May 31, 2017

Wild Salmon w Brown Butter Lime Sauce

I recently dined at Le Bouchon here in Chicago and had a salmon dish that influenced my recipe! Wild caught salmon is the least "fishy" tasting variety and has numerous health benefits. I guarantee kids and adults will love this recipe! Kids will eat anything they help you prepare.

BROWN BUTTER is liquid gold; it gives depth to any recipe! When a baking recipe calls for butter, brown it and you will love the added caramel like flavours.

Recipe serves 4 adults
4 6-8 oz similar size and thickness wild caught salmon fillets  
4 T high quality unsalted butter
6 T high quality olive oil
2 tsp raw blonde honey
1 light shake cayenne pepper (optional)
6 T juice of 3-4 limes, buy more limes to use as garnish (optional)
1/4 C white or regular balsamic vinegar (optional)
1 container organic grape tomatoes
1 bunch asparagus
2-4 cloves garlic
Salt & pepper

Cooking Instructions
- Preheat oven to 375F
- Wash and prep veg - mince garlic, cut grape tomatoes in half, cut ends off asparagus and set aside in saute pan w 3 T olive oil, salt and pepper.
- In baking dish, non stick spray, 3 T lime juice, salt and pepper. Pat dry the salmon fillets and season well both sides w salt and pepper. Put in oven for 15-20 min depending upon size. *You can turn oven to broil to brown the top side of salmon last 3 min (optional).

- While salmon cooks, in a sauce pan, melt the butter until browned. **Butter will foam/splash and then suddenly stop when browning begins. Do not walk away during this process. Take off heat when you see light brown bits in pan. See photo below.
- Take browned butter off heat, add 1-2 cloves garlic, 1 T olive oil, 2T lime juice, honey, 1 shake cayenne (optional), salt and pepper. Taste. 
- Pull salmon out of oven and spoon a little of the butter sauce on fillets reserving half for serving and bake for remaining time.
- Also saute your veg on medium for 8 min. Stir throughout and add balsamic at 5 min (optional). It will bubble and then reduce. Taste asparagus for doneness (See photo below).


April 13, 2017

My Tour of Bread! Support Local Small Businesses!

I took an incredible artisan, "Tour of Breads" course w Chef Ciril Hitz in Rehobeth, MA. We coined him, "#breadgod." As a small class of 6, we learned so much in just 3 days! Yet another fabulous culinary adventure worthy of a pictorial - the photos say it all!

Focaccia dough made w poolish


Hearth bread


Spelt Loaf


Stollen Loaf

Pain du Chocolat!



Fire oven pizza!

Cinnamon Rolls!


**Apologies if this has caused sugar and carb cravings! 

Like many passionate food artisans, Chef Hintz sells his products at local farmer's markets and bakeries in MA. Keep exploring new food and support your local businesses! Buy bread, a dress to a box of nails from a small local shop vs a large chain store. It may take more of your time, but small businesses cannot survive moving forward without full community support!

January 25, 2017

Soup that Cures all that Ails you!

It's cold and gloomy January here in Chicago and I made a soup that will cure all that ails you! We are double dosing vitamin C and D these days! This minestrone style recipe is easy and versatile. It can be prepared with any veg, meat and broth you wish. Be creative! This soup freezes well and great to have on hand for future sick days!

1-2 large cans no salt added organic vegetable stock or chicken/turkey broth (enough to cover all contents in pot)
2 cups water 
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2-4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 leek (white and green), chopped
1 handful organic green beans, cut into half inch pieces
1 large organic yellow squash and zucchini cut in half circle pieces
1 can organic garbanzo beans/chickpeas rinsed (optional, adds protein)
1 can adzuki beans rinsed (optional, neutral flavor and adds protein and fiber)
1 can organic, no salt added diced tomatoes w juices.
1 T tomato paste (optional)
4 links sweet or hot Italian style turkey sausage, browned and cut into small pieces (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes (optional for heat)
Fresh parsley, herbs, spinach, kale (optional)
Rice or pasta (optional)

- In large pot, add 2 T oil of your choice and saute medium heat the onions and leeks, stir to avoid browning. Add garlic at the end.
 - Remove sausage casings and brown in separate pan until cooked.
- Add all meat, chopped veg and beans to pot.
- Add liquids to cover 2-4 inches above contents of pot.
- Prepare any rice or pasta, drain and set aside.
- Simmer soup on low heat for 20-30 minutes.
- Taste and add tomato paste if you want more tomato flavor. 
- Add salt and pepper to taste as needed.
- Add any fresh herbs such as parsley, kale or spinach day of serving.
- If you need more liquid for soup, add more stock or water.

Bon Appetit!

April 4, 2016

Le Falafel and Paris!

I love chickpeas/garbanzo beans! Adults and kids enjoy hummus! Packed w health benefits fiber, protein, magnesium etc., chickpeas are a versatile food. Roast w honey and cinnamon for your sweet tooth cravings or olive oil and paprika for a savory snack. The recipe below serves as falafel or veggie burger. Enjoy the pictorial of my favorite spot in Paris for falafel!

Marais - the 4th arrondissment, is the only neighborhood in Paris open on Sundays. An American friend introduced me to this special place.

While in culinary school, a weekly ritual was to walk 6 miles round trip to Marais neighborhood to eat the incredible pastries, pizza and falafel! I knew I was approaching the Jewish Quarter when I smelled the sweet butter in the air and heard the quiet roar of Sunday in the "Jewish Ghetto." My first stop -  Rue des Rosiers for Falafel! As I waited in the long lines, I watched faces of all creeds turn happy as they took their turn to order, "Je prends le piquant de falafel s'il vous plaît!"

Below: Rue des Rosiers, Marais Paris 4er

Long lines for falafel - this will take a while!

Getting a little closer!

    I'm next! 

Finally my turn!

Authentic Falafel w handmade pita, charred eggplant, crisp cucumber, 
fresh tomatoes, sour pickled cabbage, bitter radicchio, creamy hummus, rich tahini and 
hot chili sauce. Served w a fork for good reason! 

   Numerous bakeries in Marais serving Jewish pastries such as Babka - my favorite!

    Place des Vosges, Marais 4er

Marais is my first and last destination when I visit Paris! A beautiful area and home to the Picasso and Paris History Museums. I would eat, shop, stroll, and people watch; It never got old. I headed home each week on foot to walk off my indulgences w a bag of pastries in hand to ration until next time.

Ingredients*This recipe freezes well.
1 large can organic chickpeas/garbanzo beans, rinsed
1 small can organic Aduki beans (optional) or one small can Chickpeas, rinsed
1C chickpea/garbanzo bean flour 
1/4 red onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
Parsley, dried or fresh, minced
1/4 tsp cayenne
5T olive oil
1T egg white powder (optional)
1/2 tsp salt and pepper to taste
*Add any veg you have such as cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, corn, zucchini etc. (optional).

Cooking instructions:
-Pulse all washed veg in food processor, season w salt and pepper and set aside (do not puree). Steam veg a bit if desired.
-Drain and rise beans and pulse in food processor w olive oil.
-Place all of the above contents in large mixing bowl and add chickpea flour.
-Add egg white powder (optional) and mix until blended. 
-Taste and add more seasoning, salt and pepper as necessary.
-Texture should be tacky and stick to you hands a bit. The chickpea flour helps bind the mixture. Add more chickpea flour if needed. If mixture becomes too dry, add more olive oil and some water. 
-Shape into smaller rounds or thin patties. 
-Medium heat, saute in grape seed, safflower oil or nonstick spray until browned a bit, about 3 min each side, or bake 375F for 20 min. *No meat or bacteria so the function of cooking is to heat and to add flavor.
-Cook and blot w paper towel.
-If freezing, let cool, stack w parchment paper in air-tight container and place in freezer. To thaw, place in microwave, saute or bake in oven.

*This recipe is filling and I eat it w tahini sauce, no bread.

Tahini Sauce:
1/2 C Tahini
4 T water
1T lemon juice
1 dash cayenne pepper
1 dash garlic powder
Salt and pepper
*Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.
*Mix well w fork or use small food processor.
*Texture should look light and creamy. If it remains sticky, add 1 T water.

Bon Appetit! 

February 8, 2016

Miso Soup's On - Just What the Doctor Ordered!

This MISO SOUP recipe is the cure for all that ails you! Once you have gathered the ingredients, it's quick to preapre. I do not add tofu as miso paste is fermented soy and more beneficial. I eat this soup to remedy congestion, digestion, and the winter blues of late. Kids especially enjoy the salty flavors of miso soup!  

Ingredients and Preparation - Serves 2

- 2 T Oragnic brown rice miso paste
- 4 stalks organic bok choy (photo below), white parts chopped like celery
- 1 organic carrot, chopped in bite size peices
- 6 small-medium shitake mushrooms, washed and sliced (fresh or dried)
- 1-2 T dried wakame sea vegetable (see below)
- 1 T kuzu root (see below)
- Soba noodles (optional, boil seperate)

Cooking Instructions

Cook soba noodles seperate (optional)
- Bring 4 C water to a boil.
- Add miso paste and stir.
- Add wakame.
- Add all chopped veg,turn down heat to medium and simner for 5 min.
- In seperate bowl, mix the kuzu root w 2 T cold water until disolved.
- Add kuzu liquid to soup and stir.
-Add soba noodles (optional).
- Turn off heat and serve.

WAKAME - is a sea vegetable loaded w minerals, iron and antioxidants. I buy Wakame and Kuzu Root at Wholefoods. The numerous health benefits include: cardiovascular, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-cancer and blood sugar. World's Healthiest Foods

KUZU can be used as a thickener like corn starch and is commonly used in macrobiotic cooking for healing. "It's been used by Eastern healers for almost 2,000 years and is most often utilized in foods to impart its ability to heal and balance natural sugars. While other roots such as ginseng, burdock, beets and carrots are prized for their nutritional value, none comes close to kuzu and its ability to quell digestive disturbances and calm the nerves. Kuzu is also noted for its high flavonoid composition and is gaining traction in the medical community for its ability to treat a variety of health concerns..."

MISO is a Japanese word that means "fermented beans. "...An additional bonus of miso is its healthful, probiotic properties, arising from the “friendly” lactobacillus bacteria that proliferate during the process of making miso. Probiotics can help support the body’s own native friendly bacteria, effectively providing a boost to the immune system, helping protect against disease, and aiding in digestion of food and absorption of nutrients..." 

Soups on! Just what the doctor ordered!

Bon Appétit!

January 17, 2016

Soupe de Chou-Fleur - Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower is a perfect blank canvas to prepare any flavor soup. Fresh, aromatic herbs, savory spices or flavored oils can be added; have fun and experiment! Cauliflower is a low-carb substitute for potatoes or rice in any recipe. I recently enjoyed a pizza made w a cauliflower crust.

You can serve cauliflower soup to a group and family/guests may add the flavors they like! Kids enjoy cauliflower soup or prefer it raw, simply sauteed or lightly roasted w a bit of butter, flavorless oil (such as grapeseed) and a dash of salt and pepper.

Cauliflower is part of the Cruciferous Vegetable plant family w broccoli, kale, collards, and cabbage. The purple and white versions are most popular in the U.S. Rich in Vitamins C, K, folate and dietary fiber, cauliflower tastes great steamed, roasted, sauteed or raw. Health benefits include: cancer prevention, anti-inflammatory, antioxidants and cardiovascular/digestive support. Just eat it!

An American friend at culinary school introduced me to a small Thai restaurant in her neighborhood on Boulevard de La Tour-Maubourg. Living, eating, and cooking classic French cuisine toujours, I felt excited for anything but French fare. My sense of taste and smell heightened during school and I will never forget the exotic aromas of this Thai restaurant in Paris. 

We were greeted by une petite femme thaï, "Bonsoir" and seated. My eyes were as eager as my stomach for le menu. "Soupe de chou-fleur thaïlandais avec lait de coco et curry;" a mouth full to say in French! The waitress came to the table and in my timid voice, speaking French, I said, "Je voudrais la soupe au chou-fleur s'il vous plaît." She winked and nodded. 

We ordered other tasty items, but the creamy texture of la soupe de chou-fleur w balanced cool and spicy favor elements, took me far away to Thailand for a few moments while living in Paris! 

*See my Thai version below.

Serves 4-6 - This recipe freezes well! 

*I prepare this plain, base soup recipe in a Vitamix and freeze in individual containers.  I then add spices, fresh herbs etc. when I serve it. Frozen organic vegetables can be used. *if you do not have health restrictions, add the salt listed in recipe. Vegetables require the magic of a bit of salt and pepper to bring out flavors.

Base Soup Ingredients and Preparation

- 1-2 organic cauliflower heads fresh or frozen, washed and florets w stems chopped
- 1-2 large containers organic, low sodium vegetable or chicken bone broth
- water to steam veg
- 1 small-medium onion, minced
- 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 T olive oil
- 1/2 C almond milk (optional)
- 1/4 tsp Sea salt
- fresh ground pepper
- turmeric, cayenne, curries or any spices, fresh herbs, flavored oils such as basil, walnut, avocado, sesame
* See below for Thai version ingredients!

Base Soup Cooking Instructions

- Medium heat.
- Add chopped cauliflower and other veg ingredients to tall soup pot.
- Add water to just cover the veg and simmer for 15 minutes.
-You make roast veg in oven 450F 25 min also.
* Be cautious of the hot liquid!
- Turn off heat and drain veg through strainer over bowl, reserve 4 cups of the liquid.
- If using an immersion blender - place cauliflower back into pot and fill w veg broth 1/2 way.
- Blend until smooth.
- If using a blender, take veg out of pot w tongs in stages. Add 2 cups of veg broth to blender.
* Use towel to hold lid and be cautious of the hot liquid!
- Blend until smooth and pour contents back into pot and simmer for 10 min.
- Add more veg broth if necessary or reserved water.
- Turn off heat.
- Add olive oil, almond milk (optional), salt and pepper.
- TASTE and add more salt and pepper as necessary.
- If soup is too thick for your liking, add the liquid you set aside.
- Let soup cool and freeze base soup recipe in individual containers.
* Serve hot or cold w baguette if desired.
* I love a bit of hot pepper sesame oil!

Thai Version - Très bon!

*Add these ingredients to your individual bowl of soup (2 Cups) for Thai flavor!
- 1/4 C Coconut milk or 1 T coconut cream.
- 1/8-1/4 tsp Red Thai curry paste (I use THAI Kitchen brand).
- Add 1 pinch of sugar or sweetener of your choice if you desire more sweetness.
- Add a bit of grated fresh ginger (optional).
- TASTE and add ore red Thai curry for added heat if desired.
- If you add too much red curry, add additional coconut milk and/or soup to cool down spicy flavors.

Bon Appétit!

December 21, 2015


Sushi Mike is the chef owner of TANOSHII SUSHI in Chicago. The only two days a year he takes off are Christmas Day and New Year's Day. A friend lives in the neighborhood and introduced me to this special spot!
TANOSHII  - 楽しい - in Japanese means delightful. Thankfully, the only thing missing in this authentic sushi was all the rice we normally experience. Sushi Mike carves, packs, stacks and rolls his creations w fresh fish he hand selects. He quickly pulled out a hand torch and blazed our tuna dish. House made truffle honey and savory herb sauce added a decadence to the fresh, raw fish flavors. Delightful!

If you want the true, "Love you long time" Sushi Mike experience, be sure to visit the unassuming Andersonville locale and sit at the sushi bar! Tanoshii Andersonville is BYOB and disciples know to bring along a 6-pack of Miller Light (bottles) for Chef.

The second location on W Randolph Street opened last year and is well suited for business lunch/dinners. Reservations are recommended. I might have overheard Sushi Mike is scouting a third location North Shore area!

Tanoshii Andersonville 5547 N Clark Street Chicago 773.878.6886
Tanoshii West Loop 720 W Randolph Street Chicago 312.207.8894

**All food reviews by MEAL MAVEN are genuine; 
no food is exchanged for reviews**