Illinois Food History

April 22, 2012 6:33:00 AM PDT
Kendall College is offering a history lesson from April 27 through April 29, to explore the culinary roots of Illinois.

Catherine Lambrecht, Vice President of the Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance (link:, and Julianne Glatz, food writer from Illinois Times, came into our ABC7 studio to tell us all about the "Road Food" (link: event and to show us how to make Springfield's signature "Horseshoe Sandwich."

Road Food: Exploring the Midwest One Bite at a Time (link:
Friday, Saturday and Sunday
April 27, 29 and 30
Kendall College
900 N. North Branch Street
Free Parking in north parking lot
(West of Halsted Street, North of Chicago Avenue) Due to bridge construction access from Division Street.
Open to the public
Friday and Saturday: $85

Begins at 3 p.m. with a family trip on Route 66 in 1953 in Ford Model A truck.
Followed by a history of Food Trucks: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.
Concludes with a food truck dinner - cash only.

begins at 9 a.m. with Michael Stern, author of best selling Road Food series, wondering, "Will Success Spoil Regional Food?"
Followed by presentations on drive-ins, diners, supper clubs, Wisconsin vacations and farmers markets.
Concludes with a Midwestern Wine and Wisconsin Cheese tasting.
Saturday's lunch (link: features many Midwestern diner favorites

"The first stop on the Mother Road"-Lou's nickname-will be followed by a choice of two guided tours: Maxwell Street Market, led by Greater Midwest Foodways president Bruce Kraig and The Local Beet publisher Rob Gardner; or the Smart Museum exhibit "Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art", led by chief curator Stephanie Smith. 9 a.m. - Sunday Breakfast at Lou Mitchell's "Where Route 66 Began" (link:
565 W. Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL
Fee: $20 11 a.m.: Tour of Maxwell Street begins at 11 a.m. at the large red 'M' at the northwest corner of Roosevelt and Des Plaines Streets (link:
Fee: $10 (bring small bills for food)
11:30 a.m.: Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art @ The Smart Museum of the University of Chicago - $10!/MidwestFoodways

The original Leland Hotel horseshoe sauce
By Julianne Glatz, Food Writer of the Illinois Times
Use at least sharp cheddar; I prefer extra-sharp.
The original specifies Kraft's Old English Cheddar. Apparently it's still produced, but I've never been able to find it.
Do NOT use pre-grated cheese; it's coated with a substance that keeps the shreds separate, which isn't harmful, but keeps pre-grated cheese from completely melting into sauces.
Using good beer is also essential for great horseshoe sauce.
I use an English ale such as Bass, or English-style IPA for maximum flavor and because of the sauce's Welsh rarebit connection.

Makes approximately 1 quart
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter
1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Dry Mustard
1/8 tsp Cayenne
2 cups Whole Milk, room temperature
1 tblsp Worcestershire Sauce
8 oz. Sharp Cheddar, Grated
3/4 cup Beer, room temperature

Melt the butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat.
Add the flour, and stir with a wooden spoon or whisk to combine.
Cook for a couple minutes, so the flour loses its raw taste.
Whisk in the milk, salt, mustard and pepper.
Bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is quite thick.
Remove the saucepan from the stove.
Add the Worcestershire sauce and the cheese, and stir until the cheese is completely melted.
Whisk in the beer, and return the saucepan to the stove.
Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce comes just to a bare simmer. Do not let it boil.

Notes on assembly:
Horseshoe Sandwich: toast, ham sliced off the bone, rarebit sauce and potato wedges
On two pieces of white toast, arrange ham sliced from the bone in a semi-circle (to suggest horseshoes) with the rarebit sauce poured to cover.
Arrange roasted potato wedges on the edge to suggest horse nails.

Adapted from Saint Benedict's Parish Family Cookbook of Nebraska City, NE, 1983. Provided by Robyn Nisi of


2 cups Warm (less than 120 degrees) Water
2x 1/4 oz packages Dry Yeast (Fleischmann's)
1/2 cup Sugar
1.5 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Cool, Melted Margarine
1 Egg
6.5 cups Flour

If using regular yeast, mix water, yeast, sugar and salt until dissolved.
Add egg, margarine.
When mixed, add in flour gradually.
Refrigerate lightly covered for 4 hours.
If using instant yeast, in a stand mixer bowl add flour, sugar, salt and yeast.
Add water, margarine and egg.
Fit dough hook, then run at low speed until dough is mixed, smooth and not sticking the bowl's side.

Egg Wash for Dough:

1 Egg
Pinch Salt


2 lbs Ground Beef
4 cups Finely Chopped Cabbage
1 Chopped Medium Onion
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Preheat skill to medium high heat, add ground beef and onion.
Once meat is browned, add cabbage, salt and pepper, and 1/4 cup water.
Cover, and simmer until cabbage is tender (5-10 minutes).

Roll dough about 0.25" thick, cut into 4-5" squares.
Spoon filling on each square, bring sides together and pinch firmly (oblong-shaped).
Place upside down on greased cookie sheet; brush on egg wash with pastry brush.
Let rise at room temperature 20-30 mins, and bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes.