Monday, January 31, 2011

Weekly Menu 1/31 - 2/5/11

Matt came home from Austin last week with a nice case of stomach flu. Being the loving husband that he is, he shared it with me. So, there wasn't much cooking going on at our house last week other than toast & clear broth soups. That means this week's menu includes a few things that never got made last week. Then this weekend we are off to Vegas for a little warmer weather & some fancy dinners!
Is It Beer Yet?
We did get to our first home brew to bottling stage so, we'll be sharing that with you guys this week too.

Menu Planning Monday

Bean Soup - Using all the bits & bobs of leftover beans in the house

Fish Pie

Chicken & Banana Curry

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches & Homemade Tomato Soup


If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Muir Glen Tomato Dinner At Corner Table

Last night Matt & I were invited to a dinner at Corner Table featuring Muir Glen Tomatoes. If you are a reader of this blog you know we are big fans of Corner Table & Chef Scott Pampuch's cooking but, we were surprised he was doing a dinner featuring canned tomatoes. Scott is known for cooking with as much local & seasonal food as possible. (He even bragged that they had to search out a can opener for this dinner since they don't use canned goods.) So, how did canned tomatoes fit into his ethic?
Muir Glen Tomato Dinner
Scott talked about how he only trusts ingredients where he can go visit the farm where they are grown & raised so, he visited the Central Valley California fields where Muir Glen Tomatoes are grown & met the farmers. The tomatoes are all grown organically & hand-harvested which impressed him. Plus let's face it unless you are canning your own tomatoes, your only other local option in MN in  winter is hot house tomatoes which probably leave as much of a carbon footprint as those trucked from CA. As for us, we've been fans of Muir Glen Tomatoes, especially the fire roasted, since we lived in California. We do can our own tomatoes but, when we need to buy some Muir Glen is our go to brand for their superior taste (really there is a difference).

Now let's talk about the food, which was of course amazing...
Muir Glen Tomato Dinner
The evening started with passed appetizers including a tomato tart & tomato soup with grilled cheese sliders.
Muir Glen Tomato Dinner
Then we were served a pasta dish with an Amatriciana sauce that really highlighted the tomatoes. We loved the sofrito stuffing in the pasta.
Muir Glen Tomato Dinner
The second course was a take on a burger with the protein actually lamb terrine. What really made this dish was the combination of homemade pickle relish, tomato gastrique & mustard. It was also served with a tomato salt which seems to be basically oven dried tomatoes ground fine with salt. It had a pretty red color but we didn't notice a strong tomato flavor to it even when tasted along.
Muir Glen Tomato Dinner
The night ended with an olive oil cake topped with tomato sorbet, strawberry basil ice cream & a fennel seed tuille. We didn't care for the tomato sorbet on its own but mixed with the strawberry basil ice cream the flavors became much more mellow. Love, love, loved that fennel tuille.
Muir Glen Tomato Dinner
All & all a very fun night. It was quite interesting to see what a chef of Scott's caliber can do with a can of tomatoes.

Disclaimer: Muir Glen/General Mills paid for our dinner but all opinions in this post are our own & we were not required to write about it.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sweet Potato Biscuits

A couple weeks ago we were at Blackbird for breakfast & the special was sweet potato biscuits & gravy. It was so good I knew I had to try sweet potato biscuits at home.
Sweet Potato Biscuit Sandwiches
My original plan was to use them as a sandwich with pulled pork as the filling but Matt said he wanted the pork in the middle to be bacon, just bacon, nothing but bacon. Ok, I can go with that though, I added a little fig & jalapeno jam to mine which gave a nice sweetness against the salty bacon.
Sweet Potato Biscuits
The biscuits themselves were really easy to make especially if like me you just microwave the sweet potato. They come out really light & fluffy which surprised me, you'd think potato would make them heavy. I used a Jersey Sweet potato because those tend to be our favorite. They are really light yellow and have a mild flavor. Next time I think I'll use an oranger, stronger flavored sweet potato as we would have liked a little more of a sweet potato flavor. We will be making these again though to serve with sausage gravy, fried chicken or just some warm butter & a little honey.

Sweet Potato Biscuits
Adapted from All Recipes

1 sweet potato
3/4 c all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1 1/2 t sugar
3/4 t salt
2 T unsalted butter, cold
3 T heavy cream + extra for brushing on biscuits

Poke the sweet potato a few times with a fork. Microwave until soft. (On my microwave it's about 4 minutes on high.) Let cool until touchable. Peel off skin. Mash. Let cool to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar & salt together. Cut in the cold butter until about pea size. Mix in the sweet potato. Add the cream 1 tablespoon at a time until you get a soft dough.

Turn out on to a lightly floured surface. Roll out until 1/2 inch thick. Cut with a biscuit or other circular cutter. Place 1 inch apart on a baking sheet that has either been greased or lined with a silicon mat. Brush the top of each biscuit with a little cream.

Bake for 13 - 16 minutes until golden brown.

I got four 2 1/2 inch biscuits plus 1 smaller one. This would probably make six 2 inch biscuits.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Monday, January 24, 2011

Weekly Menu 1/24 - 1/29/11

We survived what is typically the coldest week of winter here in MN. Windchills got down to about -30 F at the end of last week, brrr.
Morning 58 - Window Painting
Well, I should say I survived as Matt was down in Texas complaining that it was a little chilly. Yeah, I wasn't feeling too bad for him. Now, that he's back it has inspired me to get back in the kitchen & try a bunch of new things.

Menu Planning Monday...

Pasta with Meatballs

Fish Pie - based on Jamie Oliver's recipe

Curried Chicken & Bananas - Just an idea I have, hope it works out.

Muir Glen Tomato tasting at Corner Table

Sweet Potato Biscuit & Bacon Sandwiches

Friday is still up in the air

This week we'll also be moving our beer into the second fermentor so, look for that update too.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Curried Vegetable Pot Pie

So, have you heard the new dessert sweetheart is pie? Now I love a good sweet pie as much as the next person but why leave it for dessert? I want that flaky crust for dinner too.
Curried Vegetable Pot Pie
I told Matt I was going to make another pot pie this week & he asked me to make a curry filling. Believe me when I'm making our weekly dinner menu I'm always happy for suggestions. I decided to keep this pie vegetarian because we've been eating a lot of beef lately & I though a vegetable break was called for. You won't miss the meat at all though as this pie is full of curry flavors & the vegetables are only cooked to crisp tender giving the filling a nice bite.
Curried Vegetable Pot Pie
I made this in two ramekins for individual pies but they were so filling that neither Matt nor I could finish ours. They made a great lunch for me the next day though reheated in the oven.

Curried Vegetable Pot Pie
The filling for this pie would also be great just over rice.

Pie Crust for a double crust pie
1 T olive oil
1 onion, large chop
1 clove garlic, minced
1 carrot, sliced
1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 T korma curry paste
1/2 t cumin
1 14.5 oz can whole or diced tomatoes
1/2 c frozen peas
1/4 c plain yogurt
salt to taste
1 egg, beaten

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrot & cauliflower. Sauté until the onion is translucent. Stir in the curry paste & cumin coating everything. Add the tomatoes, if you are using whole tomatoes break them up a bit. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat & simmer until most of the tomato liquid is gone & the vegetables are crisp tender. Stir in the peas & yogurt. Heat through but do not let boil. Taste & season with salt as needed.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Roll half the pie dough out into 2 circle big enough to line the inside of two 1 1/2 cup ramekins & just hang over the sides. Divide the curry between the two ramekins.
Curried Vegetable Pot Pie
Roll the remaining pie dough out into two circles just big enough to top the ramekins & hang over the sides a little. Brush the dough with the beaten egg. Poke a few holes in the crust with a sharp knife or fork.

Put in oven & reduce heat to 350 F. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes. The crust should be golden brown.
Curried Vegetable Pot Pie
Makes 2 individual pot pies.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Is It Beer Yet?

This weekend we ventured into a new territory for us, home brewing. With all the great local microbrews here we really debated whether or not we wanted to try making our own beer. But I think the more Matt read the more he wanted to try his own hand at it. So, for Christmas I gave him a gift certificate to Midwest Supplies to get all the supplies he needed to get started.
Is It Beer Yet?
We're really lucky to have a place like Midwest Supplies close by. The place is huge & has everything we need from equipment, books, kits, whole grains & advice. My parents gave Matt a kit with all the grains, hops, malt & yeast to make Flat Tire Ale which seemed like a good starter beer.
Is It Beer Yet? Is It Beer Yet?
The grains, in the case barley, get put into a mesh bag & simmered at 155 F in 3 gallons of water for about 30 minutes. Already you can see the color of beer starting to come through.
Is It Beer Yet? Is It Beer Yet?
The grain seeps for another 10 minutes off the heat & then is removed. It can be composed or left out for the birds like we did. Matt thinks it would make a great addition to bread, has anyone ever tried this?
Is It Beer Yet? Is It Beer Yet?
Then the malt extract is added, it looked & tasted just like caramel. The water is then brought to a boil & the bittering hops are added. Whoa what a smell!
Is It Beer Yet?
Brewing doesn't seem to be a lot of work but there is a lot of time spent watching a pot making sure it keeps its heat or doesn't boil over. The wort boils for an hour & aroma hops are added the last two minutes. These hops really smelled like the Fat Tire beer we were attempting to get the flavor of.
Is It Beer Yet? Is It Beer Yet?
The wort then needs to be cooled as quickly as possible. We tried putting it in a snow bank but it melted the snow around it so fast (plus it was slippery out & Matt was afraid of spilling). A bathtub fill of cold water plus the addition of an addition gallon of cold water to the pot brought our wort down to 80 F in about 20 minutes. Matt then took a sample & tested its starting gravity. We'll test the gravity again before bottling to see what the alcohol level is.
Is It Beer Yet? Is It Beer Yet?
Is It Beer Yet? Is It Beer Yet?
Finally, the wort gets poured into the fermenting bucket. Matt whisked it briskly to add oxygen that the yeast will need. We used a dry yeast which just get sprinkled over the top of the wort. The top of the fermenter goes on & the airlock goes in place.

By the next morning our airlock was bubbling away letting us know the yeast was alive & doing it's thing. It'll work it's magic for a week & then it'll be time for the second fermentation, stay tuned...

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Monday, January 17, 2011

Weekly Menu 1/17 - 1/22/11

A couple beginning of the week food notes...
Shredded Beef Cottage Pie
We found yet another use for our crock pot beef last week & turned some of it into a cottage pie. Basically, I sautéed up some diced carrots, celery & onion. Then I mixed in the crock pot beef, some frozen peas, 1 tablespoon on tomato paste, a few dashes of malt vinegar & a about 1/2 c water. I let it cook until the water was gone & the veggies tender. Put in all in a baking dish & top with some garlic mashed potatoes then bake at 350 F for about 25 minutes. Dinner done!
Kimchi & Korean Sausage Pizza
Ann over at Pizzeria Lola made Matt's weekend yesterday by offering her homemade kimchi & Korean sausage as the pizza special. He had been waiting for her to start bringing her Korean background into some of the pizza toppings & here it was all the way. A little too spicy for wimpy me but it had Matt grinning ear to ear. He says that Korean sausage should be on the menu all the time not just as a special. Ann hinted at a Korean short rib appetizer coming soon & we can't wait to try it.

On to Menu Planning Monday...
Not much cooking going on this week as Matt is heading to Austin, TX for work (think he'll bring me back some brisket?) & I have a couple dinners out planned.

Yosemite Cheddar Cheese & Beer Soup - A request from Matt that'll make good leftovers for me for the week.

Curried Vegetable Pie - Another take on the pot pie.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Slow Cooked Beef Over Hash

This is a dinner worthy of your favorite diner. Beef that has been slow cooked all day in beer served over a simple potato hash. It's hearty & full of flavor.
Shredded Beef Hash
Also it couldn't be simpler to make...

Slow Cooked Beef Hash

We started with a batch of our 24-Hour Crock Pot Beef. This time though Matt added a little barbecue rub, paprika & worcestershire sauce to the beer for seasoning. Once the beef is tender & falling to shreds cook up your hash.

2 small yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (you can leave the skin on)
2 T olive oil, divided
kosher salt
1/2 red pepper, seeded & chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 t season salt

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Put the cubed potatoes & 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small roasting pan. Stir to coat. Sprinkle with a little salt. Roast for 20 - 25 minutes, you want them to just start getting crispy on the outside. (You could just parboil your potatoes but we found roasting them gets them crispier & helps them retain their shape & texture better in the finished hash.)

In a skillet heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the pepper & onions. Sauté until the onions are starting to get tender. Add the roasted potatoes & season salt. Reduce the heat a little & continue to cook until the onions are just starting to get a little brown.

Divide the hash between two plates & serve beef over the top.

2 servings.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hearty Tomato, Kale and Mushroom Risotto

Last week Lori over at Fake Food Free posted a recipe for a Hearty Tomato, Kale & Mushroom Sauce which she served over homemade pasta. She said it was so good she couldn't wait to make it again. Since it contained all flavors we love I book marked it to try right away though I decided to turn it into a risotto.
Hearty Tomato, Kale & Mushroom Risotto
Oh, did it ever make for a great rustic risotto full of sweet, rich flavor. It's very different than the cream & cheese filled risottos you often see & much healthier too. This is the kind of dish that makes me happy we blanch & freeze tons of kale when it's in season in the fall.

Hearty Tomato, Kale & Mushroom Risotto
(adapted from Fake Food Free)
I made this risotto with chicken stock because that is what I had on hand but you can use vegetable stock if you want to keep it completely vegetarian.

1 14.5 oz can diced or crushed tomatoes
5 crimini mushrooms, sliced
2 oz kale, blanched for 1 minute, chopped
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 t kosher salt
1/4 t dried oregano
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
pepper
3 c stock (more might be needed)
1 T olive oil
1 T salted butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced small
3/4 c arborio rice
1/4 c white wine
freshly grated Parmesan

Put the tomatoes, mushrooms*, kale, balsamic vinegar, salt, oregano, red pepper flakes & a few grinds of fresh pepper in a skillet. Bring to a simmer. Let simmer while cooking the risotto rice until the mushrooms have cooked down & most, but not all, of the liquid has cooked away.

Meanwhile bring the stock to a simmer in a small pot. Keep simmering.

In a large, heavy saucepan melt the olive oil & butter over medium heat. Add the garlic & onion. Sauté for 2 minutes. Add the rice & stir until completely coated. Stir in the white wine & cook until absorbed. Then begin adding the stock about 1/2 cup at a time, adding each addition when the one before is absorbed. When all the stock is used up the rice should be tender but still have a slight bite to it. (If you find it still a little uncooked you can add another addition of stock or even some water.)

Stir the tomato mixture into the cooked rice. Taste for seasoning & add salt as needed. Serve topped with grated Parmesan.

Makes 2 servings

* I thought the mushrooms came out perfectly cooked this way but, Matt said he would have preferred they had been sautéed first & then the remaining sauce ingredients added.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Asian Butternut Squash and Rice Soup

Over the holidays the Cooking Channel ran a series of Jamie Oliver Family Holiday Specials. On one of them he made a butternut squash soup full of Asian flavors that sounded so interesting we just had to make it.
Asian Butternut & Rice Soup
There was no official version of the recipe anywhere online but, I found a few people who had attempted to transcribe it from the show & I adapted from there.

We thought it was quite usual when Jamie didn't peel the squash before putting in the soup, wouldn't it stay hard? Surprise, the peel cooked up soft & tasted great. Why have we been wasting time peeling? Also, unlike a lot of butternut squash soups, this one doesn't get puréed but, stays in large chunks.

The spice mixture for this soup smelled amazing with the lime, lemongrass, garlic & ginger. So, we were surprised at how mild the final soup was especially once the coconut milk was added. The lime juice squeezed in at the end really lived all the flavors thankfully. Matt also added a good dash of sriracha. The soup was much thicker than I expected (though Matt remembered it being quite thick on the show) & almost has a rice porridge or congee texture. Quite comforting on a cold winter's night.

Asian Butternut Squash Soup
(adapted from Jamie's Family Holiday TV show)

1 c white rice (we used jasmine rice)
zest of 2 limes
2 6-inch pieces of lemongrass, crushed
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled
1 Fresno pepper, seeded (or go for something hotter if you like)
1 1/2 T olive oil
1 heaping t Asian five spice powder
1 t ground cumin
1 t kosher salt
1 small yellow onion, sliced thin
1 butternut squash, seeded & cut into 1-inch squares (do not bother to peel)
4 c chicken stock
11 oz coconut milk
juice of 2 limes

Cook rice. Rinse & set aside.

Put the lime zest, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, Fresno pepper, olive oil, Asian five spice, cumin & salt into a small food processor. Blend into a smooth paste.

Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the spice mixture & sauté for 1 minute. Add the onions & cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the squash & stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat & let simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cooked rice & simmer another 10 minutes. (The squash should be tender by now.) Stir in the coconut milk. Warm through. Add the lime juice. Taste for seasoning & add salt as needed. Drizzle each serving with a little olive oil if you wish.

4 servings

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Monday, January 10, 2011

Weekly Menu 1/10 - 1/15/11

One thing about food blogging is you feel like you always have to be trying new dishes so, you have something to write. We try to find a good balance of new things & favorites but it's hard sometimes to revisit the favorites as often as we might like. This weekend we made one of those favorites, Red Beans, Sausage & Rice.
#27 - Red Bean, Sausage & Rice
Oh, I had forgotten how tasty & comforting this super easy dish is! We made it Saturday night after a day of running errands & couldn't resist having leftovers for dinner on Sunday too! Can't wait to have more of it for lunch today as well.

On to Menu Planning Monday...

Thai Butternut Soup - We didn't get to it last week so it's tonights dinner.

Tomato, Kale & Mushroom Risotto - A riff on this dish from Fake Food Free

24-Hour Crock Pot Beef

Classic Mac & Cheese - We are watching my cousins kids & this seems like a meal they will like

Cottage Pie - Using the crock pot beef leftovers

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Friday, January 7, 2011

Pork Pie

As I mentioned in our weekly menu, this pie was inspired by a post on Equal Opportunity Kitchen about Tourtiere. My final result though, was probably much more like the pork pie we had at the Whole Hog Dinner in December (despite the fact I didn't use head meat).
Pork Pie
I thought we had some ground pork in the freezer that wasn't flavored into Italian or breakfast sausage but I was wrong so, I thawed some country style ribs to grind my own. In the end, I decided to skip the grinding all together & just cut the pork into small cubes instead. I think that cubes texture was actually really good against the texture of the grated potatoes & onions.
Pork Pie
As for the rest of the filling I just went with flavors that I thought would be good with pork, beer, apple cider, sage, cinnamon & clove. The kale I added to get some healthy, leafy greens into our dinner. Simmering the pork, onions, kale & potatoes in the beer & seasonings made the pork & kale tender plus brought out a real sweetness in the onions. I was very surprised at home much apple flavor came through with just a little cider vinegar, part of that might have been the clove & sweet onions fooling my taste buds.
The secret is in the lard
Let's talk pie crust*. I know I should be making my own but it so easy to just pull frozen store-bought dough out of the freezer. Plus, I recently discovered this local brand, Pappy's. I love how each packages contains four balls of dough (each big enough for a one crust pie) instead of already rolled out crusts. That means I can shape the dough anyway I want. It tastes wonderful & has a perfect light, flaky texture. Really, how could I resist buying a crust that says "the Secret is in the Lard" right on the package?!

Pork Pie
A great alternative to chicken pot pie! I made this in two individual pie plate so we could have one pie for dinner & the other for lunch leftovers but it'll also work perfectly in one large pie pan.

pie crust for a double crust pie
1/2 T olive oil
3/4 lb pork, cut into 1/2" cubes (I used country style ribs)
salt & pepper
4 1/2 - 5 oz yukon gold potato, grated
2 1/2 oz yellow onion, grated
2 oz kale, blanched & chopped
1/4 t dry sage
pinch cinnamon
pinch ground clove
1 c lighter-style beer (we used Grain Belt Premium)
1 T cider vinegar
1 egg, beaten with a little water

If using a frozen pie crust thaw it out.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the pork, season with a little salt & pepper then sauté until browned on all sides. Stir in the potato, onions & kale. Add the sage, cinnamon, cloves & a little more salt & pepper. Pour in the beer & vinegar. Bring to a simmer. Let simmer until all the liquid is gone, mine took 10 - 15 minutes.

Roll out half the pie crust to fill the bottom of your pie pan & up the sides. Add the pork filling. Roll out the other half the pie crust large enough to top the pie with a little extra. TOp the filling & fold the edges over with the excess bottom crust to seal. Brush with the beaten egg & sprinkle with a little kosher salt. Poke a few times with a fork.

Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 F & cook for 30 more minutes.

Makes 1 pie, 4 servings.
Pork Pie

* I wrote about Pappy's pie crust without any compensation or free product. I just like to support local companies that make good products.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Inn

My brother was in town for business last night so we met him downtown for dinner with plans to head to the local. As we were walking down 10th St towards Nicollet we were drawn in my the warm light from a window front.
The Inn
I said, "Wow, that looks like a cool bar." Then Matt looked in & noticed, "But they have forks, they must serve food." "And they are playing The Shins," added my brother. So, we went in to check it out. Boy, were we ever glad we did because we had stumbled into The Inn, the new venture by Tim Never & Aaron Johnson of Town Talk Diner & The Strip Club.
The Inn
The Inn
On a cold Minneapolis night the inside of The Inn is very inviting with it's warm lighting, bricks & wood. Service is very friendly & well informed about what they are serving which we appreciate.
Cocktails at the Inn
We started with drinks & I was instantly attracted to the interesting cocktail menu. I tried the Has Been, because of my love of elderflower, & loved it. The flavor was peppery & slightly licoricy, so good. The boys had a hard time picking beers from a list that features lots of local brews as well a some well-chosen domestic & international selections. I later changed to wine & was happy to see a more than one or two choices I wanted to try available by the glass.
Dinner at The Inn
Then it was time to think about food. The menu at first glance looks like simple, comforting food; beef, pork, chicken, fish & a handful of sandwiches but, once you hear more about the preparation of each of the dishes, you realize there is something special going on in the kitchen. That is probably thanks to Chef Tyge Nelson who comes from a background at Barrio, La Belle Vie & Solera. Oh & let's not forget about the appetizer menu which is interesting enough that you might want to create a meal of small plates, which is what Matt actually did when he ordered mussels, fries & a roasted red pepper salad (I think he liked the salad best of all!). We often judge a restaurant on the quality of their fries & The Inn gets high marks here with a thin, crispy fry prepared just right (We only wished they hadn't taken them away from the table before we had a chance to finish them.) I tried the crispy potato dumpling appetizer with a Mahon cheese dipping sauce. The dumplings were satisfying little potato pillows but the cheese sauce was so good I actually drank it all like soup. For dinner my brother had the pork & olives over one of the creamiest polentas we've ever tasted. The pork just melted in your mouth. I had the chicken special which was stuffed with sweet breads over a bed of sauté spinach, I wish my Thanksgiving turkey & stuffing had that great a texture & flavor together. All their beef is grass-fed & most of the proteins are all local sourced which makes us happy too.
Toffee CakeApple Pie
For dessert we shared the Toffee Cake & Apple Pie. The apple pie was very much your classic apple pie with a great crust, our only complaint was that we would have liked the option to have it warm.

As we left Matt said he felt like he was in some place other than Minneapolis. He said that dinner at The Inn felt like an evening out at small bistro in Belgium. I agreed he'd hit the nail on the head. Here in downtown Minneapolis we'd stumbled into an evening in a European bistro without having to buy a plane ticket. It's a trip I think we'll find ourselves taking again.

The Inn is at 89 S. 10th St. between Marquette & Nicollet (It's the old Hell's Kitchen location.)

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Not Too Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli and Potato Soup

New Year's Day Matt roasted a lovely garlic chicken for our dinner. I love how comforting a roast chicken dinner is plus, is leaves us with lots of leftover chicken to play with. Matt's first suggestion was to make our Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup (always a favorite). Then I remembered that we had half a bag of broccoli in the freezer & the idea for this soup was born.
Not Too Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli & Potato Soup
Cheese is a classic flavoring in broccoli soup but Matt asked that I not make it too cheesy, which can often make a soup heavy. The potato was a last minute addition just because I had one russet that had been sitting in the potato basket for awhile. The final result was a soup that was just a comforting as the roast chicken dinner that was its initial starting point. Lots of texture & a creamy but not too thick broth with a subtle but not over-powering flavor of cheese make this soup a winner for winter.

Not Too Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli & Potato Soup

Make sure to be generous with the fresh pepper at the end, it really adds to the flavor.

2 T unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped (about 3oz)
8 oz russet potato, peeled & cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 T all-purpose flour
3 c chicken stock
1 c milk (we used 2%)
1/4 t dry mustard
4 1/2 oz white cheddar, grated
1 1/2 c cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
1 1/2 c frozen broccoli, chop if the pieces are very large
salt & fresh ground pepper

In a large soup pan melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion & potato. Sauté until the onion is translucent. Sprinkle the flour over everything & stir for 1 minute, do not let brown. Add the stock & milk. Cook while stirring until bubbly & slightly thickened. Stir in cheese & mustard until the cheese is melted. Add the chicken & broccoli. Simmer until everything is hot & the potato is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Season with salt & a generous amount of pepper to taste.

Makes 4 servings

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

Monday, January 3, 2011

Weekly Menu 1/3 - 1/8/11

Well, the holidays are over & the tree & lights will come down this week. We've had a beautiful white one here in the North this winter though we cold have done without the ice storm on New Year's Eve.
#361 - Hoarfrost
I can't say I'm sorry to be getting back to a normal routine though especially, back to eating normally (I'd like my jeans to start buttoning a little more normally as well!). We decided not to post any food resolutions for this year because we never know where the year is going to take us & what new things are going to be available for us to try. I do plan on trying to confit some pork in the next couple of weeks & finally get around to making homemade english muffins, not that I've finally got the rings. Matt got some amazing looking grilling & meat books for Christmas so this summer should bode well for BBQ season. Then of course, there are the places we will travel to this year & what food they will introduce us to. We are planning on a cruise & land trip to Alaska in the fall & currently debating where to go overseas this spring/summer (top contenders right now are Berlin, Stockholm & Copenhagen). Don't you just love a new year & all fresh opportunities it can hold?!

On to Menu Planning Monday...

Not Too Cheesy Chicken & Spinach Soup - using the leftover roast chicken from New Year's Day

Pork Pie - Inspired by this Tourtiere on Equal Opportunity Kitchen

Sausage, Red Beans & Rice

Butternut Squash Curry Soup - Inspired by a dish we saw Jamie Oliver make on his Christmas special

Try a new restaurant this week - We have a list of restaurants we've never been to that we want to try so we are going to shoot for one every two week.

I need one more dish & I'm stumped...

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski
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