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hughb's Profile

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2 lbs of Blue Cheese...

The blue cheese and walnut crackers are terrific. VERY savory. People gobble them down.

Dec 20, 2012
hughb in Cheese

stir fry issues

One teaspoon of oil might be too little. The recipes we use (typically from Stir Frying to the Sky's Edge) call for 1-2 tablespoons of oil, all told.

Nov 07, 2012
hughb in Home Cooking

Cooking from "At Home with Madhur Jaffrey: Simple, delectable dishes from India, Pakistan, bangladesh, and Sri Lanka"

LOVE the book. We often make the spicy shrimp stir-fry and the Goan shrimp curry. Also, the coconut rice has become a family standby as an accompaniment to peanut chicken on the grill. Everyone laps it up.

Oct 25, 2012
hughb in Home Cooking

Hoisin Explosion Chicken

A little sweet, a little spicy, and overall delicious. A better-than-restaurant quality dinner in about 45 minutes. Stuck to the recipe to the letter and it worked out perfectly.

May 24, 2012
hughb in Recipes

Hunting for morels

I love morels but don't enjoy paying $50 for a pound of them. Where can a Chicago-area resident spend a nice spring afternoon huting for these delectable items in the wild?

Apr 09, 2012
hughb in Chicago Area

Fresh fava beans?

Is it too early to buy fresh fava beans in the pod? If not, does anyone know where can I get them?

Apr 05, 2009
hughb in Chicago Area

What have you given up trying to cook?

Mayonnaise. Always comes out bitter.

Mar 05, 2009
hughb in General Topics

Home-made steamer bags?

I love those disposable plastic bags with the steam-release holes you buy in the grocery store to steam vegetables in the microwave. But they are so expensive. Is there a way to make them at home that's (a) safe and (b) effective? Is there a viable substitute using a plastic container?

Mar 04, 2009
hughb in Home Cooking

Olive oil in big cans

I'm tired of supermarket olive oils. Looking to buy a big can of extra virgin olive oil for everyday cooking. I want something decent, but not break-the-bank expensive; I keep a jar of very good expensive EVOO on hand for those occasions when the pure olive oil taste is important.

I've been to Bari foods and to the Greek grocery store on Halsted in Greektown. They have the big cans that I want but the brands are bewildering, and I don't want to buy a huge quantity only to be disappointed.

Anyone have any advice on a good brand and a place to get a big can of it in Chicago? Greek? Italian? Spanish?

Feb 25, 2009
hughb in Chicago Area

Lardons - where to buy??

Does anyone know where in Chicago I can get lardons to cook myself? Grocery stores seem to have only sliced bacon, but even thick-sliced bacon does not yield the type of chunks that you get, say, in the Salade Lyonnaise at Le Bouchon.

Feb 11, 2009
hughb in Chicago Area

Best food at Costco

I am addicted to the Comte cheese they sell at Costco. It is creamy and a little crunchy and delicious. I also love the Sabra hummus. Are there other Costco foods that folks have found that are particularly delectable?

Dec 10, 2008
hughb in Chains

Potato pancakes for a crowd?

For the family Hanukkah dinner, I've been assigned to bring potato pancakes. I know the standard Jewish restaurants (like The Bagel) have them, but I have a feeling that good potato pancakes must also lurk in Polish delis on the north or northwest side. Anyone have any recommendations for take-out potato pancakes in the City?

Dec 10, 2008
hughb in Chicago Area

WI Butchers btwn MSP and CHI

We are taking a Thanksgiving trip to visit the in-laws. We'll be driving from Chicago to Minneapolis. I'm wondering if anyone knows of any local Wisconsin butchers or other specialty food shops along the way where we could get homemade jerky, brats, etc. etc....

Nov 17, 2008
hughb in General Midwest Archive

BYO Nuts?

I am hosting a dinner party for a friend at a restaurant. There will be about 15 people attending. Is it wrong to bring little decorative bowls of cashews to put on the table for people to nibble on during pre-dinner cocktails? The restaurant doesn't offer anything of the sort.

Sep 09, 2008
hughb in Not About Food

Was I rude?

You were NOT rude. This is not even a close question.

Sep 09, 2008
hughb in Not About Food

Opentable - Restaurants comment on customers?

I recently heard that Opentable has a feature by which restaurants can leave comments about their Opentable customers ("slow eater," "big tipper," etc.). Can they? I certainly cannot see any such comments when I log in as a customer to Opentable. Is there a way for me to find out any comments that restaurants have made about me??

Aug 17, 2008
hughb in Not About Food


I have recently become addicted to the chilaquiles at Taqueria Moran in Logan Square. I get them with scrambled eggs and the fiery salsa verde. (They also offer red.) The perfect antidote to a Sunday morning hangover...

So, my question is, where else in Chicago has excellent chilaquiles?

May 19, 2008
hughb in Chicago Area

Best fries in Chicago

Mon Ami Gabi. THey come out perfect every time. And in a mound so large that if you dig deep enough you might find the Lindbergh baby.

May 16, 2008
hughb in Chicago Area

Not-to-be-missed Food Festivals?

Cheese Days in Monroe, Wisc. is appropriately cheesy. Every other September. Unfortunately you'll have to wait until 2008.

Apr 13, 2007
hughb in General Topics

Best Steak at a Non-Steak House

Cafe Bolero in Bucktown, a Cuban restaurant, has great skirt steak. Huge and very tasty and only about $15. Also I agree with the previous posters on the hanger steak at Le Bouchon or La Sardine.

Apr 11, 2007
hughb in Chicago Area

Sushi in the touristy part of town...

I agree with Kamehachi. Oysy is also always very good. The original is on South Michigan Avenue (around 900 South), and there's a new one closer to you -- I think it's on Grand but you can look it up.

Nov 21, 2006
hughb in Chicago Area

Gare St. Lazare in Chicago?

Gone only for about ten years.

Oct 19, 2006
hughb in Chicago Area


I'm supposed to go to Tagine tomorrow night, near Lawrence Ave. I have never heard of it. Has anyone been? If so, what are the good things to order?

Aug 31, 2006
hughb in Chicago Area

Going to Chicago and people have recommended Lawry's for Prime Rib

Might I suggest that you try the Erie Cafe for prime rib? It's a little out of the way, and has got a very low-key atmosphere, but on Friday and Saturday nights they serve a prime rib that must be made from a brontosaurus. Huge. And delicious. It's not as hectic an atmosphere as the other places mentioned, but the prime rib is scrumptious.

Aug 22, 2006
hughb in Chicago Area

how to split the check?

When I am out with a friends who don't drink, I ask them to put in what they think they owe (they're invariably accurate) and those who were drinking split the rest. This seems always to work out without hard feelings. Of course, you have to be out with reasonable people.

Aug 04, 2006
hughb in Not About Food

Need dinner recs for dinner with parents and their business associates

That's a no brainer: mk. Quite upscale, but within the mainstream, and a nice neutral vibe that's perfect for both the young and the middle-aged.

Aug 04, 2006
hughb in Chicago Area

Avenue M? Or other recs--River West & East

I liked Avenue M -- steaks were great, and service was professional. But I'd also recommend May Street Market. It has a more inventive menu and, in my opinion, a cooler, not so self-consciously over-the-top atmosphere.

Aug 04, 2006
hughb in Chicago Area

Riccardo Trattoria on Friday

I had the seafood stew. So good I'd like to be submerged in a pool full of it and eat my way out.

Aug 04, 2006
hughb in Chicago Area

food ideas near Congress Plaza on

Eleven City Diner, at 11th and Wabash, is a new Jewish-style deli. Great for a lunch.

Aug 04, 2006
hughb in Chicago Area

Chicago Firehouse?

Why would the president and mayor go there? I was there once and the food was truly awful.

Jul 07, 2006
hughb in Chicago Area