Archived Posts from this Category
Archived Posts from this Category
Food, tradition, and culture make a home. Inspired by the book Asian Flavors: Changing the Tastes of Minnesota since 1875 by Phyllis Louise Harris with Raghavan Iyer, a new thirty minute documentary co-produced by the Minnesota Historical Society Press and Twin Cities Public Television’s Minnesota Productions & Partnerships (tpt MN) celebrates Asian immigrants who have left an indelible and flavorful mark on Minnesota’s culinary, cultural, and economic history.
It’s hard to believe there was a time when you couldn’t go out for Chinese food in Minnesota, but there was—until brothers and entrepreneurs Woo Yee Sing and Woo Du Sing opened their Canton restaurant (later called “John’s Place”) in Minneapolis in 1883.
Culinary educator, chef, author, consultant and co-founder with Phyllis Louise Harris of the Asian Culinary Arts Institutes, Ltd., Raghavan Iyer narrates this documentary highlighting the exciting history and array of Asian food in Minnesota.
Profiles and interviews with chefs, restaurant owners, business owners, and culinary professionals include Supenn Harrison, founder of Sawatdee; Reiko Weston of Fuji Ya; Mhonpaj Lee and her mother May Yia Lee, operators of Mhonpaj’s Garden; Ann Kim of Pizzeria Lola; Thom Pham; and Harry Singh.
Food connects homes left behind with where we live today. Asian Flavors is the story of adventurous people who made the arduous journey halfway around the world to live in Minnesota, fleeing oppression and persecution or in search of jobs and education, and who created new homes through food. Many cooks sought not only to make a living but also to preserve the memory of their homeland through the dishes set before family and patrons alike, to the great benefit of diners in the Twin Cities metro area.
Asian flavors have changed Minnesota’s tastes, just as the many, wide-ranging Asian cultural groups have reshaped the state’s history, culture, and communities.
The tpt broadcast schedule is as follows:
Premiere: Sunday May 26, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. on tpt’s Minnesota Channel (tpt MN)
Encore Broadcasts: Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 1:00 AM, 7:00 AM and 1:00 PM on tpt MN
About tpt’s Minnesota Productions & Partnerships
TPT’s Minnesota Productions & Partnerships (tpt MN) is the local production division of Twin Cities Public Television (tpt), the PBS affiliate for Minneapolis/St. Paul. TPT MN partners with local non-profit, educational, governmental, and public service organizations to reach broader audiences throughout Minnesota. These partnership programs educate and inspire Minnesotans on important issues using tpt’s distinctive storytelling skills, television and multimedia resources. Since its inception in 2003, tpt MN has created nearly 700 television programs and over 200 multimedia projects in partnership with over 235 non-profit and public service organizations. To view past tpt productions, visit www.mnvideovault.org.
Today’s post is an excerpt from our new cookbook, Modern Maple by Teresa Marrone, the second title in our Northern Plate series.
A maple tree is a lovely thing. Its hard, fine-grained wood is used to craft beautiful furniture and specialty items as diverse as bowling pins, butcher blocks, and stringed instruments. In summer, its lush canopy of leaves provides welcome shade, and in fall, those same leaves—minus their chlorophyll, which provides the green hue—adorn cityscapes, fencerows, and lakeshores with their stunning displays of autumn color. Some would argue, however, that late winter to early spring is the maple’s finest time, for that is when groundwater pumping through the wood of the tree, rising from the roots to the branch tips, can be tapped to make maple syrup.
Red Cabbage and Berry Salad
Ever get a craving for fresh, raw, colorful vegetables and fruits that are simply prepared? Here’s the perfect fix. I came up with this combination one day when I was staring down a half of a red cabbage lurking in the crisper drawer. Suddenly I knew I wanted to combine it with blueberries and raspberries. The method just came together as I was fixing supper, and I have to say, it’s really delicious. I’m sure it’s chock-full of vitamins and antioxidants; deep purple, red, or blue foods simply radiate good health. Serves 4–5.
½ medium red cabbage (you might not need it all)
½ cup thinly sliced white onion
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
½-¾ orange, peeled
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons olive oil or vegetable oil (Smude Farm’s sunflower oil is very good here)
1 cup fresh blueberries
½ cup fresh raspberries, large berries halved before measuring
Cut cabbage into two quarters. Remove core from one quarter and discard, then cut the wedge crosswise into ¼-inch-wide slices. You’ll need about 3 cups of sliced cabbage, so you may also need to core and slice some of the second quarter. In a large nonreactive mixing bowl, combine sliced cabbage, onion, vinegar, and salt; stir well. Set aside at room temperature to marinate for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring several times. At the end of the marinating time, fill the bowl with cold tap water and swirl the cabbage to rinse off the salt and vinegar. Pour into a wire-mesh strainer and drain, then rinse again; let drain for 5 to 10 minutes.
While cabbage is draining, separate the orange into segments. Use your fingers to break each segment into ½-inch pieces, holding the segment over the empty mixing bowl so the juices drip into the bowl; add the orange pieces to the bowl as you go. Add syrup and oil to the bowl; stir to mix. Return drained cabbage mixture to the bowl; add blueberries and raspberries and stir gently to mix.
For a listing of upcoming events, demos, and classes with Teresa, please click on the title’s hyperlink, at the beginning of this post.
In recognition of national Food Day, a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food, today’s guest post is from Tricia Cornell, author of Eat More Vegetables: Making the Most of Your Seasonal Produce.
I recently had the pleasure of hearing Chris Blanchard speak about the challenges of organic farming. Chris is a farmer at Rock Spring Farm and a farming consultant. He helps organic farmers get started or scale up.
He opened with an anecdote that seemed to sum up farming for me: “One of the biggest compliments you can give someone in my community is, ‘Boy, you work hard!’ They see the lights of your tractor out there at 9 p.m. and say, ‘You are such a hard worker!’” he said. “How come nobody ever says, ‘Wow. You work so efficiently!’?”
Then, for the audience, he mimed a new organic farmer trying to figure out how to make a living: Okay, if I want to make X thousand dollars a year — and here Chris named a figure that was just barely middle class — and I can get about X pounds of vegetables off an acre and sell them for X dollars a pound . . . then I need about 10 to 15 acres of vegetables under cultivation. Plus acreage for crop rotation.
(I left the numbers out because I wasn’t taking notes and don’t want to let my faulty memory make Chris’s math look bad. I’m sure his math is very good.)
And here is where these hypothetical farmers probably need to sit down for a minute to catch their breath, let their hearts stop racing, and think about how on earth a single farmer or a farming couple could possibly work 10 to 15 acres by themselves. Are there enough hours in the day? Is it physically possible? Never mind that cropland in parts of the Midwest is selling for the truly gobsmacking price of $10,000 an acre.
And yet, because it takes a special kind of person to be an organic farmer, and that kind of person isn’t going to be daunted by impossibilities, Chris has farming clients who want to make it work, and, more importantly, we have organic produce in our co-ops, farmers markets, CSA shares, and, increasingly, big-box food stores.
Organic food sales reached $26 billion in 2010. That’s about 4 percent of total food sales. According to two separate studies, 26 percent of people say they regularly buy organic food, but nearly 60 percent say they would like to.
One organization trying to bridge that gap between the desire and the ability to buy organic is the Center for Science in the Public Interest. CSPI has declared October 24 Food Day and is organizing events around the country to celebrate and promote good, sustainable food.
In honor of Food Day, I’m looking forward to attending tonight’s screening of Food Fight at Open Arms. I’ll be part of a panel discussion about our food system with Mike Venker, board member and Cargill division vice president; Lindsay Rebhan, urban farm consultant; Open Arms baker/farm liaison Rita Panton; and Farm Director Ben Penner.
My family has been getting fantastic organic produce from Hog’s Back Farm for nine years. Every Halloween I use the beautiful butternut squashes we get to make a big pot of squash chili and serve it at our block’s pre-trick-or-treating potluck.
Squash skeptics often find that the mild-mannered cucurbit needs a little bit of kick. Or a lot. And this chili has a lot of kick. It’s bone warming and comforting and packed with nutritive goodness. The trick is to cut the squash nice and small so the texture is like chili and not like squash in sauce. Definitely use butternut squash for this recipe: it is easy to peel and cut and will hold its shape nicely.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 large cloves garlic
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground allspice
2 dried red peppers, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
4 cups chopped plum tomatoes in their own juices (2 15-ounce cans)
¼ cup dry red wine
4 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into half-inch cubes
salt and pepper to taste
small bunch cilantro, chopped
Place oil, onion, garlic, and spices (chili powder through red pepper) in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat. Stirring occasionally, cook until onion is soft and translucent, about 8–10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, wine, and squash. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a low simmer. Cook until squash is soft, about 20 minutes. Season to taste. Stir in cilantro.
Kim Ode has spent most of 2012 talking about her latest cookbook, Rhubarb Renaissance, and is trying to decide what food to tackle next. She remains a member of the St. Paul Bread Club and also plays trombone with the Calhoun-Isles Community Band.
What is a typical weekend for you?
“Typical” changes with the season, given that in summer, we’re on our sailboat on Lake Superior whenever possible. Otherwise, I’m happiest tucked in at home, putzing in the garden or organizing shelves–unexpectedly satisfying! Wherever I am, cooking for friends often is involved, usually with a recipe I’ve never tried. I like to pull people out onto the culinary tightrope with me!
What are some of your favorite local Friday night activities?
After a week at the Star Tribune, I rarely want to leave the house. I’m a locabore, I guess, but a happy one. If I’ve planned to bake in my brick oven on Saturday, then Friday nights are for mixing bread dough so it gets that long overnight rise to develop the best flavor.
What/where do you eat on weekends? What’s a typical Sunday breakfast for you?
I’m happiest when I’m cooking for myself and others, but Tosca in Linden Hills is a small gem with great squash ravioli. Mill Valley Kitchen in St. Louis Park manages to be sumptuous and healthy. I love Travail Kitchen and Amusements in Robbinsdale but know enough not to fight the weekend crowds.
Sunday breakfasts is plural. My husband gets two eggs over easy, toast, and bacon every week because that’s what he lives for, emphasis on Once A Week. While I will reserve some bacon for myself, I love to eat leftovers for breakfast–last night’s potstickers or pizza or mashed potatoes. And sourdough toast–with mayonnaise and garden tomatoes in the summer or with mustard and baked beans in the winter.
What is your weekend reading like?
After the newspaper (duh), I’ll riffle through cookbooks or magazines during the day. For whatever reason, I read best at night, mostly nonfiction, although the Strib’s books editor, Laurie Hertzel, always has good fiction writers in mind. I just finished reading chef Marcus Samuelsson’s memoir, Yes, Chef, and it’s terrific. My biggest challenge is holding off on rereading Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin series. I have read the twenty books three times and have vowed to let at least five years pass before diving in again.
What is your top Minnesota getaway?
Has to be Lake Superior, anywhere on that spectacular body of water. Grand Marais’ great hug of a harbor is a top destination.
This Saturday, June 23, will mark the 8th Annual Chum Rhubarb Festival in Duluth, Minnesota. From 9 am to 4 pm enjoy games, crafts, musical performances, silent auctions, and of course delicious rhubarb delicacies.
Food booths around the festival will showcase all the different–and tasty!–ways to utilize rhubarb, including rhubarb lemonade, rhubarb brats and burritos, and various pastries and pies. Gardeners will be available to answer questions about growing rhubarb and to judge contests. Families will enjoy food and activities as well as learn new ways of preparing rhubarb.
Kim Ode, author of Rhubarb Renaissance, will be featured in an onstage cooking demonstration starting at noon, teaching guests how to make Confetti Salad. Before and after the demonstration, Ode will be selling and signing her book.
Admission is free for the festival, so make the trip to Duluth this weekend for the 8th Annual Chum Rhubarb Festival!
Stewart Woodman, author of Shefzilla, will soon debut his second restaurant in the Twin Cities. The chef-owner of Heidi’s Minneapolis is ready to launch Birdhouse in Uptown. Starting with a soft opening this week, Birdhouse will serve breakfast, lunch, and brunch inside the restaurant as well as on the patio. The official opening of the restaurant is scheduled for late June.
The new restaurant, in the former Duplex space, will have a healthy menu focusing on “a lot of vegetables” and “a lot of vegetarian and vegan offerings,” Woodman told Minnesota Monthly. The restaurant will feature Ben Mauk as executive chef as well as other Heidi’s employees who have joined the Birdhouse team.
Stewart and his wife, Heidi, are extremely excited for their new venture. Be sure to keep an eye out for the new healthy food spot next time you’re in Uptown.
Also visit Woodman’s blog for more news about his activities in the city.
This local beer was created in 2006 by four Minnesota men working out of a home-made brewery in their garage. They have turned their fun hobby into a thriving business, offering four custom Minnesota brews. The Fulton boys believe in bringing the community together. Their beers are now making their way into bars and restaurants around the city, including the stands at Target Field.
This summer, the brewery is taking advantage of its location and working with local food trucks to become a fun stop for fans on their way to and from Twins games. Every game day a different food truck will be parked outside the brewery. For a complete schedule, visit the Fulton website.
Additionally, the brewery tap room is open on Fridays from 3 pm to 10 pm and on Saturdays from noon until 10 pm. Enjoy the Minneapolis-made Fulton beer on their new deck. Visit on a food truck day and enjoy great local food with your beer.
Make your way to the brewery this weekend to enjoy good beer and food, a great atmosphere, and perhaps even a Twins game.
Men’s Fitness recently deemed La Belle Vie as one of the 25 Best Bars in America. The Parlez-Vous cocktail is noted as a standout. Bar manager Johnny Michaels, author of North Star Cocktails, calls it “a real favorite with the ladies.” For more information about Johnny and the North Star Bartenders’ Guild, visit their website.
Meet her Wednesday, April 11, at 7:00 p.m. at the Merriam Park Library as part of the Eating, Reading & Living Well program hosted by the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library and sponsored by Mississippi Market.
Come midmorning, my sister and I
Would be shooed from the sandbox
To pick a dozen stalks of rhubarb
For that day’s pie.
There is a knack to picking rhubarb.
Grab too high and you snap the stalk.
Grab too low and you lose the leverage
For that crucial tug from the root,
Like pulling a boot from spring’s muddy gumbo.
Then we would take our lives in our hands
Lopping off leaves coursing with enough poison
To kill a congregation –
Or so we’d come to believe
Given the stern order never to taste them.
The work was both gratifying and disconcerting,
Entrusted to wield foliage so deadly
We could not feed it even to the hogs,
Bur heaved the leaves into the ditch
Onto a wilting mound that grew with every pie.
So, if I hesitate over that first bite,
It’s only a flicker of remembering how it felt
To bring those stalks into the house,
Hoping we had not been trusted too much.
For recipes and rhubarb inspiration, see:
Spiced Couscous with Rhubarb and Figs recipe featured on Oprah.com
Kim on Wisconsin Public Radio (Archive 4/9/12 @ 11:45)
Farmers’ market and CSA season is upon us! Find out what to do with the readily available bounty of veggies from veteran CSA subscriber and food writer Tricia Cornell at The Eating, Reading and Living Well series at the Merriam Park Library on Wednesday, April 4, at 7:00 p.m. The program is presented by the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library and sponsored by Mississippi Market. Tricia will share her new cookbook, Eat More Vegetables: Making the Most of Your Seasonal Produce.
What can you do with all those mustard greens? How about making Midwestern Bibimbap? Tricia’s recipe, below.
My favorite use for pickled mustard greens is in my own simplified version of bibimbap. Classic Korean comfort food, bibimbap is “all mixed up.” It comes to the table as a lovely composition of pickled vegetables and rice, and then the diner gets to do the mixing up. If you’re lucky, a Korean restaurant will serve it in a hot stone bowl—dolsot bibimbap—that cooks the rice and egg to form a tasty crunchy crust on the bottom. Many versions include sautéed beef or chicken, but for a quick supper for one, I stick with just the egg.
1 cup cooked brown rice
¼ cup pickled mustard greens
¼ cup finely grated carrot
¼ cup bean sprouts
¼ cup steamed spinach, squeezed dry
hoisin sauce, optional
Place rice in a deep, single-serving bowl. Arrange vegetables in wedge shapes on top. Fry egg sunny-side up. Slide it onto your pile of vegetables and stir with chopsticks or fork, breaking up the yolk. Add hoisin sauce to taste, if desired. Serves 1.
Pickled Mustard Greens
At my local markets, these beloved Hmong greens (zaub ntsuab) are labeled “mustard greens,” “mustard cabbage,” “bamboo cabbage,” and about a half a dozen other things. Look for long, thin, dark green leaves with relatively thick stems and tiny yellowish flower buds. They are among the first green things to show up in the market and are available well into the fall. They’re great in a stir-fry, and their slightly bitter flavor works well with all kinds of pork.
This is a fermented pickle that will keep in the refrigerator for several months (this recipe has not been tested for home canning).
4 cups water
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 dried red pepper
1 large bunch mustard greens, rinsed, dried, and cut into 1-inch pieces (to yield 4 cups)
Mix together first 4 ingredients (water through pepper), being sure to dissolve sugar and salt. Stir in mustard greens. Place mixture in a scrupulously clean opaque bowl and cover with a plate, weighted down if necessary. You don’t want an airtight seal, but you do want to be sure that all of the mustard greens stay submerged. (A pickling crock is, of course, ideal, but you can approximate one with a bowl and plate.) Keep in a cool, dark place for 3 days. Transfer to jars with tight-fitting lids and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. Makes about 4 cups.