Archive for the ‘Condiment’ Category

Chicken Paprikash

October 11th, 2016 2 Comments

  Once in a while during my occasional extrovert phases I would love my hair to be this color of deep, rich, delicious, Carmine red.  I looked up the many shades of red to find the best name for this particular color of paprika and Carmine from the aluminium salt of carminic acid was the closest match.  This photo is of the sauce before the sour cream is added which gives it a lighter hue, then it becomes more like a Carnelian Red or Venetian Red.   You can also dye eggs

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Mushroom Caviar

September 27th, 2016 4 Comments

  Our monsoon rainfalls in the upper Midwest this summer have resulted in a bumper year for mushrooms….we take those silver linings whenever we can.  The Northeastern U.S. on the other hand has probably experienced a crummy year for the moisture-loving fungi, I believe the Midwest has squeezed every drop of Wetness out of the air and left none for them.  Sorry folks, we would truly love to send some of this excess precipitation your way.   Here we see a pile of adorable Oysters, Miniature Puffballs, Entaloma

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Creamy Jalapeño Sauce

September 13th, 2016 No Comments

  Green and creamy-frothy on the tables of our favorite little Mexican restaurants, we have spent many a delicious moment speculating about the ingredients of this green condiment.  Emulsified oil, figured that out.  Some kind of chile, yep.  And beyond that we weren’t sure if there was lime, vinegar, mayonnaise or avocado…but just kept on eating regardless of the speculations. This is different than a tomatillo salsa verde which is also incredibly yummy but not as creamy.  Sometimes this sauce

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Broccomole

July 13th, 2016 2 Comments

  Last weekend we ventured up to the old haunts of Minneapolis to help my dear friend Julie JAO with an evening of speed painting performance in her studio.  Some of you may have seen her speed painting the signature stick figures but now she’s moved onto Celtic creatures….not exactly a simple choice for painting with abandon. These are a few from the evening, soon I can give you links to the live videos so you can watch them being born

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Feta Jalapeño Dip

March 2nd, 2016 4 Comments

    I love dips.  I love spreadable flavor that I can eat on a cracker.  Maybe it’s the social aspect of which it hints—Spreadable and Dip-able concoctions often mean time with friends and wine…and that just sounds like fun. We first tried a version of this in Washington D.C. and the salty-with-a-bite was a combination worth exploring.  It’s simple and could be used as a dip, spread, or enchilada filling.  There are many variations you could do with this

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Lemon Parmesan Dip

December 21st, 2015 3 Comments

  Last week my friend Frances hosted an afternoon of German star-making at her studio in the country.   These crafty projects can be so relaxing and even addicting. You need to concentrate enough to follow the steps in the correct order, and this necessary focus means you cannot easily think about anything else.  There is no room in the brain for daily or worldly concerns.  If you start fretting about your to-do list or the car that needs repairs you’ll accidentally rotate the star clockwise

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Cider Syrup and Local Vinegars

December 8th, 2015 9 Comments

  Apple Cider Syrup was the first recipe posted on this site and it seemed like time to give it another round.   Last weekend I was one of the guest demo chefs for the local foods extravaganza “FEAST” in Rochester, Minnesota and the obvious item for me to demonstrate was cider syrup.  I’m only 1/4 extrovert so I had to really charge my ‘people’ side battery and fortunately all went well.  The most amazing part of the weekend was meeting and discovering more

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Roasted Garlic

October 20th, 2015 No Comments

  There is something about the slow cook that sweetens everyone.  Roasted garlic becomes less sharp, deeper, sweeter, and in some ways more powerful of a flavor in dishes— a more enduring flavor.   Roasting is also a way you can preserve garlic to extend its life.  Maybe you grew some or scored an awesome deal on a pile of garlic from your Farmer’s Market but you’re not sure if it will keep long enough to use it—roasting and freezing is a great way

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Za’atar Carrots

October 6th, 2015 3 Comments

  Za’atar is a delicious and versatile condiment originating in the fertile crescent of the Middle East.  It generally is made from oregano, sesame seeds and salt, and variations may include other herbs like sumac, savory, cumin, coriander, fennel or caraway.  Like so many regional condiments or sauces, families would have their own versions and protect these inherited recipes.   I love the tanginess of sumac so I definitely wanted a version with this dark red ‘berry’. The furry berries on the right are from bushes growing

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Herbed Fruit

September 15th, 2015 No Comments

  Is ‘herb’ a verb? It is now.     I was recently asked to provide some desserts for a party in late September, a request I usually decline because I’m not baking-inclined, but they wanted the entire event to be gluten free so my empathetic streak took over.  A chocolate chile cake was of course on my menu but then I stumbled upon gluten free angelfood cake recipes online, and on chow.com found the idea of combining strawberries mixed with fresh herbs as a topping.  What

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Ancho BBQ Sauce… or is it Chutney?

September 1st, 2015 No Comments

  It’s kind of a chutney, kind of a móle, kind of a ketchup…don’t let the label inhibit you.  It’s tasty and it goes well with warm things, that’s the most important thing to remember.   Anchos are dried Poblano peppers.  They generally have only the mildest of heat, but exhibit a rich depth that is almost sweet and even fruit-like.  Scott and I sometimes use them puréed in chocolate cakes as a secret ingredient to give a bit of warmth but without overpowering the experience.

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Yellow Pepper Pesto

July 14th, 2015 No Comments

  Colorful tasty vegetables or herbs ground into a paste…’pesto’ is a loosely used term.  The word pesto comes from the Italian word ‘pestare’ meaning to pound or crush.  Texture has such an impact on the way we perceive and taste a dish, and crushing or pureeing helps create a silky coating that adheres well to sauce-vehicles like pastas and vegetables.     This is a light and lovely spread that could be served over fish, noodles, vegetables, or chicken and has the extra bonus of being

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Salsa Verde…version 564

June 17th, 2015 No Comments

  Spending time in Mexico led me to believe that all salsa verdes included tomatillos.  But no…if you follow the latin-based language back across the ocean salsa verde looks a tad different.  Still ground into a potent green sauce, Italian and Spanish salsa verde usually involves anchovies, parsley and capers.  Garlic and lemon are a friendly addition to this mix as well.     Capers are the pickled edible flower buds of the caper bush (or Flinder Rose), though there are other seeds that can be used.  What’s

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Nutritional Yeast

January 27th, 2015 5 Comments

  The International Paralympic Committee’s Nordic Skiing World Championships, right here at Telemark Lodge in Cable, Wisconsin near our winter home-base.  The paralympic equivalent to the World Cup, this is the championships for athletes from around the world competing in biathlon and cross country skiing.  It’s incredible to be this close to world-class skiers, watching their smooth techniques and stamina, and all of this combined with the phenomenal spirit of individuals overcoming the challenges of missing limbs or being visually impaired.

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Pepita Dip

December 23rd, 2014 No Comments

  If it’s going to continue to be gray outside, it might as well snow a little—and it is!  White flakes are showering down and I’m grateful for even a small change in these overcast days.   Here’s a tasty and healthy little snack for the holidays. ‘Sikil P’aak’ is the Mayan name for this kind of dip, though usually it would include tomatoes since ‘p’aak’ means tomato.  ‘Sikil’ means pepitas, or pumpkin seeds, which were also an important part of the diet

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Star Anise Pickled Onions

November 19th, 2014 No Comments

  This is a stone tile creation by Scott of limestone and onyx.  A fun little bathroom design and another photo distraction to entertain—like the previews before the movies, sometimes they are the most captivating part of the show!     Speaking of star anise… A couple of months ago I heard on the radio (my main form of outer world communication these days) an interview with my former chef/teacher Lenny Russo at the Minnesota State Fair.  He made the comment that star anise is grossly overused in the

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Thanksgiving Flashback

November 13th, 2014 1 Comment

  I often trot through our nearby wooded parks and recently stumbled upon this fire pit.  Most of our trails were built by volunteers in the mountain biking community…can you tell?  Knowing some of this crew I would guess this pit will be used well into the winter months, for “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” …or at least from having fun in the woods with their buddies.  

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Plum Ketchup

October 14th, 2014 1 Comment

  (A visit to the Niagara Escarpment, more photos below…)     Close your eyes and open your mind to let ketchup become more than you think it is.   That red puree we think we know so well has origins in China (doesn’t nearly everything?!?) as a fish-sauce condiment called kê-chiap or ke-tchup (From slate.com “the syllable tchup—pronounced zhi in Mandarin—still means “sauce” in many Chinese dialects”) made from fermented fish and spices.  During centuries of its evolution the base ingredient of ketchup has shifted to salted anchovies, then soybeans were used in certain regions,

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Tarragon Sugar and a Faroe Islands dinner

September 23rd, 2014 8 Comments

… Fresh tarragon with sugar was not my original idea, but reading it in a menu convinced me this was the meal I wanted to attempt to recreate for a Scandinavian dinner for my friend Dennis, the generous Dane who loves to host elaborate festivities. The Faroe Islands were the geographical highlight of this year’s feast, small bits in the North Atlantic between Norway, Scotland and Iceland, an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark.  Puffin, seal and whale blubber are common foods eaten there…but we

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Revisiting Roasted Tofu with Spicy Peanut Sauce

May 22nd, 2014 No Comments

    Skewered roasted tofu with a peanut sauce is one of my all time favorites for catering, and it’s pretty awesome for eating at home too. When I began this site I wanted to start with some of my crowd-pleaser recipes, dishes that I knew and loved so you could get a feel for my style of cooking.  Two and a half years later seems like a good time to dig up and recirculate a few, just for fun.  This was

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