Monthly Archives: December 2010

Balsan

The Red Ryder... as in the BB gun

My family likes to keep our holiday celebrations nontraditional (Christmas in Mexico, 1 a.m. Rock Band jams), but two things are always a given: my sister and I behave inappropriately in church, and proper mealtimes are eradicated in a gluttonous whirl of nonstop eating.

For my parents’ post-holiday visit to Chicago then, a 9 p.m. dinner at Balsan was just about right.  Loved it.  I’ll say this: go, go late, and order the whole chicken.

As a bonus for those who fear the mystery egg, Balsan’s focus on fresh, local food means you can order frothy egg white cocktails (like The Red Ryder) with abandon.

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Kale and Potato Soup with Turkey Andouille

Ugly picture, tasty soup

Over the course of six months of CSA membership, along with perfecting my hardboiled egg technique, I have learned that utilizing the contents of a veggie share is much like playing a game of Angry Birds.  There aren’t enough birds (meals in a week) to take out all of the pigs (vegetables) without some strategy.

CSA Lesson #1: No recipe unitaskers!

You can’t make a separate meal around each item in your produce box.  Unless you eat nine dinners every week.  I love this soup because it reliably incorporates three late fall/early winter CSA staples: hearty greens, potatoes, and onions.

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