Lunds & Byerlys REAL FOOD Fall 2018

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Lunds & Byerlys




















FALL 2018

Dressed to Impress Kitchen skills every grown-up should know



A DISH TO PASS: Be the hit of the party FALL-INSPIRED MEALS: Homemade dinners and lunches PIZZA AMORE: Make your own this weekend


Those who love to cook make more than food in the kitchen. They make the most of every moment together—sharing stories, creating delicious flavors and simply enjoying the company of close friends. For more than 80 years, Le Creuset has been a part of these special times, and a colorful companion to all who savor food—and life—to the fullest. To learn more about Le Creuset’s classic French quality, and the joys of cooking with premium enameled cast iron, visit



real food fall 2018

20 A Dish to Pass Be the hit of the party with a delicious main dish in hand BY SERENA BASS

28 Back Pocket Recipes Go-to recipes and cooking skills every grown-up should know BY ROY FINAMORE

38 A Fall-Inspired Meal Plan Set yourself up for a week of homemade dinners and some bonus lunches BY ROBIN ASBELL

46 A Little Pizza Love Skip delivery and make pizza this weekend RECIPES BY PHILIP DENNHARDT AND KRISTIN JENSEN

52 Sam Kass Former President Obama’s White House chef on making small changes for big results BY TARA Q. THOMAS

Departments 4 Bites Authentic comforts from Italian moms RECIPES BY ELISA CONSTANTINI

6 Kitchen Skills Fresh pasta: No machine required BY JASON ROSS

8 Contributors 17 Ingredient Maple syrup: Natural sweetness plus nutrients BY KATIE BALLALATAK

18 Healthy Habits Superfoods: Enjoy a rainbow of rewards BY LIANNA MATT

56 Pairings Branch out with hard cider and food partners BY MARY SUBIALKA

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Our Cover

The Very Best Steak with Lemon-Thyme Butter (page 30) Photograph by Terry Brennan Food styling by Lara Miklasevics




2:55 PM



VOLUME 14, NUMBER 3 Real Food magazine is published quarterly by Greenspring Media, LLC, 706 Second Ave. S. Suite 1000, Minneapolis, MN 55402, 612.371.5800, Fax 612.371.5801. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Real Food is exclusively operated and owned by Greenspring Media, LLC. Printed in the USA. C








The pages between the covers of this magazine (except for any inserted material) are printed on paper made from wood fiber that was procured from forests that are sustainably managed to remain healthy, productive and biologically diverse.

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Just Like Mom Makes From everyday family meals to celebratory dinners, memories are made at the dinner table


Beef and Polenta Polenta con Manzo MAKES 4 TO 6 SERVINGS

or the Beef F 3 garlic cloves, minced ½ cup olive oil 2 pounds chuck steak, cut into 2-inch cubes salt and black pepper, to taste 2 Spanish onions, sliced 2 tablespoons tomato paste 4 cups beef stock 2 cups chopped tomatoes 2 cups dry red wine 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves 2 fresh sage leaves freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, for garnish For the Polenta 2 teaspoons salt 1 cup yellow Italian polenta 2 teaspoons olive oil

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1. Prepare the beef: In a large sauté pan, sauté half the garlic in ¼ cup of olive oil over medium heat. Add the beef, with a pinch of salt and black pepper, and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and set aside. 2. In a separate large sauté pan, place the remaining ¼ cup of olive oil and the onions, and sauté over medium heat until the onions are tender (approximately 5 to 7 minutes). Add the tomato paste and continue to sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the stock, tomatoes and red wine, and mix thoroughly. Add the beef mixture, top with the rosemary and sage, and add salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to very low, and simmer, covered, for 1½ hours, until the meat is cooked through. 3. Prepare the polenta about 20 minutes before the beef is fully cooked: Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a large stockpot. Add 2 teaspoons of salt and gradually whisk in the polenta. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and the polenta is tender but still very loose and creamy, about 20 to 25 minutes. Turn off heat. Add the olive oil and mix thoroughly. 4. Transfer the polenta to individual pasta bowls and ladle the beef over the polenta. Garnish with some fresh Pecorino Romano cheese and serve.


s an adult, there is something so comforting about a meal that is either a favorite prepared by mom or a dish you prepare “just like mom” did if she is only in memory. And it’s fun to get a taste of dishes other moms have prepared for their families throughout the years—especially if the dish comes from an Italian mom known for cooking up delicious meals. In Elisa Constantini’s “Italian Moms: Something Old, Something New,” the sequel to her debut cookbook, “Italian Moms: Spreading Their Art to Every Table”—which was just published in October 2017 when she was 78—Costantini shares her vision of Italian home cooking with some new twists. The daughter of farmers, Constantini was born in Poggio Valle, Italy, and learned to cook at a very young age at the hip of her Aunt Ida, who was a celebrated chef and caterer in the province of Teramo, located in the Abruzzo region of Italy. For her first book, Costantini gathered family recipes—rustic, authentic recipes of “true” Italian cooking—compiled with assistance from her son Frank. The book led to TV appearances including “Rachel Ray” and the “Today” show. In her second book, she includes “something new” with dishes such as a modern, gluten-free version of her traditional Eggplant Parmigiana. She also offers comforting classics such as the Beef and Polenta recipe featured here, which she says is a cold-weather favorite, especially when you are sitting by a wood-burning stove or fireplace. “I recall my younger days of preparing the polenta in the fireplace over some coals,” she writes. “It is the fondest memory of my childhood in the kitchen with my mother. This dish warms the stomach, heart and soul!” And where would we be without a treat such as biscotti to serve with some morning or afternoon coffee? Both books are peppered with family photos and tales of the self-described “reluctant immigrant” who only came to appreciate life in her adopted country long after she had arrived. If anything she learned over the years could be useful to someone else it would be a blessing, she notes. —Mary Subialka

Lemon Poppy Biscotti Biscotti al Limone e Semi di Papavero MAKES 2 DOZEN BISCOTTI

2 eggs 8 tablespoons salted butter, softened 1½ cups sugar 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted, plus more for dusting 1½ teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon lemon extract 1 tablespoon lemon rind 1⁄4 cup poppy seeds, plus more for the glaze juice of 1 lemon ¼ cup solid shortening 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 2. With an electric stand mixer fitted with a beater attachment, cream the eggs, butter and sugar on medium speed. Reduce the speed to low, and then add the flour, baking powder, lemon extract and lemon rind, and blend until mixed thoroughly. Finally, add the poppy seeds and fold in thoroughly. 3. Lightly flour a clean work surface and divide the dough into four equal sized parts. With a rolling pin, roll out each piece into a log about 2 inches wide. Place two logs, side by side and 2 to 3 inches apart, on each of the lined baking sheets and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer the logs to a cutting board. Cut the logs into 1-inch-diagonal strips and allow biscotti to cool on wire racks. 4. In a small saucepan, combine the lemon juice, solid shortening and confectioners’ sugar, and stir constantly over low heat until combined well. Remove from the heat and cool for a few minutes. Add some poppy seeds and mix thoroughly. Drizzle glaze on top of the biscotti. Cook's Note: For crispy biscotti, at the end of step 3 you can return the cut logs to the oven and bake for 5 to 10 minutes more, then cool on wire racks. 


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kitchen skills

Fresh Pasta No special equipment is required to make chewy, delicious noodles at home BY JASON ROSS


aking pasta by hand is such a pleasure. The feel of the dough, the child-like delight of squeezing and forming it, and the flavor and chewy deliciousness of fresh noodles make it easily worth the effort. You don’t need dedicated equipment. While a pasta machine can help make more uniform shapes, a rolling pin and knife are all that you need to make great pasta noodles by hand at home. The little imperfections, in the end, might be what make it perfect.


This dough works for almost any type of pasta. It is tough enough to hold its shape but soft enough to roll with a pin. The semolina makes a noodle with a little tooth, and the all-purpose flour keeps it tender and supple. ½ pound all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting as needed ½ pound semolina flour pinch of salt 5 eggs, lightly whipped 1 tablespoon olive oil 1. With a whisk, combine the flours and salt in a large mixing bowl. 2. On a clean work surface, make a wide shallow mound of flour, about 6 inches in diameter, and then create a well in it so the walls of flour around it are about 1-inch high. Pour the eggs and olive oil into the well (photo 1). 3. Use a fork to pull flour from the sides of the well, and gradually incorporate the flour into the eggs using the fork (photo 2). Continue pulling flour into the eggs, working around the well and stirring the flour into the egg mixture with the fork, until dough begins to form and it becomes too thick to handle with a fork. Once that occurs, mix the remaining flour and dough with your hands until the flour is fully incorporated into the dough. 4. On a clean work surface, knead the dough by folding and pushing it with the heels of your hands, rotating and repeating. If the dough is sticky and hard to handle, add a little extra flour. Knead for 10 to 15 minutes until the dough is silky smooth. 5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. This will allow the dough to relax and make it easier to roll out without springing back. 6. The dough is now ready to roll and cook. The dough can be wrapped in plastic film and refrigerated for up to 1 day, although it is best used on the same day. Longer time will result in greyish discoloration.




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Hand-Rolled Fettuccine Noodles MAKES 6 SERVINGS

This is a simple and useful noodle. Use it with everything from meat sauce to diced tomatoes and olive oil or the simple pan sauce listed below. pasta dough from recipe left semolina flour for dusting pinch of salt, for cooking pasta 1. After the dough has rested, cut it into 4 roughly equal pieces with a kitchen knife. Smaller pieces of dough are easier to roll. If using refrigerated dough, allow the wrapped dough to warm at room temperature for about 30 minutes. 2. On a clean work surface, use your hands to roll 1 piece of dough into a sphere and flatten with the heel of your hand into a disc about ½ inch thick. Keep the other 3 pieces of dough wrapped in plastic. 3. Lightly dust the work surface if the dough feels sticky. With a heavy rolling pin roll the dough to stretch it, making a long oval. Then pick up the dough, rotate 90 degrees and repeat, rolling the dough into a rough square. 4. Flour the work surface as needed and repeat the rolling procedure, rolling and rotating, until the dough is as thin as possible, about 1/16 inch and nearly transparent. 5. Dust the dough with a little flour. Cut the rolled dough into 1/4-inch wide about 1 foot long. (For a pappardelle noodle option, cut 3/4-inch wide noodles.) Lay noodles on a tray dusted with flour and cover with clean kitchen towel. Repeat the process until all dough is rolled, cut and floured. 6. Bring a large pot of water (about 1 gallon) seasoned with a pinch of salt to a boil. Add noodles and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from water and serve with your favorite sauce. Cook’s Note: The floured noodles can be stored on a tray covered with a clean kitchen towel for up to 5 days. The noodles will dry, and the cooking time will increase from 2 to 3 minutes to 5 to 8 minutes. 

TRICKS OF THE TRADE: QUICK PASTA PAN SAUCE Fresh pasta is more delicate than dry pasta. Many chefs like to serve a similarly light and delicate sauce made from nothing more than the pasta cooking water and a little butter. To make this style of sauce, strain pasta from the boiling water, reserving some of the hot water. Immediately put the hot noodles in a sauté pan with about 1 cup of the hot pasta water. With the heat on medium high, stir the pasta with tongs so it doesn’t stick to the pan and swirl in 2 tablespoons of butter. Mix until the butter and water are fully combined and nearly simmering. The water, butter and starch from the noodles will combine to make a light, creamy sauce that coats and clings to the noodles. Serve immediately with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Try this simple sauce with other tasty additions such as cooked peas, broccoli, shrimp, diced ham or even all of these. NUTRITION


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Robin Asbell spreads the

word about how truly delicious and beautiful whole, real foods can be through her work as an author, cooking teacher and private chef. She likes to create delicious dishes that range from meat and seafood to beans and grains using global flavors. Her latest book is “300 Best Blender Recipes Using Your Vitamix.” She is also the author of “Great Bowls of Food: Grain Bowls, Buddha Bowls, Broth Bowls and More”; “Juice It!”; “Big Vegan: Over 350 Recipes, No Meat, No Dairy, All Delicious”; The New Vegetarian”; and “Gluten-Free Pasta.”

Roy Finamore is respected

throughout the food world for creating cookbooks that are both stylish and perfect for the home cook. He is author of the James Beard Awardwinning “Tasty: Get Great Food on the Table Every Day” and coauthor of “The Red Rooster Cookbook,” “Marcus Off Duty” (a James Beard Award nominee), and “Fish without a Doubt,” among other titles. As an editor, he introduced Ina Garten and Tom Colicchio to the publishing world. His other authors include Martha Stewart, Diana Kennedy and Jacques Pépin.

Lara Miklasevics began her

Serena Bass is known for

Terry Brennan is a

Tara Q. Thomas intended to

food career on the other side of the camera, cooking at the renowned New French Café in Minneapolis. Today her work as a stylist is in demand at corporations including Heinz, Target and General Mills, as well as with many magazines. She prides herself on using her experience as a chef to make food as appealing on the page as it is on the plate.

photographer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Clients include Target, General Mills, Land O’Lakes and Hormel. “Working with Real Food is a highlight for me—I look forward to every issue. I love working with the creative team and, of course, sampling the wonderful recipes.”

Jason Ross is a chef consultant

for restaurants and hotels, developing menus and concepts for multiple high profile properties. He trained and grew up in New York City, but now calls St. Paul, Minnesota, home where he teaches the next generation of chefs at Saint Paul College Culinary School.

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being New York City’s caterer to the stars and has thrown parties for Andy Warhol, Giorgio Armani, Kate Spade, Sarah Jessica Parker, Nathan Lane and countless others. Her cookbook, “Serena, Food & Stories,” won the James Beard Award for best entertaining book. Bass is also the executive chef at Lido restaurant in Harlem, New York. Photograph by David Loftus.

be a chef when she trained at the Culinary Institute of America in New York but got sidetracked by wine. She has been writing about it for nearly 20 years now, most prominently at Wine & Spirits Magazine, where she is executive editor. Author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Wine Basics” and a contributor to “The Oxford Companion to Cheese” and the forthcoming “The Oxford Companion to Spirits,” she also sits on the advisory panel for the International Culinary Center’s Sommelier Training Program. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, juggling a laptop and two small children—and still cooks nearly nightly, albeit for a smaller crowd.

Lunds & Byerlys welcome

Bloomington: 952-896-0092 Burnsville: 952-892-5600 Chanhassen: 952-474-1298 Eagan: 651-686-9669 Eden Prairie: 952-525-8000 Edina 50th Street: 952-926-6833 France Avenue: 952-831-3601 Golden Valley: 763-544-8846 Maple Grove: 763-416-1611 Minneapolis Downtown: 612-379-5040 Northeast: 612-548-3820 Uptown: 612-825-2440 Minnetonka Glen Lake: 952-512-7700 Highway 7: 952-935-0198 Ridgedale: 952-541-1414 Navarre: 952-471-8473 Plymouth: 763-268-1624 Prior Lake: 952-440-3900 Richfield: 612-861-1881 Roseville: 651-633-6949 St. Cloud: 320-252-4112 St. Louis Park: 952-929-2100 St. Paul Downtown: 651-999-1600 Highland Park: 651-698-5845 Wayzata: 952-476-2222 White Bear Lake—Coming Soon! Woodbury: 651-999-1200


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Passion for Extraordinary Food


nytime I have the pleasure of sharing career advice with a future leader, there is always one key message I share—in whatever role you’re in, be passionate about what you’re doing. Here at Lunds & Byerlys, our staff never ceases to amaze me with their culinary creations, masterful merchandising and commitment to service. From those working behind the scenes to those serving you in our stores, there is an immense level of passion for creating truly sensational shopping experiences. Most of you have probably never met Executive Chef Michael Selby. He leads our team of research and development chefs and spends most of his time behind the scenes developing many of our popular meat and seafood offerings, including our Manhattan Strip Roast, Cider Brined Turkey Breast and Butchers Kitchen products. Chef Selby’s passion for creating unique and remarkable offerings is abundantly clear to everyone around him. And if you have seen him during his cooking appearances on many of the local television stations, you can’t miss his passion for food. About five years ago our meat and seafood team set out to create an even better aging process for our premium beef. For more than 50 years, we were one of relatively few retailers across the country aging our own beef. We used a dry-aging process that resulted in great flavor and tenderness and helped establish our strong reputation for high-quality beef.

In our quest to continuously raise the bar, our team wanted to see if they could create a new aging process that would result in even more flavorful and tender beef. What followed for Chef Selby and Scott Kersting, our meat and seafood director, was a multiyear, cross-country tour of some of the most renowned steakhouses and butcher shops our country has to offer. They wanted to get an up-close look at the beef aging methods used by the best of the best. With that knowledge and a passion for creating a unique aging process for our beef, Chef Selby went to work in our test kitchen on an innovative aging method for our Reserve Aged Beef. It is so innovative, in fact, that it is now patented! To learn more about it, see our story on page 11. Developing a patented culinary process is no easy task. But when you’re as passionate about your work as Chef Selby is, that passion leads to incredible accomplishments. I couldn’t be more proud to work alongside him and so many on our team who share a passion for bringing extraordinary food and exceptional service to you each and every day. As always, we hope you continue to enjoy Real Food. Sincerely,

Tres Lund President and CEO

FOOD QUESTIONS? Call our FoodE Experts: 952-548-1400

REAL FOOD COMMENTS Aaron Sorenson: 952-927-3663 real food 9

Lunds & Byerlys nourish kids

Fun with Food How to get kids excited about healthy eating



hat if I told you there is a very easy solution to getting your kids to eat well? What if all you have to do to get your kids to fall in love with nutritious food is to let them have fun with it? For most kids, having fun and spending time as a family is all it takes to get them to participate in family meals and eat what is being served. So how do you make eating fun? Here are some simple ways to get kids excited about eating healthy.

Keep it Simple with Real Food Healthy foods don’t have to be elaborate. Introducing your kids at a young age to foods in their natural state is one of the easiest ways to cultivate a healthy eater for life. My son Harvest (left) was first introduced to avocados and bananas, and they are still some of his favorites as a teenager today. Fresh fruits and vegetables come in all shapes and colors. Have your child pick out a rainbow of fruits and veggies from our produce department to try at home.

Get Kids Cooking If kids can make it they will most likely eat it. Once a week have your kids help plan and prepare a meal. Kids of all ages can participate. Preschoolers and above can stir ingredients, toss salads or rub olive oil onto vegetables before roasting. Even small children can sit in their highchair and mix things in a bowl or play with safe kitchen tools. Another fun idea is to have family-style meals so kids can serve themselves instead of getting a prepared plate placed in front of them. 

Learn More About Nourish Kids Chat with your store’s FoodE Expert or check out our Nourish magazine. Sept. 15, 12-4 p.m. Nourish Kids Event Visit any Lunds & Byerlys store where we’ll have kid-friendly games and prizes plus delicious samples and recipes.

Serve Dinner for Breakfast Meatloaf and salad for breakfast? Why not! If it was a healthy meal for dinner, it’s still a healthy meal for breakfast. Morning toast easily becomes a meatloaf sandwich with a handful of greens, all of which makes a great protein- and fiber-rich breakfast that balances blood sugar and energy. Flipping the meals around also adds a little unconventional creativity and helps kids open their minds to eating what is best and not what is scripted. It also makes for a quick grab-and-go breakfast since it’s already prepared.

When people feel a part of something, they tend to be more committed and invested in it. So let your kids pick out their own snacks. Our monthly Nourish magazine has our Li’l Bee located on items that are kid-approved and kid-friendly. Have your kids sit down with our Nourish magazine, find Li’l Bee and circle foods they want for snacking. Bring that magazine to the store and let them help you find the items they circled. Many of our stores even have small, kid-sized shopping carts so they can be “in charge” of these snacks and more items on your list.

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Let Your Kids Pick Their Own Snacks

Lunds & Byerlys meat department

Lunds & Byerlys

Reserve Aged Beef

The exclusive, patented aging process creates an incredible depth of flavor you won’t find anywhere else BY SCOTT KERSTING, DIRECTOR OF MEAT & SEAFOOD


ur journey to create a truly unique, aged beef began at the dinner table. Dozens of meals in cities all across the country led to inspiration—and really full stomachs. What followed was the creation of our Reserve Aged Beef, which uses a patented aging process and is available only at Lunds & Byerlys. When we began our journey, we were looking for ways to expand our premium choice beef selection. Our team spent years traveling across the country tasting beef and observing tried-and-true aging methods from some of the world’s most famous steakhouses and butcher shops. Our team—under the leadership of Executive Chef Michael Selby— spent a good deal of time in the Lunds & Byerlys research and development kitchen testing classic aging techniques for both wet-aged and dry-aged beef. They experimented with the basic principles of dry aging and then began to combine several aspects of old-world aging techniques in different combinations, and with varying temperatures and levels of humidity. All of this research ultimately led Chef Selby to invent such an innovative process for aging our exclusive Reserve Aged Beef that it is now patented! The beef is skillfully aged for a minimum of 28 days to achieve optimum flavor and tenderness. The end result is an incredibly bold flavor with rich, nutty tones. In fact, much like an oak barrel promotes

the aging of wine, we use untreated cedar to create an incredible depth of flavor to the beef, while providing a tenderness that is unmatched. One of the most important parts of our Reserve Aged Beef is the beef itself. We start with beef that is exclusively sourced from family-owned Double R Ranch in the Okanagan region of Washington state. Our partners at Double R Ranch have an impressive commitment to working only with family ranchers who make certain the cattle are cared for so the beef is always robust, juicy and tender. This ensures we receive consistently exceptional beef so we can then age it to perfection. Interested in trying one of our exclusive Reserve Aged steaks? Try our Reserve Aged New York strip, T-bone, porterhouse, sirloin or rib-eye. We also offer a Reserve Aged standing rib roast during the winter months. These flavorful steaks and roasts are available only at Lunds & Byerlys. Stop by our meat and seafood department and try one for yourself!  Executive Chef Michael Selby real food 11

Lunds & Byerlys wine and spirits

Fall Cocktails Patio season may be over, but don’t give up on those fun happy hours yet! Here are some of our favorite autumnal cocktails to keep the party going well into the season.

Spiked Apple Cider MAKES 1 SERVING

Enjoy apple cider with a grown-up twist—a perfect cocktail for fall parties. To make: Combine a squeeze of honey and the juice from ½ lemon in a cocktail shaker. Mix until the honey dissolves. Add 2 ounces of spiced rum and a handful of ice. Shake again. Run a lemon wedge around the rim of a glass, and then dip the rim in Lunds & Byerlys Apple Pie Spice. Add ice to the glass and pour in the rum mixture. Top with apple cider and a splash of soda water.

Cinnamon Old Fashioned MAKES 1 SERVING

If you like Fireball Cinnamon Whisky Liqueur, you’ll love this deliciously sweet and spicy cocktail. To make: Juice fresh oranges for 3 ounces juice and make sure that seeds are removed. Mix 3 ounces Fireball Cinnamon Whisky Liqueur, 1½ ounces real maple syrup and the freshly squeezed orange juice in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a lowball or other glass and garnish with fresh orange peel.

Cider Sangria MAKES 6 TO 8 SERVINGS

Everyone’s favorite fruity summer cocktail just got a makeover for fall. To make: Chop 1 apple and 1 pear; add them to a pitcher. Slice 1 orange and add the slices to the pitcher. Next, add ⅓ cup triple sec, ¼ cup apple brandy, 1 cup apple cider and 1 (750 mL) bottle of dry rosé. Chill for 1 hour before serving.

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Lunds & Byerlys community support

Organic Farming Transition Grant Supporting local farms through their transition to an organic farm

Middendorf family Sauk Centre, Minnesota




ur country’s demand for organic food continues to rise as more and more of us seek foods produced by organic family farmers who work in harmony with nature without the use of antibiotics, synthetic hormones, pesticides or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). As demand rises, so does the need for more organic farms. In 2016, we partnered with Organic Valley, the nation’s largest farmer cooperative, to create the Lunds & Byerlys Organic Farming Transition Grant, which we award annually to support a Minnesota farm that is transitioning from conventional farming to organic. Converting a farm from conventional to organic is no easy task and often presents a financial hardship to the farmers. The process of transitioning a dairy farm to organic is unique compared to other livestock farms. Dairy animals are the only type of livestock that can undergo a transition if the animal was not born into an organic system. Due to this unique situation, the dairy farmer has to undergo two transitions: one for the land and one for the livestock. There is a 12-month transition period for dairy cows. This means dairy cows can become certified organic if they are man-

aged organically for one year. They must eat organic feed, live in conditions that support well-being and comfort, and receive zero treatment with any prohibited substances, such as antibiotics or growth hormones. Since organic cows must spend significant time on pasture (which they love!), that pasture also has to be certified organic—a process that takes three years for cropland. This proves to be complicated timing for a transitioning dairy farmer. Once again we partnered with Organic Valley to give out this year’s grant. Organic Valley matched our $6,000 donation, which allowed us to award $4,000 grants to three local farms. Our Organic Farming Transition Grants went to three dairy farming families in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. Brothers Randy, Donald and Alan Middendorf and their families have all been working toward organic certification since 2015 and anticipate becoming certified by the Minnesota Crop Improvement Association in September 2018.

When asked why they were interested in organic farming, Nancy Middendorf said, “Several years ago our children told us if they were going to be the fourth generation to take over the farm then the farm had to become organic. When we asked them why, they said they felt there was a better guarantee of steady income and producing better quality products. We were happy to convert our farm to organic and the grant helped us with needed fencing on the farm—and feeding hungry teenagers!” The Lunds & Byerlys Organic Farming Transition Grant will help grow the organic landscape in the Midwest by providing the necessary support our local farmers need to be certified organic. We are grateful to partner with Organic Valley in the effort, and overjoyed to be able to support local farmers.  real food 13

Lunds & Byerlys

what’s in store

REPUBLIC OF TEA SINGLE SIPS Republic of Tea Single Sips allow you to enjoy delicious beverages easily and conveniently, whether at home or on the go. Both varieties—turmeric and apple cider vinegar—are a healthy beverage choice that dissolves instantly in water.

Tip: Make your day golden by adding the turmeric Single Sip packet to water, lemonade, milk, nut milk, yogurt, oatmeal or smoothies. This spicy blend is rich and savory when enjoyed hot or cold.

PATH OF LIFE FROZEN SIDE DISHES Path of Life is a family-owned natural and organic frozen food company based in Chicago. Their frozen side dishes are microwavable and ready in just four minutes! Each side dish is created with clean, flavorful ingredients the whole family will love. Varieties include superfood pilaf, cauliflower fried rice, Mediterranean quinoa, roasted garlic cauliflower and Asian-style quinoa.

Did you know? Owners Jason Eckert and Scott Schmidt started Path of Life after family members were diagnosed with serious medical conditions. They saw the benefits of clean eating and wanted to provide more options for families like theirs.

JAR GOODS SAUCES Sisters-in-law Melissa and Laura Vitelli are the force behind Jar Goods tomato sauces. Their classic red sauce comes from their father-in-law’s recipe and starts with sweet vine-ripened tomatoes, nutty olive oil, and savory onions and garlic. Each of their simple, versatile sauces is made with quality ingredients and tastes just like homemade.

Tip: Use these sauces on your favorite pasta, serve warm with a fresh baguette, spread on a pizza, mix into a zesty seafood gumbo or spoon over fresh mozzarella.

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Lunds & Byerlys what’s in store

FOLLY COFFEE ROASTERS Locally roasted in Silver Lake, Minnesota, Folly Coffee produces small batch, single-origin craft coffee. Each batch is lightly roasted to enhance the natural flavor of the beans and is meant to bridge the gap between the coffee elite and the everyday “cup of Joe” coffee drinker.

Did you know? The name “Folly” comes from the nickname Minneapolis residents gave the Stone Arch Bridge, “Hill’s Folly,” which poked fun at the expensive project funded by James J. Hill.

BUTCHERS KITCHEN SEAFOOD STEAMERS Our new Butchers Kitchen Seafood Steamers are a convenient, hassle-free way to enjoy a healthy and delicious meal. Each bag contains fresh seafood–Atlantic salmon, L&B Jumbo Shrimp or tilapia; roasted fingerling potatoes or cilantro lime rice; and mixed veggies. Everything is topped with L&B signature seasonings for an extra flavor boost. To prepare, simply pop the BPA-free bag in the microwave and you have a quick, healthy meal in four minutes.

Did you know? All three Seafood Steamer varieties are made fresh in store and contain Responsibly Sourced seafood. Find them in the Meat & Seafood departments.

L&B CREAM PIES Our cream pies start with a flaky, tender crust and are filled with creamy custard or mousse and then topped with pure vanilla whipped cream, meringue or fresh berries. Flavors include key lime pie, French silk, Maui mango and peanut butter chocolate cream.

Did you know? New flavor alert! Maui mango features a melt-in-yourmouth mango custard topped with passionfruit whipped cream, while the peanut butter chocolate pie features a luscious peanut butter mousse that’s decadently adorned with whipped cream and chocolate drizzle. real food 15


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Minnesota family owned


Maple Syrup Loaded with antioxidants and minerals, real maple syrup is more than just a pancake topping BY KATIE BALLALATAK



mericans’ excessive sugar intake over the years has caused health-conscious food providers and consumers alike to pose the question: How can we sweeten our food without the extra additives, processing and artificial ingredients that are in so much of our food? Enter natural sugar alternatives including raw honey, stevia, molasses, agave and, of course, maple syrup. Maple syrup is praised as one of the most natural substitutes for refined sugar and artificial sweeteners because creating it does not involve much processing. It is made from the sap of two principal sugar maple trees—Sugar Maple (Acer saccarum) and Black Maple (Acer nigrum)—that heavily populate the northeastern and upper midwestern areas of the United States and Canada. Although the trees grow in other areas, the altitude, soil conditions and weather patterns in these parts of the world are necessary for maple syrup production. From January through April, also known as the sugaring season, sap is slowly collected from the trees with some form of a tap and bucket. It takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. Once the sap is collected, it is boiled down— real maple syrup is nothing but 100 percent boiled sap. In comparison, products called “breakfast syrup,” “pancake syrup” or simply “syrup” may only contain 2 or 3 percent real maple syrup or may rely solely on artificial maple flavor instead of using any maple syrup. Since maple syrup is 100 percent natural, it contains beneficial minerals. One serving (4 tablespoons) contains 8 percent of the daily values for calcium and zinc, 4 percent for magnesium, 5 percent for potassium, and 115 percent for manganese. With high levels of manganese especially, maple syrup is considered much healthier than granulated sugar and high fructose corn syrup. But, it is important to remember that maple syrup still contains sugar—and as with all sugar products—moderation is key. Maple syrup is graded based on its color and flavor— syrups light in color are usually produced early in the season when it’s colder, and darker syrups are produced later in the season. According to new international guidelines, all pure maple syrup available for retail purchase must be Grade A, and meet all quality, safety and syrup production regulations. Each Grade A maple syrup is then categorized by color and taste. Categories include Grade A, Golden Color,

Delicate Taste (recommended for baking) and Grade A, Amber Color, Rich Taste (good for pancakes). The two darker Grade A syrups—Dark Color, Robust Taste and Very Dark Color, Strong Taste—are known for their bolder flavors. This grading system allows consumers to easily discern which taste they prefer. Replacing sugar with maple syrup is easier than you might think. Try substituting sugar with maple syrup the next time you make cookies, muffins or bread. Maple syrup is also a good sweetener for oatmeal, berries, yogurt and granola, and it is a delicious part of sauces, marinades and salad dressings. For cooking and baking, however, conversion is important. Every 1 cup of granulated sugar should be substituted with 3/4 cup of maple syrup. And, since a liquid is replacing a solid, liquid ingredients like water, milk and juice should be reduced by about 2 to 4 tablespoons. Don’t reduce an ingredient that could alter the flavor or texture of a recipe. Water, milk and juice should be altered before oil or eggs. Baking temperatures should be lowered by 25 degrees Fahrenheit since maple syrup caramelizes differently and higher temperatures may cause burning. One thing’s for sure—no matter how you choose to integrate maple syrup into your food plan, your dishes and baked goods are bound to be healthier and just as sweet. 

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healthy habits

A Superfood Spectrum Enjoy a rainbow of foods and a wealth of nutrition


ale, dragon fruit, avocados … The list of superfoods goes on and on. But that’s not a bad thing. There is no quantitative, enforced definition of a superfood: All that matters is the nutritional and health value you get per calorie. For instance, some people consider the everyday raw carrot a super food because a cup of them contains 3.1 grams of dietary fiber and an astounding 428 percent of your daily recommended value of vitamin A, which helps the immune system, red blood cell development and eyesight. “A lot of time guests [who join the Mayo Clinic’s Healthy Living Program] will ask questions about ‘What are the new superfoods?’” Mayo Clinic dietitian Angie Murad says. “We don’t necessarily use that [term] because it changes over time and it may be more trendy-type foods. Those types of foods typically have a lot of health benefits; it’s just they may change over time.” Superfoods are chock-full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Besides vitamin A, vitamin C is most known for its longterm benefits to immune system health. Vitamin B has a host of types and health benefits, including digestive aid, muscle and nerve functions, and metabolism and hormone regulations. Its different forms can be found in a wide variety of foods such as almonds, cauliflower, whole grains and berries. Vitamin K is another frequent superfood nutrient, and it helps with blood clotting and metabolism and efficiency. While you may be familiar with minerals like calcium and potassium, other common superfood minerals include manganese, which helps boost metabolism and build connective tissue; magnesium for energy and muscle and nerve impulse functions; and zinc, which is involved in almost every chemical reaction in the body. Many minerals are found in protein-rich foods, and zinc is the same. It is most prevalent in oysters, but you can also find it in chicken or red meat as well as beans, seeds, mushrooms, whole grains and fortified cereals. Magnesium is often found in

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green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds. Manganese is found in a variety of similar plant foods such as spinach, nuts and beans plus foods like raspberries and sweet potatoes. One of the key words you hear related to superfoods is “antioxidant.” Antioxidants mainly come in the form of vitamins, enzymes and phytochemicals such as carotenoids and flavonoids, and they are most common in plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, spices and even whole grains. They help the body combat conditions such as inflammation, high blood pressure, and even heart disease and cancer that occur as cells age. While you can think about healthy eating more within this superfood framework, the bottom line is to eat natural, whole foods. Do that, and you’ll find yourself eating plenty of superfoods. Or, if it’s easier, start adding superfoods, and you’ll start eating natural, whole foods that will improve your diet. Superfoods are still a relatively new concept—Murad says they started gaining popularity in the 1990s—but even if, say, turmeric doesn’t prevent or treat Alzheimer’s disease or alleviate arthritis pain as much as it has been hyped up to do, it still has proven antioxidant capabilities and, by sprinkling it on your foods, you can also cut down on your salt intake.

REACH FOR THE RAINBOW An easy way to increase your intake of superfoods and healthy foods is to “eat the rainbow.” “Whenever you have brightly colored fruits and vegetables, those are indicators that there are different phytonutrients in them, or antioxidants, so they can all help decrease incidents in chronic diseases,” Murad says. Blue/Violet: Believe it or not, we do have blue and violet foods, or at least blue and violet enough for the rainbow. The former mostly consists of blueberries, which are rich in antioxidants, fiber, manganese, and vitamins C and K. Violet is loosely



GO GREEN Salads are a go-to healthy meal, and each green leaf has its own benefits. Check out five greens that can add a surprising amount of taste to your meals: Arugula: With its peppery flavor, arugula can make for a robust salad or a flavorful garnish. Cooking it does not reduce its nutritional value, so other common ways to eat it include sautéeing the leaves or adding them to pesto. The smaller the leaf, the less intense the flavor. Two cups of raw arugula have only 10 calories, but they are rich in vitamins A, C and K as well as calcium, folate and antioxidants.

considered to be foods like blackberries, beets, plums, figs and prunes, and you can often find them full of copper, antioxidants, iron, and vitamins A and K. Green: We all know leafy greens are good for us (see Go Green at right), but other greens such as broccoli, cucumbers and peas provide the same nutrients including calcium, zinc, iron, and vitamins A, K and B. Orange: Carrots, sweet potatoes, mangos and pumpkins are full of vitamins A and B and potassium plus selenium, which helps protect cells from harmful mutations. Red: Fruits and vegetables like strawberries, tomatoes and cherries are often high in vitamins A and C, manganese, zinc, and protein—yes, even a cup of cubed watermelon has 1 gram of protein. Yellow: Pineapples, lemons, squash and peaches (which are somewhat yellow) have manganese, magnesium, and vitamins A, B and C as well as antioxidants and characteristics that aid immune system, cell and cholesterol health. White: Even white is considered a color, although it’s not the most unified group. With mushrooms and—straying a little from white to brown—oats and barley, enjoy the dosage of beta-glucans and lignans that often accompany their consumption, which have been linked to aid with high cholesterol and heart disease prevention. Bananas have vitamin B6, potassium and vitamin C, and pears contain vitamin C, copper and fiber. So whether you choose to eat the rainbow or stock your pantry with other superfoods, you can’t go wrong as long as you mix it up and mind your serving sizes. After all, many natural and unprocessed foods are super in some way. 

Cabbage: While cabbage is often cooked, you get the most of its vitamin C (about 32 percent of your daily recommended value) and folate when it’s eaten raw. In a cup of shredded cabbage, there is 85 percent of your daily value of vitamin K, 54 percent of your daily vitamin C, other vitamins, 2.2 grams of dietary fiber, antioxidants and minerals like calcium, manganese and potassium. Chard: Chard’s leaves are much larger than its spinach relative, and it has a bounty of benefits. One cup has 374 percent of your daily value of vitamin K, 44 percent of your daily vitamin A, and plenty of antioxidants in a mere 6.8 calories. No less than 10 minerals are in chard as well. Try to avoid boiling the chard and sauté instead. If you are including the stems, allow them to cook first as they take longer. Endive: When you choose endive leaves for your salad or other dishes, remember the darker outer leaves are more bitter than the lighter ones nearer the plant’s head. Two cups of chopped endives are rich in vitamins such as A and K as well as folate and a suite of minerals. For instance, you can get 5 percent of your daily values of calcium, iron, zinc and copper, plus 9 percent of the potassium you need and 21 percent of the manganese. Mustard Greens: This encompasses a few types such as brown and leaf mustards. All share a peppery taste (some people liken Chinese mustard more to horseradish than pepper). One hundred grams of raw mustard greens contains 117 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C, 60 percent of your vitamin A, some iron and calcium, and 13 percent of your daily dietary fiber. If you want less of its distinct taste, mix it with milder greens or use them as garnishes.

Always consult your doctor if you have health concerns or before making any major dietary changes.

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A Dish to Pass Be the hit of the party with a decidedly different dish in hand BY SERENA BASS


f you volunteer to take on the main course for a potluck dinner, you don’t have to resort to the same-old go-tos every time. The main courses here take

a bit of time but are so well worth it once you see everyone digging in with smiles on their faces. They are all easy to transport, and the only problem is that once you make one of these fantastic dishes, you’ll be the person everyone turns to in the future–no easy pasta salads for you.


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Chicken Marsala, Prosciutto and Wild Rice Casserole MAKES 14 SERVINGS (1 THIGH PER PERSON)

This braised chicken pairs wonderfully with the texture of wild rice, and the parsley and lemon mixed in freshen the whole dish. For the Wild Rice 1 pound wild rice 1 cup diced yellow onion (about 1 medium onion) 1/3 cup (3 ounces) unsalted butter ½ teaspoon salt 3 cups chicken stock 1 cup water 1 tablespoon minced (not grated), lemon zest ½ cup minced parsley For the Chicken 14 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat 1 cup flour 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/3 cup olive oil (or more as needed) 8 ounces fresh porcini mushrooms, sliced ¼-inch thick 2 large portobello mushroom caps, sliced ¼-inch thick and then across once 8 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, roughly chopped 1 cup sweet Marsala wine (or Madiera) 3 cups chicken stock 1/3 cup lemon juice 1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley 1. Prepare the rice: Rinse the wild rice in cold water. Bring 5½ cups water to a boil. Add the rice and simmer for 5 minutes only. Remove from the heat and leave to soak in the same water (covered) for 1 hour. After soaking, drain the rice and set aside. 2. While the rice is soaking, shortly before the end of the hour, melt the butter in a 5-quart saucepan with lid and sauté the onions with the salt until soft but not brown.

3. Add the soaked rice, stir to coat, and then add the chicken stock and 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer and cook half covered for about 40 minutes or until there is only ½ cup liquid remaining. Add the lemon zest and parsley and stir. Set aside. 4. For the chicken: Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 325°F. 5. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, salt and pepper. 6. In a large pan, heat the oil to medium-hot. While it is heating, dip the thighs in the flour and then, in batches, sauté 4 minutes on each side, until golden. Set aside. 7. In the same pan and the same oil, sauté porcini and portobello mushrooms with an extra pinch of salt over high heat until slightly caramelized, about 8 to 10 minutes. 8. Add the prosciutto and stir to separate the prosciutto slices. Add the marsala, stock and lemon juice. Stir together well and then tuck in all the chicken. 9. Either braise in the oven at 350°F or cover the pan and set over low heat on the stovetop. Cook, turning the thighs every 15 minutes, for 45 minutes. Transfer to a casserole dish or 9x13-inch pan, fold in the prepared wild rice, and dust with parsley before serving. 10. If reheating from room temperature once you arrive at your get-together, it should take about 20 minutes (covered) if in a 9x13-inch pan at 350°F (time will vary in deeper casserole pan) or if transferred to a nonstick pot over medium heat on the stove. Alternately, you could microwave the wild rice on its own and then add to chicken when hot. Cook’s Notes: • To serve the rice on its own as a side, leave more like 1/3 cup of liquid in the rice. It can also pair well with fish, lamb or beef. • You may have rice remaining after folding it in with chicken. Reserve the balance and serve as a separate side dish.

HOSTING A POTLUCK DINNER? If you are the host of the potluck dinner and make one of these main dishes, with a small element of control you can organize a wonderful meal and prevent everyone from bringing the same types of side dishes and desserts. Create a menu listing the number of carbohydrates, sides and salads your group will need and leave the choice to them. Then when friends email back, filling in one of the spots, you will fill in the blanks and send out the email again to everyone, so they can see what’s left to make. Or, do a Google Doc. Eventually, all the spaces will be filled and everyone feels up to making what they have agreed to bring. Have people bring their food in the dish they want to serve it in, or you might be scrambling for platters at the last minute.

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Shepherd’s Pie MAKES 10 SERVINGS

This is the best Shepherd’s Pie I have ever tasted—hopefully for you as well! Try to find Yukon Gold potatoes, which have a wonderful buttery flavor and smooth finish. The beef stock cubes have an excellent beef flavor and give instant depth to the final mixture. For the Potatoes 8 large potatoes, preferably Yukon Gold ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter 2 cups half-and-half 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper salt, for cooking water plus to taste For the Meat Filling 2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms 1/3 cup vegetable oil 3 cups diced onion, cut in ½-inch dice (about 3 medium onions) 2 large carrots, cut in medium-small dice 3 cups diced celery 3 teaspoons salt, divided 2 tablespoons crushed garlic 31/2 pounds ground beef chuck (at room temperature) ½ cup flour 3 bay leaves 3 tablespoons tomato paste 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes pepper, to taste 2 cups red wine 2 beef stock cubes ½ cup minced parsley 1. Prepare the potatoes: Peel the potatoes. Cut straight across in ¾-inch slices. Put in pan and just cover with well-salted water, simmering until the point a knife enters easily when tested. (Don’t boil the potatoes furiously or the outsides will be cooked and start disintegrating before the inside is cooked.) 2. Shortly before potatoes are done cooking, put the half-and-half and butter in a pan over low heat until butter is melted. 3. When the potatoes are done, strain well and then immediately put into the bowl of a standing electric mixer, using the paddle beater, not the whisk (see Cook’s Notes). 4. Start mixer on low, breaking up the potatoes, and then increase the speed and mash. Slowly add the warm half-and-half mixture— don’t add all if mash might become too soft—and then add the salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning. 5. While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the filling. Put the porcini mushrooms in a small deep bowl with 1½ cups of hot water. Leave to soak for 10 minutes. 6. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pan. Add the onions, carrots, celery and 1 teaspoon of the salt and cook over high heat until slightly softened and starting to caramelize, about 20 minutes. Add the garlic and stir.

7. While the vegetables are cooking, line a sieve with paper towel and set the sieve over a bowl. Pour the porcini and their water into the paper towel. Squeeze the towel carefully over the bowl to extract all the liquid. Rinse the porcini under running water, press dry, and then chop roughly. Set the mushrooms and porcini water aside. 8. Crumble the meat into the pan, breaking up each handful with a wooden spoon or flat-bottomed wooden spatula before adding the next handful. Cook until there is no pink visible and no lumps. 9. Sprinkle in the flour and stir to incorporate. Add the reserved porcini and porcini water, the bay leaves, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, remaining 2 teaspoons salt, the pepper, the red wine, and then crumble in the stock cubes. Bring to a slow simmer over medium heat and cook, uncovered, stir about 1 minute or until the mixture has thickened. Lower the heat and cook, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then remove the cover and cook for another 30 minutes, still stirring occasionally as the mixture becomes thicker, the more easily it can burn on the bottom. 10. To assemble, position a rack in the middle of the oven and put a rimmed baking sheet on the shelf. Preheat the oven to 375°F. 11. Lightly grease an ovenproof casserole that is wide rather than deep such as an oval ceramic gratin type dish or a 9x13-inch pan and add the meat filling (it will work a little better if the meat is cool and the potatoes still warm). Spoon the mash in polka dot fashion over the surface and then use two forks to spread and cover the meat mixture evenly to edges of dish. Feel free to rough up the surface of the potatoes after you’re done distributing them to add some texture. 12. Put the casserole on the baking sheet and bake for 45 to 60 minutes in the preheated oven or until the top is a dark golden brown and bubbling up at the edges. Cook’s Notes: • If you don’t have a standing electric mixer, you can use a potato masher, hand-held electric mixer, a mouli grater or a potato ricer to mash the potatoes. • You can make the whole pie ahead and freeze; just allow for a full 24 hours in the refrigerator to defrost before baking the pie. You can also make only the meat filling, freeze it and then defrost overnight in the refrigerator before making and adding the potatoes on top and proceeding with the dish. • For transport, the pie should be tepid, not hot. It will only take about 20 minutes in a 350°F oven to bring it back to bubbling. • To serve, try frozen baby green peas (baby is important!), quickly cooked in unsalted water, drained very well and served with a good blob of room temperature butter stirred through, a scattering of Maldon salt and a handful of minced fresh mint. A mixed green salad with Dijon Vinaigrette also makes a nice accompaniment.

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Wine Marinated Pork Fillets with Poached Prunes

Prunes Poached in Earl Grey and Wine, then Roasted



This is kind of an exciting recipe as it has been adapted from a cookbook first written in the 1600s. You will smell the aromas of time-tested flavors as the marinade simmers. If there is any left over, the pork makes a wonderful sandwich with grainy, whole-wheat bread and peach or mango chutney or just some squashed prunes. Note that the poached prunes need to be prepped the night before—but they keep in the fridge for months so you could make them way ahead.

Adding the lemon zest after the prunes are simmered imparts an amazing new level of fresh citrus flavor, more than if the lemon zest had been simmered with the prunes.

For the Marinade 2 shallots, sliced 1/2 cup red wine vinegar 2 cups red wine (a full-bodied Merlot or Shiraz) 3 bay leaves 1 tablespoon juniper berries, roughly chopped 5 sprigs Italian parsley 3 sprigs fresh thyme 2 teaspoons black peppercorns 2 pork tenderloin fillets (about 1 to 11/2 pounds each) salt and freshly ground black pepper olive oil for sautéing sage leaves, for garnish


1. Prepare poached prunes (recipe at right). 2. Put all the marinade ingredients in a medium, non-reactive pan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes then set aside to cool completely. 3. Wash and dry the pork filets and put them in a bag with the marinade for up to 6 hours. 4. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375ºF. 5. Remove the pork from the marinade, pat dry and dust with salt and pepper. Heat a pan or a high-sided saucepan for less splattering, add the olive oil, and brown the fillets on all sides. 6. Put the filets and the Prunes Poached in Earl Grey and Wine on a greased sheet pan and roast for 10 to 15 minutes or until the pork is still a little pink in the middle. Set aside to rest for 15 minutes. Bear in mind the meat will continue to cook a little as it rests. 7. Slice straight across the fillet, not diagonally, and arrange on a platter with the prunes. 8. Put a few sage leaves under the meat at a corner for decoration and chop a couple of sage leaves to scatter over the whole platter.

CHICKEN MARSALA & WILD RICE CASSEROLE: PER SERVING: CALORIES 408 (138 from fat); FAT 16g (sat. 5g); CHOL 105mg; SODIUM 463mg; CARB 38g; FIBER 3g; PROTEIN 29g

3 cups water 3 Earl Grey tea bags 1/3 cup sugar 3 cups full-bodied red wine 2 pounds juicy pitted prunes 8 strips lemon zest removed with a peeler

1. In a medium pan, bring the water to a boil. Add the tea bags and sugar, stir to melt the sugar and set aside for 5 minutes to steep. Press the bags a couple of times to extract the flavor, then remove the tea bags. 2. Add the wine and bring back to a boil then add the prunes. Simmer gently for about 20 minutes and then set aside to cool. 3. Add the lemon zest and push the prunes under the liquid. Cover and leave overnight in the refrigerator. 4. To roast these prunes, position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 375ºF. 5. Remove as many prunes as you need, pat dry and toss with a little olive oil to lightly coat. Scatter on a sheet pan and cook for about 20 minutes. Loosen as soon as you remove them from the oven or they’ll stick. Serve with the Wine Marinated Pork Fillets. Cook’s Note: These prunes could also be served with savory or sweet dishes—all options are equally divine. To serve the prunes as a savory side, you can scatter a little salt and freshly ground black pepper on them. Also serve with roast chicken. If they are for a dessert, I dust the tops with sugar before roasting, often adding a little black pepper just for fun, and serve them a la mode or with rice pudding. If serving with ice cream or with pound cake, include one (or half) a strip of soaked lemon zest as it tastes so unusual. They will last for approximately 6 months stored in their cooking liquid in the refrigerator, pre-roasting. Remove as needed, pat dry and then roast. 

SHEPHERD’S PIE: PER SERVING: CALORIES 723 (377 from fat); FAT 42g (sat. 19g); CHOL 150mg; SODIUM 1514mg; CARB 50g; FIBER 7g; PROTEIN 36g


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Back Pocket Recipes Five go-to recipes plus cooking techniques every grown-up should know BY ROY FINAMORE


here are things grown-ups (no matter what age) should know how to do in the kitchen. Some are simple dishes; others are

cooking skills and tricks that make a good dish great. When we have these recipes and skills in our back pocket, we can be sure our friends will be happy and satisfied when they come for dinner and we can start feeding ourselves a little better, too. The recipes are as easy as a quick dish of pasta or the perfect steak. Tender fish encased in a crisp crust is much easier to achieve than you might think, too. Pair it with some sliced tomatoes, and you’ve got a terrific dinner. Roast chicken with a three-ingredient pan sauce is classic “bonne femme” cooking—something every French grown-up knows how to make. And we all should master at least one showoff dish. Here it’s rosy pork tenderloin with a moist stuffing.


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The Very Best Steak with Lemon-Thyme Butter

Spaghetti Pomodoro with Italian Sausages



When you have made the investment in a beautiful thick steak, you want to be sure it comes out right. This method—starting the steaks in a low oven and then browning them stovetop—ensures a perfect crust and an evenly cooked, tender steak. The butter? Well, that’s called gilding the lily.

Unless it has meat in it, tomato sauce shouldn’t cook for hours. This is the simplest, purest of sauces, and you can have dinner ready in nearly the time it takes to boil water and cook spaghetti.

For the Steaks 2 (2-inch thick) New York strip or boneless rib-eye steaks (about 2 pounds total weight) 1½ teaspoons kosher salt freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil 1. Put the butter, thyme, zest, salt and pepper in a small bowl and beat with a fork until well mixed. Add the lemon juice and beat again. Transfer to a ramekin, cover with plastic wrap, and leave at room temperature for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to meld. 2. Set a rack on a rimmed baking sheet. 3. Season the steaks all over with the salt and pepper. Be generous. Set them on the rack and leave on the counter for 1 hour. 4. Preheat the oven to 200ºF. 5. Slide the steaks—on the rack over the baking sheet—into the oven and slow-roast for 17 minutes (for rare) or 20 minutes (for medium-rare). 6. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes (a few drops of water should skitter across the surface before evaporating). Add the grapeseed oil and the steaks. Brown the top, bottom and sides for 2 minutes each. Lean the steaks against the side of the skillet if they don’t stand up by themselves. Put the steaks back on the rack, tent with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. 7. Slice the steaks against the grain, arrange on a platter, and dot with as much butter as you would like. Serve right away.


• Size matters in this recipe. For success, the steaks must be 2 inches thick.

• Meat doesn’t come to “room temperature” when you leave it out on the counter for an hour, but the chill does come off, and it will cook more evenly.

• You can make the lemon-thyme butter in advance and refrigerate it, but bring it to room temperature before serving. If it’s cold, it won’t melt on the steak.

• If you want to serve the steak as a Tuscan would, skip the butter and drizzle the sliced steak with your best olive oil and give it a good squirt of lemon juice. 30 real food fall 2018

1. Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Prick the sausages all over with the tip of a paring knife. When the oil shimmers, add the peeled garlic and sausages. Cook, turning them as necessary, until the sausages are browned all over and just cooked through, about 15 minutes. When garlic browns, discard it. Remove the skillet from heat. 2. Meanwhile, put a large pot of water on to boil over high heat. 3. Put the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and the minced garlic in a 12-inch skillet. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook until the garlic barely starts to turn gold, about 1 minute. Add the crushed tomatoes. Rinse the can with the water and add it to the skillet along with the bay leaf, a pinch of crushed red pepper, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer, and then turn the heat down to low. 4. When the water comes to a boil, season it with 2 tablespoons salt. Add the spaghetti and cook it until it is about 1 minute shy of al dente. 5. Turn the heat under the sauce up to high and discard the bay leaf. Use tongs to transfer the spaghetti to the sauce and add ¼ cup of the pasta water. Use tongs to stir the spaghetti into the sauce, lifting it up to separate the strands as you stir. If the sauce is very thick, add a little more pasta water. Cook for 1 minute. 6. Divide the spaghetti among 4 pasta bowls, add a sausage to each bowl, and serve immediately. Pasta waits for no one. Pass the cheese at the table.


• Older garlic cloves will have a sprout in the center, and it’s bitter. So cut garlic cloves in half and pull out the green sprout before you mince them.

• Chefs use a paring knife to mince garlic, but it’s easier to smash garlic with the flat of a chef’s knife, add a pinch of salt, and then chop. Press down with the flat of your knife, pulling it across the garlic and crushing it with the knife. Chop and crush again and again until you almost have a paste.


For the Butter 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened 1 tablespoon minced thyme leaves 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

6 tablespoons olive oil, divided 4 sweet Italian sausages 3 good-sized garlic cloves (1 only peeled and 2 minced) 1 (28-ounce) can crushed plum tomatoes ½ cup water 1 bay leaf crushed hot red pepper flakes kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1 pound spaghetti freshly grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese, for serving


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Chicken-Fried Tilapia with Tartar Sauce MAKES 4 SERVINGS

The buttermilk marinade gives otherwise-bland tilapia a bit of zing, and mixing cornstarch and flour gives you a satisfyingly crisp coating. Unlike with fried chicken, you don’t need a vat of oil for frying. If you can, get the fish marinating in the morning. For the Tartar Sauce ¼ cup yellow mustard seeds ¼ cup white wine vinegar 1 teaspoon sugar 1 cup mayonnaise ½ cup sweet relish (or India relish) 2 teaspoons capers, drained 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


For the Fish 1 cup buttermilk ¼ cup minced scallions 3 tablespoons minced dill 2 tablespoons minced cilantro 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest 1 teaspoon Vietnamese chili garlic sauce 4 (7- to 8-ounce) tilapia fillets kosher salt, to taste 1 cup all-purpose flour ½ cup cornstarch canola oil, for frying 1. Prepare the tartar sauce: Put the mustard seeds, vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 1 minute. Take the pan off the heat and cool. The mustard seeds will continue to absorb the vinegar. 2. Mix the mayonnaise, relish, capers, lemon juice and 1½ tablespoons of the cooled mustard seeds together in a small bowl. (You will have leftover mustard seeds; see Things to Know at right.) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve it. It will keep up to 3 days so could be made ahead. 3. For the fish: Use a 2-cup measuring cup to measure the buttermilk. Add the scallions, dill, cilantro, lemon zest and chili garlic sauce and whisk. Pour into a 1-gallon sealable plastic bag. 4. Cut the tilapia down the center and trim off the bloodline. Season the fish on both sides with salt and add to the plastic bag. Seal the bag, squeezing out the air, and massage the fish, making sure all the pieces are covered with the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 10 hours.

5. Set a cooling rack over a large rimmed baking sheet. 6. Whisk the flour and cornstarch together in a shallow bowl. 7. Dredge the fish in the flour coating—no need to let excess marinade drip off—pressing down to make sure the fish is coated thoroughly and generously. Once floured, set the fish on the rack. 8. Pour ¼ inch of canola oil into a cast-iron skillet and turn the heat to medium-high. When the oil is ready for frying (see Things to Know) add the thick pieces, in batches if necessary. Fry for 2 minutes, and then turn and fry for 1½ minutes. You will have a golden crust. Put them back on the rack to drain. Fry the thin pieces for 1½ minutes, and then turn and fry for 45 seconds. Yes, you’ll have a golden crust. Drain on the rack. 9. Give each diner 1 thick and 1 thin piece of fish. Pass the tartar sauce.


• There are a few ways of testing when oil is ready for frying. It will be almost smoking; a pinch of flour flicked into the oil will sizzle instantly. But I think the best way is to press the handle of a wooden spoon into the center of the skillet. If a circle of bubbles appears immediately, the oil is ready.

• When you add the fish to the oil, set the end closer to you down first. That way, if there’s a spatter it will hit the stove and not you.

• Draining the fish on a rack lets any excess oil drip off and prevents the fish from steaming and ruining the crisp crust you have made.

• The smell of fried fish can linger. To prevent it, put a little bowl of bleach on the counter. If you’re forgetful, put a piece of tape across the top of the bowl to remind you that it’s not water.

• You will have leftover mustard seeds, which will keep in the refrigerator for months. Add them to egg salad or tuna salad, stir them into sauces, or mix some with prepared mustard for hot dogs.

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34 real food fall 2018

Mustard Roast Chicken with Honeyed Onions MAKES 4 SERVINGS

Mustard gives this chicken a sharp, deeply browned crust, and the pan sauce—which comes together in minutes—adds just a bit of richness. Sweet onions are the perfect accompaniment. For the Chicken 1 (3½-pound) chicken kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste grapeseed oil 4 tablespoons extra strong Dijon mustard 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, crushed in a mortar and pestle 8 thyme sprigs For the Sauce ½ cup dry vermouth ½ cup heavy cream 1 teaspoon extra-strong Dijon mustard For the Onions 4 medium (7 to 8 ounces each) yellow onions 2 tablespoons olive oil kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 2 tablespoons honey ½ teaspoon chopped thyme leaves 1. Pat the chicken dry inside and out with paper towels. Tuck the wing tips under the back. Season the chicken liberally inside and out with salt and pepper. Set the chicken on a plate and refrigerate uncovered for 8 hours. 2. Take the chicken out of the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for 30 minutes. 3. Meanwhile, set oven racks in the center and lowest positions of the oven and preheat to 400ºF. Lightly oil a cast-iron skillet with grapeseed oil. 4. Blot the chicken back dry. Mix 4 tablespoons of the mustard with the coriander and slather it all over the chicken. Put the thyme sprigs in the cavity and set the chicken in the skillet. Set the skillet on the center rack in the preheated oven and roast until the chicken is rich golden brown and the juices run clear, 1 hour. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let it rest 10 minutes before carving. 5. Pour off any fat and put the skillet back on the stove over medium-high heat. Pour in the vermouth and bring to a boil, stirring to release any browned bits. Reduce the vermouth by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the cream and boil until the sauce thickens and reduces slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the 1 teaspoon mustard. Strain the sauce if you feel like being fancy.

6. While the chicken roasts, line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. 7. Cut the onions in half through the root. Trim off the root ends and pull off any loose onion skin. Put the onions in a bowl and toss with the oil and salt and pepper to taste. Arrange cut side down on the baking sheet and roast on the bottom rack in the preheated oven until rich brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Pull off the skins and the top layer of onion if it’s dried out. Turn the onions cut side up and drizzle with the honey. Scatter on the thyme and keep warm at the back of the stove. 8. Carve the chicken and arrange it on a platter with the onions. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve.


• Seasoning chicken well in advance gives the salt a chance to work its way well into the flesh, and the result is the juiciest, most tender chicken imaginable. If you have the time, salt it 24 hours in advance. Your next option is in the morning, before you head out to work. Failing that, salt the chicken 1 hour ahead and leave it on the counter.

• Crushing the coriander seeds unleashes their aromatic oils and mines the mustard with tiny flavor bombs.

• Lining the baking sheet ensures all that beautiful caramelization is with the onions, not on the pan.

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Pork Tenderloin with Sausage and Oyster Stuffing MAKES 4 TO 6 SERVINGS


Stuffed roasts are great presentation pieces that are sure to impress your guests. While they take a little time to prep, all the work is simple. The oysters bring an ocean freshness to the stuffing, which complements the sweetness of the pork. 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 sweet Italian sausage (about 4 ounces), casing removed ½ cup chopped onion ½ cup chopped celery kosher salt, to taste 2 cups cubed (1/3 inch) baguette 2 teaspoons minced sage 12 good-sized oysters (Wellfleet, Wianno, Blue Point), shucked with liquor reserved 2 tablespoons chopped flatleaf parsley 2 pork tenderloins (2¼ to 2½ pounds total weight) freshly ground black pepper 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil

to seal in the stuffing as you tie. Tuck the ends over each other and secure with small bamboo skewers. Season the outside with salt and pepper. 6. Heat the grapeseed oil in a heavy, ovenproof 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add the pork and sauté until golden all over, 2 minutes per side. 7. Slide the skillet into the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the stuffing registers 135ºF, about 30 minutes. Transfer the pork to a cutting board, tent it with foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes. 8. Carve into ½-inch slices, arrange on a platter, and serve.

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. 2. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, crumble in the sausage and cook, stirring constantly at the beginning to break the sausage up into small crumbles, until the sausage is just starting to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the onion and celery, season with a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the sage and cook for 30 seconds. 3. Take the skillet off the heat and stir in the bread cubes. Pour 1/3 cup oyster liquor over the bread and stir in thoroughly. Give the oysters a quick chop and stir them into the stuffing with the parsley. Let the stuffing sit while you prep the pork. 4. Trim the silverskin and any visible fat from the tenderloins. Make a lengthwise cut down the center of the tenderloins, going about three-quarters of the way through. Place each tenderloin between sheets of plastic wrap and pound to just under ½ inch thick. It should be about 12 x 7 inches. 5. Set one of the tenderloins cut side up on your work surface and season with salt and pepper. Mound the stuffing onto the pork, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides. Season the cut side of the other tenderloin with salt and pepper and place it over the stuffing. Tuck it close to the stuffing leaving that 1-inch border on the bottom tenderloin. Use thick cotton twine to tie the tenderloins together snugly every 2 inches, lifting the bottom one up

the hinge, hold the oysters over a small bowl as you remove the top shell and scrape the oyster and liquor into the bowl. Cover and refrigerate.

VERY BEST STEAK W. LEMON-THYME BUTTER: PER SERVING: CALORIES 431 (282 from fat); FAT 32g (sat. 16g); CHOL 156mg; SODIUM 617mg; CARB 0g; FIBER 0g; PROTEIN 37g

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SPAGHETTI POMODORO: PER SERVING: CALORIES 999 (393 from fat); FAT 44g (sat. 11g); CHOL 43mg; SODIUM 1331mg; CARB 114g; FIBER 10g; PROTEIN 36g


• You can shuck the oysters early in the day. After you’ve popped

• You can substitute canned oysters (but not smoked ones) for the fresh. Add clam juice if you don’t have enough oyster liquor.

• If you want to skip the oysters, replace the oyster liquor with chicken stock.

• Silverskin, the shimmery membrane you’ll see on part of the tenderloin, will be impossibly tough if you cook it. To remove it, slip a paring knife under the center and cut with a sawing motion and the knife angled up slightly to the end, and then hold the silverskin and cut in the other direction. No need to remove it all in one piece; just try to lose as little meat as possible.

• Tenderloins aren’t perfectly round. Cut them through the thickest part.

• Use thick cotton twine to tie the roast. Thin kitchen string cuts into the meat. 

CHICKEN-FRIED TILAPIA W. TARTAR SAUCE: PER SERVING: CALORIES 855 (511 from fat); FAT 57g (sat. 9g); CHOL 112mg; SODIUM 756mg; CARB 41g; FIBER 2g; PROTEIN 46g

MUSTARD ROAST CHICKEN: PER SERVING: CALORIES 690 (364 from fat); FAT 41g (sat. 13g); CHOL 185mg; SODIUM 551mg; CARB 29g; FIBER 4g; PROTEIN 51g



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A Fall-Inspired Meal Plan Plan ahead, shop once and set yourself up for a week of delicious homemade dinners and some bonus lunches BY ROBIN ASBELL


all often feels like it is “back to business as usual” after summer’s vacations and laid-back vibe. If kids are in the picture, extracurricular activities may also ramp up, causing you to think of

takeout options for dinner. However, making meals at home is more approachable than you might realize. Plus, this is harvest time, when squash, sweet potatoes, apples and all the end-of-summer produce is at its best to make delicious dishes. The best way to have crave-worthy, homemade meals is to plan ahead, shop once and set yourself up for the week. With this plan, you have three lovely meals and three lovable lunches or light dinners— all cooked in three kitchen sessions. If you plan it right, you can cook on the night you’re home and have an easy night on soccer or book club night. I’m not talking about leftovers, although those are good, too. I’m talking about cooking enough meat to make two separate, distinct meals. Life is too short to live on takeout.


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40 real food fall 2018


The slow cooker is the perfect way to cook chicken breasts to buttery softness and make a savory soup at the same time. You will need a 6- to 8-quart slow cooker for this since you are making extra chicken for sandwiches. 6 chicken breast halves, on the bone if ¾-pound each package or 4 if 1-pound each, skinned 1 medium onion, chopped 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped 2 ribs celery, chopped 1/2 cup farro (See Cook’s Note) 2 stems fresh rosemary 1 large lemon, zest pared off 2 large bay leaf 1/2 cup white wine 4 cups chicken stock 1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped salt and pepper, to taste 1. Strip all the skin from the chicken breasts and discard. In a large slow cooker, put the onion, carrots, celery, farro, rosemary, lemon zest strip, bay leaf, wine and stock. Place the chicken in the pot bone down, and press to submerge as much as possible. Cover the pot and cook on high for 5 hours, or low for 7 hours. 2. Uncover the pot and carefully transfer the chicken to a large bowl. Remove and discard the rosemary, lemon zest and bay leaf. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull 4 cups of it for the chicken sandwiches and reserve by placing in a sealed container or plastic bag in refrigerator for up to 3 days. Pull the rest and shred and tear into bite-sized pieces, and return to the soup. Add parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Cook’s Note: Farro is an Italian variety of wheat available whole or pearled. Either will be delicious in this recipe. Whole farro will be firmer, and pearled will be softer.

Chicken, Olive and Red Pepper Sandwiches MAKES 4 LARGE SANDWICHES

Now that you have the chicken prepared, you can dress it up with a few easy ingredients for a sandwich you’ll look forward to all morning. Or, it could be a quick-and-easy dinner.

4 6-inch hoagie rolls or 1 wide baguette cut in 6-inch pieces 4 cups cooked pulled chicken (from Chicken, Rosemary and Farro Soup recipe) 1/4 cup olivada or other black olive paste (See Cook’s Note) 1 cup (7.5-ounce jar) roasted red pepper, drained and patted dry 2 cups fresh salad spinach 4 ounces sharp provolone or aged Asiago, sliced thinly

1. For sandwiches, slice the rolls or baguette pieces in half and pluck out a bit of the bread to make a trough in each half. 2. In a bowl, toss the chicken with the olive paste. In each sandwich, place cheese slices, red pepper slices, 1/4 of the chicken mixture and spinach. Close the sandwich and wrap tightly or secure with toothpicks. 3. If desired, put the sandwiches in a panini grill to toast and heat through. Cook’s Note: Black olive paste is a flavor-packed spread and gives a sandwich instant oomph. If you can’t find it, you can mince and crush 1/2 cup kalamata olives with 1 clove of garlic and a drizzle of olive oil or substitute olive tapenade.

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Swedish Meatballs with Apples over Parsleyed New Potatoes MAKES 4 SERVINGS

Swedish meatballs get fruity with minced apple and lighten up a little with ground turkey. (Go with dark meat ground turkey if you want “beefier” meatballs.) The sour cream sauce is irresistible over buttery new potatoes.

1 cup soft breadcrumbs 1/4 cup milk 1 cup finely chopped apple (about 1 medium apple), peeled 1 pound ground turkey 2 large eggs, slightly beaten 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1 teaspoon paprika 3 tablespoons butter 1/2 cup flour, approximately, divided 1 cup (1 8.25-ounce box) beef stock 1 cup sour cream 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Potatoes 11/2 pounds new potatoes, halved 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/2 cup minced parsley pinch salt plus 1/2 teaspoon, divided pepper, to taste 1. Soak breadcrumbs in milk until softened. Add apple, turkey, eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg and paprika. Mix thoroughly. 2. Reserve 3 tablespoons flour for the sauce, and spread the remaining on one side of a large plate. Use a tablespoon to scoop small portions and roll them in flour, forming neat balls, and place on the other side of the plate. Discard any leftover flour. 3. Put the potatoes on to cook before frying the meatballs. Place the halved potatoes in a large pot and cover with cool water by 1 inch. Add a pinch of salt and place over high heat. Bring to a boil and then cook until a potato is tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 10 to 15 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes. Drain, and then toss with butter and parsley, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper, to taste. 4. To cook the meatballs, in a 12- or 14-inch sauté pan or two smaller pans, melt the butter over medium-high heat, swirling to coat the pan. Drop the meatballs in carefully. Cook the meatballs, turning every 2 minutes, until they are browned all over. Use a slotted spatula to move the meatballs back to the plate. 5. In the same pan, sprinkle the reserved 3 tablespoons flour, stirring and scraping the pan. When bubbling, remove pan from heat and gradually whisk in beef stock to make a smooth mixture. Return to medium heat until mixture returns to a boil. Stir frequently for 2 minutes, until thickened. 6. In a cup, stir the sour cream, Dijon mustard and cider vinegar, and then stir into the beef stock mixture in the pan, whisking until smooth. 7. Add the meatballs back to the pan and gently stir to coat with sauce. Simmer for another 5 minutes, and check a meatball by cutting in half to make sure they are all cooked through. 42 real food fall 2018

Roasted Pepper Turkey Meatballs and Marinated Veggies in Lettuce Wraps MAKES 6 SERVINGS (ABOUT 42 MEATBALLS AND 6 CUPS VEGGIES)

Put these meatballs in the oven before you start making those for the Swedish Meatballs recipe, and these will be cooled and ready to stash away for lunch before dinner is served. Using roasted peppers from a jar saves time, and the bits of colorful, sweet red peppers give the meatballs juiciness and flavor. Lettuce wraps keep it light.

1 cup (1 7.5-ounce jar) roasted red pepper 1 large egg 1/2 cup soft breadcrumbs 1 medium onion, diced 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper 1 pound ground turkey

Veggies 2 small zucchini, quartered and sliced 8 ounces (2 cups) mushrooms 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 12 large lettuce leaves 1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two sheet pans with foil and spray with nonstick spray and set aside. 2. Drain the roasted peppers, pat dry, chop in small pieces, and place in a large bowl. Add the egg, breadcrumbs, onion, thyme, Parmesan, salt and pepper and mix well. Add the turkey and mix until well combined. 3. Use a tablespoon to scoop rounded portions of the meat mixture and form into balls, placing on the pans so they are not touching. When all are on the pans, bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until browned and cooked through. Cut one in half to check that they are completely cooked. Let cool slightly. 4. While the meatballs cook, make the veggies. In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, mushrooms and grape tomatoes. In a cup, stir the olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour over the vegetables and toss to coat. Marinate for up to 4 days. 5. To serve, portion 2 large lettuce leaves per person with 3 to 4 meatballs and 1/4 cup vegetables in each, or serve the lettuce on a plate and let people fill their own with meatballs and veggies.


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44 real food fall 2018

Parmesan Pork Chops over Fall Quinoa Pilaf

Penne with Roasted Cauliflower and Parmesan Pork


These pork chops are sure to be a hit with your family. The tender pork is coated with golden brown Parmesan and crispy crumbs and served alongside a rosemaryscented pilaf. 6 thin cut pork chops (2 reserved after cooking for Penne with Roasted Cauliflower, at right) 1 cup Parmesan cheese, finely shredded 2 large eggs 1 cup panko 1/4 cup canola oil salt and pepper, to taste Pilaf 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1 cup chopped onion 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary 2 cups peeled and cubed winter squash (1/2 of a 11/2-pound butternut) 1/2 cup water 3/4 cup chicken stock 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1 cup quinoa 1. Set out a platter or sheet pan to hold the chops after coating. In 3 bowls wide enough to hold a pork chop, place the Parmesan, eggs and panko each in a separate bowl. Hold each chop by the bone and coat with Parmesan, then eggs and then crumbs. Place on the platter or sheet pan. This can be done up to 4 hours ahead and chilled. 2. Make the pilaf: In a heavy 4-quart pot over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil, and then sauté onion and rosemary in oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Add squash pieces and stir. Add water, stock, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and then add quinoa. Return to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. 3. If chops are chilled, let come to room temperature for 10 minutes before frying. In a large 12- to 14-inch skillet, heat canola oil over medium-high heat until hot. Fry chops for about 4 minutes per side, using a thin, metal hamburger turner to slide under the chop and turn it to keep the coating from sticking to the pan. Test for doneness by piercing close to the bone; the juices should run clear. Salt and pepper each side, to taste, as it is done. Serve hot on a bed of quinoa pilaf. Reserve 2 chops for use in Penne with Roasted Cauliflower, which will keep, refrigerated in a sealed plastic bag or covered container for up to 3 days.


Cook’s Note: Peeling and cubing a butternut squash is easy—just use your swivel peeler and strip it clean before halving, seeding and cutting in strips to chop. Check for availability of precut squash in the produce section if you would like a step ahead on prep.

CHICKEN & FARRO SOUP: PER SERVING: CALORIES 272 (48 from fat); FAT 5g (s a t . 1 g) ; C H O L 7 0 m g ; SODIUM 203mg; CARB 23g; FIBER 4g; PROTEIN 33g

CHICKEN SANDWICHES: PER SERVING: CALORIES 669 (181 from fat); FAT 21g (sat. 8g); CHOL 135mg; SODIUM 1094mg; CARB 58g; FIBER 3g; PROTEIN 60g

SWEDISH MEATBALLS: PER SERVING: CALORIES 729 (390 from fat); FAT 44g (sat. 20g); CHOL 254mg; SODIUM 1239mg; CARB 54g; FIBER 6g; PROTEIN 32g

TURKEY MEATBALL WRAPS: PER SERVING: CALORIES 366 (241 from fat); FAT 27g (sat. 6g); CHOL 96mg; SODIUM 686mg; CARB 11g; FIBER 3g; PROTEIN 22g


While the pilaf cooks in the Parmesan Pork Chops over Fall Quinoa Pilaf, you can roast the cauliflower and kale for this dish and cook the penne. Then it’s a snap to toss it together with an easy dressing. Roasting the veggies gives them a heft and caramelized sweetness. 2 cups cauliflower, large florets 3 cups chopped kale (4 ounces) 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 8 ounces penne (23/4 cups) 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese 2 thin cut cooked pork chops (reserved from recipe at left) 1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put a large pot of water on stove over high heat and bring to a boil to cook the pasta. 2. Pile the cauliflower on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Roast the cauliflower in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven and add the kale, using a spatula to mix. Return the pan to the oven for 10 more minutes, until the kale is shrunken and slightly crisped in spots. 3. Cook the penne according to package directions, about 9 minutes. Drain well. 4. In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil, vinegar and salt. Add the pasta, vegetables and Parmesan and toss to mix. 5. Sliver the reserved pork chops from the Parmesan Pork Chops recipe and warm either in the microwave 1 to 2 minutes or heat them in a sauté pan with a smear of olive oil. Serve pasta with pork slices on top. 

PARMESAN PORK CHOPS: PER SERVING: CALORIES 573 (249 from fat); FAT 28g (sat. 7g); CHOL 115mg; SODIUM 560mg; CARB 44g; FIBER 6g; PROTEIN 37g

PENNE W. PORK: PER SERVING: CALORIES 649 (293 from fat); FAT 33g (sat. 8g); CHOL 67mg; SODIUM 839mg; CARB 56g; FIBER 5g; PROTEIN 31g

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A Little Pizza Love Making pizza at home can pay off


46 real food fall 2018


izza is always a popular option for dinner. This weekend, skip delivery, put in a little extra effort, and try your hand at homemade pizza. With your own creation, your imagination is the limit, and some TLC in your family’s

dinner won’t go unnoticed. Figuring out where to start on your own might be a little daunting. Buying a ready-made crust, sauce and traditional ingredients is easy, but having an open mind will be more rewarding. Written as a guide for pizza making at home, Philip Dennhardt and Kristin Jensen’s cookbook “Saturday Pizzas from the Ballymaloe Cookery School” can get you on your feet. From homemade takes on traditional flavors to seasonal twists with pumpkin and pesto, these recipes can warm your family with a little pizza amore as the weather cools this fall. —Lauren Pahmeier

Goats Cheese with Guacamole, Toasted Sourdough Breadcrumbs and Arugula MAKES TWO 10-INCH PIZZAS (ABOUT 2 SERVINGS EACH)

I first came across breadcrumbs as a pizza topping when I worked in the River Café in London. I know this combination of toppings sounds a little strange but they served this pizza as a staff meal once and I loved the crunch that the crumbs added to the texture. Breadcrumbs are sometimes called poor man’s Parmesan (or pangrattato in Italian, which translated simply as “grated bread”). Fresh breadcrumbs fried in butter or olive oil until they’re golden and crispy, tossed with chopped herbs, salt and pepper and maybe a little lemon zest, dried hot red pepper flakes, chopped garlic or anchovies make a great topping on pasta, risotto, casseroles, salads, vegetable sides, soups and yes, pizza. 2 cups grated mozzarella 1-2 slices of day-old sourdough bread ⅓ cup soft goats cheese 3 tablespoons olive oil ½ cup prepared guacamole 2 handfuls of arugula fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 balls of pizza dough (see page 48) ⅔ cup tomato sauce (see page 49) 1. Preheat the oven to 480°F or as high as it will go. Place a pizza stone or an upside-down baking tray in the oven to heat up, too. Get all your ingredients and equipment ready, including taking the dough out of the fridge 1 hour before you’re ready to cook. 2. Cut the bread into small cubes, and then place in a food processor and blitz into fine breadcrumbs. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, and then add the breadcrumbs and season with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Fry the breadcrumbs for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring regularly, until they are golden brown and crisp, taking care not to let them burn. Tip out onto a plate and allow to cool. 3. Place the arugula in a bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil and season with a pinch of salt (you don’t need any pepper, since the arugula is so peppery on its own). Toss to combine using your hands, until all the arugula leaves are coated with the oil. This adds extra flavor and also helps protect the arugula from the heat of the oven so that it doesn’t burn. 4. Stretch the pizza dough by hand or roll it out. Sprinkle a pinch of salt evenly over the dough, and then brush a little olive oil onto the rim with a pastry brush to help it turn golden. 5. Using a ladle or big spoon, pour the tomato sauce in the center of the dough. Spread the sauce over the pizza in concentric circles with the back of the ladle or spoon, leaving a 1-inch border clear around the edges for the crust. You only want a thin layer of sauce. 6. Place a big handful of the grated mozzarella in a mound in the middle of the dough. Spread it out evenly across the pizza, leaving the edges clear for the crust. Dot small knobs (about ½ teaspoon each) of the goats cheese on top of the mozzarella. Aim to get a balance of ingredients across the pizza. 7. Check that there is no liquid on the peel or board or your pizza won’t slide off it. 8. Shake the board gently to see if the pizza will move. If it doesn’t, lift up the pizza with a dough cutter or spatula and sprinkle a little flour on the board until it does move easily. 9. Slide the pizza off the peel or board onto the pizza stone or upside-down baking tray in the hot oven. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes, but start checking it after 5 minutes—you want the bottom and the crust to be cooked through and golden and the cheese should be melted. 10. Take the pizza out of the oven and transfer to a wire cooling rack. Dollop the guacamole on top and scatter over the toasted breadcrumbs, then add a handful of the dressed arugula and let it wilt slightly in the residual heat of the pizza. Allow to stand for 1 minute before slicing.

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The beauty of this pizza dough is that it’s wonderfully stretchy—you can even toss it in the air like a pizzamaker in Naples, which I do every now and then to impress the kids. This is the recipe I use for all the pizzas in the pizzeria and all our frozen pizzas. I like to use half ‘00’ flour and half strong white flour, but you can use all of one or the other. Be warned, though, that if you use all ‘00’ flour you will probably need to add a little extra, as otherwise it will be a very wet dough that might be hard to work with. I always make this dough at least 24 hours in advance of using it. This recipe is also incredibly versatile. Using the same ingredients with just slight variations in the method, you can also make garlic bread, dough balls with garlic butter, and breadsticks. ¾ cup plus 4 teaspoons cold water 2 cups ‘00’ flour or strong white flour, plus extra for dusting ¼ ounce packet of fast action dried yeast 1 teaspoon fine sea salt 1. Pour the water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, and then add the flour on top of the water and add the yeast and salt in separate piles. Mix for 10 minutes on a medium–low speed. For the first few minutes it will look shaggy and you might be worried that it won’t come together, but leave it be and by the end of the 10 minutes the dough should be smooth, springy and slightly sticky. Check the dough after a couple of minutes, though, to see how it’s coming along. If it’s really dry and isn’t coming together, add another tablespoon of water. If it looks really wet, add another tablespoon of flour. Alternatively, if you don’t have a mixer, you can knead the dough by hand. 2. Sprinkle your work surface with a little flour and tip the dough out onto it. Knead it by hand a few times to bring it together into a smooth, round ball that holds its shape well and springs back when you poke it. If it doesn’t pass those tests, knead it for 1 to 2 minutes more. 3. Using a dough cutter or a sharp knife, cut the dough in half. Pressing it firmly into the work surface, roll each piece into a smooth round, like a tennis ball. Put the dough balls on two side plates or a baking tray dusted with flour. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or soak a clean kitchen towel in cold running water from the tap and wring it out really well before covering the dough with the damp cloth. Place the covered plates or tray in the fridge for at least 6 hours, but ideally overnight or even up to 48 hours to let it have a long fermentation and a slow rise. The longer you let the dough sit in the fridge, the more flavor it will have. 4. Take the dough out of the fridge 1 hour before you want to cook the pizzas, making sure you keep it covered with the plastic wrap or damp cloth so it doesn’t dry out. When you’re ready to shape the dough, dust a pizza peel or a thin wooden chopping board generously with flour. You can either stretch the dough by hand or use a rolling pin. If you’re using a rolling pin, dust that with flour, too. 5. Take the rested dough ball off the plate or tray using a dough cutter or a bowl scraper, making sure the dough ball stays round at this point. Place the dough ball onto the floured peel or board and dust some flour on top of the dough, too. Press down the middle of the dough with your fingers, but don’t press the edge of the dough ball, as that will be the crust later. It should already look like a little pizza. The dough is now ready to be stretched by hand or rolled out.

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Cook’s Notes: This recipe makes two pizzas, but if you want to make more than that, here are the quantities to use for four or six pizzas. Even if you’re only making two pizzas, you can still make a bigger batch and either freeze the leftover dough, ready to go for the next time you make pizza, or you could make it into garlic bread, dough balls with garlic butter, and breadsticks. MAKES FOUR 10-INCH PIZZAS

1¼ cups cold water 3⅓ cups ‘00’ flour or strong white flour, plus extra for dusting ¼ ounce packet of fast action dried yeast 2 teaspoons fine sea salt MAKES SIX 10-INCH PIZZAS

2¼ cups cold water 6⅓ cups ‘00’ flour or strong white flour, plus extra for dusting ¼ ounce packet of fast action dried yeast 1 tablespoon fine sea salt

Tomato Sauce MAKES 3⅓ CUPS (FOR 5 PIZZAS)

This sauce is so versatile. Not only can you use it for pizzas, but it works well as a simple pasta sauce too and it can be frozen for up to six months. Freeze it in ice cube trays for handy portions—just pop the cubes out and store them in a food bag, then take out only what you need and let them thaw ahead of time. But if time is tight, you can make a perfectly good sauce simply by blending a can of good-quality whole plum tomatoes with some salt, sugar and freshly ground black pepper, which is what pizza-makers in Naples do. 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 1 celery stick, finely chopped ½ carrot, finely chopped 1 teaspoon fine sea salt freshly ground black pepper 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 2 (14-ounce) cans of good-quality whole plum tomatoes 1 teaspoon sugar (optional) 1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan set over a medium-low heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot and season with the salt and some freshly ground black pepper to taste. Cover the pan and sweat the vegetables for 8 to 10 minutes, until soft but not colored. Add the garlic and cook, uncovered, for just 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 3 minutes on a low heat. Good-quality canned tomatoes don’t need to be cooked for very long, plus the longer you cook the sauce, the more water evaporates and the thicker it becomes, which isn’t the consistency that you want—pizza sauce should be thin but not watery. 2. Whiz the sauce with a hand-held blender until smooth, or you could leave it a little chunkier if that’s what you prefer. Taste and check for seasoning—add 1 teaspoon of sugar if the tomatoes are too bitter or acidic. The sauce is now ready to be used right away, or it will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 week or it can be frozen for up to 6 months.

Roast Chicken with Thyme and Aioli MAKES TWO 10-INCH PIZZAS (ABOUT 2 SERVINGS EACH)

What could be better than having a roast chicken dinner on a Friday night and using the leftovers on a pizza on Saturday? But if you don’t have any leftover chicken, you can prepare some or pick up a rotisserie chicken. We add a drizzle of mayonnaise [aioli] to a lot of our pizzas when they come out of the oven to add an extra dimension of flavor. Never cook mayo on a pizza, though. … It will split in the heat of the oven. 2 balls of pizza dough pinch of fine sea salt 1 tablespoon olive oil ⅔ cup tomato sauce (recipe at left) 2 cups grated mozzarella 1½ cups shredded leftover roast chicken 1-2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves 2-4 tablespoons aioli (see Editor’s Notes page 51) 1. Preheat the oven to 480°F or as high as it will go. Place a pizza stone or an upside-down baking tray in the oven to heat up, too. Get all your ingredients and equipment ready, including taking the dough out of the fridge 1 hour before you’re ready to cook. 2. Stretch the pizza dough by hand or roll it out. Sprinkle a pinch of salt evenly over the dough, then brush a little olive oil onto the rim with a pastry brush to help it turn golden. 3. Using a ladle or big spoon, pour the tomato sauce in the center of the dough. Spread the sauce over the pizza in concentric circles with the back of the ladle or spoon, leaving a 1-inch border clear around the edges. 4. Place a big handful of the grated mozzarella in a mound in the middle of the dough. Spread it out evenly across the pizza, leaving the edges clear for the crust. Scatter the chicken and thyme on top of the cheese, aiming to get a good balance of ingredients across the pizza. 5. Check there is no liquid on the peel or board or the pizza won’t slide off. Shake the board gently to see if the pizza will move. If it doesn’t, lift up the pizza with a dough cutter or spatula and sprinkle a little flour on the board until it moves. 6. Slide the pizza off the peel or board onto the pizza stone or upside-down baking tray in the hot oven. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes, but start checking it after 5 minutes—you want the bottom and the crust to be cooked through and golden. 7. Take the pizza out of the oven and transfer to a wire cooling rack, and then drizzle with the aioli. Allow to stand for 1 minute before cutting into slices.

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Walnut Pesto MAKES 1½ CUPS

Roast Pumpkin with Fennel and Walnut Pesto MAKES TWO 10-INCH PIZZAS (ABOUT 2 SERVINGS EACH)

Even though you only need a small amount of pumpkin for the pizzas, you may as well roast all of it since you’re already going to the trouble of preparing it. Cut the pumpkin you’ll be using for the pizzas into small cubes, but cut the rest into bigger pieces, place them on a separate baking tray and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, ready to be added to hearty salads or a risotto, puréed for a soup or made into pumpkin pie. ¼ small pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes olive oil, to drizzle salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste ½ fennel bulb 2 balls of pizza dough (see page 48) ⅔ cup tomato sauce (see page 49) 2 cups grated mozzarella 2-4 tablespoons walnut pesto (see recipe right) 1. Preheat the oven to 200°F. Place a pizza stone or an upside-down baking tray in the oven to heat up, too. Get all your ingredients and equipment ready, including taking the dough out of the fridge 1 hour before you’re ready to cook. 2. Place the pumpkin on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 15 minutes, until tender and starting to brown. When the pumpkin comes out of the oven, raise the temperature to 480°F or as high as it will go. 3. Cut the green tops off the fennel bulb and discard, but save the fronds as a garnish. Cut the bulb in half, then slice the fennel as thinly as possible. Place in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. 4. Stretch the pizza dough by hand or roll it out. Sprinkle a pinch of salt evenly over the dough, and then brush a little olive oil into the rim with a pastry brush to help it turn golden. 5. Using a ladle or big spoon, pour the tomato sauce in the center of the dough. Spread the sauce over the pizza in concentric circles with the back of the ladle or spoon, leaving a 1-inch border clear around the edges for the crust. You only want a thin layer of sauce. 6. Place a big handful of the grated mozzarella in a mound in the center of the dough. Use your palm to spread it out evenly across the pizza, leaving the edges clear for the crust. Scatter the sliced fennel and roast pumpkin on top. 7. Check that there is no liquid on the peel or board or your pizza won’t slide off it. Shake the board gently to see if the pizza will move. If it doesn’t, lift up the pizza with a dough cutter or spatula and sprinkle a little flour on the board until it does move easily. 8. Slide the pizza off the peel or board onto the pizza stone or upside-down baking tray in the hot oven. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes, but start checking it after 5 minutes—you want the bottom and the crust to be cooked through and golden. 9. Take the pizza out of the oven and transfer to a wire cooling rack. Drizzle with the walnut pesto and garnish with the fennel fronds. Allow to stand for 1 minute before cutting into slices.

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1. Heat a dry frying pan over a medium heat. When it’s hot, add ¾ cup walnuts and toast for about 2 minutes, shaking the pan regularly and keeping an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn. Once they have a bit of color and have started to become fragrant, tip them onto a plate and allow to cool. You don’t want them to be warm when you combine them with the other ingredients or they could melt the Parmesan. 2. Coarsely grate about 1¾ ounce piece of Parmesan to make ⅓ cup. Place in a mixing bowl and set aside. 3. Place the toasted walnuts in a food processor and pulse until they are ground to the consistency you prefer, but not too big. Aim for the same size as the Parmesan. Transfer to the mixing bowl with the Parmesan. 4. Place 2 cups fresh basil leaves and 1 garlic clove, crushed or finely chopped, in the food processor and blitz to a purée, adding some olive oil (from a total of 1 cup) to help it blend if need be. Scrape into the bowl with the Parmesan and walnuts and stir to combine. Pour in most of the olive oil and mix well, then decide if you need to add the remaining olive oil to get the consistency you like. Season with a small squeeze of lemon juice, fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and give it another stir. Let the pesto sit for 2 minutes to allow the ingredients to marry together, and then taste and correct the seasoning with more salt and pepper. If you’re not using the pesto right away, spoon it into a clean jar and top with a thin film of olive oil, which will keep out oxygen and prevent the pesto from turning brown. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Cook’s Note: The trick to making pesto in a food processor is not to use one that’s too big; otherwise the blade won’t catch the ingredients and it will just spin them around instead of chopping them.

Salami with Red Onion, Arugula and Red Mustard Greens Mayonnaise MAKES TWO 10-INCH PIZZAS (ABOUT 2 SERVINGS EACH)

Cured meats like salami and pepperoni work best on a pizza when they’re thinly sliced. Back in 2009 I worked at the River Café in London for a while and I noticed that Rose Gray, one of the co-founders, was very specific about how thinly she wanted her Parma ham to be cut because she believed it made a big difference to the flavor. 2 balls of pizza dough (see page 48) 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 red onion, thinly sliced into rings 2 handfuls of arugula pinch of fine sea salt ⅔ cup tomato sauce (see page 49) 2 cups grated mozzarella 16 slices of salami 2–4 tablespoons red mustard greens mayonnaise (see Editor’s Notes) 1. Preheat the oven to 480°F or as high as it will go. Place a pizza stone or an upside-down baking tray in the oven to heat up, too. Get all your ingredients and equipment ready, including taking the dough out of the fridge 1 hour before you’re ready to cook. 2. Heat some of the oil in a frying pan set over a medium heat. Add the red onion and cook for about 10 minutes, until the rings have softened but not browned. 3. Place the arugula in a bowl. Drizzle with some of the oil and season with a pinch of salt (you don’t need any pepper, since the arugula is so peppery on its own). Toss to combine and coat all the leaves. This adds flavor and helps protect the greens from burning. 4. Stretch the pizza dough by hand or roll it out. Sprinkle a pinch of salt evenly over the dough, and then brush a little olive oil on the rim to help it turn golden. 5. Using a ladle or big spoon, pour the tomato sauce in the center of the dough. Spread it over the pizza in concentric circles with the back of the ladle or spoon, leaving a 1-inch border clear around the edges for the crust. You only want a thin layer of sauce. 6. Place a big handful of the mozzarella in a mound in the middle of the dough and spread it out evenly across the pizza, leaving the edges clear for the crust. Scatter the cooked onion rings and salami on top of the cheese, aiming to get a good balance across the pizza. 7. Check that there is no liquid on the peel or board or your pizza won’t slide off. Shake the board gently to see if the pizza will move. If it doesn’t, lift it and sprinkle a little flour on the board until it does. 8. Slide the pizza off the peel or board onto the pizza stone or upside-down baking tray in the hot oven. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes, but start checking it after 5 minutes—you want the bottom and the crust to be cooked through and golden and the cheese should be melted. 9. Take the pizza out of the oven and scatter the arugula across the top. Return the pizza to the oven for only 30 seconds to 1 minute more, until the arugula has just started to wilt. Alternatively, skip this step to keep the arugula fresh and let it wilt only slightly in the residual heat of the pizza after it comes out of the oven. Remove from the oven again and then drizzle with the red mustard greens mayonnaise. Allow to stand for 1 minute before slicing.


Editor’s Notes: • Dennhardt makes mayonnaise from scratch, but for a quick red mustard greens mayo, finely chop about 10 leaves of red mustard greens or arugula and stir into homemade or store-bought mayonnaise. • To make your own quick aioli version (for Roast Chicken pizza, page 49): Mash 2 pressed garlic cloves and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt in a small bowl until paste forms. Whisk in 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. This can be made 1 day ahead, covered and refrigerated. Makes 2/3 cup.  GOATS’ CHEESE W. GUACAMOLE: PER SERVING: CALORIES 640 (250 from fat); FAT 28g (sat. 10g); CHOL 41mg; SODIUM 1448mg; CARB 70g; FIBER 5g; PROTEIN 27g

ROAST CHICKEN W. THYME & AIOLI: PER SERVING: CALORIES 600 (227 from fat); FAT 25g (sat. 9g); CHOL 86mg; SODIUM 1307mg; CARB 55g; FIBER 3g; PROTEIN 37g


ROAST PUMPKIN W. WALNUT PESTO: PER SERVING: CALORIES 501 (172 from fat); FAT 19g (sat. 8g); CHOL 38mg; SODIUM 1216mg; CARB 59g; FIBER 5g; PROTEIN 23g

SALAMI W. MUSTARD GREENS MAYO: PER SERVING: CALORIES 758 (387 from fat); FAT 43g (sat. 14g); CHOL 90mg; SODIUM 1956mg; CARB 59g; FIBER 4g; PROTEIN 33g

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Small Changes, Big Results Sam Kass, former chef and senior advisor for nutrition policy in the Obama administration, on making food that is both healthful and delicious BY TARA Q. THOMAS

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t was the rhubarb sauce that did it. As Sam Kass stood in the kitchen of Moerwald, a high-end restaurant in Vienna, Austria, whisking butter into cooked rhubarb, the head chef barked at him to add more. And more. And more. “It’s not my problem if customers walk out of here and drop dead of a heart attack!” Kass recalls him saying. “They ask us to make food that tastes good, not food that’s good for them.” That was the moment that would send Kass on an adventure around the world, through the kitchens of some of Chicago’s best restaurants, and eventually to the White House, where he worked on food policy when he wasn’t cooking dinner for the Obamas. At that moment, though, he had no idea of his future. What he did know was that he had just added an unconscionable amount of butter to a sauce that was going on foie gras, and it made him wonder: Just what happens when we don’t consider the consequences of what we eat or what we serve? What he discovered when he answered that question—and how he learned to cook with those consequences in mind—is why he wrote the cookbook “Eat a Little Better,” published this spring. “I wanted to take the lessons I’d learned and translate them to a book that would lessen the pressures people feel to eat better, and help them improve at home … and to help people feel supported and included in the move to eat better food,” he explains. For all the thought he has put into food and nutrition now, Kass hadn’t originally intended to become a chef. He was in Austria to finish up his history degree from the University of Chicago, and took the job on a whim. “I always wanted to learn how to cook,” he says, “so I spent summer in a kitchen, not knowing anything but working my butt off and enjoying it.” Or, at least, enjoying everything but the exorbitant-amounts-of-butter part. His concern for the health of his diners increased once he started looking at the statistics, taking in the

soaring rates of heart disease, diabetes and obesity in the U.S. Those certainly weren’t due to eating too much butter-sauced foie gras—even those who can afford such luxuries don’t eat that every day. Rather, the culprit is what many Americans do eat every day—processed foods. Then, like any historian worth his degree, he began researching how we got to this point, finding that the issues go far deeper than any one person’s self-control. Our national food system itself is now tuned to support the processed foods industry. Our once-diverse food shed has been increasingly limited to just three crops—wheat, corn and soy—while our meat industry has become heavily invested in beef, the most environmentally challenging protein to farm. Farming on an industrial scale also requires chemical fertilizers, herbicides, antibiotics and major machinery; the pollution it creates not only affects our air and our waterways but also may play a role in climate change. Rather than lose hope, Kass decided he wanted to figure out how he could help change these trends. So he packed his knife and tongs and cooked around the world for five years to learn firsthand how people relate to food in different places. By the time he returned to Chicago, he was determined to get into food policy work. As it happened, a friend had a friend who needed some help in the kitchen. She was a working mom with two children, and she was supporting her husband, Senator Barack Obama, on the campaign trail as well. Would he be interested? SMALL STEPS The way Kass tells it in “Eat a Little Better,” he almost didn’t get the job. The very idea of a private chef didn’t sit well with Barack Obama, who had worked as a community organizer before becoming a senator, and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, were definitely not into the pea-sauced pasta Kass produced for his audition dinner.

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“That the busiest person in the world took time out of every day to sit down with his family is a lesson I’ll take with me everywhere I go.” —Sam Kass on cooking for former President Barack Obama and family


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But Michelle Obama was concerned about her family’s health, and believed that he could help them all learn to eat better than they were. He just couldn’t do too much too fast. Kass started simply, beginning by addressing what he calls the “food environment.” “If you see it, you’re more likely to eat it,” he points out. He started by moving the cookies to a high shelf—they weren’t out of bounds, but the girls would need to make an effort to get to them. In their place, he put out a bowl of fresh fruit, as well as glass containers of nuts and dried fruit. He also enlisted the girls in the move toward a better diet, inviting them to help him clear out the pantry. Together they went through everything, marveling at the ingredient lists on some back labels, and weeding out anything that listed sugar in any form or additives that they couldn’t pronounce. When it came to cooking, he made small shifts that the girls would barely notice but would have real impact. He served beef one less time per week and beans one more time than usual. Instead of white rice, he would serve brown, or quinoa or whole-wheat couscous. At dinner, he would leave the serving bowls in the kitchen so that anyone wanting seconds would have to make the effort to go get them. His goal—and the one he has framed his book around—is not to eat “right,” but simply better. “There’s no right and wrong,” he says. “It’s progressional.” BIG CHANGES By the time the Obamas moved into the White House, Michelle and Kass had had hours of conversation on the impact of diet and exercise on the children, as well as the role they played in the nation’s health. It wasn’t long before she drafted him to work as a senior food policy advisor whenever he wasn’t preparing dinner for the family. While the jump from changing the eating habits of a family of four to that of an entire nation seems enormous, Kass found there were many scalable lessons. “We saw that the keys to actually having an impact were to be culturally relevant, fun and positive, and to speak in language that everyone could understand,” he says. And, he adds, “If we tried to do too much, we weren’t going to get anywhere.” Small changes really do add up, Kass says, because how we spend our dollars has consequences. “Just the fact that all these companies

are scrambling to find the way to make healthier foods shows you the power people have to affect change,” he says. “Younger people want delicious food, but they have principles and values that shape their buying decisions, and companies are desperately trying to figure out how to address those concerns.” “Policy works the same way,” he says. “If we couldn’t have made the argument every day that people want better food in schools, we never would have gotten the school bill passed.” The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act passed in 2010; lowered the amount of sodium and saturated fat in school lunches; and increased the amount of fruits, vegetables and whole grains offered. They didn’t win on every point: Despite their efforts, and the support of parents around the country who aim to keep french fries an occasional indulgence, the potato lobby made sure that fries remain a daily item on school menus. However, Kass gets some sweet revenge by shunning the white tuber in “Eat a Little Better” and giving the more nutritious sweet potato a starring role. Asked for an example of a small change that could have big effects, Kass immediately answers: “Buying more vegetables—as many fruits and vegetables as you can and eating them—you don’t want to waste them.” Food waste, it turns out, accounts for 8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions because some 50 million tons of it goes to landfills per year. For another small way to help the earth, Kass champions buying chicken and seafood over beef as the latter industry is a high contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. KEEP IT SIMPLE Of course, finding the time to cook is hard— and when it comes down to it, the most important thing you can do for your family just might be sitting down to eat together, regardless who cooked the meal and how. “That the busiest person in the world took time out of every day to sit down with his family is a lesson I’ll take with me everywhere I go,” Kass says. “And when you start looking at the science, you realize that there are benefits above and beyond the health benefits. Kids who eat dinner as a family have better test scores and lower rates of drug use and teen pregnancy.” It’s important to think about what you’re feeding your kids, though, as you’re helping to shape their tastes. “It’s an awesome respon-

sibility,” Kass says. “I really see how everything I’m feeding [my boy] shapes what he likes and what he’s interested in. If kids have sugary foods from the time they’re super young, that’s what they’re going to like. When you watch a one-year-old ingest food, it makes it very real.” So how does he find time? “Get great ingredients and add some techniques that really enhance flavors, like grilling and roasting,” he advises. “I love grilling vegetables especially to get a lot of flavor [and to] do it simply and not have to worry about a big mess afterwards.” He devotes an entire chapter in his book to grilled vegetables, going far beyond zucchini slices to include recipes for charred broccoli in an Asian-influenced lime sauce, cauliflower “steaks” with citrus and pecans, and greens like escarole and Swiss chard. Another trick he offers is to use acidity to bring out flavor. “A little vinegar or lemon juice can go a long, long way,” he says. A favorite trick: Toss a halved lemon on the grill while the vegetables are cooking (or, for that matter, the chicken), and squeeze it over whatever you’ve cooked. The lemon’s acidity brightens the flavors of whatever it touches, while the charring adds flavor depth. Most importantly, just don’t stress out. Do what you can given your situation at the moment. One of Kass’ favorite dishes came out of a moment when he had little time and even less space—he was in the middle of turning out lunch for Obama in a miniscule Air Force One kitchen en route to a pre-election debate. “I didn’t even know if he was going to eat,” Kass recalls. When Obama requested something “not too heavy,” Kass heated up some precooked pasta, chicken and pesto he had prepped before the flight. Obama raved about it—and turned out a brilliant performance that evening. From then on in, Kass whipped up “Lucky Pasta” (recipe right) before any major event—including Election Day. “I don’t know that it had all that much to do with what I had prepared,” Kass says of Obama’s reaction to the dish. “I think it was more the circumstance, the stress of the campaign.” But, he muses, “Great things are most often simple.” And he’s right. Dinner doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive to be memorable; you just need good ingredients and some strategies for getting them on the table. 


You may not have an election or debate coming up, but we all need a lucky charm, or at least a meal that comes together in minutes. Feel free to cook the chicken, boil the pasta, and even make the pesto the night before. If you do, undercook the pasta slightly or reheat it in just a little water in a sauté pan. Store the pesto in the fridge with plastic wrap pressed against the surface to keep natural discoloration at a minimum.

1 pound mini penne or any pasta shape you like

kosher salt for pasta cooking water, plus ½ teaspoon, and more to taste ½ garlic clove 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves ¼ cup pine nuts or pecans, toasted ⅓ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to finish ½ cup extra virgin olive oil 2 cooked chicken breasts (see Cook’s Note), cut into bite-sized pieces, warm or room temperature ½ pound baby spinach 1. Cook the pasta in boiling salty water until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the water. 2. While the pasta cooks, drop the garlic into a food processor with the motor running and process until the garlic is finely chopped. Add the basil, nuts, cheese, half the oil and ½ teaspoon of salt and pulse to a coarse purée. With the motor running, add the remaining oil in a slow stream and keep processing until pretty smooth. 3. Toss the hot pasta with the pesto, chicken, spinach and ⅓ cup of the reserved pasta water. Gradually add more of the pasta water if the dish seems dry. Season with salt to taste and top with more grated or shaved Parmesan. Cook’s Note: To make simply roasted chicken breasts, preheat the oven to 450°F. Put 2 skin-on chicken breasts (about 6 ounces each) on a parchment-lined baking sheet and coat with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Season generously all over with kosher salt, about 1 teaspoon total. Roast them skin-side up until lightly browned and fully cooked but still juicy, about 20 minutes. Let them rest on a cutting board for a few minutes, then cut into bite-sized pieces.

fall 2018 real food 55


Pairing Hard Cider is Easy Branch out with hard cider and food partners BY MARY SUBIALKA


o longer the odd apple in a world of brews, hard cider has made quite a name for itself lately. The category is attracting artisanal cider makers, craft brewers and the mega brewers, making it easy to find a style you should enjoy, even if you are traditionally a fan of beer or wine. And since this fermented alcoholic beverage is made from fruit, it’s naturally gluten free. Today’s hard ciders can be dry, bold, fruity and complex. There are also new rosé ciders on the market that are often made by using a touch of red-fleshed apples in the mix. Some low-alcohol cider (1.2 percent ABV) can have a vanilla-like taste, high residual sugar and an apple juice-like character. Traditional English cider made from bittersweet fruit with higher alcohol content (3.5 to 12 percent ABV) may have more mouth-drying astringency and a complex “old juice” or matured cider character. Hard cider pairs well with a range of food including charcuterie and cheese, especially Brie, Cheddar, Colby and Muenster. Its inherent fruit character complements seafood such as crab, oysters, and white fish or salmon. It goes well with classic steak, brats and burgers as well as chicken, pork and turkey dishes. Hard cider’s sweetness mellows spicy sauces and can hold its own alongside the bold flavors of barbecue, Asian and Mexican dishes. When it’s time to enjoy your food pairing, it’s best not to drink hard cider ice-cold, as the extreme cold can mask its flavors. If you let it “open up” like a wine by removing it from the fridge and letting it sit for five minutes, that should do it. And it’s best poured into a glass rather than drinking straight from the bottle. Pilsner, fluted champagne, tulip and special cider glasses accentuate the bubbles and enhance the aromas. 


56 real food fall 2018


763.717.8500 12955 HWY 55, PLYMOUTH, MN 55441 763.717.8500 12955 HWY 55, PLYMOUTH, MN 55441

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