Sunday Brunch: Hodgepodge

WGN Weekend Morning News
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Dan Emerson, the owner of Gillerson’s Grubbery in Aurora, is hosting a special fundraiser Monday for the victims and families of the Henry Pratt shooting.

The restaurant will donate every penny that comes in — including employees’ tips — to the Aurora Strong fund.

Emerson stopped by WGN to make Hodgepodge, his version of poutine.

Aurora Strong Fundraiser

5-10 p.m. Monday
Gillerson’s Grubbery
31 W. New York St.


6 oz. fries
2 oz. carnitas (recipe below)
2 oz. Gillerson’s chimichurri (recipe below)
5 fried cheese curds (recipe below)
2 oz. garlic aioli (recipe below)

  • Start with your favorite cooked fries (store-bought or homemade) in the bowl you’ll be serving them in.
  • Place carnitas in a pan over medium heat and add the chimichurri. Once hot, top fries with the mixture, then add fried cheese curds and garlic aioli.


3 lb. pork lard
5 lb. pork shoulder, some fat trimmed
1 orange, cut in half
10 oz. orange juice
16 oz. Coca-Cola
1 white onion, whole
4 bay leaves
1/2 cup salt
1/4 cup pepper
6 cloves of garlic

  • In a large pot, add lard, orange, orange juice, Coca-Cola, onion, bay leaves, salt, pepper and garlic. Turn heat on to medium-high and add pork. Pour in water so that it covers the pork.
  • Simmer for six hours or until the pork pulls apart easily. Remove pork from cooking pot and enjoy!
  • You can cool the cooking pot down, and once solidified, remove the lard to use for your next carnitas recipe.

Cheese Curds

fresh Wisconsin cheese curds
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup flour
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. fresh cracked pepper

  • Heat vegetable oil to 350 degrees.
  • Mix flour with salt and pepper and place in a bowl. Set up two bowls for the buttermilk and panko.
  • Take the cheese curds and toss them in the flour. Shake off excess flour and dip the curds into buttermilk. Next, toss the curds into the panko bowl and make sure each curd is coated in panko.
  • Gently place coated curds into heated oil and fry until curds are golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove from oil.

Garlic Aioli

6 garlic cloves, roasted and pressed
1/2 tsp. (or more) coarse kosher salt
1.5 cups mayonnaise
3 oz. tablespoons olive oil
1.5 oz. fresh lemon juice

  • Simmer garlic cloves in oil until golden brown.
  • Remove the cloves (setting aside the excess oil) and mash garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a small bowl until paste forms.
  • Whisk in mayonnaise, lemon juice and the oil used to roast the garlic. Season to taste with coarse salt and pepper. Chill.

Gillerson’s Chimichurri

3–4 garlic cloves
1 tsp. kosher salt, to taste
½ cup finely chopped cilantro
¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp . lime juice

  • Put all ingredients in blender and blend until mixed.


Latest News

More News