The Veggiest Pizza EVER!

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Here’s a quick little Monday morning post for ya!

This weekend, after visiting a few farmer’s markets, I had acquired a bounty of veggies. I don’t know about you, but when I get a whole bunch of awesome ingredients, the urge to use them all at once is hard to deny!

Enter the pizza…

I decided that in order to taste test all of the glorious veg I had scored from the market, I would make a pizza. I used a store bought crust (GASP) that I had been meaning to try for a while. The unique thing about this particular crust is that I can read, pronounce, and understand what all of the ingredients are on the back. It turned about to be a pretty nice style flat bread crust and it’s soft, doughy nature added a nice texture to the overall pie.

For the sauce, I diced two yellow heirloom tomatoes and simmered them with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, a teaspoon of sugar, a teaspoon of garlic and some salt and pepper. I boiled that until the tomatoes broke down and formed a really nice sauce. I also added a nice pour of good olive oil to help round it out. I topped the crusts with the sauce, then layered some slightly boiled, thingly sliced rings of kohlrabi. I topped the kohlrabi with shredded carrots, zucchini rounds, zucchini blossoms, fresh mozzarella and garlic scapes.

I’m not going to lie… this was pretty rad.

 

Farmers Market Pizza: Yellow Heirloom Tomato Sauce, Kohlrabi, Carrots, Zucchini, Zucchini Blossoms, Fresh Mozzerella and Garlic Scapes.

The Pizza Post Bake

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Big EVOO Night

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I swear that one of these days I’ll get back into the habit of writing regularly. For now, let’s play a little game called “It’s Two Weeks Ago”.

So,  two weeks ago…

Alright, you see where this is going, now on with the show.

Two weeks ago I had the special pleasure of attending a special olive oil dinner at Cafe Levain. The point of the dinner was to highlight California Olive Ranch brand olive oils and to enlighten our little group on the luscious joys of the golden green elixir.

The Cafe

Our "Little" Group

The evening started off with a round of nicely chilled white wine and hors d’œuvres.

The Hors d'œuvres

After the hors d’œuvres we were seated. Before dinner we were to participate in a little olive oil tasting. This was meant to help us understand the complexities of something that so many often take for granted. The olive oil was swilled, aerated and sucked down the throats of every single person in attendence. It was glorious. Needless to say, the silliness going on in the room was nothing shy of overwhelming.

The Guest of Honor

The Teacher and His Lesson

Once the tasting was complete, we began our journey through our four course roller coaster of awesome. The dinner itself began with an amuse-bouche, which in my opinion, was the absolute highlight of the meal! A beautifully smooth and incredibly flavorful chilled peashoot soup. It makes me all tingly just thinking about it!

This Soup is Better Than All of Us.

The salad course came with a nice mix of local greens, a buttermilk-tarragon vinaigrette, some nice chevre and candied nuts.

The Salad Course

Our fish course was a really nice fillet of salmon served with olive oil poached laughing bird shrimp. This was served atop a nice pile of white beans and English shell peas.

The Fish of the Evening

The Dinner Talk; by Adam Vickerman

The meat of the evening was a fantastic hunk of hanger steak. Served simply with some confit fingerling potatoes and local mushrooms, this steak would have been the bread winner of the evening had it not been for the magical bowl of soup served earlier on.

The Hanger

Of course by the time dessert rolled around I was in near food coma yet somehow managed to inhale the entire plate before realizing that I should’ve photographed it first. Whoops…

Maybe next time I should skip the “optional” wine pairing.

But probably not…

In summation, the night was a ton of fun. The food was excellent and was only outdone by the luxury of fantastic company. Thank you so much Adam Vickerman of Cafe Levain, the fine folks at the California Olive Ranch, and Will Hsu for putting this whole shindig together. There’s nothing like an event where you get to eat great food while you learn a little. Cheers!

P.S.

Here’s a picture of Dania Miwa and Justin Emil trying to dress like one another…

Twins (Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito style!)

P.P.S…

Buy California Olive Ranch Olive Oil. It’s good.

(and no, they didn’t pay me to say that.)

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Fox 9; You Owe Our Food Trucks an Apology

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Dear Fox 9 News,

While watching the newest edition of Master Chef, a show I watch and enjoy on a weekly basis, a commercial for your 9 o’clock news broadcast happened to catch my attention. The commercial brought in to question the overall sanitary conditions of the local food trucks…

and it did so in fashion that is both scandalous and represents the bottom rung of journalistic integrity.

The commercial made the statement and asked the question, “We’ve all eaten at them, but just how sanitary are they really?

When you phrase a question in that manner, you immediately send a message to your trusted viewers that something is up. The ad was stern, cold, and will absolutely result in people that won’t go on to watch the actual news cast to steer clear of the food trucks.

This is a budding industry that is trying extremely hard to make a go of itself. People are putting themselves and their families on the line to try and start successful businesses and they are not trying to make people sick in the process.

Obviously to report the news is your job and you absolutely should do that; however, when it comes to reaching viewers, your scare tactics are gross, deceitful and should seriously be re-evaluated. If there is a problem with a truck, report it. Do not insinuate that all trucks have cleanliness issues and do not begin to imply as such in your advertisements. I have personally witnessed them work and the ones I have seen work with the highest levels of professional integrity. You could take a lesson from them.

Instead of setting such a negative tone, how about using phrasings like these:

“Sanitary conditions on food trucks? Find out their methods tonight at 9.”

“Is the food you get from your local food truck safe? See what they do to help keep you safe tonight at 9.”

“We see them everyday, but to what efforts do the food trucks go to, to maintain sanitary conditions? Find out at 9.”

These are much less misleading and point out what your piece is about without being scary or deceptive. Or, if there’s a bad one in the bunch and that’s the basis of your report, try:

“The food truck industry is booming in popularity, but one truck in particular may be bending the rules; tonight at 9.”

I’m sorry, but this ad was in poor taste and calls a lot of peoples hard work into question. I truly feel that you owe them, and the rest of Minnesota an apology for such a distasteful approach to reporting the news.

Sincerely,

Keane M. Amdahl

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Vacation 2011

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Here’s a quick glimpse of some of the food I managed to shovel in my face during my recent vacation (what, you didn’t notice I was gone?!). There will be more posts explaining some of this in greater detail, but for now, here are the drool shots!

Enjoy…

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A Different Kind of 4th of July BBQ

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I hope everybody had a totally rad and mostly safe holiday weekend! As long as all of your limbs are still intact, I’ll assume it went well.

This 4th of July, I decided to move a little past the traditional brats and burgers of yore, and instead moved on to a much more delicious style of BBQ sandwich; an Asian style BBQ sandwich to be more exact. With it, I served a side of this delicious Thai Noodle Salad, that was not only addictive, but also really easy to make. I’d highly suggest giving these bad boys a try at your next BBQ; people will thank you for it!

Thai Noodle Salad

Thai Noodle Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 package of rice noodles
  • 1 bunch basil
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 pack bean sprouts
  • 1-2 carrots shredded
  • *Optional: meat (chicken, shrimp, or whatever...)
  • Peanuts
  • Thai Red Chilis - diced
  • Sesame Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Soy Sauce
  • Fish Sauce
  • Kafir Lime Leaves
  • Lime

Cooking Directions

  • This salad is all about prepping it the way you like it. I\'m not going to put amounts and things. You do it the way you want and make it the way you like. That way you can\'t blame me if it\'s too spicy or acidic or whatever...
  • For dressing: Add hand full of green onions, peanuts, diced Thai Chilis (very hot), sesame oil, olive oil, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, fish sauce, lime leaves, and the juice of a lime all into a bowl. Whisk to combine. (NOTE: if you\'ve never used sesame oil or fish sauce, be-careful. They are very strong so I really only recommend a few teaspoons of each. Also Thai Chilis are hot.)
  • For Salad: Prepare noodles as per package instructions, drain, chill and toss with the basil, cilantro, carrots, green onions, bean sprouts and your meat if you opt to add meat. Dress with dressing and your ready to go!

 

Asian Style BBQ Pork Sandwich

Asian Style BBQ Pork Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pork steaks, pounded flat
  • Teriyaki Sauce
  • Green Onions
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Thinly sliced Jalapenos
  • Bread of choice

Cooking Directions

  • Marinate your pounded pork in a teriyaki sauce (or any Asian style sauce) of your choosing for several hours. You are welcome to make the sauce from scratch or use your favorite store bought kind. I don\'t care which.
  • Grill your pork until just done through and the teriyaki caramelizes.
  • Place pork on bread and top with green onions, carrots, sprouts and jalapenos.
  • Eat it.


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Short & Sweet; Sangria for America

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Here we are, less the 20 minutes away from the day that marks the birth of our nation. The fireworks are exploding throughout the neighborhood and here I sit, writing.

What, might you ask, has me up at 20 minutes to mid-night blogging…

Well, aside from the fact that this is actually pretty normal, I wanted to throw up this quick and quaint little post in honor of a perfect, and often underrated, summer solider.

Sangria.

The recipe is simple. Here it is…

Sangria

Ingredients

  • 1 Pitcher
  • 1-2 bottles of cheap wine (white or red)
  • What ever fruit you can scrape together

Cooking Directions

  • Take your pitcher and add whatever diced fruit you have.
  • Once fruit is in pitcher, add however much wine you need to fill the pitcher.
  • Let sit for a while and let the flavors mingle; at least an hour or two.
  • Drink and get awesome.
  • Enjoy your holiday and your summer.
  • Cheers!

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