Follow me through the adventures that take place in my kitchen, in restaurants or in other kitchens. Cooking and food are my passions and I want to share my experiences of cooking, baking and eating with you.
I'm a Greek self-taught cook who lives in Chicago. I learned a lot about cooking from both of my grandmothers, my mom and dad, family and friends. Passing on timeless traditions through food is one thing I strive to do in life.
These are my journeys through culinary exploration...
clraptis (at) gmail (dot) com
Gnocchi in a Pork Ragu from Portobello in the downtown Disney area
One of the sales reps that I work with is Italian so he LOVES to find the best Italian restaurant for dinner. We were discussing what we were going to order and when I said the gnocchi he told me he wanted the same, but was skeptical. He’s very particular about the texture of his gnocchi and was worried they would over cook it as many restaurants do. Trust me, there is nothing worse than a mushy potato dumpling.
I risked it and was more than pleased with my meal. I let the rep have a taste of the gnocchi and he wasn’t disappointed either. They were cooked perfectly - firm on the outside with just the right softness as you bite into them. But the star of the dish was the sauce. This pork ragu is supposedly “grandma’s recipe” and it tasted that way. The shredded pork was plentiful and the sauce was very rich. I won’t be surprised if I find myself in my own kitchen soon trying to recreate this sauce.
(sorry for the poor quality of the photo - had to use the camera on my phone)
I was in Las Vegas last week on a business trip. A vendor took me out to dinner at Onda Ristorante at the Mirage. This was my meal (after appetizers of green olive and sun-dried tomato tapanades, mussels and caprese salad).
Salmon Saltimbocca served with tuscan white beans and lemon butter sauce
Although I could have used another piece of prosciutto wrapped around that filet (of course), the salmon was tender and flaky… cooked perfectly. I’m a huge fan of citrus - so the sauce could have been heavier on the lemon flavor to boost the tang. Overall I was pleased with the meal though. Nice restaurant, quaint atmosphere and pretty good food. I recommend it!
Pumpkin stuffed pasta dumplings served with butternut squash, pinenuts and fried sage in a brown butter sauce also from Sapori. This was the dish I got and I was so happy with my choice. The filling was rich and creamy, the squash had a nice crust but was soft on the inside, the sage was perfectly crispy and the brown butter sauce was divine. I’m definitely going to go back sometime soon!
From Sapori Trattoria in Lincoln Park. My sister always raved about this restaurant when she lived in this neighborhood a few years ago. I’ve been in Chicago proper for 6 months now and hadn’t tried out this spot yet. It was everything she said it would be!