Archive for the ‘Entree’ Category

Minnesota Wild Rice Soup

February 3rd, 2015 Comments Off on Minnesota Wild Rice Soup

  A few more shots of ABR in Ironwood, Michigan.  Datsa lotta wood.     I forgot to bring my coffee cup out to the ski-in cabin the first night so I made it in a jar in the morning.  The heavy cream went in first and the coffee on top—a beautiful little melding point.  Note the wood stove in the background.   While we’re at the remote cabins at ABR we use a small insulated bag for the ‘refrigerated’ items like cream, cheese,

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Turnip Chevre Gratin with Peas

January 20th, 2015 2 Comments

.   Once again it’s the time of year when we pack up the trusty (and a little rusty) 4Runner with food and gear and turn her nose northward.  For months we’ve been reading the tales of snow in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and have tried to let go of the jealousy.  Last Wednesday was the first time this season that we’ve strapped on skis so this week has been a bit rough. Fortunately we’re tucked away in a cozy rustic cabin at ABR for a few days

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Kale Sausage Soup

January 6th, 2015 No Comments

  This may be a good meal for the post-holiday recovery.  Brothy with good protein and the vitamin punch of kale, your liver will thank you.  This is also a favorite of my friend Mary Kay and one that we’ve eaten as she’s been on this stem cell transplant journey.     This is frozen kale from my garden— no special technique, I just picked the leaves, put them on a plastic bag and wedged the bag in the freezer.  They then shatter into

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Crawfish Étouffée

December 9th, 2014 3 Comments

    I have been spending quite a bit of time lately with my dear friend Mary Kay from south Mississippi while she is in the upper midwest.  Recently she wanted to give back to her friends here in the northland the experience of Mississippi/Louisiana hospitality, so over two days we prepped together and created a dinner of Crawfish Étouffée and Jambalaya.  It was a delectable meal of good nature, feasting, and good friends on a cold November night. I didn’t take many photos

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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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Potato Dill Soup

October 21st, 2014 No Comments

  October days are either stunningly orange with sunlight filtered through turning leaves, or it’s grey, rainy and chilled giving us a hint of the November to come.  This potato soup with a tang of buttermilk, yogurt and dill seed will not let you down during this season.  There is something about being cozy and eating hot soup while watching the squall outside that increases our appreciation for the warmth.     I’ve been buying up my winter supply of root veggies

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Mini Eggplant Pizzas

October 7th, 2014 No Comments

  For the last month or two colorful eggplants have been brightening the palette of our local Farmer’s Market.  This picture of dazzling garden abundance is from my friend and photographer David Cavagnaro of the Pepperfield Project.  Color and shapes!  Many of these varieties can be used but the size and sweet flavor of the skinny Asian eggplants make them perfect for these little pizza bites.   Part of the nightshade family, eggplant are high in potassium, fiber, vitamin B’s and numerous phytonutrients.  Read more about their

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Fassolada

September 4th, 2014 No Comments

  Another soup from the deli days. It was awesome in summer because the vegetables and herbs could be local and fresh, but also pretty tasty in the winter when you needed a substantial bowl of chow.  Fassolada is a Greek stew (sometimes called their national soup) made with white beans, tomatoes and other veggies.  I added feta cheese and tweaked it here and there…hearty and scrumptious.     Beans! My friend, musician, and market producer Hannah Breckbill gave me some heirloom beans that

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Sweet Potato Falafel

August 6th, 2014 No Comments

  These orange lumps turned out to be great munchables.  We served them at an event as a gyro substitute with yogurt tzatziki, then the next day we ate them as leftovers, and the day after that I packed a few along for a road trip and they held up well to the trials of travel.  Moist, not quite as intense as falafel, easy because they are baked, and best of all… ORANGE…I am definitely adding these to the catering repertoire.    

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Garbanzo Raisin Salad

July 1st, 2014 4 Comments

  My friend Robin gave me this recipe from the Real Simple magazine—she said that it has repeatedly been her potluck smash hit.  I made a couple of little changes, but not much.  Hearty yet lightly sweet-and-sour with a hint of cumin, this could do well in summer or winter.   All beans take a while to absorb the flavors of the marinade so it is a good one to prep ahead then add the greenery at the end.  If you’re starting with dry garbanzos,

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Lettuce Wrap BL(A)T’s

June 17th, 2014 1 Comment

  Gluten Free and Low Carb—perfect for summer!  You can put nearly anything in a lettuce leaf and it provides a handy shell to hold the flavors.  I often am looking for edible vehicles that can deliver the punch line and in the summer lettuce leaves are a refreshing meal-holding-husk.  But they can be a little messy so watch out for those after-Memorial-Day white pants.    . Fillings can be as simple or complex as you want to create.  A vegan alternative to bacon could be

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Smoked Salmon Cakes

May 8th, 2014 No Comments

  These buddies were a scrumptious success at a luncheon I recently catered.  You can make them without smoking the salmon, of course, but smokiness adds a rich depth, a ‘something extra’, oooh I could even say “je ne sais quoi”…whatever you want to call it, it will compel you to eat at least ten of them.   Do you need a smoker?  No, a charcoal grill works splendidly.  My grill-guru cousin swears by the Weber grill for all of his smoking activities.  There are smoker boxes for

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Mushroom Wild Rice Soup

March 26th, 2014 No Comments

  This was a Comfort Meal in the deli, a bowlful of both Brothy and Filling.   It’s another soup with the tangy buttermilk-secret-ingredient, added at the end when the soup has cooled slightly (so it won’t curdle) and with the addition of a little baking soda to reduce the acidity (so it won’t curdle). The baking soda trick can also be used is to make beans more easily (and quietly) digestible.       Tamari is a great addition

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Fuul in Spring

March 20th, 2014 No Comments

  Question: What does one eat when coming home after weeks on a ski sabbatical? Answer: Whatever is in the house because the catering has not yet begun and we blew our wad for the winter.  I think it’s time to revisit pintos and Pinto Fuul because my sister fed it to us on our way home, and since then I’ve been utilizing my big bag of pintos making various versions of it.  Today it was with feta cheese, yesterday

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Red and Green Potato Croquettes

March 10th, 2014 1 Comment

    Croquettes enable you to eat mashed potatoes with one hand and no fork. Isn’t that what everyone has been asking for?   Last week we found ourselves driving home in the midst of another blizzard, perfectly bookending the trip with driving north in the snowstorm at the beginning.  I suppose we did yearn for the snow to come with us and prolong our skiing affair…and this was another reminder to be careful what we ask for!  Countless times

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Creamy Pinto Chipotle Sauce

January 28th, 2014 5 Comments

  Packing into ABR‘s remote cabin with cubes and a pulk and a sherpa.  As my cousin says…why travel light when you can travel well?   . For the most part the absence of internet access is welcomed when we travel or stay in remote locations.  But posting these recipes and staying in touch with family and catering clients means finding creative ways to turn everything into a digital form, including sitting in the car in church parking lots and pirating

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German Onion Pie

January 14th, 2014 4 Comments

  This may sound a little like ‘stone soup’ or just a way to use up loads of onions in a pie but it really is scrumptious, summer or winter.   These tangy squares will be our travel food—snacking in the car or popping it in the oven to heat as we unpack the hundreds of pounds of gear and food into the home-base cabin.  It seems fitting to eat this caraway-sour-cream-onion pie in heart of Old Bohemian northern Wisconsin.

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Hoppin’ John

December 26th, 2013 No Comments

    Eat Good Luck for your New Year!   There was an idyllic snow on Christmas eve, and after walking home from a Norwegian Jule dinner on quiet streets in the falling flakes, we awoke to more snow and a perfect day for a beginning-of-season ski on that slippery powder.  As we skied through the woods we watched a gorgeous orange sunset through dark silhouettes of bare trees—but I forgot to take a camera!  So no photos from me,

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Bacon & Liver Pâté

December 11th, 2013 2 Comments

  Two liver posts in one year?!?  I must really have a need to push your boundaries, and this time there is no conclusion to the cliff-hanger story.  Just think of it as another tasty grey spread….creamy and rich and great on a cracker. Step outside your comfort zone in this life. Eat Liver.   You can’t get any more powerhouse than liver. They say liver contains more nutrients than any other food, gram for gram.  Protein, iron, folate, calcium,

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Polenta Pancetta Dressing

November 25th, 2013 1 Comment

  This is another recipe that appears the November/December edition of The IOWAN magazine.  They asked for “Iowa-Sourced” holiday recipes so polenta seemed like a good direction to take the classic dish since organic polenta is grown and produced near Cresco.  It resembles cornbread stuffing—flavorful and hearty as the night is long.  La Quercia pancetta was an obvious addition to the mix, rich with a hint of juniper berries….and from Iowa.   The polenta can be made a couple days in

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