WBEZ | Mardi Gras http://www.wbez.org/tags/mardi-gras Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Delightful paczki do Mardi Gras, Polish-style http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-02/delightful-paczki-do-mardi-gras-polish-style-105474 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8467187863/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/paczkidelightfuldrunken.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Drunken Donuts paczki with vanilla custard and vodka at Delightful Pastries in Jefferson Park, Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></p><p>When Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world with his resignation announcement yesterday, Catholics across Chicago could at least stress eat with paczki.&nbsp;</p><p>The Polish pastries are part of the great last hurrah before Lent. They&#39;re traditionally eaten in Poland on Fat Thursday (last Thursday), and across this country today on Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras. In Chicago, we celebrate both days thanks to our Polish-American population, and because we like to eat.</p><p>Paczki look like everyday doughnuts but should feel heavier, bite denser, and taste unfamiliar, filled with stewed plum or rose hip jam. Before the gourmet doughnut trend, there were paczki.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8468265190/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/paczkidelightfulstorefront.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Delightful Pastries in Jefferson Park, Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></div><div class="image-insert-image ">But at Delightful Pastries, pastry chef/owner Dobra&nbsp;Bielinski, is injecting a little of the new world too, sometimes with a shot of vodka. Yes, she makes all the old world flavors at her Jefferson Park location. She says her older, Polish customers prefer them.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8467161237/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/paczkidelightfulbox.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Box of rose hip, drunken chocolate, strawberry whipped cream, and chocolate raspberry jam paczki from Delightful Pastries in Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></div><div class="image-insert-image ">Yet, during a visit on Fat Thursday last week, an older Polish-speaking man listened carefully to a young Polish-speaking shopgirl explain the new flavors, including passionfruit jam. He eventually added a decidedly untraditional chocolate raspberry to his box of a dozen paczki.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8468250580/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/paczkidelightfulplum.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Plum jam paczki from Delightful Pastries in Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">Me too, but I like the stewed plum jam the best. Powidła is made with late harvest plums, cooked down slowly for hours with no added sugar or pectin, earning its sweet, tart, and thick character only with time.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://www.delightfulpastries.com/">Delightful Pastries</a></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;"><p>Jefferson Park<br />5927 W. Lawrence Ave.<br />Chicago, IL 60630<br />773-545-7215</p><p>Old Town<br />1710 N. Wells St.<br />Chicago, IL 60614<br />312-255-0724</p>Chicago French Market<br />131 N. Clinton Ave.<br />Chicago, IL 60661<br />312-234-9644</div></div><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8467150043/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/paczkidelightfuldobra.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Pastry chef/owner Dobra Bielinski holds tray of plum and rose hip jam paczki at Delightful Pastries in Jefferson Park, Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></p></p> Tue, 12 Feb 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-02/delightful-paczki-do-mardi-gras-polish-style-105474 Friday Foodie Forecast: a gala, a carnival and Fat Tuesday festivities http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/2011-03-04/friday-foodie-forecast-gala-carnival-and-fat-tuesday-festivities-8332 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/mardi_gras_mask.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="428" width="400" alt="" title="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-March/2011-03-03/mardi_gras_mask.jpg" /></p><p>Whether you call it Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday or Carnival, it usually conjures up images of flying beads, masqueraded party-goers on floats, and general all-out debauchery. But you don&rsquo;t need to attend a parade this week to join in the decadent festivities. A charity gala featuring acrobats and award-winning chefs, a Brazilian celebration of cuisine and cocktails, and a good old-fashioned Cajun-style crawfish eating contest are all offerings this week for the foodie looking to share in some of gluttonous fun.<o:p></o:p></p> <p><strong>Redmoon Spectacle Lunatique Gala</strong><o:p></o:p></p> <p>Match out-of-this-world food with mind-blowing theater as <a href="http://www.redmoon.org/">Redmoon</a> hosts its annual <a href="http://redmoon.tix.com/Event.asp?Event=320955">Spectacle Lunatique Gala</a> at Redmoon Central on Saturday, March 12th from 6:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Since 1990, the theater organization throws the one-night only showcase of its signature large-scale, site-specific, spectacle performance work (think equal parts pageantry, gadgetry, puppetry and acrobatics) all for an invited audience of donors that gather in support of the companyʼs civic mission of creating public art for the city of Chicago. This year, the group has teamed up with four 2011 Michelin Guide Chicago Starred Restaurants, four 2011 Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand Restaurants, three James Beard Award winning/nominated chefs, four &ldquo;Best New Chefs&rdquo; listed in <em>Food &amp; Wine</em>, two Jean Banchet Award winners, a Bravo &ldquo;Top Chef&rdquo; winner, an &ldquo;America&rsquo;s Best Mixologist&rdquo; from the program <em>On the Rocks</em>, and more. <span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;"><span style=""><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="">The list of chefs includes: Paul Kahan (<a href="http://www.blackbirdrestaurant.com/">Blackbird</a>), Jessica Oloroso (<a href="http://blackdogchicago.com">Black Dog Gelato</a>), Giuseppe Tentori (<a href="http://www.bokachicago.com/">BOKA</a>), Chris Pandel (<a href="http://www.thebristolchicago.com/">The Bristol</a>), Charles Joly (<a href="http://www.thedrchicago.com/">The Drawing Room</a>), Stephanie Izard (<a href="http://girlandthegoat.com/">Girl &amp; The Goat</a>), Mindy Segal (<a href="http://www.hotchocolatechicago.com/">Hot Chocolate</a>), Randy Zweiban (<a href="http://provincerestaurant.com/">Province</a>), Jimmy Bannos, Jr. (<a href="http://www.thepurplepigchicago.com/">The Purple Pig</a>), Michael Carlson (<a href="http://schwarestaurant.com/">Schwa</a>), Andrew Zimmerman <a href="http://www.sepiachicago.com/">(Sepia</a>), Bill Kim (<a href="http://urbanbellychicago.com/">Urban Belly</a>), as well as select students participating in the dessert and hors d&rsquo;oeuvres service from <a href="http://www.frenchpastryschool.com/">The French Pastry School of Chicago</a> and <a href="http://www.kendall.edu/ ">Kendall College School of Culinary Arts</a>.<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;"><o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="">The cost for individual tickets range from $50 for late-night entry at 10:30 p.m. including drinks, dancing and dessert, to $175, which includes tastings from Chicago&rsquo;s premier chefs and a Redmoon Spectacle moment at 8:30 p.m. VIP tickets include early entry at 6:30 p.m. and range from $650 for two guests to $2500 for eight guests. Corporate packages are also available and range from $2,500 to $10,000. All tickets can be purchased by calling 312.850.8440 x100 or online at <a href="http://www.redmoon.org">www.redmoon.org</a>. Proceeds fund <a href="http://redmoon.org/naprogram/">Redmoonʼs Neighborhood Arts Program</a>, directly impacting Chicagoʼs diverse communities. <a href="http://www.redmoon.org/">Redmoon Central</a> is located at 1463 W. Hubbard St.<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;"><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Carnival at SushiSamba</strong><o:p></o:p></p> <p>Transport yourself to Rio de Janeiro and celebrate the annual Brazilian tradition of Carnival this Saturday, March 5 at <a href="http://www.sushisamba.com/">SushiSamba Rio</a>. Beginning at 9 p.m., guests will sip the evening&rsquo;s featured drink -tangerine honey caipirnhas &ndash; alongside samba dancers, batacuda drummers and live feed from Brazil. The night&rsquo;s special festive menu includes casquinha do siri (blue crab, dende oil remoulade, fresh lime, $14), acaraje with braised short ribs (black bean fritter, cilantro, pickled onion, $24), beinjinho flan (sweet coconut flan, lime beignet, pineapple caipirnha sorvete, $8) and a manqueria roll (avocado, tuna, yellowtail, salmon, eel, shrimp, spicy mayonnaise, $22). Reservations can be made by calling 312-595-2300. SushiSamba Rio is located at 504 N. Wells St.<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;"><o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;"><o:p></o:p></span><strong>Crawfish Contest at the Cactus Bar &amp; Grill</strong><o:p></o:p></p> <p>Celebrate Fat Tuesday Cajun-style while donating to charity at the first annual <a href="http://www.dontdrinkandtrade.com/">Cactus Bar &amp; Grill </a>crawfish-eating contest this Tuesday, March 8 at 6 p.m. The goal is to be the first to eat three pounds of the crustaceans to take the title of crawfish king or queen. It is $25 to participate, which includes a souvenir t-shirt, and all proceeds benefit the <a href="http://www.stbaldricks.org/">St. Baldrick&rsquo;s Foundation</a>, which promotes research and treatment of childhood cancers. Spectators can enjoy $3 Abita Turbo Dog pints and $5 bowls of gumbo all set to a Mardi Gras scene of beads, masks and prize giveaways such as a $50 gift certificate to the restaurant. Cactus Bar &amp; Grill is located at 404 S. Wells St. For more information, visit <a href="http://www.dontdrinkandtrade.com">www.dontdrinkandtrade.com</a>.</p></p> Fri, 04 Mar 2011 18:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/2011-03-04/friday-foodie-forecast-gala-carnival-and-fat-tuesday-festivities-8332 Friday Feast: The Big Easy way to eat Chinese http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/friday-feast-big-easy-way-eat-chinese <p><p style="text-align: center; "><a rel="attachment wp-att-14761" href="/dolinsky/2010/02/friday-feast-the-big-easy-way-to-eat-chinese/14713 /img_2708-2"><img class="size-full wp-image-14761" alt="" width="186" height="249" src="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//IMG_27081.jpg" /></a>&nbsp;<br /><em>catfish po-boy and jambalaya from The Big Easy<br />(photo by Steve Dolinsky)</em></p><p>As I <a target="_blank" href="/dolinsky/2010/02/gearing-up-for-fat-tuesday-not-so-easy/14558">mentioned previously</a> in this space, Hyde Park's newest restaurant - <a target="_blank" href="http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/Dining/Dining-Guide/index.php?neighborhood=Hyde+Park&amp;listing=44959">The Big Easy</a> - has already gone through some growing pains in its first month. Despite the drama, I'm featuring it on <a target="_blank" href="http://abclocal.go.com/wls/channel?section=resources/lifestyle_community/food/restaurants&amp;id=7098198">ABC 7 today</a> at 11 a.m. While some dishes were just so-so (Who dat serving up the po-boy?) and the popular jambalaya is awkwardly stuffed into a pan-fried chicken breast, the etoufee had a nice, slow burn and the gumbo was rock-solid. Still, I had those dishes under the tenure of Jennifer Gavin, who has since left the building, so not really sure how her successor has been faring this week. Stay tuned.</p><p>The next few days are nuts. Mardi Gras festivities will be concurrent with paczki-gulping Poles, while Chinatown gears up for a New Year's celebration Sunday afternoon, about the same time significant others will be judging how committed their significant others are, finagling Valentine's Day reservations. Strange days, indeed.&nbsp;<!--break-->One of the big parties for Mardi Gras is taking place on the South Side.&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://cajunjoynt.com/">Lagniappe Creole Cajun Joynt</a> is planning a big party on Tuesday night, beginning at 6 p.m. They're going to have&sbquo;&nbsp;a live video stream from Mardi Gras festivities in New Orleans and a few special surprise guests. Tickets are&sbquo;&nbsp;$20; order in advance and <a target="_blank" href=" http://mardigrasparty.eventbrite.com.">receive&sbquo;&nbsp;a free 'super hurricane</a>.</p><p><strong>Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler! (&quot;Let the good times roll!&quot;)</strong></p><p>Tonight at 10 p.m., I'm continuing my monthly series, &quot;My Country, My Cuisine,&quot; by eating some Northern-style Chinese food with my friend, Wen Huang. Wen is from Xian, in the far reaches of Northern China, and when he craves the taste of home, he prefers <a target="_blank" href="http://maps.google.com/maps?oe=utf-8&amp;client=firefox-a&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;q=3139+South+Halsted+Street,+Chicago+IL+60608&amp;fb=1&amp;split=1&amp;gl=us&amp;cid=0,0,16470546205373235011&amp;ei=Fl3CSZ6zGYaBtge30JndCg&amp;z=16&amp;iwloc=A">Ed's Potsticker House</a> in Bridgeport. I've never been a huge fan of Ed's thick, pencil-shaped potstickers, but their soup dumplings proved surprisingly good, and the Chairman Mao's pork - redolent with Chinese spices, oil and fatty pork, nestled into toothsome noodles, was just the elixir I needed on a cold night.</p><p>Gung Hay Fat Choy, and may you take long nap after consumption of much Chinese food...</p></p> Fri, 12 Feb 2010 07:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/friday-feast-big-easy-way-eat-chinese