How to Caviar: The simple, affordable holiday appetizer that’s sure to impress

I f you want to greet your dinner guests with an appetizer they’ll talk about through New Year’s and beyond, we suggest caviar. It’s a surprisingly affordable way to entertain with a splash of retro style. All you need to do is learn how to make blini (which are only slightly fussier pancakes) and buy … [ Read more]

Taste of the Country, On an Urban Table: Lenny Russo and Daniel Cataldo of ninetwentyfive

If you’re going to tell the story of food in the Upper Midwest, it’s helpful to think of a circle. People here were once intimately interconnected with the land and seasons as farmers, hunters, and fishers, and every ingredient had a story about where it was from and when it was harvested that was intimately … [ Read more]

Cooking with Beth Dooley: Strawberries & Rum Cream Recipe

Yes, the strawberries are in! Shout it from the mountains: alpine strawberries, those tiny local berries bursting with tangy-sweet taste, have arrived at the farmers’ markets! Run, don’t walk, lest they get snatched up before you get some. Because these first-of-the-year berries are especially intense and delicious, you don’t want to do anything that will … [ Read more]

Cooking with Beth Dooley: Easy Rhubarb-Strawberry Jam Recipe

Rhubarb, that bright, tangy vegetable (I think of it as a fruit) that announces spring. It’s going gangbusters in my backyard and you’ll find it piled high in farmers’ market stalls. It’s naturally tart, and a perfect pairing with strawberries—spring’s other darling. This easy jam makes a fine spread for morning toast, a nice garnish … [ Read more]

Cooking with Beth Dooley: Spring Pear Salad with Microgreens Recipe

If you are as impatient as I am for spring, salads of locally grown greens may help ease the transition. Several Minnesotan farmers, such as Living Greens Farm in Faribault and St. Paul’s Urban Organics, are making real fresh salads possible all year long. The microgreens, arugula, kale, and mixed lettuces they grow brighten our … [ Read more]

Cooking with Beth Dooley: Spicy Celeriac Fries Recipe

Celeriac, aka celery root, is a whiskery, knobby, weird looking vegetable, easy enough to pass by. But whack through its tough, leathery surface, and find a crisp, white interior that tastes mildly of celery and parsnips with a hint of nuts. Celeriac is most often shredded and dressed with mayonnaise for the classic French “remoulade.” … [ Read more]

Cooking with Beth Dooley: Fried Duck Egg with Red Flannel Hash Recipe

Straightforward and simple, this hash and egg dish is a no-nonsense American classic, the kind of dish that I like to make for myself when eating alone on a frosty night, especially when that egg is duck. Duck eggs are a real treat—ramped up versions of chicken eggs—bigger and richer tasting, with sunny gold yolks … [ Read more]

Cooking with Beth Dooley: Polenta and fried egg recipe

I can eat polenta at least three times a day. Golden and satisfying, it’s a warming, sunny comfort, especially mid-winter. Top polenta with a fried egg, sunny-side-up, so that the runny yolk creates a rich, velvety sauce, and you have a fabulous brunch or dinner-worthy meal. While it takes patience to make a perfect pot … [ Read more]

One Dough Three Ways: Versatile baking with Zoë François and Jeff Hertzberg

Zoë François and Jeff Hertzberg met in their children’s toddler music class and bonded over a shared passion for food. Zoë is a trained pastry chef with 20 years experience in professional kitchens. Jeff is a physician-turned-consultant who had been tinkering with bread baking since medical school. Together, they developed a technique that satisfied Zoë’s … [ Read more]

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Cooking with Beth Dooley: Broccoli salad with peanuts and cranberries recipe

Italians know how to cook broccoli. In fact they introduced it to the St. Paul Farmers’ Market about 60 years ago. There are plenty of varieties available to the home cook. Broccolini, with smaller florets and longer, thin stalk is a little sweeter and takes like a cross of broccoli and asparagus. Rapini, or broccoli … [ Read more]

Minnesota Spoon: Travail cooks traditional with Bob Gerken, James Winberg, and Mike Brown

So they arrived, the guys from Travail Kitchen & Amusements. Or rather two of the three guys. The third guy might swing by later. The two guys, Bob and James, got out of their white pickup. Introduced themselves. We smiled at each other. Bob had kind eyes and a scruffy black beard that failed to … [ Read more]

Minnesota Spoon: Baja on the Lake with Billy Tserenbat and Zach Schugel

Billy Tserenbat arrives at our house with the odds stacked against him. We are here to create a kind of Baja California beach party as a way of getting to know Billy’s new Wayzata restaurant, a beach-centric, Mexican-influenced, fish and seafood celebration called Baja Haus. Except that a sunny May sky has turned suddenly woolen … [ 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]

Paddles, pinot, & porter: My spirited Apostle Islands kayak adventure

Lake Superior, the largest body of fresh water on the North American continent, is so cold and clean you can see nearly 10 feet down. Surrounded by long stretches of sandy beaches and deep piney forests, it’s a paradise for kayakers and hikers. And while its physical charms are immediately evident the moment one hits … [ Read more]

Minnesota Spoon: Back to base camp with J.D. Fratzke

J.D. Fratzke tucks a brown paper bag under a small teepee of sticks. It’s been raining here, last night and early this morning. He searches for drier kindling, finding only a little. The chef will make do. We’re perched at a campsite above the St. Croix River, surrounded by scraggly trees and a cool wind … [ Read more]