"The more pasisonate the cook, the better the flavors" -Charles M. Carroll

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Wedding Expo this Saturday

Hello friends, countrymen, brides, and brides-to-be, lend me your ear...

This weekend is the Wedding Expo at Thanksgiving Point from 10-6pm. Brides can pre-register or pay at the door. This is a great opportunity to get ideas, meet wedding professionals, and even start booking some things. Visit their website for more details.

When you visit Savory you get to try some of our amazing selections. We'll be serving our popular Pork Crostini and a new mocktail: a Brazillian Mojito. The crostini is a perfect blend of flavors and textures that will change your life! Then the mojito is an ideal drink for spring and summer weddings- a cool refreshing limeade with a hint of mint. 
Just one taste of our samples and you'll be sold on the quality and taste of our food. Stop by and we'll show you what we're all about!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Parsley is not just a Denny's decoration

When I say the word "Parsley", what comes to mind? Do you picture the curly dark green leaf that is featured on sub-par restaurant's fruit buffets? When you were younger, do you remember your mother telling you not to eat the curly leaf and that it was only "decoration for the food"?

If you do indeed recall these childhood memories about a dark green, curly, "non-edible" leaf then you do know what parsley is. Or rather, you know ONE TYPE of parsley.

The curly, bitter tasting offender

There is, however, another type of parsley- Italian Parsley. The Italian variety is a much better herb and we use a lot of it at Savory. It might just be one of our favorites. We use it with other herbs for an herb mixture, we chop it up and use it for garnishes, and we will flavor our food with it.

The superior form of parsley

Now, when picking up parsley at your local grocery store, it's easy to get it confused with Cilantro. Both have a similar leaf shape but cilantro has undertones of lime. Plus, it'll be labeled at the store. To mince, cut about halfway up the bundle and continue chopping until very small bits. You don't need to tear off each of the individual leaves, but don't include all of the stems, either. 

Use fresh Italian parsley in your cooking! It goes well with chicken, herbed bread, noodle soup, and many other dishes. Using fresh herbs will give off more flavor than dried herbs, and it will make your run-of-the-mill chicken dinner morph into a superb meal.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Irish Cuisine

St. Patrick's Day is approaching! Although it is not a national holiday in the US, we still celebrate one of Ireland's patron saints. Though celebrations might have been different in the past- probably with more religious undertones- it's common now to wear green, shamrocks, and drink Guinness all night long. For the US, it's a celebration of Irish and Irish American culture.

The Chicago river is even celebrating St. Patricks Day.

In the spirit of St. Patrick's Day, and as this is primarily a food-based blog, I thought I'd share some traditional Irish cuisine with you. Growing up, the only food that I thought that fit St. Patrick's day were the food that were green- naturally or artificial. But after some preliminary research my understanding was expanded.

Traditionally, Irish cuisine is simple with cheap ingredients. It reflects the culture, wealth, prosperity (or lack of it) of the Irish past. Most people didn't have access to exotic ingredients and a lot of people were poor. The people used what they could find and wasted nothing. Irish cuisine uses few ingredients and is marked by the potato and bacon or ham, I'll highlight just a few traditonal Irish foods:

First up is Colcannon, consisting mainly of mashed potatoes and kale or cabbage. It's often eaten with ham or bacon and was used as a year-round staple.

Soda Bread. The Irish didn't have a lot of yeast so their bread has baking soda as the leavening agent. Again, the bread has just a few ingredients and sometimes they will make a variation which includes sultanas or raisins in the bread, called Barmbrack.

Soda bread with it's trademark "X"                 Barmbrack is now a popular dish for Halloween

We can't mention Irish cuisine without mentioning Coddle. It's more like a pot roast than a stew. Coddle is braised in the stock produced by boiling rashers (essentially bacon) and sausages. It also has potatoes, onions, and barley. It's considered a comfort food and was often served in the winter months. Contemporary dishes will often include carrots.

Guinness is also very Irish. In 2007, it was said that Guinness was the best selling alcoholic drink in Ireland and is used a lot in cooking. It is a dry stout and is marked for a "burnt flavor" that comes from roasting unmalted barley.

Other traditional Irish cuisine includes, Cottage pie, Boxy, Champ, Black pudding and many more.

Try some of these traditional Irish dishes for your celebration of St. Patrick's Day

Monday, March 11, 2013

Action Station

The latest and greatest from the culinary world are action stations.
For those not "in the know", action stations are a place at the event where a Chef prepares your food right in front of you! These are great for custom orders or items that need to be served immediately. 

Last year we had a coconut shrimp action station:

Our Chef fried the coconut shrimp fresh for your order! This ensured that the shrimp was crispy and not dull and limp.

We had a spicy-sweet dipping sauce that paired well with the coconut shrimp. Guests also loved the interaction with the chef. It was hands-on, fun, and delicious.

Adding an action station to your event lets your guests have a unique experience. No longer is it boring food spread out on a platter, but rather something they can customize.

These are fun Chef action station ideas:

Sweet crepes: fresh fruit, chocolate spreads, whipped spreads, all served on a fresh crepe.

Grilled panini bar: you get to choose the meat, cheese, and vegetables for your sandwich!

Gelato bar: perfect refreshing treat for any summer event, served in a mini cone.  Think of serving flavors like lavender, toasted sesame seed, salted caramel gelato, grapefruit, root beer, raspberry, lime, mint chocolate chip, pistachio, etc.

Gourmet Grilled cheese bar: great for casual events where the guests can add as much variety as they want to this kid's classic. 

Talk with Chef Lou today about the action station you want at your next event.