The Chubby Eater!

I’m compleeeetely enamored with this name. I’m combining my beloved Chubby’s name with my favorite foodie blog “Eater.com” to create The Chubby Eater.  I hope you like it too. Otherwise, as Cee-lo would say… “forget you!”

Coming soon… My Top Ten Essential Restaurants of Indianapolis.  So stoked!

1) the Purple Pig: panna cotta 2)boka: scallops on forbidden rice 3)crisp: bibimbap and crispy wings 4) boka:spiced apple cake

This trip was truly epic.  This time, we penetrated Chicago like Eisenhower conquered Normandy.  Our game plan for wining and dining the best the city had to offer could have defeated Phil Jackson’s triangle offense from the nineties.  Alright, you get the idea.

Allow me to reveal  the line-up:

1st day lunch: Bill Kim’s Urban Belly (straight up yummy Asian noodles and dumplings)

1st day dinner: Boka (first Michelin star restaurant! pause for dramatic moment)

2nd day lunch: The Purple Pig (my favorite among the list. Serves Mediterranean style small plates– most memorable are fried white bait and pig ears)

2nd day dinner: Publican (had to hit up the meat market once again)

3rd day lunch: Crisp (Korean bibimbap and bbq crispy wings. Cooking Channel’s Unique Eats filming here on the 17th!)

 

Ostoria Pronto– I’m seriously going to damage some property if this place turns out to be a shit hole.  What I’ve read so far is that it promises to be a fine-dining experience (yeah yeah), but the menu is Tuscan-style, which I’m totally swooning over.  Another big appeal is the location:  the new JW Marriott!  Open view of the kitchen, and online photos of the dining room seem to be promising. Another pro:  Chef de cuisine is Italian.  Whoa.

Scheduled opening:  February

Black Market–  Totally stoked for this.  This new gastropub is set to open any time now on Mass Ave.  Biggest appeal is the owners who are of Siam Square and R Bistro origin.  Seriously, if THIS goes wrong, what can go right anymore?

Scheduled opening:  Tomorrow, please!

Sensu– gourmet Asian-fusion.  I haven’t read enough to get too excited, but any new non-steakhouse addition is a nice addition.

Scheduled opening:  February

Of course, tune in to Chubby’s Corner in the coming months for fair and judicial reviews.

One of my favorites around this time of year is a chunky piece of yule log.  I usually get our yule logs from Whole Foods (which stocks cakes and other baked goods from a pastry shop in Illinois called Rolf’s Patisserie).  Ironically, a couple days ago I read on NPR that Rolf’s had issued a recall on their baked goodies (yule logs included) on Christmas Eve.  As you see, I’d already cut myself a nice chunk of that yule log.  But luckily, it’s already way past Christmas Eve and no ER visit for me yet.  Happy New Year everyone!

First and foremost, I get that I haven’t been keeping on top of my Chuck’s Challenge. In fact, I gave up in the middle of my first Chuck’s Challenge post. I honestly was going to finish editing and posting, but scratched my head and said, why the fuck am I doing all this when people can literally go to the Cooking Channel website and read all the recipes there?  Blah, I’m a lazy fart.

Anyways, what I reaaally wanted to write about is how crazy excited and obsessed I am about this current season of Top Chef. It’s the new All-Star season featuring former cheftestants who were thisclose  to claiming the top prize; they’re also some of the fan favorites.  This combination equals Sherry literally DVRing every episode and watching each one five times.

My favorites:  Angelo Sosa, Mike Isabella, Fabio Viviani

All-time great one-liners:

Straight-up yummy – Angelo

It’s like asking an Asian grandma and having her cook pasta and osso bucco to please me – Fabio

Whatever, whatever – Mike

Tune in yourselves!

What you’ll need:

1 cup of maple syup, soy sauce, Worchestshire sauce, cider vinegar, ketchup, tin of chipotle pepper

(prepare this solution and set aside)

An apple, garlic head, thyme, rosemary sprigs, onion head, celery all roughly chopped

A rack of ribs, dredge into flour and start searing, work in phases

Sautee the vegetables for about 20 minutes until nicely browned, add in the seared ribs into the mix and add in the solution of maple syrup/soy sauce/cider vinegar made in advance and top it off with a bottle of red wine until it covers all of the ribs;

add some water if needed

Cover and set in over (300F) for 1/5 hrs.  Meat will be tender and deliciou

 

Throw out your dull Calphalon and get a Global chef knife.  I read about these in Anthony Bourdain’s Medium Raw and noticed that Giada always uses these.  I know it’s hard to tell when you’re constantly distracted by her rack.  It’s my Christmas present!

Edit:  Blade feels like a ceramic knife.  Light as a feather, stings like a bee.. er however Muhammad Ali would describe it.

I know, you can hardly tell who this is from my discretely taken photo since I was playing oh-so-cool, but we were less than a foot away from Bobby Flay himself!  This week we dined at the Publican, located at the Meat Packing district in Chi-town.  The restaurant menu is packed with pork and seafood, the two proteins I could probably survive on for the rest of my life. We ordered a seafood tower that literally took up our entire table, so much so that I was eating my plate from my lap because of the lack of table space. The portion isn’t the only thing that’s so shocking; I immediately jumped on ordering this when I saw that you have to reserve this 24-hr in advance, guaranteeing its freshness.  It was heaven.

The pork rinds that they’re famous for are seasoned to perfection.  The crispness is so amazing that every bite is echoed with an extra crackle.  Only $5 each order.  Other menu items:  Suckling Pig, sweetbreads.  I could go on.  Not to mention the beer menu offers the sexiest showcase of domestic and foreign beers I have ever laid eyes on (Holland, Sweden, Belgium, you name it they have it).

Get your arses there!

Do you guys know the show Chuck’s Day Off?  Kill yourself if you don’t…

He’s the total antithesis of the Food Network.  Seriously, I’ve had it up to here with that channel.  (the other day I watched Giada show her viewers how to make a fruit plate… and she plated it all on her boobs).

Look at him: He’s so dreamy and tatted up, he’s the quintessential Top Chef cheftestant.  He shoots his cooking show right in his restaurant’s kitchen and the way he instructs to his viewers is as if he’s talking right to his sous chef.  None of this “okay let’s watch this pasta cook” crap.  While it takes Rachel Ray 30 minutes to make 3 dishes, Chuck makes 5 restaurant menu dishes.

I’m completely enamored with him and his food.  So hubby and I are taking on a little “Julie and Julia” challenge.  Every couple weeks we re-create a Chuck’s Day Off episode and blog about the results.  Hopefully our efforts will inspire the few of you to try the recipe yourselves and realize awesomeness that is Chuck Hughes.

I’m not a baker, but I love all baked goods.  These turned out just sinfully naughty because they’re perfectly moist and airy (frosting and everything!).  Some bakery cupcakes can sometimes threaten you with Type II diabetes with the amount of sugar and their density.  Try this recipe out for a better alternative:

Cupcakes:

  • 1 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup skim milk plus
  • 2 tablespoons skim milk
  • 1/3 cup strong brewed coffee or espresso
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

– preheat oven to 350 degrees

– Mix dry ingredients first

– Use paddle to mix “wet” ingredients in your KitchenAid mixer (or electric mixer)

– pour dry ingredients into mixer

– fill batter into cupcake mold

– bake for 15 minutes

Frosting:  Buttercream frosting (look for a generic recipe online)  Pack it into a big ziplock bag and cut a hole in the corner and use it as a piping bag.