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Spring 2014 Titles

Posted byAlison Aten on 10 Jan 2014 | Tagged as: Authors, Children, Cooking, Fiction, Food, History, Literary, MHS press, Native American, Scandinavian Studies, Travel

Augie\'s Secrets by Neal Karlen The Brides of Midsummer When I Was a Child Her Honor Keystones of the Stone Arch Bridge Curiosity\'s Cats

Conflicted Mission Hungry Johnny Toys of the \'50s, \'60s, and \'70s Scoop Smitten with Squash

Minnesota Historical Society Press Spring 2014 Titles

Augie’s Secrets: The Minneapolis Mob and the King of the Hennepin Strip (Paperback, February 2014)
Neal Karlen

The Brides of Midsummer (First English Translation, February 2014)
Vilhelm Moberg

When I Was a Child: An Autobiographical Novel (February 2014)
Vilhelm Moberg

Her Honor: Rosalie Wahl and the Minnesota Women’s Movement (March 2014)
Lori Sturdevant

Keystones of the Stone Arch Bridge (April 2014)
Carolyn Ruff

Curiosity’s Cats: Writers on Research (April 2014)
Edited by Bruce Joshua Miller

Conflicted Mission: Faith, Disputes, and Deception on the Dakota Frontier (April 2014)
Linda M. Clemmons

Hungry Johnny (May 2014)
Cheryl Minnema, Illustrations by Wesley Ballinger

Toys of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s (May 2014)
Kate Roberts and Adam Scher

Scoop: Notes from a Small Ice Cream Shop (May 2014)
Jeff Miller

Smitten with Squash (July 2014)
Amanda Paa

“Asian Flavors” wins Upper Midwest Regional Emmy® Award

Posted byAlison Aten on 01 Oct 2013 | Tagged as: Arts, Asian American, Awards, Cooking, Food, History, Immigration, MHS press

Regional Emmy® Award Courtesy of Twin Cities Public Television Raghavan Iyer with Regional Emmy® Award Asian Flavors documentary team

Our Asian Flavors documentary, co-produced with tptMN, won the 2013 Upper Midwest Regional Emmy® Award from the Upper Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) in the Cultural Documentary category.

Inspired by the book Asian Flavors: Changing the Tastes of Minnesota since 1875 by Phyllis Louise Harris with Raghavan Iyer, this thirty-minute documentary celebrates Asian immigrants who have left an indelible and flavorful mark on Minnesota’s culinary, cultural, and economic history.

Congratulations to a winning team!

The Asian Flavors team:

Daniel Pierce Bergin, Producer/Director
Angela Barrett, Production Assistant
Fanique Weeks-Kelley, Production Manager
Jim Kron, Director of Photography
Jerry Lakso, Online Editor
Bob Tracy, Executive in Charge
Pamela McClanahan, Project Consultant
Phyllis Louise Harris, Co-writer/Project Consultant
Raghavan Iyer, Presenter
Shari Lamke, Senior Director-Supervising Producer
Lucy Swift, Vice President, MN Productions & Partnerships
Terry O’Reilly, Chief Content Officer

Living Here, Loving Minnesota with Marie Porter

Posted byAlison Aten on 27 Jun 2013 | Tagged as: Authors, Food, Interview

Living Here, Loving MinnesotaAn occasional series highlighting local authors and their favorite ways to spend a Minnesota weekend.

Marie Porter is the author of the newest title in our Northern Plate series, Sweet Corn Spectacular.

Win a copy of Sweet Corn Spectacular by entering Marie’s Corn Haiku Contest!

Marie Porter

Sweet Corn Spectacular

What is a typical weekend for you?

Oh, man, I’m not sure we have anything resembling typicality in our LIVES, never mind weekends!  I guess the closest thing to typical we’ve had lately is that weekends usually involve a lot of work on the house.  We had our house smashed badly in the 2011 tornado, were under-insured by $60k+, and have been picking away at DIY-ing a lot of it.

What are some of your favorite local Friday night activities?

When the weather is nice and cool, I like getting out for scenic walks or drives.  When the weather is too hot, we become about as local as possible—holed up in our house, watching movies.

What/where do you eat on weekends? What’s a typical Sunday breakfast at your house?

Well, aside from renovation stuff, I like to use weekends to hash out recipe ideas I have, whether for my blog or for upcoming cookbooks.  What we eat varies wildly depending on what I’m working on at the time, and it isn’t necessarily seasonally “appropriate” at all times, either.  Due to the nature of publication schedules, we may eat a full Christmas dinner in early summer!

Lately, I’ve taken to making a batch of muffins almost every Sunday. It’s a great weekend breakfast and works for easy to-go breakfasts for my husband for the week.

What’s your weekend reading like?

When I have time to read, it’s usually catching up on blog entries and/or reading up on DIY techniques. (Like teaching myself to demolish and tile our bathroom!)

What is your top Minnesota getaway?

Duluth!  I’ve lived here for seven years and only recently made it up to Duluth.  We’re looking at maybe making it a monthly thing—sitting on a rock by the shore does a world of good for me, reminds me of home.  It’s great for de-stressing!

Modern Maple

Posted byAlison Aten on 14 Mar 2013 | Tagged as: Cooking, Food

Red cabbage and Berry Salad by Teresa Marrone from Modern MapleModern Maple by Teresa MarroneToday’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.

Asian Flavors Profile: Scratch Food Truck

Posted byAlison Aten on 08 Nov 2012 | Tagged as: Asian American, Food, Immigration

Chicken Adobo from Asian Flavors Scratch Food Truck

Asian Flavors: Changing the Tastes of Minnesota Since 1875 by Phyllis Louise Harris with Raghavan Iyer is a culinary tour of the cuisines of Asia as they have appeared on Minnesota tables over the decades, the distinctive flavors of faraway homes with a midwestern twist.

The book includes interviews with chefs, farmers, and food business owners, and of course treasured recipes. Here’s an excerpt from the book and a recipe from Geoff King of Scratch Food Truck.  King was a sous chef at the short-lived Filipino restaurant Subo, in Minneapolis.

“The sous chef at Subo also had a Filipino background and did not want his favorite food to die with the restaurant. So in August 2011, Geoff King opened Scratch, one of the growing number of food trucks in the Twin Cities offering a variety of street food. Trained in classic cooking at the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont, Geoff wanted to find a way to offer Minnesotans some of the wonderful food he grew up with—his mom’s home cooking. He and wife Aimee developed a small menu of lunch items drawing on Filipino classics and incorporating some of the ingredients from the islands. Pork egg rolls, tofu lettuce wraps, coconut braised chicken, pork and shrimp sandwiches, and sesame beef sandwiches fill the short menu with foods that celebrate the islands and offer just a taste of Geoff’s favorite cooking. The tofu lettuce wraps won Geoff an award for best Food Truck Food in 2011, even though his was the newest food truck in the competition.”

Chicken Adobo/Adobong Manok

Geoff King

Serves 4–6

Marinade:

1 1/2 cups sugar cane vinegar

1 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup soy sauce

10 cloves garlic, peeled

3 bay leaves

1 1/2 teaspoons peppercorns or coarsely ground black pepper

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 whole star anise

*****

1 (3 1/2-pound) whole chicken, quartered and cut into pieces

cooked rice

1. In a large bowl, combine all of the marinade ingredients. Add the chicken pieces, cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour or overnight.

2. In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat the chicken and marinade over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer on low until the chicken is tender and sauce is reduced by about half, 40 to 45 minutes.

3. Remove the bay leaves and star anise, and serve hot with rice.

Celebrate the Harvest this Weekend at Gale Woods Farm

Posted byAlison Aten on 02 Oct 2012 | Tagged as: Authors, Event, Food

Eat More VegetablesGale Woods Farm in Minnetrista celebrates its annual Fall Festival this weekend with a cornucopia of  activities, including sheep dog herding, sheep shearing, musical performances, over twenty fiber and food vendors, and guest chef cooking demonstrations with Tricia Cornell, author of Eat More Vegetables: Making the Most of Your Seasonal Produce.

Tricia will demonstrate and pass out samples of two recipes each day.  At 11 am she’ll prepare  Squash-Tomato Soup (recipe below) and at 1:15 pm, Sweet Potato-Blue Cheese Soup.

If you miss Tricia at the farm, she’ll be in Stillwater on Friday, October 19, at 6:30 pm at Ascension Church with samples provided by Our Community Kitchen and books available from Valley Bookseller.

Squash-Tomato Soup by Tricia Cornell from Eat More Vegetables

SERVES 6

Most recipes for squash soup are based on apple cider or just squash and cream. But squash is entirely lacking in acidity. Tomatoes, it turns out, have that complex tartness squash needs. The key here is that you’ve got at least equal parts tomato and squash (I sometimes up the ratio of tomatoes even more). If you’re using whole tomatoes, peel them first.

1 large shallot, finely chopped

½ large onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)

2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 dried red pepper, sliced

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons oil

4 cups winter squash puree (see below)

4 cups crushed tomatoes in their own juice

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, or to taste

crumbled blue cheese, optional

Place first 7 ingredients (shallot through oil) in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium-low heat. Stirring occasionally, cook until onions are soft and translucent. Add squash and tomatoes and bring to a simmer.

Use a stick blender to puree and fully mix the ingredients, or blend in batches in a standing blender and then return the soup to the pan. (If you use a standing blender, fill the pitcher no more than halfway and then place a dish towel over the lid and hold it down firmly with your hand. Hot liquids in a blender can explode.) Add cream and gently heat through. Serve with balsamic vinegar and/or blue cheese.

Winter Squash Puree

You can use just about any kind of winter squash to make your puree, although some, like hubbards, tend to be a little more watery. To make squash puree, cut squash in half vertically, scoop out and discard seeds (or roast them: see below), place cut-side down on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake at 400 degrees until pressing a finger against the skin leaves an impression. The timing will vary greatly by the size and type of squash, so start checking after about 20 minutes but allow up to 40 for large, hard squashes. Cool slightly and then scoop out flesh and puree in a food processor.

Roasted Squash Seeds

Scoop seeds into a bowl of water and allow to sit for 30 minutes to an hour, to loosen pulp. Rub between your hands to help release the seeds. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread seeds on a towel to dry slightly and then transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt and paprika, using fingertips to distribute salt well. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often and listening for “pops” that tell you your seeds are exploding.

Most squash seeds roast well, but larger seeds (seeds from a turban squash are about the size of a lima bean) are too tough to enjoy and tend to explode in the oven, anyway.

Dakota 38 film tonight at Father Hennepin Bluffs Park in Minneapolis

Posted byAlison Aten on 21 Aug 2012 | Tagged as: Event, Food, History, Native American

Dakota 38/Smooth Feather Productions

Tonight’s feature at the Indigenous Movies and Music in the Park series at Father Hennepin Bluffs Park in downtown Minneapolis  is a screening at dusk of the film Dakota 38.

Here’s a description from the film’s website:

“In the spring of 2005, Jim Miller, a Native spiritual leader and Vietnam veteran, found himself in a dream riding on horseback across the great plains of South Dakota. Just before he awoke, he arrived at a riverbank in Minnesota and saw 38 of his Dakota ancestors hanged. At the time, Jim knew nothing of the largest mass execution in United States history, ordered by Abraham Lincoln on December 26, 1862. ‘When you have dreams, you know when they come from the creator… As any recovered alcoholic, I made believe that I didn’t get it. I tried to put it out of my mind, yet it’s one of those dreams that bothers you night and day.’

“Now, four years later, embracing the message of the dream, Jim and a group of riders retrace the 330-mile route of his dream on horseback from Lower Brule, South Dakota to Mankato, Minnesota to arrive at the hanging site on the anniversary of the execution. ‘We can’t blame the wasichus anymore. We’re doing it to ourselves. We’re selling drugs. We’re killing our own people. That’s what this ride is about, is healing.’ This is the story of their journey–the blizzards they endure, the Native and Non-Native communities that house and feed them along the way, and the dark history they are beginning to wipe away.”

Music from Maza Kute, a traditional singing group from the Santee Reservation in Nebraska, with the Mankato Symphony Orchestra begins at 7:00 p.m.

Arrive early to check out the food and produce market stand from Dream of Wild Health. Delicious traditional foods and fresh-from-the-farm produce will be available for purchase. Dream of Wild Health is a ten-acre organic farm in Hugo that connects Native people with indigenous foods and medicines.  The farm’s executive director is Diane Wilson, author of  Spirit Car and Beloved Child.  Spirit Car is this year’s One Minneapolis One Read selection.

Blueberry Summers!

Posted bylucia.randle on 25 Jul 2012 | Tagged as: Authors, Food, Uncategorized

phpl5koGUJuly is National Blueberry Month. This delicious fruit is at its tastiest during the month of July, and the berries are inextricably linked to Minnesota summers. Author Curtiss Anderson writes about the season in Blueberry Summers.

Now is the time to enjoy blueberries as much as you can. Why not try this perfect summer treat, courtesy Potluck Paradise?

***

Red, White, and Blueberry Buckle

1 pint fresh blueberries — washed and picked over to remove under ripe or over ripe berries and stems

Topping
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup cold butter

Buckle Base
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional
1/2 cup soft butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Make topping by combining dry ingredients and then cut in the cold butter with a pastry cutter until crumbly. Set aside. Lightly grease a 9-inch square pan. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt (if using) and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, stir the butter and sugar together. Add the egg and mix well. Stir in half the flour mixture, then the milk, followed by the remaining flour. Spoon base into greased pan. Kerplunk berries on top; spread out evenly so they are only one berry deep. Sprinkle with topping. Bake until topping is just turning golden, berries are bubbly, and the base has pulled slightly away from the sides. Serve warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate any leftover.

***

Try this recipe and many more as you celebrate blueberry month and Minnesota summer.

July is National Ice Cream Month!

Posted bylucia.randle on 17 Jul 2012 | Tagged as: Food, Uncategorized

National Ice Cream DayBecause of Americans’ love for ice cream, in 1984 Ronald Reagan declared July to be National Ice Cream Month, with the third Sunday of the month designated National Ice Cream Day. Spend these hot summer days enjoying delicious ice cream and trying fun new flavors with friends and family.

Author Tricia Cornell shares a great recipe for ice cream in her cookbook, Eat More Vegetables.

***

Sweet Corn Ice Cream with Chili-Lime Salt

Corn has been bringing sweetness to side dishes for generations: I’m thinking of my grandmother’s custardy creamed corn, which always made me feel like I was getting away with something when I put a scoop next to my roast beef at Sunday dinner. So why not a corn dessert? This sweet corn ice cream is very rich, slightly tangy, and delicately corn flavored.

Cream cheese is a handy cheat when you want to make a creamy ice cream but don’t want the bother of boiling a custard. One blitz in the blender, and you’re ready to go. Don’t, however, be tempted to skip the overnight chilling step. You want the mixture to be very cold when it hits your ice cream maker.

If you can’t get very fresh, young corn, boil it for about five minutes before using. The Chili-Lime Salt is a bold, tangy touch, inspired by elote, a favorite Mexican preparation of corn with chili powder, lime, and crema. A light sprinkling of fresh lime zest is very tasty as well.

2 ears very fresh sweet corn
8 ounces cream cheese
1½ cups half-and-half
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
¾ cup sugar
⅛ teaspoon salt
Chili-Lime Salt (recipe follows)

Cut kernels from cobs (you should have about 2 cups) and “milk” the ears, using a bowl to catch all the corn and liquid released. Place first 6 ingredients (corn through salt) in blender and puree. Chill mixture overnight (it will separate in the refrigerator; just stir it up). Place in your ice cream maker and freeze as directed. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, chill overnight and then freeze mixture in ice cube trays. Pulse cubes in bowl of food processor. The texture will be more like a flaky granita, but it will still be tasty. Sprinkle judiciously with Chili-Lime Salt before serving.

Chili-Lime Salt

2 tablespoons lime zest
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon chili powder

Mix ingredients well. Keep this combination on hand to spruce up store-bought vanilla ice cream as well.

***

Enjoy this recipe and other ice cream treats all month long. It’s your patriotic duty!

Stewart Woodman’s Birdhouse Opening

Posted bylucia.randle on 12 Jun 2012 | Tagged as: Authors, Cooking, Food, Uncategorized

phpU30b82Stewart 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.

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