Guest Blogger: Holly McCarthy of Culinary School Guide

Here’s a special treat for my readers… a guest blogger! Holly McCarthy writes for the Culinary School Guide and I highly encourage those who are interested to check out her site for information on culinary schools. Enjoy the following article and be sure to tune in to one of my culinary heartthrobs, Anthony Bourdain!
BBQ Smorgasbord Fun

If you’re a food fanatic, chances are you not only love cooking and eating good food, but you probably also like watching cooking shows and shows that revolve around food. Although I hadn’t watched the show before this weekend, the Travel Channel was showing a marathon of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations in preparation for the new upcoming season which starts on Monday, January 5.

If you have never seen the show, Mr. Bourdain goes to exotic locations and tries all kinds of different foods. In Africa, for example, he ate beetles with primitive bush people. Now, I’m not saying that eating bugs is a great way to pass the time, but Bourdain really does have no reservations about trying anything and everything that is put in front of him.

One particular show during the marathon that caught my attention took place in Uruguay. This beautiful country is a place that many people rarely think about in their daily lives, but is full of many unique cultural groups and, of course, types of cuisine.

Uruguayans eat meat 3-5 times a week according to the show, and it’s cooked in a variety of different barbecue methods. After watching Bourdain and his brother eating nothing but copious amounts of meat in various locales, I wondered just how he was able to put away all of that food.

Bourdain said that his secret is to stay away from starches, like bread and potatoes, unless they were being used to soak up blood or sauce. After several hours of watching, I was ravenous and decided that I would cook up a meal of nothing but barbecued meat.

I have always been a fan of drumsticks, so I picked up a package of fourteen drumsticks, two pounds of cross-cut beef ribs, a large sausage, and pork tenderloin. The show inspired me to keep things to a minimum, so I used plain barbecue sauce on the drumsticks and marinated the ribs in balsamic vinegar and garlic while the fire was getting going. The pork was already marinated, and the sausage needed nothing but heat.

After cooking all of the meat, I sat down with two other friends and we all proceeded to eat every last piece of meat with no sides, bread, or tortillas. It was truly a magnificent meal! Of course it wouldn’t be advisable to do this every day, but it certainly was a fun way to eat a meal after watching people eat on television all afternoon.

Now that I’m familiar with the program, I certainly look forward to seeing where Anthony Bourdain decides to go in the upcoming season. If you’re interested in watching the show, check it out on the Travel Channel on Monday nights at 10:00 pm eastern time.

By-line:

This post was contributed by Holly McCarthy, who writes on the subject of schools for culinary arts. She invites your feedback at hollymccarthy12 at gmail dot com

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Celebrating Chicago Chefs!

I love learning about different chefs for what they have contributed to the culinary world. In honor of the many chefs who have shaped our culture and our palates., I host monthly “Chef Spotlight Dinners”. In these “Chef Spotlight Dinners” a specific chef is highlighted where attendees prepare a recipe created by the chef and bring it to share potluck style. During the event, we discuss our thoughts on the chef, their cooking style/cuisine and the recipes prepared.In honor of Taste of Chicago happening later this month, my friends and I came together to create dishes of local chefs who put Chicago on the culinary map. Some of our very own Chicago chefs include: Rick Bayless, Charlie Trotter and Gale Gand. Naturally, our dinner table was full of many of their signature recipes:

Pork & Veggie Empanadas:

Queso Fundido con Chorizo & Rajas

shared at the event by Robert
Copyright 2000, Rick Bayless, Mexico One Plate At A Time, Scribner


Classic Seviche Tostadas
Tostadas de Seviche
shared at the event by John
Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen, pgs 84-85

Ensalada de Nopalitos (Cactus Salad)
Shared at the event by Angelique
Rick Bayless Recipe

Corn Salad w/Citrus Lime Vinaigrette:

“Capered” Chicken
Pollo Alcaparrado

Shared at the event by Teresa
Recipe from Season 5, Mexico—One Plate at a Time


Layered Tortilla Lasagna

Shared at the event by Lori
Recipe Courtesy of Rick Bayless
Cooking Live Episode: Cook Along 70-Guest: Rick Bayless

Vegetable Frescra

Shared at the event by Ann
(Nancy Brussat/Convito Italiano restaurant in Wilmette)

Caramelized Mango Tart with Mexican Chocolate and Pepitas
Tartaleta de Mango Caramelizado con Chocolate Mexicano y Pepitas

Shared at the event by Mary
Rick Bayless recipe from Season 6 of Mexico—One Plate at a Time

Fudgy Brownies
Shared at the event by Joelen
Recipe courtesy Gale Gand
Show: Sweet Dreams Episode: Sweets By Mail

Deep Dish Cherry Pie
Shared at the event by Joelen
Recipe courtesy Gale Gand
Show: Sweet Dreams Episode: American Pie

Paradise Toast
shaed at the event by Yumi: