SMORGASBORD: Minnesota Grown . . . Bulking up . . . Hog wild
Minnesota Grown The Minnesota Department of Agriculture once again is making it easier to buy local. Its updated 2010 Minnesota Grown Directory now is available. The new edition of the printed and online guide has a record 840 listings. MDA Agric...
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture once again is making it easier to buy local. Its updated 2010 Minnesota Grown Directory now is available.
The new edition of the printed and online guide has a record 840 listings.
MDA Agriculture Marketing Specialist Brian Erickson said it's easily the state's most comprehensive guide to local foods. It lists 120 farmers' markets, 107 apple orchards and 58 community-supported agriculture farms, along with berry patches, garden centers and other places to purchase products directly from farmers.
The printed directory can be ordered free from Explore Minnesota Tourism at (888) TOURISM. It also is searchable online at www.minnesota grown.com.
"Big Buy Cooking" (Taunton Press, $19.95), a slim, 188-page volume, addresses America's appetite for buying food in bulk and offers 75 recipes as solutions to the challenges inherent in purchasing, say, an entire wheel of brie or boneless leg of lamb.
The book's subhead, "The Food Lover's Guide to Buying in Bulk and Using It All Up" sets the book's parameters: This is not for those buying a megabox of Cheerios; it is for those who bulk-buy capers, haricots verts and Grana Padano.
The 100 glam photos dominate the book. Recipes range from a wild mushroom (bulk dried) and arugula risotto to a penne with crisp prosciutto (bulk), zucchini and corn.
Tips are sprinkled throughout the book (how to pit olives, how to store an opened can of tomatoes, etc.) and an equivalency chart (metric conversions for liquid/dry measures and oven temps).
"Big Buy Cooking" offers solutions for foodies facing the question: "How am I going to use all of this?"
Cookbooks these days often sport long taglines. But porkistas are refreshingly to the point. Three letters seem to suffice.
"Pig" (Wiley, $34.95), by cookbook writer James Villas, is nothing less than a poem of porcine devotion, an ode to the idea that if everything's better with bacon, everything else is better with anything hog-related (think skillet cornbread with cracklin's).
A born-and-bred Southerner, the author offers a jowl-to-tail primer on the animal's parts and uses, with 300 recipes.
The similarly themed "Ham" (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $29.95), by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough, takes a narrower approach to the animal, focusing only on the leg. That is, the ham.
The book makes you wade through a little too much information -- co-author love spats, an erotic devotion to pork, that they toggle between Eudora Welty and porn sites -- before offering up recipes.
But once there, the authors proffer a humorous and sometimes snarky world tour of ham in all its forms.