Flavor Faves: The science behind our favorite food pairings






Peruse the menu at any upscale eatery, and you expect to see suggested wines or beers listed alongside the house specialties. Some restaurants cut right to the chase, pouring specially selected pinots and ports with tasting courses. We’re often grateful for the direction and trust the flavor profiles will work together instead of fighting for … [ Read more]

Recipe: Roasted Duck with Duck Stock and Cracklins






Roasted Duck with Duck Stock and Cracklins This month, Minnesota Spoon writer Steve Hoffman witnessed what happens when the gastronomical mad scientists behind Travail Kitchen and Amusements, Bob Gerken, James Winberg, and Mike Brown are thrown into a kitchen that Betty Crocker might have recognized. Read Steve Hoffman’s full story. Enjoy the Travail team’s recipe for roasted … [ Read more]

Recipes: Fresh vegetable salads from Beth Dooley






These simple salads are great for the beach picnic, alfresco dinner on the dock, or can be toted along in the cooler for the camping trip. Vary the veggies to use what’s fresh and in season. Picnic Tomato and Green Bean Salad with Toasted Croutons Serves 4 to 6 This is great when made ahead … [ Read more]

The Retail Hustle: Craft food companies face challenges of scale in the fight for shelf space






It’s the quintessential American dream: a home cook creates a lovely jam in their kitchen, and doles them out as holiday tokens to friends and family. Next thing you know, a giant food corporation sweeps in, dropping buckets of cash in their laps for the rights to produce said item en masse.  That may be … [ Read more]

Minnesota Spoon: Anaerobic exercises with Matti Sprague






Matti Sprague and I appear to be talking about fermentation. We are standing in Jon Wipfli’s well-lighted kitchen, and we are using all the words that you use when you talk about fermentation. We are talking about salting down vegetables, creating anaerobic environments, and encouraging the right kinds of microbial life while discouraging the wrong … [ Read more]

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How To Make Three Fresh Cheeses From One Recipe






Whole Milk Ricotta This soft, creamy Italian cheese is often used in ravioli and lasagna. It’s also wonderful eaten on its own or spread on toast. 1. In a large pot, heat 1 gallon of whole milk to 185 degrees, stirring to prevent scorching. (Use the best milk you can afford—you’ll really notice the flavor … [ Read more]

Fundamentals Of Knife Care (And How To Dice An Onion The Right Way)






Steel your knife often. Almost every knife set comes with a honing steel, yet most people don’t use it until it’s too late. A knife should be honed after approximately 30 minutes of cutting. The honing steel doesn’t sharpen the edge, but rather prevents the edge from going dull. When looked at under a microscope, … [ Read more]

How To Make Wild Minnesota Pear Cider Vinegar






Fruit vinegar is easy to make, and almost any fruit can be used to make vinegar with varying levels of intensity. I have made pear, apple, and plum vinegars using wild fruit from the bluffs of southeast Minnesota. There are many resources to make great fermented products at home; “Wild Fermentation” by Sandor Katz is a … [ Read more]

How To Care For Cast Iron And Break In A New Wok






Caring for Cast Iron By Sarah Master, Chef at Red Stag Supperclub If you’re starting new or have just bought a used one, this is the one and only time to give your cast iron pan a good soap and water scrubbing. Scouring or scrubbing too hard once you’ve established your seasoning will make it sticky … [ Read more]

How To Make Semolina Pasta






Ingredients 1 cup semolina flour 1 cup all-purpose flour ¾ cup warm water 1 tablespoon salt Instructions 1. Mix the flours together in a large bowl. Make a small well in the middle of the flour. 2. Dissolve the salt in the water and pour it into the flour mixture. 3. Stir the mixture with … [ Read more]

Minnesota Spoon: Making peace with beef






The case for a more sustainable steak with Jon Wipfli and Erik Sather I suffer from a chronic condition that I keep mostly under control. You haven’t heard of it. It’s called Sustainability Exhaustion. Most days I live just like you. I stand blinking in the fluorescent glare of the pre-wrapped meat section, trying to … [ Read more]

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Kernz-huh? Could the perennial promise of Kernza benefit food, beer, and the world?






There’s a new-ish crop that’s been sprouting hopeful conversation in recent years. Kernza is the name given by Kansas-based The Land Institute to a specific germ line of perennial wheatgrass. Like a long-lost, wild cousin of traditional, annual wheat, it has the potential to help the environment and increase food production in incredible ways. It’s … [ Read more]

Rooting for ramps: What foragers must do to conserve these coveted wild onions






For cooks and diners, the ramp’s arrival on market shelves and restaurant menus each spring induces a rabidity to rival even that of the mighty morel. Known for their sweet onion flavor and their comedic pungency (read: farts), festivals celebrating this stinky herald of spring draw thousands of people in the eastern United States. The … [ Read more]

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Going whole hog with chef Justin Sutherland






Handsome Hog Chef Justin Sutherland talks heritage pork, whole-animal cuisine, and ramping up for Cochon555 Handsome Hog makes no bones about its commitment to whole-animal prep and decidedly pig-centric cuisine. So it makes sense that the Hog’s chef Justin Sutherland should make the list of standout Twin Cities-area chefs invited to compete in the Cochon555 … [ Read more]

Five Tables and the Sea: The restorative simplicity of Anne Majourel






Steve Hoffman, our Minnesota Spoon columnist, has spent the last five months in the Languedoc region of southern France, and submitted this tribute to his favorite restaurant in the world for our Travel Issue. What if a restaurant existed on a steep hill just outside a French fishing port? And what if this restaurant featured … [ Read more]

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