Actor Erik Strebig looks for recipes that are quick and easy to prepare.
A recent college graduate, Strebig said while he was in school he "perfected the art of economized cooking."
Strebig is currently starring as character Fish in Emerald City Theatre's production of "Dr Seuss' The Cat in the Hat," running through Sept. 1, at The Broadway Playhouse in Chicago. FYI: (800) 775-2000.
"I love a good barbecue," Strebig said. As an actor, Strebig prefers to turn out uncomplicated dishes due to his hectic professional schedule. Fresh ingredients are also important to Strebig, who was raised on a farm in Ohio.
"I grew up on a 140-acre farm," he said, adding they also had a huge vegetable garden. "Corn on the cob is one of my favorite things to grill," he commented.
When Strebig, who lives in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood, goes out to eat, he looks for healthy food and is also a fan of various ethnic cuisines including Asian, Chinese and Lebanese.
About the act of sharing a meal with others, Strebig said:
"There's nothing more special or wonderful than sitting down and sharing food. It's also a generational thing. I grew up sharing Sunday family meals." He added it's something, these days, that's not often done anymore in society.
The following recipe for toffee is a favorite of Strebig's. He said he's been making it for friends and relatives for Christmas for the past 10 years.
Mrs. Myers Homemade Toffee Recipe
1 pound butter
2 teaspoons white Karo syrup
2 heaping cups white sugar
4 tablespoons water
1/4 cups chopped cashews
DIRECTIONS: Melt butter in heavy saucepan. Add sugar, Karo and water. Mix well and cook over medium-low heat to 310 degrees, stirring occasionally. Take off burner. Add cashews and mix thoroughly. Pour on large ungreased cookie sheet and spread to the edges. When cool, wipe off excess butter with paper towels. Spread melted chocolate and let set. When set, turn over, wipe with paper towel and spread additional chocolate. When that side is set, break into pieces. Store in airtight container. I give this at Christmas and make it early. It freezes great. Makes about 2 1/2 - 2 3/4 pounds.