June 15, 2011

Rainbow Chinese Restaurant and Bar

Last night I had the opportunity to experience Rainbow Chinese Restaurant and Bar in the Whittier Neighborhood of Minneapolis for the first time.  I found out the area is called "Eat Street" because there are approximately 40 local restaurants in the area of a very eclectic nature.  Rainbow Chinese is owned by chef Tammy Wong, she is not only involved within the Whittier Neighborhood, but also can be found at the local farmer's markets giving teaching demonstrations.

I met the Minnesota Food Bloggers in a spacious room on the second floor of the restaurant.  I immediately thought the space would be great for a party. 
The drink of choice for many bloggers was the Ginger Mojito.  It was made with muddled mint, club soda, rum, ginger syrup, and fresh pieces of ginger as a garnish in the drink.  If you are fan of ginger this is a must try. 

Marian Biehn, Executive Director of the Whittier Alliance, spoke to us about the neighborhood, its' gardens and restaurant.

Tammy Wong presented the dishes for the evening.  Dishes included ingredients from local gardens.  Fried Spring Rolls, which she taught us to wrap in a lettuce leaf  with various mint and basil grown in local gardens before dipping them into the sauce. 

Fried rice with asparagus and anchovies; I am not a fan of anchovies so they definitely stood out in the dish for me, but you can never go wrong with asparagus. 

Next on the table was probably my favorite dish of the evening, Sesame Noodles with Peanut.  This dish was popular with a lot of guests. 

Tofu is a menu item not a lot of people try. I think it has got a bad wrap.  Tammy's staff prepared a lightly breaded fried tofu.

Our final dinner dish was the Szechuan Wontons (pork and shrimp) in a black bean sauce with green onions.  I am not a fan of seafood, but the combination of pork and shrimp did not have the shrimp taste (at least in the two pieces I ate.) The black bean sauce had a slight sweetness with a hint of spice from pepper flakes.

Tammy also took time to explain all of the herbs and vegetables on the table. On thing I learned was how to eat pea shoots after you take of your peas.  Tammy told us you only eat the top part of it.

We finished the evening off with Coconut Tapioca with a fresh rhubarb sauce. 

Outside they have comfortable sidewalk seating.
Free Parking in the lot next to the restaurant and on the street after 6:00pm

June 12, 2011

Sweet-and-Hot Onion Rings

Serves/Makes: 2

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/8 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 tablespoon ground red pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup club soda
vegetable oil, for frying
1 large sweet yellow onions, cut into 3/8-inch-thick slices and separated into rings

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, ground red pepper, and salt. Whisk the club soda into the flour mixture. 

In a large saucepan, heat 2 inches of oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking. 

Dip each onion ring into the batter, allowing the excess to drip back into the bowl. Fry a few rings at a time for 5 to 6 minutes, or until golden. Drain on a paper towel-lined platter and serve. 

Reduced from Recipe found on: CDKitchen http://www.cdkitchen.com

Indian In My Pantry & Fridge

I knew this was going to be a busy week and I would be attending various food and drink events during meal time.  I decided to see what I could throw together with what was in my pantry and fridge.

This morning I found a pound of Turkey Sausage in my freezer.  I thawed it throughout the day, but didn't know what I had planned for it until I opened my pantry later.

In the pantry I had Tomato Chutney I have been wanting to use.  I grabbed an onion, vegetable stock and the remains of a bag of brown rice out of the pantry.  In the fridge I had fresh ginger and a yellow pepper needed to be used.

1 pound Turkey Sausage
1 8oz Jar of Tomato Chutney
1/2 Yellow Onion Diced
1 Yellow Pepper Diced
1 Tbsp Ginger, finely chopped. (Minced in a jar is fine too)
3 c Vegetable Stock

Brown turkey sausage in a large pan. While browning dice onion and yellow pepper.  Transfer turkey sausage from pan to a bowl.  Utilize the grease from sausage to cook onion, pepper and ginger until tender.   Transfer onion and pepper into bowl with turkey sausage.  In the pan over high heat add vegetable stock and brown rice.  Bring to a boil for 5 minutes.  Reduce heat and let simmer for 30 minutes.  During the last 5 minutes add the tomato chutney. When rice is done add the turkey sausage, onion and pepper. Toss.

Can be used as an entrĂ©e or a side dish.  This dish would be good as a vegetarian dish or with chicken and/or other types of sausage.

June 7, 2011

The Inn (Minneapolis, MN)- Closed

It was with great sadness I learned this morning of the closing of one of my favorite restaurants - The Inn in Minneapolis.

According to the Star Tribune "“We made a difficult decision today,” said co-owner Tim Niver. “Everybody there is so awesome. We were all just really starting to click, but we just weren’t as busy as we needed to be to support the dream.”"

I am not going to say I will miss seeing Jesse Held and Tim Leary mixing some of the best cocktails in town behind the bar or Tyge Nelson creating delicious food and coming out of the kitchen to visit; these guys will be somewhere else soon.  (Note to Tim: Make sure they give you my glass)

I am happy I was able to enjoy the food, drinks, atmosphere, and staff of The Inn. I would say my favorites: Grass Fed Beef Burger with Foie Gras Mousse and Fried Egg on an English Muffin, Crispy Potato Dumplings, Flatbread, I even tried Tyge's Headcheese Ravioli on my last visit.

Thank you!!!

June 1, 2011

Crispin to the Rescue!

One beverage I enjoy drinking is Crispin Cider, you will most likely see many posts about their products on my blog from time to time.

This past weekend, while camping my mom realized she forgot a few items she needed for her Big Bean Pot and her German Potato Salad.  She needed an onion and brown sugar; I went to the local grocery store to pick up the missing item.  Just before I arrived back at camp she realized she forgot half of the the cider vinegar she would need for both items. Because it was only about 1/2 cup she thought she could get by without it, but knew it provided liquid to the dishes.  I suggested she split what she had and add a half bottle of Crispin Cider Brut to each dish.  It would provide a bit of the apple cider flavor to the dishes and the necessary liquid. Adding the Crispin actually cut the bite that vinegar has without compromising the taste of the Big Bean Pot and German Potato Salad.