Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Super Recipes for Super Bowl XLV

--Tailgatin' and how to make mofos start playa hatin' (Recipes)

If you come looking for Super Sunday recipe ideas you need look no further. Despite conference championship Sunday being tough on me and Da Bears and having to listen to idiots question our QB's toughness, I am as always excited for Super Sunday. In the 3rd annual chibbqking Super Recipe post we go with a regional feel and cook up some popular recipes from different parts of the country including a few straight outta Texas where Super Bowl XLV will be played.

2010 Recipe Index (In Listed Order)

Baked Beans
Tex-Mex Chorizo Casserole
Asparagus Roll Ups
Shrimp & Chorizo Skewers
American Chop Suey
Baked Mostaccioli
Fresh Fried Lake Perch
Cowboy Chili
Brisket Tacos

chibbqking Baked Beans


- 1 Large container of Bush's baked beans or enough to feed your party
- 1 bottle Open Pit bbq sauce
- assortment of tubed meats (I use Oscar Meyer wieners and elk sausage)
- 1/2 to a whole slab of bacon
- diced peppers, onions and garlic
- BBQ seasoning, Worcestershire, mustard for seasoning

The ingredients ready to be thrown in the pot


1) Start off by sauteing the bacon pieces (in the pan you'll use to make the beans) until crisp. Remove them and let dry on a paper towel and then add the peppers and onions and saute for 5-7 minutes and then add garlic and the Worcestershire for two more minutes. Remove the trio and add any other diced meats you are using like the hot dogs and sausage and cook them until they are browned.

2) Once everything is removed start off by pouring the can(s) of beans into the pot. Add in the trio of veggies along with the diced meats but hold on the bacon. Mix it together and then add in the bottle of Open Pit until the brew reaches the right texture which is stew like. Once you got that good to go add in the mustard (by the TBSP) and BBQ seasoning and adjust to taste.

Everything added in

3) Set heat to low and let simmer for two hours. Serve when ready.

The guts

a bowl of chibbqking baked beans

Tex-Mex Chorizo Casserole

I made a Mexican casserole inspired by Homesick Texan, which is a great Tex-Mex blog, perfect for Sunday's and giving ideas for what to make for the Super Bowl.

Mexican Bibimbap

What I did

I took three tubes of Mexican chorizo and cooked it in the pan until crispy. Once done I removed and threw in a whole sliced medium onion and a couple chopped fresh jalapenos and some chopped garlic and sauteed that up until done. I then took them out and threw 2 cans of drained hominy into the pan along with about a half cup of chopped cilantro, half a container of sour cream, half cup of shredded Mexican blend cheese, the chorizo and onion/pepper/garlic mixtures and the juice of a lime.

Mix it all together in the pan

Layer it into a baking dosh and top with more shredded cheese

Bake @ 400 until done

Serve with plenty of tortilla chips and tater tots

Asparagus Roll Ups

These little app's are great for gameday and getting started, we've been enjoying them over Thanksgiving in my family for years. My cousin is the mastermind behind these simple but succulent snacks. I always thought they would make a great Super Bowl munching snack, perfect for a little bite to pass around before the game. Check them.

Roll up's ready for cooking


- a loaf of cheap white bread like Wonder
- package of cream cheese
- half slab of bacon
- bundle of asparagus
- butter


1) You need to start out by frying up the bacon until nice and crispy. Let it cool down on some paper towels on a plate and then crush it up into tiny little pieces in the paper towel and set aside.

2) Remove the crust from the slices of bread and then layer the cream cheese onto each slice. Sprinkle them with the bacon bits and then layer a roll of asparagus on each piece and roll them up. Cut them into bite size pieces, usually about 2-3 per roll. Melt a half stick of butter in the micro for 10 seconds and then coat the rolls with the melted butter and put them under a broiler until browned.

3) Pass them around and enjoy da game

Mary Eileen's asparagus roll ups

Shrimp & Chorizo Skewers

This recipe was concocted by me over the summer after I got quite a few sausages from my uncle from when he went down to Dallas. There's a great grocery chain that every region should be fortunate enough to have down there. It's called Central Grocery and they have some great products that more places should carry. One of those things I got was some Spanish chorizo sausages which after a little research online had me making these skewers with them in no time.


- 12 large shrimp
- 1 tablespoon harissa paste
- 2 Spanish chorizo sausages
- 12 fresh bay leaves (optional)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 12 short wood or bamboo skewers, soaked in water

Skewers ready for the grill


1) Rub the harissa paste over your peeled and deveined shrimp evenly and set aside. Slice the chorizo into 1/2-inch thick slices. Place one chorizo slice into the crook of each shrimp and thread onto a skewer, like those seen above. Add a bay leaf to each skewer and refrigerate until ready to cook.

2) Preheat the grill or grill pan to medium-hot. Brush the skewers with a little olive oil and cook for 5-6 minutes, turning once, or until the shrimp are translucent and the chorizo cooked through. Enjoy immediately.

Yummy shrimp chorizo skewers

American Chop Suey

Well we have no New England Patriots in the Super Bowl this year, and that's fine by me. But I'll admit, I did have a recipe ready just in case they made it. American chop suey is a popular regional eat out in the New England area, and another thing I'll admit, I enjoy it. It's just a combo of macaroni with a ground beef, sauteed peppers, onions and tomato mixture with everyone having their little tweaks they use to make it. Good winter comfort food is what it is and the fact it can be made easily and serve a crowd makes this great gameday grub.

Ingredients (12)

- 3 lbs ground beef
- 2 onions, 4 bell peppers, 5 sticks celery, 3 garlic, all diced down
- 1 package elbow macaroni
- 1 can chicken or beef broth
- 2 cans diced tomatoes (I use fire roasted)
- 1 can tomato sauce
- seasoning like salt, pepper and whatever else floats your boat


1) Start off by cooking the elbow mac according to the package. While cooking the pasta, brown the ground beef in a oiled skillet until cooked thru. You want to break it down like taco meat. Add a little seasoning and set aside in a bowl when the meat has cooked thru.

2) Add more oil to the skillet and throw in the peppers, onions and celery and cook until translucent and then add in the garlic for the last minute. Stir in the tomatoes, the sauce and broth, cooked macaroni, ground beef and seasonings and then cover the skillet or pot and let it simmer for 20 minutes.

3) Let the pasta sit in pan and people can serve themselves out of it.

American Chop Suey

chibbqking's Baked Mostaccioli with Sausage

It's a damn shame da Bears wont be in Super Bowl XLV but I had a recipe ready just in case. Throughout Chicago and it's Italian restaurants and pizza joints you will find baked mostacholi on the menu. It's a Chicago thing, everyone enjoys it and I remember some catered Super Bowl parties from my youth where they had this classic American pasta dish was served.


- 1 lb Italian sausage, grilled and sliced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1 onion diced
- 1 large pot of spaghetti sauce, homemade or bought
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 package of Mostaccioli pasta, cooked, drained and tossed with oil
- 16 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups of ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Note: You need a good amount of red sauce for this, I always make my own but using more than the ingredients say cant hurt and will guarantee its perfect. Garlic bread goes great with this.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large skillet combine green peppers and onion. Cook until ready. Stir in spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce and broth. Bring to a boil, then simmer 15 minutes.

Pour 1 cup of meat sauce mixture into the bottom of a large baking dish. Top with half of the pasta. Add in the ricotta cheese and spread out evenly. Then a layer of 2 cups of mozzarella cheese and all of the Parmesan cheese. For the next layer, add 2 cups of sauce, remaining pasta and the rest pf the mozzarella cheese. Top that with the remaining sauce and add to oven. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Baked pasta and sliced grilled sausage

3) Remove from the oven and add the sliced pieces of sausage on top followed by a little more of the red sauce and serve. grate with cheese

Ready for serving

chibbqking baked Mostaccioli

Fresh Fried Lake Perch

Well I knew one thing about who would be playing in SB XLV and that was either the Bears or the Packers. Let's just say it wasn't who I wanted and we'll leave it at that. I do however have a recipe as a tribute to the 'sconnies headed to Dallas. We in the Great Lake's region enjoy fresh caught lake perch from our waters and Friday fish fry's are big in Wisconsin.


- fresh filleted lake perch
- breading for frying and oil as well


1) bread the perch

2) Fry it up until browned

Nevada Annie's Cowboy Chili

I made this recipe one day from a classic chili cookbook. Released in 1980, Chili Madness by Jane Butel is must own material for any chili enthusiast especially those that like cooking up a big bowl on Sunday during football season. You can find the book for sale online at Amazon right HERE. I would recommend owning it as this recipe from the book won the 1978 World Championship cookoff held by the International Chili Society. LaVerne Harris aka Nevada Annie's special advice to the cook is to make sure you add the most important ingredient - "lot's of love".

Click HERE for the recipe.

Nevada Annie's award winning chili simmering away in the pot

a bowl of chili always goes great with the Super Bowl

Tex-Mex Brisket Tacos

I made these one night with a fully cooked brisket I got from the HEB Market in Dallas, Texas. They sell fully cooked and professionally smoked briskets down there and I have worked with a few of them over the last year. Believe it or not they are actually pretty damn edible but I would rec' using them in dishes like tacos and chili.

Easy brisket tacos can be made with these pre-cooked smoked briskets


- 1 Pre cooked brisket from HEB
- flour tortillas
- rice and beans
- toppings for tacos

Topping Options

Sauteed Onion strips
Sauteed Bell Pepper strips
Roasted Poblano strips
Sour Cream


1) Cook brisket according to package. When ready make sure to heat the tortillas thru and allow people to dress the tacos to their liking.

Brisket Taco dinner

Good stuff indeed

Now if all these super stuffers weren't enough for you then do yourself a favor and check out the menu from the past two years by clicking on the links below. Happy eating.

Fully Loaded Nachos and 17 Other Super Bowl Recipes
Super Recipes for Super Bowl XLIV

Monday, January 24, 2011

Lou Malnati's

Regional Fast Food
-Lou's and it's presence in Chicago

The companies history as told by me

In case you were wondering, oh yeah I've been to Lou's too. Regular loyal readers will know that my preferred style of pizza is the other Chicago style - tavern thin - but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy me some Chicago style deep dish. Whether its deep dish, stuffed, tavern thin or pan, we are blessed to have so many styles of pie in the Chi and the famous Lou Malnati's is one of the reasons for this. Founded in 1971 by Lou himself who worked in Chicago's first deep dish pizzeria during the 1940's. After perfecting the art of the deep dish pie Lou then took his talents to the suburbs where he opened Lou Malnati's Pizzeria in Lincolnwood, IL with his wife. Lou was a character, heck he was an Italian that opened a pizzeria in a Jewish neighborhood on St. Patrick's day. He not only made many people in Chicago's favorite pizza but he was also one of those guys that made his customers feel at home and they stayed loyal to him. A second location opened in Elk Grove got off to a rocky start but eventually prevailed. Lou fell victim to cancer in 1978 but his family has continued his tradition and Lou's is now as much a part of Chicago as anybody.

Lou Malnati at his original location (Pic from

Birthplace: Lincolnwood, IL
Type: Family Owned
Founded in: 1971
How Many Today: 31
Locations in: IL (Chicagoland area) with delivery available across the USA
Menu item that made them: Chicago style deep dish pizza

Even though I'm not the biggest fan of deep dish I am a huge fan of Lou's. This is the one place I really enjoy deep dish. I've been a big fan since my grade school days and going to the original location and then they opened a spot in Lincoln Park right by me and it became part of my rotation. As Lou's describes their pie "The dough is patted out by hand and raised up high on the sides of a seasoned deep-dish pizza pan. True Chicago style pizza actually has a rather thin crust that compliments the delicious toppings. The order the ingredients are placed on a Chicago style deep-dish pizza is “backward” from a thin crust pizza. Chicago style deep-dish pizza is made with slices of mozzarella cheese that are placed directly on the dough. Then additional ingredients like mushrooms, onions and sausage are spread on top of the cheese. The pizza is then topped with a fresh tomato sauce made with whole chunks of pear and plum tomatoes and topped off with a sprinkling of cheese and spices."

One thing about Lou's for me is I always want it the same way which is different then my typical cracker thin sausage pie. You got to get your pizza with the butter crust from there which is just when they slather the crust with melted butter. I also prefer pepperoni on my deep dish pies instead of the sausage layers. Whenever I'm feeling like a pizza that needs to be eaten with a knife and fork Lou Malnati's is my choice. If your not in or near the Chicago area you can ship the pizza anywhere in the United States thru their website.

Butter crusted deep dish from Lou Malnati's

Click HERE for the company website.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Pho Xua

-Grubbing in Chicago
Where the locals eat.

Greetings all, how's everyone doing these days? Cold out there huh? Well because of this were going to head to Uptown over to Argyle street to consume in something perfect for the months like these. Chicago's Argyle street off Broadway all the way down to Sheridan is a little Vietnam of sorts for the city. It's along this street and throughout the entire area that you will find the city's biggest collection of Vietnamese restaurants along with some other Asian spots and plenty of grocery needs as far as anything used in these cuisines. However it can be hard to decipher which spots are the real deal and what others are just pretenders. Obviously everyone knows about Tank noodle but there are other spots to get your grub on around this way. My guy over at Grubseeker tipped me off about a new spot down there away from Broadway called Pho Xua. They serve up Vietnamese and Chinese specialties with an extensive menu in a nice clean dining room. It's also a BYOB and they have party room in back for anyone that wants get wild.

a new (er) spot along Argyle street

I trust the Grubseeker's taste and enjoyed what he had to say about Pho Xua along with the others on the 'net giving it praise. So that was all I needed to go on over and give it a try. It was also really helpful that people were pointing out which dishes were standouts and which ones were just 'eh at best. Like I mentioned above the menu is huge and it would take a year plus to get thru the entire thing but you don't even have to worry about that because we know whats good and which dishes you should be trying should you decide to stop in. The items pictured on here were all well excepted by the people at the table. I've found it best to stick with the Vietnamese portion of the menu on the few visits I have made.

Vietnamese egg rolls

Spring Rolls

^Both of these starters were pretty good, nothing insanely great or anything like that but both did the trick. I'm not sure I'd order either or again just because there are other things I like better and some other stuff I still want to try.

Crispy chicken wings

Beef satay

^I enjoyed both of these app's as did all the others with me on my visits. The prices at Pho Xua are very fair and in some cases really nice with these appetizer's falling in that category. Both of them were under $4 and worth every penny. The wings were just what you would expect everyplace to be able to do, crispy on the outside while tender and juicy inside. I find that many Asian places use bad beef that just isn't right in both taste and texture but that wasn't the case here. The beef sticks were very tender and not chewy at all. I've found myself ordering a second batch of the sticks for the table on each visit.

Grilled Betel leaves aka Bo La Lot

These grilled Betel leaves are one of the best app's I had all of last year. They came highly rec'd by Grubseeker and at $3.95 they are a steal and so I'm always getting two orders when I'm over there. These are rolls of grilled beef wrapped in leaf greens which are then dunked in fish sauce. I promise you wont be able to eat just one of these and if you ever do order them you can expect to be ordering them on every visit you make. Hell some days you'll start fiending for these. As good as these are and a must not miss in my book, the same cant be said for the fried rice. They do a lighter less soy sauce version but it was the beef in it I was unhappy with. I thought with how good they did the kebabs that maybe the same could be said for the beef fried rice but that was not the case as it wasn't all that. I did find the white rice with marinated pork loin to be just what you would want this dish to be.

a wrapped leave ready for consumption

Beef fried rice

Crispy pork loin over white rice

Now for the star of the show. With a name like Pho Xua you might of been expecting that to be their Pho. The classic Vietnamese noodle soup is found abound in these parts and Pho Xua has an extensive menu of different pho options. But the real highlight on the soup portion of the menu is the Bo Kho or Vietnamese beef stew. Someone over at LTH mentioned that this is traditionally eaten for breakfast in Vietnam. Now this is my kind of breakfast.

Bo Kho - Vietnamese beef stew

This is a rich bowl of goodness that comes with the choice of glass or wide noodles (half and half is an option). It's flavor profile consists of five spice, ginger, garlic and of course lots of beef. Inside you have the noodles surrounded by super tender pieces of beef from all over the cow. While most of the pieces will be brisket you will find some goodies inside that take that flavor up another notch. Just like with pho you will get a plate of toppings which can be used to alter the flavor profile of your soup. This is one of the best bowls of anything I have had this winter and look forward to my next visit on a cold winter night.

The guts of the stew

Pho Xua Restaurant
1020 West Argyle Street
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 271-9828

Pho Xua Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


-Grubbing in Chicago (land)
Where the locals eat.

chibbqking tip: an old School sign is always a good sign...

I made my first ever visit to Snuffy's just recently. A friend of mine brought me over to the old Route 66 roadside institution located in the tiny suburb of McCook, IL which was once famous for its many mobbed up strip clubs and bars . It is also the home to some heavy industrial plants and Snuffy's has been there for the locals and workers in these plants since 1930 when the original owner set up shop at where it stands today. It's all blue collar and when it was first built it was a stop made for the truckers where they can get breakfast and some coffee and so the stories go play some games in the back for cash. Well not much has changed since except the gambling rooms in back are long gone and old Joliet road is no longer Route 66. In fact the place is for sale and even though this was my first visit I was sad and hope a longtime customer buys it and the place remains the same like its done for all these years already.

a truckers favorite on Joliet rd (Route 66 from '26 until it's demolition)

I had seen some pics he posted thru his smartphone on facebook in which the food looked like my type of place and we were able to make a pit stop there while driving down I-55 south. We got there around 3p on a weekday and the place was empty but there were many regulars stopping in during our visit. This place is everything you would think a popular no frills lunch stop to be, it's got the poker machines and cigarette machine still around along with an old TV and a grill with a counter and stools going down it and some booths to top it all off.

The inside of Snuffy's

Just like everything else at Snuffy's the menu is no frills too. It's simple with breakfast being the most popular choice but many others show love to the burgers and simple dishes like roast beef, meatloaf and such. There was a time when Snuffy's was a 24 hour joint but those days are done and they now close when the days over and they think everyone who was stopping in for the day has. On our visit the owner was very kind and happy to serve us up one of their deluxe burger specials with a fried egg on top. This is my guy's go-to order and sounded like something that would work well with me. The burger is also one of the most ordered items and is a fresh patty of beef thrown onto the griddle and served with lettuce, tomato, onion and a lightly toasted bun. The egg is an option added on that really takes this from not bad to pretty damn good. I could see them having a kick ass breakfast sandwich. Check it out if your ever around that way.

Snuffy's cheeseburger with a fried egg on top

Snuffy's Grill
8408 Joliet Road
McCook, IL 60525
(708) 447-9780

Monday, January 17, 2011

La Unica

Caribbean in Chicago
-All sorts of Caribbean-Latin American

La Unica is one of my original go-to spots back when I first started exploring the city and all it has to offer food wise. Myself and another friend would make frequent trips to Devon ave to visit La Unica which is something of an apple in an orange bin. The stretch of Devon avenue where it's at is loaded with Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and other Indian American heritage's and La Unica is a Latin/Cuban grocery store with a cafeteria in back along the side.

On Chicago's Devon ave

Whether your looking for some ingredients for a Latin American or Caribbean recipe or just trying to have a good satisfying lunch for a cheap price, La Unica is your spot. When you walk in you enter into the grocery store where they stock all sorts of goods including homemade tamales from all sorts of cuisines that make them and spices along with sausage and maybe some bottles of pop from somewhere warm. If you head to the back and take a left you will enter into the cafeteria where they have booths and a menu that would take a year to go thru. It features dishes from Cuba, Mexico, Peru, Columbia along with a few others. I've had many things on the menu but only had my camera on a handful of visits. Here are some of those snaps.

Part of the menu

Part of the display case with pop


I love me a Cuban sandwich, one of the best regional sandwiches in America is what they are. La Unica can be frustrating with their Cuban's. Sometimes they can be very good, although like most places the bread isn't what it needs to be. But then sometimes they arent what they were the time before. When they are on with their game its a great sandwich and under $4 so I really enjoy them when they are. I can tell by looking at the pic below that this Cuban sandwich was not their A game. Your going to see more from this place later on on the site but other dishes I would rec should you stop in are the fried chicken, three meat combo platter, the ox tails, garbanzo soup. hell, if it sounds good try it, the place is a great deal and the food us usually great.

Cuban sandwich from La Unica

fried chicken

La Unica Food Mart
1515 West Devon Ave
Chicago, IL 60660
(773) 274-7788

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tio Luis

-Eating like a Mayan King in the Windy City

We take off today down Archer ave and into Brighton Park to a spot loved by the locals that's always serving up fresh sizzling plates of Mexican food to happy diners, it also has people coming in and out continuously for to go orders - Tio Luis. It's a real neighborhood type place that attracts families from nearby as well people who work near the area and folks from all other walks of life. When the doors open at 10a people are already arriving for specials from the early bird part of the menu and the place stay's serving customers thru lunch and into dinner. Like so many other great Mexican restaurants in Chicago it is a family run restaurant that puts out food that takes them back to home to their childhood flavors and brings that to all of us here.

a locals favorite in the Brighton Park neighborhood

Started in 1996 by a guy who spent time in the food service industry just like his father did and saved up enough money to eventually own his own place. The menu has lot's of the usual favorites from a taqueria but also Mexican breakfast plates and many of their favorite dishes from Northern Mexico too. It's a great spot to go out to for dinner at a reasonable price and they also do a heavy takeout business but I would rec dining in for the free chips and salsa. While the chips are just ok the fresh red salsa they come with is some of the best in the city.

Complimentary chips and salsa

-Got Beef? tacos de carne asada

Although many people call Tio Luis a taqueria, I would say it's more than that. But that doesn't mean people arent flooding into the place for the tacos. I was originally attracted to Tio Luis by an article in the Tribune proclaiming them to have the best steak tacos in the city. They are a popular menu item and if you choose to dine in around lunch or dinner hours you will see many people picking orders mostly with the steak tacos. I've been here mutiple times and I think the steak can be anywhere from just ok to pretty good. It's not ever great but never awful. You can order them as an app where they come in smaller tortillas or regular. Nowaday's I find myself getting the strip steak and beans taco over the carne asada when eating there.

Steak tacos from Tio Luis

Rating Scale 5/5

steak: 3
cilantro/onions: 4
tortilla: 4
salsa: 4

Score: 15/20

Strip steak & beans taco

So what's top notch then and why do I go? Well it's all about the carne en su jugo. The wonderful regional Mexican soup found in many spots around town but it still takes some searching. With this being wintertime I though now was the time for a post on Tio Luis since I find myself there for this soup during the cold months most often. If you're unfamiliar with this excellent Mexican steak soup served in beef broth you can check out the most informative piece of info on it by clicking right HERE and also click the "carne en su jugo" tag at the end of this post for past features on places that serve it in the city.

Carne en su jugo from Tio Luis

Like many regional food favorites from our states the various loved ones of Mexico's can vary and that's how it is for CESJ. most of the places in Chicago offering carne en su jugo come from Guadalajara. I happen to really like Tio Luis' CESJ due to it's nice deep beef flavored broth and also it's meat. The steak is a real hit or miss with a bowl of this stuff at most places around town. So while they're steak might not be the best for tacos (pretty lean) it works well in the soup. They also don't let the pieces of meat sit in the broth all day so that it becomes rubbery and provide you with all the proper condiments of which are very fresh and the bacon is always crispy. If you have never had a bowl of this wonderful Mexican soup and you love yourself some beef then what the hell are you waiting for? Tio Luis is a very good place to experience your first bowl of it.

The guts of the carne en su jugo

Tio Luis
3856 South Archer Ave
Chicago, IL 60632
(773) 843-0098

Tio Luis on Urbanspoon


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