Friday Food Fun and Facts, Third Edition

Pizza Party!

I will be posting the outstanding America’s Test Kitchen recipe for Chicago-style pizza (above), which I recently made – very authentic and worth the extra time to prepare the buttery crust. The recipe features an authentic tomato sauce and makes two pizzas. My versions were a hot-hot-hot chorizo (above) and a pizza with caramelized onions.

While I was in Chicago three times this year, this is the first time in my life in which nobody in my immediate family is living in the Greater Chicagoland Metropolitan Area (TV slang for the vast reaches of the city into suburbia and beyond).  My mother is now in an assisted living facility near my brother in Connecticut.  So maybe this is why I have been craving Chicago specialties, including the famed Italian beef sandwich, which I shall make in my slow-cooker this weekend.

The deep-dish buttery-crusted pizza and the Italian beef sandwich are perhaps the two finest exemplary Chicagoland dishes, originating in the city yet gaining renown elsewhere.  Stay tuned for Chicago specialties….

Upcoming Food Holidays, December 18 – 25

In case you had no other meal plans, tomorrow is another odd day for you to celebrate in the Wacky World o’ Food Holidays. Roast suckling pig, anyone?

The holidays on the 23 and 24 make more sense than Xmas itself, as I associate pumpkin pie with Thanksgiving, but who knows who is responsible for anything on the list, to begin with?

December 18 – National Roast Suckling Pig Day
December 21 – National French Fried Shrimp Day
December 23 – National Pfeffernusse Day
December 24 – National Egg Nog Day
December 25 – National Pumpkin Pie Day

For a holiday brown betty recipe and 2010’s best world cookbooks,

Tempting Recipe for the Holiday Season

I am a big fan of cobblers, crisps, crumbles, slumps, grunts, pan-dowdies, and brown betties – all baked fruit desserts with some sort of crust or topping. So I was intrigued by a recipe in the New York Times – Pear and Sour Cherry Brown Betty with Brandy Hard Sauce:

I like the idea of the challah in the brown betty topping.  In case you did not know, brown betties are characterized by their bread-crumb toppings.  This recipe looks very wintry yet sophisticated enough for a holiday meal.  I like the use of sour cherries (dried – I bet they are not available on the island, so it will have to wait for food from the Big Bad World Beyond our Shores)..

Cookbooks from Around the World

I am enjoying Louann’s fine international and highly informative site, Oyster Food and Culture.  Her most recent post is a fascinating and provocative list of top cookbooks from many countries, courtesy of the Gourmand World Book Awards.

While I bought cookbooks in four countries this year (Canada, the US, Scotland, and England), none of the ones I have made the list.  Of course, I bought many vintage cookbooks and titles that were remainders, not being a slave to the latest trend.  I, however, was surprised by the roster.  It is worth checking out – especially if you are looking for more obscure cuisines.  Thanks, Louann!


12 responses to “Friday Food Fun and Facts, Third Edition

  1. Drool just hit my keyboard. Sorry to be so graphic, but that pizza pic is insane. And the Chicago beef sandwich? You’re going to post that too, right? Theresa

    • Thanks very much, Theresa. I will post the Italian beef sandwich recipe soon (it made a fine Saturday night dinner – and so easy in a slow-cooker, too).

      It must be comfort-food season, with dishes like these….


  2. Oooh, Dan, that pizza looks good… wait, what am I saying?! Actually, I rather like the sound of the caramelised onion one. Yums.

    And December 18th? Now THAT is a holiday I can get behind! I may have missed the boat, but that’s not going to stop me! I still have to work on that Noodle Ring extravaganza. I shall report back soon.

    Jax x

    • Hi, Jax. Noted – you like caramelized onions. It is a perfect accompaniment to the rich, buttery, and thick chewy crust.

      I thought the suckling pig was rather funny, as a rather labour-intensive dish before Xmas. Though I guess you’ll have your own live-in “help” if you are to host such a porcine feast right before Xmas, it still seems odd timing. Rather!



  3. Dan, your talk of Chicago food made me feel right at home…very warm and fuzzy (and also hungry!). I’d never considered making my own deep-dish, so I’m pumped to see what you’ve got in store on that front.

    • Thanks, Maddie. You might need the recipe so much with your big move (and great pizza within easy reach), but it’s fun to know how to do it yourself, just in case….


  4. How many special days to enjoy there – I like the French fried shrimp day sound very good.

    That buttery pizza worth a visit from here to Chicago!

    Happy Holidays! 🙂


    • Hi, Gera. I agree that every day could be French-fried Shrimp Day!

      You can now read the recipe for the pizza and not have to fly all the way from Uruguay for the deep-dish.

      Happy holidays to you, too!



  5. They have a day for everything it is absolutely fascinating to try to keep up with them all.

    As to the list of cookbooks, as soon as I saw that list I knew I could not keep them to myself. I was also very surprised (why I don’t know) that I knew so few titles on it. Glad you liked them.

    • Hi, Louann. I’ve thought about blogging the food holidays for a year, but it’s grueling schedule – and a bizarre list.

      It was good of you to share the international cookbook titles with all the other Oyster-followers.



  6. Pingback: Happy Holidays and Best of Blogging, Social Media, Food, Facebook and more on this Week

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s