Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Food as Time Travel: Classic Fondue

When the aliens landed in the 1950's and left us the gift of fondue (science fact), the Swiss jumped right on board the craze, everyone else took a little time. The Swiss chef Conrad Egli, himself an Alien, brought fondue to the New York restaurant Chalet Suisse and in a matter of a few short years everyone had a small tinny fondue set, or three.

Fondue comes from a French word that simply means "melted". A standard Neuchateloise recipe calls for Emmenthal and/or Gruyere, and the other favorite, the half-and-half fondue mixture, is still half Emmenthal and half Vacherin, as it has been for over a century. American fondue pots are by-and-large sad. The Swiss use a vessel called the caquelon, a big earthenware or metal pot with a handle. Treat yourself and go out and get a good one.

This classic recipe is measured per person.


2 1/2 fluid ounces dry white wine
5 1/2 ounces Emmental and Gruyere cheese, grated and mixed half and half
1 teaspoon cornstarch
A shake of pepper
A grind of fresh nutmeg
6 oz white bread (French bread / baguette or Italian bread by preference), cubed
1/2 fluid ounce Kirsch

Kirsch (also known as kirschwasser, "cherry water", is actually a Swiss cherry hootch. Clear and dry. Not cherry brandy. Most good liquor stores carry kirsch. Oh, if you're concerned about the alcohol in the kirschwasser (we are not), it will boil off during the process of cooking the fondue. The purpose of the kirsch is both for flavoring and to make the fondue more digestible, which can be an issue when you're eating something with so much cheese in it.

For the pot, you'll also need a clove of garlic.

To make the fondue:

Cut the clove of garlic in two and rub the inside of the pot, pan or caquelon with one or both the halves, depending on your preference. Then let the pot dry until the rubbed places feel tacky. Put the wine in the pot and bring it to a boil.

Slowly start adding cheese to the boiling wine, and stir constantly until each bit is dissolved, then add more. When all the cheese is in, stir the kirsch into the cornstarch well, then add the mixture to the cheese and keep stirring over the heat until the mixture comes to a boil again. Add freshly ground pepper and nutmeg to taste. Remove the dish to a chafing dish or a stand on top of a small live flame and keep it bubbling slowly. Bread should have been cubed -- about 1-inch cubes -- for spearing with fondue forks and stirring around in the cheese.

Do not drink water with fondue, -- it reacts unkindly in your stomach with the cheese and bread. Dry white wine or tea are the usual accompaniments. Another tradition: when you get full: a thimbleful of Kirsch, knocked straight back in the middle of the meal, usually magically produces more room if you're feeling full. It works.

Now get to it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

VEGETARIAN Caviar (really)

Sure it sounds crazy, but it is terrific (and at a great price). Amaze and astound your hard-to-please vegetarian friends and family.

Aqua Gourmet Perles de Mer. At least try it.

Cue the cork popping sound.

Bottle with lots of bubbles. Check.
Platter with favorite cheeses to compliment bottle with bubbles. Think Z&H.

We can choose a few of our favorite cheeses from 2011 so you can enjoy four hand-selected cheeses from mild to medium-strong that happen to pair perfectly with bubbles. Give us a call and make our yummy cheese a part of your celebration as a great hostess gift or the center of your fancy spread. Get it for just $65.

Also, leave the novelty glasses at home.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Z&H Gift Cards and Gift Baskets...they say you care...and you're smart

For those SPECIAL people on your list a Z&H Gift Card or Gift Basket will scream, "this holiday season, you, you are the most important person I can imagine thinking about at this moment". They are also good for a person that may have saved you from a bear attack.

Gift cards are avail in any amount and our gift baskets are in a range of prices.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Happy Holidays...for small business and debit cards not so much.

Interesting Holiday reading:

Debit-Fee Cap Has Nasty Side Effect


As they say, the game is rigged.

Ho Ho Ho.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sour Puss Pickle Products $1 off per jar until Christmas!

Sour Puss Pickles is a small batch pickling company based in Brooklyn, NY. They operate with one goal in mind: create every jar of pickles with as much care as if it were being stored in your own cellar. They work directly with New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania farms, insuring the highest level of freshness and quality in each products. Even the vinegar are locally sourced.

They are one part of a small food community, which also includes farms, vendors and eventually consumers that aim to preserve sustainable, local food systems.

From the delicate layering and rationing of spices in each handcrafted jar, to the well-researched brine and flavor combinations they bring the time-honored tradition of home canning to your kitchen.

From now until Christmas Z&H is knocking $1 off the cost of a jar. They are excellent.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Christmas decorations going up...

on 47th Street light poles. Nice, but it would be better if they had spent the money on replacing the missing sidewalk (ten years missing and counting) around the sad, overgrown, Muntu Dance Theater wasteland at the corner of 47th and Greenwood. Not the kind of gateway you would expect at the corner of the President of the United States street. Ho ho ho.

Friday, November 18, 2011

An Original Story

An Original Story from Z&H:

A tractor ran into an airplane.
He got smoke in his mouth and he got sick.
He went to the doctor.
The plane was broken and could not fly.
He is a wooden plane.
Then an elephant ate the plane.
The End.

D.M.M. Schau, age 3

Remember, we have a fantastic selection
of Thanksgiving menu offering.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Zaleski & Horvath MarketCafe Thanksgiving Menu

We are happy to be offering our Z&H Thanksgiving menu. This year we are offering natural, farm-raised turkeys from Indiana, Pekin Duck from Indiana, and Goose.

We are also offering a range of sides that include Z&H Apple & Sage stuffing, Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with toasted pecans, Truffled Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potato Salad, and our super-fantastic Cranberry Sauce.

We are also fully sanctioned by the International Pie Council (IPC) to offer CLassic Apple, Pumpkin, Southern Sweet Potato, Pecan with Rum, Classic Pecan, Lemon Meringue, and Apple and concord grape pies. These are 9" pies.

Orders for pies need to be submitted by November 18th, and Turkey, Duck and Goose orders are filling up fast so please reserve yours as soon as you can.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Toffee Tasting Tomorrow...

Who could actually say "no" to a toffee tasting (57th Street store, Wednesday, 26Oct, 11AM-2PM (or until the toffee is gone or the toffee tasting experts beg for mercy)

If Hyde Park was toffee, it would be Terry's Toffee. Award-winning toffee, enrobed in lucscious dark, milk and white chocolate.

Terry's Toffee began out of love for an irresistible family recipe. Through intuition and creativity it has evolved into the highest order of sweets. This premium toffee will surprise, delight and inspire. And, Ooo-la-la.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

New Soups...with the weather you know.

Heart-Warming Soups from the local company Spark of the Heart are now at both Zaleski & Horvath MarketCafe locations. They are excellent, and they work right out of the package, no extra ingredient hoop-jumping necessary.

They use organic ingredients, split peas, lentils, and beans bought locally. They are vegan and are easily prepared - just add water and some olive oil if you like.

The vegetables are sourced from a small company in northern Wisconsin. They are air-dried and contain no preservatives. We have all three current varieties and they tell they are working on a few more. Delicious.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Holiday menu on the way

Just a quick note on Zaleski & Horvath MarketCafe menu offerings for the upcoming holiday season (yes, it is in fact time to start thinking about...everything). We will be offering Turkeys, Duck, and Goose for pre-order as well as a range of creative and traditional sides and salads. we will also be offering our delicious brine mix again this year. And we will have some new surprises as well.

Gobble Gobble.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Croissant Evolution

We have been working on improving our already excellent croissant. Our latest croissant, available in traditional, chocolate, and almond versions, is a traditional style croissant with fantastic flakiness. We do run out, if you want to try one, earlier in the day is always better.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

A Midsummer Night's Dream - A show you must see!

July 15th and 16th, 7:30PM at the LaSalle Street Theatre
1136 N. LaSalle Street, Chicago, IL

We do not recommend many plays but this staging is terrific.


Where does time go? It has been a blur for the last six months but now Summer is here. Chicago Summer. 92 with 70% humidity. So some of the updates, if you don't know already: we have updated the menu with a couple of new sandwiches (there were a couple of areas we thought were lacking - a salmon sandwich and a pastrami sandwich), we added a patio to the 57th Street Z&H (a hidden garden if you will, to access you need to walk around the building and enter through the rear gate), we continue to bring in new and interesting (and delicious)retail items - one example is Callie's Pimento Cheese from Charleston SC, a true Southern delicacy; we have some more surprises in the works as well.

We look forward to seeing you this Summer at both 47th Street and 57th Street.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Here comes Mardi Gras...

In order to truly indulge on Mardi Gras, we're going to have our weekend-famous beignets available at 57th Street! We're all very excited, and we're sure you will be too.

If you haven't jumped aboard the beignet-train yet, here's the scoop...

- Beignets are adorable little French-style doughnuts (also made famous by Cafe du Monde in New Orleans)
- We make them fresh to order so they're warm and delicious
- Available filled (raspberry jam, vanilla pastry cream) or plain, and topped with either powdered or cinnamon sugar
- $1.75 each or 3 for $5
- Sell out risk is high! Get in early if you want them guaranteed, or give us a call if you want to do a pick-up order

We might even have a couple other Fat Tuesday specials up our sleeves, so be sure to stop by!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

For the love of pete, make your own cheese curds.

How to make cheese curds:

1. Heat 2 gallons of milk to 96F and add 1/2 tsp of calcium chloride.

2. Add 1 packet of thermophilic culture and let this ripen for 30 minutes.

3. Then add 1/2 tsp rennet and stir gently for 30 seconds.
The milk will begin to gel in 6-10 minutes, and will be fully set and ready to cut in 18 -25 minutes.

4. When firm, cut the curds into 3/4 inch cubes and stir 5 minutes.

5. Then begin to cook the curds to 116F slowly over the next 30 minutes (starting out at 2F every 5 minutes and then increasing the heating rate as the curds dry out). (Open a nice white wine now, pour yourself a glass)

6. Continue to stir the curds for the next 30-60 min at 116F to increase firmness. (top-off you glass of wine at this point)

7. Drain in cheese cloth and bundle by tightening the cloth.
Press with a weight of 1 gallon of water (aprox. 8 lbs) and let set 1-3 hours. (yep, time to open the next bottle. You are not going anywhere tonight anyway)

8. Now break the curds into small bite size pieces and toss with a bit of salt (to your taste). They are ready to eat. They can be stored in a covered glass container or a ziploc bag.

NOTE: If you have a pH meter (you really should), the end of step 5 should be pH6.4 and step 7 pH5.3.

Pretty straight forward.

Monday, February 14, 2011

ATT Phone Service Problems - 14Feb11

Please note, our incoming phone lines are working intermittently. Oddly they can work perfectly, or not at all.

If you are contacting us for a catering order please email us at:

AT&T is not our friend. The automated AT&T "customer service" system, the one that you actually never get to speak to a real human being, claims that a service tech. will be here to fix this problem by 6PM on Tuesday.

Thank you for your consideration and Happy Saint Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Z&H Catering

An area that we do not talk about very much, but has become a big part of our reality is catering. Z&H does a lot of lunch and meeting catering, the most popular catering of this type are our Sandwich Platters and Bag Lunches. Groups range from a handful of folks to over three hundred.

A growing area for us is custom catering, we have done everything you can imagine from fancy holiday parties to a wedding for 150 folks. We like to craft menus to suit each particular event; this has turned into a great outlet for our creativity.

If you ever find yourself in need of delicious and thoughtful catering please consider Z&H for your event.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Something different on a snowy morning....

How about a Kimchi-egg sandwich on Saturday morning? with bacon perhaps? 20 inches of snow and a Kimchi-egg sandwich sounds about right. Break the back of winter.

Z&H Cheese Tasting at 47th Street...

Join us for a freewheeling cheese tasting from 1 to 3 on Saturday with Kamala (our awesome cheese maven); we will be sampling L'Amuse, Ossau Iraty, and Delice De Bourgogne. And for the first time in Hyde Park, Vegan Caviar from Aqua-Gourmet. Even though it is vegan, it is fantastic.

Monday, January 17, 2011

January 17, 2011

“...Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."

-Martin Luther King, Letter from Birmingham Jail, 1963