Welcome to Food We Love, our Sun-Times video series featuring stories about Chicagoans family food traditions, secret recipes, special ingredients and unusual favorite dishes. Each week we’ll hear a new story about food and family and learn some amazing recipes that you can try at home. Our host is Chicago journalist Linda Yu, who loves cooking at home, as well as exploring new restaurants throughout the city.
Today’s episode: WGN Morning News anchor Larry Potash shares a family recipe he calls “Nova Scotia Chop Suey.”
Cooking with Larry
You know him as the erudite and engaging anchor of the WGN Morning News. However, until recently, I only knew him as the guy with the camera crew who occasionally appeared outside the ABC7 streetside news studio while I was on the air. I didn’t know why he was out there, but suspected he was creating some fun segment for his own newscast the next morning.
Larry Potash still hasn’t told me what kinds of mayhem he might have envisioned back then … but now that I know him, it’s obvious he was up to no good! Just kidding.
- Larry Potash’s grandparents, Ronald and Doris Fraser. | Provided
- Actor Adam West joins Larry on the set at WGN. | Provided
- Larry Potash in 1994. | Provided
- Larry Potash with his mom, Loretta. | Provided
- Larry Potash with Actor Gene Hackman in 2004. | Provided
- Larry Potash reporting for WGN in 1995. | Provided
Behind the smile, the laugh, the blue eyes (you KNOW he was once named 45th among the 50 hottest male news anchors in the world!) is a thoughtful, cerebral guy. Paul Konrad, weathercaster on the morning news, says Larry is actually the one who is more likely to discuss philosophy with you than anyone else on the team.
- Linda Yu joins Larry Potash and Lauren Jiggetts on the WGN Morning News. | Brian Rich for the Sun-Times
- Linda Yu with Pat Tomasulo and Paul Konrad. | Brian Rich for the Sun-Times
- Behind the scenes of the WGN Morning News. | Brian Rich for the Sun-Times
- The WGN Morning News team during a commercial break. | Brian Rich for the Sun-Times
- Linda Yu with Steve Sanders outside the WGN Morning News studio. | Brian Rich for the Sun-Times
Larry’s been getting up in the middle of the night to get to WGN and prepare for his 6 to 10 a.m. newscast for 23 years. He says he’s now accustomed to always waking up when it’s pitch dark outside. But around noon when everyone else is getting ready for lunch, Larry’s body and brain still remind him he got up way too many hours ago.
On occasional weekend mornings, Larry might make breakfast scrambled eggs for his wife Lisa and daughters Kaylin and Mallory. But he has one signature dish that he admits the girls could do without. Our newsroom staff loved it, as my picture proves! Larry and his sister called it “Nova Scotia Chop Suey!”
Why? Here’s the story: Larry’s Boston-bred family was accustomed to solid, typical American food. At his aunt’s house one night, she announced she was making chop suey. No way, hollered the Potash children…. chop suey was way too exotic! They were reassured when they saw macaroni go into a pot of boiling water. Then, ground beef was being cooked up, along with something very familiar and beloved: Campbell’s tomato soup! It turned out to be a family meal Larry loved, and he eventually created a name that sounded even more exotic.
Watch the video to see how easy it is to make “Nova Scotia Chop Suey” and find out what characteristic Larry and I were surprised to find we share! Plus, the video also includes my visit to the WGN Morning News.
Larry’s “Nova Scotia Chop Suey”
10-oz. box elbow macaroni
1 lb. ground beef
2 8-oz cans Campbell’s tomato soup
1 tbsp. Kirsch’s extra dry cherry liqueur
- The key ingredients in Larry’s noodle dish. |Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
- Larry’s prefers elbow macaroni for this recipe. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
- Tomato soup is an important part of the recipe. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
- The finished dish! | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
- The “Food We Love” team seemed to enjoy Larry’s dish! | Linda Yu/ Sun-Times
- Boil noodles in a medium pan, then set aside.
- In a medium skillet brown meat, drain fat and let stand.
- Heat soup in medium pan.
- Add noodles and soup to skillet with meat, mix well.
- Add liqueur, give it a good stir.
Watch more “Food We Love” episodes
We hope you’ve enjoyed this segment of “Food We Love with Linda Yu.” Check the links below to watch Linda’s other #foodwelove videos. Each one has a great story plus recipes for you to try at home. You can also follow Linda on social media to get the latest on her CST series.