Right now, X-Marx hosts a weekly "X-Market" dinner. The idea is to shop in one of Chicago's ethnic neighborhoods, find inspiration in these markets, and cook a 4 to 5 course meal driven by said inspiration, using the food found there, spontaneously on the same day. This week there was a Devon Avenue-inspired vegetarian dinner and as well as one from Koreatown; next week is Little Italy. I attended the Argyle Street night, and was thrilled to do so--toasted barley tea, a Thai beef salad that will destroy any sad little overcooked and one-dimensional catering dish that name conjures up in one's mind, a sunny-side up duck egg playground of homemade sambal and sausage and roughly 35 more "condiment" options, a decadent piece of pork belly concealed in a pan-roasted skatewing. I'm Pavlovian about that salad. Can't get it out of my mind. Stop me.
Holy Ghost Hot Sauce. There go my salivary glands again.
I seem pretty into this, right? Well, I am. And good reason. I'll be teaming up with the X-Marx crew on Saturday, February 27 for a Food on the Dole Junket. From the X-Marx newsletter:
After finding himself "on the dole" in 2008, Chef and Writer Hugh Amano created Food on the Dole as a way to bring people closer to food and each other, whether in their own Home or at one of the Food on the Dole Community Dinners. Hugh has a keen eye for squeezing the best flavor and experience out of modest ingredients.So. There you have it. We'll be working on some really interesting dishes, all the while having fun with some great food and each others' creativity. And I can promise that the food will be full of heart. Not the kind of heart that X-Marx will be serving at their Offal Dinner on February 23, but the kind that, well--you know what I'm talking about. Interested in coming? Follow this link. The code? HAUTEDOG. No spaces. The cost? 70 clams. Booze? BYOB. It costs a pretty penny, indeed, but we will do everything we can to make certain it is worth each one. Even if you can't make it, I'll tell you all about it at some point.
X-marx is pleased to team up with him to bring you seven courses of some Hard Hobo times inspired dishes. We will elevate Broke Cuisine to Haute Cuisine via dishes in the vein of Not-So-College Ramen, Tuna Helper, Canned Spinach, and Fat-Ass Franks and Beans Cassoulet. This is not to be missed.
And Mom, my apologies for the name of that last dish.