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Turn canned foods into mouth-watering meals
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Features 20 Catch of the Day our spring will go swimmingly with these delectable Y seafood dishes added to your repertoire B Y ROBIN ASBELL
28 Spring Lamb Try protein-rich lamb for a celebration dinner or a flavorful take on weeknight meals B Y MOLLY STEVENS
38 It’s Cool to Be Canned Learn to make canned staples into mouth-watering meals RECIPES BY THEO A. MICHAELS
46 Belated Brunch hip up a delicious lazy-day brunch with spins on classic W fare for the best of both worlds RECIPES BY CAROLINE ARTISS, CAROL HILKER, K ATHY KORDALIS AND LAURA SANTINI
52 Thai Lessons Celebrity chef Jet Tila translates Thai cuisine for everyone BY TARA Q. THOMAS
Departments 4 Bites Take toast up a notch with tasty toppings RECIPES BY SHELAGH RYAN AND CAROL HILKER
6 Kitchen Skills Artichokes: Getting to the heart of this delicious vegetable BY JASON ROSS
8 Contributors 17 Ingredient Rhubarb: The sweet, tart and savory sides BY ERIK TORMOEN
18 Healthy Habits Learning the language of organic labels
56 Pairings Fresh white wines from Argentina, Spain and Portugal BY MARY SUBIALK A
2 real food spring 2022
On the cover: SHEET PAN HONEY-HOISIN SALMON AND VEGETABLES PHOTOGRAPHY TERRY BRENNAN FOOD STYLING LARA MIKLASEVICS
PUBLISHER TAMMY GALVIN EDITOR CUSTOM PUBLISHING ALESHA TAYLOR CONTENT DIRECTOR MARY SUBIALKA ASSOCIATE EDITOR ERIK TORMOEN EDITORIAL INTERNS KATE LAWLESS, AUDREY PICKERING AND AARON XIONG CREATIVE DIRECTOR TONYA SUTFIN SENIOR ART DIRECTOR TED ROSSITER
COVER SHOT OF JET TILA KEN GOODMAN
ADVERTISING TRAFFIC MANAGER LY NGUYEN PUBLISHING & SALES COORDINATOR JOHANNA MORIARTY VOLUME 18, NUMBER 1 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. realfoodmag.com 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.
spring 2022 real food 3
Cheese on Toast with Kasoundi MAKES 1 SERVING (6 CUPS KASOUNDI, APPROXIMATELY 30 SERVINGS) | RECIPE BY SHELAGH RYAN, PHOTO BY KATE WHITAKER
Kasoundi is an Asian mustard sauce or relish and is also popular as a dipping sauce. It has the pungent paste of fermented mustard seeds and spices. A spoonful spread on top of melted cheese on toast lifts a humble, everyday dish to another level. For the Kasoundi
5 (2-inch) pieces fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped 1 bulb garlic, peeled and cloves chopped ¼ cup (about 2) deseeded and chopped green chilies
Fisherman’s Wharf Benedict on Sourdough MAKES 4 SERVINGS | RECIPE BY CAROL HILKER, PHOTO BY TOBY SCOTT
CHEESE ON TOAST WITH KASOUNDI
This take on the classic eggs Benedict is a fitting ode to San Francisco’s famed Fisherman’s Wharf … It uses sourdough bread, a lemon hollandaise and goat’s cheese and avocado. For the Lemon Hollandaise
Take toast up a notch with mouth-watering toppings
oast has traditionally been either a side note to an eggy breakfast or a quick solution for a last-minute meal or snack. Slap on some jam, peanut butter or cinnamon sugar and call it a day. But, for toast lovers who are looking for something more, a copy of “On Toast: More than 70 Deliciously Inventive Recipes” is a kitchen counter essential. This collection of recipes from Ryland Peters & Small takes toast to new heights with flavors from around the globe, creating fulfilling and decadent bites with the bread a vehicle for vibrant combinations of both sweet and savory ingredients. Breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks will be an automatic success with the delectable recipes RECIPES AND PHOTOS FROM “ON TOAST: MORE that have completely transformed the THAN 70 DELICIOUSLY INVENTIVE RECIPES” © basic avocado toast game, including 2021 REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM the twist here, and a sauce for cheese RYLAND PETERS & SMALL. toast that takes it to another level. —audrey pickering
4 real food spring 2022
6 egg yolks ﬁnely grated zest of 1 small lemon 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted ½ teaspoon salt ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ⅛ teaspoon paprika For the Toast
4 slices fresh sourdough bread 3 cups shredded/picked over good-quality crab meat, at room temperature 8 eggs 4 ounces chèvre, sliced into quarters 2 ripe avocados, halved, pitted, and sliced
1 ¼ 4½ 2 5 3 5
cup malt vinegar, divided cup vegetable oil tablespoons black mustard seeds tablespoons ground turmeric tablespoons ground cumin tablespoons chili powder cups (about 2 pounds) ﬁrm ripe tomatoes, chopped 6 teaspoons sea salt ½ cup soft brown sugar For the Toast
3 slices sourdough bread 1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese 1. Set out sterilized glass jars with airtight lids. To make the kasoundi, put the ginger, garlic and chilies with 1½ tablespoons of the
1. Start by making the lemon hollandaise. In a small saucepan or pot set over low heat, bring 2 inches of water to a bare simmer. Place a metal bowl over the pot to form a bain-marie (water bath—or use a double boiler). 2. Add the yolks, lemon zest and mustard to the bowl of the bain-marie and whisk constantly until the mixture is thickened and ribbons form when you pull this whisk away from the bowl (should take about 4 to 5 minutes). The yolks should double to triple in volume. 3. Slowly whisk in the melted butter, stirring constantly. Once the butter is fully incorporated, add the salt, pepper and paprika and continue whisking for about 3 minutes, until thick. If the mixture is too thick, add a little hot water as needed. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Remove from the heat and set aside. 4. Heat the oven to 450°F. Cut the sourdough bread in half and arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until toasted, about 5 minutes. Put two sourdough halves on each plate and top with crab, dividing evenly. 5. To poach the eggs, bring 1 inch of water to boil in a medium pan. Lower the heat so that small bubbles form on the bottom of the pan and break to the surface only occasionally. Crack the eggs into the water
vinegar in a food processor and blend to a smooth paste. 2. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan or pot set over a medium heat. Add the mustard seeds, turmeric, cumin and chili powder. Stir and cook for about 4 minutes, taking care not to let the mixture stick to the bottom of the pan, blacken or burn. 3. Pour in the ginger paste and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt, remaining vinegar and the sugar. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 to 1½ hours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. The kasoundi is ready when it is thick and there is a trace of oil on top. 4. While still warm, spoon the kasoundi into sterilized glass jars. Carefully tap them on the counter to get rid of any air pock-
ets, wipe clean and tightly screw on the lids. The kasoundi can be stored unopened in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months. Once opened, store in the fridge and use within 2 weeks. 5. For the cheese on toast, preheat the grill/ broiler. Lightly toast the bread, then add the cheese. Return to the grill/broiler until melted and bubbling. Serve with a generous helping of kasoundi on top (see Editor’s Note). Editor’s Note: Kasoundi is a spicy condiment, so how much you use depends on personal taste. Most people would add about 2 to 3 tablespoons, so this recipe, which makes 6 cups, is about 30 servings—more if you use less, less if you use more.
FISHERMAN’S WHARF BENEDICT ON SOURDOUGH
one at a time, holding the shells close to the water’s surface and letting the eggs slide out gently. Poach the eggs, in two batches to keep them from crowding, 6 minutes for soft-cooked. Lift the eggs out with a slotted spoon, pat dry with a
paper towel, and place one egg on each crab-topped sourdough half. 6. Top each egg with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the lemon hollandaise (gently reheated if necessary) and add the goat’s cheese and sliced avocado. Serve immediately. n
spring 2022 real food 5
The Heart of Artichoke Prep Patience is rewarded when you get to the delicious heart of artichokes BY JASON ROSS PHOTOGRAPHY TERRY BRENNAN FOOD STYLING LARA MIKLASEVICS
rtichokes, the flower bud of a large green thistle, are a springtime delicacy grown in arid regions around the world. There are many preparations—poached and eaten leaf by leaf, pulling small morsels with each bite; stuffed and baked in a steamy sauce; fried whole; or canned and pickled in brine. But first, all artichokes come with a bit of labor (see page 8). In the restaurant world, cooks have benchmarks for skills including omelet cooking, chicken cutting skills (there are a lot) and artichoke turning—or trimming down to the edible heart. The technique requires a little patience the first few tries, but the result is elegant and gives the diner the best part—the heart of the artichoke, ready to eat. Here I walk you through tips on trimming artichokes down to the heart, and then you can use them in a recipe featuring a classic Provençal method in which they are braised in white wine and olive oil. 6 real food spring 2022
Artichokes Barigoule MAKES 2 TO 4 SERVINGS
This Provençal delicacy is such an elegant and vibrant way to serve artichokes. They are enlivened by white wine, aromatic herbs and olive oil. Use this as an appetizer (think of it as a warm salad), or as an accompaniment to a main course, such as grilled fish. You could also use this as a nice topping for pasta finished with shaved Parmesan cheese. If you cannot find fresh artichokes, or do not have time to deal with turning them, frozen artichokes would be a reasonable substitute, though perhaps not as special, and would have a more subdued flavor and softer texture.
Trimming Artichokes See the instructions on page 8 for paring artichokes down to their hearts.
¼ 1 1 2 1 1 ½ ¼ 4
½ ¾ 1 1
cup olive oil cup sliced (¼ inch) carrots cup sliced (¼ inch) white onion cloves garlic, minced bay leaf sprig fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dry teaspoon salt teaspoon ground black pepper artichoke hearts trimmed in lemon water (and stems, if there are any) cup white wine cup water or unseasoned chicken broth teaspoon lemon juice tablespoon minced parsley
1. In a medium sauce pot, warm the olive oil on medium heat. Add the carrots, onions, garlic, bay leaf and thyme. Sprinkle on salt and pepper. Sweat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring gently with a wooden spoon until the onions start to soften and become translucent without browning. 2. Snuggle the artichoke hearts (and any stems, if using) into the pan and under the sweated vegetables. Try to get the artichokes warmed with olive oil by carefully rotating them in the pan. 3. After 2 to 3 minutes add the wine. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute to remove the raw alcohol flavor. Then add the water or chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and then reduce the heat to low. Cook the artichokes at a low simmer, covered with a lid, for 15 minutes, stirring gently once after 7 or 8 minutes. 4. Remove the lid, and cook for another 5 minutes until the artichokes are tender, and the cooking liquid has thickened to a rich broth. The artichokes should be soft enough for the tip of a knife to easily penetrate, similar in feel to a boiled potato. 5. Serve the artichokes in a shallow bowl, spooning the cooking liquid over the top and removing the bay leaf and thyme. Finish with lemon juice and minced parsley. The artichokes can be served warm or cooled to room temperature. They are best eaten the same day but could be covered and nutrition (p e r s e r v i n g) refrigerated for up to 1 day, but there might be a color shift from ARTICHOKES BARIGOULE CALORIES: 260, FAT: 14G (SAT: 2 pale yellow to a little tinge of G), CHOLESTEROL: 0 MG, SODIUM: 420 MG, CARB: 28G, FIBER: 11G, grey-green. SUGAR: 5G, PROTEIN: 6G
Continued on next page
spring 2022 real food 7
contributors Robin Asbell spreads
Do Not Eat the Choke The stringy bits inside an artichoke are called the “choke” for a reason. The points are fine and sharp, and they will stick to the skin in your throat if you swallow them.
the word about how delicious 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. She is the author of “Plant-Based Meats,” “Great Bowls of Food,” “Big Vegan,” “Gluten-Free Pasta” and more.
Te r r y B r e n n a n i s a
photographer based in M i n n e a p o li s , M i n n e s ot a , whose clients include Target, General Mills, Land O’Lakes and Hormel. “Working with Real Food is a highlight—I love working with the creative team and, of course, sampling the wonderful recipes.”
Lara Miklasevics began
Turning Artichokes Turning, or trimming, artichokes takes a little practice. So, take your time with the first couple, knowing it is better to go slowly while you learn. Prep—Gather these supplies: n Medium bowl; add 1 quart water and ½ cup lemon juice (enough lemon water to cover the trimmed artichokes). Artichokes brown quickly as they are cut; the acid in the lemon water will help slow down the process. n Paring knife n Melon baller or small spoon Turning Steps 1. Remove the tough outer artichoke leaves or petals. Pull them off one by one and discard them until you get to the very tender bright yellow leaves toward the center of the artichoke. 2. Cut off the stem and discard, or if the stems are very large, trim any tough fibers and place the stems in the lemon water to use along with the hearts. 3. Cut through the yellow leaves about ½ inch from where they meet the heart. This will expose the spiny hairs in the center called the choke. They will look like pointed fronds of a thistle. 4. Carefully trim the artichoke heart with the paring knife. Peel around the artichoke heart, removing the dark green skin and exposing the pale flesh underneath. Try to trim as shallow as possible, keeping as much of the heart as you can. (If a paring knife seems
8 real food spring 2022
challenging, try using a peeler to trim the hearts after the leaves and stem have been removed. It can be a little slower and more cumbersome, but might feel more comfortable.) 5. Use the melon baller or spoon to scoop out the fibrous choke from the artichoke heart core and discard it. Do not eat the choke (see circle above). 6. Put the artichokes into the lemon water as you trim them. You can store them in the water until ready to cook, but they will slowly turn brown and it is best cook them within 1 to 2 hours. Tip: Artichokes have resin that can leave your hands black and a little sticky. If you have gloves, this might be the time to use them. You can also clean your hands easily with soap and a bit of lemon juice to cut through the artichoke resin. n
her 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. Her experience as a chef helps her make food as appealing on the page as it is on the plate.
Jason Ross is a chef con-
sultant 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. He currently teaches the next generation of chefs at Saint Paul College Culinary School.
Molly Stevens is a cook-
ing instructor, writer and recipe developer. Her cookbooks include “All About Dinner” as well as the James Beard and IACP cookbook award winners “All About Braising” and “All About Roasting.” She has been named Cooking Teacher of the Year by both Bon Appétit and IACP. Her recipes and articles have appeared regularly in a number of national publications. She lives in Vermont and travels the country to teach, cook and eat. Check her schedule at mollystevenscooks.com.
Tara Q. Thomas trained
at the Culinary Institute of America in New York and enjoys interviewing chefs to gather intel on how to improve meals. She writes for several magazines, including Wine & Spirits, where she is an editor and wine critic, and has contributed to the “Oxford Companion to Cheese” and the “Oxford Companion to Spirits.” She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Lunds & Byerlys
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Passion for Produce A
s spring approaches, it won’t be long until we see backyard gardens blooming once again. Those thoughts of spring remind me of many early morning visits to the Minneapolis Farmers Market with our produce buyers nearly 40 years ago. We would arrive at the farmers market bright and early to hand-select everything from radishes and green onions in the spring to sweet corn and cucumbers in the summer to apples and squash in the fall. By getting there to meet the farmers as early as 4 a.m., it meant our customers always had access to the highest quality fruits and vegetables. And, as the saying goes, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” While we outgrew daily visits to the farmers market, we grew into developing our own local produce distribution center where farmers ship their produce directly to us on a daily basis. That is because our commitment to providing you with the freshest and highest quality produce has never changed. For us, it all starts with the direct relationships we develop with farms that demonstrate a passion for growing fruits and vegetables with a tremendous amount of care and concern for quality. It then extends to what takes place at our
local produce distribution center. It’s here where we ripen our bananas and avocados in a temperature and humidity-controlled environment and hand-cut our L&B fresh fruit daily. It’s also here where we inspect and test the produce when it arrives. Yes, that’s right, we have a quality control team who uses specialized instruments to test our produce each and every day for attributes such as sweetness and firmness to verify it meets our strict standards. And if a batch of produce doesn’t meet those standards, we reject it. It’s important to us that you know you can always count on Lunds & Byerlys for consistently fresh and delicious fruits and vegetables whether they’re grown on the West Coast, in another country or right here in our own backyard. To learn even more about our produce quality commitment, please see the story on pages 12-13. As always, we thank you for shopping at Lunds & Byerlys. And we hope you continue to enjoy Real Food. Sincerely,
Tres Lund president and ceo
CUSTOMERS ENJOYING A CHERRY TASTING EVENT AT OUR UPTOWN STORE IN 1943.
FOOD QUESTIONS? Call our FoodE experts: 952-548-1400 REAL FOOD COMMENTS Aaron Sorenson: 952-927-3663
lundsandbyerlys.com real food 9
Lunds & Byerlys
Blackened Salmon and Avocado MAKES 2 TO 4 SERVINGS | PREPARATION TIME: 20 MINUTES; COOK TIME: 10 MINUTES
This meal is fresh, bright, smoky, creamy and healthy. Make it whenever a craving strikes or use it to brighten up a rainy spring day. 4 2
(4-ounce) salmon fillets Coarse sea salt, to taste Freshly ground black pepper, to taste tablespoons L&B Cajun Spice Seasoning
For the Pico de Gallo 1 bunch fresh green onions, chopped small 1 medium heirloom tomato, diced small 4-6 sprigs cilantro, stems removed, chopped finely 1 whole jalapeño, seeds removed, diced small 1 lime, juiced 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided 10 ounces spring greens mix 1 whole avocado, peeled, pit removed and diced or sliced
BLACKENED SALMON AND AVOCADO
Spring Dishes Colorful, bright meals with a healthy twist perfect for the season 10 real food spring 2022
1. Heat oven to 350°F. 2. Season both sides of the salmon fillets with salt and pepper, then liberally coat the non-skin side with Cajun seasoning to cover the entire surface of the fish. 3. To make the pico de gallo: Mix together the green onions, heirloom tomato, cilantro, jalapeño and lime juice. Season with a pinch of salt. 4. Preferably under a stove exhaust hood or fan, heat a heavy bottom or cast-iron pan until very hot. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Carefully add the salmon fillets, Cajun seasoning side down. When the spices have blackened (after only 2 to 3 minutes), turn the fish over and place the pan in the oven. Using an instantread thermometer to check the internal temperature, remove the fish from the oven when it reaches 115°F for medium-rare, and let it rest for 3 to 5 minutes before serving. 5. Divide the spring greens mix between serving plates. Place salmon fillets on top and spoon pico de gallo liberally over the fish. Top with avocado and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Spring Lamb Chops 4 TO 6 SERVINGS | PREPARATION TIME: 10 MINUTES; COOK TIME: 30 MINUTES
This filling lamb dinner brings restaurant-level plating to your dining room table, thanks to a vibrant roasted red pepper purée. The purée adds more than beauty, of course—the roasted red pepper brings a hint of char to the dish, giving it depth and flavor. And the green beans bring an aromatic crunch, as well as another pop of color. This dinner will stick to your bones without weighing you down, all while being a feast for your eyes. 16 ounces fresh haricot verts (green string beans) 1 (16-ounce) jar fire roasted red peppers 3 pounds fresh American lamb chops Coarse sea salt, to taste Freshly ground black pepper, to taste 2 tablespoons L&B Lamb Herb Rub 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided 2 cloves garlic, minced 4-6 sprigs fresh thyme, stems removed 1 whole tomato, diced small
1. Blanch haricot verts in boiling salted water for 2 minutes, then run them under cold water or place in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Set aside. 2. Using a blender, food processor or food mill, purée the fire roasted red peppers. Heat in a small saucepan and simmer. Season with a pinch of sea salt. 3. Season the lamb chops with salt, pepper and L&B Lamb Herb Rub on both sides and then cook by grilling or pan searing with remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to desired doneness. Use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature, removing from heat when reaching 125°F for medium-rare, and let the chops rest for 3 to 5 minutes before serving. 4. Heat a sauté pan or saucepan over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the garlic and thyme leaves and cook for 60 seconds, stirring constantly to avoid burning the garlic. Add the diced tomatoes and blanched haricot verts. Mix together and adjust seasoning with sea salt and cracked black pepper. 5. Divide the roasted red pepper purée among serving plates, spreading evenly across the entire flat surface. Lay the lamb chops on top of the purée and serve with the haricot verts and tomato mixture.
SPRING LAMB CHOPS
SUNNY COLLARD WRAPS
Sunny Collard Wraps MAKES 4 SERVINGS | PREPARATION TIME: 10 MINUTES; COOK TIME: 45 MINUTES
Our Sunny Collard Wraps are the holy grail of a satisfying lunch: They’re healthy and delicious. 4 large collard green leaves, washed and stems trimmed 2 cups water 1 cup short grain brown rice, uncooked ½ cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked in 2 cups water overnight 1 tablespoon reduced sodium tamari 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast 1 bag Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped Salad Kit 1 cup tzatziki (optional) 1. Fill a large sauté pan with 2 to 3 inches of water and bring to boil. Lightly blanch the collard leaves one at a time in hot water for no more than 30 seconds each leaf. Cool on paper towels. 2. In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil, then add the brown rice. Once the water starts to boil again, turn the heat to low, cover and let the rice simmer for 20 minutes. Then turn off the heat and allow the rice to sit, covered, for 15 minutes. 3. Drain the sunflower seeds and place them in a medium-size bowl. Add the cooked rice, reduced sodium tamari, olive oil and nutritional yeast. Stir to combine. Prepare the salad kit according to the instructions. 4. Place the collard leaves on a flat surface. Remove the thick part of the stems, keeping the leaves shaped like lily pads. Spread 1 cup of the rice mixture and 1 cup of the Fresh Express Salad mixture on the trimmed stem end of each collard leaf. Wrap by folding the sides in, then rolling up as you would a burrito. Repeat with remaining collard leaves. Serve each with ¼ cup tzatziki on the side, if desired. n lundsandbyerlys.com real food 11
Peak Produce Quality fresh produce begins with passionate growers BY ROD BORDEN, DIRECTOR OF PRODUCE
ere at Lunds & Byerlys, we’re very proud of our produce departments. Our produce is shipped daily to our stores at its peak of freshness. We source locally, around the country and internationally, only partnering with growers who meet our high standards and have a passion for growing the most nutritious, healthy and 12 real food spring 2022
delicious products. And while you can see this come to life in our beautifully merchandised produce departments, there is an incredible amount of behind-the-scenes work involved to make sure we get the freshest, highest quality produce for you. It all begins with the growers and farmers. Our produce buyers partner with grow-
ers who share our commitment to quality. Nearly four decades ago, our CEO, Tres Lund, would visit the Minneapolis Farmers Market with our produce team to help hand-select the finest local produce for our stores each day. Today, our commitment to locally grown produce is stronger than ever. Instead of working with produce
Lunds & Byerlys
PREVIOUS PAGE: PRODUCE MANAGER SHAWN BERRY; RIGHT FROM TOP: MEASURING THE SUGAR CONTENT—OR BRIX—OF WATERMELON WITH THE REFRACTOMETER AT OUR DISTRIBUTION CENTER; NEXT TWO: OUR PRODUCE DEPARTMENTS ARE FILLED WITH FRESH, HIGH-QUALITY PRODUCE FROM MINNESOTA AND BEYOND; BOTTOM RIGHT: PRODUCE BUYER BEN BOWDITCH IN A CRANBERRY BOG WHILE VISITING WETHERBY CRANBERRY CO. IN WARRENS, WISCONSIN
distributors, we operate our own produce distribution center, which allows us to work directly with the growers to source the freshest produce available. This means that our team gets to travel throughout Minnesota and the U.S. to visit the owners, farmers and growers, which allows us to foster relationships with them. Through these relationships we make clear our expectations and they know that we will handle their produce correctly once it arrives in our stores. Once the produce is delivered from the fields to our distribution center in Minneapolis, it is rigorously inspected by our quality control staff to make sure that it meets our high standards. We use tools for these tests, including refractometers to measure the soluble solids and sugar content (Brix) of the fruits; and penetrometers to measure the firmness of fruit that softens as it ripens or ages. Ultimately, though, we rely on our eyes and taste buds to ensure that the produce we sell is guaranteed to delight. Anything that doesn’t meet our expectations is refused. When we start the day in our stores, we begin by checking all the fruits and vegetables in the produce departments for spoilage. As we sort the products, we pull out any produce that may be bruised but is still good to eat. Those items are donated to Second Harvest Heartland and local food shelves around our stores. If we have items that do not meet the food shelf requirements, we send them to local farmers who use those items to feed their cattle. This is a surefire way to ensure that healthy fruits and veggies are getting to the people—or cattle—that need them and keeping them out of the landfill. This all means that when you walk into our produce departments you are getting the freshest, highest quality products possible. The next time you visit us, be sure to ask our produce managers what they’re enjoying! n lundsandbyerlys.com real food 13
L U N D S & B Y E R LY S
WHAT’S IN STORE 1
Whether you’re new to kombucha or already a fan of the lightly effervescent, fermented beverage, our line of L&B kombucha offers something for everyone. Each batch is locally made, 100 percent raw and crafted from scratch using reverse osmosis purified water, Rishi tea and the finest fruit and herbal ingredients. Just in time for spring, we’ve added two new flavors—lemon bomb and peach mango. Lemon bomb combines organic lemongrass black tea and organic lemon extract to create a bright, slightly sweet flavor. Peach mango is created by melding organic peach oolong tea and organic mango turmeric tea to create a delicious, fruit-forward flavor. Look for these refreshing, probiotic-packed beverages in the dairy department.
L&B PANTRY SIZE SPICE BLENDS
The L&B seasoning blends you know and love are now also available in larger pantry sizes, which means you can keep the cooking projects going! Find customer favorites such as our everything bagel seasoning, Cajun spice seasoning, Herbes de Provence and pork signature seasoning in these larger containers. Our L&B seasoning blends are created locally using the finest herbs, spices and specialty ingredients to bring out the flavors in your food—and they are MSG free. Look for the larger pantry-size seasonings in our spice aisle.
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L&B WHITE TRUFFLE HOT SAUCE
Introducing our newest hot sauce! Our L&B White Truffle Hot Sauce is a unique blend of savory white truffles and zippy peppers combined with just a touch of agave nectar. The result is both earthy and spicy with a hint of sweetness to create a well-balanced sauce. We like to pair it with beef, pork and chicken to add that little extra “something” to a dish. It’s also outstanding on tacos or mixed into chili.
DON CHILIO CHILE CRISPS
Brothers Diego and Mauricio De La Torre founded Don Chilio in Mexico City in 2016. Fueled by their shared vision of bringing people together with good food, the brothers are committed to creating addictively delicious chile crisps. The Don Chilio team selects premium local chilies at the peak of ripeness, and then slices, dries and crisps them in lightly seasoned olive oil. They then hand-pack them for you to enjoy at home. Whether you prefer a milder heat (try the jalapeño variety), a medium heat (go for serrano) or a super-hot heat (hello habanero!), the Don Chilio crisped chilies are endlessly versatile in all your favorite dishes. Try them in traditional Mexican dishes or amp up your morning eggs, pizzas, curries or noodle bowls.
INGRILLI JUICE SQUEEZES
A fifth-generation family business, Ingrilli grows, juices and bottles fresh citrus juices on its family orchard in Capo d’Orlando, Sicily. The Ingrilli family’s passion is evident in every bottle of juice as they use the freshest fruit possible—including highly sought-after Sicilian lemons—and state-of-the-art equipment. The result is incredibly fresh juices with vibrant fragrances and bright, citrusy flavors with light floral notes. Each batch of the 100 percent organic lime, lemon and ginger juices is tested against common pesticides to maintain the USDA Organic seal of approval. All Ingrilli juices are Non-GMO Project verified, certified kosher and vegan.
WYLD CBD SPARKLING WATERS
Created in Portland, Oregon, Wyld CBD Sparkling Waters provide a dose of CBD to your daily routine without any THC. CBD, or cannabidiol, is derived directly from the hemp plant. Wyld’s food scientists combine carbonated water and THC-free U.S. broad-spectrum hemp extract with real fruit to create these bright, refreshing beverages. All four flavors—blackberry, blood orange, raspberry and lemon—are gluten free and vegan. They are best enjoyed chilled. n lundsandbyerlys.com real food 15
M E AT L E S S M O N D AY
TA C O T U E S D AY
We’re here to make every meal healthy, convenient and delicious. Whether you’re looking to prepare it yourself with fresh ingredients or you need something quick and tasty on the go, we have your everyday covered. Nourishing favorites and weekly specials are always Better Together. Find healthy options and convenient quality at lundsandbyerlys.com
Rhubarb 101 What is this tart, celery-looking “pie plant”? BY ERIK TORMOEN
RHUBARB ADOBE STOCK / ANGELO CORDESCHI
his is the story of a produce-aisle peculiarity that intrigues medical researchers, enthralls historians, defies bakers and straddles the fruit-vegetable fault line. It’s not tomatoes. We already know tomatoes star in an epic fruit-or-vegetable scandal. (Which is it? And why is that even a question?) No, it’s rhubarb, a so-called “pie plant” that quietly courts the same botanical confusion. This hardy, herbaceous perennial grows in cooler climates, originated in northern Asia, according to historical accounts, and is related to flowery, spindly buckwheat. Zoroastrian myth held that rhubarb birthed the first human couple, but we know it better as a heart-leafed, celery-like stalk that’s sometimes red, sometimes greenish pink, and in season about April through mid-summer. (Although more delicate “forced” rhubarb can appear as early as January.) Technically, rhubarb is a vegetable. More specifically, a petiole—or the thing that connects a leaf to its stem. And yet, in legal terms, rhubarb is a fruit (which, scientifically speaking, designates a fertilized ovule). The U.S. Customs Court in Buffalo, New York, changed rhubarb’s categorization in 1947. We treat it in more fruit-like ways, after all—namely, by baking it in desserts—and this made it a cheaper import, with veggies taxed higher. Treating rhubarb as a food at all, though, is a relatively new development, as it has long been used for medicinal purposes. Ancient
Chinese records note the use of rhubarb for digestive ailments, and as a Silk Road commodity—dried and powdered—it is said to have surpassed opium, cinnamon and saffron in value. Cultivation long frustrated explorers from Europe. There, the culinary version of rhubarb appears to have taken off around the 18th century. The ruby stripes you see in today’s grocery stores are, of course, not good as medicine. Instead, they work as favorites in cakes, crumbles, jams and tarts. If you use sugar and
strawberries to disarm its tart zing, rhubarb makes a peerless vegetable pie. But it can also add tang to savory items, such as sauces, chutneys, salsas and even butter. For sweeter rhubarb, select younger stalks, which have a brighter red color. Also seek out firmness, crispness and a good shine. Nutritionally, rhubarb is a significant source of carbs, fiber and vitamin K1, and a less significant source of calcium, potassium and vitamin C. The leaves are notoriously toxic, so trim those before cooking if they’re still attached. But rhubarb’s most common cause of concern is probably its propensity to leak. Since it doesn’t have much pectin, a natural thickening starch, how are you supposed to keep rhubarb desserts from running? After chopping it up, try mixing it with sugar and letting it sit in the fridge overnight. The sugar should draw out some of that moisture. And there’s a lot of it. Rhubarb is 95 percent water, according to journalist Kim Ode in her book “Rhubarb Renaissance.” Because of this, Ode has found that many rhubarb-related recipes use too much cooking liquid. “Given medium heat and a few watchful stirs, you can get past the sizzle part in no time, and the eventual result is far less soupy and far more rhubarby,” she writes. A unique ingredient with a somewhat cryptic heritage, rhubarb rewards the extra work. It makes for the best vegetable-based dessert we can think of, and for a savory twist, try Ode’s recipe for rhubarb-bacon compote below. n
Rhubarb-Bacon Compote MAKES ABOUT 1 CUP
Sure, you can’t go wrong with bacon and onions, but rhubarb ups the ante in this piquant compote. It’s great alongside pork tenderloin but would also jazz up grilled bratwurst or chicken breasts. 2 1 1 3 1½
slices thick-cut bacon cup finely minced yellow onion cup thinly sliced rhubarb tablespoons maple syrup tablespoons red wine vinegar pinch allspice pinch dried thyme
In a skillet over medium heat, brown the bacon until crisp, then set aside on paper towels. Add the onion to the bacon drip-
pings and cook, stirring, until soft and lightly golden, about 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in rhubarb, then add the maple syrup, vinegar, allspice, and thyme and cook over low heat until rhubarb is soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and crumble bacon into the rhubarb. Serve with grilled meats or poultry. RECIPE FROM “RHUBARB RENAISSANCE” BY KIM ODE © 2012 REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM THE MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY PRESS.
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Label Language What do “organic” labels really mean on food packages? BY MARY SUBIALK A
e are faced with a lot of decisions in the grocery store aisles. We want to make the best choices for ourselves and families while making the most of our food budget and being environmentally responsible. Sometimes these are tall orders. A place to start is to keep in mind what food labels mean. If you’re looking to buy more organic foods but not sure what 18 real food spring 2022
some nuances of labeling mean, read on to ensure you’re buying the best products for you on your next trip to the store.
Organic Organic products have strict requirements, so know that when you are buying foods that display the organic label, they have met these production and labeling requirements
outlined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). If you’re nervous about your produce being genetically modified, rest assured that is against the regulations for organic food. Overall, organic operations must demonstrate that they are protecting natural resources, conserving biodiversity and using only approved substances. The organic labeling term indicates that the food has been produced through approved methods, adhering to organic standards that must be verified by a USDA-accredited certifying agent before the products can be labeled USDA organic. They must meet requirements that they are produced without genetic engineering or
GROCERY ADOBE STOCK / KARANOV IMAGES
Organic Labels Explained Organic products are labeled according to the percentage of organic ingredients they have. This chart shows what to expect from different labels.
MADE WITH ORGANIC
n Organic seal allowed
n Organic seal allowed
✘ Organic seal not allowed;
✘ Organic seal not
Must specify which ingredients are organic
n 100% certified organic
ingredients and processing aids
n 95% certified organic
n At least 70% certified
allowed; Product can’t be described as “organic”
✘ No specific percentage
n No GMOs
n No GMOs
n No GMOs
✘ May contain GMOs
n All ingredients comply
n Nonorganic ingredients
n Nonorganic ingredients
✘ Compliance with
with National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances
n Certification required
comply with National List
n Certification required
comply with National List
n Certification required
National List not required
✘ Certification not required
Source: USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Learn more about organic labels at ams.usda.gov/organic
ionizing radiation. They must be produced per the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances, and they must be overseen by a USDA National Organic Program—authorized certifying agent, following all USDA organic regulations. Within the organic foods selections are the following categories.
"100 Percent Organic" According to the USDA, “100 percent organic” can be used to label any product that contains 100 percent organic ingredients (excluding salt and water, which are considered natural). Most raw, unprocessed farm products can be designated “100 percent organic.” Likewise, many value-added farm products
that have no added ingredients—such as grain flours, rolled oats, etc.—can also be labeled “100 percent organic.”
"Organic" “Organic” can be used to label any product that contains a minimum of 95 percent organic ingredients (excluding salt and water). Up to 5 percent of the ingredients may be nonorganic agricultural products that are not commercially available as organic and/or nonagricultural products that are on the National List.
must be certified organic ingredients (excluding salt and water). Any remaining agricultural products are not required to be organically produced but must be produced without excluded methods. There are a number of detailed constraints regarding the ingredients that comprise the nonorganic portion. Product labels must state the name of the certifying agent on the information panel. The specific organic ingredients may be listed in the ingredient statement of products; for example, “Ingredients: water, barley, beans, organic tomatoes, salt.” n
“Made with Organic” For a product to note it is made with organic ingredients, at least 70 percent of the product
For more information on organic labeling, visit ams.usda.gov/organic.
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SHEET PAN HONEY-HOISIN SALMON AND VEGETABLES (SEE RECIPE ON PAGE 22)
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Catch OF THE DAY Your spring will go swimmingly with these delectable seafood dishes BY ROBIN ASBELL
n spring, we celebrate the arrival of the first harvests with asparagus, radishes, snap peas and other early arrivals that burst with energy and color. These vegetables are perfect companions to your favorite seafood, making colorful and light dishes your family will love. As we get outdoors more this time of year, delicious, protein-rich fish and seafood will fuel your adventures, too. PHOTOGRAPHY TERRY BRENNAN FOOD STYLING LARA MIKLASEVICS
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Salmon Spring is the beginning of salmon season and the optimum time for buying the freshest wild salmon. Thankfully, we can also buy frozen salmon that’s extremely convenient. Farmed salmon is available year-round, and it’s good to remember that wild and farmed cook differently. Farmed salmon might take 5 minutes longer to cook than lean wild salmon. Because wild salmon swim long distances, they don’t have as much fat in their flesh.
Sheet Pan HoneyHoisin Salmon and Vegetables MAKES 4 SERVINGS
Keep some frozen salmon fillets on hand, and don’t worry about remembering to thaw them—in this recipe they go into the oven frozen! Using a hot oven to roast the veggies, then sliding the fillets on top of the vegetables to cook is a streamlined plan for your meal. Choose thinner fillets for a quicker cooking time. 8 ounces (about 2 cups) snap peas, stems and strings removed 8 medium radishes, trimmed and quartered 4 small carrots, peeled and quartered 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil ¼ cup hoisin sauce 2 tablespoons honey 2 tablespoons orange juice 2 cloves garlic, pressed 4 (4-ounce) frozen salmon fillets (see Cook’s Note) 1. Heat oven to 400°F. On a large sheet pan, combine the snap peas, radishes and carrots and drizzle with sesame oil. Toss to coat. Roast in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. 2. While the vegetables roast, mix the hoisin, honey, orange juice and garlic in a medium bowl or glass measuring cup. 3. Remove the pan of hot vegetables from the oven and drizzle with half of the hoisin mixture, stir, then place the salmon fillets on top of the vegetables and drizzle salmon with remaining sauce. 4. Return the pan to oven and bake for 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets. Test by piercing the center of a fillet with a paring knife to see if it’s cooked through. 5. Serve warm vegetables topped with a salmon fillet. Cook’s Note: To use fresh or thawed salmon in this recipe, start testing doneness 10 minutes after putting in the oven, depending on thickness.
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Lobster or Shrimp Roll Sliders MAKES 6 SLIDERS
The lobster roll is a spring tradition in New England, where lobsters are plucked from the sea, cooked, and the meat is served in a bun. Those of us who aren’t coastal can enjoy the flavors of a lobster roll by using frozen lobster tails, or riff on the idea with less expensive shrimp. The classic lobster roll comes in a specific style of hotdog bun, but for this appetizer-sized treat, use soft dinner rolls or Hawaiian Butter Rolls. 4 medium lobster tails (1 pound in shell, 11 ounces flesh; see Cook’s Note) or 12 ounces shrimp 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided 2 tablespoons mayonnaise 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 3 tablespoons minced celery 6 small dinner rolls or slider buns 1. If using frozen seafood, thaw under cold water for about 30 minutes. For lobster tails, place belly-side up on the cutting board and use your chef’s knife to slit the shell lengthwise. Crack open the shell and pull out the flesh. If using shrimp, peel and devein. Wrap the flesh in a double layer of paper towels to remove excess moisture. Chop the flesh of the lobster (or shrimp, if using) into chunks, about ½ inch across. 2. In a medium skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat. Add the seafood and stir until cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the seafood to a bowl, leaving the liquids behind. Stir constantly until the pan is almost dry, then scrape the syrupy liquids into the bowl with the seafood. Let cool. 3. Add the mayo, lemon and celery to the seafood and stir. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day, tightly covered. 4. Split the buns and butter the cut sides with the remaining butter. Heat a grill pan or large sauté pan over medium-high heat and place the buns in the pan, cut side down, pressing on the tops with a spatula. Cook until the buns are toasted and lightly browned, about 3 minutes. 5. Divide the seafood filling among the buns and serve. Cook’s Note: To get this amount of lobster meat you would need 3 pounds live (or frozen) lobster.
LOBSTER OR SHRIMP ROLL SLIDERS
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Thai Tilapia Cakes with Lime Dipping Sauce MAKES 36 CAKES, ABOUT 6 SERVINGS
If your family is a little cool toward a fish fillet, try these crispy fish cakes coated in crunchy sesame seeds. Inexpensive tilapia is transformed into little bite-size dippers, with a hint of lime and herbs. Fish sauce gives the dish a burst of umami, but you can substitute soy sauce for less adventurous palates. For the Dipping Sauce ¼ cup fish sauce or soy sauce ¼ cup fresh lime juice 1 tablespoon sugar ¼ cup fresh spearmint, chopped 1 large jalapeño, minced
For the Fish Cakes 1½ pounds tilapia, skinned, patted dry 4 cloves garlic, minced 4 teaspoons minced ginger 4 teaspoons sugar 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon white pepper
1. Prepare the dipping sauce. In a medium bowl, stir the fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, spearmint and jalapeño. Set aside. (You could make this ahead and refrigerate in a covered container up to 3 days) 2. Cut fish in 1-inch chunks. In a food processor, grind the garlic and ginger as finely as possible. Add the tilapia, sugar, salt, white pepper and pepper flakes and the egg and pulse to coarsely chop and mix. Add the lime zest, cilantro and scallions and pulse to mix. Do not purée too thoroughly. Scrape the mixture out into a bowl and chill it for at least 30 minutes.
THAI TILAPIA CAKES WITH LIME DIPPING SAUCE
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½ 1 1 ¼ 2 ¾ 2
teaspoon red pepper flakes large egg tablespoon lime zest cup cilantro large scallions cup sesame seeds tablespoons vegetable oil, for cooking
3. Spread the sesame seeds on a plate. Form 1 tablespoon sized portions of the fish mixture and place them on the sesame seeds, then carefully coat them, flattening slightly into disks. 4. Heat a large cast iron or nonstick pan over high heat, then coat with the oil. Carefully place half of the fish cakes in the oil, not touching, reducing the heat to medium when they are all in the pan, sizzling, for about 2 minutes per side, until cooked through. Serve with a side of the reserved dipping sauce.
LEMONY SEAFOOD LINGUINE
Lemony Seafood Linguine MAKES 6 SERVINGS
Succulent shrimp and crab tossed with a creamy, lemon-kissed sauce make this pasta a treat. Instead of a heavy white sauce, you’ll add just enough cream to coat the pasta and veggies and carry the flavors through the dish. In Italian tradition, seafood pastas are not sprinkled with Parmesan, but if you want to start your own tradition, feel free to add some. 12 ounces linguine 2 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped 4 (5-inch) carrots, scrubbed and quartered lengthwise, then cut in 2-inch pieces 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
¾ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 2 tablespoons salted butter 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 pound large shrimp (fresh or frozen and thawed), peeled and deveined
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. Prep vegetables and reserve. 2. Put pasta in boiling water to cook; it should take about 10 minutes. Drain well. 3. Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat, then add the carrots, mushrooms, red bell pepper and lemon zest and sauté, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes.
6 ounces refrigerated canned lump crab meat, drained (or 12 ounces king crab leg, flesh removed and torn) ¾ cup heavy cream ½ cup fresh dill, chopped, plus more for garnish
4. Add the garlic and shrimp to the pan and stir, increasing the heat to medium-high until the shrimp turn pink, about 5 minutes. Add the cream and bring to a boil, stirring until the liquids thicken, 2 to 3 minutes. 5. Add the drained pasta, crab and dill to the pan and toss to mix. Stir until the crab is just heated through. Serve hot, garnished with dill sprigs.
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It’s Good for You Your doctor approves of you eating more fish and seafood. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish twice per week to reduce your risk of heart disease. That recommendation is easy to follow with all the delicious options in the fresh and frozen seafood sections. Salmon tops the list for heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and all fish and seafood deliver plenty of lean protein.
Scallops with Beurre Blanc and Asparagus MAKES 4 SERVINGS
Beurre is French for butter, and there’s a whole stick of it in this dish. Beurre Blanc is a classic French pan sauce in which wine is boiled for a few minutes to make a concentrated base, and cold butter is whisked in to make a creamy, tangy and luxurious sauce. You’ll want to serve it with a crusty baguette or cooked rice to make sure you enjoy every drop. 1 pound bay scallops (buy dry-pack) ½ cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, sliced 1/3-inch thick, divided 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup dry white wine 1 large shallot, minced
1 ¼ 1 ¼
teaspoon lemon juice cup cream pinch white pepper cup fresh dill, plus sprigs for garnish Baguette or cooked rice for mopping up sauce
1. Thaw the scallops, if frozen, overnight in the refrigerator, or in a tightly sealed bag in a large bowl of cold water for about 30 minutes. Drain the scallops and wrap in a double layer of paper towels to dry the surface completely. 2. Slice the butter and reserve two slices for searing the scallops; keep the rest cold. Get a plate for holding the cooked scallops. 3. Set up a steamer for the asparagus and bring the water to a simmer. Steam the asparagus for 3 to 5 minutes, just until crisp tender, then keep warm. 4. Melt the reserved slices of butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat, then increase the heat to high. Place the scallops n u t r i t i o n (p e r s e r v i n g) in the pan, and sprinkle with half of the salt. SHEET PAN HONEY-HOISIN SALMON Sear for about 2 minutes per side, until the AND VEGETABLES C A L O R I E S : 3 5 0 , F AT: 1 8 G ( S AT: 4 G ) , edges of the scallops start to split and the CHOLESTEROL: 65 MG, SODIUM: 330 MG, CARB: scallops are opaque. 18G, FIBER: <1G, SUGAR: 16G, PROTEIN: 26G 5. Remove scallops to the plate and cover LOBSTER OR SHRIMP ROLL SLIDERS C A L O R I E S : 2 1 0 , F A T: 1 0 G ( S A T: 3 G ) , loosely with a pan lid or foil to keep warm. CHOLESTEROL: 85 MG, SODIUM: 510 MG, CARB: To the hot pan, add the wine and shallot, 18G, FIBER: 1G, SUGAR: 3G, PROTEIN: 14G and stir to incorporate the browned bits in THAI TILAPIA CAKES WITH LIME DIPPING SAUCE the pan. Boil until the liquids are syrupy and C A L O R I E S : 3 1 0 , F A T: 1 6 G ( S A T: 3 G ) , reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Whisk in CHOLESTEROL: 85 MG, SODIUM: 1430 MG, CARB: 12G, FIBER: 4G, SUGAR: 6G, PROTEIN: 30G lemon juice, cream and salt and simmer LEMONY SEAFOOD LINGUINE briefly to thicken. Turn the heat to low, and C A L O R I E S : 4 2 0 , FAT: 1 7 G ( S AT: 1 0 G ) , whisk in butter a few chunks at a time, to CHOLESTEROL: 160 MG, SODIUM: 860 MG, CARB: 46G, FIBER: 3G, SUGAR: 4G, PROTEIN: 24G make a thick sauce. Whisk constantly, so the SCALLOPS WITH BEURRE BLANC melting butter is emulsified into the sauce. AND ASPARAGUS Do not boil. C A L O R I E S : 4 2 0 , FAT: 2 9 G ( S AT: 1 8 G ) , CHOLESTEROL: 115 MG, SODIUM: 490 MG, CARB: 6. Place asparagus on plates, top with scal12G, FIBER: 3G, SUGAR: 4G, PROTEIN: 23G lops and drizzle sauce over. Serve with warm rice or baguette slices to mop up the sauce. n 26 real food spring 2022
SCALLOPS WITH BEURRE BLANC AND ASPARAGUS
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Spring Lamb Try protein-rich lamb for a naturally tender and flavorful take on dinner BY MOLLY STEVENS
e often think of roast lamb when planning springtime feasts and celebrations, but this delicious and nutritious meat is also worth considering for regular weeknight meals anytime of year. For starters, lamb is so naturally tender and flavorful that it takes only a little tinkering and coaxing to transform it into delectable dishes—simply season with salt and pepper and toss it in a skillet or into the oven. That said, the sweet, almost herbal taste of lamb pairs wonderfully with a range of flavorings from around the globe, making it adaptable to almost any preparation. From a health
standpoint, lamb is nutrient dense, notably high in B vitamins, zinc, niacin and heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Additionally, lamb is produced in every state in this country—much of it grass-fed—so fresh, local lamb is increasingly available. If lamb is not already a part of your regular cooking repertoire, here are five recipes using various cuts to give you a head start, including spice-marinated kebabs, Greek-inspired pita sandwiches, broiled chops with a fresh salsa, an elegant little roast and succulent slow-cooked shanks. Now that ought to get your juices flowing!
PHOTOGRAPHY TERRY BRENNAN FOOD STYLING LARA MIKLASEVICS
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MUSTARD-CRUSTED RACK OF LAMB (SEE RECIPE ON PAGE 31)
LAMB AND CARAMELIZED ONION PITAS WITH TAHINIYOGURT SAUCE 30 real food spring 2022
Lamb and Caramelized Onion Pitas with Tahini-Yogurt Sauce MAKES 4 SERVINGS
Inspired by the traditional Greek gyro, these dinnertime sandwiches combine spiced ground lamb with sautéed onions and a creamy dill-spiked sauce. A handful of toppings adds crunch and zing. Serve with oven fries or a green salad to round out the meal. For the Sauce
2 tablespoons tahini 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon olive oil ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt 1½ tablespoons chopped fresh dill Salt and black pepper, to taste For the Filling
2 tablespoons olive oil 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced Salt and black pepper, to taste 1 pound ground lamb 1 teaspoon ground coriander ½ teaspoon dried thyme ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon Assembly
small or 2 large pitas (see Cook’s Notes) cups loosely packed baby spinach about ½ cup thinly sliced cucumbers about ½ cup chopped cherry tomatoes about ½ cup crumbled goat cheese or feta (optional) Sliced pepperoncini, to taste (optional)
1. Prepare the sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice and olive oil until smooth. If the tahini clumps, add a few drops of warm water and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the yogurt and dill, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. 2. For the filling, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook until tender and golden, about 6 minutes. Scoop out the onions with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving the oil behind. Return skillet to medium heat, and add the lamb, breaking it up with a spatula. Season with coriander, thyme, cinnamon, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until lamb is browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir the reserved onions into the lamb. Taste for seasoning and keep warm. 3. Spread a thick layer of yogurt sauce inside both sides of the pitas. Add a layer of spinach. Fill each with the lamb and onion mixture, and top as desired with cucumbers, tomatoes, and (if using) cheese and pepperoncini. Serve immediately. Cook’s Note: If you buy large pitas (about 8 inches diameter), figure half per person. For smaller pitas (about 5 or 6 inches diameter), you’ll need a whole one, using the two halves per serving. Whole-wheat pitas tend to be sturdier than white ones, so they hold up better to the filling.
Mustard-Crusted Rack of Lamb MAKES 4 TO 6 SERVINGS | PHOTO ON PAGE 28
Few roasts are as elegant and easy as a rack of lamb, especially when prepared with a crunchy, savory breadcrumb coating. Accompany this with roasted new potatoes and steamed asparagus for a memorable spring feast. 2 3 2 1 2
racks of lamb, about 1¼ pounds each (see Cook’s Note) Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste tablespoons olive oil tablespoons Dijon mustard tablespoon honey tablespoons chopped scallion, white and pale green parts 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs 1. Heat the oven to 375°F. Pat dry the racks of lamb, and season with salt and pepper. 2. Heat a large dry skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the lamb, meaty side down, pressing down with tongs, until nicely brown, about 2 minutes. Turn to quickly brown the other side, another 2 minutes. Transfer the lamb to a cutting board. If the skillet can’t accommodate both racks at once, repeat with the second rack. (This can be done up to 2 hours ahead; leave the lamb sit room temperature.) 3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, mustard, honey, scallion and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the panko onto a large plate. Once the lamb is cool enough to handle, paint all over with the mustard mixture (the meat, not the bones), then roll in the breadcrumbs, pressing so they adhere. 4. Arrange the racks, bone-side down on a baking sheet, and roast until medium-rare (125 to 130°F internal temperature), 20 to 23 minutes, or until medium (135 to 140°F internal temperature), about 25 minutes. 5. Transfer the lamb to a cutting board. Carve down between the bones into double or individual chops and serve, scooping up any crust that falls off and scattering it over the chops. Cook’s Note: Lamb racks usually come pretrimmed, or “frenched,” the term for trimming away the meat from the top part of the rack to expose the bones. This is primarily decorative and doesn’t affect the flavor. Either way, if the racks have a thick layer of surface fat, you will want to trim it down to just a thin layer before cooking.
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Lamb Chops with Zhoug-Brown Butter Sauce MAKES 4 SERVINGS
Zhoug, a vibrant cilantro-chile salsa from Yemen, makes a stellar sauce for broiled lamb chops—especially when it’s enriched with a little brown butter. If there is any leftover sauce, spoon it over bread, tomatoes, eggs, or just about anything that needs a boost. 8 bone-in lamb chops (about 1½ pounds) Salt and black pepper, to taste 1½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ ¼ ½
cups lightly packed cilantro, leaves and tender stems cup lightly packed parsley, leaves and tender stems large or 2 small cloves garlic, chopped jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped teaspoon caraway seeds, finely ground teaspoon ground cumin teaspoon ground cardamom teaspoon fine salt (or 3/4 teaspoon kosher), or to taste ⅛ teaspoon sugar (optional) 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon water 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1. Pat dry the lamb chops and arrange them on a plate or tray. Season with salt and pepper. 2. Combine the cilantro, parsley, garlic, jalapeño, caraway, cumin, cardamom, salt and sugar (if using) in a food processor. Pulse to coarsely chop. Add the oil and water, and continue pulsing into a rough paste. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the herb paste onto the lamb chops, and rub it evenly over the surface of the chops. (The chops can be seasoned, covered with plastic, and refrigerated for up to 8 hours.) 3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until toasty brown, about 4 minutes. Stir in the remaining herb paste, and remove from the heat. Taste for salt. Keep warm or at room temperature. 4. Heat the broiler to high and position a rack 4 inches from the heating element (or heat an outdoor grill to medium-hot). Broil (or grill), flipping halfway, until the chops are nicely browned on both sides and cooked to your liking, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve immediately, spooning the zhoug sauce over the top. Cook’s Note: To use an instant-read thermometer to test the doneness of the chops, look for an internal temperature of 125°F for medium-rare, and 135°F for medium. Take care that the tip of the thermometer is inserted in the thickest part of the chop and does not touch the bone. 32 real food spring 2022
LAMB CHOPS WITH ZHOUG-BROWN BUTTER SAUCE
LAMB SHANKS BRAISED WITH GARLIC AND WHITE WINE
Lamb Shanks Braised with Garlic and White Wine MAKES 4 SERVINGS
Fall-apart tender and infused with rosemary, garlic and a hint of orange, meaty lamb shanks make a deeply satisfying meal. Serve them atop a pile of fluffy mashed potatoes, creamy polenta or buttered egg noodles— something to soak up all the delectable juices. 4 1 2 1 2 1 6 3 ¼
lamb shanks (¾ to 1 pound each) Salt and freshly ground black pepper navel orange tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil cup dry white wine tablespoons tomato paste cup chicken broth or water garlic cloves, peeled leafy sprigs fresh rosemary cup chopped fresh parsley (or a mix of parsley and mint)
1. Heat oven to 325°F. Pat dry lamb shanks and season them all over with salt and pepper. Use a vegetable peeler to remove 3 strips of zest from the orange, then squeeze the juice from the orange. Set both aside. 2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven or other heavy braising pot. Add as many shanks as will fit in a single layer, and brown on all sides, 12 to 15 minutes total. Set the browned shanks on a platter or tray to catch any drippings. Repeat with any remaining shanks. When all the shanks are browned, pour off and discard the fat from the pan. 3. Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the wine and reserved orange juice. Simmer, stirring to dislodge any brown bits on the bottom of the pan, until reduced by about half, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, broth (or water), garlic, rosemary and reserved orange zest, and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the tomato paste. 4. Return the shanks to the pan, cover and slide into the lower third of the oven. Braise, turning the shanks after about 1 hour, until fork tender, about 2½ hours. 5. Transfer the shanks to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Tilt the braising pot to pool the juices at one end and skim off the surface fat. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding the rosemary and orange zest, and pressing down on the garlic cloves, forcing the pulp through. Taste for salt. To serve, spoon the sauce over the shanks and top with the chopped parsley. Cook’s Notes: n Lamb shanks are excellent made a day or two ahead. When finished, don’t bother skimming the fat. Instead, strain the braising liquid, pressing down to extract the garlic pulp, and pour a little over the shanks to moisten the meat. Refrigerate the shanks and remaining strained braising liquid separately, both tightly covered. Before serving, arrange the shanks in a baking dish. Scrape the solid fat from the top of the chilled liquid, spoon what remains over the shanks, cover with foil and warm in a 325°F oven for about 30 minutes. Top with parsley before serving. n The recipe can easily be adapted to serve 6; simply add 2 more lamb shanks. The rest of the ingredients remain the same. n Smaller appetites may not finish an entire shank. Combine any leftover meat and braising liquid to use it as a pasta sauce in coming days. If there’s not enough liquid, add canned tomatoes to keep it moist, and toss in a handful of chopped olives or capers to perk it up.
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Lamb and Bell Pepper Kebabs MAKES 4 SERVINGS (8 KEBABS)
A simple marinade tenderizes the meat and adds loads of flavor to these colorful kebabs. Cook over the grill or under the broiler, weather depending. A drizzle of melted butter before serving brings the taste to the next level. Serve with a grain salad or couscous. 1½ pounds boneless lamb, from leg, sirloin or shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1- to 1½-inch cubes 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to drizzle 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 2 teaspoons minced garlic 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1½ teaspoons ground coriander ½ teaspoon ground cumin ¾ teaspoon fine salt (or 1 teaspoon kosher salt), plus more to taste Pinch red pepper flakes 2 large bell peppers, cored and cut into 1-inch squares (see Cook’s Notes) 1½ tablespoons melted butter (or olive oil), for serving 1 teaspoon sumac or lemon pepper (optional), for serving Flaky salt for serving (optional) 1. Place the lamb in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, coriander, cumin, salt and red pepper flakes. Pour the marinade over the meat, toss to coat, and cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 12 hours. 2. Heat the grill to medium-hot or preheat the broiler with a rack about 4 inches from the element. Remove the lamb from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature while the grill (or broiler) heats. 3. Thread the lamb and peppers onto skewers, alternating meat and peppers. Drizzle each kebab with a thin thread of olive oil and season lightly with salt. 4. Grill or broil, turning a few times, until the meat is cooked to your liking, 8 to 12 minutes. Drizzle with butter, and, if using, season with sumac and flaky salt. Serve immediately. Cook’s Notes: n Try a mix of red and green (or yellow) bell peppers to add color. n If using bamboo skewers, soak the skewers in water for 20 minutes before assembling kebabs to prevent them from catching fire. n A trick for making equal size kebabs is to divide the meat and vegetable into 8 even piles before assembling. This way you won’t overload the first few skewers and run out before you’re done. n
n u t r i t i o n (p e r s e r v i n g) MUSTARD-CRUSTED RACK OF LAMB CALORIES: 450, FAT: 26G (SAT: 9 G), CHOLESTEROL: 115 MG, SODIUM: 450 MG, CARB: 15G, FIBER: <1G, SUGAR: 3G, PROTEIN: 39G LAMB AND CARAMELIZED ONION PITAS WITH TAHINI-YOGURT SAUCE CALORIES: 610, FAT: 46G (SAT: 16 G), CHOLESTEROL: 90 MG, SODIUM: 240 MG, CARB: 21G, FIBER: 4G, SUGAR: 5G, PROTEIN: 27G LAMB CHOPS WITH ZHOUG-BROWN BUTTER SAUCE CALORIES: 480, FAT: 43G (SAT: 20 G), CHOLESTEROL: 130 MG, SODIUM: 380 MG, CARB: 1G, FIBER: 0G, SUGAR: 0G, PROTEIN: 24G LAMB SHANKS BRAISED WITH GARLIC AND WHITE WINE CALORIES: 560, FAT: 22G (SAT: 6 G), CHOLESTEROL: 220 MG, SODIUM: 780 MG, CARB: 8G, FIBER: 1G, SUGAR: 5G, PROTEIN: 71G LAMB AND BELL PEPPER KEBABS (PER 2 KEBABS) CALORIES: 320, FAT: 17G (SAT: 6 G), CHOLESTEROL: 135 MG, SODIUM: 810 MG, CARB: 3G, FIBER: 1G, SUGAR: 1G, PROTEIN: 39G
36 real food spring 2022
LAMB AND BELL PEPPER KEBABS
spring 2022 real food 37
KOWLOON RICE POT (SEE RECIPE ON PAGE 44)
38 real food spring 2022
IT’S COOL TO BE
CANNED Learn to make canned food into mouth-watering meals RECIPES BY THEO A. MICHAELS
anned food was born out of a necessity to preserve and transport food for long periods of time, but now it is having a renaissance in a world of busy, globally-minded people looking for a good meal. Today, we use canned foods from around the globe, making the world of food all the more connected and flavorful. Plus, canned food options often speed up the cooking process. To turn canned food into a mouth-watering meal whether you’re in a hurry or experimenting with new ingredients, you can look to “Canned: Quick and Easy Recipes that Get the Most Out of Tinned Food,” a new cookbook by chef Theo A. Michaels. Michaels has an extensive culinary background, beginning with his 2014 semi-finalist status on the U.K.’s “MasterChef ” TV series. Since then, Michaels has published six books, two of which won the 2020 Gourmand World Cookbook award, and now he is ready to convert readers into canned food connoisseurs with his collection of internationally-inspired recipes, including the following from his new book. —kate lawless
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Chang Sang Paneer MAKES 2 SERVINGS AS MAIN; 4 AS A SIDE
Canned spinach makes quick work of my own recipe for this popular Indian curry, comprising chickpeas, spinach and paneer, especially as I always have a can or two conveniently stashed away in a kitchen cupboard. This is delicious on its own, but feel free to serve with warmed naan breads or plain basmati rice and topped with a dollop of mango chutney. I should also mention that any leftovers reheated and served with a poached egg on top work well for breakfast. I wish I could say that was just a rumor I’d heard… 1 (14-ounce) can leaf spinach 1 (about 9-ounce) pack paneer cheese (or halloumi will work too) 1 tablespoon ground cumin Splash of olive oil 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 1 teaspoon fennel seeds 2 onions, diced ½ teaspoon ground turmeric 1 tablespoon garam masala 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated 4 garlic cloves, chopped 2 dried whole red chilies (or a pinch of hot red pepper ﬂakes) 1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, drained 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1 teaspoon salt ½ (14-ounce) can coconut milk To Serve Lime wedges, for squeezing Boiled rice or naan bread Mango chutney (optional) 1. Start with the spinach—pour the contents of the can into a strainer and use the back of a spoon to push down on the spinach, extracting as much liquid as possible. Leave this sitting in the strainer over a bowl while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. 2. Cut the paneer cheese into 1-inch cubes and dust with half the ground cumin. 3. Heat a splash of oil in a skillet over a high heat, add the paneer and fry for just a couple of minutes until golden, then remove from the pan. 4. Add a splash more oil to the pan along with the cumin and fennel seeds and sweat the diced onions for about 6 minutes until caramelized and golden. 5. Add the remaining spices, ginger, garlic and chilies and cook for 30 seconds, then add the drained chickpeas and tomato paste. 6. Tip in the spinach with the salt and stir to incorporate it with the rest of the ingredients. 7. Fold in half a can of coconut milk, warm through until it bubbles, stirring frequently, then remove from the heat. 8. Serve in comforting bowls to snuggle round with a wedge of lime and some boiled rice or a chunk of ripped naan for company; a swirl of the remaining coconut milk over the top is a nice touch. 40 real food spring 2022
CHANG SANG PANEER
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TRAY-BAKED SPAGHETTI PUTTANESCA 42 real food spring 2022
Tray-Baked Spaghetti Puttanesca MAKES 4 SERVINGS
The concept behind this tray-bake recipe was born out of the live kids-cookalongs for families I started online in 2020, and it proved to be one of our most popular dishes with viewers—and with good reason! It’s the ultimate in convenience cooking as everything just goes into the sheet pan (yes, even the dried spaghetti!) and 30 minutes later, dinner is served! 1 1½ 1 3 1 2 2 4 1 2 2¾ 1
ounces dried spaghetti onion, diced garlic cloves, sliced (3¼-ounce) can pitted black olives, drained and halved tablespoons capers, coarsely chopped tablespoons raisins Pinch hot red pepper flakes (optional) tablespoons olive oil (14-ounce) can cherry tomatoes tablespoons tomato paste cups warm chicken stock (made with 1 stock cube) (5½-ounce) tin sardines in oil A few sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Heat the oven to 425°F. 2. Lay the spaghetti in a high-sided sheet/roasting pan with all the dry ingredients—onion, garlic, olives, capers, raisins, hot red pepper ﬂakes—then pour in the olive oil, massaging it over the spaghetti to ensure it is coated. 3. Then add all the wet ingredients—the cherry tomatoes in their sauce, tomato paste, warm chicken stock, sardines (drained, reserve the oil)—and season with salt and black pepper to taste. 4. Use a fork to mix all the ingredients together, breaking up the sardines a little as you do (but keep them fairly chunky). 5. Drizzle the oil from the sardines over the top. The spaghetti should be submerged below the liquid by about ½ inch. 6. Place the pan in preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes, then remove and leave to rest for 5 minutes—this stage is important as it allows the bake to ﬁnish cooking and absorb the last of the liquid. 7. Once done, use a fork to loosen the spaghetti and garnish with freshly chopped parsley. If it’s too thick, feel free to add a splash of hot water, or if too loose, leave it in the oven for another 5 minutes.
Can Sizes Can sizes may vary by brand, but given Theo Michaels’ relaxed cooking style, a few ounces more or less will work in these recipes. Choose close to the size and simply use what is available. Once divided among multiple servings, an extra ounce or two of peas, for example, will be fine for the end result. Or, if you choose a larger size can, use the amount in the recipe, and save the rest for another use.
spring 2022 real food 43
Kowloon Rice Pot
Potato Stuffed Cheesy Peppers
MAKES 4 SERVINGS | PHOTO ON PAGE 38
MAKES 2 SERVINGS AS A MAIN; 4 AS A SIDE
This recipe is inspired by the clay pot rice dishes of Kowloon’s Temple Street night market in Hong Kong, where you ﬁnd rice cooked in little clay pots over charcoal with dozens of toppings to choose from. The beauty is that everything is cooked in the one pot, so when you dig into it, you ﬁnd pockets of plain rice and others where the toppings and dressing have soaked through to give it a delicious smoky ﬂavor.
These Romano peppers with a canned potato stuffing are so quick to make and are utterly delicious. They work perfectly as a light meal served with salad, or they make a wonderful accompaniment to a more substantial meal. If your peppers are quite large, pop them in the oven ﬁrst for 10 minutes to start the cooking process.
or the Dressing F 4 tablespoons dark soy sauce 2 tablespoons runny honey 1 teaspoon cider vinegar 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1 (2-inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated ½ teaspoon Chinese ﬁve spice Pinch red pepper ﬂakes or the Rice Pot F 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon sesame oil 1 onion, diced 2 garlic cloves, chopped 1½ cups basmati rice 1 (about 10-ounce) can small peas, drained (see Editor’s Note, page 43) 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 2½ cups chicken stock (made with 1 stock cube) 2 (7-ounce) cans chicken breast, drained and rinsed (see Editor’s Note) 1 (14-ounce) can bean sprouts, drained 1 spring onion/scallion, thinly sliced Salt, to taste 1. Mix all the dressing ingredients together and set aside. 2. Add the oils to a saucepan and fry the onion for a few minutes to soften, then add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. 3. Stir in the rice, peas, smoked paprika and a pinch of salt and top with the chicken stock. 4. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes. 5. While the rice is cooking, cut chicken breast into ½-inch thick slices. 6. Drain the bean sprouts in a strainer, shaking oﬀ as much excess liquid as possible. 7. After 10 minutes of cooking, quickly remove the lid from the pan and spread the bean sprouts in a layer on top of the rice and sprinkle a third of the dressing over the bean sprouts, then fan out the chicken slices over the top of the bean sprouts and replace the lid. 8. Continue cooking for another 3 minutes, then remove from the heat and rest for 5 minutes with the lid on before serving. 9. Just before serving, drizzle over all the remaining dressing and garnish with the sliced spring onion/scallion.
44 real food spring 2022
4 Romano peppers (see Editor’s Note) 1 (10½-ounce) can new potatoes (see Editor’s Note, page 43) ½ cup Greek yogurt 1 garlic clove, crushed 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese ⅔ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided ½ cup fresh breadcrumbs 2 tablespoons freshly chopped chives 1½ teaspoons olive oil Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1. Heat the oven to 425°F. 2. Halve the peppers lengthwise straight through the stalk, removing any pith and seeds from inside, and place all 8 halves cut side up on a baking sheet. 3. Drain the potatoes, place in a bowl and mash as thoroughly as possible—the smoother the better. 4. Fold the yogurt, garlic, all the cheddar cheese and half the Parmesan cheese into the potatoes, then season generously with black pepper and a pinch of salt. Divide the mixture among the peppers, spooning it inside each one. 5. For the topping, mix the breadcrumbs with the remaining Parmesan, the chives and olive oil and scatter evenly over the stuﬀed pepper halves. 6. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the tops are crisp and golden. Serve with a green salad. Editor’s Note: If Romano peppers are not available, you could substitute poblano or Anaheim peppers. n
nutrition (p e r s e r v i n g) CHANG SANG PANEER (AS MAIN DISH) CALORIES: 910, FAT: 57G (SAT: 40G), CHOLESTEROL: 105 MG, SODIUM: 2010 MG, CARB: 62G, FIBER: 11G, SUGAR: 10G, PROTEIN: 44G TRAY-BAKED SPAGHETTI PUTTANESCA C A L O R I E S : 5 7 0 , FAT: 2 1 G (S AT: 3 . 5 G ) , CHOLESTEROL: 35 MG, SODIUM: 850 MG, CARB: 76G, FIBER: 6G, SUGAR: 11G, PROTEIN: 21G KOWLOON RICE POT C A L O R I E S : 4 8 0 , FAT: 9 G ( S AT: 1 . 5 G ) , CHOLESTEROL: 65 MG, SODIUM: 1940 MG, CARB: 76G, FIBER: 7G, SUGAR: 13G, PROTEIN: 25G POTATO STUFFED CHEESY PEPPERS (AS SIDE DISH) CALORIES: 320, FAT: 17G (SAT: 9G), CHOLESTEROL: 45 MG, SODIUM: 700 MG, CARB: 27G, FIBER: 3G, SUGAR: 3G, PROTEIN: 16G
RECIPES AND PHOTOS FROM “CANNED: QUICK AND EASY RECIPES THAT GET THE MOST OUT OF TINNED FOOD” BY THEO A. MICHAELS © 2021 REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM RYLAND PETERS & SMALL. PHOTOGRAPHY BY MOWIE KAY.
POTATO STUFFED CHEESY PEPPERS
spring 2022 real food 45
l a t e e
r u n c
Tasty brunch recipes for those who aren’t early risers
runch is the best of both worlds. It’s the perfect blend of beloved breakfast staples and the savory flavors of lunchtime. Better yet, it’s an opportunity to sleep in, reconnect with friends and family, and enjoy a meal together. If you’re looking for guidance on creating the perfect brunch menu, check out “Lazy Day Brunches: Relaxed Recipes for the Morning,” a collection by Ryland Peters & Small. This cookbook can help you put together a delicious brunch with spins on classic breakfast foods, such as these featured here, even if you’re not quite through your morning coffee yet. —kate lawless
46 real food spring 2022
BREAKFAST TART (SEE RECIPE ON PAGE 51)
spring 2022 real food 47
MAPLE AND BACON PANCAKES
Maple and Bacon Pancakes
MAKES 10 PANCAKES | RECIPE BY LAURA SANTINI, PHOTO BY CON POULOS
MAKES 12 | RECIPE BY CAROL HILKER, PHOTO BY TOBY SCOTT
What’s not to like about the well-loved combination of pancakes, bacon and maple syrup?
These New Orleans pillows of heaven are as good as it gets when it comes to doughnuts. Serve with chicory coffee, dip in butter or sugar, or just eat plain.
1 cup all-purpose ﬂour 2 teaspoons granulated sugar 1½ teaspoons baking powder ½ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt 1¼ cups buttermilk 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 1 egg 10 slices bacon Maple syrup, to serve (optional) 1. Heat the oven to 400°F. In a bowl, whisk together the ﬂour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, butter and egg. Mix the ﬂour mixture into the buttermilk mixture until just combined, with small to medium lumps remaining. 2. In a large non-stick skillet, fry the bacon until golden on both sides and just turning crisp. Drain the bacon on paper towels and set aside. 3. Make each bacon pancake by dropping a tablespoon of batter into the skillet, top with a bacon slice, and cover with a further teaspoon of batter. Cook until some bubbles appear on top of the pancake and a few have burst, 1½ to 2 minutes. With a spatula, carefully ﬂip the pancake and cook until golden. 4. Repeat with all the bacon slices, cooking in batches if necessary and keeping the cooked pancakes warm in a low oven. Make more pancakes in the same way with any remaining batter, adding more oil to the pan if necessary. Serve with maple syrup if desired. 48 real food spring 2022
2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast 1½ cups warm water (about 110°F) ½ cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon salt 2 eggs 1 cup evaporated milk 7 cups all-purpose ﬂour ¼ cup shortening 4 cups vegetable oil, for deep-frying ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar 1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water. Add the sugar, salt, eggs and evaporated milk and blend well. 2. Mix in 4 cups of the ﬂour and beat until smooth. Add the shortening and then the remaining ﬂour. Cover and chill for up to 24 hours. 3. Roll out the dough to ⅛ inch thick. Cut into 2½-inch squares. 4. Heat the oil for deep-frying to 360°F. 5. Fry the beignets in the hot oil in batches until they rise to the surface. (If they do not pop up, the oil is not hot enough.) Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. 6. Shake confectioners’ sugar on hot beignets and serve warm.
spring 2022 real food 49
on weekends, when the pace of life slows, there’s nothing better than an indulgent brunch.
WARM CHICKPEA AND SPINACH SALAD 50 real food spring 2022
Warm Chickpea and Spinach Salad MAKES 2 TO 4 SERVINGS | RECIPE BY CAROLINE ARTISS, PHOTO BY ED ANDERSON
The warmth of the lightly spiced chickpeas combines so well with fresh tastes of lemon, parsley, red onion and spinach, making this a superb brunchtime side dish. For the Tahini Dressing
tablespoons tahini tablespoons olive oil Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon Pinch each of salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Salad
2 1 ¼ ¼
1 2 3 2
tablespoons olive oil garlic clove, crushed teaspoon ground cumin teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (14-ounce) can chickpeas, drained cups baby spinach tablespoons freshly chopped ﬂat-leaf parsley Grated zest of 1 lemon tablespoons ﬁnely chopped red onion
1. First, make the tahini dressing. Simply stir all the ingredients together in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of water. (It helps sometimes to give the tahini a really good stir in the pot so it becomes a bit runny.) 2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over a low–medium heat. Add the garlic, cumin and thyme, and cook together for 30 seconds. 3. Add the chickpeas, reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for 5 minutes. 4. Add 2 tablespoons of water and leave to cook for another 3 minutes. You can squash the chickpeas a little while they are cooking, if you like. Lastly, stir in the spinach, chopped parsley, lemon zest and red onion. 5. Tip into a serving dish, pour the tahini dressing over the top and toss together.
n u t r i t i o n (p e r s e r v i n g) MAPLE AND BACON PANCAKES (PER PANCAKE) CALORIES: 120, FAT: 6G (SAT: 2.5 G), CHOLESTEROL: 30 MG, SODIUM: 440 MG, CARB: 12G, FIBER: 0G, SUGAR: 3G, PROTEIN: 6G BEIGNETS (PER BEIGNET) CALORIES: 530, FAT: 24G (SAT: 4 G), CHOLESTEROL: 30 MG, SODIUM: 230 MG, CARB: 69G, FIBER: 2G, SUGAR: 13G, PROTEIN: 10G WARM CHICKPEA AND SPINACH SALAD CALORIES: 360, FAT: 27G (SAT: 3.5 G), CHOLESTEROL: 0 MG, SODIUM: 510 MG, CARB: 24G, FIBER: 7G, SUGAR: 7G, PROTEIN: 9G BREAKFAST TART CALORIES: 330, FAT: 23G (SAT: 9 G), CHOLESTEROL: 230 MG, SODIUM: 340 MG, CARB: 20G, FIBER: 1G, SUGAR: 1G, PROTEIN: 13G
Breakfast Tart MAKES 4 TO 6 SERVINGS | RECIPE BY KATHY KORDALIS, PHOTO BY MOWIE KAY | PHOTO ON PAGE 47
When constructing this tart, it is important to create a good dam, or well, for the egg to sit in to prevent any spillages. When you arrange the ﬁrst layer of leeks, create the wells and reinforce them with the pancetta—serious building skills are required here! 3½ 1 1 2
tablespoons butter, roughly chopped, divided leek, thinly sliced garlic clove, ﬁnely chopped tablespoons roughly chopped thyme and oregano (or 1 teaspoon each of dried thyme and oregano) 8 phyllo pastry sheets 10 slices of pancetta 6 eggs 1 tablespoon olive oil 1½ handfuls of arugula, coarsely chopped Tomato chutney, to serve (optional) 1. Heat the oven to 350°F. 2. Melt half the butter in a large skillet over a medium heat, add the leek and garlic and stir occasionally until starting to caramelize. Add the herbs to the pan and set aside off the heat. 3. Melt the remaining butter and use some to brush the base and sides of an 8x11½-inch baking sheet. 4. Trim the phyllo pastry sheets to ﬁt the inside of the baking sheet. 5. Place the ﬁrst pastry sheet on the baking sheet, brush with melted butter, then lay over another pastry sheet and repeat until all the pastry is used. 6. Spread the leek mixture over the pastry base. 7. Make six evenly spaced indentations in the leek mixture. Place the pancetta over the tart, leaving the indentations free for the eggs. Place in the preheated oven for 7 minutes. 8. Crack the eggs into the indentations, drizzle with oil and bake until the tart is set and the eggs are medium cooked, RECIPES AND PHOTOS FROM approximately 10 to “LAZY DAY 15 minutes. Scatter BRUNCHES: RELAXED RECIPES over the arugula FOR THE MORNING” © 2021 REPRINTED and return to the WITH PERMISSION oven until just wilted. FROM RYLAND PETERS & SMALL. Serve with a tomato chutney, if you like. n
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Jet Tila translates Thai cuisine for everyone by tara q. thomas 52 real food spring 2022
ever be daunted. That’s what Jet Tila’s right arm says—in thick black tattoo ink—something I remember while flipping through his newest book, “101 Thai Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die.” The last time I had a good pad thai was in Thailand. A woman who made only pad thai prepared it in her little open-air restaurant. The dish came out steaming hot, the tender, bouncy rice noodles punctuated with juicy shrimp, tender chicken, crisp bean sprouts, meaty tofu, crunchy peanuts and a showering of bright herbs—everything heightened by a sauce that was at once sweet, tangy, funky and spicy. Watching her toss it in the wok, it appeared as simple as making a salad. Yet the image of my past sticky gloppy attempts was paralyzing. How not to be daunted? Taking a deep breath, I call Tila to ask him himself. His answers, delivered with the combination of calmness, compassion and capability of an exceptional 911 operator, make it clear why he has been a Food Network favorite since his first appearance in 2011, when he went up against Masaharu Morimoto on “Iron Chef.” He has since appeared on everything from “Chopped” to “Cutthroat Kitchen,” “Beat Bobby Flay,” “Guy’s Grocery Games” and “Tournament of Champions,” as well as on NPR, CBS’ “The Early Show” and NBC’s “Today Show.” It also speaks to why he has 360,000 followers on Instagram and a popular YouTube channel dedicated to cooking videos. “You’re not alone,” he reassures me. “A lot of good cooks are intimidated by Thai cooking.” It’s simply unfamiliarity, he says. “No one teaches you how to buy dry rice sticks from Thailand; you have no natural familiarity with the ingredients.” Tila, whose full last name is Tilakamonkul, knows this well, as he has watched Westerners wrestle with Thai food since he was a kid. His family is largely credited with the founding of L.A.’s Thai Town, the largest Thai community outside of Thailand, spawned by the grocery store they founded in 1972. Back then, no one was importing Thai products, or growing the herbs and vegetables Thai cooks relied on back home. Tila’s family created a magnet for Thai families by bringing in essentials like Thai soy sauce, real sriracha sauce, and contracting with farmers in Mexico to grow ingredients such as galanga, an integral ingredient in many curry pastes. Tila was born in 1975, and essentially grew
PHOTOS KEN GOODMAN
up in the grocery, as well as the restaurants his family began opening in 1979. “It’s not a glamorous story,” Tila begins. “My grandmom sized me up well; I was a hyperactive kid, I had trouble concentrating, and she knew that rote learning in school was not going to cut it. She basically stuck me in the kitchen, starting when I was three or four. It was a very practical situation for her: she needed to focus me, and there was no iPad or TV.” School remained so challenging for him that he dropped out before graduating, but cooking, being visual and tactile, was something that made sense to him. Not that he cared when he was 17. “By my late teens, I was in full rebellion mode,” he says. He left and took a bunch of odd jobs, including security guard and deckhand on a fishing boat. “But when I failed, I’d always come back to my family’s business.” The turning point came one day when he was 22. “We had a group of Caucasians that would come to the grocery all the time and ask for recipes, and I’d write them out,” he recalls. “Finally, they asked, ‘Can you just teach us a class?’” In response, he created a series of cooking classes he taught out of his mom’s backyard. They ended up featured in the Los Angeles Times. “It changed my life,” Tila says. Despite the success, Tila didn’t want to be just “that Thai guy.” “Through the grocery store, I knew all L.A.’s top chefs, as they all shopped there—Wolfgang [Puck], Joachim [Splichal], the Two Hot Tamales—and I wanted to be that.” Tila enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu to study classical French cooking, then went to the California Sushi Academy. He staged (interned) with many of the chefs he had grown up admiring. “Culinary school was my bridge to get to them,” he says. “I could take what I knew and speak French technique to have a shared language.” “And ironically I came back to Asian cuisine!” Tila exclaims, laughing. In truth, what he initially considered a limitation became his superpower, landing him positions running kitchens for everything from Pacific Cafe at Google’s Silicon Valley headquarters to Wazuzu in the Wynn Las Vegas resort. Today he also runs Dragon Tiger Noodle in Las Vegas and consults for the Pei Wei Asian Kitchen chain. His ability to translate Thai food to a Western audience even inspired the Royal Thai Consulate-General of Los Angeles to name him Culinary Ambassador of Thai Cuisine in 2015.
Tila’s well-honed position of culinary translator comes through clearly in “101 Thai Dishes,” the most welcoming, non-intimidating Thai cookbook on the market. “I write my books so that anyone can cook anything,” he says. “That’s why it’s ring-bound and paperback; I want this book to get dirty.” It’s also why he hasn’t laden it down with laundry lists of exotic ingredients. He’d rather you focus on finding a few crucial ingredients. In fact, Tila says, forget trying to cook with a wok—unless you happen to have a wok burner that puts out 50,000 to 200,000 BTUs (the amount of heat needed to attain “wok hei”). Use cast iron instead and spend your energy on seeking out Thai-made ingredients. Although Thai cuisine uses plenty of Chinese soy sauce, Thai soy sauce, which has more sweetness and umami, adds a distinct
signature. Canned curry pastes from Thailand are totally cool by Tila, as, he says, their production is so complex and time-intensive that even he often prefers to leave them to the experts. To really bring out their flavor, he advises, fry them in the thick cream spooned off the top of an unshaken can of coconut milk. And seek out Thai fish sauce. As Tila points out, “Like soy sauce, every culture that makes fish sauce has its own little spin on it.” Vietnamese fish sauce will do in a pinch, but it won’t be the same. You’ll need some herbs, too. A huge variety are used in Thai cuisine, often just heaped on platters so that diners can season dishes to their own taste. But only three are strictly necessary. “The French have mirepoix,” Tila says, referring to the mix of onion, carrot and celery that forms the base of countless soups and sauces. “We have lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and galanga.” spring 2022 real food 53
“The defining characteristic of Thai cuisine is what we call the ‘yum’—the balance of the five flavors: salty, savory, sour, spicy and sweet.” —jet tila entirety of their existence and incorporating them into their foods. “Though the country has always remained unoccupied, natural trade has contributed a wealth of influences to the cuisine,” he says. His recipe for satay, the grilled, marinated chicken skewers ubiquitous on Thai menus, points to their origins in Indonesia and Malaysia. Another recipe for roti, the flat, flaky breads often used to scoop up curries, explains the Indian connection. Loatian influences come up in dishes from Northeastern Thailand, such as Waterfall Beef, which is a grilled-beef salad, and a fried rice pungent with shrimp paste nods to the ancient Mon ethnic group. Others are much more modern, born out of the migration of many Chinese to Thailand in the 1960s and, later, of the early days of Thai cooking in the U.S., when Chinese ingredients were more readily available than Thai.
The result was dishes such as Roast Duck Red Curry, Tila’s favorite Cantonese-Thai fusion dish, an amazingly simple dish that packs a ton of flavor and comes together in less than 30 minutes. Even pad thai, a dish we think of as quintessentially Thai, is a relatively new dish, pushed in the early 1940s by Prime Minister Plaek Phibunsongkhram as part of a program encouraging national pride and health. Although the noodles and the stir-fry technique are borrowed from Chinese cuisine, the prime minister was attracted to the speed, affordability and healthiness of the dish. The government actually disseminated a recipe along with mobile cooking carts to encourage its adoption. It’s now a given on Thai menus around the world. Thai at Home
But can you pull it off well in a home kitchen? Absolutely, Tila enthuses, because if you get the right noodles and treat them well, you’re most of the way there. “Look for noodles from Chantaboon: It’s a region that’s known for making the best—kind of like Sonoma is for wine.” Then soak them. “If you’re in a hurry, use warm water—70 to 90˚F. By the time noodles soften, the water will be room temp.” Cold water is slower but simpler. “At Google, I did four cases at a time, soaked in Lexan tubs,” Tila recalls. They are ready to use when they feel “pliable and plasticky,” Tila says, and they’ll hold in the fridge in this state for a couple of days. (If you can’t find them, just look for medium-width rice noodles. Sometimes they are labeled “pad thai rice noodles.”) Then get your ingredients lined up and your pan hot. You’re going to first add the aromatics (garlic, radish, dried shrimp), then, once they smell great (a few seconds), add the proteins. Then come the noodles. “They must hit the pan while it’s hot and has some oil—you’re flash-evaporating the moisture off of them, coating them in oil and toasting them.” Just when they begin to soften, add the sauce and cook just a few minutes, until al dente. “That’s when you add all the fun accoutrements—peanuts, bean sprouts, scallion,” he says. The dish needs only 10 to 20 seconds more, while the sprouts soften and the scallions add their perfume. But here’s a secret: “You know how Italian grandmas use pasta water? They learned that from Thai cooks,” Tila jokes. “If the dish is too dry, finish it with two or three tablespoons of the noodle-soaking liquid. It gives it a nice shiny 54 real food spring 2022
PHOTOS KEN GOODMAN
Ginger is often suggested as a substitute for galanga, but it’s not quite the same. “Like ginger, it’s a rhizome, but galanga gets a lot thicker, and it has an herbaceous, medicinal pine-like flavor,” Tila explains. “It gives curry paste a backbone of spice and heat.” When you find it, buy extra: “Slice it into thin planks, and then freeze it; it holds beautifully,” he advises. Same with lime leaves and lemongrass: “All these things that are low moisture and high essential oil freeze well.” With this “Thai trinity,” you can make Thai chicken stock, the basis of countless soups, including Tom Yum. At the same time, don’t get too hung up on authenticity. Even with the right ingredients, the Thai food we make in our kitchens here is going to be different than what cooks in Thailand make—and that’s OK. The Thais, in fact, have been absorbing new influences for the
My Classic Pad Thai MAKES 2 SERVINGS
This is arguably the most popular Thai dish in the world. Because this dish has been in America for 50 years, there are dozens of versions. To me, the common thread is tamarind, sugar and fish sauce. Everyone gets to the red color a little differently. I like using paprika for a great color without heat. But if you want a little chili punch, back up the paprika with 1 to 2 tablespoons of Thai sriracha. Rice stick noodles also vary in quality. Look for Chantaboon dry rice sticks from Thailand; they are the best. — jet tila Noodles 3–4 cups soaked medium rice stick noodles, or fresh (see Editor’s Notes) Pad Thai Sauce 4 tablespoons fish sauce 3 tablespoons tamarind concentrate 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar 4 tablespoons white sugar Pad Thai 2 tablespoons canola or other high-temperature cooking oil 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 tablespoons packaged shredded sweetened radish 1 teaspoon dried shrimp (see Editor’s Notes) ½ cup savory baked tofu, cut into slices 2 eggs ½ cup thin strips of chicken breast or thigh 10 large–medium shrimp, peeled and deveined 1 tablespoon paprika, for color 3 scallions, cut into 3-inch julienne ¼ cup chopped dry-roasted unsalted peanuts, divided 1 cup bean sprouts
finish.” Cooked well, each noodle retains its identity. “You should be able to take it home and the next day pull it apart with a fork.” The dish isn’t actually finished, though, until the diner tastes it. “The defining characteristic of Thai cuisine is what we call the ‘yum,’” Tila says, “the balance of the five flavors: salty, savory, sour, spicy and sweet.” It’s hard to define, as “balance” is such a subjective concept. But this is itself part of the Thai identity. “I have two grandmas. If my Chinese grandma makes a dish and you try to put soy on it, she’d cut your hand off,”
1. If you’re using dry noodles, soak them in a large bowl of warm water for about an hour. The water should be about 90°F. The noodles will start to absorb water and loosen up. Drain them well, reserving some of the soaking water to adjust the texture later if needed, and set aside. If you’re using fresh noodles, you can just open the package and add them to the pan at the appropriate time. 2. To make the sauce, combine the fish sauce, tamarind concentrate, lime juice, vinegar and sugar in a small bowl. Make sure to stir well until the sugar dissolves. Set aside. 3. Heat a wok or skillet over high heat for about 1 minute, until hot. Add the oil and swirl it to coat the pan completely. When you see wisps of white smoke, add the garlic and stir-fry for about 5 seconds. Add the radish, dried shrimp and tofu and stirfry until they begin to get fragrant, about 1 minute. 4. Push the ingredients in the wok to one side and let the oil settle in the center of the pan. Crack the eggs into the pan and add the chicken. As the eggs start to fry, just pierce the yolks to let them ooze. Fold the chicken and eggs over, scrape any bits that are starting to stick and cook for about 30 seconds or until the eggs begin to set.
Now stir everything together to combine it all in the pan. 5. Add the fresh shrimp and cook for about 30 seconds, until they just start to turn color and become opaque. Add the soaked (and drained) rice noodles and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the noodles become soft. Add the reserved sauce mixture and the paprika and fold together until the paprika evenly colors the noodles and all the liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes. 6. Place the scallions in the center of the noodles, and then spoon some of the noodles over the scallions to cover and let steam for 30 seconds. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the peanuts. Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with the bean sprouts and remaining peanuts. Editor’s Notes: n Look for medium-width rice noodles. Sometimes they are labeled “pad thai rice noodles.” You’ll need about 14-16 ounces dry. n If you can’t find dried shrimp, add a little more fish sauce to taste or omit.
Tila says. “When my Thai grandma cooks, she’ll put out sugar and chile and lime and fish sauce.” There’s no right or wrong when it comes to “yum;” a dish will be no less Thai if you don’t make it Thai-spicy or you cut down on the sweet or sour to suit your tastes. “I think it’s also reflective of the culture,” Tila says. “There’s no insult taken. It’s one of the very few Asian cultures—maybe the only one—where they’re happy to have you make it your own.” Don’t be daunted. Just assemble the ingredients and make up some pad thai tonight. n
RECIPE AND PHOTO FROM “101 THAI DISHES YOU NEED TO COOK BEFORE YOU DIE” BY JET TILA AND TAD WEYLAND FUKUMOTO © 2022 REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM PAGE STREET PUBLISHING, CO. PHOTO BY KEN GOODMAN.
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Vive la Différence Alter course and find fresh white wine options from Argentina, Spain and Portugal BY MARY SUBIALK A
glass of your favorite white wine can always hit the spot, but if you want to uncork a little something different, try Argentina’s signature white, Torrontés, Albariño from Spain, or Portugal’s Vinho Verde. Torrontés (“tor-ron-TESS”) is produced in Argentina’s preeminent wine region of Mendoza, in the La Rioja province, and from high in the foothills of the Andes in the Salta province. It’s generally lighter in style than Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc and is floral and fruity with flavors often described as peach and apricot with a touch of citrus, yet it’s still quite dry with a smooth texture and mouthfeel. It’s usually made without oak aging and best consumed within a year or so after its release. Albariño (“alba-REEN-yo”) is a medium-bodied white wine that hails from the Iberian Peninsula—from Rías Baixas in Galicia, Spain, and Vinho Verde in Portugal, where it’s called Alvarinho. This refreshing coastal wine with a crisp acidity is known for rich stone fruit flavors (think nectarine) as well as lemon, honeydew and grapefruit and a hint of salinity. You’ll see the word “Albariño” on Spanish labels unlike other areas that label by region. Vinho Verde literally means “green wine,” but the term refers to its fresh and fruity youthfulness. Hailing from the Minho region of northwestern Portugal, most Vinho Verde is a blend of various local grapes, most often the Alvarinho previously mentioned, Loureiro and Trajadura. This blend produces wine that can be rich with acidity and is often described as having complex flavors of apricots, peaches and citrus. It has a slight fizz yet is not classified as a sparkling wine. The best are dry but some are also made in a sweet style. Vinho Verde is also meant to be enjoyed within a year or so of bottling. A quality seal on the back of every bottle includes a serial number and date, which indicates the year it was bottled. In fact, if you want to learn more about your wine, you can enter the information under “bottle history” on the Vinho Verde Viticultural Commission’s website: vinhoverde.pt. These wines are perfect partners with seafood. Sip alongside any kind of shellfish—crab, lobster, mussels, oysters, scallops or shrimp—or white fish, including in fish tacos. Citrus fruit harmonizes with the wines, so a squeeze of lemon atop that fish would make a great match even better. Pair with Asian food and chicken or spicy dishes, as well as grilled vegetables and a caprese or Caesar salad. Serve before meals as an apéritif and with appetizers from cold cuts to goat cheese. Soft cheeses like burrata, or semi-hard cheeses such as Manchego, Gouda and salty feta will be great alongside these fresh and bright wines. n PHOTOGRAPHY TERRY BRENNAN FOOD STYLING LARA MIKLASEVICS
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