Beets are popular these days and I think its because we’ve figured out how to cook them. They used to be just boiled or pickled and that created a legion of beet haters (my girlfriend included). But when you roast them with a little added flavor, their sweetness comes out in a more savory way. The one drawback is that they take some time to cook. So when you are thinking about dinner and beets are included, make sure to get them going right away. Here is a recipe for roasted beets paired with duck hearts. At The Publican last month, this was the garnish for a sardine, but I think it makes for a great appetizer.
The Geoduck! what a clam. really easy to cook, not easy to dig, this is the recipe from our Facebook and coastal adventures on the West Coast.
This dish is about as easy and summer-like as it gets. Samin and I made this dish as a vegetarian option at the dinner we did at Tartine Bakery last month. Despite its simplicity, it’s as good as anything.
The carrots at the farmers market are beautiful with their bright green tops. Those often discarded tops happen to be quite nutritious, but not lauded by many as extremely tasty. I’ve been messing around with them lately. I made a great sauce the other day where I blanched them and then pureed them with a little yogurt. But at the dinner we did last week at Tartine I made a pesto with the carrot tops to garnish a slice of hard boiled egg – a simple and elegant appetizer if you ask me. Here’s the recipe – pretty similar to most pesto recipes, except less green and more of everything else.
Four crabs doesn’t yield a whole lot of crab meat – so if you want this to be more than an appetizer, better get a whole bunch of crabs! I like to add a little flavor to the cooking liquid although it doesn’t make a huge difference in the crab. One thing you can do is put your shells back in the liquid after the initial cooking and make a crab stock for later use. Make sure to skim off the scum that rises to the surface though.
Pig heart or beef heart or any type of heart might be a little intimidating the first time you see it, but I swear it is a delicious meat that is very easy to use. Some other offal can be challenging but the heart is flavorful and can be very tender. The trick is to marinate it overnight and then grill it. Or you can also cut it into pieces and pound it.
Ceviche is just about the easiest thing to make out there, and to such amazing results. What you are doing is cooking the fish with acid (usually lime juice, but you can use lemons or even vinegar). There are as many alternatives to this dish as there are herbs, spices, pickles and fish out there. So ceviche is fun. Use almost any fish, shrimp or crustacean… most work really well. Just make sure it is fresh and from a sustainable source. We were using sheepshead fish – which I hadn’t had before, but it was very mild. It kind of reminded me of sea bass. Anyways, be creative with your ceviche or use what you have in your garden or the fridge. Here’s the recipe for ours.
This kale is amazing, it can be cooked or eaten raw. But the ribs of the kale make it perfect for holding the creamy dressing. This rich dish turns the raw food into something very hearty.
Catfish is a seriously underrated fish. It’s almost always fried and I have no idea why. It’s delicious, cheap and relatively sustainable when farmed responsibly. In our latest Perennial Plate video, we went catfish noodling, and as with so many things we’ve had down south, the fish was battered and fried. The batter was a mix of cornmeal, boxed mashed potato mix and some seasonings. For this recipe, I simply grill it and serve it with a kohlrabi slaw. Catfish is a great grilling fish because it isn’t too flaky, so you don’t have to worry about it falling apart.
This is the soup we made in Episode 55 from fresh picked mushrooms and watercress. The mushrooms are very meaty and delicious.
Frog leg’s are often fried, especially in the Southern US where this video was filmed. Frying them is about as easy as you can get. All you need is some frog’s legs, cornmeal, salt and canola oil – you can step it up and marinade them first – but if you have them as fresh as we did – there is no need. The trick to frog’s legs – like chicken, and really any protein, is not to overcook them. When frying, its pretty easy. Heat your oil to 325 degrees, some say 350 or higher, but I think a little longer at the lower temperature makes for a crispier exterior.
This recipe was created because we were at the wonderful Radiance Dairy and wanted to try their yogurt, also their fields were full of violets. These mystical flowers have many health benefits including bountiful Vitamin C and anti-oxidants. To make this recipe, just combine the above ingredients and blend well, if its too thick you can add a little water. The blueberries are included because the violet color didn’t come through when I made it. The blueberries should make it seem a little more like a violet drink. Alternatively, you can take out the honey and blueberries and use this as a sauce for a light fish.
We had an amazing meal the other night in Decorah, IA – among the many wild foods served, we had dandelion fritters. The bitter flours are a bit much on their own, but when covered in crispy batter, they are awesome.
Recipe: Ramp Pesto Ingredients: 1 part ramp leaves 3 parts nettles 1 part garlic mustard 1 part dandelion greens 1/2 part Extra Virgin Olive oil (more if needed) Salt Instructions: Blanch the nettles in hot water followed by an ice bath. Wring out the water. Puree all the ingredients together. You can add nuts or Parmesan [...]
I went over to the house of my friends Todd and Leslie this weekend. Todd (being a hunter) had a bunch of mallard ducks. Their meat was beautiful and maroon in color. In the two hours before his guests arrived, we whipped up a few tasty items including Barley risotto. Since we don’t grow Arborio rice in MN, barley is a great substitute. And I added wild rice for extra earthy Minnesotaness. The combination of the two grains is delicious and one of my favorite things to make!