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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Saturday, August 13

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Recipe Tue Nov 11 2008

Hitting Up the Hearty Boys

steve mcdonagh, hearty boysHearty Boys Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh recently hosted a mixer at their studio space in boystown. Sponsored by KitchenAid, with plenty of product integration love (the event was titled, "Kitchenaid Mixer" -- get it??) and jovial namedropping by the Boys (the "product placement sock puppets" of the evening), the event combined cooking demonstrations and a KitchenAid giveaway -- both whole, glowing stand mixer and party favors of blessedly non-mechanized kitchen a melon baller -- with plenty of champagne and snacks. Not the worst way to spend a rainy Thursday evening.

Smith and McDonagh will be familiar to Food Network watchers thanks to winning the eponymous reality show a few years back. The only openly gay couple with a dedicated TV show, they now film their Food Network show in a kitchen/TV-studio in Boystown, an experience Smith sums up as an "open bar, knives, and no insurance." In addition to making the studio space available for private events, the Boys also have a few other upcoming public events, some of which you can check out here, if you're inclined to spend an evening with an open bar, knives, and well, you get the picture. Check out a great recipe for entertaining from the last shindig after the fold (and trust me, a combination of this much cheese and butter is worth reading on).

cheese plateBehold the Gorgonzola, fig and pecan cheese terrine. It looks pretty mauled in the photo, so rest assured it was tasty. I had to fight my way to the bar to get a shot, let alone a bite. Here's the how-to (totally lifted from The Hearty Boys):

1 cup quartered dried Mission figs
1 cup dry red wine
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 oz. Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp brandy
1 tsp salt
1 cup pecans, toasted
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

Special equipment:
1-quart loaf pan
Cooking spray for pan

Put 1/2 cup of the figs into a small saucepan along with red wine and 1 sprig of the thyme. Let the mixture simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Drain the figs, discard the thyme and wine, and set the figs aside to cool.

Put the cream cheese and butter into the bowl of an electric [KITCHENAID!?!] stand mixer and, using the paddle attachment, cream the mixture on medium until well-blended, about 1 minute. Add the Gorgonzola, brandy, and salt and beat 1 more minute...

Spray the loaf pan with cooking spray and line the inside with plastic wrap. Spoon half of the cheese mixture into the pan and spread it evenly, making sure to get into corners. Scatter the cooked figs, 1/2 cup of the pecans, and the parsley on top evenly and cover with the remaining cheese. Give the pan a few sharp raps to settle the terrine, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

To remove the terrine from the pan, turn the pan upside down on a flat surface and pull one end of the plastic wrap down. The terrine will slip out of the pan onto the top piece of plastic wrap. Slice the terrine and fan out the pieces on a platter garnished with greens. Garnish with the remaining figs, pecans and thyme. Serve with water crackers or other good quality crackers.

[And WINE! Ahem, me again. Thanks Boys!]

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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