Tag spring

Spring and Summer Recipe Testing with Parties That Cook!

The rain is drying up, the storm clouds have cleared, the sun is out, and the birds are chirping. This means one thing at Parties That Cook: time for Spring and Summer menu recipe testing! For months ahead of time, Bibby and Tanya gather ideas, altering and rewriting recipes to fit the Parties That Cook standards.

Recipes must be straightforward and must be doable within about an hour — start to finish. And most importantly, they must be absolutely delicious. Last Friday, our team took over the Sur La Table kitchen to test 25 new recipes. It was a day of cooking, tasting, critiquing and tweaking. Some recipes, like the Shrimp  Po’boys with bacon mayo, were instant winners. While others, like the Teeny-Bostini Cream Cakes with chocolate glaze, required four or five alterations.

Check out some of our favorites!

Mini Shrimp Po’Boys with Bacon Mayo

Crostini of Queso Fresco and Garlicky Chorizo

Fettucine with Arugula-Pistachio Pesto

Bacon, Creme Fraiche and Chive Mashed Potatoes

Mussels with Herb and Smoked Paprika Croutons

Puree of Fava Beans, Sweet Peas with Garlicky Pita Chips

Lamb Skewers with Mint Chimmichurri

Mini Fish Tacos

Chicken Under a Brick with Artichokes

Curry-dusted Brined Sea Bass

Raspberry Streusel Bars

All in all, in a was a delicious day and a very big success! Look forward to some of these tasty dishes at PTC events and classes this spring and summer! For an early sample, try the Raspberry Streusel Bars at home. Enjoy!

Dine About Chicago PTC Style: Our Favorite Chicago Restaurants

After doing a roundup of some of our favorite restaurants in the Bay Area, we decided it would be a great idea to ask our Chicago counterparts for their most frequented and most favorite.

Avec – a very popular, therefore very crowded, restaurant. Many reviews say it is worth the wait and the communal tables add a new twist on the old restaurant environment.

Blackbird – Noted for its innovative menu and small but solid wine list.

North Pond – With a gorgeous view and knowledgeable staff, this would be a great place for a special occasion or visiting guest.

Adobo Grill – This is a great location to get something different than your usual Mexican food, but also a good spot for a delicious margarita!

Piccolo Sogno – This upbeat joint has great appetizers as well as an array of wines served by the glass.

Big Star – These homemade and creative dishes are served at a great price!

MK – Great food in an intimate atmosphere that’s not too packed together.

Fronterra Grill – This restaurant works with top notch ingredients and serves up some delicious Mexican dishes along with great margaritas and a wide selection of Mexican beers.

Custom House – Our chefs love the Braised Short Rib!

The Publican – a pork and beer lovers dream!

The Avenues – They have a fantastic 15 course tasting menu, set in the beautiful Peninsula of Chicago.

Everest – Our chefs see this as one of their favorite staples.

Sola – Awesome food and drinks. The room has great sound as well – you can hear the person sitting across from you.

Spring – This restaurant has great food, drinks AND service. A few of the PTC favorites are the Seared Maine Sea Scallops, braised oxtail, wild mushrooms, sweet soy, and baby bok choy.

Spacca Napoli – The service is great – your pizza comes out 5-10 minutes after you order them. All of their pizzas are made in the in-house wood burning Pizza oven. The pizza special with porcinis and truffle cheese is a favorite.

Mixteco – Great mole and it is BYOB!

Any or all of these restaurants are great options to show visitors, try out for the first time, or put on your regular list of restaurants – as tested and proven by our own Chicago foodies!