• Onion Soup

    Onion soup is a beautiful thing when executed well. There is so much flavor that develops from cooking the onions down, and it simply cannot be replicated with a broth or over-compensated for with a mountain cheese. This is why I’m … Continue reading

  • Salmon with Bacon-Kale Salad

    When you think of classic Polish cuisine, you probably don’t think about seafood, but it’s actually a huge part of their food culture. Salmon, or łosoś (whoa-sosh), is one of my favorite types of fish to cook with. Obviously there are many … Continue reading

  • “Sausage and Peppers” Risotto

    A hearty, *almost* one-pot meal that elevates the simple Sausage and Peppers to a gourmet dinner that will having your guests begging for seconds and thirds. Rather than serving as a sandwich, I opted for risotto which gives the dish … Continue reading

  • Rack of Lamb

    Springtime brings rain; and rainstorms during rush-hour result in crowded buses, filled with wet and angry commuters. You might never see a more miserable bunch of people than those heading home on a SRO bus, everyone soaked through to their socks. … Continue reading

Snail Tale

I think it can be argued that a great meal is easily a work of art in itself. Outside of the obvious visual appeal, chefs use raw materials to blend flavors and create interest in the same way that, let’s say, a painter uses oils. And so it seems very fitting that the art capital of the world also has some of the most consistently beautiful food.  Continue reading

Hearty Chicken Quinoa Soup

Let me start out by saying that I am not the World’s Biggest Quinoa Fan by a long shot. I know it has some wonderful health benefits, but it just doesn’t do it for me. To be honest, the only time I’ll ever order quinoa off a menu is when it’s stuffed inside a veggie burger. And who am I kidding? Steak beats a veggie burger any day of the week, so you should take away from this that I rarely consider quinoa a viable meal choice. That being said, I recently had lunch at Le Pain Quotidien in the Old Town neighborhood of Chicago, and it opened my eyes to a pretty wonderful use for this protein-packed grain.  Continue reading

Hot Dogi

Hot Dogi (with an “i”) is not a typo. In fact, if I ever decide to pack up my life and move to Poland permanently, it would be a safe bet to assume that hot dogi was a prime motivating factor. And let me preface this by saying that, as a Chicagoan, I know my hot dogs. So what is this magical variation on what I consider to be an American staple? In a word: genius.

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Pork Chops with Mustard-Herb Butter

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I love using whole grain mustard when I’m cooking pork chops. The flavors work really well together, and I think pork needs that extra kick of flavor. Rosemary is a pretty traditional pairing with mustard, but I also chose to use herbs de Provence.

Herbs de Provence is a blend of dry herbs from the Provence region of France. The herbs (as found in France) typically include savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, and oregano. BUT the American version also includes lavender flowers, which is the reason I love cooking with this blend. It might sound strange to cook with flowers, but it’s honestly amazing. Just trust me!

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Cucumber Salad

The phrase “cucumber salad” is a very loose translation of the dish represented in this recipe. I have prepared Mizeria (me-zair-ee-uh), which is a classic Polish preparation of cucumber. Cucumber salad itself varies greatly depending on the culture/cuisine. For instance, if you were to order the dish in a Greek restaurant you would probably be served a salad with a vinaigrette base, tomatoes and feta cheese. This type of cucumber salad is also delicious, but the preparation I am sharing with you today has an entirely different flavor profile from perhaps what you are used to calling a “cucumber salad.”

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