Grilled Corn Salsa

3 ears corn, husks removed

2 tbsp garlic olive oil

1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 C red onion, diced

2 small plum tomatoes, diced

2 tbsp fresh lime juice

3/4 tsp garlic salt

1/2 C cilantro leaves, chopped

Brush corn with olive oil, reserving remaining oil (should be about 1/2 tbsp for salad)  Heat grill to medium (about 375 degrees).  Place corn on grill, cook for 25-30 minutes , turning frequently, until tender and slightly charred. Remove corn from grill and let cool. Remove corn from ears with knife or corn tool and place in medium bowl.  Add remaining ingredients, including reserved olive oil, and mix throughly.   Chill for at least 30 minutes to let flavors meld.

Note:  If you make corn salsa frequently I recommend the OXO Good Grips corn peeler,  $9.99 from  It makes removing corn from the ear much easier!


Grilled Fish Tacos with Lime-Cilantro Sauce

I’m a very big fan of seafood, however don’t cook it a home as often as I would like.  I wanted to create a quick, flavorful option for fish tacos.  You could do this as an easy week-night meal, or for casual summer entertaining.

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp garlic salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp onion powder

2 tbsp olive oil

1 pound tilapia or orange roughy

6-8 corn tortillas

1 avocado, diced

1 green onion, diced

2 oz Queso Fresco, crumbled

4 tbsp lime-cilantro sauce (see below for recipe)

In a small bowl, mix cumin through onion powder.   Brush fish with olive oil and sprinkle with spice mixture.  Heat grill to medium low (about 350 degrees), place fish on grill and cook 5 minutes.  Carefully turn fish and cook for 4-6 minutes or until done.  When you turn the fish, place tortillas on grill to heat.  If you have several burners on your grill, turn one to high and try to get the tortillas slightly charred on the edges.

Remove fish from grill and let cool slightly.  Use two forks to pull fish apart.  Place 1-2 tortillas on each plate, divide fish evenly amongst the tortillas.  Top with avocado, green onion, Queso Fresco and lime-cilantro sauce.  Serve immediately.

I serve the tacos with a simple green salad or my grilled corn salsa (see separate post for that recipe).

Lime- Cilantro Sauce

1 6-oz container plain greek yogurt

pinch sea salt

1/4 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp lime zest

1 tbsp green onion, finely chopped

1/4 C cilantro leaves, chopped

1/4 tsp jalapeño, very finely diced

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Bottlefork – Possibly My Favorite Chicago Restaurant

Bottlefork is a new endeavor by Kevin Hickey, former Executive Chef at the Four Seasons Chicago, and Rockit Ranch Productions.  The focus is on locally sourced ingredients and unique cocktails.  To really be part of the action,  sit at the bar and watch cocktails being made by the highly skilled bartenders, or ask for a seat a bit further down where you can see the kitchen team at work.  The space is really narrow, and can get very crowded, however I think that just adds to the atmosphere.

IMG_0654The menu includes a variety of small and large plates, with some interesting options.  I think the most unusual item might be the homemade spam!  I’m not sure about this one, but would love to hear from someone who has tried it!

We sampled several different dishes – my favorite of the evening was the potato gnocchi with mushrooms and fresh goat cheese.  The flavors were very balanced and the sauce was a nice complement to the dish.

It is hard to go wrong with a lobster po’boy especially when it is topped with crispy oysters!  The seafood was very fresh and perfectly cooked.  We also had the lamb ribs;  lamb is not always one of my favorites however these were very nicely done with a tangy sauce.

And what meal is not complete without tater tots; this high-end version is well worth the calories!

The wine menu has limited selections by the glass, however the options they do have are very good.  There were four choices for white, and of those three were something I would drink.

I went for a second visit and just had cocktails, which definitely did not disappoint!  We had fun watching the bartender make drinks and chatting with him about the different cocktails and what is most popular.  The focus of the bar menu is really their craft cocktails so stop in one night for a drink and try one, or a few.  My favorite so far is the Little Miss Dynamite!