Perhaps no one thinks about Minnesota when you think fine cuisine. I bet though, if you've ever past through our great state, you will have gotten a fond appreciation for good and hearty comfort food and perhaps a liking for a salad, that really is not a salad, but rather a desert. These are the foods I will be making for my Minnesota Foodie feast tonight. In reality, these, short of the soup, are not dishes I make very much at all, but evoke memories from childhood and still make appearances at family gatherings and potlucks. I have not begun cooking yet, but here is the menu so far. A few more items might slip in if something pops into my head. There will be no Lutefisk. That was one food that could have stayed in Norway. DD#1 took her friend for a Juicy Lucy the other day, so I will not be making those scrumptious burgers either, but I kind of want one now.
First, and so stereotypically Minnesota it could not NOT be on the menu. I am speaking about Tator Tot Hotdish. Don't let any web writer or travel blogger fool you into saying "hotdish" is pronounced "hoddish". I've never heard it called hoddish in my life, except perhaps if it was a guy asking for another scoop while still having a bite of the last helping in his mouth. Minnesota is one of the highest educated states, and we speak proper grammar, and while we may add colorful and quaint expressions to our sentences, you know, we say hot-dish as it is phonetically meant to be said. Geesh!
I had to get that of my chest. I had a lot of suggestions to make the green pistachios and pineapple salad, all the rave at every Lutheran church funeral spread. I don't like it, and don't like to prepare things I don't like to eat, so passing on that in favor of a more recent Minnesota "salad" creation, the Snickers Salad. This delicious concoction of sweet, salty, and tart combines crisp, preferably a tarter apple, pieces of a Snicker candy bars, and dry roasted salted peanuts, mixed together and liberally bound with a tub of Cool Whip. Yes, I did call it a Snicker salad. For it to be really Minnesotan, I suppose we should use a Pearson's Nut Goodie, but I like Snickers better.
For a starter, I will have cups of cream of wild rice soup. I couldn't find any in the grocery store, but if I was so fortunate to have foraged a few morel mushrooms, they would have made the soup over the top. I have a cheat recipe that starts with a box of long grain and wild rice mix, but the real Minnesota chef's will be buying the raw rice, washing it several times and soaking it the night before,
Desert will be a pan of brownies. No Minnesota picnic spread, family gathering, church dinner, or weekend at the lake is complete without a pan of brownies. Or are brownies just a salad, in a pan? I am not sure now. Apparently Minnesota cuisine is so foodie worthy, Movoto made a video of the oh so cool people on the west coast tasting Minnesota dishes. I think overall, it was a thumbs up. I'll let you know tomorrow what our English friend's verdict was.