The Local Ladle

Spicy Garlic Hummus Wontons with Tzatziki

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Whenever I make a stop back home,  I can always expect to leave with an assortment of mismatched groceries from my parent’s fridge.  “Maddie do you want hummus… raspberries… wonton wrappers… or zucchini to take with you…?”  My mom yells upstairs.  Of course I agree to taking everything with me. Sunday grocery shopping in the city might just be the WORST.  I’m then left with the misleading challenge of creating meals from my Chopped mystery ingredient basket…

I will say, one of my greatest talents has to be creating dishes from nothing, this recipe being the aftermath of one of those situations. I was left with hummus, wonton wrappers, and craved something fried. Voila! The spicy garlic wontons came to life!

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Tuna Poke Bowl

Tuna poke bowl

Last year my parents took a trip to Hawaii and came back LOVING tuna poke and ever since I feel like I am seeing it everywhere! (pronounced POH-keh)  A lot of my Rockit Ranch venues here in Chicago offer it as an appetizer and let me tell you.. It’s addicting!  If you haven’t tried it,  I suggest trying the recipe below!

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Chorizo Jalapeño Poppers

Chorizo Jalapeno Poppers 1

Every time I open a restaurant menu and to see jalapeno poppers under the appetizers, it’s like the remainder of the menu is a blur. It’s not even an option, I have to order the addicting spicy bites! This past weekend in Chicago, I fought over the last of Old Crow Smokehouses amazing bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers! They sparked the idea of me making jalapeno poppers of my own. Instead of using a bacon, that it most commonly used, I decided to go with a Mexican chorizo. The deep smoky and spicy flavor of the chorizo could not be a better match with the cream cheese and fresh jalapeno.

Check out my notes at the bottom for some great vegan substitutions! Read more

Spicy Chinese Pork Belly

Chinese Pork Belly

The idea of pairing food and beer is a satisfying echo. Tasting spiciness in the sip of a beer should evoke a similar spiciness in the bite. The lingering zesty sweetness of Spicy Chinese Pork Belly for example, pairs perfectly with Goose Island’s Matilda because of the beers peppery notes. There is also an opposite approach that suggests that using contrasting flavors can also make for a fantastic pairing. This can be discovered in the recipe below with the fattiness of the pork belly that is perfectly cut by the crisp citrusy finish of a sip of Matilda. Read more

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