For the eighth straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee.com, presented by Locavore, the newest restaurant at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as the winners of our "Best of Dining 2014."
Almost all of us have gone to a restaurant at some point and said a version of, "Holy cow! I wish I could make this at home!"
Well, wish no more. Milwaukee's top chefs ride to the rescue.
There are tons of great restaurants and great dishes in Milwaukee. We talked to some of the best chefs in this town, asking for recipes that are unique to them and that can be made by a home cook without having to spend six years in a famous culinary school. We have tried almost all of these and they get our hearty endorsement.
These aren't the only dishes, for sure. But save them in your online recipe folder and haul one out when you are in the mood for something special or want to impress dinner guests. They may occasionally seem to be complicated, but all the chefs assured us that the creations are well within the scope of talent for a home cook.
John Poulos, executive chef, Karl Ratzsch: Wiener Schnitzel a la Holstein
- 4 six-ounce pork or veal cutlets
- 1 egg plus milk to make a wash
- 1/2 cup flour
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
Place cutlet between two sheets of plastic wrap, pound with mallet until 1/4 inch thick. Season cutlets, flour, bread crumbs and wash with salt and pepper. Dust cutlets with flour, dip into wash and press into crumbs. Heat oil until smoking, and fry cutlets until just golden. Put on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for five minutes or so.
Top with a fried egg, three anchovies and two tablespoons of capers.
(OMC note: Serving this with boiled parsley potatoes and chopped cucumbers is great.)
Jessica Grover, executive pastry chef, Potawatomi Hotel & Casino: Sweet Corn Crème Brulee
- 1 quart heavy cream
- 2 ears of fresh sweet corn
- 11 egg yolks
- 8 ounces sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Cut the kernels off the corn and put the corn and cobs into a pot with the cream. Bring to a boil then turn off the heat; cover with plastic wrap and let steep for 10 minutes. Scrape the cobs of corn with the back of a spoon into the pot to get every bit of flavor out. Remove the cobs. Puree the mixture until smooth with a hand blender. Mix the yolks, sugar and salt together and slowly whisk in the hot corn cream. Pour the mixture into ramekins. Bake in a 280°F oven in a water bath until the custard has set, about an hour. Remove from the oven and take the ramekins out of the water bath. Chill completely in the refrigerator. Sprinkle sugar on the tops of each then use a small kitchen torch to brulee the tops and make a hard crunchy layer. Serve with caramel corn.
Will yield eight 6-ounce servings.
Chef Tina Kambouris, Mykonos: Spanakopitakia
- 2 pounds of baby spinach
- 1 pound of crumbled feta cheese
- ½ teaspoon of black pepper
- 2 bunches of green onions finely chopped
- 1 bunch of fresh dill, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil20 (14x18) phyllo sheets, thaw if frozen
- 2 eggs
Melt two sticks of butter in a small saucepan, then cool. Wash and coarsely chop spinach then squeeze handfuls (use paper towel) of spinach to remove as much liquid as possible. Wash and finely chop green onions and fresh dill, then transfer the spinach, onions and dill to a large bowl. Stir in crumbled feta, pepper, salt and olive oil. Once you have seasoned the filling, stir two beaten eggs to bind. Preheat oven to 375°F. Cover phyllo stack with two overlapping sheets of plastic wrap and then a dampened kitchen towel. Take two phyllo sheets from stack and arrange on a work surface with a long side nearest you (keeping remaining sheets covered). Cut phyllo sheets crosswise into six strips. Then take one strip of phyllo, brush with some butter and stack another strip of phyllo. Put a tablespoon of filling near one corner of the strips on the end nearest you, then fold corner of phyllo over to enclose filling and form a triangle. Continue folding the strip, maintaining triangle shape (approximately six folds). Put triangle seam side down, on a large baking sheet and brush top with butter. Make more triangles in same manner, using all the phyllo. Bake triangles in middle of oven until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool slightly.
Chefs/Owners Nick Burki & Chris Hatleli, Coquette Café: Soupe á ľ L'oignon (French Onion Soup with Melted Gruyère Cheese)
- 1 gallon Chicken Stock
- 5 Pounds Chicken Bones
- 1 Onion roughly chopped
- 2 stalks Celery roughly chopped
- 4 cloves Garlic
- 3 Carrots
- 2 sprigs Thyme
- 1 teaspoon Peppercorns (crushed)
- 2 Bay Leaves
In a large stock pot, add the chicken bones and enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and skim the fat and impurities off of the top. Add the remaining ingredients and let simmer for 2-3 hours. Strain through a mesh strainer.
- 4 Ounces Unsalted Butter
- 5 Onions sliced thin
- 1 cup Dry Sherry
- 1 cup White Wine
- 1 gallon of chicken stock
- 8 cloves garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ bunch parsley stems rinsed
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
In a heavy bottom pot over medium to high heat, add the butter and onions and caramelize for a very, very, long time. Stir the onions constantly until they are the color of a very dark caramel. Deglaze the pot with the sherry and white wine and reduce to au sec (almost dry). Make a sachet with the garlic, bay leaves, parsley stems, and thyme and add to the onions. Add the stock and let simmer until reduced to the desired taste and consistency. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with croutons and Gruyere cheese. Bake in a 400 degree oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Dawn Bloomfield, Club Charlies: Charlies Five Cheese Grilled Cheese
- 2 Slices of good white bread
- Real butter
- 1 slice of Swiss on each piece of bread
- 1 slice Provolone
- 1 slice Cheddar
- 1 slice Monterey jack
- 1 slice American
- 1 slice Gouda (optional)
Butter both sides of bread. Add the cheese in the order listed as some cheeses melt faster than others. Heat up the flat top or pan. Do not add butter or oil to the pan. Fry sandwich open face on med/low heat, covered. If cheese is not melting and the bread is toasting, lift the lid and drip a bit of water then recover. This will steam the cheeses and assist the melting. Once cheese is pretty well melted, smooch cheesy sides together. Slice sandwich in halves or quarters and enjoy. If using gouda, just a dab will do as it may overpower the other cheese flavors. Additions to the sandwich include bacon, ham, chicken, tomato, sweet onion, hot or sweet peppers, avocado). Whatever you add, make sure you do so before you smooch. Smooching is gently pressing the sides together.