The final dish made with the 14-pound turkey was a delicious turkey chili made by Husband. He used all of the leftover dark meat. Ok, he used all of the dark meat; neither of us eat dark meat. We've had a few turkey chilis in the past, and unlike beef, turkey in tomato-based chili doesn't hold up very well; it's just another ingredients. In this chili, it's there, and it's the star. Watch out so that you don't make this one too hot. If you do, then all you taste is burning.
Name: Zamarro Chenin Blanc-Torrontes 2009 Vineyard/Winemaker: Zamarro Origin: Mendoza, Argentina Varietal: Chenin Blanc, Torrontes Pairs with: Salad, shellfish, poultry When I drank it: A quick buy for cooking/drinking with dinner. What I thought: Tart and fruity; it's taste reflects the price. Not terrible but not complex. What the critic says: Pale silvery gold color. Aromas of white peach, nutshell, and sheepskin. Soft and silky with a tangy fruity-yet-dry medium body. Green apple skin and lemon spritz notes round this out nicely. A nice summer sipper. -Tastings.com Approximate cost: $3.99 Where to buy: Retail like CVS, other retail locations
Brunch is growing on me. I may have mentioned that brunch sometimes irks me because the meal usually involves waiting for a table in the crowded doorway of a restaurant, and the food is fine but not worth $15-$20. Lately, I've been finding more and more places on Open Table for brunch, and it can be an enjoyable experience, as long as you're not seated next to a screaming baby (another common brunch item). My friend Katie and I had a very nice time at Cafe 28, a Cuban restaurant just a short jaunt from my home. It was busy, but with reservations, we walked right in and to our table. Katie ordered the always delicious chilaquiles with grilled chicken on the side.
Name: Black Swan Riesling 2009 Vineyard/Winemaker: Black Swan Wine Origin: South Eastern Australia Varietal: Riesling Pairs with: Desserts (yes, please), salads, standard poultry or pork dishes, When I drank it: It was one of those days, and I picked it up on the way home from work. What I thought: It certainly wasn't the most complex Riesling I've ever tasted, but it did the trick. It was certainly cost effective. What the winemaker says: A typical Australian Riesling, it is crisp and dry with a pleasing citrus acidity, making it a perfect accompaniment for lightly spiced dishes and seafood. Approximate cost: $4.99 Where to buy: Retail like CVS, Premier Wines, Marketview Liquor
Can I just express my interest in spring? I mean, winter is part of life as a Chicagoan, but I'd really prefer to do my daily commute (approximately 40 minutes of walking to/from trains daily) when I'm not freezing my butt off. However, if I must endure another week of this mess, at least I can make Husband and I a warm, comforting dish that involves squash and carbs, my two favorite food groups during the winter. This one comes to us from Martha Stewart, who was probably knitting her 25 huskies sweaters while conjuring up this killer recipe.
Name: Vivalda Massimiliano Guaragna 2007 Vineyard/Winemaker: Vivalda Massimiliano Origin: Nizza Monferrato, Asti, Italy Varietal: Barbera, Freisa Pairs with: Duck, red or white meat in tomato or vinegar sauce When I drank it: Italian wine, Italian food! Spiced up my otherwise bland pasta with some of this beauty. By the way, it's got some bubbles! What I thought: I keep saying it, someone please teach me about Italian wine because there are some great ones out there (such as this one). What the winemaker says: This Barbara is fragrant and winy, with numerous sensations of red fruits. Extraordinarily vivacious flavor, quite fresh, full-bodied and soft quality, incredibly versatile. Pairs well with a wide range of dishes. -Vinolist Approximate cost: N/A Where to buy: I cannot seem to find a place to buy this wine, yet I managed to get a bottle somehow.
The majority of the food establishments in our new neighborhood are bar/grills, heavy on the bars, but we also have a Cuban place, a crepe joint, Korean, Chinese, contemporary American, and we stumbled upon this sushi/noodle restaurant, Choi's Roll Sushi.
I mentioned in a previous post that Husband and I both planned butternut squash risottos from the same round of grocery shopping, and his ended up besting mine (but don't tell him that). Even though his was better, mine was still pretty yummy and probably healthier, as it incorporated barley instead of rice. As a mushroom fan, I also liked the giant pile of shiitake shrooms that went into the mix. Behold the beauty of this worthy runner-up risotto.
One of the obvious perks of moving to our new neighborhood is the prioximity of some great restaurants. We have so many more choices within walking distance, one of them being Chalkboard on Lincoln just south of Montrose.