To Market with Mo: Eat Your Pea...Tendrils Please.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Meandering thru the market this morning I was drawn to, okay admittedly alot of things, but need to find some focus, a pile of beautifully bundled greens with delicate curling tendrils.  Ah, the precursor to peas (who will be making their debut in June) - pea tendrils.  So fresh and green and shouting Spring, their time at the farmers markets is NOW, so stop eyeing the lovely mini tarts across the aisle and get back to choosing the perfect bunch of pea tendrils.

Pea tendrils are the shoots and leaves of the snow pea plant.  A spring delicacy that has the subtle sweetness of the pea, but crisp.  Look for tendrils that are young and tender.  How can you tell they aren't too mature you ask. Hint: if they have flowers on them that is pretty good indication that the stems and tendrils might be tough.  No worries, just remove the tougher stems and tendrils.

Pea tendrils do note keep well (hence, sadly, not seeing them on too many restaurant menus) so if you pick up a bunch from the market I would advice preparing that day or at the latest the next.  Trust me on this, it is heartbreaking to fins the forgotten, withered bunch of pea tendrils at the bottom of the crisper drawer.

And honestly, preparation couldn't be easier.  Use pea tendrils as you would other greens: sauteed in butter, stir-fried, in soups, or raw as or in a salad with a light vinaigrette. A favorite in Chinese kitchens, where pea tendrils are referred to as dau miu, simply stir-fried in hot oil and garlic until just wilted and ta da - done.

Taking my own advice, for once, I got my market treasures home and, inspired to make a simple stir-fry, I bumped it up with a few more market finds.  The following results ina great lunch, plain or served over rice or a nice side for dinner.

Pea Tendrils, Greens and Shiitake Stir-Fry
1 bunch pea tendrils
1 bunch red mustard greens
1 bunch of chinese broccoli or broccoli rabe
1 cup sliced mushrooms (I used an assortment from the River Valley Kitchen's 'surprise' bag)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
splash of dry sherry

Trim stems of pea tendrils, mustards, and broccoli rabe.  I left the greens whole but you can give them a rough chop if you like.

Heat oil in large fry pan or wok until hot, hot hot. Add green garlic and mushrooms and cook for approximately one minute.  Add the oyster sauce to coat the mushrooms.  Add all of the greens and cook until just wilted.  Finish with a pinch of salt and a splash of dry sherry.
Serve as a side or over white rice.  

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Blogger suse said...
Well,the writing is delicious and I may well be inspired to try this recipe, which would be quite a departure from my lifestyle modus operandi. But, a good writer can inspire such that those of us with two left hands and two left thumbs in the kitchen might find something those two left hands and two left thumbs can actually do.
May 27, 2009 3:32 PM  

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"About Last Night..." Gia finds Beaches & Margaritas

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

FRESH and TASTY was all that came to mind after my first sip of the Adobo Margarita made with 100% Blue Agave tequila, and the guacamole prepared tableside at Adobo Grill on Wells. Still sporting the sun and sand from crushing the volleyball at North Ave Beach all day, it was time to sit back and take that first, and perhaps most dangerous sip of this famous Margarita. Not much of a tequila fan (unless done in shots...much later in the evening) I was hesitant, but curious about the taste of this potent concoction.  My lips were smacking after the first sip. Our waiter had me at "Blue, as in Agave"...not sure how the evening would go I simply motioned "keep em coming".   
Adobo Grill was hopping.  The red and orange walls were vibrating and the artwork and lighting were brilliant and inviting.  An avid art fan, I especially appreciated the Frida Kahlo portrait hung at the bar.  But I digress....
The guacamole was bursting with fresh lime and cilantro, and the chips were served with four different salsas, each with distinct flavors.  An entree with both a unique and robust flavor was Arrachera Adobada, which is grilled flank steak in a tomato based sauce with refried beans, grilled tomatoes and onions.  All dishes come with homemade tortillas so anything can be wrapped and devoured.  The entire meal had a common theme of lime, cilantro and the juiciest of tomatoes and smoky flavors.  Another smart choice was Cochinita Pibil, which was marinated pork roast in a banana leaf, with black beans and a Mexican BBQ sauce...mmmmm tangy.
Indeed those Margaritas kept coming and though I was still dusting off sand, it was time to put that Blue Agave to good use and get a little Salsa going....sans the date if he couldn't keep up!

Adobo Grill is located at 1610 N. Wells St. 312.266.7999 or 2005 W. Division St. 773.252.1834

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
more pictures of your destinations please. thanks. D
May 30, 2009 9:43 AM  

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West Loop's Market Bar Finally Has Full Line Up

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Three weeks a go the buzz was humming about Market, the new West Loop sports bar that was opening on Randolph Street. Chicago White Sox GM Kenny Williams is supposedly part owner of the new venue along with two other Chicago restaurateurs. Unfortunately, on opening night the restaurant was serving food, but not beer, wine or cocktails, due to the lack of a liquor license. However, last week Market received the green light from the city and is making up for time lost by serving great cocktails to complement their terrific food.

Market is a multi-faceted restaurant and sports bar that offers guests traditional American classics with an aesthetic flair by Chef Joe Rosetti. The menu boasts a variety of appetizers, salads, specialty sandwiches, pizza, burgers and main dishes. Chef Rosetti’s cuisine is definitely above average compared to other recently opened luxury sports bar in the city. The “Mac and Cheese Muffins” and “Popcorn Shrimp” are must have starters. Their braised beef and BBQ pulled pork “Sliders” are not only very tasty, but plentiful. Sanwedges to try are “The Body Builder”, piled high with oven roasted turkey and “The Strip Club”, consisting of Chile rubbed chicken and peppered bacon. If you like turkey burgers, then try “The Herky”, served with avocado and thick cut turkey bacon and truffled fries. Folks are raving about the “Mustard and Maple Glazed Salmon” main dish and the giant chocolate chip dessert served warm a la mode style. There really isn’t a dish that is not worth trying at Market and you will forget that it’s supposed to be bar food.

Market’s main dining room is sports bar chic and has a casual vibe. The first floor features 20 42′ inch flat screen televisions and one 92′ inch projection screen. They have three outdoor places to eat and drink, including the Beer Garden, Rooftop Lounge and Sidewalk Cafe. The summer months should make this a great place to hang and enjoy great weather and food.

Market is located at 1113 W. Randolph in the West Loop. The restaurant opens for lunch at 11 am. Log onto for more information. Watch Fete Select TV on for an inside look into the newest and hottest restaurants in Chicago.

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Gastrogasmic Dining at Table 52 With Kellye

It was supposed to be better the second time. Everyone said give it another shot. A girlfriend said that it’s always awkward the first time and I needed to give it time to get better. My only thought was, “it’s a restaurant not the birds and the bees.” So I did. I waited over six months to take a trip back to Art Smith’s Table 52. The little greystone was jammed. People waiting to be seated? Maybe it would be better this time! The reviews had certainly improved so what did I have to lose? After taking a long look at the fancified Southern favorites I was pleased. The menu had evolved and read like a Low Country cookbook. Chef Smith had brought favorites like pork chops, greens, grits and jambalaya to the menu and dressed them up with a price fitting this Gold Coast restaurant.

We began with the Low-Country shrimp and stone ground grits. When they arrived I was pleased. The grits were topped off with four large shrimp sautéed beautifully and then topped with a smattering of roasted red peppers that brought my taste buds to attention. The grits were creamy and buttery, dense without being chewy. The shrimp popped when I bit into it and made me hungrier for what awaited. Little did I know I should’ve had another order of grits and called it a night. Next came the quail. Two adorable little birds, arrived with grill marks (I love these) and a generous serving of carrots, braised legumes and onions. I thought it would be impossible for a chef of such high caliber to destroy something as simple as vegetables. Even my mother, who would rather make reservations than a home cooked meal, has mastered braising and sautéing vegetables. The quail while tender and generous in proportion was flavor free. Art Smith, meet Salt and his wife Pepper. The ancho-chile crusted pork chop with butter beans and brussel sprout leaves looked quite appealing on the menu so I was quite anxious to taste it. It arrived in perfect time. Prepared medium rare just as it should but completely overdone with the heavy ancho-chile crust. I tasted the smokiness of the chile and lots of salt. It only took two bites before I needed to be reassured that my name wasn’t Bullwinkle and that we had indeed ordered a pork chop. Not a salt lick. How could the appetizer have been so good and the mains making me wish I’d stayed home with leftover Chinese and a Law and Order marathon?

Thankfully dessert saved me from my hunger. I dove into Chef Smith’s Hummingbird cake. The symphony of pineapple cake with banana icing repeated over several layers was the life boat of this dinner. It was Gastrogasmic. Sweet chunks of pineapple fell out of the cake and begged to wrapped in the homemade vanilla ice cream. Hummingbird cake is the new crack.

While the wine list is studded with obscure international picks and the stateside selections are what you’d expect. Well priced bottles and glass pours were a welcome surprise considering the dining menu.

Table 52
52 West Elm
Chicago, IL 60610

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The Health Conscious Foodie - Wrap it in GREEN!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The missing link in the S.A.D. or Standard American Diet is everything green. This explains a lot of the ailments that most Americans choose to tolerate day to day. Green foods can support most bodily functions, boost energy levels, and eliminate toxins such as heavy metals, which can weaken our tissues and lead to disease over time.

Green foods such as kale, collards, spinach watercress, bok choy, napa cabbage, and mustard greens have many nutritional benefits. They have been shown to support cellular metabolism, and because they are naturally alkaline, they help to neutralize excess acidity, which is a common problem with the standard American diet.

No movement, no problem. Another notable benefit of green foods has to do with digestion. When taken regularly, they have been shown to improve the way in which we process all the foods we eat. Good digestion and absorption of nutrients is necessary in order for nutrients to be absorbed into our blood stream and then delivered to our cells. This is key in achieving optimum health. The digestive enzymes and other nutrients often found in green foods help this process by increasing regularity and keeping our digestive tract operating efficiently.

Optimum health involves providing our bodies with the best possible nutrients for maintaining cellular wellness and function. Greens products should be part of everyone’s foundation for good health, and come in a variety of sources for multiple uses. They can be mixed with juices, water, or blended into a smoothie with other things such as apples, bananas, berries, and/or protein powders for a complete meal replacement.

Collard Greens are large in size and great to use as wraps. They are low in calories and fat, packed with vitamins A, C, E, and K, and are a great source of insoluble fiber. Load a collard green up with anything you would usually throw in wrap. Think of your favorite grilled chicken wrap and instead of using a tomato-basil wrap, supplement with the collard green. Collards are plentiful, last in the fridge, and are so inexpensive. You can get a bunch of Collard Greens for under a dollar at your local jewel.
Do your body good and go green!


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"About Last Night..." Gia finds "Joie de Vivre"

As I crossed onto Hubbard Street in a dress and sandals fit for a night at the famous Brasserie Jo I couldn't help but feel like I just stepped off the Euro Star for a night in France.  The Hostess greeted us with a delightful French accent, and in an effort to impress her I brushed off the few phrases I learned on a CD once..."Bonsoir Madame...Merci".  Pretty sure I wasn't fooling her, clearly from Chicago. 
She led us to the bar where we enjoyed delicious Chateau Laronde Desormes Bordeaux.  This was my first Bordeaux and it was like velvet.  I sipped it and swirled around to enjoy this beautiful establishment.  the lighting was soft and romantic, with lots of burning candles, and sexy music from Cafe del Mar.  This had all the beginnings of a lovely evening.
We began our meal with Escargots en Cocotte, basted in butter and parsley (tons of garlic...daters beware), but amazing texture and creamy flavor.  This was followed by White Skate Fish and Spinach Florentine.  They likened the fish to that of a Sting Ray, which I had to have out of pure curiosity.  It was somewhat flat and wide and had a light but almost chicken like texture surrounded by potatoes and a buttery, caper sauce.   Chef Joho came out to greet us and talk about his exquisite food empire and his passion was palpable.  We indulged in desert, complements of the Chef, Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate, and Creme Caramel.  Thank goodness my dress was loose because this menu was not designed for super models.
Between the Bordeaux, the ambiance, and the cuisine, there was no doubt this restaurant brought out a certain "Joie de Vivre".  As for me, delightfully full but still "le fait de chercher l'amour"....looking for love.

Brasserie Jo is located at 59 W. Hubbard, Chicago, IL 60654 312.595.0800
Also visit Everest and the Eiffel Tower by Chef Joho 


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To Market with Mo: 'Tis Rhubarb

Monday, May 18, 2009

May 18, 2009

Confession. I HATED rhubarb as a kid. As much as I loved pie (and all sweets) I couldn't get past where I had to harvest the rhubarb from: a large manure pile behind our barn. Why would I consume something that grew in a manure pile? NOT.  Did not matter how incredible my mom's pie was and that strawberries were involved, the suspect rhubarb stopped any bite of pie from entering my mouth. And trust me, I was not a picky eater as a child...or now.

A long ago gift of rhubarb plants, for my garden, from my father-in-law helped me get past my aversion.  And so I gave the stalks a try. 

Besides asparagus, rhubarb is another indicator that a long winter is behind us, and the world around will turn shades of new green and the days will be warmer and longer.

"Pie Plant" as rhubarb is affectionately known, is botanically a vegetable but 'swings both ways' as fruit & veg, and has edible stalks that vary in color from green to deep red (do not eat the leafs as they are toxic to humans).  Believe it or not the green stalked have a more robust just happened to become more popular thru the years...prettier I suppose.

Popular as a pie, a cobbler or crisp, stewed or as a jam, rhubarb stands up well to savory sides, salads and main course dishes.  When the first stalks of rhubarb arrive at the Farmers Market I quickly get them home, chop them up, put in a pot with equal parts of sugar, a few dashes of cinnamon and ginger and a sprinkle of water to cook it all down until it is nice and jammy. Perfect on a slice of toast and even better on a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  But after a conversation with Joel from Green Acres, at Green City Market this past week, I was inspired to go savory. The following recipe is the result.

Rhubarb Shallot Vinagrette*
2-3 medium stalks of rhubarb
1 tablespoon of sugar
1/2 cup plus scant amount olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced shallot
1/3 cup white wine vinegar (NB: if you run our of white wine vinegar the flat champagne buried forgotten in the back of the fridge stands in remarkably well)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut rhubarb into 1 inch pieces. Coat with olive oil and sugar. Place on baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes or until soft.

Put rhubarb (be sure to scrape al the yummy caramelized bits off the baking sheet as well) in food processor or blender. Puree rhubarb. Add shallots, vinegar, salt and pepper and blend together. Slowly stream in the olive oil. Viola, vinagrette!

*Drizzle on a perfect head of butter lettuce (Iron Creek Farm has beautiful heads of the lettuce right now) for a simple salad.  Or try the salad I made for lunch today: Thinly sliced raw asparagus, french breakfast radishes (from Green Acres), leftover roasted heirloom potatoes (from Nichols Farm) , diced shallots or green onion, salt & pepper to taste, all tossed with the Rhubarb Shallot vinagrette and topped with some roasted chicken and garnished with radish sprouts (from Tiny Greens). Yum.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Mo - I jut love that you are doing this and I appreciate a good rhubarb recipe that is not just a pie - BL
May 20, 2009 12:52 PM  
Blogger captainjohn said...
OK, here's one for you, Moira. Your Great Granny, Mary Herbert Tuffy, grew rhubarb in the yard behind Greenpoint Avenue during WWII when she got trapped here due to sea travel being shut down after her visit to attend the '38 World's Fair in New York. Don't remember how she prepared them as I was a wee lad, but think it was just served as a vegetable, ala sauteed celery.
Love, Dad
May 21, 2009 1:19 PM  

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Gastrogasmic Dining at Eve With Kellye

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I recently had a serious craving for a good, juicy burger. It was imperative that I got a great burger before the week was out. Of course we’ve all seen the ads and read the press about “amazing hamburgers” in posh restaurants. Chefs will top, insulate, infuse and marinate their designer burgers with everything. Caviar, 20 year old French cheeses, Trappist monk beer, lobster, Asian pears, carrots and sauerkraut have all found their way between the beef and a bun.

Like any other reasonable carnivore I love my beef. It’s a staple of my diet and I don’t need a lot of hoopla to go with a classic meal. I’m easy when it comes to the hamburger. Swiss cheese and crispy bacon. So the question remained, where? Where could I go to find nirvana on a plate? What restaurant wouldn’t charge me $27 for Wisconsin beef and their idea of fancy mushrooms? More importantly, where would the service be good too?

Generic chain restaurants were out. I needed something that would make me take pause. A burger so good that I might just eat the whole thing.
It came in a flash, Eve. It was two blocks from my house and I’ve never had a bad meal there.

Much to my surprise, Executive Chef Troy Graves has added classic Korean spice to an American favorite. The Bulgogi Burger. In Korea bulgogi consists of strips of sirloin marinated in sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar and garlic, grilled to temperature then laid on a bed of noodles and vegetables. At Eve, Chef Graves has added green onions and shallots into his sirloin patty and for extra an kick, laid the burger on bed of Kimchee, and topped it all off with a hard fried egg.

The order was in. I would have classic Korea and American on a plate. Rome wasn’t built in a day so be patient. Each burger is made to order. This includes onion and shallot dicing, patty forming and then grilling.

In the past I’ve struggled with the bun to burger and toppings ratio. I’ve found that there is always too much bun. So I’ve started making a “nest” for my burgers. If the kitchen won’t do it I will. I just scoop out the excess bread in the top of the bun, and then I’m left with a little dome for which my beefy treat can rest in easily. The bun for the Bulgogi was perfect, it allowed the flavors of the egg, beef and kimchee to take center stage and refuses to be masked by unnecessary starch. It was, gastrogasmic. After my first bite all of my senses where ignited. Literally. The fiery kimchee made my tongue spark and only added to the intensity of the onion and shallot laced beef. The meat was cooked to perfection (medium rare) and the juices of the meat ran down my hand. It was exactly what I was looking for. I’m not one of those people who make noise when the food is good. I just enjoy the experience but this was other worldly. I was speechless. At one point my server asked me how it was and all I could do was nod my head and make some noise that resembled the satisfaction I feel in other adult situations!

840 N. Wabash Ave. (btw Pearson and Chestnut)
Chicago, IL 60611

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Oooo la la
May 13, 2009 10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Sounds "delish" for a meet eater, but can they satisfy a vegetarian?
Good article Kellye, keep writing.

May 14, 2009 8:29 AM  

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"About Last Night.." Small Bar meets Goose Gia Claire

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I recently became aware of a significant menu change at “Small Bar” on Division. With burgers named "Lawnboy, Bacon B' Looza, and Hellfire". I was in. While I do love to fancy up to a dirty martini in a sexy LBD, the test of true love, or at least a good date can occur in a place like this.

So I'm walkin into Small Bar, enjoying the comfort of my True Religion jeans, and flip flops feeling just the right amount of bass to drown out the game on the plasma, sorry guys. I'm admiring the wait staff adorned in tattoos, and piercings, and they all appear to be having fun...I like this.

I'm starting to think that if the date goes South, I could stay, show my tattoo for entry into the "fun club" and finish out the night.

Most impressive about "Small Bar" is the GINORMOUS amount of micro brews. With complete lack of knowledge or interest in hops, I make selections based on names...much like I might choose a team based on colors. "Flying Dog Doggie Style"…"Skull Splitter"...and "Brewdog Punk", and the most dangerous burger on the menu..."Hellfire". Bring it on.

This burger boasted hot pepper cheese, pickled jalapenos, fried onion rings and a spicy sauce. Alas my brews…and while the server explained the ingredients, and YES they all tasted different, I must say, not for me. I was sporting a slight warmness from the beer when the Hellfire arrived. Delicious. Hot.

I realized that the tingle of the beer combined with the spice of the Hellfire made for neither a fancy date nor a meaningful conversation due to the fire on my lips and the vast amounts of water I was gulping down. I cleaned the plate. No apologies. But next time…no skinny jeans.

Small Bar is located at 2049 W. Division, Chicago, IL 60622 773.772.2727

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Anonymous M.A. Mckenna Bryan said...
Small Bar sounds great, the food sounds delicious but it appears as if you would have more fun hanging out with a girlfriend and taking in the view of the waitstaff and other diners! Great spicy review!
May 13, 2009 4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Ooh, my mouth is watering just thinking about that spicy burger and a frosty mug. Can't wait to go - thanks, Gia!
May 13, 2009 5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...
I have driven by Small Bar and wondered about it. Thanks to this fun, detailed and amusing review. My husband and I will be there this weekend!!! Thanks Gia for the review! I can take the beer and smell the burgers already.
May 15, 2009 7:24 AM  

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"Dine With D.C." Week 4 Menu

Monday, May 11, 2009

The fourth and final "Dine With D.C." series is this Wednesday May 13th. Guests have been been floored by the culinary creations of Chef Jordan Sprtiz of Jordan's Food of Distinction. Please join us at the JFOFD for an intimate private dinner in Jordan's kitchen studio (1551 W. Thomas St). Only 20 guests allowed for the $65 per person dinner. The menu is below and includes unlimited cocktails and wine. Please RSVP to to reserve a seat at the table. Please inform us if you have any food or allergy restrictions at the time of your RSVP.

Butter Milk Poached White Asparagus with Aged Bresola and
Warm Organic B.B Santé Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1st Course
Creamy Velvet Heirloom Tomato – Fennel Bisque with
Marinated Grilled Romaine Hearts and Chive Scented Humboldt Fog Goats Cheese

Organic “Farmer Joe” Baby Watercress with Shallot Scented Roasted Garlic Cream and Slow Braised Easter Egg Radish – Soy Bean Sprout Salad

Shallow White Peach Cider Poahed European Turbot with
s & s Caramelized Bartle Pear Puree and Asiago “ Consommé”

Handmade Hon ji Minji Ravioli with
Truffle Scented Wild Blue Trumpet - Oyster Mushroom Ragout and
Organic Caper – Citrus Raisin – Brown Butter Emulsion

Assorted Tropical Fruit Gelato with
Organic Citrus - Blackberry Glee and Sweet Basil “Cappuccino”

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TO Market with Mo: Asparagus has Sprung

Tuesday,  May 12, 2009

Spring has sprung and ushered in the official opening of the Farmers Market season in Chicago!  And the first thing to catch my eye on my first market visit of the season? One of the oldest cultivated plants in the civilized world: Asparagus. 

Long considered a delicacy and one of the first signs of spring, how asparagus fell into obscurity during the Middle Ages is beyond me, but my gratitude to Louis XIV for rediscovering and popularizing in the 18th century.

At Chicago's Green City Market asparagus from Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois are overflowing the farmer's stands.  Green and my personal favorite, purple (which has a fruitier flavor) are available at the Farmers Markets now thru the end of June.

Pick out firm asparagus stems that have a uniform diameter, closed tips, and cut ends that are not woody and dried out.  Farm fresh pencil thin, medium and larger diameter are all wonderfully tasty but contrary to popular belief the larger diameter are the tenderest (and I find stand up to grilling and roasting much better).

I love asparagus steamed, sauteed, stir-fried, pickled, microwaved, as soup, but most of all, grilled or roasted.  Grilling and roasting bring out asparagus' sweetness.

Here is an easy and lite breakfast, lunch or dinner entree that conjures up al fresco dining in Spain. I like to sprinkle a pinch of Black Truffle Salt after plating the a word: devine.

Buen Provecho!

Roasted Asparagus & Eggs
(serves 4) 
1 bunch of medium diameter asparagus
1 Tablespoon & scant drizzle of olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse salt (kosher or sea)
cracked black pepper (to taste)
4 large fresh eggs (try the duck eggs from Mint Creek Farms - delicious)
2 oz. shaved manchego or parmesan cheese
Balsamic Vinegar (to drizzle)
Black Truffle Salt (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet toss asparagus with 1 T olive oil. Season with salt & pepper. Bake until asparagus is lightly browned and tender, about 15 minutes (timing will vary depending on thickness of the asparagus. Closer to 10-12 minutes for pencil thin spears).
Heat a scant amount of olive oil in a fry pan over medium heat. Crack eggs into pan and cook until just set sunnyside up.
Divide asparagus among four plates. Top each plate of asparagus with an egg, shaved parmesan, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a small pinch of black truffle salt.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Mo-Thanks for sharing! Looks fabulous - can't wait to try!

May 18, 2009 5:13 PM  
Blogger captainjohn said...
OK, Moira, I have one for you. How about asparagus cut no more than 30 minutes from the garden. The taste...the tenderness...the wonder.
May 19, 2009 5:59 PM  

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To Market With Mo

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

My favorite season in Chicago is almost here: outdoor Farmers Market season! I love to wine and dine out as much as anyone but, getting to the source and seeing produce fresh from the farm? Inspirational. For me that beats a plated dish anyday (ok, almost)...Farmers Market season is mood altering for me....mopey and sad when the season ends....and beyond giddy when the season starts in May.

I love to cook. More precisely, cooking when inspired by visits to the Farmers Market. I can barely sleep on Friday evenings (yes, I go to the a Saturday morning market, bright and early) just waiting to get up and go to the Farmers Market for the first pick of farm fresh produce. Everything beautifully displayed by the farmers that grew them - gorgeous.

So as someone who prefers to get your meals served to you, and not from your kitchen, you are asking, “why the heck would I go to the Farmers Market?” Let me tell you...for the opportunity to experience what fresh picked produce actually tastes like. So many things to enjoy without having to turn on the stove or the oven - strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches, apples and a tomato that wasn’t grown in a hothouse. Ah, but I digress...if nothing else go to spy your favorite chef shopping for the meal you have a reservation for.

We can’t always dine out. We still want to eat healthy and delicious food. And we want to eat ‘green’. Come join me every week as I find inspiration at the Chicago area Farmers Markets: meeting the farmers, sharing my finds and tasty executable recipes.

The Green City Market kicks off the outdoor Chicago Farmers Market season this Wed, May 6th (

See you at the Market!


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Anonymous Anonymous said...
This is cool! Maybe you could come out to the Mt Prospect farmers market sometime. We are going to be there with Votre Vu! I'll let you know when I'm there. Can't wait to see your next update!
May 6, 2009 1:45 PM  
Blogger FairOne said...
Absolutely agree! Summer produce at a Farmer's Market is so vastly different from the vegetables you find in a grocery store. One of the best Farmer's Markets I ever visited was the one around Capitol Square because it is the essence of the whole hippy/granola/birkenstock experience!
May 6, 2009 2:20 PM  

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Week 3 Menu for "Dine With D.C."

Monday, May 4, 2009

The first two "Dine With D.C." private dinners have been amazing. Please join us for the third of four private dining series featuring Executive Chef Jordan Spritz of Jordan's Food of Distinction. The "Dine With D.C." dinner is hosted at the JFOFD intimate private kitchen studio (1551 W. Thomas St.) and only allows up to 20 guests. At $65 per person, the menu is below and includes unlimited cocktails and wine. Please RSVP to to reserve a seat at the table. Please inform us if you have any food or allergy restrictions.

Fresh Ginger Scented Honeydew Melon Soup with Spicy Candied Pineapple and Creamy Hawaiian Farms Goats Milk Feta Cream

Hand Made Miniature Marinated Rock Lobster Tortellini with Extra Virgin Olive Oil Poached Baby Organic Leeks and Saffron Scented White Wine - Shellfish Broth

Spring Tribute

Crispy Pancetta Crusted British Isles Monk Fish Tail with Caramelized Parsnip Fondue and Lemon Citrus Scented Edaname

A Study in Caramel
Warm Milk Caramel Custard Tartlet with Mediterranean Sea Salted Burnt Caramel Ice Cream and Miniature Crispy Fried Cactus Honey Caramel Tortellini

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