Chicago Culinary Crossroads

May 19, 2012 9:58:03 AM PDT
The NATO summit in town provides a great opportunity to celebrate different cultures, and what better way to do that than with food?

The Illinois Restaurant Association developed the initiative "Chicago's Culinary Crossroads," ( where more than 200 restaurants invite you to celebrate the NATO nations with food and drinks.

Two men who are part of the program came into our ABC7 studio. Chef Martial Noguier from Bistronomic and Rohini Dey, owner and culinary director from Vermilion, told us about the initiative and showed us a few recipes.

For more information on the NATO summit,

Illinois Restaurant Association presents Chicago's Culinary Crossroads through Friday, May 25

Vermilion's Moorish Valencia Seafood Saffron Paella
(three steps, portion for two)

1. Seafood sauce

6-8 large tiger shrimp
6-8 fresh mussels (pre-cleaned)
2 large scallops
8oz heart of palm sliced (boil fresh or use canned)
1 small onion diced
4 pods fresh garlic, sliced or minced
1 tbsp. chipotle sauce (canned)
4 oz. orange juice
1 tbsp. lime juice
one-quarter small orange zest (peel), julienned into long strips
2 tbsp. tequila
a pinch saffron
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. oil
Salt to taste

- soak saffron in a teaspoon of warm oil and keep aside
- sauté onions, garlic, chipotle sauce and tequila in oil
- add all seafood and sauté for a minute
- add orange juice, lime juice, salt to seafood and cook for a minute
- remove seafood and reduce broth
- add butter and put back seafood

2. Poha (flattened rice): Ingredients:
one-quarter tsp. mustard seeds
4 whole red chili
one-quarter tsp. asafoetida (hiing) powder
1oz roasted peanuts
12 fresh curry leaves
4-6oz poha (indian flattened rice)
one-half tsp. turmeric powder
2 tbsp. oil
Lime juice to taste
Salt to taste

- soak poha rice thoroughly in water in a colander and drain (ensure not lumpy)
- sauté the mustard seeds, hiing, curry leaves, red chili, turmeric, peanuts
- add the poha and toss for 5 minutes on a low flame (taste to see rice cooked)
- add lime juice and salt to taste

3. Plating:
- place poha at the bottom of your plate
- place the seafood on top of the poha
- garnish the plate with saffron infused oil and fresh cilantro

Bistronomic's Cured Scottish salmon / warm fingerling potatoes / red onion salad

For 4 guests

1 lb. Scottish salmon filet
2 carrots sliced very fine
1 red onion sliced very fine
8 juniper berries
50 cl peanut oil
8 fingerling potatoes
2 diced shallots
one-quarter cup chopped chive
8 cl red wine vinegar
4 bay leaves
2 lbs. Sea salt
White peppercorn


Put the sea salt on the filet of salmon for 3 hours in the cooler, after rinse, dry and put the salmon in a container with the sliced carrots, onions, bay leaves, juniper berries and the peanut oil and marinate for 24 h.

Cook the fingerling potatoes in water and slice them and make the vinaigrette with the oil from the marinated salmon, red wine vinegar, salt and white peppercorn.

Slice the filet of salmon in thick slices, season the warm sliced cooked potatoes with the vinaigrette, salt, peppercorn, diced shallot and chopped chive.

Put the salmon in the center of the plate, add the onions, carrots on the salmon, add the warm potato salad and finish with the vinaigrette around the salmon.

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