Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Thai Turkey & Wheat Berry Lettuce Wraps

Working here at the Co-op has turned me into a slight grain-iac. Have you seen all of those grains we have to offer? I can barely keep up. Wheat berries are my new favorite. They are rich and nutty, and  so darn good for you! This recipe is fresh and summery and since warmth has FINALLY arrived in Grand Marais, you can eat these outside on the deck, and watch the ice melt off of the lake. You could leave out the turkey in this recipe, and just sub in more wheat berries if you want to keep it vegetarian. You could also just eat this recipe straight up as a salad, and skip the lettuce leaves wrap.

Thai Turkey & Wheat Berry Lettuce Wraps

1 lb ground turkey (I used Ferndale Market ground turkey from Cannon Falls, MN- turkeys raised without antibiotics + free ranging deliciousness!)
3/4 cup cooked wheat berries
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1 inch knob of ginger, peeled and minced
2 Tablespoons tamari
1 Tablespoon fish sauce
1-2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 Tablespoon peanut butter
1/2 Tablespoon honey
2 tsp chili paste
salt & pepper to taste

Lettuce leaves- I used red leaf lettuce from Victous Farms in Silver Bay, MN.

Fresh basil and mint, chopped for garnish

In a non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the turkey, season with salt and pepper and cook over medium-high heat, stirring until cooked through, about 5 minutes.

  Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and sauté a few more minutes until the onions begin to turn translucent.

Turn the heat down to low, and add the remaining ingredients, creating the sauce in the pan. Remove from heat.

Spoon the warm turkey & wheat berry salad into the lettuce cups. Serve with fresh lime wedges and a sprinkling of fresh basil and mint on top. Roll 'em up and eat them! Belly up!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Browned Butter Waffles

Mother's Day is a beautiful thing. I appreciate my dear Mom to no end. She put up with me and my brothers through thick and thin. She kept us looking presentable. She nurtured, and raised us up into fine adults. Now we have children, and as we wrangle them through life, we can't help but think of how much we gave our Mom a run for her money. And how our children return the favor, in a much more brilliant and graceful way. As each generation progresses and grows, Moms still have their work cut out for them. I'd like to share this browned butter waffle recipe in hopes that you make them for your Mothers. Moms need waffles and hugs. Always!


Makes about 6 large waffles.

Preheat your waffle iron before beginning.

In a medium bowl, mix together:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 TBLS sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Beat in a separate bowl mix until light:
2 egg yolks

Add to the yolks: 
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
8 TBLS butter, melted and allowed to brown up until fragrant and golden

Combine the liquid and the dry ingredients with a few strokes- not fully mixing.

Beat until stiff but not dry:
2 egg whites

Fold the egg whites into the batter, being careful not to over mix.
Pour the waffle batter into the prepared waffle iron, in several batches, and cook until golden and crisp.

I like to top the waffles with roasted strawberries and honey- Greek yogurt. To roast strawberries: clean and de-stem strawberries. Toss with a light sprinkling of olive oil and browned sugar. Place on a baking sheet and roast at 425, until soft and lightly browned. Pile onto waffles. Gift to your Mother. Belly up!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Honey & Whiskey Glazed Roast Duck

I have made a discovery. It's not like I discovered  new prehistoric remains in my basement walls or anything, but I did discover that roasting a whole duck is amazing. No more complex than roasting a chicken, roasting a whole duck leaves you with tender, juicy duck meat that is completely unbeatable! I also have a thing for crispy skin, and this recipe will deliver lots of crispy skin, with a sweet, salty, spicy glaze. I joke about making sandwiches with crispy skin and mayo, but seriously, that would be totally awesome with the duck skin. just saying.

This roasting a duck recipe starts things off low and slow. After a few hours of slow roasting and rendering, you crank up the oven to a reasonable 425 degrees and crisp up that skin. You get about a cup of rendered  duck fat and crispy skin!! What more could a girl ask for? What to do with duck fat? I use it in the same way I use bacon fat. It is also excellent to rub all over a chicken before you roast it. Don't buy duck very often? Most of us are cooking up whole chickens not ducks, so I do save duck for special occasions like....I think the snow is melting, for real this time!.....or Mother's Day,.....or we need to castrate a pig so please come over friends and help us with that! Whatever the occasion, duck is the answer.

First make the glaze. You'll need:

1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses
1 Tablespoon tamari
3 Tablespoon whiskey
1 Tablespoon Sriracha chili sauce

Combine all of the ingredients in a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly until thick and syrupy. It should be able to coat the back of a spoon. Set this aside for later glazing the duck.

 Prep your duck by removing the innards conveniently placed inside the carcass by your butcher. I set these and the neck aside for making stock. Do a rinse with cold water and pat the duck dry.  Place your duck on a rack, in a roasting pan. By placing it on a rack, the fat can render off of the duck and collect in your pan without the duck sitting in a pool of fat. That isn't a terrible thing, but it can affect the outcome of crispy skin. With a sharp knife, score the skin on the duck's breast. Be careful not to cut too deep. Just cut the fat, not the flesh. Now take your knife and poke your duck all over the place, penetrating only the skin. This will help the fat to render out and produce crispy skin. Are you catching onto my LOVE of crispy skin?. I give my ducks a good sprinkling of smoked sea salt at this point. I like the added flavor of the smoked sea salt, but regular salt is just as well. Now it's time to roast!!

score the skin on the duck's breast 

Place the duck in a 325 degree oven, breast side down, for 1 hour.
Flip the duck over, so it is breast side up and roast for another 1 hour.
Flip the duck over, so it is breast side down, and roast for another 45 minutes.
Crank the oven up to 425 degrees, flip the duck so it is breast side up, and roast for about 10-15 minutes.
Slather the glaze all over the duck and roast another 5-10 minutes.

At this point, you should be able to wiggle the duck thigh and have movement, and you should have crispy skin. If your skin isn't crispy, bake in 5 minute increments until crispy skin is achieved.

Rest, carve, and enjoy!!