Ever been eating out and thought, “Man, I wish I could make this at home”?
Now you can, thanks to Amelia Levin’s new book, Chicago Chef’s Table (out today).
In it, find recipes from restaurants both classic (Arun’s, Spiaggia, Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse) and contemporary (The Publican, Big Star, Lula Cafe), along with historical and cultural anecdotes.
One standout is chef Jill Barron’s (Mana Food Bar) sesame noodles with peanut dressing. Not only is it one of the book’s few veggie-friendly inclusions; it’s one of the city’s best dishes. Do yourself a favor and make it ASAP.
Mana Food Bar’s Sesame Noodles with Peanut Dressing
For the peanut dressing
2 tbsp. sesame seed paste (a.k.a. tahini)
1 tsp. creamy peanut butter
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. ginger, chopped
1 tbsp. garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. Sriracha or other hot sauce
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1½ tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. rice vinegar
Salt to taste
For the sesame noodles and garnish
1 8-oz. bag Chinese yellow noodles, cooked according to instructions and chilled
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
12 pea pods, shredded
1 c. daikon sprouts
½ c. roasted peanuts, chopped
1. In a food processor or blender, add first six dressing ingredients and pulse until coarsely blended.
2. Slowly add oil and continue to pulse. Pour in soy sauce and rice vinegar and pulse until smooth and creamy.
3. In a large bowl, place noodles, carrot, and pea pods. Add dressing and toss until well combined. Garnish with sprouts and peanuts.
Chicago Chef’s Table is available online at amazon.com, $17. Taste more of Barron’s dishes at Mana Food Bar, 1742 West Division Street, between Wood Street and Hermitage Avenue (773-342-1742 or manafoodbar.com).
Photo: Courtesy of Globe-Pequot Press