We’ve written here (and elsewhere) about the way the Upper Midwest is finding its voice as a food region, and a big part of that is the story of the North. That means getting wild: canoeing, camping, hiking, and heading out to the cabin to cool off and reconnect with the woods and the water.
In that spirit, few things could be more on point than Tattersall Distilling’s new Cabin Cocktail Recipes book, downloadable as a free PDF from the distillery’s website. The cocktails of Cabin Cocktail Recipes are all about portability, simplicity, and durability.
“A lot of these [drinks] are designed to be pre-diluted so you don’t have to bring a shaker with you,” says Tattersall’s head bartender, Bennett Johnson. “The idea is that you can pour it into a flask and then just pour it right over ice and serve it — you don’t even have to stir it. I like the idea of having minimal-to-no tools, like if you’re at the cabin. And there’s nothing in there that’ll go bad.”
Johnson gave us a potable tour of most of the book’s cocktails, and they ranged from good to absolutely killer.
The INDEFINITE OLD FASHIONED lacked some of the boozy and/or sugary punch of its classic supper club cousin, instead presenting an affable, mild incarnation of the cocktail, framed out by the fruit of Tattersall Sour Cherry and Orange Crema, diluted with ¾ ounce of water, and balanced with brown spirits (bourbon, rye, or brandy all work just fine). “You could put this in a flask and throw it in a tackle box, and it’ll never go bad,” says Johnson.
It’s hard to overstate how simple or how primal the LIMEADE GIMLET is. It’s based on frozen limeade concentrate, which gives the drink a wickedly sweet edge that swallows up much of the presence of the Tattersall gin. In the hot sun, on a boat, this would be potentially too drinkable, which is either a plus or a minus depending upon your lifestyle.
We thought the GRAPEFRUIT CREMA BOILERMAKER, a combination of a can of IPA and ¾ ounce of Tattersall’s Grapefruit Crema liqueur, was a real stunner. Made with an IPA that’s balanced but “nicely hoppy” (we tried a drink made with an IPA from Castle Danger), the Boilermaker is sessionable and approachable, with the Grapefruit Crema both echoing and mellowing out the sharper edges of the beer.
Therese Moore loves oatmeal. As in, looooooooooves oatmeal. She loves it so much that she began playing with it, treating it as the grain it is and not just as a receptacle for copious amounts of sugar and cream. Friends and family told her that her oatmeal creations deserved a wider audience, and thus 3 Bear Oats was born.
Moore now sells her creative oatmeal dishes ($5-$8, depending on size) at the Mill City Farmers Market, and they’re a welcome addition to the other prepared foods available there. She cooks up big batches of organic steel-cut oats to the point where they’re done but still sturdy, deftly avoiding the sadness that is overly mushy gruel. Then she creates a variety of options, sweet and savory, sourcing her additional ingredients locally as much as possible (including items from several other Mill City vendors). She buys the oats themselves from the Wedge Co-op, which in turns brings them in from Canada, but Moore is on the hunt for locally grown, organic steel-cut oats to use in the future.
On a recent visit, we tried the five flavors she had available and were delighted with the wide range of flavors. Little Bear’s Breakfast (above) was perhaps the most traditional of all, with cinnamon-coated apple chunks, granola, honey, and walnuts, a great mix of textures and a not-cloying sweetness offset by the generous amount of cinnamon.
Each Friday, this list will track five of the best things Heavy Table’s writers, editors, and photographers have recently bitten or sipped. Have a suggestion for the Hot Five? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Hot Five is a weekly feature created by the Heavy Table and supported by Shepherd Song Farm.
Grapefruit Crema Boilermaker
Combine a can of robust but not insanely hoppy IPA with ¾ ounce Tattersall Grapefruit Crema, and you get a refreshing, sessionable, surprisingly elevated summer cocktail. The Crema and the hops echo one another but in a mellow way — this isn’t pucker fuel. You can scale it up, too, with 24 cans of IPA and a full bottle of Crema. (This is one of 12 recipes from Tattersall’s soon-to-be-released PDF of Cabin Cocktail Recipes; we tasted our way through it with the Tattersall team yesterday, and the drinks varied from good to stellar.)
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted from an upcoming cocktail survey by James Norton]
Eggs from Graise Farm
Last week we met with 15 food artisans for half-hour interviews and sampling sessions as part of our first Heavy Table Listening Session at Lakewinds Food Co-op. Among our guests were Tiffany and Andy from Graise Farm, and they came bearing duck and chicken eggs. Every time we try farm-fresh eggs we’re reminded of what we miss when we buy the mass-market alternative. Graise’s eggs are richer and bolder, and the massive duck eggs in particular are perfect to crown a dish like a rice bowl or a toad-in-the-hole, elevating the commonplace to the divine.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted from an upcoming profile by James Norton]
Brie and Salami Flatbread at Studio 2
This week’s flatbread at Studio 2 Coffee Shop / Wine Bar is a doozy: It’s decked out with Brie, caramelized onions, salami, arugula, shaved Parmesan and lemon dressing. The combination of the cracker crust and the melted Brie with a hint of the dressing was a pleasant experience. The salami was crispy around the edges, and the caramelized onions were tender and sweet. It paired nicely with a Pedroncelli chardonnay. This was a unexpectedly elevated treat at a neighborhood coffee shop.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Brenda Johnson]
Shredded Brisket Sandwich at Lucky Brisket Food Truck
A generous pile of brisket, blackened edges and all (with a visible smoke ring), is served on a soft white bun. The meat is toothsome and lean — sitting an even distance between melt-in-your-mouth tender and jaw-achingly tough. It’s smoky, yet the taste of the meat shines through. As we like it, the brisket is served without sauce, but Lucky Brisket’s own brand of sauces (spicy, smoky, and original) are a worthy accompaniment. The creamy coleslaw is crunchy and obviously fresh.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted from a review by Ted Held]
Pizza Bagel from St. Paul Bagelry
The pizza bagel is not a particularly sexy food, but, as it turns out, it can be done really well. The cheese on the St. Paul Bagelry’s pizza bagel is chewy, stretchy, and profoundly melted, and it conceals a wealth of customer-selected toppings (we did peppers and pepperoni). A hearty blast of pizza herbs on top gives the dish a lovely oregano earthiness, and it’s a satisfying dish on a primal level.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by James Norton]
Kyatchi is bringing its skewers, minimalist and sustainable sushi, and Japanese whiskey to the former Tanpopo location in Lowertown. It’s set to open late this summer. If any restaurant would be a smooth transition from the thoughtful Japanese fare of Tanpopo, Kyatchi is probably the one. Details (via press release) follow:
WHO: Siblings Sarah and Sam Peterson plan to create a second Kyatchi location along with the rest of the team: Chef Hide Tozawa, and Kim Bartmann and Anne Saxton. Kyatchi’s focus on serving sustainable seafood (following the guidelines set by the MN Zoo Fish Smart, Monterey Bay Seafood Watch, and Marine Stewardship Council Programs) will remain a focus.
WHAT: Chef Tozawa creates traditional Japanese menus, including sushi, giving customers a chance to experience new items not usually found on Americanized menus. Guests can expect to see grilled meat & vegetable skewers, seasonally driven items such as traditional Donburi rice & vegetable bowls and an assortment of small plates. Expect Kyatchi to utilize ingredients from the neighboring St. Paul Farmers Market. Kyatchi’s award-winning hot dogs will also remain a key part of the menu.
Kyatchi will have a warm and casual atmosphere and the team is excited to offer a full selection of sake & Japanese whiskey, along with its local brews on tap and wine list. The larger space will allow for private parties.
WHEN: Late summer, but we may throw a pop-up in there beforehand… Dates to be announced soon.
WHERE: The former Tanpopo location in Lowertown St. Paul, next to CHS Field and the St. Paul Farmer’s Market. 308 E Prince St #140, St Paul, MN 55101. Find us online at www.kyatchi.com and follow us at @kyatchi.
This story is a product of Heavy Table’s first Listening Session, underwritten and hosted by the Lakewinds Food Co-op. On May 23, we interviewed 15 local food artisans over the course of eight hours, with a goal of taking a snapshot of the vibrant Minnesota food scene.
Miners’ best friends, edible hand warmers, meals in a pocket: Cornish pasties are a versatile, earthy, nigh-indestructible comfort food. What these empanadalike pastry edibles lack in sexiness, compared with foams or poke bowls (or, well, nearly anything else), they make up for in hearty, savory wholesomeness.
Although the global pasty hearkens back to the late 19th century and the spread of Cornish mining foremen around the world (including the Iron Range and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula), the format has seen a mini-boom in the metro area, appearing at restaurants, in food trucks, and even in a couple of brick-and-mortar locations. One such spot, Lands End Pasty Company in the Dinkytown neighborhood of Minneapolis, has been in business since 2014. It’s an uncle-and-nephew shop, and we talked to Pete Jacobson (the nephew and front-of-the-house part of the equation) at some length about the pasties of Lands End.
The engine of a pasty is its crust, and it tends to be on the “structure-only” side of things — tough and resilient, but mostly flavorless. Lands End offers a crust with flavor, some pleasant flakiness, and structural integrity, a combination that Jacobson credits to his uncle’s pre-launch testing regimen.
“My uncle [Jon Earl] was making three batches of pasties a day for six months,” he says. “The main goal was to get the crust right. We go with pastry short crust for the pasties. It’s tough, but not indestructible. It’s an overworked pie crust, basically. It’s not too tough to eat, but it will hold up to handling.”
Even after developing an optimal crust, Earl found himself facing the classic entrepreneurial challenge: scaling up.