June 2014 Newsletter

Posted by on Jun 2, 2014 in Newsletter | 0 comments

Apicius
Damn Celery Salt

It’s all anchovies to me. Why anchovies? When people hear the word and begin to visualize them in their culinary memory, they think of the salty shriveled up pieces of nastiness on a pizza. Around Chicago, anchovies appear even on Greek salads and may show up across the land in the ubiquitous almost “generic/vanilla” tasting Caesar salad dressing. Why talk about anchovies, and what does celery salt have to do with this? Well, it has to do with my kitchen cabinets and what I always have stocked in them.

As a chef as and a man married to a trained chef, there are a lot of condiments in the house. If there is a type of mainstream ethnic cuisine out there, one of us has probably bought the staples to create the traditional flavors expected in the finished dish. Why is this important? It always comes down to flavor, depth of flavor and balance. So, from mustard oil to Sambal Oelek, liquid smoke to Thai fish sauce, it is usually in the pantry or fridge. (By the way, I am still working my way through the mayonnaise adventure we talked about last month. Is this crazy?) If you can guess by now, there is plenty of celery salt in my cabinet. Not one of my wife’s favorites, but essential for the perfect bloody Mary or the iconic Chicago-style hot dog. For those out of the state of Illinois, it’s the garden on a hotdog version. Yes, I even keep a jar of bright green relish on hand for sudden cravings.

Full June 2014 Newsletter

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