“Slow Food” during the chilly season

“Slow Food” chefs support sustainable methods for their produce, and one of their ways to do this is to purchase their ingredients locally rather than have them shipped in from miles away.
     Vie restaurant, in Western Springs Illinois, for example, gets most its ingredients from local farmers. Their menu changes along with the seasons.

What are they doing over the winter/ spring season? “Right now for the colder season we do like to concentrate on more homey, filling foods,” says Nathan Sears, the sous chef at Vie.
     A dish for St. Patrick’s season, he says may include smoked salmon with irish soda bread and hard cooked egg. He offers the recipes below.
     When they make this at Vie, he says, “We buy locally, buttermilk,
eggs, dried currants, butter, dill, and we make the pickles.”

Irish soda bread
3 cups  All Purpose Flour
½ cup  Sugar
1T Baking Powder
1t  Baking Soda
½ t Salt
4T  Butter
1 cup Buttermilk
1 Egg
1 cup Dried currants

Mix the all the dry ingredients, minus the dried fruit, and pulse together in a food processor with the butter till the butter is the size of peas. Add in the egg and buttermilk and pulse until it just starts to come together. Fold in the currants.

On a sheet try lined with parchment form a loose ball with the dough. Cut an “x” on top of the dough. Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Let cool and slice.

Smoked Salmon
Prepare a mix of 1/4 cup salt, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 T chopped dill. Season the salmon and let it sit in the fridge for 12 hours. Rinse and let dry in the fridge for another 12 hours.

Set up your grill with some smoke chips or set up a stove top grill. Smoke until it is cooked to a nice medium, remove and let cool. You can substitute a nice store bought smoked salmon as well. Figure aboutone pound for 6 people.

For the egg
Place 4 eggs in cold water and bring it to a boil. Turn the heat off and cover the pot. Let it stand for 15 minutes and then place the eggs in a water bath. Peel and chop the eggs and then toss them with a nice simple vinaigrette and pickles.

Place a piece of toasted soda bread on a plate with some slices of smoked salmon. Top with the egg mixture.


More information: Vie Restaurant
For more information on Slow Food: 
Slow Food ChicagoSlow Food USA

***This article was initially published in Spring, 2010. Chef Sears is no longer with Vie, and we wish him well.
As of March, 2017: Vie is still very much in to “farm to table” inspired menu, says General Manager Stephanie Ramirez.

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