Grange Hall Burger Bar Restaurant Review

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This new burger restaurant popped up on the ever growing strip of Randolph Street between Halsted and Ogden.  They use wonderful grass fed hormone free beef and you can literally taste the freshness and the difference.  We loved that you got to pick your meat ( beef, turkey, veggie)- size of patty ( 6oz or 9oz), type of bun, cheese and additional toppings. They come with mayo/ mustard/ ketchup/ pickles/ lettuce/ tomato/ onion- BUT you can make great combos like Jason’s ( pictured) that has local applewood smoked bacon and a fried egg on top.  Their sides are so unique and really flavorful- the fennel baked beans are awesome with bacon, and white onions, and the Cucumber Ranch-style potato salad with lots of egg and green peppers will inspire our own potato salad to get an update!  Check them out:  http://www.grangehallburgerbar.com/

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Strawberry-Cucumber Mocktail

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Cucumber-Lemonade Mocktail

Adapted heavily from Food and Wine
  • TOTAL TIME: 10 MIN
  • SERVINGS: MAKES 2 DRINKS
  1. 2 paper-thin, lengthwise slice of European cucumber, for garnish
  2. Ice
  3. 2 sliced strawberries
  4. 1 tablespoon honey
  5. 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  6. 1 cup fresh cucumber juice (see Note)
  7. 1/2 cup chilled carbonated water
  1. Press the cucumber slice against the inside of a chilled highball glass and add ice. In a cocktail shaker, muddle honey, lemon juices and 1 tablespoon of water until the syrup is dissolved. Add ice, then add the cucumber juice and shake well. Strain into the prepared glass and stir in the carbonated water. Garnish with strawberry slices.
  2. NOTE: for Cucumber juice, add one whole English Cucumber to your food processor and whirl it down till smooth, then pour through a fine mesh sieve to get the juice!

Sage Rubbed Pork Chops and Pickled Peach Relish

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Our subscription to Food and Wine pays off- this recipe is a real gem.  It’s summer, it’s HOT out, and this combo of seared pork with cool peach relish is a full of interesting, unique and down right refreshing flavors!  On it’s own, the peaches are strange, but take a bite with the pork and it’s like they are meant to be together forever ( like us!) Please give this a try and let us know how you like it!

Sage-Rubbed Pork Chops with Pickled Peach Relish

Adapted from Food and Wine
  • ACTIVE: 35 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 2 HRS
  • SERVINGS: 4
  1. 2 cups white wine vinegar
  2. 1 1/2 cups water
  3. 1/4 cup sugar
  4. 2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
  5. 1 bay leaf
  6. 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, plus 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
  7. Kosher salt
  8. 4 large ripe but firm peaches, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  9. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  10. 20 small sage leaves, plus 1 tablespoon chopped sage
  11. Four 1-inch-thick, bone-in pork rib chops (10 to 12 ounces each)
  1. In a large saucepan, combine the white wine vinegar with the water, sugar, mustard seeds, bay leaf, 1 tablespoon of whole peppercorns and 2 tablespoons of salt and bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Put the diced peaches in a large, heatproof bowl and pour the hot brine over them. Let the peaches stand for 1 hour, then refrigerate them for about 30 minutes, until the peaches are chilled.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the oil with the chopped sage, coarsely ground pepper and 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of salt. Rub the mixture all over the chops and let stand for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until shimmering. Add the chops to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat until browned, 3 minutes per side. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for 5 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat nearest the bone registers 145°. Transfer the chops to a plate to rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the sage leaves and cook over moderate heat until crisp, about 1 minute per side.
  5. Put a pork chop on each plate. Using a slotted spoon, top each chop with about 1/2 cup of the pickled peaches. Garnish with the fried sage leaves and serve.
MAKE AHEAD The pickled peaches can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Strawberry Pie

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We got this amazing deal on a container of strawberries, fresh and smelling great, and 4 pounds for $5.  Could you say no?  This pie had to be made so the strawberries wouldn’t go bad- and since we are weeks away from the BIG wedding day, we are trying to be mindful and eating well, so we turned to our Eating Well cookbook for this healthier version of a classic, we omitted the rhubarb part because we didn’t have any, but you can follow the original link below if you want it back!  The crust was buttery and tender and all it should be, yet had more flavor because of the whole wheat.  The super sweet filling was perfect for our strawberries, we enjoyed the pie for breakfast one morning, dessert the next evening with homemade low fat ( real) vanilla ice cream and the evening after that… and you know how it goes.  Give healthier a try and you won’t be disappointed!

RECIPE:

Adapted from Eating Well

 

CRUST

  • 1 1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour , (see Note)
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, plus 1 teaspoon for sprinkling (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup FAGE 0% Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 large egg white, beaten, for brushing

FILLING

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons instant tapioca
  • 6 cups sliced fresh or frozen (not thawed) strawberries , (about 2 pounds)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt

PREPARATION

  1. To prepare crust: Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut butter into small pieces and, with your fingers, quickly rub them into the dry ingredients until smaller but still visible. Add sour cream and oil; toss with a fork to combine with the dry ingredients. Sprinkle water over the mixture. Toss with a fork until evenly moist. Knead the dough with your hands in the bowl a few times”the mixture will still be a little crumbly. Turn out onto a clean surface and knead a few more times, until the dough just holds together. Divide the dough in half and shape into 5-inch-wide disks. Wrap each in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  2. To prepare filling: Just before you’re ready to roll out the dough, process tapioca in a spice grinder, mini food processor or blender until finely ground. Combine with strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, lemon juice, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl; toss well to combine.
  3. Position a rack in the center of the oven and place a foil-lined baking sheet on the rack below; preheat to 425°F.
  4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator; let stand for 5 minutes to warm slightly. Roll one portion between sheets of parchment or wax paper into a 12-inch circle. Peel off the top sheet and invert the dough into a 9-inch pie pan. Peel off the remaining paper. Moisten the outer edge of the dough with water. Scrape the filling and any accumulated juices into the crust.
  5. To prepare lattice top: Roll the remaining dough between sheets of parchment or wax paper into a 12-inch circle. Peel off the top sheet. Cut the dough into 1-inch strips using a pastry wheel or a knife. Lift off every other strip and lay them on top of the pie, leaving about a 1-inch gap between strips. Use the shorter strips for the edges and the longer ones for the middle of the pie. (You may not need to use the outermost strips.) Fold back the first, third and fifth strips of dough to the edge of the pie. Place a shorter strip of dough across the second and fourth strips, about 1 inch from the edge. Unfold the folded strips over the crosswise strip. Fold back the second and fourth strips over the first crosswise strip. Place another strip crosswise, about 1 inch from the first. Unfold the strips over the second crosswise strip. Continue folding back alternating strips and placing crosswise strips until the top is covered with woven strips. Trim any overhanging crust. Crimp the outer edge with a fork. Brush the dough with egg white; sprinkle 1 teaspoon sugar (if using) over just the lattice top, not the outer edge.
  6. Bake the pie for 20 minutes. Then rotate the pie 180 degrees and lower the oven temperature to 325°. Continue baking until the crust is golden and the filling is beginning to bubble, 30 to 35 minutes more. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours before serving.

TIPS & NOTES

  • Make Ahead Tip: Refrigerate dough for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 6 months. | Equipment: 9-inch pie pan
  • Note: Whole-wheat pastry flour contains less gluten than regular whole-wheat flour and helps ensure a tender result in delicate baked goods. Find it in the baking section of the supermarket or online at bobsredmill.com and and kingarthurflour.com.

NUTRITION

Per serving: 294 calories; 10 g fat ( 4 g sat , 3 g mono ); 14 mg cholesterol; 47 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein;3 g fiber; 82 mg sodium; 169 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (70% daily value), Folate (16% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 3

Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1/2 fruit, 1 carbohydrate (other), 2 fat

 

Blueberry Lemon Bundt Cake

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Oh, words cannot describe how incredible this cake is…. butter… sugar…. blueberries, fresh lemon zest…juice…extract.  It is SO rich and decadent and flavorful and tender and all the things you want in an indulgent old-fashioned bundt cake.  We made this to share because you can’t just have one slice if it’s in your home, we highly recommend making this for a summer gathering and enjoying with lots of friends!!  Thank you Heidi for sharing this one 🙂

Adapted from Celebrating the Midwestern Table ( pg 298)

Ingredients

  • 3 1/4 cups + 3 TBSP cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon each baking soda, salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • Grated zest of 2 large lemons
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 1/2 cups blueberries
  • Nonstick baking spray, for pan
  • Tart Lemon Glaze ( recipe follows)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, place rack in center of oven. Generously grease a 12-cup bundt pan, lightly dust with flour, tap out.
  2. In a bowl, sift 3 1/4 cups flour with baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars and lemon zest on high speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, and extract, beat for 3 minutes ( batter will be thick and smooth) Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture and buttermilk till well combined.
  4. In a bowl, toss blueberries and remaining 3T of flour; gently fold into batter with a wooden spoon.
  5. Spread batter in prepared pan and bang pan on the counter to settle the batter, use a spatula to smooth the surface.
  6. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes. Cool in pan 20 minutes. Invert onto a rack with foil under; cool slightly and then brush with the glaze, continue to brush glaze drippings from foil back to cake until cooled and covered

Tart Lemon Glaze

Grated zest of 1 lemon

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

3 T fresh lemon juice

4T unsalted butter, melted

pinch of salt

Process zest and sugar in food processor until finely minced.  Add remaining ingredients and mix till smooth, keep at room temp until ready to use.

Summer Corn Salad

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At long last, warm long summer days have equated to summer vegetables popping up at the farmer’s market!  Knowing we wanted a fresh salad for a side to serve with dinner, we hurriedly picked out the best summer staples- corn on the cob, basil and zucchini.  We just barely made it through the tents when the wind kicked up and sky turned black, another summer favorite- summer storms that fly in as quickly as they go…  Not to worry, this salad  will certainly brighten any stormy summer day- it’s our very own concoction so please comment and try it out, we’d love to hear what you think!

Ingredients

4 ears of corn, husks removed

1 medium yellow zucchini, diced

1 medium green zucchini, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 serano, diced

1 jalapeno, diced

4 green onions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

1/4 cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed

3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 teaspoon salt ( or to taste)

 

Directions

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except for the corn.  Cook your corn by rapidly boiling for 8-10 minutes in a large pot, then remove the kernels when the corn is slightly cooled but still warm.  Make sure the bottom of the cob is flat. If it has a round tip, slice it off. Hold the cob upright on the board. Run a large sharp knife down the side of the cob cutting off the kernels. Cut as close to the cob as possible. Rotate the cob in your hand and continue to cut all four sides of kernels off.  Toss the corn kernels in to your bowl and adjust salt/ pepper seasoning to taste.