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bite the university of chicago culinary magazine

de a r food i e s & f r i en d s A

s the leaves turn color and a winter chill descends on our city, we’re offering a little bit of warmth to brighten your day with the new Fall 2016 issue of Bite. Just as always with our growing organization, the magazine has undergone quite a few changes in the past quarter. The most notable has been the start of our brand new Community Committee, focused on bringing a greater number of large and small scale culinary arts-related events to the UChicago campus. We began this quarter with a group trip to Joong Boo Korean Market in Avondale. Looking forward to the future, we have our sights set high for a panel on “Women in the Food World” taking place winter quarter, as well as a South Side Food Festival in spring. These events are meant to forge more of a community around the celebration of and love for food on campus—if you’d like to be involved with our efforts, be sure to e-mail and let us know! For now, though, we’re proud to present our latest issue, which takes our readers from by-now familiar additions to the Hyde Park food scene, Dollop (6) and Cemitas Puebla (5), all the way to Aloha Eats in Lincoln Park for some Hawaiian food that adds a tropical tinge to any frigid day (7). Our features this issue cover the practical skills of meal prep, useful to any college student constantly on the move (16), as well as the perhaps even more practical information on the best donuts that Chicago has to offer (11). Recipes range from savory treats from around the world like Nigerian Jollof Rice (22) and shrimp ceviche (23), to snickerdoodle brownies (18) and Beigli (21), the perfect prelude to the upcoming holiday cookie season. Thanks for your readership and support as Bite continues to grow—we can’t wait to see how things turn out, and hope you’ll join us for the ride!

the editors

table of contents 4 giant 5 cemitas puebla 6 dollop 7 aloha eats 8 blue apron 11 donuts around chicago 14 south side eats 16 meal prep 18 snickerdoodle brownies 19 peek-a-boo bread rolls 20 gluten-free tacos 21 beigli 22 nigerian jollof RICE 23 shrimp ceviche Editor-in-Chief Joe Joseph Managing editor Karen Sung creative directors HYEONG-SUN CHO, KATHRYN YIN Treasurer hannah bao HEAD OF PROGRAMMING JUlie khidekel MARKETING DIRECTOR SAISHA PANJABI social media COMMITTEE Alyce Oh, Analiese Batchelor, Fiona Gasaway, Jinnie Park, Martha Teka, Moyo Abiona, Sylvia Wei Community committee alex adams, alyce oh, wendy zheng designers Alexis Kim, Angela Fung, Chelsea Hu, Fiona Gasaway, Jenny Kim, Jihana Mendu, Kate Fuell, Linsey Nowack, Michelle Liang, Ria Singh, Riva Yang, Wendy Zheng, Yolanda Yu writers Alyce Oh, Amanda Wilson, Annaliese Batchelor, Chelsea Hu, Daphne Xu, eli Harter, Elise Matsusaka, Emma Solimine, Hester Shim, Hussam Al-Azzawi, Jenny Kim, Julie Wu, Kate Fuell, Katie McPolin, Moyo Abiona, Naomi Gancz, Paige Resnick, Rachel Weinbren, Rebecca Naimon, Viivi Jarvi, Wendy Zheng, William Linde photographers Anjali Dhillon, Delia Sosa, Diana Hockett, Fiona Gasaway, Gabby Luu, Giovanna DeCastro, Isabelle Sohn, Jenny Kim, Julia Rose Camus, Peggy Xu





giant by// Elise Matsusaka + Amanda Wilson photos // Julia Rose Camus

neighborhood Logan square pRICEs $$$ dISHES TO TRY swordfish, smoked lamb, cannelloni

BITE| fall | FALL2016 2016 4 4 bite

At 9:30 pm on a Wednesday night, Chef Jason Vincent’s new restaurant in Logan Square is packed. That’s the first sign that you’ve chosen well. Step inside, and the bartender is spinning classic vinyl records—another good sign. And aside from a $52 candle in the restroom and an occasional comment from the waiter about how proud he is of the restaurant, the environment is casual and lively. You’re in for a treat. For a restaurant that serves such fully-actualized dishes, Giant’s menu is surprisingly concise; however, an unexpected complexity hides behind the familiarly-named items. It’s clear that “Broccoli” will be a straightforward vegetable side dish, perhaps with a Mediterranean influence from the Meyer lemon and the yogurt. But when you take a bite of sweet sunflower seed nut brittle juxtaposed against bitter lemon, the beautifullycharred broccoli takes a backseat. It is the base of a Southern-, rather than a Mediterranean-style dish, and the garnishes elevate it to a plate worthy of a title greater than ‘side dish.’ This seems to be a theme in Chef Jason Vincent’s cuisine: the main ingredient is never the highlight. Vincent builds his masterpiece dishes by using the main ingredient as a foundation, directing our attention toward the incredible toppings, sauces and garnishes. He does the same thing with the swordfish. The fish itself is of course nicely blackened­ —with the outside slightly spiced and inside slightly raw, it’s cooked perfectly. But

it’s the other components that really stand out. Crispy fried clams, a rich and delicate aioli, and vinegary giardiniera – an imaginative combination – come together to bring every sensation to your mouth. While many of the other dishes on the menu feature an array of flavors and textures, the cannelloni does the opposite. Vincent has picked one texture and sustains it throughout the entire dish. From the homemade pasta shell encasing velvety chunks of lamb, to the peppery arugula pesto, which brings a wonderful balance, the dish imparts a smoothness that even a crème brûlée would envy. As a side note, the eggplant cannot be missed – it’s likely the most cross-cultural dish, drawing influences from China, India, Italy, and the Americas, and the menu neglects to mention the buttery homemade naan served steaming alongside it. For dessert, we ordered the sugar plums. As noted on the menu, the name “Sugar Plums” does not imply the kind of showstopper reputation that “S’moregasbord” might. They are, however, by far the most interestingsounding of the three desserts. Served with a chestnut-matcha ‘salsa,’ stewed in a sweet lychee syrup, and filled with nutty red bean paste, they taste, to quote our server, like “open-faced peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.” Though our brains protest, the description is spot-on. The only question that remains is when we will next get the opportunity to eat another earth-shattering meal at Giant.


cemitas puebla by // chelsea hu + jenny kim photos // jenny kim

Cemitas Puebla is a family owned restaurant chain that specializes in traditional Poblano food. Poblano cuisine is characterized by its specialty sandwiches called cemitas, made with soft, sweet, sesamecovered buns, as well as an assortment of meats, fresh vegetables, and flavorful sauces. With two other locations in Chicago, the chain recently opened a third in Hyde Park, and we decided to try it out. Upon arrival, we were greeted by a clean storefront and a clear view into the restaurant. Inside, customers filled the tables, and a long line of people waited to order. The interior design of the place was simple and attractive, with minimalistic furniture and hand-drawn artwork on the walls. Upbeat and catchy Spanish music played in the background. The menu offered a number of options: cemitas, tacos, chalupas, quesadillas, ceviche, salads, and a number of sides. We opted for the classics: Cemita Milanesa, Taco Pescado, Taco Orientales, and chips and guacamole. Luckily, the food arrived quickly to our table. Chips and guacamole was a must-have order for us. As guacamole fanatics, we were excited to experience the delicious avocado creation of a self-proclaimed authentic Mexican restaurant. The presentation, however, was lackluster, with the food arriving on a large, white plate with no embellishments. The dip tasted exactly how it looked: presentable, but plain. The avocado, tomato, and cilantro flavors were clearly present, but there was nothing else to it. Given, the dip was freshly-made and smooth, seasoned well to complement the lightly salted chips, but there was none of the tangy splash of lime, sharp, crisp flavor of onions, or extra burst of red radishes or spicy pepper that you would expect to find in a restaurant-

grade guacamole dish. It was guacamole on a good day at Bartlett. Next, we tried the Cemita Milanesa, described as a sandwich made with soft, warm sesame seed rolls, Oaxacan cheese, avocado, breaded pork loin, and a choice of three sauces. Again, the appearance was unremarkable. The sandwich was plated on a large metal tray with a single jalapeño pepper lying on the side as ornamentation. The buns were slightly soggy from the chipotle sauce, and the breaded pork, while crunchy, was not very flavorful. The cheese was tough to chew and a negligible addition. In an attempt to add more zest to the sandwich, we tried each of the sauces; all three were hot, but there was little, genuine flavor other than an overpowering spiciness that surpassed the tongue and went straight for the throat. The tacos also fell short of our expectations. The Taco Orientales was simply a corn tortilla, topped with several pieces of slightly charred pork and chipotle sauce. We were, admittedly, confused—where was the rest of the taco? With not much else to evaluate, we still managed to appreciate the spit roasted pork that had been charred to the perfect degree, albeit less tender than preferred. The Taco Pescado was redeeming; the cod was well-seasoned, the slaw was refreshingly crunchy, and while the spicy sauce was slightly overpowering, we welcomed the kick that was missing from the rest of our meal. Cemitas Puebla is a hip, casual place in the perfect location for University of Chicago staff and students. That being said, it’s not a restaurant we would find ourselves going back to. If you’re ever in the area looking for a place to eat, we suggest just going to the Med.

neighborhood hyde park pRICES $$


taco pescado



neighborhood HYDE PARK pRICES $$ dISHES TO tRY breakfast sandwiches


bite | fall 2016


dollop by // emma solimine

photos // diana hockett

While walking to and from Campus North, the massive marquee lights reading “DOLLOP” are a glimmering beacon of the newest and remarkably convenient addition to the Hyde Park cafe scene. Its interior is brightly lit and crisp, with upbeat music blasting and meticulously crafted chalkboard signs listing daily specials. Quotes that read, “Life is good and your coffee should be too” liven up the sky blue walls. With such an inviting, comfortable atmosphere, it’s no surprise that students hard at work often fill the cozy armchairs and sofas as well as the long wooden tables. Dollop’s classic menu consists of breakfast sandwiches all served on homemade buttermilk biscuits, as well as pastries, various lunch sandwiches, quiche, pie and an array of coffee choices with a long list of beans and diverse brewing methods that would thrill any caffeine connoisseur. On a recent trip there, we were greeted by a friendly cashier, and my latte was ready almost as soon as we sat down. The milk foam hearts on the latte were beautifully constructed and made it difficult to take the first sip. Admittedly, I am not a huge coffee drinker, but the drink was smooth and piping hot, as I know a good latte should be. Our sandwiches were ready a few minutes later. The breakfast sandwich we chose, comprised of sausage, caramelized

onions and cheese on a biscuit, was savory and piping hot. The biscuit itself was so tender that the sandwich crumbled when you picked it up, making the meal a fun, yet slightly messy experience. The deeply caramelized onions added a rich sweetness to the dish, although they overpowered the sandwich a bit with the flavor of French onion soup. Our selection from the lunch menu was a turkey avocado sandwich. All the ingredients were high quality and fresh, but I was disappointed in the proportions of the sandwich. I ended up with mostly turkey and lettuce, and maybe one bite in which I could actually taste avocado. Overall, it was a decent turkey sandwich; however, nothing extraordinary. The most notable dish was actually not made in house: the chocolate chess pie available from Hoosier Mama Pie Company. It was dense, with a smoothly baked chocolate (almost brownie-like) filling inside a flaky light crust. The pie options change daily, and for those looking for a less decadent dessert, the pastry selection is respectable as well. Dollop is a great coffee shop for people who live in and around Campus North and the surrounding area. The welcome addition to campus provides fast, convenient, reasonably tasty food and a wide array of caffeinated beverages to wake up any sluggish student in need.


aloha eats by // kate fuell

photos // isabelle sohn

neighborhood lincoln park pRICES $ Located in Lincoln Park, Aloha Eats, a popular Hawaiian food vendor, occupies a small storefront next to other colorful restaurants in a lively, young neighborhood. The interior of the restaurant was proudly decorated with framed pictures of President Barack Obama alongside a colorful banner reading “SPAM.” The traffic in the small space was constantly flowing. In accordance with its casual nature, customers order at a counter, with the food coming out in styrofoam boxes a couple minutes later. Aloha Eats proudly boasts a large and varied menu, ranging from curry to shrimp to noodle soup. The Hawaiian cuisine certainly reflects the colored history of immigration on the island. Hawaii was settled by residents from European countries, Japan, Korea, Puerto Rico, and many others, making it an ethnic and culinary melting pot. Aloha Eats’ regulars recommend a set of dishes, including spam musubi, macaroni salad, and chicken katsu. The spam musubi, which came in a set of 2, was a packed block of sticky rice, sprinkled with a tangy teri sauce, topped with a slice of spam, and wrapped with a strip of nori (seaweed). The general saltiness of the dish was overwhelming. The teri sauce paired with the rice was a nice sour, sweet combination,

but combined with the spam and nori caused for an unusually poor experience. If you have an affinity for spam, however, this would be the dish for you. Aloha Eats advertises the macaroni salad as their classic side-dish, with instructions on how to eat it readily available up at the counter. The appropriate way to eat the dish is mixed with a side of rice. Although hesitant, I merged my two side dishes, and found the blend wonderfully unique. The rice provided a nice base to the strong macaroni salad sauce. The creamy texture of the macaroni salad, combined with the warm rice, melted in my mouth. Finally, I dug into the chicken katsu, a boneless chicken filet breaded with Japanese breadcrumbs and then fried. Similar to the chicken tender, with a Hawaiian twist, the katsu strips provided a nice, fried crunch. Dipped in homemade sweet, sour Katsu sauce, the chicken was by far the best item on the menu. Aloha Eats provided me and my other dining companions an education regarding Hawaiian cuisine. The blend of timeless American and elegant Asian cuisine makes the long CTA trip up to Lincoln Park more bearable. If you are longing for some Hawaiian food, Aloha Eats will do you justice.

dISHES TO tRY macaroni salad, chicken katsu

reviews reviews





By Eli Harter + William Linde Photos by Peggy Xu


bite | FALL fall 2016 BITE



ometimes having to plan meals every week gets you into a food rut, but now several start-ups are attempting to fix this issue by offering delivery of chef-recommended recipes with each needed ingredient precisely measured out. In order to see whether these “meal-kit services” live up to the hype, we decided to try the one of the most popular options: Blue Apron. Ordering Blue Apron’s $60 meal plan of three two-portion meals from their website was easy enough. However, aside from inputting dietary restrictions, Blue Apron does not let you have a say over what meals you receive. Four days after ordering, a refrigerated

box filled to the brim with ice packs and ingredients arrived. The sheer amount of packaging involved was disconcerting. Each ingredient was individually wrapped, a single carrot comically so. At first glance, the chrome bubble wrapped box seemed gigantic and daunting, but by the time the ingredients for the first meal were on the table, the illusion was shattered. Just as mushrooms shrivel in the pan, the prospect of a hearty meal vanished. However, putting aside the fear that this one meal would not feed two people, the ingredients and potential final products all seemed phenomenal. The most promising of the three meals sent were the spiced pork burgers, and

the ingredients provided included challah buns, goat cheese, a shallot, and sliced pickled beets, amongst others. The recipe card included in the box made preparation simple, but it definitely took longer than the 10 minute prep time and 15 minute cook time allotted to finish the burgers. Along with the pork, coleslaw was also on the menu. A little improvisation was needed in grating the carrots and shredding the cabbage—after all, the work was done in a dorm kitchen. To help the fibrous vegetables along was a bottle of apple cider vinegar and a small helping of mayonnaise. Next came the most impressive part of this meal, the preparation and assembly of the spiced pork burgers. An exotic and aromatic FEATURES


mix of cayenne, cumin, paprika were infused into the pork while the base of the burger was kneaded together. Substituting butter for olive oil, the burgers were soon sizzling in a pan. Every time the patty was flipped, an explosion of mouth-watering possibilities filled the air. There was a risk of burning the burgers, but it was much easier than expected to judge the pork by its crispy brown color on each successive flip. When the chilled and crisp coleslaw was paired with the finished goat cheese spiced pork burgers, one could say the meal was fit for a restaurant. The taste of the burgers hit strong and the texture lingered, easily refreshed by a bite of coleslaw with its touch of acidity. Everything was tied together by the equally sweet and succulent 10

bite | fall 2016

beets. Indeed, in some ways the beet and goat cheese power play stole the show. The problem was that by the time the meal was set out to eat, the burgers had already lost their warmth. The image was there, but the full effect of a burger fresh off the grill was sorely missing. Overall, our conclusion was that Blue Apron’s meal-kit was not worth the cost, especially since the two portions in each meal were tiny enough to be eaten by one person. Ultimately, Blue Apron is not a food service, and approaching it in this way will only lead to disappointment. Rather, Blue Apron is a cooking service. If you enjoy cooking or would like to learn to cook, but happen to be a novice, then Blue Apron is a

perfect tool to start learning right. It ships everything you need in one package, challenging a future chef to cook things they would have never dared to cook before. Blue Apron also offers insight into how food pairing works. Why do some ingredients conflict where others excel? A clean coleslaw, low in fat and high in its vinegar content, cuts through the greasiness of the burger making the overall eating experience layered and more engaging. If you want a food service that supplies cheap and easy meals to your doorstep, Blue Apron is not for you. But, if you want to start learning how the culinary world works and how to craft meals, we do suggest you give Blue Apron a try.





“the donuts are as sweet as the atmosphere: dense, syrupy cake, heavy like an old blanket.“


bite | fall 2016


ustard-stuffed, classically glazed, coconut-sprinkled, or even fruit inspired, the Chicago donut scene satisfies a diverse palate. The city offers a welcome contradiction; it is home to timeless mom-and-pop bakeries and modernized cafes that boast wild flavor experiments. UPASSes in hand, we set out to find the cream of the donut crop. Our quest for the best donuts around Chicago led us to Dinkel’s Bakery, Glazed and Infused, Stan’s Donuts and Coffee, and Dat Donut. Dinkel’s Bakery You can see Dinkel’s nostalgic pink sign from the train, its fluorescent glow warming Lincoln Avenue in Lakeview. Inside, an insistent customer knocked on the pastry window, grabbing the last peach kolacky, which she referred to as her “White Whale.” Behind the counter sit six hand-labeled trays of oldfashioned cake donuts. At $1.10 a pop, it feels wrong not to pay cash—Dinkel’s is polished, but it’s still owned and operated by the greatgrandchildren of Joseph Dinkel, who opened the bakery in 1922. The donuts are as sweet as the atmosphere: dense, syrupy cake, heavy like an old blanket. The coconut glazed was sticky, the maple walnut almost abrasively sweet; the white fudge and cinnamon sugar predictable, but comforting. Dinkel’s Bakery does not make donuts to compete with any patisserie trying to reinvent the pastry wheel, but they are great at what they do: serving the Lakeview community, providing families with a Sunday afternoon escape, and lending some old school authenticity to a neighborhood rushing to modernize. Glazed and Infused Established in 2012, Glazed and Infused is one of the hip, new donut shops on the block, citing

“the pastries are ubiquitous on our campus, as a cornerstone of RSO fundraising and casual celebration.“ itself as “home to local handcrafted gourmet doughnuts and coffee.” The institution already has five locations around the city; we patronized the River North Location— smaller than the others, but still selling the same morsels of indulgent goodness. Among the 14 or so tempting donut varieties available, we went with the cinnamon sugar raised donut and the Boston cream pie donut—a bit conflicting as it was filled with a pleasant vanilla-bean-specked custard, but topped with a conspicuously artificial chocolate glaze. We also tried the cider and cranberry old-fashioned donuts—the cider warm and spicy, the cranberry bright and tangy with a burgundy glaze. The crowning jewel of our purchase, however? The iconic, bright orange box in which the donuts are lovingly nestled, declaring to all of the decadent treats that lie within. Stan’s Donuts and Coffee Pushing through the revolving door and stepping into Stan’s Donuts and Coffee, our jaws could not help but drop at the glorious sight that greets customers: stacks upon stacks of donuts, danishes, and soft pretzels, among other sweet treats, grace the display case of the funky, modern-vintage donut shop that traces its roots back to 1963 Los Angeles. The shop boasts a novel interior consisting of floor-toceiling windows, eclectic seating options, and neon light signs, complete with the voices of 90’s pop artists (think Mariah Carey and the Pussycat Dolls) playing in the background. After much deliberation, our group ordered a strikingly green pistachio-glazed donut, a sticky, almost cloyingly sweet Biscoffpocket donut, and pumpkin and blueberry old-fashioned donuts. Stan’s is pricier with the cost of two donuts nearing $7, but the

steady trickle of customers that we witnessed indicates a strong Chicago loyalty that is not likely to let down any time soon. Dat Donut Dat Donut, the stop furthest south on our donut tour, is situated about 4 miles south of Hyde Park — but the pastries are ubiquitous on our campus, as a cornerstone of RSO fundraising and casual celebration. Open 24 hours every day, and nestled deep in the South Side, Dat Donut is a fixture in the Chatham community: a landmark for commuters heading to work, kids hopping off the bus, and anyone else with a sweet tooth that passes through. These donuts may not be fancy, but they are so, so good. They are good on a Tuesday morning in Reynolds, but they are heavenly made fresh in the store, hot out of the pastry case and fluffy and ripe for consumption. The regular size donuts are massive, but an ambitious soul will brave the Big Dat, a donut so large and somehow still so light that they might even be able to finish. Dat Donut is by far the most affordable on our list, and perhaps the most beloved; not only does it stand out among dessert options on the South Side (and in all of Chicago), it has an unparalleled love for its community, with a long list of student sponsorships and a commitment to serving families no frills, wholesome food.

by katie mcpolin + alyce oh photos by anjali dhillon features


interview with south an ted pawlikowski,



bite | fall 2016

fat johnnie’s famous red hots


he drive was long, a little grey, as the car wove through the cracked asphalt roads. Peering out of the window, one could catch blurry glimpses of rundown storefronts and the men who stood in front of them, grasping their cigarettes, turning their heads left and right. In the distance stood the eerily polished but empty Whole Foods, looming over the rest of the buildings. The jingle of the phone alerted us that we had arrived. We stumbled out, bodies stiff from the long trip, and surveyed. A few worker’s cottages and bungalows poke out among the endless rows of car lots and body shops along South Western Avenue. But the special one is a brown worker’s cottage, proudly presenting the smaller white shack that adjoins it. As small as it is, this shack seems wise sitting on this auto shop-lined street, like a quiet, worn

statue that’s been there through all of this neighborhood’s comings and goings, its growth, its changes. Welcome to Fat Johnnie’s Famous Red Hots, one of Chicago’s longest-running hot dog stands. As employee Ted Pawlikowski (“Teddy,” he introduces himself as) tells it, his father, John Pawlikowski, entered the hot dog business almost by accident. Originally a truck driver at Nabisco, John started selling hot dogs during the Teamsters strike of 1970. “He wanted to make some money and this old-timer gave him a pushcart and showed him how to do it,” he said. John originally sold from a push-cart on 69th and Damen. When the city of Chicago passed an ordinance banning pushcarts in 1973, he set up “a camper on some cinderblocks” next to his parents’

house and started selling there. There weren’t many other restaurants on South Western Ave at the time. “It’s always been car lots down here, up and down Western.” Teddy’s memories of working at Fat Johnnie’s stretch back to early childhood. In addition to working the stand, he also went to source ingredients with his father. “Before Restaurant Depot we’d go to all these places to get stuff, like David Berg’s— get the hot dogs there, South Water Market to get the vegetables. We went to all the different neighborhoods in Chicago. I remember getting chicken tacos by the Mexican neighborhoods, stuff like that. It was a good experience. I always enjoyed helping him. That was kind of what I wanted to do.” When Julie asks him if he ever considered working somewhere else, he shakes his head. “It’s a family business,” he explains. “I’ve been working this place for 25 years. I went to college, but this is all I’ve ever wanted to do.” Unlike some Chicago-area hot dog vendors, like Portillo’s, who have expanded or changed locations, Fat Johnnie’s has remained small to this day. It’s remained in the same location since 1973. Today, the stand has three employees— Teddy, John, and Cori. “My sister… she’s a waitress but sometimes she has days off and comes here.” Some of the other family members work in catering events. Teddy estimates that only ten people have actually cooked hot dogs at Fat Johnnie’s in its 43year history. The menu items are almost identical to the original, the only addition being a Mighty Dog––a tamale sliced in half, with a hot dog, topped with chili and standard Chicago-style toppings. “That’s new, that just happened 15 years ago.” They still buy tamales from Tom Tom on the Southwest Side. Recently, they’ve started buying franks from Red Hot Chicago. “We used David Berg for 30 years, but then Vienna bought them, and then they changed the way they did it,” Teddy explains. Though the once Eastern European immigrant-dominated neighborhood surrounding Fat Johnnie’s has seen sweeping changes in the last 40 years, some things remain the same: people love hot dogs. They come to the stand yearround, six days a week, from the South Side, East Side, West Side, and suburbs like Tinley Park and Orland Park, and as far as Germany. “My dad has some customers

coming here for 35 years,” he remarks. As we talk to Teddy on the picnic bench, people wave to him. “Hey, good luck tonight!” he shouts to a soccer coach from nearby St. Rita’s High School. It’s clear that community is as important to Fat Johnnie’s as their hot dogs––a local artist’s rendition of famous black men hang in the kitchen, the shack is covered in industrial union stickers, a photo of the local priest and the Pope is taped right above John’s seat, and a faded Bears poster flags in the wind on Teddy’s house. Teddy tells us how they help out a few people having a hard time on the streets, providing them with free meals for the day. One man like this comes around during our interview, and we sit quietly as we watch Cori hand him a soda and change. Teddy offers to make us some items on the menu to try; in a few minutes, we receive paper bags delicately stuffed with a Motherin-Law, a Super Sundae, and a Super Dog. The food itself is not so delicate––fingers dripping with grease, we stain our napkins and ignore the chili that gets on our faces as we take a bite of each, as we’ve submitted defeat––like some kind of tradition, there’s no way we can eat without getting our hands dirty. The Super Dog, a hot dog topped with cheese, chili, cucumber, onions, hot peppers, and celery salt, tastes like comfort: the zingy celery salt dancing on the tongue, the warm chili something familiar like home. The Mother-in-Law comes as a shock, as it’s a Super Dog sans cheese, but the boiled sausage is replaced with a tamale. The moist, sweet crumb of the corn balances out the salt. And the Super Sundae, which is the goodness of the Mother-in-Law in a comforting bowl, is ugly but hearty and messy. Our spoons fight for the next bite, the snap and crunch of a pickled chili pepper. Our parched tongues sing for an icy can of pop to wash it all down with, and we ask Teddy what he thinks about his food. “I want to make every one perfectly. If they want extra cucumber, extra celery salt, extra onions, whatever, just make sure you do it exactly right. So I consider myself a hot dog concierge. You get your hot dog exactly the way you want. If you don’t like it I’ll make you another one, you know?” he said. “My dad had that rule, if you don’t like it, we’ll make you another one––no questions. The customer’s always right. We pride ourselves on making sure everybody’s happy.”







S A LT ,







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a closer look at

n o i t a r a p e meal pr 16

bite || fall fall 2016 2016 BITE


eal prepping, the practice in which one dedicates one day each week to preparing and portioning an entire week’s worth of meals, is the enthralling epitome of planning ahead. Meal preppers typically cook multiple dishes in bulk and divide each batch of entrees, sides, or snacks into portions for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for every day of the week. Compartmented containers all lined up in identical rows, sides of vibrant vegetables next to seared salmon or baked chicken or seitan stir-fry—the possibilities, and seemingly the food, are endless. In fact, one of the reasons the trend took off stems from its visual appeal in photos, particularly on Instagram, where people post pictures of their ready-to-store creations. Some preppers photograph not only the polished products, but also the before and after progression from raw ingredients to composed meals. This focus on photography leads to meals with eye-catching color contrasts and a variety of artful arrangements. Mili Leitner, a third-year grad student in ethnomusicology and a dedicated meal prepper, goes for function over appearance. Even so, she still uses Instagram: “When it does look nice, I will take a photo and share it with the world.” She began meal prepping six years ago in order to lose weight. “I wanted an easy mental out from the whole trying-to-lose-weight process,” she said. “The kinds of people who were meal prepping were who I was aspiring to be in terms of fitness and physique.” “Just being able to pull something out of my bag is just so much more convenient than having to seek out food that fits my health needs and my allergy needs as well,” she added. “It often tastes better, because I can cook purely to my tastes. I’m rarely disappointed after eating a meal these days.” Although many meal preppers take inspiration

from blogs and Instagram, meal prepping is a highly individual practice, customizable to personal dietary preferences. “I don’t really believe in following other people’s meal preps. I know what I need, what I like,” Leitner explained. One major motivation for meal prepping is the convenience of always having food right at hand. Meal prepping saves time overall by consolidating all of the week’s cooking and clean-up time into one intensive two-hour block instead of carving out time every day to reinvent the wheel, or in this case, the meal. Additionally, meal preppers can prevent food waste by immediately using all of an ingredient instead of forgetting about remainders in the bottom of the fridge and can avoid wasting money by matching weekly grocery purchases to a meal plan. Guesswork and indecision don’t have to factor into the cooking process. However, meal prepping does have its limitations. Meals must either keep in the refrigerator with no risk of spoiling or be amenable to freezing and thawing well. Furthermore, the prepper must be willing to eat approximately the same dishes for each breakfast, lunch, or dinner for a week at a time. Nevertheless, most meal preppers, including Leitner, have found how to make the monotony of meal prepping work for them through trial and error. “It took me a bit of time to find out what kinds of foods I’d be willing to eat every day. I could never eat cauliflower or kale every day,” she said. Now, she’s an expert, complete with “the world’s largest collection of tupperware in every shape, size, and color.” Once one gets the hang of it, meal prepping can be an impressive system for circumventing the otherwise universal “what-do-I-eat-fordinner” dilemma.



written by Wendy Zheng & Rebecca Naimon

by alyce oh and katie mcpolin photos by anjali dhillon

FEATURES features


BY NAOMI GANCZ PHOTOS BY DELIA SOSA Two all-time favorites in one, these goodies are everything you’ve ever wanted, complete with a rich, gooey, chocolatey brownie base layer and a crunchy, spicy snickerdoodle top. Seasonal winter dessert or year-round treat, these treats will please any crowd.


get: Brownie layer • 1/2 cup butter • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate • 1 1/2 cup sugar • 2 eggs • 2 tbsp. strong coffee • 3/4 cup flour • 1/3 cup cocoa powder • 1/2 tsp. coarse salt Topping • 1/4 cup sugar • 2 tbsp. cinnamon

Snickerdoodle layer • 1/2 cup room temperature butter • 3/4 cup granulated sugar • 1 egg • 1 tsp. vanilla • 1 1/4 cup flour • 1/2 tsp. baking soda • 1 tsp. cream of tartar • 1 tbsp. cinnamon • 1 tsp. ginger • 1 tsp. nutmeg • 1/4 tsp. coarse salt

Do: For the brownie layer: 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 13”x8” pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. 2. Microwave the butter and chocolate in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until melted. Stir in the sugar, eggs, and coffee until combined. 3. Sift in the dry ingredients. Stir just until incorporated. 4. Pour the batter evenly into the pan and place in the oven for 25 minutes. While the brownies are baking, make the cookie dough. For the cookie layer: 1. Whisk together the butter and sugar. 18

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Add the egg and vanilla and whisk until combined. 2. Sift in the dry ingredients. Finish it off: 1. After the 25 minutes are over, remove the brownies from the oven. 2. Combine the sugar and cinnamon for the topping in a small bowl. Take small chunks of cookie dough, roll them in the topping mixture, then flatten them on top of the half-baked brownies until most of the brownie surface is covered. Top evenly with the remaining cinnamon sugar. 3. Bake for an additional 20 minutes. Allow at least an hour for the brownies to cool.

PEEK-A-BOO BREAD ROLLS get: BY RACHEL WEINBREN PHOTOS BY FIONA GASAWAY As the weather gets colder, warmer food becomes more essential. A perfect autumn snack or a filling winter appetizer, these bread bombs are sure to warm up your palate and the faces of anyone who tries them. They are easy to make, amazing to eat fresh, and can also be kept frozen and warmed up whenever you’re craving something warm, cozy, and cheesy! From the traditional cheese and chicken to the vegetarian cheese, spinach and peppers, and

even the innovative breakfast roll with eggs, cheese, chicken and salsa, the opportunities are endless, with the taste amazing, and the warmth enveloping. The seasonings are also the baker’s choice; from rosemary to red pepper, you can turn up the heat of the dish in more ways than one. Pair your rolls with a warm cup of tea or cider, watch the steam roll off both your drinks and your just-outof-the-oven bread, and enjoy the tastes and colors of autumn.

• 1 packet of yeast • 1/4 cup of warm water • 1 tsp. white sugar • 2 tbsp. of oil • 3 tbsp. of white sugar • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt • 1 scant cup of water • 3 1/3 cups of flour • 1 1/2-2 cups of cheese • 12 pieces of chicken (or any meat) • 1 egg • Spinach, peppers, or other small add-ins • Salt, pepper, paprika, and other seasonings

dough sticks to your hand when you finish, add more flour. 4. Knead the dough for about 30 seconds and then roll into a ball. Cover with a towel and let sit in a warm place for 45 minutes to an hour. 5. Meanwhile, if you are cooking your chicken or meat, now is a good time to do so. You can also use lunch meats or make the vegetarian option using cheese and any veggies you’d like. 6. After the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 350°F. Knead the dough again and mix in 1 cup of cheese to the dough. Divide into 12

pieces. Flatten each piece out like a pancake. Add 1 tablespoon of cheese and a piece of meat to the center of the dough. You can also add vegetables or other add-ins. 7. Pull the edges of the dough together to form a ball. Place each roll on a greased cookie sheet or in a cupcake tray. Whisk an egg in a separate bowl and add egg wash to each roll. Add a pinch of cheese, salt, pepper, paprika, or any other seasoning to the top of each roll. 8. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tops are golden.

Do: 1. Pour the packet of yeast into warm water and add 1 teaspoon of sugar. Gently stir until combined. Let sit until the mixture has risen to 1/2 cup. 2. In a large bowl, add yeast mixture, oil, sugar, and salt. Fill the same container you mixed the yeast in with about one cup of water. Make sure to collect the remnants of the yeast off of the sides of the container in order to have as much yeast in the dough as possible. Pour into the bowl. 3. Mix in the flour in one cup at a time. If the



PREP 50 minutes (+45 mins wait time) COOK 25 minutes MAKES 12 Rolls



PREP 5 minutes COOK 15 minutes MAKES 2 servings

GLUTEN-FREE TACOS BY HUSSAM AL-AZZAWI + VIIVI JARVI PHOTOS BY DIANA HOCKETT When it’s Friday night and you’re in your PJs, dining options are limited, especially when you want to eat gluten free. There’s no fourth meal and you don’t want to spend money on Grubhub, which leaves you stumped as to a quick, satisfying, gluten-free dish. Keep reading, because we are offering a quick, delectable recipe geared toward just such a late night craving. The cheese and salsa in these tacos provide an excellent blend of savory and sweet flavors, and the crunch of the crispy corn tortilla complements the softness of the other ingredients. In a repertoire of glutenfree dishes that rest on the more complex side, this recipe is a instant favorite because it’s so 20

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simple to make—it shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes—but feels like a gourmet meal.

get: • • • • • • • •

1/3 lb. chicken fillet or ground beef 1-2 tbsp. water 4 small corn tortillas Gluten-free taco seasoning mix 2 tbsp. vegetable oil 1/2 cup cheese 4 tbsp. ready-made salsa Lettuce and tomato to taste

do: 1. Place the chicken in a small heated frying pan or skillet. Sautee until fully cooked through, about 6 minutes each side. 2. Take the chicken off the heat and cut or pull apart so that it is in either shreds or cubes. 3. Return the chicken to the pan, and add 1-2 tablespoons water. Add the gluten-free taco seasoning mix to the pan and mix until chicken is covered. Set chicken aside to cool. 4. Cover the bottom of a small frying pan with vegetable oil and wheat. Place one tortilla into the pan, flipping from side to side until golden brown. Remove from heat. 5. Put chicken, cheese, salsa, and desired toppings on the tortilla and enjoy!

BEIGLI BY DAPHNE XU PHOTOS BY FIONA GASAWAY A recipe straight from the Gasaway family cookbook, Beigli is a traditional Hungarian pastry that has spread its roots all across Eastern and Central Europe. Though this treat is commonly served during Christmastime, the fall season is just right for the enjoying the pastry’s dark, rich poppy seed filling and

buttery walnut spread. Take a quiet afternoon to indulge yourself in kneading the soft dough and swirling the sweet fillings. The scent of activated yeast and notes of lemon will turn your kitchen into your very own bakery, and the end result is a decadent roll meant to be delicately sliced and savored. Add currants or chopped dates if you wish, as this pastry is easily customizable, or use store bought poppy seed filling to make it a little simpler. This treat is best served at room temperature and intended to be shared anytime of the season.

get: Dough • 4 cups flour • 7/8 cup butter • 5 tbsp. powder sugar • 1/4 tsp. salt • 3 egg yolks • 1 egg white

• 1 whole egg • 1/2 cup whole milk • 1 packet yeast • 1 tsp. sugar

Poppy Seed Filling • 1/2 lb. poppy seeds • 3/4 cup castor sugar • Lemon zest • 1 tsp. apricot jam • 1/2 cup whole milk

Walnut Filling • 1/2 lb. walnuts • 3/4 cup castor sugar • Lemon zest • 1 tsp. vanilla extract • 1/2 cup whole milk • 1 egg white

do: For the dough: 1. Dissolve sugar in warm milk and add yeast. Let mixture stand for 10 minutes. 2. Mix flour, sugar, salt, and butter in a large bowl until crumbly. 3. Add yeast mixture and eggs. Stir until dough is soft. 4. Knead dough until smooth and slightly springy. 5. Split dough into two large balls or four smaller ones, and let rest for 1 hour covered in a warm place. For the filling: 1. Grind 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds at a time with a pinch of sugar. 2. Mix all of the poppy seed filling ingredients in a saucepan. Put heat on low, add in milk, and stir until thick. Add jam, then take off heat. 3. Repeat grinding process for walnuts. 4. Mix all of the walnut filling ingredients except

the egg in a saucepan. Add milk at low heat until thick. Let cool, then add beaten egg white. 5. Cover fillings and set in fridge until dough is ready. Finish it off: 1. Roll dough into a rectangle about a quarter inch thick. 2. Spread filling, leaving a border. Fold border over filling. 3. Roll from short side. Close ends and fold under roll. 4. Place onto parchment lined baking sheet seam side down. 5. Allow it to rise in a warm place until doubled in size for about 1 hour. 6. Preheat oven to 350°F. 7. Bake until golden brown for 35-40 minutes. Remove and let cool covered in a clean towel before cutting. recipes



get: Base • 4 red bell peppers • 4 tomatoes • 1 onion Rice • 1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil • Base • 1/2 onion • 4 cups rice • Bouillon cube • Salt • Black pepper • Ginger powder • Curry powder


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Recently, the Twitter universe was embroiled in a most delicious battle. It centered around the question of which is better: Nigerian Jollof Rice or Ghanaian Jollof Rice. The answer is obvious—just ask Mark Zuckerberg and

Gabrielle Union, who are avid supporters of the former. Nigerian Jollof Rice is even possibly the most superior rice dish of all rice dishes… though we might be just a little bit biased. Still, the proof is in the palate.

do: • Thyme • Chili powder Pan-fried vegetables and shrimp • 1 tbsp. butter • 1/2 onion • 1/2 pound shrimp • 3 cups mixed vegetables • Salt • Black pepper • Garlic powder • Chili powder • Dried parsley

For the base: 1. Roughly chop the peppers, tomatoes, and onion. Proceed to blend until smooth. 2. Boil together for 10-15 minutes.

4. Bring everything to a boil, stir, then add the uncooked rice. 5. Cook 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender, and mix well.

For the rice: 1. Heat up oil in a pot and add onions, cooking them until they turn translucent. 2. Add the base and bring to a simmer. 3. Once simmering, add salt, bouillon cube, and spices to taste.

For the pan-fried vegetables and shrimp: 1. Melt butter in pan, simmer onions and add in the shrimp. 2. Cook the shrimp until it browns and then add the mixed vegetables. 5. Sprinkle in salt and spices to taste.

Shrimp Ceviche At dinner parties across America, shrimp cocktails have become the overdone choice for every unoriginal hors d’oeuvres spread. It’s time to switch up your appetizer routine and add life to those crustaceans! Inspired by the gastronomic monotony of social gatherings, this quick and easy recipe for ceviche uses

your commonplace cocktail shrimp and gives them a new zesty and sassy flavor. While ceviche is usually served raw, this take on the classic Latin American dish uses cooked shrimp and is just as tasty while posing no risk of food poisoning to your guests. The nuggets of avocado add a pleasant, creamy balance to the acidity, and a quick drizzle of hot sauce at the end can bring some extra excitement to your tastebuds. Your friends will surely be impressed by your daring break with the typical appetizer standard.



• 1 lb. large, whole cooked shrimp • 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice • 2 tbsp. olive oil • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper • 3 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro • 1 whole avocado, diced into half-inch cubes • Tabasco or your favorite hot sauce to taste (optional)

1. Remove the shell and tails from the shrimp and cut them into thirds. 2. Combine the shrimp, lemon juice, olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper in a medium sized bowl. Taste for added salt or pepper. 3. Add the cilantro. Stir to combine. 4. Gently stir in the avocado. Do not overstir to prevent the avocado from getting mushy. 5. If desired, garnish with cilantro and add a dash of hot sauce.





bite | fall 2016

UChicago Bite Issue III: Fall 2016  

The third issue of UChicago's student-run print culinary magazine!

UChicago Bite Issue III: Fall 2016  

The third issue of UChicago's student-run print culinary magazine!