Midday Fix: Cafe Spiaggia burger, prepared by chef Tony Mantuano and information about the 20th Anniversary Housewares Charity Foundation Gala

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Chef Tony Mantuano

Cafe Spiaggia - 980 N. Michigan Avenue, 2nd Floor, Chicago



20th Anniversary Housewares Charity Foundation Gala
Monday, March 20, 5:30-9 pm

Navy Pier Ballroom

Tickets: $350
Call (312) 791-6601 for tickets

Donate online at www.housewares.org/show/donations

For more information about the Housewares Show:


Cafe Spiaggia Burger

Onion Jam
Garlic Confit Aioli
Parmigiano-Reggiano Fonduta
Frico (Parmigiano-Reggiano crisps)
4 Tablespoons tomato-oregano catsup
2 pounds brisket, coarsely ground
1 cup arugula
4 Brioche buns

Preheat broiler to high. Or prepare a fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat. Divide the burgers into 4 equal patties. Season each patty with salt and pepper. Brown the brioche buns face down on the broiler or grill until light brown. Place on individual plates face up. Have all the condiments ready and available to assemble by the time the burger is cooked. Cook each patty until desired temperature, flipping burger once. About 2 minutes on each side for medium-rare or until an instant-read meat thermometer registers 120 degrees F. Assemble the burger. On each browned bun bottom, add 1 tablespoon each onion jam. Then add the burger, followed by a smear of oregano catsup on top. Carefully add a dollop of garlic confit aioli then place a crisp on top and press gently to hold. Top with arugula and drizzle with a spoonful of Parmigiano-Reggiano Fonduta. Crown with bun top and serve immediately.

Onion Jam

3 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine

Cook onions, butter, sugar, salt, and pepper, covered, in a 10-inch heavy skillet over low heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and pale golden, about 30 minutes. Add wine, and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thick, 20 to 30 minutes. Store in refrigerator until ready to use. Serve at room temperature.

Garlic Confit
1 cup olive oil
24 garlic cloves, peeled

Heat oil in small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and reduce heat to low. Cook over very low heat until soft, about 1 hour being careful not to brown. This recipe can be made 1 month ahead. Store chilled and completely covered in oil. Always use clean spoon to remove garlic.

Garlic Confit Aioli
2 large egg yolks
12 confit garlic cloves
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup olive oil

Place egg yolks, garlic cloves, and salt in a blender and blend well to combine. Add oil in a steady stream slowly to the egg mixture on low speed. Do not add oil too quickly or aioli will break and oil will separate. Blend until oil is incorporated and aioli is stiff enough to hold its shape when spooned. Aioli can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill in the refrigerator.

Parmigiano-Reggiano Fonduta

2 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (3 ounces)

In a small heavy saucepan bring the cream just to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat immediately to low. Do not let boil.  Continue to cook stirring occasionally until reduced by half. Add the cheese and whisk briskly to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate to cool until ready to use.

Parmigiano-Reggiano Crisps

4 Tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Special equipment: A silicone baking mat (such as a Silpat)

Preheat oven to 375F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with silicone mat. Scoop 4 mounds of cheese (1 tablespoon per mound) onto mat, spreading each mound about 3-inches wide and spacing at least 1-inch apart. Bake cheese until light brown and melted, 5 to 6 minutes (check occasionally while baking so it won't turn too brown). Remove sheet from oven and let frico cool completely. Carefully remove each crisp with a spatula.

Tomato-Oregano Catsup

Combine 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano into 1/2 cup tomato catsup.


Cafe Spiaggia Squash Salad

1/2 cup candied walnuts (recipe follows)
2 medium acorn squash
4 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 cups arugula (2 1/2 ounces)
1/3 pound Grana Padana cheese for shavings
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Chervil for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Cut 1/4 inch from stem end and bottom of each squash and discard. Cut each squash in half crosswise. Discard seeds and membrane.  Cut each squash half crosswise into slices, 1/2-inch thick. Place slices in a large bowl. Add 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil, a generous pinch of salt and a few turns of fresh pepper and toss to coat.  Arrange on a lightly greased baking sheet and place in the preheated oven and bake until tender and browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Divide the squash rings on 4 dinner plates.  In a large bowl add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar.  Whisk well to combine. Add the arugula, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Toss well and check for seasoning.  Divide the dressed arugula evenly among the plates. Top each plate with several shavings of Grana Padano cheese, and 2 tablespoons each of candied walnuts. Garnish with fresh chervil and serve immediately.

Candied Walnuts

nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 cup walnuts (about 3 1/2 ounces)
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
generous pinch of cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 325F. Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray. Combine walnuts and all remaining ingredients in medium bowl; toss to coat. Spread nut  mixture on prepared baking sheet.  Bake until nuts are deep golden and sugar mixture is bubbling, stirring occasionally to break up clumps, about 15 minutes.  Transfer nuts to a room temperature, parchment lined sheet pan, breaking up any clumps and cool completely. These nuts can be made up to 3 days ahead. Store in an airtight container.


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