Monday, January 30, 2017

Fire Roasted Asiago Garlic Poblano Burger Recipe, It's Really Friggin Amazing!

Chicago Johnny's Roasted Poblano Asiago Burger
Fire Roasted Poblano Asiago Garlic Burger
Some flavors just mesh, when you taste them together, you just 'get' it! With this burger you get the immediate creaminess of the roasted garlic, the tang & bite from Asiago, & the smooth rich earthy flavor from the fire roasted poblano pepper. On top of that you get the rich flavor from the Volpi salami & sweetness from caramelized onion. This s&^t is just friggin' fantastic!

I use Chicago Johnny's Burger Seasoning to crust & flavor your burger patties to a perfection. You also want a burger iron (found on the Chicago Johnny's recipe section) to flatten your patties & give them a nice dark crust!

To make this recipe you will need:
•Fire Roasted Poblano Pepper (either in a broiler, stove top, or on the grill)
•Volpi salami
•Asiago Cheese
•Ground Beef
•Crusty Italian Bread
•Caramelized Onions
•Roasted Garlic
•Burger Iron
•Cast Iron Skillet
•Love & Patience For The Kitchen
•Chicago Johnny's Burger Seasoning
•Chicago Johnny's Hot Giardiniera or Sauteed Jalepeno *Optional*

• The best burgers are two thin patties pressed hard with a burger iron, seasoned well to get a crust, & the toppings round out a well thought flavor profile. *You can get a burger iron through the Chicago Johnny’s website on the recipe page for this burger!

• Roasted garlic has none of the ‘bite’ that you get from raw garlic. Once garlic is roasted it becomes much sweeter, & milder in flavor. When roasted properly, the garlic will spread like butter!

• Fire roasting poblano peppers can be done in a broiler, stove top, or on the grill. Simply char the skin & blacken the pepper with your flame, peel the skin off under running warm water, & take the seeds out of your pepper.

• You can sauté some sliced fresh jalapeño to add some heat to this burger or Chicago Johnny’s Hot Giardiniera to really intensify the flavor!

Poblano Burger
Roasted Poblano Garlic Burger Recipe
Make sure you have a burger iron that fits into your cast iron skillet! Start your skillet on medium heat for 3-5 minutes so that the pan is hot when you place your meat into the pan, also heat up your burger iron on another flame (low) so that your iron is hot when you press your burger. While heating, split your ground beef into two 3 oz. sections & roll into two balls. Have your Italian bread, roasted garlic, fire roasted poblano (seeded & peeled), asiago, & Volpi salami ready. Once your burger patties are cooked you are going to heat up all of your ingredients & layer them together.

Toast your crusty Italian bread & butter if desired. Your skillet & iron should be hot, so slab a bit of butter in your skillet, place one ground beef ball in the pan & liberally sprinkle Chicago Johnny’s Burger Seasoning on & around the meat, about 4 inches around. Let your beef cook 20 seconds & then smash (and I mean smash) the beef flat as can be with the hot iron. You want a crust on your burger, & the meat will ‘talk’ to you as it cooks. You should hear some good sizzling. After about 40-50 seconds take your iron off, sprinkle some more Chicago Johnny’s Burger Seasoning, & flip the patty. Put the iron back on & cook for 20 seconds. Repeat for your other patty.

With the skillet still hot, warm up your poblano, roasted garlic, caramelized onion, Volpi salami, & pile your shredded asiago (or sliced) on the skillet. Once warmed through you can assemble your burger! First a slice of toast, then your roasted garlic cloves, then your Volpi salami, (*then your sauteed jalapeño if you chose to do so), one burger patty, 1/2 of your melted asiago, the other burger patty, the other 1/2 of your asiago, your roasted poblano, caramelized onion, & your other toast!

Enjoy wit’ da best beer Chicago has to offer, an Old Style!

 Curious about what made Chicago Johnny famous? Grab a pint of Chicago Johnny's Hot Giardiniera Or Dark Alley Hot Sauce!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Aunt Barbaras Italian Pizzelles

Aunt Barbaras Italian Pizzelle Cookies (Anise, Almond, or Vanilla)

italian pizzelle recipe
Italian Pizzelle Recipe
These thin crispy cookies are traditionally flavored wit' vanilla, almond, or anise & coated wit' powdered sugar. This delicious recipe comes wit' inspiration to my Aunt Barbara, from which I learned to make Pizzelles. She is my Grandma Annette's sister, & she is one of the women that inspired my cooking styles & techniques.

Every Christmas Eve out family gathers in the city to come together, celebrate another year together, get a visit from Santa Claus, & eat, & eat, & eat! On the dessert table there's a plethora of chocolate chip cookies, struffoli, crispy marshmallow treats, rosettes, et cetera. But one of the things I look forward to every year are sweet almond or anise Pizzelle cookies dusted generously wit' powdered sugar. The snowflake designs adorn these crispy buttery delicacies to give little pockets where powdered sugar hides, but also to give more surface area to make these cookies crisper!

You can watch the video of Chicago Johnny's Pizzelle Cookies & then download a copy to print & add to your cookie file, or even hang on your fridge as a constant reminder to make these delicious treats!

You will need a Pizzelle iron to make these cookies & you will also need:

• 3 large eggs
• 1 1/2 stick butter (I prefer Challenge brand)
• 1/2 cup canola oil
• EITHER 1 tbl vanilla extract OR 2 tea almond extract OR 2 tea anise extract
• 1 cup cane or organic sugar
• 2 tea aluminum free baking powder
• Pinch sea salt
• 1 1/4 cup whole wheat or unbleached flour

Best Pizzelle Recipe
Best Pizzelle Recipe


Don't forget what made Chicago famous!

Smoky, bold, earthy flavors great for sandwiches, pizzas, pastas, Italian beef, sausage, et cetera!

Chicago Johnny's Hot Giardiniera!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Homemade Coffee Creamer Italian Sweet Cream DIY Coffee Creamer

homemade coffee creamerChicago Johnny's Home Made Italian Sweet Cream Coffee Creamer!

I love coffee, probably in more than a healthy manner. I drink the stuff morning, noon, & night, seriously. In the morning I like a dark black coffee, then more mild as the day goes on. However, after dinner I love to add just a bit of home made coffee creamer to a rich, dark roast & enjoy an after meal coffee & cookie. Making coffee creamer at home is simple as can be!

All you need to make this creamer is:
•1 Cup of Half & Half
•1/2 Cup of Whole Milk
•2/3 Cup of Cane Sugar
•2 Tea Vanilla Extract
•1 Tea Almond Extract

That's It! Heat your Half & Half, Whole Milk, & Cane Sugar stove top in a shallow pot on low heat. Whisk together as you are heating to help dissolve the sugar, but be VERY CAREFUL because when milk heats up it will foam & you run a risk of foaming over the sides of your pot.

Once your milk is heated & your sugar is dissolved turn off your heat & add your vanilla & almond extracts. Whisk together & refrigerate for up to 3 weeks. Recipe makes shy of 1 pint (2 cups).

Use Chicago Johnny's Italian Sweet Cream Recipe to enjoy your next friggin' delicious morning, noon, or evening coffee!

diy coffee creamer

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Best Dark Hot Sauce

Best Hot Sauce Ever
Best Hot Sauce Ever

Seriously, The Best Hot Sauce, Ever!

Just as dark & gritty as Chicago's history, Chicago Johnny's Dark Alley Hot Sauce is dark, rich, earthy, bold & full flavored. A subtle heat but a heavy kick in flavor, this stuff is top notch! Made from scratch with fire roasted poblano peppers, roasted garlic, hot peppers, smoked chilies, spices, vinegar, & portabella mushrooms. You've seriously never had anything like this.

Chicago Johnny's Dark Alley Hot Sauce is thick, not like your traditional hot sauces. It's full flavored with very little sour that you traditionally get from vinegar based hot sauces. It's made from scratch with white & red wine vinegar as the only preservatives. Fresh vegetables are the base of this dish, which makes it deep, earthy, & rich in flavor.

A great sauce for beef, pork, chicken, or even on a burger! I had one guy try a dab of this stuff on a spoon & he immediately bought an entire case, it's that friggin good!
Voodoo Chicken Nachos
Voodoo Chicken Nachos

 Pair it up with Chicago Johnny's Cajun Seasoning & make voodoo chicken! Simply pan fry chicken thighs with the cajun seasoning & sauce it with Dark Alley Hot Sauce for a smoky, spicy, rich Voodoo Chicken! Turn it into a Po' Boy Sandwich with homemade remoulade or shred your chicken & make Voodoo Chicken Nachos! Friggin' Delicious!

chicagos best giardineira
Chicagos Best Giardiniera

Want to try what all of Chicago is talking about? Chicago Johnny's Giardiniera is hand made in
Chicago. Bold, smoky, earthy, & friggin delicious! Chicago's Favorite Giardiniera!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Best Eggplant Grilled Cheese Sandwich

The Best Eggplant Grilled Cheese Sandwich

A Chicago Johnny Recipe

the best eggplant grilled cheese sandwich
The Best Eggplant Grilled Cheese Sandwich
I first discovered Parmesan crusted sandwiches from a small town bakery up in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin. This place, Bodi's Bake Shop closes early in the afternoon but is very welcoming, small town, & incredibly reasonably priced foods. Their danishes are on point but their sandwiches are something you will be wondering in amazement how a small Wisconsin bake shop can turn out these delicious, made to order sandwiches.

So once I was introduced to this crispy fried cheese concept some of the sandwiches I created were turned up a few notches. Crusting your grilled cheese with salty, nutty Parmesan can bring another element to a grilled cheese that you have probably been missing out on!

So to make this "Italian" inspired grilled cheese sandwich you will need the following: a fire roasted red pepper (skinned & seeded), roasted or sauteed garlic cloves, eggplant (skinned), fresh basil leaves, grated or shredded Parmesan, ciabatta bread, creamy tangy Havarti, smoked provolone, sea salt, & black pepper. There are a number of steps that I take in order to make such a friggin' delicious grilled cheese, but they are worth doing so that your end product is just as good as it can get!

Before you even get to compiling The Best Eggplant Grilled Cheese Sandwich, you will need to do some preparation. First, roast your red pepper either on the flame stove-top, on a grill, or in a broiler. Once charred all around, cover your hot red pepper in a sealed bowl or container & let sit, this will make the skin easier to peel off. Once cooled, peel off the skin & take out the seeds of your red pepper.

Next you will roast your garlic. Roasted garlic is one of my favorite things to eat. Unlike the peppery bite you get from raw garlic, roasted garlic is very mild & sweet, & also very soft so you can smash the cloves easily. To roast garlic, take a bulb & rub your hands around the outside to remove any loose paper skin. Cut just the top of the bulb off to expose each (or as many cloves as possible), then drizzle some olive oil & sprinkle sea salt. Roast your bulb in the oven on 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes (depending on how many bulbs you are roasting & how big the bulbs are). You will know when your garlic is done roasting because you will be able to "pop" the clove out of the paper skin & it should "smoosh" right out. After your garlic bulb cools, peel away the paper skin & try to keep your cloves in tact.

You will also want to prepare your eggplant. Eggplant is an amazing flavor "carrier" in the sense that it will soak up whatever flavors you put on it. So skin your eggplant & slice about 1/4" thick slices (either round circles or lengthwise depending on the size of your eggplant & the size of your bread). Heat up some olive oil on medium heat in an iron skillet. Lay in your eggplant slices in the oil & season with sea salt & black pepper, then quickly flip your eggplant & season again. You want to flip the eggplant because it will soak up just about as much oil as you can put in the pan, so to prevent the eggplant from becoming too greasy you should flip it to absorb your olive oil on both sides of the eggplant. Cook each side of your eggplant slices until they start to "char" well.

Slice your ciabatta roll in half & lay both pieces with the insides up on a baking sheet. On the top half put your provolone slices & on the bottom half put Havarti on the bottom half. Bake on 350 degrees for 5 minutes to melt your cheeses & toast your bread just a bit & then take out of the oven.

Now you can start building your sandwich! Layer your sandwich as follows!

Bottom half with Havarti, lay your eggplant on top, then your roasted red pepper, then your roasted garlic, then your top half with provolone on bottom. Heat up your skillet again & use olive oil for your frying. Sprinkle about 2 Tbl of your Parmesan cheese & immediately lay your sandwich on top of the Parmesan. Fry 2-3 minutes on your heated skillet, then use a spatula to remove your sandwich, sprinkle another 2 Tbl of Parmesan & immediately lay your sandwich on the Parmesan upside down. Fry another 2-3 minutes to crisp the Parmesan & toast the ciabatta. Remove your sandwich from the pan with your spatula & turn off your heat. Pull your sandwich top off & lay in your fresh basil. Now enjoy this labor intensive, friggin' amazing eggplant grilled cheese sandwich!

Kick up your sandwiches with Chicago's Favorite Giardiniera!
best chicago giardiniera
Chicagos Best Giardiniera
Chicago Johnny's Hot Giardiniera, Chicago's Best Giardiniera!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Chicagos Best Friggin' Cinnamon Roll Recipe Amazing Cinnamon Rolls

Best Cinnamon Roll Recipe Ever
Best Cinnamon Roll Recipe Ever
Most people I talk to either like to cook, like to bake, or don't like to do either. In typical Chicago Johnny fashion, I don't seem to adhere to those standards. I do both, I bake friggin' sweet treats rich in butter & sugar, & I cook with everything available from the market, or simply what scraps I have left in the fridge. The latter, however, is not an option with baking.

Cooking is free & easy going. Cooking is forgiving & loosy goosey. Cooking is the luxury of not measuring in small quantities & timing the cooking process properly. Baking is entirely the opposite. Baking is painstakingly fine measurements. Baking is waiting for yeast to produce carbon dioxide to create a fluffy & delicate dough. Baking is working with living yeasts & chemical reactions.

So when you're making this recipe, as with almost all baking recipes, make sure to follow instructions, timing, measurements, et cetera. You can add or reduce the amount of cinnamon, but that is about the only thing I would play with. Make it with my cream cheese frosting buttery & rich in goodness, or a simple icing with 2 cups of powdered sugar beat with 1 Tbl whole milk!

Enjoy & indulge in these delicate, fluffy, buttery rolls & message me a review when you're done!

Chicagos Best Cinnamon Rolls
Chicagos Best Cinnamon Roll Recipe
Best Chicago Giardiniera
Chicagos Best Giardiniera

Curious what Chicago Friggin' Delicious tastes like? Chicago's favorite giardiniera is on sale at It's bold, smoky, earthy & friggin' delicious. Don't take my word for it, take Tyler's word when he says, "I eat this stuff with a spoon it's so good".

Monday, January 9, 2017

Chicagos Favorite Giardiniera Best Chicago Peppers

Best Chicago Giardiniera
Growing up & living in the Chicago area we have been spoiled with culinary genius! Deep dish pizzas, Italian beef 'sangwiches', the country's best Polish sausages, hot dog joints on every street.... but one thing we have in Chicago that no other region has been able to comprehend is Chicago Style Giardiniera. 

Chicago Style Giardiniera is believed to have come about in the 1920's as an antipasto with vegetables from the small backyard gardens of Chicago of Italian immigrants tossed in olive oil. Eventually these vegetables were pickled before being stored in oil to last longer. I've grown up with giardiniera on pizza, Italian beef sandwiches, hot dogs, in pasta, in chili, we put this s&*% on just about anything you could imagine. 

Chicagos Best Chef
Chicago Johnny Eating Cheesy Dog W/ Giardiniera
So who makes the best friggin' giardiniera in Chicago? This guy! What started out as a hobby making a gallon or two to suffice my appetite, then 3 or 4 gallons for family & friends, then cases upon cases of the delicious Chicago condiment to sell. This stuff is so good, as Colin of Fungtional Forge testified, "It must be made with angel tears." Delivering cases of Chicago Johnny's from a busted up old Volvo I started my way to what is now Chicago's Favorite Giardiniera

Chicago Johnnys Giardiniera is hand packed in Chicago, made with olive oil, spiced to the britches, & a bold, smoky, earthy flavored condiment. This stuff is so good I've had people eat whole jars at a time with tortilla chips, in chili, on pork roasts, slow cooked in a crock pot with round roasts, on nachos, on pizzas, cold cut sandwiches, just about anything you could think of I've had people write me to tell me that it is the best friggin' thing they've ever eaten!

Pick up Chicago Johnny's Giardiniera at

Best Italian Beef In Chicago

best chicago italian beef sandwich
Best Chicago Italian Beef
Chicagos Best Giardiniera
Ever wondered who has the Friggin' Best Italian Beef Recipe? Well, you friggin' stumbled upon it! Italian beef sandwiches came about as a way to feed working Italian immigrants in Chicago. Using a tough, cheap roast allowed families & hot dog joints to make many sandwiches out of one cut of meat. When you walk or drive Chicago neighborhoods today you will see Beef Joints almost as often as Walgreen's & Starbucks, & for great reason! Italian beef sandwiches are full bodied, greasy, rich flavored sandwiches. We eat these things in Chicago like people in L.A. drink Voss water. If you want to make the Best Chicago Italian Beef sandwich at home use Chicago Johnnys Friggin Delicious Italian Beef Recipe! There's also a video you can watch on YouTube. Make sure to top this 'Sangwich' off Wit' Da Best Friggin Chicago Giardiniera! Chicago Johnny's Hot Giardiniera is hand made in the city of Chicago!
Chicagos Best Italian Beef
Best Chicago Italian Beef