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Handmade Spaetzle with Sweet Corn and Berkshire Black Pepper Bacon

Chef Alex Roberts from Restaurant Alma prepared the dish, using ingredients from Otter Creek Growers


For Spaetzle:
2 c All purpose flour
3/4 c Milk
1 1/2 t Table salt
1/8 t Freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 t Freshly ground pepper
4 Eggs
Salt for cooking water


Bring a large saucepot of water to a boil, adding salt to taste. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well. Allow batter to rest 15 minutes. Place a colander or spaetzle maker over saucepot of simmering water and push batter through into water. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Pour spaetzle into colander and rinse with cool water. When cool, toss with a little olive oil to prevent them from sticking. Set aside.

For the sauce:
1/3 c Minced bacon
1 1/4 T PastureLand unsalted butter
2 1/2 c Sweet corn kernels, freshly scraped
1/4 c White wine
2 T Fresh sage, coarsely chopped
1/4 c Water
1/4 c Parmigiano Reggiano
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt and pepper to taste


In a large saucepan, cook bacon with a bit of the butter over medium heat, stirring frequently until slightly browned. Add sage and a few grinds of black pepper, followed by corn and wine. Once wine has evaporated, add water, butter, and parmigiano. Stir constantly until water, butter, and cheese form a creamy sauce. Add reserved spaetzle and stir until warmed through. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve with additional Parmigiano Reggiano if desired.

Beef Satay Sesame Marinade

Chef J.D. Fratzke from Muffuletta prepared the dish, using ingredients from Hidden Stream Farm, LLC


1 c sesame oil
1/2 c soy sauce
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c garlic
1 lb MN grassfed ribeye, cut into 1 oz. pieces


Combine soy sauce, garlic, and sugar in stainless steel mixing bowl. Whisk together vigorously until sugar is dissolved. Add 1 lb grassfed ribeye and sesame oil. Toss well until beef is evenly coated. Allow to marinate for at least 1 hr. Cook on hot grill individually until desired temperature. Remove from grill and, holding beef pieces with tongs, insert skewer.

Cucumber Ginger Salad
1 lb MN cucumbers, peeled, julienne
1/2 red onion, peeled, fine julienne
1/4 c minced ginger
3 c rice vinegar
3/8 c sugar
1/4 c chopped fresh basil
1/4 c chopped fresh mint


Place cucumbers and red onion in 3-gallon container. Bring vinegar, sugar, and ginger mix to a rolling boil. Once boiling, pour over the top of the cucumber/red onion mix and, using tongs, toss well until all cucumbers and onion are coated completely. Chill for a minimum of 6 hrs. After chilling, add chopped mint and basil, toss until well-incorporated and serve with sesame soy beef skewers.

Shrimp with Nectarines, Sugar Snap Peas and Curry

Ingredients from Axdahl's Garden Farm


1 lb shrimp, peeled and de-veined
2-3 fresh nectarines
1 c coconut milk
1 c heavy cream
1-2 t madras curry
1/2 lb sugar snap peas
fresh lime
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
clarified butter
3 diced shallots


Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Once warm, add enough clarified butter to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the shrimp, curry, and shallots. Cook each side of shrimp for about 1 min. Deglaze the pan with the heavy cream and reduce by about 1/2. Add the coconut milk, nectarines, and sugar snap peas. Cook until the shrimp is no longer translucent. Serve immediately with steamed rice. Serves 2-4 as an appetizer or entree.

Swede Hollow Meatballs (Homestyle)

Chef J.D. Fratzke from The Strip Club prepared the dish, using ingredients from Thousand Hills Cattle Company

1 C chopped yellow or vidalla onion
1/2 C garlic, minced
1 egg
1/4 C balsamic vinegar
1 lb ground pastured pork
1 lb 80/20 grass-fed ground beef
1 1/2 T smoked paprika
2 T allspice
2 T sea salt
1 T fresh cracked black pepper
1/4 C bread crumbs

Simmering Liquid
3 qt. organic chicken stock
1 C Madiera or cream sherry
1/2 C brandy
3 cinnamon sticks
4 sprigs fresh rosemary

1/2 C butter
1/2 C flour
2 T black truffle pesto
2 qt meatball simmering liquid, hot
pinch sea salt
pinch black pepper

Bowl of fluffy mashed potatoes
Lingonberry sauce
1/2 C chopped green onions


Place onions, garlic, egg, and balsamic vinegar in the bowl of a food processor and puree into a loose paste. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, add pork, beef, and spices. Mix well by hand until all ingredients are well-incorporated. Add bread crumbs and continue mixing until absorbed. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator to set up for about an hour. Meanwhile, place a large saucepan or Dutch oven on your range burner over medium heat and add the chicken stock, Madiera/sherry, brandy, cinnamon sticks, and fresh rosemary. When brew begins to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer.


Lay wax paper out on a baking sheet and begin rolling meat mix into one oz. meatballs (smaller than a golf ball). Gently drop meatballs into simmering liquid and increase heat to medium-low. When brew comes back up to a simmer, slightly reduce heat and simmer meatballs for about 20 min. Meatballs are finished when cooked through, but slightly pink in the middle. Using a slotted spoon, remove meatballs from simmering liquid and allow to cool at room temperature on sheet pan. Place pot with simmering liquid on back burner.


On front burner, place 3 qt. saucepan over medium-low heat and melt butter. Whisk in flour and black truffle pesto until a light paste forms. Whisk in hot meatball liquid to make a gravy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer meatballs in gravy and serve four or five to an order over mashed potatoes. Top with a small dollop of Lingonberry sauce and a dusting of chopped green onions.

Cauliflower Fritters

Chef Stewart Woodman from Kaskaid Hospitality prepared the dish, using ingredients from Redhead Creamery

Yield: 4 servings

For batter:
1 egg
1/8 t salt
1 t butter, soft
1/2 c + 2 T all purpose flour
1/2 c water
2 t brandy

Separate egg. In 2-qt. bowl, quickly whisk egg white to soft peaks; set aside.

In a clean 2-qt. bowl, whisk egg yolk, salt, and butter until thick. Add about 1/3 of flour to yolk mixture and whisk. Add about 1/3 of water to mixture and whisk. Add brandy. Continue whisking batter and adding water and flour, alternating between them until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Fold in whipped egg whites. Refrigerate until needed. 

For cheddar sauce:
2 T butter
2 T flour
1 c skim milk
3/4 t salt
1 c sharp white cheddar, finely shredded

Melt butter over medium heat in 2-qt. pot. Add flour, then cook 5 minutes over medium-low heat. Stir constantly using a wooden spoon.

Add milk and salt. Turn heat to high and stir constantly while bringing to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Simmer 8-12 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning on bottom of pan.

Stir in cheese over low heat for 30 seconds. Cover sauce and keep warm.  

For cauliflower:
Yield: 4 cups

1 head cauliflower
1 T salt
6 qt water

Remove core from cauliflower and break remaining head into 2-inch florets. Bring salt and water to a boil. Cook cauliflower until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain cauliflower into strainer, rinse under cold water until cool. Once cool hold in the refrigerator until ready to fry.

To finish:
3 c canola oil
salt, to taste
nutmeg, whole

Heat oil to 375 degrees F in a 1.5-qt. pot. Pour batter into 2-qt. bowl; add blanched cauliflower. Mix well. 

Using a spoon, drop 6-8 coated florets into hot oil. Cook until golden brown - about 2 minutes. Remove crisped florets to a paper towel with a slotted spoon. Immediately spinkle with a pinch of salt. Work in batches until all florets have been cooked.

Spoon cheddar sauce onto a plate, then place florets on top of sauce. Using a Microplane, grate nutmeg over cauliflower. Serve immediately.  


Smoked Mushrooms on Naan with Squash Mole and Salsa de Arbol

Chef Jorge Guzman prepared this dish using wild foraged mushrooms from The Gentleman Forager


Yield: 12-14 servings

For smoked mushrooms:
1 lb crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 lb oyster mushrooms, sliced

1 lb wild foraged mushrooms, sliced

olive oil

1/4 c shallots, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 T fresh thyme, chopped

1/2 c grape seed oil

1/4 lb unsalted butter

1 T salt

1/4 t black pepper

1 c red wine


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.


Toss mushrooms in enough olive oil to cover, then layer on a baking sheet; roast 15 minutes.


In a large pan heat butter and grape seed oil until butter is melted. Add garlic and shallots; cook 1 minute. Add mushrooms; cook until lightly caramelized. Deglaze pan with red wine and reduce until almost dry. Add thyme and season with salt and pepper. Once seasoned, cold smoke mushrooms over cherry wood for 20 minutes in a smoker. If you don't have a smoker, simply burn a few wood chips in a foil pouch, then add mushrooms to the pouch and place on grill; smoke over medium heat for 20 minutes or so with the lid on.


For naan:

2.5 t dry yeast

2 T sugar

1/4 c warm water

5 c all purpose flour

3 t salt

1 t baking powder

3 T milk

3 T drained yogurt

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 T olive oil

3/4 c cold water


Dissolve sugar in warm water, then hydrate yeast in sugar/water mixture.


Combine all dry ingredients in kitchen aid bowl. Combine remaining wet ingredients in separate bowl.


Add yeast mixture and wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix with the dough hook for 5-8 minutes, until smooth.


Let dough rise 1 1/2 hours in an oiled bowl covered with plastic and a towel.


Punch down dough and divide into portions; let sit again 40-60 minutes covered with sprayed parchment and towels.


To cook, roll dough out to desired shape and place directly on hot pan for 30 seconds until it puffs up, bubbles, and dark spots appear. Flip and cook the other side. Repeat until all dough has been used.


For squash mole:


1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 c olive oil

3 c acorn or butternut squash, chopped

1 serrano chili

1/2 c pepitas

2 c beer

1 c cilantro


Heat oil over medium heat, then saute onion and garlic. Add squash and chile and continue to saute.


Add pepitas and beer. Simmer until squash is tender. Remove from heat and add cilantro. Blend and strain. Adjust seasonings, if necessary.


For salsa de chile de arbol:


6 arbol chiles

1 c water

6 oz tomatoes, broiled

1/4 onion, roughly chopped

1 garlic clove, roughly chopped

salt, to taste


Heat a cast iron pan and toast chiles well on both sides - do not burn them or sauce will be bitter. Put water into a blender jar then add the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth.


To serve:

Spread squash mole over naan, then top with smoked mushrooms and drizzle with salsa de chile de arbol. Top with cheese and micro greens, if desired.


Grilled Rosemary Focaccia with Roasted Sweet Corn and Goat Cheese Spread

Chefs Dick and Pat Trotter from Trotter's Café prepared the dish, using ingredients from Wild Edible Gardens


4 fresh ears of corn with husks on
6 oz. MN goat cheese
1 C fresh cilantro, chopped

I large sweet white onion
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
2 MN Heirloom tomatoes
Green butterleaf lettuce

Trotter's Café Rosemary Focaccia:
3 T yeast
4 C warm water
1 T ground whole rosemary
4 tsp. MN clover honey
1 T sea salt
1 1/2 organic oats
2 C organic whole wheat flour
5-6 C organic white unbleached flour


Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add rosemary, honey, and salt. Add oats, all WW flour and most of white flour. Mix until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to be able to handle. Place dough on floured board. Divide into 4 equal parts (about 1 lb. each). Sprinkle oats on sheet pan. Using floured hands, push dough into 8 to 9" circle. Let rise approx. ten minutes. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with whole rosemary. Bake in 350 degree oven for 12 to 16 minutes.


Roast the corn on the grill with husks on until tender. Let cool. Remove corn from cob and process slightly with goat cheese and cilantro.


Slice onions into 1/8" thick rings and cover with balsamic vinegar for at least 2 hours.


Slice ripe tomatoes into 1/4" thick slices. Slice focaccia horizontally so you have 2 large rounds 1/4 - 1/2" thick. Brush with olive oil and place on grill for 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Spread corn and goat cheese mixture 1/4" thick on bottom half of bread. Layer onions, tomatoes, and butterleaf greens. Cover with top of focaccia and slice into 4-8 sandwiches.

White Pork Sausage with Apples

Chef Scott Pampuch from Corner Table prepared the dish, using ingredients from Ames Farm


2 C milk
2 medium onions, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 large celery stalk with leaves, chopped
6 fresh parsley sprigs
7 large shallots, minced
1 large garlic clove, crushed
2 bay leaves, broken
3 1/2 t salt
2 whole cloves
1/2 t freshly ground white pepper
1/8 t freshly grated nutmeg
1 T butter
12 oz boneless pork shoulder
9 oz fresh pork fat, cut in small pieces and frozen
3 medium eggs
6 T all-purpose flour
1/4 C Tawny Port
1/4 t minced garlic
1 c apples, preferably Ames Farm local baking apples, small dice
9 ft sausage casings, rinsed inside
1/4 C butter (1/2 stick)


Bring milk, onions, carrots, celery, parsley, 3 shallots, garlic, bay leaves, salt, cloves, pepper, and nutmeg just to boil in heavy 4-qt saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat, cover and let stand 30 min. Refrigerate until mixture is well chilled, about 2 hrs. Meanwhile, melt butter in heavy small skillet over low heat. Add remaining 4 minced shallots. Cover and cook until very soft, stirring occasionally, about 15 min. Purée with on/off turns in processor with pork, pork fat, eggs, flour, Port, and garlic until smooth. Strain milk into processor, pressing down on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Blend into purée. Fold in apples and transfer to large bowl. Refrigerate 1-8 hrs. Cut sausage casings into 3-foot lengths and tie knot at one end of each. Gather one piece around tip of pastry bag fitted with 1/2-in. plain tip. Spoon pork mixture into pastry bag, pressing down to prevent air pockets. Pipe mixture into casing, twisting casing every 6 in. to create individual sausages. Tie knot at end of casing. Repeat with remaining pork and casings. Tie twists in sausage with string. Bring 8 qts water to boil in stockpot. Remove from heat and add sausages. Return pot to heat, adjusting as necessary to maintain water just below simmer (180˚F). Cook until sausages are firm to touch, 20 min., turning occasionally. Cool in cold water to retain plumpness. Cut into individual links. Can be prepared ahead to this point. Wrap and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 2 months. Melt butter in heavy skillet over medium heat. Lightly brown sausages on all sides, about 8 min. total. Serve hot. Sausage can also be grilled.

Fresh Herring Fishcakes with Carrot Ginger Puree

Chef Scott Graden from New Scenic Café prepared the dish, using ingredients from Stephen Dahl, Fisherman


3 herring fishcakes
3 organic carrots
1/2 C carrot ginger puree
2 T matchstick apple
2 T sun gold tomato halves
6 frisee leaves
3-4 mint leaves
1 T mojo verde
3 T olive oil


Prepare the fishcake batter and carrot ginger puree one day in advance, store in refrigerator. Clean frisee and set aside. Halve the tomatoes and set aside. Place olive oil in sauté pan and heat. Place fishcakes in oil, cooking 3 min. on each side, add carrots. Remove fishcakes and carrots from pan, set aside. Add carrot ginger puree and heat. Toss frisee and tomatoes in mojo verde. Plate fishcakes, carrots, and carrot ginger puree. Place frisee and sun gold tomatoes and finish with apples and mint.

Herring (Bluefin) Fishcake Batter
4 lb skinned and de-boned fresh herring fillet (whitefish, cod, trout may be substituted)
1/2 C white onion, minced
3 T cornstarch
1 C 2% milk (or cream)
1 egg
1 t nutmeg
1/8 t thyme leaves
1 t kosher salt
1/8 t cracked black pepper


In small batches, chop fish in food processor. Add minced onion to one batch and pour into large mixing bowl. Beat in cornstarch, egg, milk, and spices until very well incorporated. Chill. Use #16 level scoop (not heaped) and flatten into patties. (Optional - dip balls into fresh white bread crumbs.) In sauté pan (or on griddle), place a spot of olive oil. Place fishcake on oil and fry for 2-3 min. per side.

Carrot Ginger Puree
2 lb carrots
2 C white onion, diced
2 T minced garlic
1/4 C minced ginger
1/2 C olive oil
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 T parsley flakes
1 bay leaf
3 c water
4 oz. butter
salt to taste


Place oil in stock pot and heat. Add carrots and onion. Cover and sweat until soft, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and ginger, sweat for 3 additional min. Add herbs and pepper. Add water and bring to a boil. Burre mix or transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth. Add butter and puree again. Add salt to taste.

Charcuterie with Local Flavors

Chef Mike Phillips from The Craftsman prepared the dish, using ingredients from Riverbend Farm


Salami on crostini with red onion marmalade
1/2 C olive oil
6 lg red onions, thinly sliced
1 C sugar
2 C red wine vinegar
1 t mustard seeds
1 T grated orange zest
1 loaf crusty bread sliced into 1/2 pieces
freshly ground black pepper


In a large sauté pan, warm the olive oil over low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring often until softened, about 20 min. Add the sugar, vinegar, mustard seeds, and orange zest and simmer until almost all of the liquid has evaporated and the onions are syrupy, about 20 min longer. Remove from the heat and season with lots of pepper. Let cool to room temperature and serve. The marmalade will keep, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 months; bring to room temperature before serving. Slice salami thin. Grill some crusty bread and slather it with olive oil then top with salami and red onion marmalade.


Dry-cured Ham with Zelniki
1lb dry cured ham or proscuitto
2 C all purpose flour
2 C sour kraut chopped fine
3-4 oz unsalted butter cut on a cheese grater

Combine flour and kraut and grate the butter into the mix. Should have a pie crust consistency. Roll out as thin as possible and cook for 20 min or until brown in a 350° oven. Thinly slice dry cured proscuitto. Lay the proscuitto on the crackers and drizzle a little olive oil and black pepper on them.

Coppa with Pear, Blue Cheese, and Hickory Nuts
8 oz coppa
1 pear
8 oz blue cheese
1 c hickory nuts

Slice the coppa very thin. Slice the pear and arrange the pieces of pear and coppa on a plate. Crumble the blue cheese and the hickory nuts on top. Serve all at room temperature.

Minnesota Wild Rice and Walleye Croquettes with Cured Cucumber Aioli

Chef Christian Pieper from Cafe Minnesota prepared the dish, using ingredients from KC's Best Wild Rice

Yield: 12-14 croquettes 

For croquettes:
3 c KC's Best hand harvested wild rice
2 qt vegetable stock
2 pt heavy cream
1/2 c white wine
1 bunch fresh thyme (tied with butcher's twine)
1/2 T fresh cracked pepper
2 T cumin
2 lb Red Lake walleye, skinned and deboned
2 carrots, peeled and small diced
4 celery stalks, small diced
1 medium onion, small diced
1 T salt

For dredge:
4 eggs, beaten + 2 T water
2 c panko bread crumbs
1 c flour seasoned with 1 T Lawry's
3 c canola oil (for pan frying) 

For aioli:
2 cucumbers, peeled and seeded
2 T kosher salt
2 t fresh dill, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
1 t xanthan gum (available at specialty grocers like Whole Foods)
1 c extra virgin olive oil

For croquettes, wash wild rice thoroughly, then combine wild rice and vegetable stock in sauce pot. Bring to a boil; reduce heat down to a medium simmer for about 45 minutes, or until rice kernels split. While rice is cooking, in a separate sauce pan combine heavy cream with white wine, thyme, cracked pepper, and cumin. Bring to a boil and reduce to a medium simmer. Add cleaned walleye into reducing cream. Cook walleye 8-10 minutes in cream, or until cooked thoroughly - just before it starts to fall apart. Remove walleye with slotted spoon; set aside to cool. When cooled, flake walleye by hand; set aside in fridge. 

After fish is removed, add carrot, celery, and onions, and reduce cream by 3/4 of original amount. Be careful to not "break" heavy cream (cook it so far that the fat separates), though you will reduce it down to the point of almost breaking. Remove thyme; let cool for a moment.

In a large bowl mix rice with flaked walleye; slowly add cream and vegetable mixture (this is the binder). Add salt. Once mixed, taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.

Form mixture into 4-oz cakes (hockey puck shape) and let chill in fridge for 1 hour. Prepare 3 separate bowls with flour in one, egg mixture in the other, and panko bread crumbs in the last. Coat chilled walleye cakes first in the flour, then thoroughly in egg, then finish in panko. Heat a saute pan with canola oil to 345 degrees F; pan fry cakes 2-3 minutes per side to a golden brown sear. Serve walleye cakes hot.  

For cucumber aioli:
Place prepared cucumbers in a colander; cover with 2 T kosher salt. Toss slightly so all cucumbers are salted. Let stand over a sink or another bowl for 1 hour to allow proper drainage. This extracts all bitter juices from cucumbers and gives them a salty cured flavor.

After cucumbers are drained, add to a blender along with dill, lemon juice, and xanthan gum. Puree until smooth. Then, with blender running, slowly add extra virgin olive oil through the small hole in the lid. Taste for seasoning.

Top walleye cakes with aioli or serve on the side as a dip. (To serve walleye cakes as a main entree, simply form them into bigger cakes before pan frying.)


Grilled Summer Squash Rollatini Filled with Herbed Goat Cheese, Melted Rainbow Lacinato Kale, Heirloom Tomato Vinaigrette, Balsamic Roasted Cipollini Onions, and Micro Radish

Chef Eliot King from Prima prepared the dish, using ingredients from Farm Farm

Yield: 4 appetizer servings

For heirloom tomato vinaigrette:

2 c heirloom tomatoes, blanched, peeled, and diced

5 T extra virgin olive oil

1 T balsamic vinegar

2 T roasted garlic

2 t chives, minced

1 T + 1 t basil, chopped

2 t parsley, chopped

1 T shallots, chopped

salt and pepper, to taste


Mix all ingredients together.

For herbed goat cheese:

1/2 c goat cheese, softened

1 t fresh thyme, chopped

1/2 t parsley, chopped

1/2 t chives, chopped

1 t chopped shallot

salt and pepper, to taste

Mix together until combined.

For melted rainbow lacinato kale:

4 c kale, cut into strips

2 T slivered garlic

2 c chicken broth or water

2 T white wine

1 T extra virgin olive oil

Saute kale and garlic in olive oil over medium heat. Deglaze with white wine. Cook it until dry. Add chicken stock 1/4 cup at a time until kale is tender. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

For balsamic roasted cipollini onions:

12 peeled cipollini onions

2 T extra virgin olive oil

2 T balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper, to taste

Toss all ingredients in a bowl, then place in a foil packet. Roast in a 375 degree F oven until onions are tender.

For grilled squash:

12 1/8-inch-thick slices summer squash (sliced lengthwise)

olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

micro radish, for garnish

Brush squash slices with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill until tender but not falling apart.

To assemble dish:

When squash are cool, roll each slice with 2 teaspoons herbed goat cheese. Place three rollatini on a bed of melted kale, then spoon vinaigrette around the plate and a little on top. Place three cipollini on the plate in a triangle. Top with micro radish.