Recipe Idea For Early Season Vegetables & Mushrooms

I’ll confess that I am addicted to food magazines.  I currently receive Bon Appetit, Saveur, and Food and Wine.  I also had subscribed to Gourmet for years until its demise in 2009.   Every once in a while I’ll page through an issue and be amazed by how many recipes look so good that I just have to make them.  The June 2010 issue of Bon Appetit is one of those issues. 

One recipe in particular caught my eye.  It was a recipe for Grilled Asian Chicken, Bok Choy, Shiitake Mushrooms, and Radishes.  The idea was that you make this Mango Sesame dressing and you use it as a marinade and serving sauce for the dish.  You also can use it as a salad dressing later in the week or (my idea, not Bon Appetit’s) as a dipping sauce for vegetables.  

Here are links to the recipes

MANGO SESAME DRESSING

GRILLED ASIAN CHICKEN & VEGETABLES

ASIAN CHICKEN NOODLE SALAD WITH SUGAR SNAP PEAS

I had some zucchini in the fridge so I used that instead of the peppers.  The rest of  the stuff I gathered up at the Waukesha Farmers’ market.  A nice size bundle of Bok Choy set me back $1, same with the green onions I added to the recipe.  A bunch of radishes were only $2 (I think).  The most costly element were the Shitakes.  I had expected to go to the grocery store to procure them, or used the dehydrated ones in my pantry.  I was excited when I found a vendor that was selling fresh, Wisconsin grown Shitakes.  I grabbed the last carton of them for $5.  I also spotted the first sugar snap peas of the season, perfect for dipping into the extra sauce or making the salad suggested by Bon Appetit.

I should have snapped a picture because all of the grilled vegetables and chicken looked awesome piled atop a heap of Basmati rice.  It tasted even better than it looked.  If you like grilling and love Asian flavors combining sweet, salty, and a tad spicy (depending on how much crushed red pepper you add), I think you’ll find this is the perfect recipe for your early season farmers’ market purchases.

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The bagel gap

It’s the weekend. You wake up in the morning, look around at the fam and ask “you guys hungry?” They are. Nobody seems to feel like cooking, though. Besides, the fridge is looking a little bare, as your weekly grocery shopping trip is scheduled for later that same afternoon. That’s when it hits you: I’ll run out for a dozen bagels! You throw on a baseball cap to hide your bedhead and hop in the car. Your local bagel establishment is only minutes away and satisfaction will soon be yours.

That is, unless you live in Waukesha. There’s no bagel shops here.

It’s true that bagels can be found at any grocery store. But those aren’t the fresh, chewy, often still-warm bagels that you get at a shop which specializes in them. And even though the local cafe might have one or two sitting in their bakery case, it’s not the same and you know it.

Since the closing of Big Apple Bagels on Sunset Drive, what we have here my fellow Waukeshonians is a bagel gap. Brookfield, New Berlin, Hales Corners and Wauwatosa all have bagel shops–sometimes more than one–and Milwaukee itself is simply stupid with them. Even Oconomowoc has a Brueger’s. It’s embarrassing.

You’d think that with all the wonderful eating opportunities brought about by the recent downtown renaissance you’d be able to get a dozen fresh-baked bagels on a Saturday morning. But no.

What’s up with that?

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Weekend Happenings in Downtown Waukesha

Some of you may not venture down to the far West End (of Main Street) as much as other parts of downtown but if you don’t you are missing out, especially this weekend. That that area is starting to see even more reinvestment from recent projects like the Maple & Main building, which houses Katydids and two incredible (and available) condos that I was able to finally see last weekend, to the recent expansion of Magellan’s (M2) which is serving pizza some are calling some of the best in Waukesha.  Well you can add two more businesses at the West End to the mix.
First up is the Waukesha Tattoo Company @ Galleria Edge also check out their blog at http://koolfooltattoo.blogspot.com/) located at 463 West Main Street, who will hold its grand opening and ribbon cutting on Saturday May 22.  The place will open at 10 with the ribbon cutting at 10:30.  The open house is from 10am to 5pm and the opening reception, featuring the Katie & Andy Show, an art exhibit opening featuring local artists Katie Musloff and Andy Fletcher. The show will run from 5-22 to 6-26.  The Waukesha Tattoo Company @ Galleria Edge had the incredible Flux Design do their interior, which I think is a first for Waukesha. Crazy Train beef and dogs will also be out in the parking lot all day.  The serve up some Chicago-style dogs, gut-busting beef sandwiches slathered in Nacho Cheese and some awesome fried pickle wedges.
Next up is the Moxie Beauty Lounge which is a salon and spa also located at the West End of Main Street. They will also be having a grand opening on Saturday from 12pm to 8pm. They’ll be having food, drinks, and specials on services and products with a cook-out from 5pm-8pm.
Also its Week 3 of the great Waukesha Farmers’ Market!
The weather will be great so get out and enjoy downtown Waukesha this weekend.

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Andrea’s Red Rooster-Perfect Warm Weather Lunch Spot

Andrea's Red RoosterI know y’all were talking about burgers last week, but I have one to add to the list. If you find yourself looking for a sandwich and a great patio, look no further than Andrea’s Red Rooster located on the corner of Watertown Rd. and Springdale Rd.

I’ve been going to this place since it was in the middle of nowhere and was called something like “Kutchenrueters”. The onion strings recipe hasn’t changed in 20 years. A little greasy, but perfectly salty; no dipping sauce needed. I wouldn’t say this is the best burger in town, but it hits the spot, especially when sitting in the sun in the middle of a workday. Their menu is full of other hot sandwiches and traditional bar food. My normal dining companion always orders the French Dip. Big fan of the “au jus”.

When I went as a kid, my mom would always order a Bloody Mary which came with a million garnishes and spices. (Just like making the perfect cup of coffee, she taught me how to measure just the right amount of Worcestershire, Tabasco, and celery salt. Ah, I was the Sally Draper of my day.) Since I’m usually here at noon on Tuesday, I haven’t tried anything off of their alcoholic menu. Can anyone confirm if their bloodies are still this involved? Their beer menu is pretty extensive, but with all the usual suspects.

Enjoy!

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Blogroll

You’ll notice that I am slowly adding links to the blogroll including Waukesha blogs, bars, restaurants, and stores.  Its gonna take some time to get all of you listed so be patient. Also feel free to contact us if you don’t see your website listed.

Also I hope to start adding more detail to the “bars” and “restaurant” tabs.  I want to list restaurants and bars with info about location, hours, and a general description of the business.  I am working on a specific format then I’ll ask the businesses to fill it in with their information.

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Food Fun & Life recaps a week of Waukesha dining.

Sara over at the awesome blog “Food, Fun and Life in Waukesharecaps a week of  eating in Waukesha with mini-reviews of Spirzzo, M2 (Magellan’s), Generations, and El Ranchito. 

Her blog is a great chronicle of her enjoyment of all things Waukesha.  Maybe we can coax her into posting here too.

Speaking of Waukesha Bloggers, the somewhat strange, yet always interesting, Sewer Racoon News also paid a visit to the Farmers’ Market last weekend.

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Farmer’s Market Recap: Week 1

The Farmers Market was pretty well-attended given the freezing cold temps and intermittent rain.  There were a couple of new vendors out there and this is probably the first year I think you could actually get a decent amount of produce this early in the season.

Lots of spinach and greens were available as well as a new vendor selling ramps and morels.  I had never had ramps so I bought a couple of bunches and paired them with some pea shoots (also purchased at the market), asparagus, and peas in a spring vegetable risotto for dinner.  A little lemon juice and lemon olive oil enhanced the fresh flavors of spring.   The ramps were pretty tasty, kind of mild like a leek. 

I served the risotto with some Rushing Waters Trout, purchased from their new stand at the market.  They have fresh farm-raised trout, a variety of smoked fish products, and salmon patties.  At 8 bucks a pound, the trout is a pretty good deal for fish this fresh.  I seasoned the fish with salt, pepper, and a dash of Penzey’s Northwoods seasoning.  As it cooked I basted it with some butter which also had some more Northwoods seasoning in it.  I also grilled up some cherry tomatoes and artichokes for a topping for the fish. 

I know that farmed fish sometimes gets a bad name but that’s primarily because the public only partially pays attention to these kind of issues.   Yes there are a lot of fish farms that are doing environmental damage to our lakes, rivers, and oceans, however there are some farmed fish that are sustainable and are recommended by the leading authority on sustainable seafood, the  Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation’s Seafood Watch program.  They list US Farm Raised Rainbow trout as the best trout choice.  If you are a real sustainable food nerd, here is their full report on farmed Rainbow Trout.

It seems that every season the market gets bigger and better and it looks like 2010 will continue that trend.

 

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