Cabin Cocktail Recipes by Tattersall Distilling

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

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.

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

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.

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

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.

Chef Camp Holiday Recipes

chef-camp-holiday-bookThis post is sponsored by Chef Camp.

’Tis the season of a thousand small plates. Try something new this year with these three distinctive dishes from the new Chef Camp cookbook.

Chef Camp is a Northwoods food retreat where campers take wilderness-themed cooking classes over open fires from some of the most talented local chefs, sip artisan coffee and cocktails, participate in classic camp activities (think archery, canoeing, and crafts), and feast under the stars in an open-air mess hall.

Courtesy of Chef Camp
Courtesy of Chef Camp

CRANBERRY SALSA

by Tippy Maurant of the Northern Clay Center
It’s fresh. It’s got a bit of heat. And it’s pretty healthy for a winter food.

1 small jalapeño, trimmed and seeded
2 tablespoons packed fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
¼ cup sugar
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced an inch or two up into the greens
12 ounces fresh cranberries

In a food processor, pulse jalapeño, cilantro, ginger, lime juice, and sugar until the texture is fairly smooth, but not quite pesto consistency. Add the cranberries, and pulse until pieces are consistent in size and resemble the texture of pickle relish. Pour into a bowl and fold in sliced onions. Serve with tortilla chips.

Notes: Green onion slices are considerably more successful than green onion chopped bits. Don’t be tempted to pour them into the food processor. You may omit the sugar or substitute it with agave if you wish, but it serves a purpose in this dish beyond sweetening. It macerates the cranberries, which in turn, creates a ruby-colored glaze that makes people fall in love with this salsa they never heard of before.

Courtesy of Chef Camp
Courtesy of Chef Camp

PORK NEGIMAKI

by Northern Waters Smokehaus
These delicious small bites are sure to up your holiday snack game!

½ cup soy sauce
½ cup mirin
1 tablespoon fermented pepper paste (if you can’t find this, sambal will work)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 bunch scallions, julienned lengthwise
½ pound asparagus, trimmed
1½ pounds pork loin cut into ½-pound chops
Peanut oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Giftable: The Birchwood Cafe Cookbook

birchwood-cafe-cookbook-coverThis post is sponsored by the University of Minnesota Press. As the holidays approach, our Giftable series features a range of food- and drink-related items.

What’s it about? Sample the Birchwood Cafe’s recipes — adapted for home cooks — and fill your own table with some of the irresistible fare that has made the cafe one of the region’s best-loved restaurants. The Birchwood Cafe Cookbook shows you what it takes to make a sustainable kitchen and a joyful table, to prepare “good real food” that really does more than a little good.

Who’s it a good gift for? Lovers of the Birchwood Cafe as well as home cooks looking to expand their recipe collection with fresh and innovative dishes.

Where’s it available? Buy online or call 1.800.621.2736.

Bright Holiday Bites and Pottery to Match from Northern Clay Center

This post is sponsored by Northern Clay Center.

While the holiday season brings with it the hustle and bustle of shopping, gift wrapping, party planning, and hosting, the foodies and lovers of all things handmade delight in this time of year, for what better time to celebrate our favorite recipes and serving dishes? From the kitchens and cupboards of Northern Clay Center staff to the community of food worshipers and pottery collectors in cyberspace, we offer you a sampling of our favorite holiday food and pots. For recipes and other staff favorites, visit Northern Clay Center’s website at www.northernclaycenter.org.

Cranberry Salsa

Courtesy of the Northern Clay Center
Courtesy of Northern Clay Center

Tippy’s fresh Cranberry Salsa looking like a bowl of spicy winter in a dish by David Swenson on tiles by Forrest Lesch-Middelton.

Exactly 13 years ago, I found this recipe for cranberry salsa in the corner of a magazine ad. I wish I’d kept that page, rather than writing it down at the time, so you would believe me when I say it looked as if it wasn’t supposed to be found. The cracker ad was already overloaded with cracker ideas, and I often wonder if they stuck this misfit recipe in at the last moment to fill a tiny empty space. Truly, who eats salsa on crackers? (If you do, you should stop that right now.)

I make the salsa every year. If I forget about the salsa, someone strongly reminds me I had better make it. A friend apologized while requesting “my” recipe, treating it as if it were a temple secret available only to my inducted offspring. I didn’t have the heart to admit it came from a cracker ad circa 2002.

Pork and Kraut

Courtesy of the Northern Clay Center
Courtesy of Northern Clay Center

Amanda’s rendition of Grandma’s slow-cooker pork and sauerkraut, all cuddled up in a bowl by Andrew Avakian.

What does your family eat for a special holiday meal? Turkey? Sure. Ham? Yep. Turducken? If you’re feeling ambitious, go for it. My holiday meal always — ALWAYS — included pork and Grandma’s homemade sauerkraut. Jars of Grandma’s kraut are hoarded and guarded by the older members of my family like Gollum and his Precious, and the dish itself is pretty hard to come by outside of sanctioned celebrations.

I finally learned to make my own version and grow my own cabbage, but sadly, I don’t have the antique mandoline to slice it on; I just make do with my newfangled Benriner model.

German Chocolate Cake

Courtesy of the Northern Clay Center
Courtesy of Northern Clay Center

Sarah’s take on a single-serving German chocolate cake … perfectly sized in a 6-inch cake pan … shown here on a Jeff Oestreich dessert plate.

My favorite holiday recipe is for German chocolate cake, adapted from my Grandma Betty Jo’s old recipe card, which my father has refused to give to me … so I rely on an old photocopy.

Betty Jo is with me every time I bake. She passed away more than 15 years ago, but her spirit lives on every time I preheat my oven and reach for my measuring spoons. I like to think that if she were alive today, she’d enjoy selecting the perfect ceramic plate from the cabinet as much as she enjoyed baking.

My husband and I made the now famed cake the first New Year’s Eve we spent together. Now, it’s an annual tradition and a sweet little date night treat during the holiday season. When I think of German chocolate cake, I recall watching my grandma bake, eating this delicious cake made for me by my father, and now, I have fun memories of Mike + me + a little wine in the kitchen baking our way into the New Year.

For help choosing the perfect pot for your favorite holiday recipes, visit our gallery, shop online at www.northernclaycenter.org, or call us at 612.339.8007.

The Norske Nook Book of Pies and Other Recipes

Tricia Cornell / Heavy Table
Tricia Cornell / Heavy Table

Some thoughts I had while making a pie crust from the new Norske Nook Book of Pies and Other Recipes (University of Wisconsin Press, 2015, $29.95):

“Really? That doesn’t sound right.”

“No way.”

“Well, maybe they know something I don’t.”

“What’s the worst that could happen?”

“Might as well see this through.”

“By gum, it’s working.”

“Well, sort of.”

Tricia Cornell / Heavy Table
Tricia Cornell / Heavy Table

Behind all this mental drama was the peculiar (I thought) ratio of fat to flour and the absolutely insane directive to roll a dough made with one cup flour into a double crust (Let’s italicize that: a double crust.) for an 11-inch pie.

I have baked a lot of pies in my life, but I haven’t baked from a lot of different pie crust recipes. I started with the ratios on my mother’s Tupperware rolling mat — you know, the one with the circle templates printed right on it. The double crust recipe (for a 9-inch pie) called for an easy-to-remember 2 cups of flour, ⅔ cup of shortening, and as few icy tablespoons of water as you could use to bring the dough together.

Tricia Cornell / Heavy Table
Tricia Cornell / Heavy Table

In adulthood, I checked this ratio against my handy Joy of Cooking (2 cups flour, ⅓ cup butter, ⅓ cup shortening, 5 tablespoons water) and never looked back. Well, sure, I switched to all butter — because who keeps shortening around anymore? — and I flirted with adding vodka to the water, but I figured the ratio was the ratio, and what really mattered was icy cold equipment and a light touch.

Tricia Cornell / Heavy Table
Tricia Cornell / Heavy Table

So, here’s the Norske Nook, cherished pie purveyor of Western Wisconsin, telling me blithely to use my fingertips to blend ½ cup butter-flavored Crisco with 1 cup of flour, then add ¼ cup water and “mix until smooth.” What? I put the resulting goopy mess in the fridge and did some research.

Sure enough, Cook’s Illustrated’s The Cook’s Bible calls a fat-to-flour ratio of 1:2 (much higher than the 1:3 I was used to) “the secret to a flaky crust.” But their recipe uses far more butter than shortening and only 2-3 tablespoons cold water per cup of flour.

The real mystery was how that tiny, goopy blob in my fridge was going to roll into two (two!) 11-inch crusts. But, I figured, “in for a dime in for a dollar.” So I rolled. And I rolled. And I cursed. And I rolled. And by the time I was finished rolling, that pie crust was translucent, but, by golly, it filled an 11-inch pie tin. After blind baking, I pulled the empty crust out of the oven and — hallelujah — no shrinkage, no puffing, even browning. I could no longer read the print on the bottom of the pie tin through it. It looked good.

Then I accidentally brushed my thumb up against the edge and it just shattered: That thin crust was brittle and fragile after all.

Upper Midwestern Oils and Vinegars for Spring Salads

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Spring  is coming – chives are beginning to peek up through the muck, and mounds of lush greens will soon be piled high in market stalls. But in the meantime, thank God for those stalwart farmers who have been coaxing lovely lettuces from their hoop and greenhouse flats. DragSmith Farms (Barron, WI) and River Root Farm (Decorah, IA) are delivering micro-mixes of broccoli, mizuna, choi, mustard, purple cabbage, kale, amaranth, beet, spinach, kale, sorrel, arugula, and sweet pea shoots to co-ops and eateries across the Cities through this bitter season.

Though delicate, these greens are power-packed with phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals, and they’re delicious dressed with local oils and vinegars.

Bruce Manning / Heavy Table
Bruce Manning / Heavy Table

Driftless Organic Sunflower Oil, pressed from organic sunflowers in Southwestern Wisconsin, is light yellow and tastes of sunflower seeds. It retails for $11.60 per bottle and is generally available at the Twin Cities Natural Food Co-ops and some Whole Foods. It’s always in stock at the Wedge and Seward, and Grassroots Gourmet, Midtown Global Market, and Local D’Lish. (Also see our story on Smude’s Sunflower Oil, pictured above.)

Omega Maiden Camelina Oil, from Lamberton, Minnesota, is a more viscous, nutty tasting oil with lush golden hues. It retails for $13 per bottle and is available at most Twin Cities Natural Food Co-ops, especially the Wedge and Seward, Grassroots Gourmet, Midtown Global Market, Local D’Lish, and online.

Hay River’s Pumpkin Seed Oil, from Prairie Farm, Wisconsin, is a rich, dark brownish green with a distinctly pumpkin-seed flavor that works beautifully with whole grains. It retails for $19 per bottle. It’s available at the Twin Cities Natural Food Co-ops, Grassroots Gourmet, Midtown Global Market, and online.

Sweet Potato Pommes Anna

Isabel Subtil / Heavy Table
Isabel Subtil / Heavy Table

Christmas has come and gone. There may be a handful of sweet potatoes staring up at you from the counter.

Maybe you’ve resigned yourself to making the same casserole of mashed sweet potatoes, canned pineapple rings, and marshmallows you make every year. Maybe you really like it. Maybe you’re secretly dreading it. Maybe you were planning to just stick those suckers in the oven and hope for the best. Maybe you bought them without any particular plan, because they looked so pretty in the store, like they belonged in some classic holiday cornucopia.

Here’s what you do with them. Make sweet potato pommes Anna. And, once you’ve made it, just see if this isn’t what you make every time you find sweet potatoes in your shopping cart, farmers market bag, or CSA share.

Isabel Subtil / Heavy Table
Isabel Subtil / Heavy Table

Rustic Apple Tart

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table
Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

Because this rustic-style tart is so easy to prepare, it’s a great treat you can make at any time, not just on holidays. Jonagold, the large, sweet-sour offspring of Golden Delicious and Jonathan apples, were our choice; the recipe is flexible enough, however, that you can use any variety or combination of apples that you like. Pressed for time, we tried Trader Joe’s pie crust and found it to work well — it contains visible chunks of butter and is quite flaky.

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table
Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

What you need:

3 medium-sized Jonagold or other baking apples, peeled and sliced
¼ c sugar (plus a little more for the crust)
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp flour
Pinch of salt (we used vanilla sea salt)
2 tbsp butter
1 large egg white, beaten well

Prep:

  1. If using pre-made crust, bring pie crust to room temp by removing it from its packaging. Don’t unroll it while it’s cold since the pastry will crack.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  3. Peel and slice the apples into medium bowl.
  4. In a small bowl, combine sugar, flour, salt, and spices and pour over sliced apples. Gently toss until apples are coated.
  5. When the pie crust unrolls with ease, transfer it to a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  6. Fill the pie crust with the apple mixture, piling it high in the center, leaving about a 2″ border. Gently pleat or fold the dough edges in toward the center. Dot the apples with butter pats. Brush the crust with egg white and sprinkle with sugar.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and bake until the apples are tender and pastry is golden, about 35 minutes more.
  8. Slide the tart onto a wire rack to cool.
  9. Store the tart at room temperature on the day it is baked; then cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table
Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

The Churn: In Search of Wisconsin Folk Recipes and More

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

DIY butchery is on the rise in the Upper Midwest. A vote for Origami as a chilled out high-end sushi alternative to Masu. How to salt cure and prepare antelope liver. Jon Ferguson of Dogwood takes home the North Central Brewers Cup. Your Wisconsin recipes are needed for “a room-sized drawing-slash-installation-slash-public project” in Milwaukee created by Minneapolis artist Andy Sturdevant (above). Summit raised $18K for the nonprofit Minnesota Music Coalition with its Backyard Bash. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is open at MOA. And the Gastrotruck is making the leap to restaurant.

The Merry Christmas Holiday Deliciousness Roundup

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

We’re taking the day off in order to relax with friends and family, and we hope you’re having a pleasant (and delicious) holiday as well. But if you’re prowling the Internet in search of something seasonal, we do have a little something to offer from our archives:

Our guide to cranberry-infused vodka and Mirandacubes sets you up for holiday entertaining success; we’ve got a killer-diller recipe for fruitcake (seriously!); we made lefse from scratch; some recipes from last year’s excellent Lift Bridge Biscotti bake-off competition; and a taste of bun bo hue soup at Quang, our favorite winter comfort food of the moment.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The Staff of Heavy Table

Peppermint Bark Cookies and Recipe Roundup

Courtesy of Thyme in Our Kitchen

Peppermint bark cookies (above); dark, fudgy brownies; pumpkin pie; duck breast with roasted apples and a cranberry gastrique; sandhill crane schnitzel; creamy Nutella liqueur; mint meringue kisses; holiday butter cookies; coconut curry squash soup; Asian turkey meatballs; peanut butter swirl and pretzel brownies; goat cheese mashed sweet potatoes; wild cranberry jellies; sugar plums; baked brie with a root beer-cranberry sauce; pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust; and homemade applesauce.

Follow our Local Recipes Pinterest board for more recipes.

Cheesy Pull-Apart Bread and Recipe Roundup

Courtesy of The Realistic Housewife

Spicy, cheesy, pull-apart bread (above); cheese crackers with rosemary and black pepper (gluten-free); decadent dark chocolate pots; cheesy green bean casserole; sugar cookies and more sugar cookies; milk chocolate chai truffles; brown butter-white chocolate-macadamia cookies; butternut squash mac and cheese; cranberry mustard; date pfeffernusse cookiespear, honey, and blue cheese crostini; sage-roasted sweet potatoes with black rice; ribeye and morels in a tomato-fennel reduction; and salted caramel mocha cupcakes.

Follow our Local Recipes Pinterest board for more recipes.