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Monday, April 23, 2018

Here’s how to make BellyQ chef Bill Kim’s excellent Korean pesto

Posted By on 04.23.18 at 06:00 AM

Sauces and seasonings for steak-and-asparagus night. Clockwise from upper right: Korean pesto, nuoc cham, gochuchang, lemongrass chile sauce. Center: blackening seasoning. Not pictured: Korean barbecue sauce - MIKE SULA
  • Mike Sula
  • Sauces and seasonings for steak-and-asparagus night. Clockwise from upper right: Korean pesto, nuoc cham, gochuchang, lemongrass chile sauce. Center: blackening seasoning. Not pictured: Korean barbecue sauce
I haven't always been gentle when I've written about Bill Kim's food. I've long been of the (immensely unpopular) opinion that the former fine-dining chef behind the immensely popular BellyQ (and erstwhile Urban Belly and Belly Shack) tends to oversaturate his food with too many disparate influences.

Guess what? He doesn't care.

"Do there really have to be borders on our cuisine?," he writes in the truly touching and humble introduction to his new cookbook Korean BBQ: Master Your Grill in Seven Sauces, in which he describes his culinary evolution—from his arrival in Chicago at the age of seven, speaking no English, on up through culinary school, Charlie Trotter's, and the three Bellys—as a truly American syncretism.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Pancakes & Booze Art Show serves up paint and sculpture, carbs and syrup

Posted By on 08.26.15 at 01:01 PM

  • Courtesy the Pancakes & Booze Art Show

Late-night drunchies receive an eccentric touch the weekend of August 28, when the touring Pancakes & Booze Art Show, now in its sixth year, returns to Chicago.

Featuring more than 100 emerging local creative practitioners, Pancakes & Booze seeks to leave behind the high-brow, exclusive trappings of many art shows and offer a more informal showcase. Five dollars gives guests access to the gallery, a cash bar, live music, an "art battle"—wherein two artists compete in a timed trial to create interesting improvised works—and as many pancakes as they can shove in their pie holes. It's not a traditional art show by any means, but according to founder and curator Tom Kirklin, 36, that's exactly the point.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

NeverWet: Today's science mind-melt

Posted By on 06.18.13 at 05:29 PM

Finally, an excuse to squirt copious amounts of yellow mustard onto your fresh white pants or drop your iPhone into the toilet without any consequences. Be dazzled.

And as you should always do with infomercials and video demos of revolutionary products posted to YouTube, read the comments for further entertainment.

Available at Home Depot, because of course it is.

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Monday, March 4, 2013

Green your eggs with Matouk's kuchela, a Trinidadian mango chutney

Posted By on 03.04.13 at 04:52 PM

Les oeufs de kuchela
That mysterious substance to the left is a plate of scrambled eggs fortified with Matouk's-brand kuchela, a Trinidadian chutney with its roots in the more straightforward mango chutneys of India. It ain't pretty, but it is sour, spicy, and a little bit sweet, and has quickly rivaled Yuzu-it for condiment dominance in my household.

Kuchela is far more complex and less assertive than the sort of mango pickle you might pick up at the chutney bar at Patel's. It's made from shredded green mangoes, garlic, Scotch bonnet peppers, vinegar, mustard oil, salt, brown sugar, and a spice blend, or amchar, of cumin, coriander, black pepper, fenugreek, and mustard. It's typically used in curries, rice and beans, on roasted stuff, and with the Trinidadian specialties dhal puri roti and buss up shut.

But you can put it on any damn thing you like. I can't possibly express its utility more lyrically than Calypsoist Remy RemBunction:

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Use it: Yuzu-it yuzu-pepper sauce

Posted By on 02.11.13 at 02:33 PM


Last year at the Torrance, California, robata bar Torihei, I came across a miraculous hot sauce called Yuzu-it, a briny spicy-sour condiment with subtle herbal notes that I found myself dousing on everything from chicken hearts to squid to grilled avocado. It's made from green chiles, vinegar, sea salt, and most importantly, the juice of the Japanese citrus fruit yuzu, a knobby hybrid of the sour mandarin orange and the lemonlike Ichang papeda. This highly fragrant sour fruit, as you might have noticed, has been a trendy fine dining ingredient over the last decade or so. Yet rarely do you ever see it or its byproducts available in retail establishments.

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Bewaffled and bewildered at Bel 50

Posted By on 01.28.13 at 02:59 PM

Short rib avec waffle
Bel 50, which is across North Clark Street from Zed 451, and next door to a restaurant called 25 Degrees*, is a fast-casual restaurant that serves sandwiches on waffles. So, by way of background, that's about all you need to know about Bel 50.

I know what you're thinking: How are the waffles? Well, they're OK. These aren't the kind of waffles that, were you to have one on its own, you would feel moved to slap some chicken salad on it. Nonetheless, that's the program here.

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Friday, November 23, 2012

The summarized Web and you

Posted By on 11.23.12 at 06:00 PM

What tl;dr means and what cool apps it has
There's more good stuff to read online than people who didn't go to work on Black Friday. The problem's not new—my elders tell me there used to be a time when magazine subscriptions were not only cheap but very worthwhile!—but we've never been confronted with such a plethora of good reads. There's all the links recommended on Facebook, Twitter, etc., and ones coming from newsletters like Longreads and Longform, which aggregate the best long-form journalism of the week. Maybe you found something on Reddit, Digg, or even the homepage of a newspaper. If you're anything like me, at the end of the day you find yourself closing a handful of worthwhile stories you never got to read. Maybe . . . oh hell, maybe this will be one of them!

So here's the TL;DR version of this article: Pressured by consumers' near-infinite selection of news to read, newspapers and other media companies need to consider summaries as the best way to earn clicks.

Found that helpful? Then you're on the crest of what may well be the wave of the future—the summarized Web. Let me explain.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Things to do with semicolons

Posted By on 09.20.12 at 06:40 AM

1) Abuse them.

2) On a long car ride—if you're not insane, this works best with another player—amuse each other by only speaking in sentences that involve two clauses, independent but related, that could conceivably be fused with a semicolon. Try it; this game is harder than, and as personally embarrassing as, it sounds.

3) Eschew the em dash.

4) Missionary style.

5) Use the semicolon to ingratiate yourself with a future employer by inking it onto your forearm, if you happen to work in the media industry. I did not actually get the semicolon tattoo with a job in mind, though my then future (now former) boss has joked that it was the reason she hired me. I actually didn't get the semicolon with much in mind at all, plus I was sober, so there's really no good story behind it: a friend of mine was learning to draw tattoos and offered to do simple designs for the cost of materials; I liked semicolons, so I thought I'd ask him to put one on my arm.

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Free-range heroin foam and single-mash gatorade in "Mixologist"

Posted By on 07.20.12 at 12:38 PM

Fog and Smog, the collective that released "Whole Foods Parking Lot" last year, has come up with something new to make fun of: cocktail culture. "Mixologist" was shot in LA, but the fancy ice, flaming orange peel, and bartenders wearing vests all look familiar. I have the highest respect for what bartenders—sorry, mixologists—do, but the video is hilarious. Cocktails have names like Shrimp Nipple and Chewbacca's Jacuzzi; ingredients include 12-year kombucha, muddled Slim Jim, and human tears. One drink is garnished with a raw chicken foot and what appears to be a few drops of blood. The video is after the jump. (via Eater)

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Concerning hot sauce . . .

Posted By on 05.14.12 at 01:25 PM

Throw this on some eggs
  • Throw this on some eggs
Hot sauce is the most make-or-break condiment. The proof is in the 57 comments on Grant Brissey's four-sentence blog post for the Slog, titled "Dear Restaurants Who Carry Tabasco as Your Only Hot Sauce." Though Tabasco's chipotle version has been deemed by (a pair of) Reader employees as serviceable, we agree with Brissey that the hot sauce brand is typically weak and too often offered as the only option at restaurants. He offers a levelheaded, cost-effective suggestion:

"You need to also carry, at the very least, the superior-in-every-way Tapatio sauce—it's also made in the United States of America, has a fuller flavor, and is a bargain anywhere it's sold. What's more, it's made in the West, and we all know the West is the Best."

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