Saturday, April 14, 2012

Minnesota and Iowa #4 in a series

 
Lake Winona, Minnesota

  I have mentioned the influences on Minnesota cuisine in another post, but to review;  Minnesota attracted a large population of Scandinavian immegrants, particularly Finns.  Because of this influence, Cookbooks from Minnesota read like a smorgasbord, with herring salad, Swedish meatballs, rye bread and many other Scandinavian specialties.  Of all the Scandinavians to settle in the United States the Norwegians were the first to come in large numbers.  Beginning in the 1840's they reached a population of three-quarters of a million people by World War I the vast majority of them settled in Minnesota.  Cold Fruit Soup is a delightful Scandinavian specialty found on many Minnesota restaurant menus.

FRUIT SOUP

What you need:
1 8 oz package of mixed dried fruit
3 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
4 teaspoons of tapioca pudding
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 16oz can pitted light sweet cherries
1/4 cup orange liqueur or cream sherry

Pit prunes {from the fruit mix) and cut the fruit into bite size pieces.  In a large saucepan stir together the water, brown sugar, quick-cooking tapioca, and nutmeg.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  Stir in the dried fruit.  Bring to boiling.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 8 - 10 minutes.  or till fruit is tender.  Mixture should be slightly thickened and tapioca should be clear.  Stir in undrained cherries and orange liqueur.

Chill and serve.


     The Amana Colonies were founded along the Iowa River in 1859 by a group of German Lutherans who sought religious freedom.  They built sixteen communal kitchens to serve seven communities!  They enjoyed huge meals that consisted largely of potatoes, sauerkraut, homegrown vegetables, hearty breads and pies.  In Amana Recipes the recipe titles are all in German and include titles like Karofel Suppe (potato soup), Herring Salat, and Lebkuchen (honey cookies).  You can still visit the Amana Colonies today and sample some of their locally prepared smoked pork and homemade breads.
     A small dairy located about an hour from Des Moines and owned by the family that developed the Maytag washing machine, has been producing a quality product from its herd of prize holsteins.  So in recognition of that wonderful cheese, I give you, CHICKEN WITH MAYTAG BLUE CHEESE.

What you need.
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup finely chopped green onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 teaspoon white wine Worcestershire sauce
1 beaten egg yolk
1/4 cup Maytag blue cheese (yes, this will work with any blue cheese, but why?)
In a large skillet cook chicken in hot oil over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes or till chicken is tender and no pink remains, turn often to brown evenly.
     Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan cook green onion and garlic in butter till tender.  Stir in flour and pepper.  Add  chicken broth, whipping cream and white wine Worcestershire sauce all at once.  Cook and stir over medium heat till thickened and bubbly.  Gradually stir about half of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolk.  Transfer the entire egg mixture to saucepan.  Bring to a gentle boill  Cook and stir 2 minutes more.  Stir in blue cheese.  Serve over Chicken................yum.

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1395 
  Enjoy
Stay Hungry!!
Peace

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