Slay to Gourmet: Alaska moose hunt

A year ago, my Uncle Mark called me with an invitation to go to Fairbanks, Alaska, for a week of moose hunting and a getaway from the city. Thankfully I agreed, despite not knowing much about moose, or moose hunting, or Fairbanks, or what the hell I was about to get myself into. I won’t … [ Read more]

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Minnesota Spoon: Smoked brisket recipe from Thomas Boemer of Revival and Corner Table

The brisket hit the smoker at 8am. The whiskey was open by 11am. An early start is important. It’s well established that good barbecue should begin around dawn. It needs the better part of a day to drip, blacken, and break down into tender perfection. That’s why Thomas Boemer, chef at Revival and Corner Table, … [ Read more]

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Minnesota Spoon: Smørrebrød with Erick Harcey of Upton 43

Things on toast have special place in my heart. I honestly can’t think of a better vehicle for getting food into my mouth than buttered, toasted bread. There are no rules and it fits into any meal of the day. Chef Erick Harcey of Upton 43 shares my enthusiasm, and he’s upping the ante with … [ Read more]

Slay to Gourmet: Cassoulet with Spoon and Stable chef-owner Gavin Kaysen

It’s the time of year where most of my game is coming out of the freezer again. Not that it’s a bad thing, but eating through 400 venison sausages could get a little redundant if I simply grilled them every night. To break the monotony, I find that it helps to get a second opinion. … [ Read more]

The Minnesota Spoon: Marinated skirt steak fry bread sliders

I’ve always struggled with winters in Minnesota. But even though there are at least 100 reasons to hibernate and avoid human contact, I’ve found that becoming a hermit isn’t the best way to attack winter. One thing that’s always gotten me out of the house and limping back into society is cooking and hosting parties. … [ Read more]

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Slay to Gourmet: Venison Choucroute Garni

Another deer season has come and gone, and so, too, has the mixed bag of emotions with which it comes. Successful hunts, missed opportunities, good company, and the peace and quiet found sitting in the stand will all be put on the shelf until next September. If you were lucky, you probably have venison in … [ Read more]

Slay to Gourmet: Fried Woodcock

Upland hunters may be reluctant to spend their limited time in the field to hunt woodcock due to the small bag limit, or perhaps they just don’t know how good they taste. For whatever reason, woodcock has remained an afterthought in the fall hunting cycle dominated by pheasant and ducks—that is, until now. Fluttering through … [ Read more]

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Holiday Goose Recipe

Confit Goose Legs and Goose Breast Sous Vide with Goose Jus By Jon Wipfli, The Minnesota Spoon Goose might not be your go-to holiday bird, but this recipe will make you a believer. Don’t let fancy French words like confit and sous vide scare you off, these techniques are within your reach. If you can … [ Read more]

Slay to Gourmet: Maryland Crab Boil

As a professional cook who spent his 20s in kitchens from coast to coast, I’ve grown very fond of the nuances of regional cooking traditions. There are the obvious iconic dishes like gumbo in Louisiana, barbecue in Kansas City, and bagels in NYC. But regional favorites can be as simple as ultra-local cheeses, cured meats, … [ Read more]

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Slay to Gourmet: Alaskan Game Dinner

Moose, halibut, rockfish, cod, and salmon with vegetables and an herb vinaigrette My father’s side of my family has a long tradition of hunting. When my uncle Mark suggested having a game dinner at the cabin with animals he’d harvested in Alaska, I was in. After all, a family who slays together, stays together. This … [ Read more]

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The Minnesota Spoon: savory wild rice pancakes with anchovy butter

Photos by Matt Lien Minnesota has an obsession with wild rice. The grain is so emblematic of our state, it’s baffling how we became labeled as a group of grape-salad eaters. Apparently the importance of this abundant, local grain isn’t abundantly clear to the rest of the country. From being a staple of Native American … [ Read more]

Slay to Gourmet: Salt-dome walleye

“Slay” photos by John Wipfli “Gourmet” photos by Matt Lien Walleyes and campfires are a big part of living in the Midwest. Just like lobsters come to mind when I think of Maine, and images of mountains pop into my head when I think of Montana, walleyes and campfires are two things that define Midwest … [ Read more]

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The Minnesota Spoon: Morel-Crusted Cod

Morel-crusted cod with morel, asparagus, and fava bean sauté Photos by Matt Lien There are few things more satisfying than foraging for food in the forest. Not only do you get to stomp around in the woods, but you get to find tiny treats growing within inches of your every step. There’s a plethora of food … [ Read more]

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Slay to Gourmet: Wild Turkey

Field photos by Jon Wipfli, recipe photos by Matt Lien Plain and simple, I love to turkey hunt. It’s the time of year when I get my first taste of spring, and waking up an hour before the sunrise is also something I look forward to. The temperatures are finally rising, ramps are exploding all … [ Read more]

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Slay to Gourmet: Walleye Fish Tacos

As the sun starts to hit the tree line, I can feel a noticeable change in the boat. Rod tips start to bounce more frequently, the bait cache is depleting more rapidly, and walleyes start to fill the live well. After a day of musky fishing with minimal action, it’s nice to end a warm … [ Read more]