daniel klein

The Perennial Plate Gears Up For Year 2: Better, Bolder, and Coming to Your Town

Has it really been a year? Today Daniel Klein's the Perennial Plate series releases video number 52, officially completing a full year of weekly videos featuring Minnesota foods, producers, recipes, and farms. Many of Daniel's terrific videos, which cover topics from hunting and eating squirrels to making ice cream in the snow, have been posted all over the web -- on the Huffington Post, Grist, and right here on SGT.

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Minnesota’s Sub Rosa Dining Series Takes Local Food Underground

Chef Nick SchneiderChef Nick SchneiderUnderground dinners are becoming more and more popular, and not just for those who are “in the know.” These multi-course meals take place in private settings -- from art galleries to backyards to home dining rooms -- and give adventurous diners (who expect to eat with people they don’t know) the opportunity to be served in an unconventional, intimate setting, allowing for more personal connections between chef, wait staff, and eaters. Underground dinners also provide enterprising chefs with unmatched creative freedom -- in many cases, menus (and even locations) are not revealed until the last minute.

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Perrenial Plate Video: Cooking a Harvest Dinner at Two Pony Gardens

In addition to shooting the Perennial Plate videos, I'm the chef for a series of Harvest Dinners that are hosted by my friends at Two Pony Gardens. The video below shows the work from garden to prep table to each course at the dinner. Here's a peek at the menu:

First course - Cucumber and sorrel water with raw and fermented vegetables

Second course - Wood-fired carrots and chantarelles with beets and spinach

Third course - Heirloom tomato with summer vegetables and duck jus

Dessert - Wild rice pudding with crab apple sorbet and blueberries

If you like what you see, we're doing it again on October 2. E-mail twoponygardens@gmail.com for details.


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True Confessions: Forbidden Fair-Food Fetishes

Have you noticed a theme at Simple, Good and Tasty (SGT) this week? Nope, it’s not about the salmonella outbreak in factory-raised eggs; Michael Pollan, Bill Marler and John Robbins are doing a good job covering that subject for us. And, no, it’s not about the growing controversy about whether or not to sell flavored milk in school cafeterias; thank you, Renegade Lunch Lady Ann Cooper, for taking care of that one.

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Perennial Plate Video: Harvest Time at Whole Grain Milling Co.

August is harvest time for grains. Last week I had the good fortune of spending two days at Welcome, Minnesota's Whole Grain Milling Co. where they take a number of grains from organic beginnings to a co-op or grocery store shelf near you. I observed the oat harvesting process, but it was owner Doug Hilgendorf's words that made the biggest impression on me. Watch and see if they strike you the same way.


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Perennial Plate Video: More Ideas for Using Summer Vegetables

In the summer, we see local vegetables everywhere: at the grocery store, in a backyard garden, the farmers' market, or our CSA (community supported agriculture) box.  Sometimes there are so many vegetables, it's overwhelming to find uses for them all. (How do I prepare kohrabi? Can I eat carrot tops? Is there anything I can do with all this zucchini?) Plus, if you're like me, you have the additional challenge of living without air conditioning; so people like us want to avoid cooking and baking as much as possible. This video shows me demonstrating a few recipes for the less familiar veggies, prepared using little to no heat -- including carrot-top pesto. (No need to ever throw them into the compost again!) Enjoy!


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Perennial Plate Video: From Farm to Market with Loon Organics

Earlier this week, Alicia Jabbar wrote an illuminating post about farmer's markets from the farmer's point of view. You get up at the crack of dawn, work in the dirt -- in the blistering sun and the pelting rain -- picking and cleaning vegetables, all to just pack it all up the next morning. Then you drive, unpack, sell, talk endlessly, offer samples, re-pack and drive again. This is the process that brings snap peas for $4 a quart to a farmer's market near you. This is fresh food grown by real people. I don't know about you, but I usually take it for granted.

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Perennial Plate Video: Finding a Meal in the Crack of a Sidewalk

I was in New York last week and saw something peculiar at one of the farmers markets: lambs quarters and nettles selling for several dollars a pound. I guess it's understandable considering those weeds probably aren't thriving between sidewalk cracks in New York; but in Minneapolis, it's another story. Here, these delectables are growing in great abundance just outside your front door.

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Making Maple Syrup With The Perennial Plate

We're big fans and supporters of Daniel Klein's The Perennial Plate, a weekly video series focused on connecting people with good food and its producers. Daniel's quest to experience a full year of good, local food in Minnesota has already had him killing and carving up his own Thanksgving turkey and visiting a Minnesota greenhouse in the heart of winter. This week's video features Daniel's new tree-tapping friend Chris Ransom, working his maple syrup magic:

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United for a Common Goal at Common Roots

Tracy Singleton from the Birchwood Cafe and Danny Schwartzman from Common RootsAward winner Tracy Singleton from the Birchwood Cafe and Danny Schwartzman from Common RootsLast night's Common Roots event combined many of my favorite things: delicious local, seasonal fare; presentations from some of the Twin Cities most forward thinking food experts; and the chance to connect with old and new friends in our community who share a commitment to good food that comes directly from the farmer.

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