Sam Adam Jr., whose face was plastered all over the media when he represented former governor Rod Blagojevich, is famous for something else, entirely: his pies! He told us the secret to making them, among other juicy tidbits about cooking and the former governor!
Who knew Adam Jr. was a pie-baker? Certainly not me. Although Adam Jr. did appear last year in a NBC Chicago news segment in which he demonstrated his major pie-baking skills. Adam Jr., finds baking “relaxing” and does the majority of the cooking for his family—wife Chari, and their two adorable children, Sydney, 6, and Parker 4.
Adam Jr. says he lost 35 pounds during the Blagojevich trial because he didn’t have time to eat. Although he does have time for baking, cooking and eating now, he has a lot of other things on his, well, plate too. Among them: he'll soon be representing Cook County Commissioner William Beavers in his upcoming tax evasion trial.
Right now Adams Jr. is still cooking and baking up a storm. Here’s what he has to say about both food-related subject as well as Blagojevich.
Q: What are some of the dishes in your cooking repertoire?
Adam Jr.: I make Beef Wellington, turkey, chicken-broccoli-cheese casserole, lasagna, turkey and soul food--greens and succotash. And I barbecue.
A: Are you a foodie?
Adams Jr.: I’m not a foodie. I’m more of a traditionalist. If I find something I like, I fall in love with it, and I stick with it.
Q: Tell us about your pies.
Adams Jr.: I’m known for my apple and pumpkin pies. Ever since the NBC story about my pies came out, I get lots of requests for them. I gave them out at Christmas left and right. I make about 10 pies once every two weeks. I enjoy kneading the dough myself, and if I make it for family, I make the dough from scratch. But I’ll let you in on a secret: When I make them for other people, I use a pre-made crust.
Q: What’s the secret to a great pie?
Adams Jr.: It’s not the cinnamon or nutmeg or the vanilla or condensed milk , it’s the butter. If you want something to taste great, butter is the key. It brings out the flavor like nothing else! In fact, when I make a turkey, I use 4-5 sticks of butter.
Q: Any other secrets to baking a pie?
Adams Jr.: Almond flavoring adds a nice touch.
Q: Do you like to go to restaurants?
Adams Jr.: Unfortunately, I go to restaurants all the time! My daughter loves to go to Fogo de Chao (a brazilian steakhouse) before we go to the Bulls' games. They have the best salad bar! We also like Francesca's in Oak Lawn and Ron of Japan on Ontario in Chicago. My father used to take us there when I was a little kid.
Q: What would you have for your last meal on earth?
Adam Jr.: (laughs) A combination of things: The lobster from Ron of Japan and the dry-rub ribs from Three Little Pigs Bar-B-Q in Memphis. I’d also have peach cobbler and cinnamon ice cream from Oberweis—though I don’t care for him (Jim Oberweis, chairman of the Oberweis Dairy and newly elected state senator) politically.
Q: Do you still talk to Blagojevich?
Adam Jr.: Not much. But my father talks to him about three times a week. They have these intellectual discussions. Blagojevich considers him a surrogate father. My plan is to visit him after the Beavers trial.