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 email@example.com.
The Hot Five is a weekly feature created by the Heavy Table and supported by Shepherd Song Farm.
Cauliflower at Young Joni
The cauliflower dish at Ann Kim’s new Northeast Minneapolis hotspot, Young Joni, is a knockout. The dish — simply called “Cauliflower” on the menu — takes advantage of the restaurant’s many wood-burning ovens and grills, weaving together a beautiful balance of textures and contrasts that show up again and again elsewhere on the menu. Roasted cauliflower florets kissed with wood smoke retain a lovely bite, piled loosely atop a thick smear of cool, citrusy creme fraiche and dotted throughout with charred shishito peppers and Calabrian chilis for some mild heat and piquancy. Golden raisins bring some welcome sweetness to the party, and chopped Marcona almonds finish it off. Altogether, it’s a rich, creamy, tart, sweet, smoky, and savory dish that hides real sophistication in a deceptively rustic presentation — and keeps its titular vegetable in the spotlight.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Peter Sieve]
Pork Chop from Tullibee
The pork chop we tried at Tullibee at the Hewing Hotel is one of the best we’ve had — supple, perfectly cooked, rich in flavor, and uncomplicated. The quality of the meat did the talking, not a sauce or a heavy spice rub. The nose-to-tail approach already seems to be paying dividends at this exciting new restaurant in the North Loop.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted from a review by James Norton]
Figgy Pudding from Surdyk’s Deli
This classic English Yuletide dessert is substantial in every sense of the word. It’s ultra-dense and boozy like a great fruitcake, richly spiced and packed full of rum- and brandy-soaked cherries, golden raisins, figs, and cranberries. With a bit of buttery brandy hard sauce on top of a warmed-up slice, this stuff is holiday heaven in cake format.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by James Norton from our 2016 Local Food Gift Guide]
Spinach Jook from Miss Kim’s
Spinach Jook from Miss Kim’s in Ann Arbor, Mich., is a classic Korean porridge with sauteed-until-melted spinach and an egg cracked on top and cooked by the hot porridge. Mild (but with good flavor), hearty, and comforting.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Amy Rea from an upcoming Ann Arbor travelogue]
Crispy Relleno Queso or “Cheese Turnover” from El Burrito Mercado
It’s almost impossible to walk past the bakery case at El Burrito Mercado — Saint Paul’s premier Mexican grocer — without gawking at the tropical-fruit-filled, colorfully glazed, giant baked goods at the far end of the store. This time we caved for the cheese turnover, a crispy and very, very flaky pastry filled with a smooth, lightly sweetened cream cheese. Topped with crunchy turbinado sugar crystals, this treat is surely a texture fanatic’s dream. Dive in … and grab a napkin or two on your way out the door.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Ruthie Young]