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.
Red Table Salami and Ricotta on Ciabatta at the St. Paul Cheese Shop
If the sandwich special is the tryouts for the regular menu, I’d love to see this one make the cut. The peppery, piquant Red Table salami is the star. Ricotta adds sweetness, greens add a vivid crunch, and a drizzle of olive oil dresses it all up richly. Inside perfect crusty ciabatta, this sandwich was a masterwork in flavor and texture.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Ted Held]
Jambon Royale by Chef Vincent Francoual
Vincent Francoual served up many tasty bites at his Chef Camp cooking class at Food Building, but the flavors in this dish stood out. He trimmed the fat from Red Table Meat‘s ham then slowly rendered it under the broiler and placed it onto crispy toasts made with Baker’s Field filone bread. The rest of the ham was served atop cheese curds warmed by a smoky soffrito of peppers, onion, garlic, and tomatoes. This melt-in-your-mouth concoction was nicely balanced by the bite and acidity of arugula tossed with a Dijon vinaigrette and the earthy sweetness of Medjool dates. Get the recipe here. Chef Camp has another Food Building cooking class coming up next month: Kimchi Fried Rice with Pancetta and Salumi, taught by Yia Vang on April 11 and April 13.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Rose Daniels]
Aligot at St. Genevieve
Current goal: Arrange my life so that it always feels like a late afternoon at St. Genevieve, simultaneously refined and hearty, made up only of things I love. Like aligot. Aligot is basically mashed potatoes in a rebellious phase. It’s the delicious consequences when you do everything you’re not supposed to do: Add cheese in roughly equal proportion to potatoes and whip them until the starches turn stretchy instead of fluffy.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Tricia Cornell]
Polenta Bread at Rustica Bakery
In these parlous days, Rustica’s Polenta Bread (available on Mondays) offers solace. The crust is crunchy, and the inside is cool and airy and squishy soft. It smells like popcorn, and tastes like corny, slightly sour, very luxurious white bread. Toasted or not, it is magic with salty butter — just the thing to calm the heart and smooth down the hackles.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Susan Pagani]
Calamarata with Raw Tuna at Bar La Grassa
Calamarata is a southern Italian pasta shape, so named because its tube shape is similar to calamari rings. The sauce on this amazing entree had a perfect mix of heat and flavor. Fresh herbs balanced the spice, and subtle citrus notes on the tuna added to the whole epicurean experience.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Brenda Johnson]