I got clocked on the head by an acorn last night during my after-dinner walk. Ouch! And not because it actually hurt, but because of what the acorn was telling me: "Summer is winding down and September is almost here, my dear." Aw, shucks.
But not shucks! Because September is the best food month of the year, when food events celebrating the bounty of the season beckon at every golden turn. Like on September 20, when Jason DeRusha and I invite you to join us at Farm in the Cities at Solera Restaurant in Minneapolis. Meet and chat with local farmers and producers, then sit down to a stunning meal prepared by 12 of your favorite local chefs. Proceeds from the dinner will benefit Youth Farm and Market Project, which builds youth leadership through planting, growing, preparing, and selling food.
This year's event will be the second for Farm in the Cities, founded by farmer Maurice Smith of Dragsmith Farm with the help of chef Jorge Guzman of Solera Restaurant. Smith and Guzman pulled together a terrific dinner on the fly last year, with the goal of gathering several farmers and chefs to chat about local and sustainable food with the community while raising money for charity. Bonus: A seriously fabulous meal emerged, paired with beautiful wines, in a relaxed setting with plenty of opportunity to make new friends.
To purchase tickets, or to volunteer to set up or serve food, check out the Farm in the Cities Facebook page. We hope to see you there!
Chef Jorge Guzman's recipe for Grilled Watermelon Salad with Cherry Tomatoes & Charred Beets at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.
Given that everything is better fried - everything - it will come as no surpirse that root vegetables make utterly dreamy latkes. I like celery root in particular for its slightly sweet flavor.
These latkes are delicious as is, fresh out of the fat with a dab of sour cream, but my favorite way to eat them is topped with a poached egg. I know: Everything is Better Fried and Just Put an Egg On It, two of my favorite food credos, together in the same post? Out of control.
This same technique works nicely with zucchini as well. I particularly like a mix of zucchini and green pepper, in the summer when both are abundant, topped with Greek yogurt and scallions. Or a fresh tomato sauce. Or ooh, with Molly Herrmann's tomato jam! So lovely. We'll have to wait a few more months to play around with all that fun, however.
For now, fry your root vegetables and be very happy.
And then join the Minnesota Food Bloggers for a Saturday, January 21, viewing of TEDxManhattan: Changing the Way We Eat webcast, 9:00 am, at the Minnesota History Center. The webcast will be followed by a discussion and reception sponsored by Minnesota Monthly Magazine. The event is free of charge.
And join Jason DeRusha and me next Monday evening, January 23, as we assist Chef Scott Pampuch for Chef's Night Off cooking class at Kitchen in the Market. I hope that you can be there with us for food, hands-on cooking, wine, and FUN!
Recipe for Celery Root Latkes at Dara & Co./Minnesota Monthly Magazine.
From Kitchen in the Market:
What do you get when you combine your favorite restaurant chefs in the Twin Cities, a fabulous non-profit, a bevy of fantastic “celebrity assistants” and a pretty kick-ass kitchen? Well, we like to call that Chef’s Night Off. And, we’re squealing like schoolgirls to tell you more.
Chef’s Night Off is a limited-attendance cooking class led by the best restaurant chefs in our fair cities. Up close and personal. So fill up your glass, put on your apron and be prepared to get busy. Because YOU’RE doing the cooking. The menu will be created the day of the event so Chef can take inspiration from the seasonal goodies and international flavors of our Midtown Global Market.
Amazing, feel-good side effect? Your participation will help fund a donation to Renewing the Countryside, a wonderful local nonprofit that helps connect and strengthen rural communities including farmers, artists, entrepreneurs, educators and activists. For more information on this amazing organization, please visit their website at www.renewingthecountryside.org.
How fun, right? So come and cook with Chef Scott Pampuch, assisted by Jason DeRusha and me, on Monday, January 23, at Kitchen in the Market. There will be food. And wine. And FUN. I hope to see you there! Register here.
Do you know ramen? The "real" ramen, as in the national comfort food dish of Japan, made with fresh noodles, rich broth, and any number of savory toppings?
If the only ramen you know is from your dorm room, then get thee to Eat Ramen Help Japan this coming Thursday at CREATE Catering in Minneapolis! Crazy as it sounds, the idea for the event was born at the Twitter networking event pictured above, a group of us Twitterviewed by Joel Carlson. The meet-up was in February, before the March earthquake and resulting tsunami, but the ramen discussion that day was serious enough to plant the seed that grew into the idea for a Ramen-Off to help feed victims of the disaster.
Yay Twitter, right? Big yay for Kenji Okumura, Stephanie March, and Aaron Ackerman who are working like crazy on this event.
Masu Sushi & Robata, Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant, Meritage, CREATE Catering, moto-i, and Minnesota Food Blogger Noah Miwa will provide their own signature ramen dishes for you to try, and Jason DeRusha, Andrew Zimmern, Brian "BT" Turner, and Dena Alspach to judge. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time or for cash at the door. Cost is $10 for entrance, which guarantees one bowl of ramen. Additional bowls may be purchased for cash at the event.
Eat ramen! Help Japan! Listen to DJ Nak music. Sing Norae Shanty Karaoke. Drink local Fulton & Summit beer. I hope to see you there!
Recipe for quick, fresh-noodle Tantan Ramen, by Kenji Okumura, at Dara & Co./Minnesota Monthly Magazine.