If you live in the Mac-Groveland neighborhood, you’re probably already familiar with the depth and breadth of kitchenwares at Frattallone’s Ace Hardware at Cambridge & Grand, kitty-corner from Ramsey Middle School. If you’ve instead assumed that one Ace Hardware is pretty much like another in terms of its kitchenwares, you are in for a very welcome surprise: this particular Frattallone’s/Ace, one of nineteen Twin Cities stores owned by the Frattallone family of St. Paul, is completely unlike the others. For sensibly priced, sturdy, practical cookware and kitchen tools, it is simply unrivaled; for customer service, it’s as responsive and supportive as our very own Mississippi Market. Read more …
Citrus is a promiscuous family: witness the grapefruit (pomelo x orange), the Meyer lemon (lemon x orange), the Persian or Bearss lime (Mexican lime x orange or lemon). Most citrus fruits we eat were initially spontaneous crosses that an alert orchardist noticed and improved upon. Grapefruits are one such cross, first appearing on the island of Barbados in the 18th century, a hybrid of the imported pomelo and orange. Grapefruit trees are true to their name: the fruits cluster, rather like vine grapes, though in spreading, densely shady and thorned trees. First brought to the U.S. in the 1820s, grapefruit didn’t exactly take the country by storm; initially no one could figure out what to do with them. This isn’t surprising, for compared to other members of the citrus family, early grapefruit had very thick and bitter pith, the genetic gift of their pomelo ancestors.
We get excited around here during the holidays. We love how the holidays bring people together and we love playing a part in people’s celebrations by providing fresh, delicious foods for their holiday spreads.
Have you ever been the lone vegan at a Thanksgiving celebration in Texas? It’s not easy, let me tell you.
My Southern family includes a few types of turkeys, a ham and brisket at most Thanksgivings. Corn is swimming in cream cheese sauce and you can bet the drippings are included in every gravy and side dish possible. And asking for the ingredients for each dish at a potluck? Forget it!
Luckily, I had a grandma who would make me a special little pan of stuffing/dressing made with vegetable broth and set aside some sweet potatoes without butter and marshmallows. She was a gem!
I know guests with special diets can be a pain for the host, but I can also vouch for us being the most appreciative when someone makes an extra effort to accommodate our needs. Most of us with dietary restrictions know that hopes of getting an amazing meal at a big holiday celebration are likely to lead to disappointment. So when a host goes out of the way to have a gluten free pie or a vegetarian main dish, it makes a big impression. I’ll always remember the extra effort my grandma took to make sure I had plenty to eat. Read more …
Digging through dozens of recipes? Reading Thanksgiving recipes until your eyes weep? We’re keeping it simple! Here’s what we think every memorable Thanksgiving meal needs: Read more …
My first fall working at Mississippi Market, just over three years ago, I first discovered what has since become my favorite autumn fruit—the humble little persimmon. More so than apples, the arrival of the little orange fruit is the sign that winter is just around the corner. If you haven’t had one yet, let me try and describe this fruit. The texture of a ripe persimmon is akin to that of an over-ripe plum–but in a very good way—and the flavor I can only describe as a mix between plum and pumpkin…I even taste a just hint of cinnamon or nutmeg. The perfect fall flavor? I think so!
Tempted to try one yet? We have two varieties that come in, fuyu and hachiya. The Hachiya are bigger and more egg-shaped, and they ripen to be very tender and sweet—handle them gently as possible!—and the softer they are, the sweeter they will be as long as they are still red/orange (brownish means they’ve aged too much). Fuyu are flatter and you’ll find these at their ripest when they are just barely soft (again, think plums). A word of warning; under ripe Hachiya persimmons can be *incredibly* astringent, and can really dry your mouth out; there’s no harm in it, but this makes for a significantly less pleasant eating experience. Act fast, though; persimmon season only lasts two or three months! Read more …
I had a realization this week. I looked down at my staple summer breakfast -a bowl of fruit, yogurt and granola- and was no longer satisfied. It just wasn’t what I wanted anymore. I wanted something heartier. I wanted something… warm.
Luckily I work here, where everyone is talking about (or eating) food, all the time. Apparently, I wasn’t the only craving something different for breakfast. As I strolled around the office, I noticed that Lauren had unpacked her Oatmeal-in-a-jar and Luke was eating a hot breakfast sandwich at his desk.
Beyond those two stand-bys around here, I was also pointed to these two recipes, both warm & hearty, yet satisfying in different ways. Read more …
They’re one of the glories of spring, those small, broad trees decked out in glorious blossom. Come winter, many of them enliven otherwise-bleak gardens with tiny fruits loved by overwintering birds. But few people bother to seek out crabapples for eating or make crabapple jelly anymore, and that’s a shame. The fruits can usually be had merely by knocking on doors—most people are only too happy to have their crabapples put to use.
Benjamin, one of our in-house butchers, and Jay, our West 7th meat & seafood manager, made the trip to Wykoff, MN to visit Joe & Bonnie Austin, the owners of Hill & Vale Farms. After their visit, Jay said, “We always knew that Joe and Bonnie cared about their animals but being able to talk to them face to face and see their farm really drove it home that they not only take great care of their animals, they also care deeply about their land.”
Hill and Vale is a 380-acre farm in southeastern Minnesota that supplies food co-ops with beef and lamb. All of the animals are raised without the use of antibiotics or hormones. Their diet primarily includes pasture/hay, with grains added in the later growing and finishing process. Read more …
Humans have eaten offal (the internal organs of slaughtered meat animals) throughout recorded history, but doing so fell out of fashion in this country following World War II, except among cooks and diners retaining traditional foodways. My Minnesota German mother and her siblings relished headcheese, blood sausage, and other foods that left my San Francisco-born sister and me faint. But we loved beef or calf liver and onions, chicken hearts and livers, and tongue sandwiches. In this, we were a minority. Only the most recent immigrants managed to keep the sale of tripe, pork intestines, kidneys, and chicken feet in somewhat lively commercial circulation, largely in their own communities’ meat markets.
And then, in 1999, the London chef Fergus Henderson published Nose to Tail Eating: A Kind of British Cooking, and the next thing you knew, every northern European and North American chef under forty, along with plenty of home cooks, rediscovered offal. And a good thing it was, because these formerly discarded odds-and-ends from the meat trade are inexpensive and very tasty.
At the same time, there’s no question that many of them are acquired tastes for those who didn’t start eating them young. Because organ meats are particularly strong in flavor, the easiest way to develop a taste for them is to take down their flavor a bit by first soaking them in lightly salted water; I’m thinking here most particularly of kidneys and liver.
Definitely the go-to offal meat for first timers is beef or calf’s liver. Fifty years ago, it made a weekly appearance on a majority of American dinner tables, accompanied by fried onions and/or bacon. Children either loved it or hated it, and most adults tucked into it with zest. Liver is very high in iron (and cholesterol), and it’s not something you want to eat daily, but it’s a terrific meat to try—low in cost (because low in demand), and because Mississippi Market’s beef liver comes from Thousand Hills’s pasture-raised cattle, it’s a powerhouse of nutrients and flavor, with less saturated fat than that from feedlot beef liver.
Calf’s liver is milder in flavor and slightly tenderer in texture, but beef liver is a better value. If this will be your first venture into cooking beef liver, here’s how to prepare it. If you’re feeling hesistant but committed, fry up some bacon along with the liver; the two complement each other beautifully.
Beef Liver for Those New to It
Soak the liver first, using 1 teaspoon of salt to 1 quart of water, for 1 hour. Pat the liver dry before searing it in a cast-iron skillet or a broiler. Beef liver and fried onions go together like salt and pepper, so be sure to include onions when you cook the liver.
Most people like to eat liver pink in the middle; the times given below are for medium-pink.
1–2 slices of bacon (optional)*
¼–½ onion, thinly sliced
salt and pepper
Beef liver (4 oz. per serving)
* If you’re not using bacon, fry the onion and liver in mild olive oil.
1. In a cast-iron skillet, fry the bacon first on MEDIUM till it’s almost crisp; remove bacon slices to a side plate and cover to keep them warm. (You may want to chop the bacon up after it’s cooked.)
2. Fry the onion slices in the bacon fat until they soften and start to brown. Scrape them to the side of the skillet and add the liver.
3. Raise the heat to MEDIUM-HIGH, add salted and peppered, dried-off liver, and fry it on one side for about 2 minutes. When it’s nicely browned, turn it over and cook for 1 minute. Turn off the heat.
4. Put the bacon back in the pan and swab the slices or chopped pieces over the onions and liver. Remove the liver, onions, and bacon from the pan.
5. If you’re broiling: Broil the bacon first about 3” below the heat source, remove from broiler pan, then put onions, swabbed with olive oil, in broiler pan and cook until bubbly and slightly golden on each side. Salt and pepper the liver, then broil it for 1 minute per side; combine all ingredients off the broiler.
6. Serve with a simple side of greens (cooked spinach, chard, kale, &c., garlic, and red pepper flakes, finished with sherry vinegar or lemon juice).