[FHCx135] National Buttermilk Biscuit Day

Does it count as a dairy serving?

IT’S NATIONAL BUTTERMILK BISCUIT DAY!

When we in North America┬ásay, “biscuit,” we mean something entirely different than much of the rest of the world. We mean the flaky, buttery, bread-type dinner accompaniment. It’s so much a thing that any American would be able to conjure the taste by imagination alone when someone says, “biscuits and gravy.”

Today celebrates the buttermilk biscuit! We got ours from the local Kowalski’s. As far as grocery stores go, Kowalski’s follows the you-get-what-you-pay-for adage in that the quality and price are both above average. And these biscuits are no exception to the above-average quality. They’re tasty!

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Yay!

Tomorrow is National Chocolate Chip Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx57] National Pistachio Day

IT’S NATIONAL PISTACHIO DAY!

Remember Psy? Whatever happened to that guy?

We’re not sure about you, but only one thing comes to mind when we think about pistachios. Not ice cream… not mustaches… but good old Mickey and the Beanstalk. It, along with Bongo, was a shorter-than-feature-length animated film released by Disney in 1947 as a sort of double-feature package thing called Fun and Fancy Free. They did a bunch of those anthologies in the 1940s, such as Make Mine Music, Saludos Amigos, the Three Caballeros… not to mention Fantasia! Sometime in the late 1980s when SP was a lil babe and AK was a work in progress, Mickey and the Beanstalk was a standalone VHS release and we both went on to watch the crap out of it during our respective toddlerhoods. The important part:

Because the internet is a wondrous place and everyone has already thought of everything, we stumbled upon a pretty sweet blog called Disney Meals that shares recipes inspired by foods in Disney movies. Lucky for us, they already did chocolate pot roast with stispashio… with spismashmi… with green gravy!

AK followed the recipe pretty closely, with only a couple adjustments:

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Carrot, celery, onion, green & red bell peppers get chopped up and simmered with red wine.

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SParents kindly let us use some of theirs!

The veggiewine had to simmer for quite a long time before the liquid was reduced enough. Meanwhile…

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3 pounds of chuck beef gets seasoned (chili powder, paprika, salt, pepper, cinnamon) and then browned in the broiler for a few minutes

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Nice and brown and time to go into the crockpot!

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The recipe only called for five pieces, but… chocolate. So the whole baking bar went in.

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In goes the chicken stock

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Wine simmer made the veggies all red and pretty. They go in next!

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Rosemary on top, and it’s ready to cook! The crockpot got turned on at around 10:30am and cooked until we ate at 7.

Just before dinnertime we worked together to make some pistachio gravy! The recipe from Disney Meal mentions that it doesn’t come out very green, so we put food coloring in it to make it fun. YAY.

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Saute half an onion in olive oil until translucent. AK accidentally switched the onions so this one should have been white and the red should have been in the crockpot. Oh well!

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The recipe called for unsalted pistachios, but the only unsalted ones we could find were pre-shelled and cost like $23. So, SP did the manual labor and we ground them up in the blender.

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Ground pistachios join the onions in the pan

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Also, cream!

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It heats up for just a moment before we take it off the heat, add some seasonings, and puree it.

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Back into the pan with some milk and flour to get gravyed up! We found that the 1/4 cup milk and the 1/4 cup flour had it a little too thick and sludgy, so we added some extra milk and water to make it more of a liquid. This is when the food coloring went in, too!

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Looks like guacamole! It turned out kinda sludgy anyway, despite our efforts. Tasted good regardless.

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And there you have it. Chocolate pot roast with green pistachio gravy!

We were super impressed with how delicious this turned out. As AK put it, the flavor profile was exactly what she imagines when using the term “savory.” The rosemary made everything smell and taste even more amazing. It would be really great in a pot pie, too… although we’d likely avoid that because of calories. Overall, a definite do-over! Thanks, Disney Meals!

Tomorrow is Strawberry Day/Kahlua Day.

-SPAK

Happy Canada Day! Let’s talk about poutine.

In honor of Canada Day, I (SP) want to celebrate Canada’s greatest gift to the world: Fries with a bunch of awesome stuff on them.

Being one of Canada’s closest neighbors, Minnesota has more than a few places that offer above-average poutine. My absolute favorite is a foreign twist on the classic fries + gravy and It can be found at The Rabbit Hole/Left-Handed Cook at the Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis.

They call it the Harold & Kumar Poutine, infusing the “Harold” (Korean) elements of a bibimbap style bowl of goodies with kimchi as well as the “Kumar” (Indian) elements of curry. I was elated to find out that they are planning to bring it to the Minnesota State Fair this coming year, so I can have a scrumptious poutine snack as I walk around. However, it seems they are dropping the Harold & Kumar name for the fair. If you go, keep an eye out for the kimchi and curry poutine.

It is an absolutely crazy combination of flavors that completely works. You get the perfect amount of curry, almost like a vindaloo, without skimping on the veggies and other Korean elements. The BEST part is a slightly poached egg sitting on top, so you can get delicious egg goo all over the place.

Harold & Kumar Poutine @ The Rabbit Hole

As a runner up, if you still have any room, Forepaugh’s in St. Paul has a truffle foie gras poutine that will remind you why duck fat is so good. With excellent ingredients, it is well worth the price of admission. This isn’t going to be your typical bar food poutine — it’s going to be a whole other dimension of crazy good.

One of the best parts of dining at Forepaugh’s is that it’s an old house remodeled into a restaurant. There aren’t too many places like it in St. Paul, which really gives it the blue ribbon when it comes to atmosphere. Minneapolis usually draws the bulk of top notch restaurateurs wanting to open up an impressive eatery, but Forepaugh’s helps St. Paul close the gap.

Photo credit: Thrillist.com

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a poutine from a burger place. It might not be the case in Canada, but at least around these parts you’ll find great poutine in a place that has great burgers to match. The one to go to, especially if you want a range of options, is The Red Cow at either of their locations in south Minneapolis or St. Paul. The Red Cow’s fries are a force to be reckoned with. They are pristine, high-level fries. So when they offer poutine, you know it’ll be some of the best you’ve ever had.

The best part is you get to pick whether you want 1) braised beef and Summit beer cheese, or 2) apples, bacon, and bleu cheese. Hell, why not order both? AND your burger will come with extra fries to mop up the good stuff. Why drive six hours north to try and find McDonald’s-level poutine? You might as well stick around and get some of the best poutine the Twin Cities has to offer.

Photo credit: TripAdvisor.com

Can’t get enough of poutine? Another Twin Cities area blogger did a poutine crawl. Check it out.

SP