been around for 5 years I was able to make a same-day reservation. The chef at Spring is Shawn McClain and last year he won the James Beard award for Best Chef in the Midwest. Last year I also heard this Hungry Magazine interview with him and really was interested in going to one of his restaurants. Chef McClain has 3 restaurants in Chicago – Spring, Green Zebra (vegetarian), & Custom House (steak). Since I was most familiar with Spring, I chose that one for my birthday.

Spring Monkfish Special
Monkfish Special at Spring, Wicker Park, Chicago

Dallas and I split two appetizers at Spring. The Japanese Hamachi & Yellowfin Tuna Poke, which was made with aged soy sauce, toasted sesame oil and sweet chili, and the Scallop & Potato Raviolis with mushroom-black truffle reduction. We also split a Hawaiian Hearts of Palm salad with shaved fennel, shrimp, pickled oranges, & sansho peppercorn dressing. For an entree Dallas had the Pacific Black Cod with Chinese black bean-sake glaze, grilled hearts of palm and yuzu citrus sauce. I had an entree special that was made with monkfish over a reduction and a mixture of chopped potatoes and corn and a piece of pork belly. I commented that the pork belly tasted like bacon, which made Dallas laugh. I guess I never knew that bacon is made from pork belly. For dessert, Dallas had a tasting of 4 different uniquely flavored ice creams. I had the Valrhona Chocolate Baked Mousse Cake with olive oil ice milk and candied kalamata olives. I also had a white wine I really enjoyed. It was a 2006 wine from Wilamette Valley, Oregon called Junehog and made by the Ransom Wine Co.

Chocolate Mousse Cake at Spring
Chocolate Mousse Cake at Spring, Wicker Park, Chicago

Our meal at Spring was pricey, but I would recommend it to anyone celebrating a special occasion. We had a great time there. The food was delicious and all of the staff was very friendly. I think everyone working in the restaurant knew it was my birthday and made sure to say “Happy Birthday” when serving us or coming by the table.

Richard & Amanda
Richard & Amanda, Roscoe Village, Chicago

On Saturday we had all of our friends over for a barbecue. I didn’t realize until the day before that they were shutting Roscoe Street down for a festival on the same day. It caused some confusion with people coming to our house, but turned out ok. One person commented that coming towards our neighborhood they could hear a really loud band playing and thought, “that can’t be Rachelle’s party… ” Dallas and I got lunch at the fest with Jen, Chad and Quinn and then went home to pick up the house and get ready for everyone.

Michaela, Colleen, Christina & Dallas, Roscoe Village, Chicago

A lot of people cram things into these last summer weekends but I was happy that so many people could come over, even if just for a little bit before heading off somewhere else. I think we had a good combination of work friends, family, friends we see a lot, and friends we haven’t seen for quite some time. Thanks to everyone who came by to spend the evening with me and make my birthday happy! For some reason I only took a few photos of the night. I guess it’s a good thing, since that means I was enjoying myself and not really thinking about taking photos. Also thanks to everyone who couldn’t be here but still sent mail, text messages, voicemails & emails! See you guys soon!

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Dinner @ Crispo

June 16th, 2007 · 1 Comment

Crispo, Chelsea, Manhattan

Alden, Jeff, John
Alden, Jeff, John :: Crispo, Chelsea, Manhattan

Meat Equipment :: Crispo, Chelsea, Manhattan

Roast Beets, Pickled Onions, Goat Cheese :: Crispo, Chelsea, Manhattan

Salmon with Lemon-Roasted Potatoes :: Crispo, Chelsea, Manhattan

Last Thursday was our last dinner with the group while we were all out in New York. Jeannette had suggested Crispo as one of the options when we went out for dinner and then a coworker suggested it too, so we decided to try it out. I liked it, but I was underwhelmed. Because we had a large group they made us do this $45 prixe fixe and while I thought our firsts and desserts were fabulous, I think the main courses could have been better. But I really enjoyed the atmosphere and it’s not like the food was bad, I just would have rather not been tied to the prixe fixe and limited menu. I’d go back with a smaller group and order on my own.

Alden & His Smoking Friend :: Meatpacking District, Manhattan

Alden & his smoking friend
Alden & His Smoking Friend :: Meatpacking District, Manhattan

Chris – Not Impressed :: Meatpacking District, Manhattan

After Crispo, Alden made brief friends with some dude in the Meat packing District who, to “scam” Alden for a cigarette, challenged him to see who could roll the best cigarette. Alden smokes and always rolls his own, so the dual was on. I’m not sure who won. Also, there was brief simulated dumpster diving. I’m not sure I’m allowed to post that photo, but if you know him I’m sure you can guess who it was. After all this, we finally ended up at Pizza Bar for a couple drinks then called it a night.

I was also going to mention, and this isn’t as crazy as the people I ran into last weekend or earlier in the week, but on Thursday I ran into Mike at work. I’d forgotten he worked in the New York office and then when I emailled him he was in Japan. It was good to see him when he got back. I haven’t seen him in NY since we walked the High Line in 2004 and then when he came to my going away party a few weeks after that and once in Chicago in 2005 when he was in the city for a short time and we got together for lunch.

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