Lunds & Byerlys REAL FOOD Fall 2020

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Lunds & Byerlys



















FALL 2020

Around the World 03



Spice up dinner with international recipes

DOUBLE DISHES: Save time—cook two different meals from one WINNING CHILI: International Chili Society World Champion recipes CRAFT BEER AT THE TABLE: A promise of delicious fall meals



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 2020

20 Around the World Have a little adventure with dishes from Mexico, Greece, Korea and a Spanish/North African fusion BY JASON ROSS

28 Double Dishes With a little planning, you can maximize your time and make two different meals from one BY ROBIN ASBELL

38 Winning Chili Mix up a variety of International Chili Society World Champion recipes and get a taste of cookoff victory BY MARY SUBIALKA

46 Craft Beer at the Table Adding craft brews into your culinary

endeavors promises delicious fall meals RECIPES BY JACQUELYN DODD, CLAIRE BULLEN AND JEN FERGUSON

52 Chef Vivian Howard “Flavor heroes” come to the rescue BY TARA Q. THOMAS

Departments 4 Bites It’s time for a tart renaissance RECIPES BY PIP SPENCE

6 Kitchen Skills Pro tips for the home cook BY LIANNA MATT MCLERNON

8 Contributors 17 Ingredient Peanut butter’s nutty appeal BY HANNAH TORKELSON

18 Healthy Habits The power of protein BY JEPH NOVAK

56 Pairings Red wine blends: A recipe for complexity and balance BY MARY SUBIALKA

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Our Cover

Spicy Pork Pinchos Morunos Skewers (page 23)


Photograph by Terry Brennan Food styling by Lara Miklasevics


VOLUME 16, NUMBER 3 Real Food magazine is published quarterly by Greenspring Media, LLC, 9401 James Ave. S, Suite 152, Bloomington, MN 55431, 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.

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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Fresh Tart

Move over, pie—it’s time for a tart renaissance


hat’s the thing about making a good tart,” confides recipe developer Pip Spence in the introduction of her book “Posh Tarts”: “However simple or complicated, it does take a degree of skill.” Maybe it’s because of that technical threshold that so many of us associate tarts with the pop of a toaster. But Spence wants us to go posh. These pastries can be openface, pâtisserie-perfect, filled with custard and fruit. Or they can be rustic: country-kitchen pockets of savory vegetables, nuts, chicken—or any of the many ingredients Spence uses in the 70-plus desserts, appetizers and pan-size meals. Let these two recipes from the book raise your standards for brunch treats and crispy starters—and they are actually easier to make than you might think. —Erik Tormoen

Pastry Tips • Certain tart recipes call for a blind bake. This means pre-cooking the pastry case before adding the filling, to make the pastry less likely to rise or go soggy. • If you’re using shortcrust or puff pastry, don’t overwork the dough! That toughens it when you want it light and crispy. • If you’re using phyllo pastry, make sure it doesn’t dry out and become brittle. As you layer the pastry, brush on plenty of melted butter or oil. Over the remaining dough, place a damp tea towel.

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Berry, Fig and Apple Custard Slices MAKES 6 SERVINGS

These little pastries are so easy to make and can be served for breakfast, brunch or tea. Try different fruit combinations, and add a little spoonful of jam each if you fancy. 11 ounces pack pre-rolled puff pastry 1 medium dessert apple 1 lemon 2 small figs 3½ ounces mixed berries, such as strawberries, blueberries and raspberries 1 teaspoon cornstarch 1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar, plus extra for dusting 4 ounces ready-made vanilla custard 2 tablespoons ground almonds 1 egg, beaten 1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. 2. Unroll the pastry sheet onto a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper. Cut the pastry into six 5-inch squares. Score a rough ¾-inch border around the edge of each square. 3. Thinly slice the apple into rounds, drizzle with a little lemon juice and toss together in a bowl. Thinly slice the figs and add to the bowl. 4. Place the berries in another small bowl and toss with the cornstarch and confectioners’ sugar. 5. Mix the vanilla custard with the ground almonds in a bowl. Divide this mixture among the pastries and spread over the center of each in a thin even layer. Arrange the apple slices and berries on top and sprinkle with a little more sugar. Brush the egg over the pastry border and place the slices in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until golden and risen. Serve immediately with another dusting of sugar.

Chicken Waldorf Salad Tartlets MAKES 24

Here the classic Waldorf salad is turned into lovely little mouthfuls on a crouton base. Perfect as a starter or with drinks. 12 slices white bread ¾ ounce (11/2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted 1 garlic clove, crushed 7 ounces roast chicken, skin removed and shredded 1¾ ounces free-range egg mayonnaise 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard a few sprigs of tarragon, leaves picked and chopped 2¼ ounces toasted walnuts, crumbled sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 3½ ounces natural yogurt 3½ ounces green and red seedless grapes, cut into quarters 2 celery sticks, thinly sliced at an angle ½ small green apple, cored and sliced into matchsticks a few sprigs of chervil, leaves picked 1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. 2. Roll out each piece of bread with a rolling pin as thinly as you can. In a small bowl, mix together the butter and garlic. Use a 2¾-inch round cutter to cut 24 circles from the bread and brush each circle with the garlic butter. 3. Press 12 bread circles into the holes of a 12-hole tart tin. Pop another 12-hole tart tin on top and place a heavy roasting tray on top of this. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the top tart tin and roasting tray and bake the cases for a further 10 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before carefully removing the cases from the tin and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining bread circles. 4. Meanwhile, place the chicken in a mixing bowl and combine with the mayonnaise, mustard and most of the tarragon and walnuts (reserve some for garnish). Season well with salt and pepper then fold in the yogurt, grapes, celery and apple. 5. Once all the cases are cooked and cooled, fill them with a spoonful of Waldorf salad and top with a little sprinkling of walnuts, tarragon and chervil. 


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kitchen skills

Pro Tips for the Home Cook

From skillet pasta to using your ears, five of our contributing chefs share some of their most essential tricks and dishes BY LIANNA MATT MCLERNON

HAVE A FOOLPROOF SIDE DISH. While plenty of people look to acclaimed chef and caterer Serena Bass for cooking advice, for roasted potatoes, she looks to her mother. Throughout this recipe are tips on how to peel the potatoes, cut even-sized pieces and more. By the end of it, you’ll have not only more knowledge but the perfect side dish to go along with roast beef, lamb or any roast meat with some gravy. 1. Start the day before you want to serve the potatoes. Pick uniformly sized and shaped Yukon Gold potatoes so you have an easier time cutting them into equal pieces. Trim the top and bottom of the potato off so you can hold it firmly. Using a potato peeler, remove the skin, top to bottom. Then, cut equal-sized chunks: Depending on the size, cut each potato either in half or cut off one third and cut the remaining potato in half. Put the cut potatoes in a big bowl of water as you peel them. 2. Transfer the potatoes to a large pot and cover by 1 inch with water—too much water dilutes the good potato flavor. Add salt until the water tastes like the sea. Bring to a simmer, not a boil, and cook until al dente, or half cooked. 3. Drain and tip out onto a sheet pan or rimmed baking sheet. When potatoes are cool, rough up all sides of each potato with a fork. Leave out on the counter overnight to let the water evaporate. 4. The next morning, before you roast them, drizzle with vegetable oil, dot with butter and sprinkle with salt. Roast at 400°F on the upper third of the oven for about 45 minutes. They should be a dark golden brown, creamy fluffy in the middle and very crisp on the outside. Flip the potatoes over with a metal spatula halfway through cooking. For more cooking advice from Serena Bass, head to, or try her food during your next trip to New York at the restaurant Lido.

BROADEN YOUR TASTE HORIZONS. Bruce Aidells is known for his meats (think more than 50 Aidells products including smoked sausage, meatballs and burgers plus his “Great Meat Cookbook”), but he didn’t get to where he is today without being a well-rounded chef. Some of his most useful skills in the kitchen include his sharp sense of smell, innate timer and being able to preliminarily judge how cooked a piece of meat is without using a thermometer. What he thinks will help every cook is a huge knowledge of flavors of spices. “Having cooked food from all over, that gives me a knowledge of all types of flavors and flavor combinations, what does and doesn’t work,” Aidells says. As one example, he points to soy sauce. Not only does he know that lemon juice and soy sauce are a great marinade combination, but he knows that soy sauce goes great in other styles of marinades, such as Mexican and Italian. If part one is knowing the flavor combinations, though, part two is knowing the balance. “You know someone’s going to ask me what separates a really well-made sausage from a mediocre one or one that’s poorly made,” Aidells says. “It’s balance, so that one [ingredient] doesn’t overpower the other.” For recipes and a taste of Aidells’ perfectly balanced meat products, visit and PHOTOGRAPHY TERRY BRENNAN FOOD STYLING LARA MIKLASEVICS

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KNOW HOW TO MAKE A QUICK, DELICIOUS DINNER. Cookbook author, teacher and recipe developer Molly Stevens has dived deep into dinner with her latest book, “All About Dinner: Simple Meals, Expert Advice,” and one of her favorite options is a skillet pasta. As Stevens says, skillet pasta isn’t a technical term; it’s the process of sautéing onions and vegetables in olive oil or butter, adding just-cooked pasta to a mediumhot pan and tossing it. (Make sure to use a skillet large enough to accommodate the pasta and the other ingredients!) “For a meaty version, start by cooking a bit of sausage or cured pork and setting it aside for adding back later. Then sauté onion and garlic (or other alliums) until tender, followed by shredded greens or quick-cooking vegetables (mushrooms and bell peppers are especially good),” Stevens suggests. “You can also add precooked vegetables (blanched cauliflower or broccoli or roasted squash) and/or leftover cooked meats (think shredded roast chicken or pork).” Once all of that is set, boil the pasta until just under al dente. Add the pasta and one scoop of the pasta cooking water to the skillet, and off you go to a fantastic dinner. Just remember: Unlike other pasta dishes, don’t rinse the pasta. When putting it in the skillet, Stevens says, “You want it hot with drops of starchy cooking water clinging to it.” For a complete list of Molly Stevens’ cookbooks, classes, articles and recipes, go to

TAKE A MOMENT TO LISTEN. “We use our senses when we cook,” says cookbook author and James Beard winner Roy Finamore. “We look at food. We smell it. We taste it. We prod it to see if it’s cooked. I think it’s important we listen as well.” Finamore first learned the lesson from his grandmother when he was 12 or 13, and while people can use their sense of hearing for anything from grilling to baking, he says it can be most useful when you sauté or deep fry. Finamore says, “You want to hear a good sizzle right away when you lower a breaded cutlet into a skillet or when you add chunks of meat to brown for a stew. It can be difficult to see if the oil is shimmering—a good sign that it’s ready—but you can always hear that sizzle. Without it, you’re not going to get proper browning. And when you start paying attention, you’ll hear the difference between just right and too hot.” The same goes with deep frying. “You see and hear the furious bubbles when we lower a piece of chicken or sliced potatoes into a big pot of very hot oil. That’s from the water in whatever you’re frying. As the food cooks, the water evaporates, and the bubbles get quieter.” Explore Finamore’s recipes and cookbooks such as “Tasty” and “One Potato, Two Potato” at his website,

CREATE FLAVOR COMPLEXITY WITH BROTHS. Jason Ross, our regular Kitchen Skills contributor and instructor at Saint Paul College’s Institute of Culinary Arts, can list off a multitude of skills that are useful in the kitchen: knife skills, knowing how to use a thermometer, using a scale for precise baking. What you can really play around with, though, is building flavor through broth and sauces. “A lot of my meals at home start with a deep-sided pot and some kind of either vegetable or meat that is browned with flavors that might be onions, garlic, peppers and tomato product,” Ross says. This is the start for stews, soups, broths, stocks, braises, roasts or even rice that packs a lot of punch. All you need to do is put it on the stove and let it be for a while. Ross says that a common mistake people make is setting the heat too high or too low. It’s all about checking in with the broth: If it’s starting to foam, take it off the heat for a second and turn the heat down. It’s easier to tell if a broth is too low (as Ross says, “There’s not much action in the pan”), and besides taking a long time to cook, vegetables can acquire a squishy or slimy quality. Find Jason Ross on Twitter at @chefjasonross or in the classroom at Saint Paul College. 

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Lara Miklasevics began her

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 “Plant-Based Meats.” She is also the author of “300 Best Blender Recipes Using Your Vitamix”; “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.”

Tara Q. Thomas is a lapsed

chef who trained at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. She used to enjoy going out to dinner before she had kids—now, she prefers to interview chefs, gathering intel on how to make home dinners better. Thomas writes for several magazines, most prominently Wine & Spirits, where she is an editor and wine critic covering European wines. She has also contributed to the “Oxford Companion to Cheese” and the “Oxford Companion to Spirits.” She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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.

Terry Brennan is a

Claire Bullen and Jen Ferguson teamed up on

the new book, “The Beer Lover’s Table.” Bullen writes the popular Beer Lover’s Kitchen blog for Hop, Burns & Black and is a regular contributor to, for which she won the Asahi Award for Best Beer & Travel Writer 2019 (The British Guild of Beer Writers). She has written for The Daily Meal and Time Out New York, and is a contributing author of Craft Beer: 365 Best Beers in the World. She was born in the U.S. and is now based in London. Jen Ferguson runs Hop, Burns & Black, a multi-awardwinning retailer of craft beer and natural wine as well as hot sauce and vinyl records in two South London locations. The brand has become one of the U.K.’s most-loved and wellrespected specialist beer retailers.

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Jacquelyn Dodd is the woman behind the award-winning website The Beeroness. Her beer-infused recipes earned her Saveur’s award for Best Beer Coverage; she was also a finalist in the Best Original Recipes category. She has been featured on the Today show, Lifetime Network, and CBS News, and in publications such as Food & Wine, Imbibe, Bite, and the San Francisco Chronicle. She has written for Parade, 1889, Draft, and Whisk, among others. Dodd is the author of “Lush, The Craft Beer Cookbook,” and “The Craft Beer Bites Cookbook.” She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest.

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 grew up and trained in New York City but now calls St. Paul, Minnesota, home. Currently, he teaches the next generation of chefs at Saint Paul College Culinary School.

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: 651-653-0000 Woodbury: 651-999-1200


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Commitment to Service


t wasn’t that long ago when going to concerts and sporting events, hosting backyard barbecues, taking our kids to their many activities and simply giving warm greetings to family and friends were just normal parts of our lives. That all quickly changed when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived and, for many of us, we learned new terminology like social distancing, stay-at-home order and droplet transmission. Seemingly overnight, parents became teachers, social gatherings turned into virtual events, daily commutes to work were replaced with telecommuting, and finding necessities like toilet paper and hand sanitizer became a national treasure hunt. Here at Lunds & Byerlys, I would never have imagined all of the significant changes to our operations. This has included installing plexiglass barriers on our registers, our staff wearing face masks (I hope you can still see all of the smiles in their eyes!), taking our already frequent cleaning measures to an entirely new level, implementing new online shopping processes to meet exponential demand, working around the clock with existing vendors—and many new ones—to try to keep our shelves stocked, and so much more. These unprecedented times have called for unprecedented measures so we can continue providing you with the food and essential products you need in the safest environment possible. Despite the many changes we’re all experiencing together, one thing that will remain the same is our commitment to

serving you with a deep level of care and compassion. And that’s because of the 3,700 members of our Lunds & Byerlys family who bring our brand to life every day. While selling groceries is what we do, it’s about so much more than that for us. We’ve always known part of our higher calling is playing an instrumental role in helping you enjoy those deeply meaningful family meals around the dinner table. That has come into even sharper focus as the arrival of COVID-19 has meant people are consuming even more meals at home. Please know whether you are visiting one of our stores or shopping with us online, our extended family of employees takes a tremendous amount of pride in providing food to you and your family. These have certainly been unsettling times, and it’s our sincere hope that we have continued to make your shopping experience calm and comforting. I know we will continue to get back to many of the activities we treasured before the arrival of COVID-19. And, together, we will do so with even more appreciation. We thank you so very much for choosing to shop with us. 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

L&B Seasoning Guide L&B Northern Lights Seasoning–Our signature combination of herbs, wild berries, onion, garlic and pepper creates a delicious flavor that is perfect sprinkled on ribs, chicken and fish– especially salmon. L&B Italian Seasoning–Oregano, basil, marjoram, rosemary, thyme and parsley unite to create this salt-free seasoning that works perfectly in pasta sauces, cheese bread, pizza and salad dressings. L&B Reserve Aged Alderwood Smoked Beef Seasoning— Alderwood smoked sea salt is combined with toasted onion, herbes de Provence and just a touch of fennel and lavender to create this unique blend. L&B Smoky Pork Seasoning–Hickory smoked sea salt, smoked paprika and fennel are combined with a hint of sugar to create a perfect rub for slow-cooked pork shoulder and baby back ribs. L&B Spuds Seasoning–This flavorful blend includes garlic, onion, herbs and spices and pairs perfectly with baked potatoes, hash browns and grilled potatoes. It also works well on root vegetables, chicken and popcorn. L&B Signature Chicken Seasoning–This all-purpose chicken seasoning can be used on the grill, oven or cooktop. The mild, herbaceous flavor pairs well with vegetables, eggs, pastas and soups. L&B Everything Bagel Seasoning–Get your everything bagel flavor fix in this blend made with salt, garlic, onion, poppy seeds and sesame seeds. It’s outstanding sprinkled on chicken, egg dishes, avocado toast and hummus. L&B Garam Masala–This rich Indian seasoning is an all-purpose curry blend that includes cardamom, cumin, pepper, cloves and cinnamon. Try it on fish, lamb, pork and poultry. L&B Burger Seasoning–This all-in-one blend is our go-to for seasoning beef, turkey and salmon burgers in the summer and meatloaf during the cooler months. Worcestershire sauce, onion, garlic, celery seed and basil add bold but nuanced flavor. L&B Vegetable Seasoning–A bright blend of tarragon, parsley, garlic and lemon is wonderful on asparagus or any green veggies. It’s also delicious mixed into Mediterranean dishes.

Lunds & Byerlys produce

Picture Perfect Potatoes

Crispy Roasted Potatoes MAKES 8 TO 10 SERVINGS

This crispy potato side dish is a nice alternative to cheesy potato casseroles—and it looks beautiful on the table, too. Tip: The thinner the potatoes are cut, the crispier they’ll become in the oven. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 4 pounds russet potatoes 4 shallots, thickly sliced lengthwise coarse salt, to taste ½ to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional) 8 sprigs thyme 1. Heat oven to 375°F. 2. In a small bowl, combine butter and oil. Brush bottom of a 9-inch round baking dish or cast iron skillet. 3. With a sharp knife or mandoline, slice potatoes very thinly crosswise. 4. Arrange potato slices vertically in the baking dish. Wedge sliced shallots throughout. Sprinkle with salt and red pepper flakes, if using. Add thyme sprigs and brush with remaining butter mixture. 5. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes until potatoes are fork tender and crispy on top. Sprinkle with additional thyme to serve, if desired. 

NEW L&B Paper Potato Bags At Lunds & Byerlys, we are committed to finding ways to be sustainable throughout our daily operations. One of our recent sustainability projects came to life in the produce department. After a yearlong project, our produce team is introducing a 100 percent fully recyclable potato bag for our L&B Potatoes. Our team worked directly with a manufacturer to develop a sturdy paper bag that keeps our potatoes fresh and can be recycled or composted. Plus, each bag features a delicious recipe. Look for our new paper potato bags in the produce department! real food 11

Lunds & Byerlys meet the expert


L&B Director of Private Brands


f we could snag one office at the Lunds & Byerlys headquarters, it would definitely be that of Julie Griffin, our director of private brands—not for the beautiful view or the cushy chair, but for the fantastic snacks. Julie’s office is a veritable pantry of all the tasty L&B products she has helped create, from kettle chips and Victorian brittle to caffeinated sparkling water. Is she a chef? No, but she works with chefs, producers and manufacturers to create our premium L&B branded goods, many of which you won’t find anywhere else. “Of course, we’re in business to sell wonderful food,” Julie says, “but our big goals for the L&B brand are to surprise and delight our customers and, while we’re at it, make life a little easier by giving them another choice for family meals and entertaining.”

It all started with famous Frango chocolates Julie has spent her entire career delighting customers. A native Michigander, she went to college at the University of Michigan for economics. After school, she and her husband moved to Chicago and she took a job in the buying office at Marshall Field’s. As a new buyer, she worked in home goods, apparel and soft goods, but when a more senior position opened up in the gourmet food department for a chocolate and confections buyer, she jumped at the opportunity. “I had always been interested in gourmet food,” she laughs, “but I had absolutely no experience or training in it or confections, so it was a huge learning curve.” “I basically started my career with Frango chocolates,” she adds. “I learned a lot about managing private label products—and did a lot of growing up—with that chocolate.” When Dayton’s bought Marshall Field’s in 1991, Julie and her family came to the Twin Cities so she could manage gourmet foods, confections and wine for the store. “It was a great place to work,” she says. “Back in those days, we traveled all the time for gourmet food—we’d make

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trips to Europe for chocolate and wine. I just loved it.” In 2001, Julie brought all that experience to Lunds & Byerlys. “I’ve got an amazing job here,” she says. “Most of my day is spent developing private label food stuff, soup to nuts—looking at the next great food product we’re going to introduce, which can come from trends in the food world, customer requests or an idea we have for something we want to invent from scratch.”

The secret to great merchandising: You have to try everything You won’t be surprised to hear Julie was behind our decadent L&B Sea Salt Caramels, which she developed with a local chocolatier. “At 27 stores, we’re small enough to work with small-to-medium-size producers,” she explains, “and that’s a real treat because they’re so passionate about their product and ready to grow. If they’re local, we get to go to their manufacturing plant and work with them, sampling the foods they’ve created for us and tweaking flavors.” And that’s the interesting thing about the premium L&B brand: Julie and our partners work together to create new and unique products for the brand—that means we’re rarely putting an L&B label on an existing product. For example, Julie and her team recently worked with a small but extraordinary craft

kombucha brewery in Madison, Wisconsin, to launch L&B Kombucha. Julie says our bottles start with 100 percent organic, award-winning Rishi tea, and she and her team worked with the brewery to create proprietary flavors—a process that involved sending samples and tasting notes back and forth. In the end, they landed on Blueberry Basil, Hibiscus Ginger, Raspberry Mint, Matcha and Jasmine. “We went through quite a few rounds to come up with combinations that are refreshing and delicious,” Julie says. “They’re not too sweet, not too vinegary and they’ve got just the right amount of effervescence—not as much as most kombuchas, just enough to tickle the palate.” Of course, there is the rare perfect product. Last year, someone on Julie’s team stumbled on a bottle of dill pickle hot sauce. “It sounded so strange,” she admits, “but we said, bring it in and we’ll taste it—well, we all loved it. It’s different for sure, but really good, so we got in touch with the supplier and now it’s bottled, packaged and on our shelves.” “You have to try everything,” she adds, “because you just never know when you’re going to find something really delicious.”

People, salmon and spice blends—a few of Julie’s favorite things We asked Julie to think about the hundreds of projects she has launched in her career and give us a favorite—one thing she looks forward to every week. To our surprise, she answered L&B spice blends, which season everything from corn on the cob to fish and pizza. “Some of this goes along with what we’re all trying to do—eat more good, clean, healthy food,” she says. As empty nesters, she and her husband will pair a great protein, like our Sixty South Salmon, with some asparagus or broccolini and flavor it all with L&B olive oil and spice blends. “It’s a delicious way of eating a very healthy dinner. When we go home to stay with family, we always take L&B seasonings with us, so we can prepare things the same way there.”

Lest you think Julie spends her entire day with a tasting spoon in hand, there’s more to launching new products. On the logistical side of things, there is pricing, merchandising—figuring out where a product will go in the store—training our FoodE Experts on new products and package design. In fact, Julie recently worked on a 100 percent compostable paper bag for our L&B grade A potatoes. “Food has to taste great, of course, but there are other pieces of the puzzle, like sustainability, that are also important to our customers and our community,” she says. “We’ve got to pay attention to those things, too.” So Julie wasn’t kidding about her soup-to-nuts job! From tasting a product to getting it labeled and on our shelves, there are a million little details to attend to, and she says she couldn’t do it without her colleagues—the best part of her job. “We have such a fantastic team of merchants at Lunds & Byerlys, and I enjoy working with all of them,” she says. “With me at this spot in time, the twilight of my career really, it’s so fun to have some fresh faces coming in, people with new ideas and approaches. And, of course, there’s all the colleagues that have been here with me for many years—it’s a family and I really like it.” 

Lunds & Byerlys what’s in store

DAMPFWERK DISTILLING SPIRITS Dampfwerk Distilling is a local, family-owned micro-distillery in St. Louis Park that is known for its European-style fruit brandies and liqueurs. The Löffelholz family draws influence from its German-American roots and training from master distillers in Germany. The result? Incredible fruit- and botanical-focused spirits, which include Rabbit in the Rye, London dry gin and aquavit.

Did you know? The name says it all! “Dampfwerk” translates to “steam works,” which describes the industrial nature of steam power blended with the delicate extraction process required to produce Dampfwerk Distilling’s premium spirits.

MONINI GRANFRUTTATO 100% ITALIAN SELECTION EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL For over 100 years, Monini has produced outstanding olive oils in Spoleto, Italy. Its newest creation, GranFruttato, has an unmistakable, intense flavor that comes from specially selected olives in the southern regions of Italy that are picked at their peak for fruitiness and aroma. GranFruttato has a very fruity, floral fragrance with a slightly bitter almond taste.

Tip: GranFruttato is an incredibly versatile olive oil that shines on bruschetta, salads and raw vegetables, but it can just as easily be used on grilled dishes and bread, focaccia and pizza.

L&B BOOSTED DONUTS Calling all donut lovers, this one’s for you! Our Executive Chef Amy Carter created our new L&B Boosted Donuts so you can enjoy a donut with a nutritional boost of protein, fiber and probiotics. After nearly a year of development, Amy perfected a delicious recipe featuring a booster high in plant-based protein, fiber and iron. It even includes chia seeds and low-fat, high-protein yogurt for extra oomph and a nice, tangy flavor. And, of course, the donuts are drizzled with white icing.

Did you know? Our L&B Boosted Donuts began, as many projects in the test kitchen do, with a question. Our CEO, Tres Lund, wondered if it would be possible to make a fried donut that someone could feel good about eating and giving to their children. Executive Chef Amy Carter was up for the challenge!

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Lunds & Byerlys what’s in store

KITU SUPER COFFEE PODS These pods bring KITU Super Coffee’s rich flavors and organic brew into your home or office, making it easier than ever to get the energy, vitamins and antioxidants you need to start your day off right. Each pod contains 200 milligrams of caffeine and zero grams of sugar. Flavors include vanilla, mocha, dark roast and hazelnut.

Tip: Want to add a boost to your cup of Joe? Add a splash of KITU Super Creamer for a boost of protein and MCT oil.

MONARI FEDERZONI BONGIORNO ORGANIC VINEGAR DRINKS The consumption of vinegar is an ancient tradition often associated with medicinal properties, mainly for digestive well-being. Balsamic vinegar of Modena and apple cider vinegar are combined with Italian fruit juices and natural flavors to create this non-carbonated, low-calorie artisanal beverage. The organic vinegar drinks come in a variety of sophisticated flavors including berries and pomegranate, lemon ginger, apple cinnamon, honey, and orange.

L&B GLAZING & DIPPING SAUCES Looking for a way to jazz up dinnertime or happy hour apps? Our L&B Glazing and Dipping Sauces are your quick fix! Our chefs created all the sauce recipes in-house, and they’re made with the best ingredients so they taste amazing. The ready-to-heat sauces are the building blocks for dozens of quick and easy meals and snacks. Sauce varieties include orange ginger, sweet Thai chili, General Tso, tomatillo verde salsa and Caribbean BBQ.

Tip: The sweet Thai chili sauce is outstanding paired with egg rolls, dumplings and chicken dishes. Try the tomatillo verde salsa on enchiladas, rice and egg dishes. Upgrade your barbecue dishes such as ribs and wings with our Caribbean BBQ Sauce.

Did you know? Monari Federzoni, an Italian family business with a vocation for balsamic vinegar since 1912, has devoted years of extensive research and experimentation to the creation of these drinking vinegars. real food 15

Lunds & Byerlys baking

Buttermilk Biscuits MAKES 10 TO 12 BISCUITS

2½ cups all-purpose flour 4 teaspoons baking powder 2 teaspoons sugar 1¼ teaspoons salt 7 tablespoons butter, divided 1 cup buttermilk cooking spray 3 sprigs of thyme, chopped 2 teaspoons honey flake salt, to taste

How to Make Buttermilk Biscuits Learn a few simple tricks to easily bake wonderfully flaky biscuits


arm biscuits are such a wonderful treat. Even the word “biscuit” sounds buttery, cozy and homemade. Biscuits have been called the croissant of the South because of their wonderful, flaky texture—and they can be deceptively complicated. But once you know a few simple tricks, they’re actually quick, quite easy to make and so scrumptious and rewarding. Cold butter is key. Butter is the very heart of the biscuit. It should be cold, and there should be pea-size chunks of it in the dough when you’re done mixing. The butter will melt in the oven, creating air pockets in the dough, which will give you that fantastic texture. Use a light hand. It’s important to take a light hand with your biscuit dough: Resist the urge to knead or roll it into a triangle (a light pat will do) or to twist the cutter as you form your biscuits—both can lead to flat, hard biscuits. Choose a cast iron pan. Why do we bake the biscuits in a cold, cast iron skillet? It helps that butter stay as cool as possible for as long as possible. Parbake then top. For this recipe, we let the biscuits bake for a bit—so they can start the rising process unencumbered—and then coat them with honey-thyme butter and a little flake salt. The result is a sweet, herby biscuit with crunchy, golden crust and a delightfully tender, fluffy and flaky interior. It’s the kind of biscuit you can serve at any meal—it will delight your family and friends whether it’s served with poached eggs, sausage and gravy or sweet cream butter and a little pot of honey.

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1. Heat the oven to 425°F and place a 10-inch cast iron skillet in the fridge to chill. 2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and pulse until incorporated. 3. Add in 4 tablespoons cold diced butter and pulse until the butter is about the size of peas. 4. Transfer the butter mixture to a large bowl and fold in the buttermilk. 5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and form it into a ½-inch thick rectangle. 6. Fold the left side into the center, and then fold the right side over it. Gently pat it down until it’s ½-inch thick again, and then repeat the folds. 7. Pat the dough down a final time, until it’s ½-inch thick again. Using a lightly floured ring mold or circular cookie cutter, cut the dough into biscuits. Be careful not to twist the cutter—just press down and pull straight up. Fold any leftover dough together and cut out remaining biscuits. 8. Lightly spray the cold cast iron skillet with cooking spray and arrange the biscuits in the pan—they’ll be touching on all sides. 9. Bake the biscuits in the oven for 10 minutes. 10. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter over low heat. Add the thyme and honey, stir to incorporate and remove pan from the heat. 11. Brush the butter mixture over the biscuits and bake an additional 7 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. 12. Sprinkle with flake salt and serve warm. 


Nutty Appeal Peanut butter’s jam-packed nutrients and adaptability make it loved around the world BY HANNAH TORKELSON



he average person eats three peanut butter and jelly sandwiches per month, which is nearly 3,000 in a lifetime, and Americans eat enough peanut butter annually to cover the ground of the Grand Canyon, according to the National Peanut Board. It makes sense. Peanut butter has been there for us not only in the PB&Js, but also as an afterschool snack smeared on apple slices as a child and the comforting spoonfuls enjoyed out of the jar after a long day at work. The ingredient is a staple in every stage of life. And its incredible health benefits and culinary versatility are what keeps us coming back for more. A little more than a third (35 percent) of peanut butter's weight is made up of protein, meaning one serving (2 tablespoons) contains around 8 grams of protein, which is comparable to an 8-ounce glass of milk. Better yet, this affordable protein is also packed with potassium, fiber, vitamins B and E, and minerals iron and zinc. The nutritional benefits don’t stop there, though. Peanut butter is low in carbs, making it a healthy option for diabetics. And its richness in unsaturated fats may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Plus, peanut butter is packed with omega-3 fatty acids that act as an anti-inflammatory. Due to its dense nutritional value, peanut butter is used around the globe to help fight malnutrition. Not all peanut butters are created equally, however. You can choose from creamy, crunchy or fancy fusions with chocolate or jam—we’ll let you decide your cravings. The main factor you want to keep in mind is how natural and limited the ingredients list is (typically just peanuts, perhaps a little salt and oil). Watch out for those options with added sugars and trans fats. If you would like to make your own peanut butter, it’s easy to do at home. Simply roast peanuts on a baking sheet in the oven at 350°F for around 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Then pulse in a food processor until smooth, adding a little salt near the end, if desired. Make it crunchy by chopping up some more roasted peanuts and tossing them in the creamy peanut butter after processing, or include additions such as honey or raisins. Store in a sterilized jar in a cool, dark place, and move to the fridge once opened to ensure the natural oils stay incorporated. Here, it will last three to four months. Whatever your peanut butter preferences, you can use it in a variety of ways. Enjoy at breakfast by incorporating it in your oatmeal or granola, or as a topping in a delicious smoothie bowl. Jazz up traditional peanut butter toast by topping it with a fried egg or fresh fruit. Bake peanut butter banana bread as an afternoon snack or evening treat, or create a versatile peanut sauce such as the one shown here and use it for anything from a dip for veggies or noodle sauce to a marinade for chicken or shrimp. Any way you spoon it, bake it or cook it, peanut butter is an ingredient filled with intense flavor and nutrition. 


½ cup peanut butter ¼ cup warm water (more if needed to thin sauce) 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1½ to 2 tablespoons brown sugar juice of 1 lime 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil ½ teaspoon ground ginger ¼ teaspoon garlic powder pinch cayenne pepper (optional) 1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl with a whisk. Add more water if needed to get to the desired consistency. Adjust flavors and add cayenne if desired. Cook’s Note: Feel free to use fresh ginger and garlic if preferred and adjust the amounts to your taste.

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healthy habits

Mean, Lean Protein T

he health benefits of protein are extensive. Apart from building tissue, preventing muscle loss, and strengthening our hair and nails, our bodies use protein to create necessary enzymes and hormones, which in turn help our bodies produce insulin and repair tissue. And it only continues: Protein is used by our bodies to maintain muscles, bones, skin, blood and more. Fortunately for us, a balanced diet provides many ways to get our recommended daily amount (RDA).

THE BUILDING BLOCK OF THE BODY According to Jason Ewoldt, a wellness dietitian with the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program in Rochester, Minnesota, when we get our RDA of protein—approximately 0.8 grams per kilogram of body mass (or 2.2 pounds)—we can optimize our health, build tissue and prevent tissue loss. However, the RDA for protein can fluctuate depending on what our diet goals are. For example, Ewoldt says that if your goal is weight loss, then your RDA might increase to around 1.2 grams of protein

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per kilogram. Protein helps us feel full and satisfies our hunger for longer, so consuming protein can help lower your cravings for more less-healthy foods throughout the day. If you are a strength athlete or are looking to gain muscle, then your protein consumption should increase to about 2.0 grams per kilogram. Pairing protein with workouts after you hit the gym will help you see the results you are looking for. While nutritional amounts differ upon age, weight, activity and other factors, an average adult male needs around 56 grams of protein daily and an average adult female needs 46 grams of protein daily. Protein deficiency can cause muscle loss and bone fractures, though in developed countries it is rare to see protein deficiency. As we age, sarcopenia, or muscle loss, isn’t uncommon, but a modest increase in your protein intake can help combat this. Even adding in an extra egg or Greek yogurt to your breakfast could help. On the other side, there are right kinds of protein, and it is important to balance that protein with other nutrients, such as fiber, according to Ewoldt. Although high protein diets are beneficial, excessive amounts of protein—especially at the


Getting enough protein in your diet is essential for your health—and luckily, it’s easy to do

Southwest Taco Salad cost of other nutrients—can be detrimental to your health and can cause a loss of calcium or even ketosis, a metabolic state where bodies use fat and ketones to burn energy, rather than carbs. It is important to supplement your diet with other nutrients. AN ABUNDANCE OF CHOICES So what are good sources of protein? There are a number of foods rich in protein, says Ewoldt. Common foods include chicken breasts, eggs, peanut butter, Greek yogurt, lean beef, fish, bread and nuts. These foods are easy to incorporate into our everyday diets and will satisfy your RDA of protein with ease. For example, a slice of wholewheat bread will give you around 3 grams of protein, an ounce of almonds will give you around 6 grams, and a boneless, skinless chicken breast can provide approximately 30 grams of protein. Other foods that are high in protein include lentils, avocados, oats and quinoa, which has one of the highest protein levels of seeds. Surprisingly, peas, broccoli and even hemp seed are also rich in protein. Other plant-based foods, such as grains and nuts, are great sources of protein while being a reliable source of carbs and healthy fats, respectively, which are all necessary for a well-rounded diet. No matter your food restrictions or your goals, protein is important. Even if you follow a vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free diet, protein is necessary for your health, and you can find it in a range of foods. Its benefits help us now as well as far into the future, strengthening our bones, preventing muscle loss and much more. Always consult your doctor if you have health concerns or before making any major dietary changes.


2 limes ½ cup cilantro 2 cups 1% cottage cheese ¼ cup olive oil ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon granulated sugar ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper 1 clove garlic

6 cups Romaine lettuce 1½ cups chopped red bell pepper 2½ cups chopped green bell pepper 3 poblano peppers, chopped 1½ ounces sharp cheddar cheese 1½ cups low-sodium black beans

1 tablespoon paprika 1 tablespoon cumin ¾ teaspoon garlic powder ¾ teaspoon onion powder ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon chili powder ½ teaspoon oregano ½ teaspoon cayenne powder

9 ounces ground turkey breast ¼ cup water 1 tablespoon lime juice ¾ cup cooked quinoa

1. Chop the lettuce and peppers. Shred the cheese, rinse the beans and set aside. Lightly spray a medium sauté pan with cooking oil and place over medium heat. Once oil is warm, sauté the peppers. Set aside and keep warm. 2. Measure out spices, mix them together in a small bowl, and set aside. Heat another medium sauté pan to medium-high heat. Once hot, spray pan with cooking spray and brown the ground turkey. Add the seasoning mix, water and lime juice. Mix until well combined. Add the beans and quinoa to heat them. 3. Place the lettuce in a bowl or dish. Top with vegetables, cheese, beans, quinoa and turkey. Serve with Cilantro Lime Dressing (recipe at left) and store-bought Pico de Gallo (optional). Cook’s Note: Other whole grains such as brown rice, barley or whole-wheat couscous may be used in place of the quinoa. Replacing the ground turkey breast with whole grains will make the dish vegetarian. 

1. Cut the limes and squeeze the juice into a food processor. Roughly chop the cilantro and add to the food processor. 2. Add remaining ingredients to the food processor. Blend until the mixture is smooth and refrigerate unused portion for up to 14 days. NUTRITION





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Around the World

Have a little adventure at dinner with international dishes




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o you love eating new foods? Or experiencing other countries

by trying their foods? Since you are reading a food magazine chances are that you do, but maybe


you have a picky eater in the house, somebody who could use a little nudge toward new flavors? Either way, these international dishes should fit the bill with just enough exotic and fun spins, while still being comforting and delicious. They have a little bit of international flair and technique but are still easy to make in your home kitchen. Head to the store so you can stock the pantry with fun stuff from the international aisles. It’s time for a little adventure at your dinner table with cuisine from Italy, Mexico, Greece, Korea and a Spanish/North African fusion.

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Spicy Pork Pinchos Morunos Skewers

Beef Bulgogi


This Korean dish of seared beef is an easy crowd pleaser and can also be made with other meats such as pork or chicken. Make sure to use tender meat and slice it very thinly. It is important to get a good sear by using a hot pan and letting the meat cook undisturbed on each side until a nice crust forms.

Spanish pinchos are little skewers of meat flavored with North African influenced spices. The classic uses pork, but the marinade works just as well with chicken, lamb or even firm-fleshed fish like swordfish or tuna. Serve pinchos with a squeeze of lemon and some crusty bread, and make it into a meal with some couscous salad underneath. For the Marinade 3 cloves garlic, finely minced 1 teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon thyme 2 teaspoons paprika 1 teaspoon oregano 1 teaspoon turmeric ½ teaspoon ground black pepper 1 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons lemon juice ½ cup olive oil ¼ cup parsley, minced


½ onion, grated 4 cloves garlic, minced 1/3 cup soy sauce 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger 2 tablespoons sesame oil ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

1½ pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes 1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving ½ baguette, sliced, for serving

1½ pounds ribeye, sirloin, tenderloin or skirt steak, sliced ¼ inch (See Cook’s Note) 1 medium onion, sliced ¼ inch 1 green pepper, sliced ¼ inch 1 carrot, sliced ¼ inch 4 to 6 mushrooms, sliced ¼ inch 3 tablespoons vegetable oil 4 green onions, white and green parts, sliced ¼ inch 1 head of leaf lettuce, separated into leaves 2 cups cooked white rice, for serving

1. For the marinade: In a medium sized bowl mix together all ingredients except pork cubes and lemon wedges. This will make a little less than 1 cup of marinade. Reserve ¼ cup of marinade to be used for basting and finishing the pork after it comes off grill. (The marinade can be made up to 7 days in advance, stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container.) 2. Thoroughly mix the pork into the remaining scant ¾ cup marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. 3. While the meat marinates, soak 12 bamboo/wood skewers in water unless using metal skewers. This soaking will help skewers from charring and burning on the grill. This is also a good time to heat and prepare your grill by lighting the burners or coals, and cleaning and oiling the grates. 4. Thread the pork onto the 12 skewers. Each skewer will have about 2 ounces of pork. 5. Grill the pork on high heat for about 3 minutes per side, basting a few times, until cooked through. When the pork comes off the grill give it a final brush of the reserved marinade to brighten up the flavor. 6. Serve immediately with lemon wedges, baguette slices and couscous salad (see Cook’s Note).

1. For the marinade: In a medium sized bowl mix together the onion, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, sesame oil and black pepper. (The marinade can be made up to 7 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container.) 2. Add the steak and use your hands or a wooden spoon to combine, making sure all the meat has been fully rubbed with marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. 3. Add the sliced onions, green pepper, carrot and mushrooms to the marinated meat and stir to combine. 4. Heat a large fry pan, griddle pan or cast-iron pan with a thin layer of vegetable oil on high heat. When the oil is very hot, almost smoking, use tongs to lay in a single layer—about half of the steak—in the pan. Allow the steak pieces to cook without stirring or moving them for 2 to 3 minutes or until a slightly charred crust forms. Then use tongs to flip pieces over and finish cooking for another minute. Rinse out the pan and dry. Heat the pan and repeat searing the remaining steak. Then reheat the pan and sear the marinated vegetables. 5. Serve beef and vegetables immediately with white rice, sliced fresh green onion and leaves of lettuce for scooping and make individual lettuce wraps.

Cook’s Note: For couscous salad, make a little extra marinade, like 2-3 tablespoons, and toss with 2 cups cooked couscous, ½ cup cherry tomatoes cut in half, 2 sliced green onions, and ½ red or yellow pepper, diced.

Cook’s Note: Slicing meat thinly can be challenging. Try partially freezing it for 20 to 30 minutes. The knife will glide through the firmer, slightly frozen meat and make nicer, cleaner cuts.

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Easy Pasta Carbonara with Peas

Spinach and Feta Phyllo Pie



Carbonara, from Rome, is one of those dishes that is so perfectly Italian. It uses just a few ingredients, handles them with care, and satisfies so easily and naturally. This version offers a few changes from the classic with bacon, a creamier sauce, and peas, which add freshness and bite, and make it more of a complete meal.

Spanakopita is a classic Greek pie made with layers of crispy phyllo dough. This uses dill and mint, but you could add other herbs such as chervil or minced fennel. To make this a meal, serve it with almost any salad, especially a warm potato salad.

3 slices of bacon or pancetta (about 3 ounces) 2 tablespoons olive oil 1½ cups frozen peas 1 pound spaghetti 3 eggs ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese or Pecorino Romano ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ½ cup of heavy cream 1 pinch salt, plus more for pasta cooking water 1. Set a large pot of salted water on high heat and bring to a boil. 2. While the water heats, cut the bacon or pancetta into small dice. Cut while it is cold or even slightly frozen. It will stay firm and slice more easily and into nicer shaped dice. 3. In a medium frying pan over medium heat, sauté the bacon in olive oil until it releases fat and begins to brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the peas and turn off the heat; the heat from pan will defrost and warm peas. Set the pan aside next to the pasta pot. 4. Add spaghetti to the now boiling salted water. Stir the noodles for the first minute or 2 to prevent the noodles from sticking. 5. While the noodles cook, in a medium bowl, use a fork to lightly whisk together the eggs, cheese and black pepper. 6. Depending on the spaghetti you use (check package instructions), with tongs, pull out a noodle to check for doneness after about 10 minutes. Look for a noodle that is softened but not cooked so long that it has lost texture, become swollen or limp, and is without bite. 7. When the noodles are cooked, turn off the heat and use the tongs to transfer the pasta to the pan with bacon and peas. Toss the pasta in the pan, fully coating it in the drippings from the bacon. Add the cream and salt, and turn the heat on to medium until the cream heats, thickens slightly and clings to the noodles, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to its lowest setting. 8. Use a ladle to add ¼ cup of the warm pasta cooking water to the bowl of egg mixture and stir to loosen the eggs. Immediately add egg mixture to pasta and stir vigorously to keep the eggs from heating too quickly and scrambling. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens and clings to the pasta. If sauce is too thick add a little more of the hot pasta cooking water. Serve immediately with extra cheese and black pepper, if desired. Cook’s Note: Be careful when adding the eggs. Direct intense heat will cause creamy luscious sauce to become scrambled eggs. A little water from the pasta pot will diffuse that and temper the heat from the burner. The cream also gives the egg a little room to cook without overheating.

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1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) olive oil, divided 1 medium yellow or white onion, minced 1 teaspoon salt 1 clove garlic, minced 4 green onions, sliced thinly 1 pound spinach, chopped (fresh or thawed frozen) 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled 2 tablespoons finely minced dill 2 tablespoons finely minced mint 12 sheets phyllo dough, thawed 1. Preheat oven to 375°F. 2. In a medium sized pan over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add onion and sprinkle with salt. Sweat onions until soft and translucent, but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and green onions and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes. 3. Add chopped spinach to the pan and cook until wilted and soft, 3 to 5 minutes, stirring until the pan is mostly dry. If using frozen spinach, cook a few minutes longer to avoid a wet filling. Turn off heat a few minutes then mix in feta, dill and mint. 4. To assemble the pie, brush oil onto the bottom of a 9x13inch casserole dish. Lay a sheet of phyllo onto the pan, brush it with oil and repeat until you have 3 layers of oiled phyllo. 5. Spoon spinach mixture into the phyllo-lined pan and spread into an even layer a little less than 1-inch thick. 6. Cover the spinach with another sheet of phyllo and brush with oil and repeat twice to make a top crust with 3 oiled layers of phyllo dough. Brush top of pie with more olive oil. 7. Using a serrated knife, score the pie into 2-inch squares or diamonds, with slits just through the top layer of crust to help prevent steam from building up and for a crisp crust. 8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until crust is fully browned and spinach hot. Allow to cool slightly and serve. The filling can be made up to 7 days in advance, stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container. Cook’s Notes: • Thaw unopened phyllo in the refrigerator overnight. It’s important not to let it dry out when working with it; it becomes brittle quickly. Keep it under plastic wrap or a slightly damp towel as you work with it, and oil the layers promptly as you go. • For warm potato salad, mix together 1 minced shallot, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ cup olive oil for the dressing. Toss that with 2 pounds warm cooked Yukon gold potatoes cut in ¼-inch slices.


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26 real food fall 2020

Chicken Enchiladas with Green Tomatillo Salsa and Cheese MAKES 4 SERVINGS

Enchiladas are like the lasagna of Italian food: rustic, satisfying and most importantly, oozing with melty cheese. The green salsa is the fun part of making these. Build flavor step by step. Roast and blacken the chilies and tomatillos. Purée and sear the sauce to deepen the earthy perfume. Then finish with some bite from fresh lime and cilantro. To make it a full meal, try serving with some jalapeño slaw. or the Green Tomatillo Salsa, Makes 3 cups F 12 tomatillos 2 poblano peppers 2 to 3 jalapeño peppers (depending on how spicy you like it) 1 white or yellow onion, cut into 8 pieces 3 cloves garlic 1½ teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon cumin 2 cups chicken stock or water 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped (about 1/3 cup) 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice For the Chicken 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1 tablespoon olive oil ¼ teaspoon salt For the Enchiladas 12 corn tortillas 1 cup vegetable oil or enough to fill a pan with at least a half inch of oil for frying 3 cups Green Tomatillo Salsa (recipe above) 3 cups shredded mozzarella, Oaxaca, or jack cheese 1 cup sour cream or Mexican style cream 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped (about 1/3 cup) ½ yellow or white onion, diced


1. Prepare the Green Salsa: Remove papery skin from the tomatillos. Line a baking pan with foil. Put the tomatillos, poblanos, jalapeños, onion and garlic on the prepared pan. Broil 15 to 20 minutes in the broiler of your oven. Turn vegetables with tongs a few times until they are blistered, blackened and softened on all sides. 2. Remove the tray of vegetables from the broiler and allow them to cool enough to handle. Using a spoon, scrape the skins off the poblano and jalapeño peppers. Split the peppers and remove the seeds and stems. It is not important if you miss a few seeds or leave a little skin on the peppers. Discard stems, skins and seeds. 3. Put all the vegetables including the peppers into a blender and add salt and cumin. Blend until pureed. 4. Heat a medium sized sauce pot with the oil set on medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the puréed sauce and cook for 1 to 2 minutes using a wooden spoon to stir constantly. This will help



prevent splattering as the sauce sizzles in the oil. Look for the sauce to darken slightly and concentrate in flavor. Add stock or water and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the sauce thickens and holds its shape without running when spooned onto a plate. 5. Stir in the chopped cilantro and lime juice. Set the salsa to the side. The salsa could be made ahead of time and stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days, but omit the cilantro and lime juice until ready to serve. 6. Coat chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Cook in the oven at 375°F in a pan for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from oven and wait until cool enough to handle. When cooled, use your hands to pull apart chicken breasts into shreds. 7. Increase oven temp to preheat to 400°F. 8. Heat oil in a straight-sided pan until it reaches 325°F or until a tortilla sizzles. Fry tortillas individually for 1 minute. Flip with tongs and fry on other side for another minute, or until tortillas have softened and begun to brown along the edges. (See Cook’s Notes for frying tips.) Remove and drain on paper towel-lined plate or cooling rack and continue frying all the tortillas. 9. To assemble the enchiladas, fill a tortilla with 2 to 3 tablespoons shredded chicken, 2 tablespoons of sauce, 2 tablespoons of shredded cheese and 1 tablespoon of sour cream. Roll the filling into the tortilla, and place in a baking pan or casserole dish, with the seam facing down so it does not unroll. 10. Continue with all the tortillas, filling the pan. Spoon remaining sauce over the tortillas, and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover pan with foil and bake in oven 30 to 40 minutes until bubbly and hot. 11. Drizzle with remaining cream, cilantro and chopped onion for garnish. Spoon enchiladas onto plates and serve immediately. Cook’s Notes: • Flash fry tortillas to keep them firm, not mushy, as the enchiladas bake in the sauce. The trick is to fry in lower temperature oil and pull them out after a minute or so. Don’t let them get crispy—they need to stay flexible so they can roll around the chicken and cheese. • Enchiladas are a great way to use leftover chicken you might have. Another easy option is a cooked rotisserie chicken from the deli; just pull and shred the meat to measure about 3 cups for this recipe. • To make jalapeño slaw, mix 4 cups shredded cabbage with 1 thinly sliced jalapeño, juice from 1 lime, 1 tablespoon minced cilantro and a pinch of salt. 




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28 real food fall 2020

Double Dishes

With a little planning, you can maximize your time and make two different meals from one BY ROBIN ASBELL


o matter the time of year, we are all looking for better meals, but it can become difficult as we are sending a child off to school or going to and from work ourselves.

If making food is sliding too far down on the to-do list, the labor-saving way to accomplish a great lunch—or even breakfast—is to make dinner. While you’re cooking tonight, cook extra prep for tomorrow’s lunch. It’s also perfectly fine as a light meal on day two. These time-saving meals don’t require any specialized equipment, either. The sheet pan makes the Sheet Pan Chicken with Broccolini and Parmesan Potatoes a cinch. And, once that’s done, you’ll have chicken quinoa already set up for Quinoa Chicken and Veggie Bowls the next day. Use the slow cooker or the oven for savory Pork Carnitas, and then serve the meat in tacos one night and a hearty Carnitas Hash with Potatoes and Eggs the next morning. A batch of navy beans becomes a hearty soup on the first night, and a quick bean salad wrap for lunch the next day. And some mild, tender cod takes a crispy turn in sandwiches on day one, with extra cod going into an easy packable dish of lemony fish with “zoodles.” As long as you’re cooking, it’s just as easy to set yourself up for tomorrow’s breakfast, lunch or another dinner. You’ll thank yourself later!

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These easy, hands-off carnitas are a versatile item. Tonight you’ll make them into tacos. Then, use the same meat for breakfast or brunch in the Carnitas-Potato Hash with Egg. To cut kitchen time in the morning, make sure to thaw the frozen hash browns in the refrigerator overnight.

2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tablespoon cumin 1 tablespoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon salt 1 (4-pound bone-in or 3-pound boneless) pork shoulder roast 1 large orange, quartered 1 large lime, quartered

For the Salsa 4 medium tomatoes, diced 1 large jalapeño, diced 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 2 large scallions, chopped 1/2 teaspoon salt For the Tacos 8 taco shells or soft corn tortillas 2 cups shredded lettuce 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1. In a cup, mix the garlic, cumin, oregano and salt. 2. Trim extra fat layer from the roast, if desired. Place the roast in a 4- or 6-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the roast, then turn the roast over and spice the bottom. Rub the coating around to get the whole roast covered. Place the orange and lime quarters on top of and around the roast, then cover tightly. Cook on Low heat for 8 hours or High for 5. (To bake in the oven, see the Cook’s Note.) 3. When the pork is tender, take out to cool, placing the meat and fruit in a large bowl and pouring the liquids into a 4-cup measure or medium bowl. Chill the juices until the fat hardens. 4. Pull the pork from the bones, shredding it into bite-sized pieces and placing it in a large bowl, discarding the bones and gristle. Gently squeeze the oranges and limes to release their liquid into the bowl before discarding. Take the reserved juices out of the refrigerator and remove the fat and discard (unless you want to use it for cooking). Transfer the jellied juices in the bottom to the pulled pork and toss to mix. 5. For the tacos: Make the salsa by placing the tomatoes, jalapeño, cilantro and scallion in a medium bowl. Add salt and toss to mix. 6. Warm the carnitas in the microwave on High for 2 minutes per cup or oven at 300°F, covered, about 20 minutes time. 7. To warm soft corn tortillas, place 6 on a plate, cover with a damp paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds at a time until they are warmed through. To warm hard shells, unwrap and place on a plate, fanned slightly, and microwave on High for 45 seconds. 8. Serve about 1/4 cup meat per taco. Put shredded cheese and lettuce in bowls and set out the salsa for each diner to add toppings as desired.


Carnitas-Potato Hash with Egg MAKES 4 SERVINGS

The cooked pulled pork from your Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Tacos makes quick work of breakfast or brunch. 1 pound frozen hash browns (about 5 cups), thawed 1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more as needed 1 small onion, finely chopped 2 large red jalapeños, seeded and slivered 2 cups fresh spinach 2 cups cooked and shredded pork (from Carnitas Taco dinner) 4 large eggs 1. Thaw the shredded potatoes overnight in the refrigerator. 2. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle in the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the onion and red jalapeños and stir, reducing the heat to medium when it starts to sizzle. Stir frequently for 5 minutes. 3. Add the potatoes and let cook for about 1 minute at a time, turning with a metal spatula, for about 4 minutes. Add the spinach and pork and stir until the spinach just wilts. Using the back of a spoon, form four hollows in the potato mixture and crack an egg into each one. Cover the pan and cook for 4 minutes for eggs with runny yolks, or longer if you want a firmer yolk. Serve about 2 cups of hash and 1 egg on each plate.

Cook’s Notes: • To bake the pork roast in the oven, set the oven to 300°F. Place a 2-foot long piece of foil on a sheet pan, then place the roast on the foil and rub with the spice mixture. Cover with orange and lime quarters. Wrap the foil around the roast and seal the foil by crimping the edges. Bake until the meat is falling-apart tender, about 4 to 5 hours. • If you wanted to switch to burritos for dinner, just get large flour tortillas, put 1/4 cup of the meat reserved for tacos into each one and pile with shredded lettuce, salsa and, if you want, jack cheese. • Try stirring the cooked pork into canned tomato soup as you heat it up on the stove for a heartier soup.

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Sheet Pan Chicken Breasts and Broccolini, Red Onions and Parmesan Roasted New Potatoes with Parmesan Crust MAKES 8 CUPS CHICKEN AND VEGGIES, 31/2 CUPS SHREDDED CHICKEN, 6 CUPS POTATOES, MAKES 4 SERVINGS

Chicken, veggies and a hot oven get together to make two hearty meals. The first night, a platter of colorful broccolini, tomato and red onion serves as a bed for tangy marinated chicken pieces, and a side of crispy roasted potatoes coated in golden Parmesan completes the comforting meal. On the second day, you will pack a bowl with the remaining chicken over quinoa that will be the envy of your workplace cohorts.

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, divided

12 ounces broccolini 1 large red onion, sliced 1 large Roma tomato 1/2 cup chopped parsley

For the Potatoes 2 pounds new potatoes, halved 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese Prep for Meal Two: Chicken, Cauliflower, Spinach and Quinoa Bowls 11/2 cups quinoa 21/2 cups water

1. For the Chicken: In a storage container large enough for all the chicken, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, thyme, salt and pepper. Cut the chicken breasts across the grain into 3-inch wide pieces. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. 2. Preheat oven to 425°F. In a large roasting pan, spread the vegetables. Drain the marinade from the chicken into the pan and toss with the vegetables. Place half of the chicken on top and put in the oven. Roast for 30 minutes. 3. Place the potatoes on a second sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then toss to coat. Spread evenly on the pan and roast along with the chicken for 15 minutes. After, take out, sprinkle with Parmesan, and roast for another 10 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown and the potatoes are tender. Serve hot. 4. When the chicken is browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted in a large piece reads 160°F, scrape the chicken and veggies onto a platter and top with the parsley. 5. Place the reserved half of the chicken on a small oiled baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes or until it reaches 160°F on an instant read thermometer and is cooked through. Then cool, shred and transfer to a storage tub and refrigerate, reserving for the quinoa bowls. It will keep 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator. 6. While the chicken is in the oven, cook the quinoa for the bowls. Bring the water to a boil in a small pot, then add the quinoa. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. When all the water is absorbed, remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes, then transfer to a storage tub to cool. When cool, cover and refrigerate. Cook’s Note: You can make the Lemon-Tahini Sauce (see step 1 in recipe at right) and refrigerate or make the next day.

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Chicken, Cauliflower, Spinach and Quinoa Bowls with LemonTahini Sauce MAKES 4 SERVINGS

4 cups cooked quinoa (See Sheet Pan Chicken recipe at left, step 6) 2 large tomatoes, cut in wedges 2 cups cauliflower, raw 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped 3 cups cooked shredded chicken, reserved from Sheet Pan Chicken recipe For the Lemon-Tahini Sauce 1/4 cup tahini 3 tablespoons water 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 teaspoon salt 1. Make the Lemon-Tahini Sauce: In a cup or small storage container, stir the tahini, water, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. You can make the night before and refrigerate. This will keep for 1 week. 2. In each (of 4) 3- to 4-cup storage containers, place 1 cup cooked quinoa, half of a tomato, 1/2 cup raw cauliflower and 1/2 cup spinach, then about 3/4 cup shredded chicken. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons Lemon-Tahini Sauce, or pack sauce in a separate small container. Keep cold until time to eat.



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34 real food fall 2020





Creamy Navy Bean Soup with Kale and Pesto Toasts Smart cooks keep dried beans in the pantry, and this recipe demonstrates why. A pot of inexpensive beans can be stretched to make two filling, nutritious meals. If you have room in your freezer, you can double the amount of beans you cook and freeze half for another round later in the month. For the Beans 1 cup dried navy beans, soaked overnight (makes 3 cups cooked) 1 bay leaf

For the Pesto Toast 6 slices small baguette 1 (6-ounce) jar pesto sauce

For the Soup 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 large onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, chopped 4 cups kale 1 (15-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, drained 1/4 cup white wine 1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Soak the navy beans overnight by placing them in a pot with cool water to cover by 2 inches. In the morning, drain the liquid (see box Cooking with Dried Beans at right). 2. Place beans in a medium pot with 4 cups water, then place over medium-high heat. Add the bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Reduce to low, then cover and cook for 45 minutes. The beans should be tender. Place a strainer over a bowl or measuring cup so you can drain the beans and save the cooking water. Measure 1½ cups beans to use for the soup, and reserve 1½ cups beans for the wrap filling; place the reserved beans in a sealed container in the refrigerator. 3. While the beans cook, in a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and stir until the onions start to sizzle. Reduce the heat to medium-low, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, then reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally until the beans are done. 4. Transfer 1½ cups cooked beans and 1 cup of the bean water to a blender. Hold a folded kitchen towel over the lid to keep the hot liquids in as you blend. Blend until the beans are smooth. 5. Increase the heat under the onions to medium-high and add the kale to the pan. Stir for about 3 minutes, until the kale is softened and dark green. Add the drained tomatoes, wine and salt, mix to combine, and then stir in the pureed beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Stir in reserved bean cooking water as desired to make a creamy soup. Simmer for about 5 minutes. 6. Toast the baguette slices in the toaster or by baking on an oiled sheet pan at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes. Spread with pesto and serve with soup.

Curried Navy Bean and Spinach Wrap 1/4 cup Greek yogurt 1/4 cup mayonnaise 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon curry powder 1/4 teaspoon turmeric 1 rib celery, minced 2 scallions, chopped 1½ cups cooked navy beans (reserved from soup recipe at left) 4 large whole-wheat tortillas 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped 1 large tomato, chopped 1. In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, mayo, lemon, curry powder and turmeric. Stir to mix well, then add the celery, scallions and reserved beans and stir gently to coat. 2. To assemble, place the tortillas on a clean counter or cutting board. On each, place ½ cup spinach, then ½ cup of the bean mixture. Cover with ½ of the chopped tomatoes, then fold in the ends of the tortilla and roll each one up. Wrap tightly in waxed paper or plastic wrap. They will keep for up to 2 days in the refrigerator.

COOKING WITH DRIED BEANS Cooking with dried beans is a good way to save money and make sure that your beans are cooked to your liking. - First, measure dried beans, spread them on a cookie sheet, and pick out rocks or dirt. Most beans are really clean these days, though. - Rinse the beans with cool water and place in a bowl or cooking pot and cover by 2 inches with cool water. Cover the bowl or pot and let stand, at room temperature, overnight or for at least 6 hours. Drain off the water and add clean water to cook the beans. (This helps remove some of the “gassy” compounds in the beans, so it’s O.K. to pour that first bit of water down the drain.) - Bring the beans to a boil, then reduce to low and simmer for the suggested time. Smaller beans naturally cook more quickly, larger beans take longer. - Test a bean by scooping it out with a fork or slotted spoon, and letting it cool completely before biting it. If there is any crunch or a hard, starchy core, keep cooking. You want a tender, melt-in-the-mouth texture. - Cooked beans keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator, tightly covered.

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Cod with Lemony Veggie Zoodles

Crispy Baked Cod Sandwiches with Chipotle Mayo and Pickles Cod is the fish of choice for classic “fish and chips,” so if you grab a bag of frozen french fries to go with this, you can call it a British meal. The chipotle mayo adds some zip and smoke to the sandwich, and the pickles give it crunch and tanginess. On day two, “zoodles,” or zucchini noodles, make the meal into a low-carb, high protein lunch, or you can go with regular spaghetti if that’s what you are craving. or the Chipotle Mayo F 1/4 cup mayonnaise 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle canola oil, for pan

or the Fish Sandwiches F 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs 1/2 teaspoon paprika 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 2 pounds skinless cod fillet, divided, about 1-inch thick (thawed if frozen) 4 buns, toasted sliced dill pickles For the Cod for Meal Two Zoodles 1 large lemon, zested and juiced salt 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1. For the Chipotle Mayo: In a small bowl, combine the mayo, lemon juice, salt and chipotle, and stir to mix. Reserve. 2. Heat the oven to 425°F. Lightly oil a sheet pan and reserve. For half of the cod (for sandwiches): 3. Place the panko in a medium bowl and stir in the paprika and salt. In another medium bowl, whisk the eggs and Dijon mustard. If you have a single fillet of cod, cut into 4 evenly sized portions. If you are using frozen, pre-cut fish, you may have unevenly sized portions, and it will be easier to cut them into evenly sized 1-inch wide pieces that you can arrange on the buns. 4. Pat the fish dry with paper towels. Dip the fish into the egg mixture, then the panko mixture and place on the oiled pan. 5. Bake for 15 minutes for thick fillets (10 for sliced pieces), and then check to see if a piece will flake when pierced with the tip of a paring knife. When the fish is cooked through, take out and transfer the fish to the buns. Smear the top bun with Chipotle Mayo, and top the fish with pickle slices.

1 pound zucchini, spiralized 6 cups or 12 ounces spaghetti 4 scallions, chopped 2 large tomatoes, chopped 1/2 cup fresh parsley 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (reserved from cod sandwich recipe at left) 2 cloves garlic, pressed 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 pound cooked cod pieces (reserved from cod sandwich recipe at left) 1. To serve, place the spiralized zucchini (or cooked spaghetti) in a large bowl and add the scallions, tomatoes and parsley. 2. Whisk the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the reserved lemon juice (from Baked Cod Sandwiches recipe) and the garlic in a cup, then pour over the zucchini (or spaghetti). Add the salt and toss to mix. Warm the fish pieces in the microwave for about 2 minutes, then serve zoodles/noodles topped with fish. 


For the second half of the cod (for Lemony Veggie Zoodles): 6. Zest and juice the lemon, and reserve the juice (place 2 tablespoons reserved juice in container in refrigerator). Place the cod pieces on an oiled sheet pan and sprinkle with salt, lemon zest and Parmesan cheese. Bake for 10 minutes for thin fillets, longer if they are thick, until a piece flakes easily when pierced with a paring knife. Take out and let cool, then transfer to a storage tub, tightly cover and refrigerate until time to serve. SLOW COOKER PORK CARNITAS TACOS: PER SERVING: CALORIES 1008; FAT 44g (sat. 17g); CHOL 130mg; SODIUM 1660mg; CARB 98g; FIBER 11g; ADDED SUGARS 1g; PROTEIN 56g CARNITAS-POTATO HASH W. EGG: PER SERVING: CALORIES 605; FAT 29g (sat. 9g); CHOL 291mg; SODIUM 469mg; CARB 40g; FIBER 6g; ADDED SUGARS 0g; PROTEIN 45g






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38 real food fall 2020

Winning Chili

Mix up your own batch of a recipe by an International Chili Society World Champion and get a taste of cookoff victory


egend may have it that a range cook working along the Texas Trail invented chili during the 19th century cattle drives, or that

the Incas, Aztecs and Mayans prepared mixtures of meat, beans, peppers and herbs long before that. But no matter where it originated, you can’t argue that chili is a great way to spice up your meals. There are many ways to prepare a batch of chili, and you can get a taste of award-winning recipes by some folks who take their chilimaking very seriously—members of the International Chili Society (ICS) who call themselves “Chiliheads.” Chili peppers and chili powder are key ingredients in the recipes, and from there, seasonings vary by taste and imagination. Many recipes considered to be “true” chili are made with different cuts of beef while others are made with ground beef, pork, chicken, turkey or only vegetables. Some Chiliheads feel true chili does not include beans. The ICS official regulations agree that traditional red chili is any kind of meat or combination of meats, cooked with red chili peppers, various spices and other ingredients, with the exception of beans and pasta, which are strictly forbidden. The homestyle category loosens the parameters so that chili can be any color and beans are allowed. There is also the verde category, which mixes it up with green chili peppers. (For more on the ICS see box on page 45.) The cookoff competitors may keep their own recipes under wraps while concocting the magic formulas, but once they compete at the annual cookoff, the winning recipe is shared with the world. Take a look at a selection of recent award-winning recipes from different categories here and get a taste of what it takes to make a champion fiery ambrosia. —Mary Subialka


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George’s Chili Gang Homestyle Chili

Chuck’s Outlaw Verde



Recipe by George Rives of Eolia, Missouri, 2018 Homestyle World Champion

Recipe by Chuck McCrory of Crowley, Texas, 2018 Chili Verde World Champion

or the Meat Mixture F 1/2 pound mild pork sausage 3 pounds ground beef, divided vegetable oil, for cooking 1 teaspoon ground white pepper, divided 1 teaspoon Accent seasoning, divided

2 small onions, chopped 2 fresh jalapeño peppers, chopped 1 (4-ounce) can whole green chile, chopped finely 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce 1 (14-ounce) can beef broth 2 (14-ounce) cans chicken broth 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes 1 (8-ounce) can hot tomato sauce 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 (27-ounce) can Bush’s pinto chili beans

Spice Mix 6 tablespoons (or 2 1.5-ounce packets) chili seasoning mix, such as Chilli Man or other brand 4 tablespoons chili powder 1 tablespoon cumin 1 teaspoon garlic powder 2 teaspoons cayenne powder 1½ tablespoons arrow root, for thickening, if needed sea salt, to taste 1. For the first batch of meat, brown the sausage in a large skillet over medium heat, then add half of the ground beef, ½ teaspoon ground white pepper, ½ teaspoon Accent seasoning and oil. Brown and drain and set aside on paper towel. 2. To a chili pot, add the chopped onions, jalapeños, green chilies, tomato sauce, beef broth, chicken broth and 3⁄4 of the spice mix. Bring to a boil then add the first batch of cooked meat mixture. Continue cooking on low heat. 3. In the large skillet, brown the second half of ground beef, ½ teaspoon ground white pepper and ½ teaspoon Accent seasoning. Drain the grease, add meat mixture to chili pot and simmer for 2 hours. 4. Add Tabasco, brown sugar, remaining chili spices, hot tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Cook for 30 minutes or until meat is tender. Adjust chili gravy with additional chicken broth to thin or arrow root mixed with 2 tablespoons of water, as necessary/desired. Add beans 15 minutes before serving. Salt to taste.

2 pounds pork, cubed 2 (14-ounce) cans chicken broth, divided Spice Mix 3 tablespoons cumin 3 tablespoons Hatch green chili powder 1 tablespoon salt 1/4 teaspoon oregano 5 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped 1 (28-ounce) can Hatch whole green chilies (juice drained), seeded and chopped 8 ounces Hatch green chile enchilada sauce 1 medium onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1. Braise the cubed pork in 1 can of chicken broth and set aside 2. For the Spice Mix: In a small bowl, mix cumin, green chili powder, salt and oregano and set aside. 3. Blend chopped jalapeños, chopped Hatch chilies and green enchilada sauce, divide in three equal parts and set aside. 4. Combine 1 can of chicken broth, onion, and garlic in cooking pot and heat until onion is translucent. 5. Add 1/3 reserved blended pepper mix, pork with braising liquid, and 1½ tablespoons Spice Mix. Cook on medium heat for 1 hour. 6. Add another 1/3 blended jalapeños, 1½ tablespoons Spice Mix. Continue cooking for 1 hour and then add the last 1/3 of blended jalapeños and remaining Spice Mix. Cook for 30 minutes then serve.

DID YOU KNOW? Chili powder is a mix of ground chilies with several spices such as oregano, garlic powder and cumin, and it has a moderate heat level. If you’re out of regular chili powder, you can make your own by mixing equal parts oregano leaves, paprika, garlic powder and ground cumin. Then spice it up to your desired heat level with cayenne.

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Giants Tailgate Chili Too

Joe’s Jet Lag Homestyle Chili



Recipe by Joseph Callahan of Summit, New Jersey, 2017 Homestyle World Champion

Recipe by Joe Harter of Leesburg, Virginia, 2016 Homestyle World Champion

Spice Mix 5 teaspoons cumin 2 tablespoons jalapeño powder 2 tablespoons garlic powder 2 tablespoons onion powder 2 tablespoons white pepper 3 pounds boneless chicken thighs 1 pound boneless pork spare ribs vegetable oil, for cooking 10 to 12 tomatillos 2 poblano peppers 2 long hot peppers 1 large (or 2 small) onions, diced 1 (8-ounce) can diced green peppers 12 ounces Goya Sofrito or other seasoned tomato cooking base sauce 2 quarts chicken stock 2 (16-ounce) cans pinto beans shredded cheddar cheese, for serving (optional) diced onion, for serving (optional) 1. For the Spice Mix: Place all the spices in a small container, mix together and set aside. 2. Wash chicken thighs and pork spare ribs under cold water. Remove any extra fat (some fat is good; too much is not). Cut meat into small cubes, keeping chicken and pork separate. 3. In a large frying pan, add vegetable oil and sauté chicken for about 5 minutes or until the meat is white in color. Drain meat and wash in cold water. Repeat the same process for the pork. 4. Dice the tomatillos, peppers and onions. 5. In a large pot, add some vegetable oil and sauté tomatillos, peppers and onions until about half their original size. 6. Mix in about half of the spice mix and cook 5 minutes. 7. Add the can diced green peppers, meat, Goya Sofrito, chicken stock and half of the remaining spices. Cook over low to medium heat for about 1½ hours. 8. Add remaining spice mix and pinto beans. Reduce heat to low and cook another ½ hour. 9. Let it sit off heat for about 1 hour and check spice level. At this point you can add more if needed. Always remember you can add heat but you cannot take it out. 10. Return to low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, then serve as is or top with cheddar cheese and onions, if desired. Corn bread would go nicely with this dish. Editor’s Note: Callahan shared one of his award-winning secrets: Pre-spice the beans. Drain the beans, then add some of the spice mix and toss into the beans so that all of them are coated. Let mixture rest for up to 3 to 4 hours before beginning to make the chili, then add per recipe instructions.

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3 pounds beef, chili grind For the Broth 1 (14-ounce) can beef broth 1 (14-ounce) can chicken broth 4 ounces tomato sauce salt Spice Mix 1 2 tablespoons ground red chili pepper 1 tablespoon onion powder 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper Spice Mix 2 3 tablespoons ground red chili pepper 2 teaspoons garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon oregano Spice Mix 3 3 tablespoons chili powder 3 tablespoons cumin 1 mini brick (about 4 ounces) Velveeta Cheese Original hot sauce, to taste salt, to taste 1. Place ingredients for the broth mixture in a large pot. 2. In a large skillet, brown the beef and then add to the broth along with Spice Mix 1. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 1 hour. 3. Add Spice Mix 2 and simmer for 1 hour. 4. Add Spice Mix 3 and simmer for 45 minutes. 5. Add the cheese and simmer about 15 minutes, and then stir to mix. Use the hot sauce and salt to taste.

WHY TIMED SPICING? These award-winning chili recipes add spices throughout the cooking process. If you are tempted to skip that process and dump them in all at once, think again. “You can lose good chili flavor with cooking your pot over a long period of time,” says Diane Lenz, 2019 Traditional Red World Champion. So she adds a small amount at the beginning of cooking to instill some flavor into the meat as it tenderizes during the cooking process, and then adds most of her chili powder during the last hour of cooking, giving it time to impart all the flavors. “Also, you don’t want to add cumin at the beginning of cooking your chili as it could turn bitter,” she cautions. “The last small amount of chili powder added 30 minutes until finished gives an extra little kick of flavor.” She also likes to finish it with a squeeze of lime.



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Belle Breezing Bordello Chili MAKES ABOUT 8 SERVINGS Recipe by Diane Lentz of Nicholasville, Kentucky, 2019 Traditional Red World Champion

1 (14.5-ounce) can chicken broth 1 (14.5-ounce) can beef broth 1 (10.75-ounce) can tomato purée, divided 2-ounce boneless pork rib piece 1 jalapeño pepper

1 hour and then add the rest of Spice Mix 2, vinegar, Sazon Goya, remaining tomato purée and brown sugar. Keep mixture at a low bubble boil for 20 minutes; this blends the flavors of the spices without cooking them out. 5. Add the reserved Spice Mix 3 and simmer for 30 minutes. Check your salt level and the liquid amount, making any adjustments as desired. If it’s too thick, add some additional broth or water. If it’s too thin, mix 2 teaspoons cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water and stir into chili. Add a squirt of fresh lime juice, if desired. Remove whole jalapeño pepper and squeeze its juice into chili, if desired, then discard.

Spice Mix 1 1 tablespoon Ancho chili powder 1½ tablespoons chili powder 3 pounds beef tri tip, cubed 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided Spice Mix 2 ½ tablespoon paprika ½ to 1 teaspoon red pepper 3½ tablespoons chili powder 4 tablespoons Reno Red chili powder (See Cook’s Note) 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon onion powder 2 teaspoons garlic powder 3 tablespoons cumin ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar 1 packet (1½ teaspoons) Sazon Goya with annatto ½ tablespoon brown sugar lime juice, optional


1. Combine chicken broth, beef broth, half of the tomato purée, pork piece, whole jalapeño and Spice Mix 1 in chili pot and heat over medium heat, about 10 minutes, while you are browning the meat. 2. In a skillet over medium heat, brown the meat in three batches in 1 tablespoon of canola oil per batch. Drain, rinse the meat with water and add to the chili pot. Cook mixture until the meat becomes tender, checking after 1 hour and every 20 minutes after that for a total of about 1 to 1½ hours. 3. Combine all Spice Mix 2 ingredients and remove 2½ tablespoons of the mixture, setting it aside to be used as Spice Mix 3. 4. Remove pork piece from chili pot and discard (See Cook’s Notes) and add 4 tablespoons of Spice Mix 2. Simmer for about



Cook’s Notes: • If Reno Red chili powder is not available, substitute regular chili powder. • The pork piece adds flavor and smooths out chili powders. After removing from chili pot, eat or save for another use. 

WHAT IS THE INTERNATIONAL CHILI SOCIETY? Back in 1967, a group of friends started a “friendly” chili competition in Terlingua, Texas, since each thought that he made the best chili and wanted to prove it. In 2020, the World Food Championships officially acquired the International Chili Society to further its brand in the Food Sport world. Any time of year, rain or shine, the ICS sanctions and regulates hundreds of cookoffs across the country with cooking categories of Traditional Red, Homestyle, Chili Verde, Veggie and Youth Division. Chiliheads compete in ICS cook-offs throughout each cooking season in hopes of qualifying for the grand competition each fall when they determine the World Champions at the ICS World Championship Chili Cookoff. In addition to prize money, trophies and bragging rights for the winners, the ICS’s mission is to continuously improve chili while raising money for charities and nonprofits year round. Close to $100 million has been raised and donated to date. If interested in more information, visit




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Craft Beer at the Table

From food pairings to beer-infused recipes, adding craft brews into your culinary endeavors promises delicious fall meals



raft beer has been making waves in

the culinary scene in the past few

years, and fall is a great time to try it in your own kitchen. If you want to try a beerinfused recipe, look no further than “Lush:

A Season-by-Season Celebration of Craft Beer and Produce” by Jacquelyn Dodd. Long gone are the days where beer is used only for grilled meat or cookout fare. In “Lush,” Dodd proves that beer can be used for a full range of intricate vegetarian dishes. Recipes include a side of Roasted Cauliflower with Creamy Beer and Leek Sauce or a delicious Coconut-Fig French Toast Casserole for breakfast, all organized by season to take into account the beer that we love to sip during the cooler autumn days and the produce that is readily available. After all, as Dodd writes in the introduction, beer is as seasonal as produce. Pairing an entrée with a beer may seem simple, but it’s actually an art and takes some practice. Dive into the world of craft beer pairings with help from “The Beer Lover’s Table: Seasonal Recipes and Modern Beer Pairings” by Claire Bullen and Jen Ferguson. Their recipes come along with beer pairing recommendations from classic lagers to pumpkin ales, and to help you learn

Coconut-Fig French Toast Casserole MAKES 6 SERVINGS

Here’s how we can eat bread pudding for breakfast. We all know it’s really dessert, but we’re serving it with syrup and coffee, so it must be breakfast! We collectively nod along as we eat our dessert first, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need to do. The candy-like sweetness of the figs adds a surprisingly beautiful, new flavor and texture to an old classic, making you wonder why figs aren’t a staple in all your dessertfor-breakfast endeavors. 1 (1-pound) challah loaf, cut into cubes 20 black Mission figs, cut into quarters 1 cup whole milk ¾ cup Belgian dubbel 1 (13.5-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk, shaken 1 cup, packed golden brown sugar 6 large eggs 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 teaspoon kosher salt ¼ cup dried coconut flakes whipped cream or pure maple syrup, to serve 1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish. 2. Arrange the bread cubes in an even layer in the prepared baking dish. Scatter the fig quarters evenly over the bread. 3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, beer, coconut milk, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt. Pour the mixture over the bread and figs, pressing down on the bread to make sure it is all submerged. Sprinkle the coconut flakes evenly over the casserole. 4. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes to allow the bread to absorb the egg mixture (alternatively, you can refrigerate the casserole overnight before baking). 5. Bake for 35 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until the center has puffed and the top has lightly browned. 6. Allow to cool slightly, then slice and serve with whipped cream or maple syrup.

how to build your own perfect pair, we have also included an excerpt from the book’s guide to food and beer pairings. And of course, there’s no rule against pairing a beer-infused dish with a delicious, complementary brew. Whether you’re hoping to give a beer-infused dish a chance or sharpen your pairing skills, the following delicious fall recipes—and brews—will look


good on your table. —Katie Ballalatak fall 2020 real food 47

Roasted Cauliflower with Creamy Beer and Leek Sauce MAKES 4 SERVINGS

Fettuccine with Roasted Chickpeas and Kale in Lemon and Belgian Ale Cream Sauce MAKES 4 SERVINGS

For a cold-weather meal, this tastes as bright as sunshine. One taste of the freshness of the kale and the pop of the lemon and you’ll be transported. We also need to take a second to mention the delightful crunch of the chickpeas, so addictive and crispy you might need to make a batch just for snacking. 1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste ½ teaspoon chili powder 1 pound fettuccine 5 tablespoons unsalted butter 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 cup Belgian quadrupel ½ cup half-and-half 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice ½ cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano 2 cups chopped kale 1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. 2. Dry the chickpeas between paper towels or clean dishtowels until they are completely dry to the touch. Spread out the chickpeas in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Add the olive oil and salt, tossing to coat the chickpeas. 3. Roast until the chickpeas are golden brown and crispy, about 20 minutes. Transfer the roasted chickpeas to a bowl. Add the black pepper and chili powder, tossing to coat. 4. Cook the pasta according to the package directions until just before it is al dente. Drain and set aside. 5. Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the beer, half-and-half and lemon juice and reduce the heat to medium to maintain a simmer. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano, about 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring until melted before adding more. Simmer the sauce until it thickens. Stir in the kale. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 6. Combine the pasta and sauce in a serving dish. Add the chickpeas and toss before serving.

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Roast up some cauliflower and you’ll have no idea what the haters are talking about. The mild and slightly nutty flavor is perfect in so many dishes. Serve it with a creamy leek sauce, and dunk to your heart’s content. Leeks bring a bright, sweet, pleasantly oniony flavor that balances beautifully with the cauliflower. While leeks peak in winter … they begin their season in fall. 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped ¼ cup Belgian dubbel ¼ cup half-and-half ¼ cup reduced-sodium vegetable broth 1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. 2. Scatter the cauliflower florets on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil, ½ teaspoon of the salt and ½ teaspoon of the pepper, tossing to coat. Roast until a fork easily pierces the cauliflower, about 35 minutes. 3. Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in the beer, half-and-half, broth, remaining ½ teaspoon of salt and remaining ½ teaspoon of pepper. Simmer until the sauce thickens, about 6 minutes. 4. Transfer to a blender, allow to cool slightly, and blend until smooth. 5. Transfer the cauliflower to a serving dish. Drizzle it with the sauce if desired or serve it on the side for dipping.

Chinese Glazed Baby Back Ribs MAKES 4 SERVINGS

Ribs tend to conjure images of sweat-streaked pit masters and smoke-clogged barbecues. Fair enough, then, if you’ve ever hesitated to make them at home, but note that these ribs require none of those pyrotechnics—or even a grill—to achieve bold flavor and real tenderness. All they need, in fact, is to marinate for 24 hours in the refrigerator and then cook low and slow in the oven. There are very few limits as far as marinade ingredients are concerned, but I like this Chinese-inspired version, which blends the funk of hoisin, saline soy sauce, fragrant five-spice powder and sweet honey. Pair With: a schwarzbier. Schwarzbiers—which translates to “black beers”—traditionally hail from central and east Germany, and are brewed with dark-roasted malts and lager yeast. That combination of roasty toasty flavors with refreshing drinkability works a treat alongside these rich, burnished ribs. Editor’s Note: The author recommends Anspach & Hobday Das Schwarzbier (U.K.), Bohem Brewery Druid (U.K.) or Suarez Family Bones Shirt (U.S.) for the paired beer. If you cannot find the Suarez Family Brewery’s Bones Shirt from Hudson, New York, try looking for New Belgium Brewing’s 1554 Black Lager or Guinness’ Black Lager instead. 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine or sake (See Cook’s Note) 1 rack (about 3 pounds) baby back ribs, trimmed 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped and cut into individual riblets thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and 1 tablespoon Chinese five-spice powder finely chopped ½ cup hoisin sauce 2 to 3 spicy red chili peppers such as bird’s-eye, finely 3 tablespoons soy sauce chopped, plus extra to garnish (optional) 3 tablespoons clear honey 2 to 3 scallions, thinly sliced, to garnish 1 tablespoon rice vinegar 1½ tablespoons sesame oil 1. Start marinating the ribs 24 hours before cooking. Add the ribs and five-spice powder to a large zip-top bag or nonreactive bowl, and toss until evenly coated. 2. Mix together the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, sesame oil, Shaoxing rice wine or sake, garlic, ginger and chili peppers in a small bowl. Pour the sauce over the ribs and shake or mix to coat evenly. Seal the bag or cover the bowl, and chill in the refrigerator for 24 hours. 3. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a large baking sheet with foil and put a wire rack on top. Remove the ribs from the marinade and place in a single layer on the rack (return the marinade to the refrigerator). Cover the ribs tightly with foil and cook in the oven for 1 hour. 4. Remove the ribs from the oven and brush with half of the remaining marinade. Cover and cook for a further 20 to 30 minutes, or until the ribs are completely fork-tender. Flip with tongs and brush on the remaining marinade, then cook, uncovered, for a final 5 minutes, or until the ribs are dark and sticky. 5. Once the ribs are fully cooked, let cool for 10 minutes. Garnish with the sliced red chilies RECIPES AND PHOTOS FROM “THE BEER (if using) and scallions and serve. LOVERS TABLE: SEASONAL RECIPES AND Cook’s Note: If you don’t have Shaoxing rice wine, you can use pale dry sherry or white wine as a substitute.


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Butternut Squash Risotto MAKES 4 TO 5 SERVINGS

There are a lot of myths about risotto, the most persistent being that it is necessary to stir it constantly as it cooks (given that risotto takes 30 to 40 minutes to make, that’s a lot of arm work). Other recipes advocate a totally hands-off approach, leaving the rice and liquid to simmer together undisturbed. I prefer a method that’s somewhere in the middle. By keeping the heat low, including several large additions of liquid, and stirring occasionally rather than constantly, the result is rich and creamy without being sticky and overworked. Add cubes of butternut squash, a grating of nutmeg and fried sage leaves to lend this risotto a particularly autumnal appeal. Pair With: a pumpkin beer. There are a lot of iterations out there these days (likely more so in the U.S., the spiritual home of the style, than other places), from pumpkin-coffee stouts to pumpkin-flavored lagers. Here, go for a classic version of the style—perhaps one with just enough hoppy bitterness to stand up to the risotto’s richness. Editor’s Note: The author recommends River Horse Brewing Hipp-o-Lantern Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Southern Tier Imperial Pumking or Two Roads Roadsmary’s Baby—all available in the U.S. If you cannot find these specific beers, look for the nationally distributed Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Wheat. 1 small butternut squash (about 2 pounds) 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1 large onion, finely diced 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1½ cups Arborio rice 4½ cups chicken stock, plus extra if needed 1 cup dry white wine 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 20 fresh sage leaves ¾ cup shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra to serve nutmeg, preferably freshly grated, to serve 1. First, prepare the squash. Slice off the top and bottom, and remove the skin using a chef’s knife or strong peeler. Slice in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and cut into roughly ½-inch cubes. Set aside. 2. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to a large, deep skillet and place over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the squash and season well with sea salt and black pepper. Sauté the squash until just fork-tender and beginning to brown (about 10 to 12 minutes). Transfer the squash to a bowl and set aside. 3. Wipe out the skillet and return to the stovetop. Add the remaining olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for approximately 5 minutes, or until softened and beginning to turn translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.

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4. Add the dry rice to the skillet and stir until evenly coated with oil. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Pour over roughly half the stock, or until the rice is just covered with the liquid. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the stock is absorbed. 5. Add the wine and half the remaining stock. Add half the squash at this stage; it will start to melt into the risotto. Keep the risotto at a simmer, stirring occasionally to encourage creaminess and stop it sticking to the skillet. 6. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Once the butter has just melted, but before it starts to foam, add the sage leaves in a single layer. Fry the leaves for about 3 minutes, or until they are crispy and the butter is browned, but not burned—watch attentively, as this process happens quickly. Remove from the heat and set aside. 7. Once most of the liquid has been absorbed, add the remainder of the stock to the risotto. Cook, stirring frequently, until the risotto is thick and creamy, and the rice still has just a bit of bite. Stir through the remainder of the squash. Season to taste. If the rice is still a bit too al dente for your taste, or if you prefer risotto on the thinner side, add more stock a little at a time. 8. When the risotto is ready, remove the skillet from the heat and add the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Drain the browned butter from the sage leaves and fold through the risotto. Divide the risotto between plates. Top with a good grating of nutmeg, a generous amount of Parmigiano-Reggiano and the fried sage leaves. Serve immediately. 



Why does beer pair so well with food? Quite simply, its enormous variety of flavors, aromas and ingredients make it phenomenally versatile. Malted grains lend it a caramelized sweetness, roasty flavors and nuttiness. Hops impart bitterness, boldness and vibrant aromatics. Yeast, especially German and Belgian varieties, bestows fruit and spice notes. Bacteria add sourness, while barrel-aging gives beer richness, a luxurious mouthfeel and woodiness. Additional ingredients, ranging from fruits and spices to coffee—and even shellfish—contribute yet another vector of flavor. In short, as Garrett Oliver notes in “The Brewmaster’s Table,” “You can easily see that beer is an amazingly complex beverage, so it is not surprising that beer has so much to offer food.” But don’t feel intimidated by beer’s multitudes. Instead, follow these basic pairing principles, which make it easy to craft a successful match.

Contrasting pairings Contrasting food and beer pairings can also work splendidly. Keep richness, acidity and bitterness in mind: To contrast the creaminess of a chocolate mousse, for example, turn to a raspberry lambic, whose tartness and bright fruit notes provide a counterbalancing effect. Spicy dishes, meanwhile, don’t tend to pair well with IPAs, as the style’s hoppy bitterness only enhances the heat. Instead, a sweeter, maltier style, like a brown ale, helps put out the flames. That hoppy IPA is better used as a foil for rich, unctuous dishes.

Intensity Arguably the most important factor to consider when matching food and beer is intensity: In most cases, you’re after a pairing in which each element engages the other, an equal dialogue between parties. … Try [a] witbier and white fish together, and pair short ribs [with a] stout—both are well matched in terms of impact, boldness and intensity.

Carbonation and mouthfeel Often overlooked in favor of flavor and aromatics, mouthfeel … can have a significant impact on pairings. Highly carbonated beers, such as lagers … are excellent with creamy and mouth-coating dishes, as the bubbles help to “scrub” the palate clean between bites. On the complementary side, a beer with a viscous and rich mouthfeel pairs well with a similarly indulgent cheese or dessert.

Complementary pairings Once you’ve matched your pairings by intensity, there’s room to experiment further. One foolproof method is to pair like with like and marry complementary flavors. A sweet chocolate stout and a slice of chocolate cake, for instance, are a tried-and-true duo. … To forge a complementary match, seek out beers and dishes that share flavors (or even ingredients).

Proximity and seasonality “What grows together, goes together” is an old adage used for food and wine pairings. While this concept doesn’t directly translate to beer … there are still cases in which traditional, location-specific styles pair well with food from the same respective regions. … Beers made with seasonal ingredients—pumpkin beers, fruit-infused sours—tend to pair well with comparably seasonal dishes.






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Bland Rescue Vivian Howard shares her pro tip for make-ahead flavor “heroes” that swoop in for a rescue from bland food BY TARA Q. THOMAS

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or restaurateurs across the country, this spring was brutal It wasn’t until she was well invested in running the restaurant that with shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic forcing she returned to the idea of being the storyteller she had once dreamed them to shutter their doors or pivot to entirely different of. “About five years after opening the Chef and The Farmer, I reached business models. For Vivian Howard, this forced her to temporarily out to a childhood friend of mine who’s a documentary filmmaker to close Chef and The Farmer, the restaurant that brought fame to her see if she would help me make a documentary about the dying food and her small town of Kinston in Eastern North Carolina, and pertraditions of Eastern North Carolina,” Howard explains. This documanently shut down the Boiler Room Oyster Bar, a well-loved local mentary turned into “A Chef ’s Life,” which ran for five seasons on spot across the street. Meanwhile, she retooled Benny’s Big Time, her PBS, garnering a Peabody award and a daytime Emmy, and drawing pizzeria in Wilmington, North Carolina, to offer delivery and pickup unprecedented attention to her and her corner of the state. only. And all of this happened while she was still reeling from givIt also gained her the opportunity to finally write a book, as agents ing up her award-winning PBS television show, “A Chef ’s Life,” and came knocking on her door. That first book, “Deep Run Roots” launching a new series, “Somewhere South,” which premiered at the turned out to be a phenomenal success. But the TV show was drainend of March 2020 on PBS. ing. Not only did it take her away from her restaurants and And yet, when I catch her one hot, humid afternoon her family, but she ended up feeling trapped by the gulf in early June, she sounds positively rejuvenated. “It’s between viewer expectations and the complicated, been going really well,” she says. “I may never messy reality of cooking and farming today. open the dining rooms again.” It’s a startling Its success and that of her growing restaurant admission for someone who was recently empire also taxed her relationships with her named the South’s Best Chef by Southern staff and her family. And then there was Living and has been a six-time semifinalist the new book to write—promised back for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef when she had signed the contract for her Southeast award. “I’m not saying we’re not first book. going to reopen our dining rooms,” she In the chaos of her life, she struggled clarifies, “but it’s certainly given me time to figure out what the book should be, let to think about the things that I’d like to be alone when she would have time to write different, and things that would make my it, and missed her deadline. “Every day I life more comfortable.” let more and more people down. I felt lost,” Her new book, “This Will Make It Taste she writes candidly in the intro to “This Will Good,” played a pivotal part in her newfound Make It Taste Good.” optimism, though it was a struggle to get there. Her editor, however, didn’t give up on her. —Vivian Howard “My life was a dumpster fire,” she says bluntly, thinkInstead, he issued an ultimatum: Finish it in five ing back to 2019, when she began writing it. The book months or forget it. Never one to back down from a was just one of the things going wrong, she says—but one of challenge, Howard began writing at 5 a.m. daily—anathema the most disappointing, since all she’d ever wanted to be was a writer. to restaurant people, who rarely get to bed before midnight. She “I started working in a restaurant as a means to translate that expethought back to “Deep Run Roots” and the comments it attracted rience to a career in food writing,” she says. “I found that I really loved on Amazon. “I woke up every morning for a year and the first thing working in the kitchen: I liked making stuff, I liked the camaraderie, I did was read all the reviews,” she recalls. “I wouldn’t have kept I liked working toward a common goal—and it was a lot easier to get reading them if most of them weren’t positive,” she jokes, “but the a job in a kitchen than to get a job writing.” thing that came up over and over was, ‘So many of these recipes are Like many young people with liberal arts degrees, Howard started too complicated.’ That really bothered me, because I didn’t think working in restaurants when she arrived in New York City. She liked that they were complicated. Some of them were, but that’s just what the restaurant world so much that she enrolled in the Institute of people were seeing in a four-page-long recipe.” So she decided to Culinary Education and went on to work in a number of acclaimed focus on simple. “I felt like, I’m at home, and I cook dinner at home restaurants, including Jean-Georges Vongterichten’s Spice Market. in 30 minutes for my family, and that’s simple.” After she moved back to Eastern North Carolina to open a restaurant But simple turned out not to be so simple. While the basics of with her husband, Ben Knight—an artist whom she had met while Howard’s everyday family dinners are simple, “there are all these they were working in the same New York City restaurant—the dream things I’m pulling from to make it exciting,” she says. “When I was of becoming a writer moved even further away. trying to write a simple cookbook without those things, it felt like

“Coming up with recipes was so easy because it’s what I cook for myself all the time. I really have these things on hand.”

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“The hero that makes my heart beat fast, the one I would rush in to save from the flames if my house were burning down, is Little Green Dress. Also affectionately known as LGD, this little number is like chimichurri and salsa verde had a baby in a bed of olives. LGD is condiment, ingredient, texture, acid, herb, oil and salt all at once.” —Vivian Howard


54 real food fall 2020

I was just dumbing down everything that I actually did. It felt like I was almost writing in someone else’s voice—and kind of aimlessly.” By the time she had struggled through writing out a detailed proposal for the book, she realized that there was only one chapter that excited her. “At the bottom of the proposal, there was a whole chapter that was like, ‘This will make it taste good.’ Basically, what I was saying is, if you find all this other stuff boring, make these things. It just became really clear— that’s what I should do, and just, like, take the time to do it, and don’t gloss over it. Make the whole book about this.” In the end, the name “This Will Make It Taste Good” telegraphs the confidence she wrote her book with, and the conviction of her beliefs are evident in the energy of the prose and the boldness of the photographs. It shows what can happen when an idea fits so well that it essentially becomes an extension of yourself. Essentially (and surprisingly), it’s a book about 10 condiments—what she calls “heroes”—and how to use them as shortcuts to deliciousness on the fly. “As soon as I figured out what I was doing and got the green light, I didn’t agonize over anything,” Howard says. “Coming up with recipes was so easy because it’s what I cook for myself all the time. I really have these things on hand.” Some of the condiments are easy enough to whip up right before dinner time—like her favorite, Little Green Dress. As she describes it: “The hero that makes my heart beat fast, the one I would rush in to save from the flames if my house were burning down, is Little Green Dress. Also affectionately known as LGD, this little number is like chimichurri and salsa verde

had a baby in a bed of olives. LGD is condiment, ingredient, texture, acid, herb, oil and salt all at once. Like the little black dress that’s your sure thing, LGD is pretty much perfect for every occasion. … It’s a key that opens the door to delicious and makes boring bold, makes simple shine. It’s the ultimate trick.” A spoonful is all that’s needed to take a hard-boiled egg or tuna salad to the next level; it also creates an insanely addictive version of what she calls Gas Station Biscuits, a local offering of biscuits with hoop cheese baked into their soft middles. Other heroes take foresight to make ahead but will pay off in the long run. “With all the people who tested the recipes, the kraut has been a revelation for everyone,” Howard says of Can-Do Kraut. She’s upfront about the fact that many people will need coaxing to even try it, but she makes a strong case for it. “I’m well aware that a lot of you don’t look at kraut and see yourselves in it,” she begins the chapter. “But I’m here today on this page to tell you that you are wrong. You can make it. You can cook with it. You can and should eat it. Kraut can change your life.” She then lays out just how easy it is to make the recipe, which takes only 20 minutes of active time before you let it sit and work its own magic for a week or more. And she follows that up with 11 great reasons to make it—from Picklesicles (yes, frozen pickle brine, which is incredibly thirst-quenching on a hot day) to a sweet potato-and-bacon chowder spiked with its crunchy, acidic punch. “We were all surprised just how much we enjoyed eating it out of hand, and in how many unexpected ways it makes things so much better. When you think about it, in so many ways it’s acid and texture.”

In fact, you could think of the condiments as building blocks of flavor—they are just more elaborate versions of the sweet, sour, acid and bitter notes you have in texture and flavor. “The interesting thing is, I shared this book with several of my chef friends, and one said, ‘This is such a brilliant idea. Anyone who cooks professionally has things we turn to over and over again.' If you’re in the dining room eating, you may not know it, but that thing is represented in several of the dishes you are eating. So this really is the way that we do stuff as professional chefs, but it’s always seemed too complicated to explain that to home cooks.’ ” Whether readers will actually take the time to make the heroes remains a question in Howard’s mind—even though she thoroughly believes that spending 45 minutes on Sunday evening making her R-Rated Onions will get you further in the pursuit of deliciousness than spending the same time precooking quinoa and broccoli to be reheated later in the week. But while she was worrying about this, the pandemic struck. “Everyone was at home,” she says. “I kept thinking, God I wish this book were out.” Unfortunately, she couldn’t get the book out any faster (it’s slated for October 2020), but she could get the heroes into people’s hands. She launched a mail-order business with the Little Green Dress and sold 500 bottles in 45 minutes. “It was like watching a ticker tape,” she says. The demand had her running all over the area, trying to buy herbs from people’s backyards so she could get more made. She now credits the Little Green Dress with having saved her sanity. The success of the heroes not only confirmed her belief in their power to make people happy but also showed her the way to a new business. “It was the first time in five years that I felt I was really leading my kitchen and my small team with purpose— and I felt grounded, hopeful, full of gratitude and energized.” You can follow Howard on Instagram at @handyandhot to get in on ordering the condiments for delivery to your door. But she hopes many people will take the time to try their own hand at it. “I just think if they do, they’ll understand how much easier it makes their life and how much more exciting it makes their food. And how they’ll become empowered to make dishes on their own. That’s really my goal.” 

Little Green Dress MAKES 2 CUPS

Here’s What’s Important: • This recipe is specific in calling for a certain variety of olive, shallots instead of onion, and a particular hue of vinegar. But know that it is LGD’s equation that makes it heroic, not its details. To make your own variant of LGD, you need fresh, fragrant herbs; something onionesque; the combined brine power of olives, capers and anchovy; the juxtaposed acid of both vinegar and citrus; and the fruity fat of a goodquality olive oil. Don’t get hung up on the variety of vinegar you don’t have or the fact that you’ve got onion and no shallot. Just follow the equation and taste what happens. • This is not the place for dried herbs. The parsley and mint must be fresh and fragrant. And with the exception of the woody ends, the stems should be included. • Don’t even think about fake lemon juice. • LGD will keep in your fridge for one month but don’t relegate it to your freezer. She doesn’t respond well to the lack of attention and its cold environment. Believe it or not, because of her high acid content, she’ll be just fine on your counter for about a week. • Honestly, I can’t think of a protein that doesn’t benefit under the weight of its dollop. From shrimp to steak, this hero of mine travels to all the places that make meat taste better than it did before. And mixed with fatty stuff like mayonnaise, sour cream, butter, cheese, or bacon fat, LGD provides magical yin to their yang and gracefully emerges as a sauce. • Don’t let some of the ingredients deter you: I’ve knowingly fed this to haters of olives and anchovies alike, and all of them wanted more. 2 medium shallots, peeled 2 cloves garlic, peeled 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar 2/3 cup Castelvetrano olives, pitted 1½ tablespoons capers, rinsed 2 oil-packed anchovy filets 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley (about 1 cup packed)

2 (½-ounce) packages fresh mint (about ½ cup packed) ½ cup tasty extra-virgin olive oil grated zest of 1 lemon ¼ cup fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon hot sauce ½ teaspoon kosher salt

1. In a small food processor, mince the shallots and the garlic, then stir them in a small bowl with the red wine vinegar. We want them to pickle a bit, so give them all some privacy for about 20 minutes before you add them to the rest of the ingredients. 2. Meanwhile, mince the pitted olives, capers and anchovies in the food processor. Transfer to a medium bowl. Pick the leaves and smaller stems from the parsley and the leaves from the mint and mince in the food processor; it may take a little while to get them all fully processed. Transfer the herbs to the bowl with the olive mixture. 3. Add the vinegar-shallot-garlic mixture, olive oil, lemon zest and juice, hot sauce, and salt to the bowl with everything else. Stir it all together and let this vinegary puddle of green sit for a minimum of 30 minutes before you bathe in it. LGD will keep for a month in a sealed container in your fridge as long as all the green stuff is submerged in just a bit of olive oil. Suggested Uses for LGD: Spoon on baked potatoes • Dollop on steak, roast chicken, lamb, pork or seafood • Add to salads with creamy cheeses • Serve with scrambled eggs or omelets • Spoon on top of bowls of soup • Mash into guacamole or avocado toast • Mix into chicken, potato or egg salad • Serve on top of deviled eggs • Simmer with ground meat for tacos • Spread on top of pizza • Use as a filling for grilled cheese or quesadillas • Thin with oil to make a vinaigrette

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The Beauty of Blends A recipe for complexity and balance makes food-friendly red wines BY MARY SUBIALKA


hen you’re selecting a wine to go with dinner, check out red blends. Just like a food recipe includes more than one ingredient, many of the best wines include more than one type of grape in their “recipe.” Blending varieties is a tool to build a more complex and balanced wine. Cabernet Sauvignon can add body and tannins to the mix, for example, while Merlot contributes fruity cherry flavors and more refined tannins to balance Cabernet’s herbal nature. Some of the world’s highly acclaimed red wines from France are blends of different grapes, and winemakers in other parts of the world often emulate them. A “Bordeaux blend” usually consists of the three dominant red grapes from that region in southwest France—Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Red Rhône blends usually are Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. In addition to time-tested favorites like French Bordeaux or Rhône red, California blends offer some delicious options. Looking for a Bordeaux style? Check out red blends from Northern California regions such as Napa Valley and Sonoma County. If the Rhône blends sound more to your liking, try red blends from Central Coast appellations such as Paso Robles and Santa Barbara County, where winemakers tend to feature that mix. Uncork your versatile Bordeaux-style blend alongside a charcuterie board with Brie and camembert as well as goat and sheep’s milk cheeses. Steak, burgers and sausage or a pasta bake with meat would also make tasty matches. A Rhône blend also complements a burger as well as pork, duck, lamb, a comforting meatloaf and barbecued chicken. When your wine “recipe” mixes in a variety of grapes to balance flavors, it can’t help but offer a food-friendly choice. 

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Articles inside

Bland Rescue

pages 54-57

Pro Tips for the Home Cook

pages 8-9


pages 58-60

Chef Vivian Howard

pages 54-57

Around the World

pages 22-29

Healthy Habits

pages 20-21

Double Dishes

pages 30-39

Craft Beer at the Table

pages 48-53

Kitchen Skills

pages 8-9

Winning Chili

pages 40-47


page 19


pages 6-7
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