Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Healthy Gourmet

I think all of you who like to eat well and eat light might enjoy this. It turns out some of our favorite and most celebrated local chef's are turning out menus that are low calorie, yet flavorful and just plain imaginative. Now I can't say I've sampled these particular menus but a quick glance at a chef bio would make me believe that these guys wouldn't compromise their craft for a low calorie count. Check out Minnesota MonthlyMagazine (one of my favorite local mags) for more details . If any one tries any of the listed items let me know your thoughts.

Happy Eating,


Friday, March 21, 2008

A Sauce for All You Easter Lamb Lovers

I know many of you will likely be serving lamb for the upcoming Easter feast and wanted to give you a nice quick sauce with a Greek influence that could spice up the normal holiday meal. I would recommend this if you are grilling, roiling or roasting. Although braised lamb is delicious, the braising liquid should serve as a substantial enough sauce.

This cool garlicky sauce helps to balance out the big flavors of lamb and really compliments a number of lamb dishes. It would be great on homemade Gyros.

Here it is and it's so simple:

Serves 6 to 8

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt . Dannon or any other plain variety would work too.

The juice of half a lemon

1/2 tsp spoon of minced garlic

Salt & pepper to taste.

Simply mix all of the ingredients well. Use a juicing device to juice the lemon, or juice over a spoon to catch any of the seeds. A quick whisk will make the sauce nice and smooth. I divided my original recipe by two for this post because the full version makes almost an entire bowl, which is a lot.

Happy Eating,

- Teddy

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Little Plates at Cafe Maude - Literally

Now, I know what you are thinking, I'm about to bash the size of the portions. You will not be subject to that rant here. I am well aware of the obesity-friendly portions that are often served in our hibernation-friendly state, but I thought the portion sizes at Cafe Maude were just fine. That is not my knock. My knock on Maude isn't the service either. I've seen many a review where the critic eludes to the host, service and reservation policy (seriously, just hop on or go late on a non-traditional dining night and you'll be able to get in - not so TR-Sat) as rude. Not here. Nope, I've always had a good service experience there.

So here's my knock: The plates are too small. Literally. The dishes, dude. I get that they are an a la carte service. But if I order a side with my entree, where the am I supposed to put it? I recently enjoyed a meal at Maude with several friends. I had the lamb skewers which were awesome - it was great to integrate currants into my diet again after subjecting my system to the typical colon blocking, Minnesotan winter fare . My girlfriend had the Moroccan chicken which was well prepared and very well seasoned - spices/flavor penetrated beyond the skin and was well integrated through the flesh. Here's the issue though. You plop half a chicken (bone in nonetheless!) down on a small plate and where do you put the sides you had to order? Our dinner for six quickly tuned into a dodge ball game of french fries, asparagus and braised greens. Simply put, on the shell prawns and bone in chicken on a tiny plate leaves no room for sides ,let alone any sort of surface to navigate the bones with silver or clean a prawn. I would recommend getting bread plates for the sides, but that would leave zero room on the table if you are normal and enjoy wine/a cocktail with dinner. A water glass, wine glass, entree plates, side plates, and a plate for each individual diner to harbor the side leaves no room whatsoever. The best answer is to get some people you are really comfortable with and be ready to laugh if a french fry rolls onto your neighbors dish or your brother accidentally shovels some asparagus onto your dress pants.

I will say that I've enjoyed my food at Cafe Maude the two times I have dined there (although the warm flat bread I had the first time featured a Goliath portion of dense, flavorless, cold romesco), but solving the table clutter would make this place exceptional in my book. Until then you can catch me every so often at this neighborhood cafe stuffing my face as quickly as possible so we can make room for all the other small plates.

Happy Eating


Monday, March 10, 2008

Linden Hills Co-op

I love this place. I had to write something about it because I feel like not a lot of people know about it. First of all the produce is amazing. You'll see colors there that could make a Little Richard jump suit look pale and dull. I've found a variety of Mexican peppers and greens that you can't find easily in other metro area grocery stores. Everything from fresh watercress to Poblanos, exotic radishes to rare and exotic fruits and veggies. I usually have to check myself before I fill my cart up, because someone works in advertising and can't go to overboard on the food budget.

The one place I will really splurge at LH Co-op is in the meat case. I Love the thousand Hills grass fed beef The flavor is very different then what you get out of your normal lot fed beef that has been pumped with antibiotics, slaughterhouse leavings and corn. It's strong and tastes like what well prepared beef should taste like. You need to try it for yourself. I always buy 3 small sirloins when I go there. They cut the steaks to the perfect size for one serving and they come vacuum packed so they freeze easily and stay fresh longer. I love the ground beef in chili and tacos.

The produce and the Grass-fed beef are the highlights but you'll find just about everything you need there. I highly encourage you to go. If you are looking to update your diet you find plenty of tasty and healthy options. Plus it's community supported business, so what's not to love. If you're apprehensive, just check out the website. There are plenty of awesome resources and they also have conservation and sustainable food seminars periodically.

Happy Eating,

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