James Beard Foundation Taste America Chicago

September 15, 2013 6:44:20 AM PDT
The James Beard Foundation is hosting Taste America Chicago Friday, September 20 at Union Station.

James Beard award nominees and winners are presenting the official benefit dinner, called "Journey Through the Great Lakes." After the dinner the party continues with "Night Bites" featuring treats from Chicagoland's hottest chefs. They include Nicole Pederson, executive chef of Found -- a restaurant getting a lot of attention since it opened in Evanston.

She visited ABC7 Chicago with more information, including the recipe for the dish she'll be making for Night Bites.

James Beard Foundation Taste America Chicago
Friday, September 20
Hours: Cocktail Hour: 6 p.m.; Dinner: 7 p.m.; Night Bites: 9 p.m. - midnight
Location: Union Station, 500 W. Jackson, Chicago IL
Admission: Night Bites: $75; Dinner: $300; Package: $350
Tickets are still available! Visit www.jbftasteamerica.org/event/chicago


Spicy Lamb Sausage with Braised Turkish Eggplant
For the Lamb Sausage 4 ea cloves garlic, charred
4 cherry bomb peppers, charred, no seeds (any small, hot, red pepper is fine)
2 T C red wine
1 ½ lb fatty pork, ground
3 lb lamb, ground
1 black cardamom pod, ground
¼ t cumin, ground
½ t coriander, ground
1 lg arbol chiles, ground
¼ t bay, ground
1.5 oz kosher salt

Combine charred garlic, peppers and red wine in a blender and puree until smooth.
In the bowl of a standing mixer combine all ingredients and paddle on high for 3 or 4 minutes to incorporate and sausage is sticky and emulsified. Pinch off a piece of sausage and cook to test for seasoning a just salt and spice as desired. Sausage can be shaped into patties or stuffed into lamb or pork casings.
To cook sausage pan roast or grill to get nice caramelization on the meat.

For the Turkish Eggplant Braise:

2 lb eggplant, cut into ¼
1 t cayenne pepper mixed into 3 T salt
Olive oil for cooking
1 small onion julienne
5 arbol chilies dried v 1 sprig thyme
1 whole bay leaf
3 C Lamb, Chicken or Vegetable stock

Pre- heat oven to 350 degrees
In a large skillet heat a small amount of oil add ½ the eggplant, being careful not to over crowd the pan, season with the cayenne salt. Once it begins to brown on one side toss and brown on the second side, cook just long enough to brown but not cook through. Repeat with remaining eggplant, then place in a 4 to 6 qt in baking dish. Cook the onions in the same manor then add to the eggplant along with dried chilies, thyme bay and stock. Bring to a simmer, taste season with more chili salt if desired then cover and bake for 15 to 20 min or until eggplant is tender.

Baba Ganoush

1 lg eggplant
4 cloves garlic, charred and chopped
1 t lemon juice
¼ t caraway, ground
¼ t cumin, ground
½ t coriander, ground
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 450 with a sheet tray in side. Cut eggplant in half, season with salt and olive oil, once oven is hot then place eggplant, face down skin side up, on hot sheet tray. Roast for 10 minutes until soft. Peel eggplant and place eggplant on 2 layers of cheesecloth, tie the top, let hang refrigerated to drain over night. Remove eggplant from cheesecloth, dice eggplant and put into food processor with the garlic, lemon juice, spices, and salt. Puree until very smooth.

Serve with nan or flat bread and top with feta cheese.

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