Archive for the ‘cooking’ Category

A freezer with a side of beef

July 15, 2011

Readers of this blog know my love of photos of animals inside appliances...this is a bit different.

Being cheap and running low on the supply of my boyfriend’s game meat, I’m intrigued by the concept of cow-pooling, or sharing an entire animal carcass with a few others.

I’ve heard of more people doing it, and while it sounds nutty at first, buying a whole cow offers more affordable ($3 to $5 per pound) access to normally (outrageously) expensive pasture-raised or grass-fed beef.

Your refrigerator’s freezer compartment probably won’t have a cow…not a whole or half one, at least.

But chest freezers and upright freezers are surprisingly affordable, starting below $190 for a 5 cubic foot model. In general, 50 pounds of meat fits in 2.25 cubic feet of freezer space. A half cow takes up about 10 cubic feet of freezer space. And stored properly, the meat stays tasty for 12 months.

Something to keep in mind: when storing meats and other foods for periods longer than say, six months, it’s best to purchase a manual defrost freezer. While manually defrosting a freezer is a pain in the butt, frost-free freezers remove more moisture from the air in the freezer, which can degrade the quality of the meat over time (i.e. freezer burn).

One of my favorite magazines, Cooking Light offers more tips on buying and storing beef in bulk.

Has anyone ever bought a whole or half animal carcass? Where did you keep it? Would you do it again?

Microwave with Pizza Oven = Best Grad Gift Ever

June 3, 2011

Despite my personality, I managed to be one of the most popular girls in my dorm’s wing during my freshman year of college.

How?

A microwave. But this was no ordinary microwave, which every Megan, Katie and Laura owned. My microwave had a toaster built in.

Just another perk of being appliance retail royalty. (And my very first Warners' Stellian purchase; I've since given it away, unfortunately)

And toasters, as you may our may not know, belong in the can’t-have-in-a-dorm-room category. So you can imagine my novelty among the carb-happy set.

LG since discontinued that microwave, clearly to make room for a countertop appliance that would change college life forever.

A microwave that can support the other thing besides ramen that college students eat: pizza.

The LG LCSP1110ST includes a 1400-watt pizza oven below its microwave cavity capable of baking the frozen staple as well as other nutritious goods like frozen french fries and cookies.

And the LCSP1110 is really just a countertop microwave in its essence, so your treat-making should operate sans censure.

Can you say best graduation gift ever?

Don’t worry about trusting your grad with an oven, either. This LG microwave’s AUTO PIZZA function takes all the thinking guesswork out:

Four pizza bake functions are preset in the oven. The AUTO PIZZA feature automatically selects the best cooking method and time for various pizza types. The cooking guide shows which AUTO PIZZA function is recommended for the the pizza you are cooking.

A regular-crust frozen pizza bakes in only 15 minutes in the pizza oven. That’s faster than delivery, or even taking the stairs down to the dining hall.

Anyone who says you can’t buy friends didn’t dangle the right carrot, er, pizza. And this one’s a steal in my opinion at $200.

Living Green Expo: Enter to win energy-efficient LG appliances

May 5, 2011

When choosing our returning spot for this year’s Living Green Expo, we went with our gut…and headed straight for the food.

I have a feeling you might, too.

This Saturday and Sunday at the State Fairgrounds, watch (and taste) live cooking demonstrations by top local chefs on the Warners’ Stellian Celebrity Chefs stage in the 4-H building, part of the Local Chefs, Local Food experience.

Chefs like Scott Pampuch of Corner Table and other favorites like Birchwood Cafe, Common Roots and Chef Shack will be cooking on stage while talking about what local food means to their cooking.

Just west of the audience area of the stage, come visit us to find out how you can enter to win $5,000 in LG appliances by completing the Living Green Challenge.

Products are for representation only (we figured you'd want to pick your own stuff!).

Basically, you learn about living more sustainably by visiting different Living Green Expo exhibits and collect stamps in each category. Once your challenge card is completed, drop it in our high efficiency top load LG washer (yes, I said top load washer).

You can also talk to our appliance experts about the latest models’ energy- and water-saving technology and our own award-winning recycling program.

Induction cooktops work like a gas cooktop, using electric power

May 2, 2011

Induction burners heat only magnetic surfaces (like cookware) and nothing else.

While visiting a home in my neighborhood on the Minneapolis – St. Paul Home Tour yesterday, a tour representative said this homeowner’s renovation included switching from an electric stove to a gas stove and how much the representative wished she had a gas stove top in her own home.

“Well, what about induction?” I asked her.

It’s no longer just a choice between gas or electric stoves; homeowners with electric hookups can enjoy all the power of gas plus more responsiveness.

What do you lose with induction? All the wasteful energy loss. Cooking with induction is 70% more efficient than gas and 20% more efficient than electric.

Clean up is easier than smooth top gas ranges because spills don’t burn onto the surface. You can stick a hundred-dollar bill between an induction burner element and a pot of boiling water without worry

Why? Induction burners only heat magnetic surfaces (so you’ll know if your pots and pans are compatible if a magnet sticks to the bottom!), which also make induction cooktops popular choices for kid- and pet-safe kitchens.

Due to its recent rise in popularity (induction has been around since the ’70s but only took off recently), brands now make induction ranges in addition to induction cooktops.

More chefs and gourmet cooks are choosing induction; we put a Thermador induction cooktop in Midtown Global Market’s Kitchen in the Market just this year. I can’t wait to see more people delight in the ability to cook like they’re using gas without the cost and hassle of switching from electric.

RECIPE: Caribbean Chicken on the grill

April 25, 2011

Because this is exactly what I have on the to do list this week, here’s my post on waking up your grill ready after winter hibernation.

Need some motivation?

Thanks to our Holland Grill and Big Green Egg expert, Stu “King of the BBQ” Glock, for sharing this recipe for grilled chicken that’s anything but ordinary. It looks like a lot of ingredients, but if it’s coming from Stu, I know it’s amazing (i.e. 3 takes on steak).

I’m going to try it soon…let me know if you do!

Grilled Caribbean Chicken

Courtesy of Derrick Agate

  • 1 Tbs allspice
  • 1 Tbs thyme
  • 1- 1/2 tsp each – cayenne pepper, black pepper and ground sage
  • ¾ tsp each ground nutmeg and cinnamon
  • 2 Tbs each salt and garlic powder
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ¾ cup white vinegar
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 jalapeno or haberneros, finely chopped
  • 1 cup white onion chopped
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 3 lbs chicken

In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients.  Whisk in olive oil, soy sauce, orange juice, vinegar and lime juice, then the peppers and onions.

Add the chicken, cover, and refrigerate overnight or up to 48 hours.  Cook on the Holland Grill or the Big Green Egg at 350 degrees until the internal meat temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest 5 minutes before serving.

RECIPE: Tropical Bananas Foster on the grill

April 11, 2011

My brother, Joe Warner (left), and I had so much fun testing grilled desserts this past week.

By FAR the best recipe we had — though not the most colorful — was the Bananas Foster with pineapple we made for the FOX 9 morning crew this Sunday on the Vermont Castings 401 Signature Series gas grill.

Joe’s live TV debut came smack dab in the middle of our BBQ Grill Expo, though you can still cash in on grill discounts through April 17.

So how good is this recipe? Well, I’m lactose intolerant, and I still ate a bowl of it. Yum!

We’ve already gotten requests for the recipe, so here it is:

Grilled Tropical Bananas Foster

3 firm bananas

1 thinly sliced fresh pineapple rings

1 cup butter or margarine

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. rum extract or 2 Tbsp. dark rum

Heat grill to medium high heat. Place butter in a large, grill-safe bowl (we used metal) and heat until melted. Remove.

Meanwhile, grill bananas in their peels about 6 minutes per side, or until brown.

To make glaze, add brown sugar, cinnamon and rum to melted butter.

Peel bananas (careful, they’re steamy!), cut in fourths and add to glaze. Then add pineapples and toss fruit in glaze until coated.

Put bowl back on the grill for about 10 minutes (or so…use your judgment) to warm up again and let all the delicious flavors combine!

Scoop vanilla ice cream into bowls and spoon 1/6 of glazed fruit mixture on top.

BBQ Expo: Taste and compare this Saturday and Sunday

April 8, 2011

A delicious view from last year's BBQ Grill Expo

Hey Grillmeisters (or wannabe grillers), this Saturday and Sunday marks Warners’ Stellian’s tastiest event…our BBQ Grill Expo.

Experts on top grill brands such as Weber, Holland, Big Green Egg, Vermont Castings, Viking and DCS, will be out demonstrating so you can compare the latest features in gas grills, charcoal grills and smoker grills. Grills demos will going on at all our 7 locations (St. Paul, Minneapolis, Edina, Woodbury, Maple Grove, Apple Valley and Rochester).

Plus, delivery and assembly are free on grills $499 and up. AND those who buy a grill $599 and up will score a $50 gift card good at any of the 9 Twin Cities Kowalski’s Markets.

>>See more pictures of last year’s event

Grilling doughnuts on ‘Twin Cities Live’

April 7, 2011

Carla Warner and I got to spend some time grilling outside with the awesome people at KSTP’s “Twin Cities Live” yesterday.

>> See the video

A rare picture of me, left, posing with TCL's Emily Engberg and Carla Warner in front of the Grilled Doughnuts on the Viking gas grill.

I love to cook, so I volunteered to whip up 3 unconventional recipes on 3 of our favorite grills.

On the Big Green Egg, we made Bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers

Hollow jalapenos and completely fill with cream cheese. Wrap with raw bacon and secure with toothpick. Grill on the Big Green Egg or other grill using indirect heat at 350-375 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

On the Vermont Castings, we made Margherita pizza

Heat grill to medium heat. Sprinkle with cornmeal and roll out fresh, refrigerated pizza dough ball to no more than 1/4-inch thickness. Either oil grill grates or place pizza stone on grill. Grill dough covered for 5 minutes. Top with Kowalski’s Signature Pizza Sauce, slices of Kowalski’s fresh mozzarella and sliced Roma tomato. Grill for another 3-5 minutes or until cheese is golden brown. Top with fresh basil and serve.

And on the Viking Grill, we made — you’ll never guess — Grilled doughnuts

Grill Pillsbury Grands refrigerated biscuits on a cookie sheet (or well-oiled grill grate) using indirect heat at about 375 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, melt a stick of butter in a grill-safe bowl away from direct heat. Dip warm biscuits in the melted butter and roll in cinnamon sugar.

Barbecue smoker – Beef Brisket recipe

March 30, 2011

Barbecue brisket smoked on a Big Green Egg smoker grill

Especially since it’s starting to “heat up” (40 degrees, anyone?) for those who love putting a hunk of meat on the smoker grill and letting it go all day, here’s a recipe to consider for Saturday or Sunday, courtesy of the Big Green Egg website.

In choosing the meat, Big Green Egg suggests ordering (probably in advance) a whole “packer trimmed” brisket from a butcher shop.  An 8- to 14-pound whole “packer trimmed” brisket will cook for approximately 14 to 18 hours.

To prep the meat, trim any fat thicker than 1/8 inch. Because you should always slice brisket against the grain when serving, identify which way the grain in the brisket runs and cut a notch in the end so you will know where to initiate the first cross-grain cut after smoking.

Smoked brisket recipe

From biggreenegg.com

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coarse kosher or sea salt
  • 1/3 cup black pepper
  • 1/4 cup granulated garlic
  • 1/4 cup ground mild chilies such as ancho or chimayo
  • 2 tbsp celery seed
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • Optional: Wood Chips

 

Place all of the seasonings in food processor or blender and pulse until thoroughly blended. Spread the rub generously over the brisket, wrap in foil or plastic wrap and let rest for one to two hours.

Set the Big Green Egg up for indirect cooking with a plate setter at 250°F. Add in soaked wood chips (oak, hickory, apple or cherry) if you choose.

Cook until the internal temperature of the meat is 150°F, and then reduce the EGG temperature to 225°F. When the meat temperature approaches 185°F, begin checking for tenderness (insert a fork into the brisket and give a slight twist; if the meat gives easily without much resistance, then the meat is done). Wrap tightly in foil with a half-cup of beef broth and place in a warm ice chest for 1 to 3 hours.

Slice brisket against the grain (see note before recipe), reserving the juice to brush on or use as a dip.

Cooking the Market with Kitchen in the Market

March 2, 2011


This Saturday, a pair of my girlfriends and I attended the Cooking the Market class at the new, expanded Kitchen in the Market (in the Midtown Global Market).

Verdict? Stark, raving mad about it. We can’t wait to go back.

Kitchen in the Market started in 2008, but owners Chef Molly Herrmann and Tracy Morgan just opened the new space — a shared commercial kitchen space as well as a cooking school and retail shop. See more if you’re curious.


We shook hands with some champagne cocktails before even removing our coats, and traced the origins of our delicious cheese (which led to numerous “Portlandia” references from our Peanuts Gallery), as guided by Grassroots Gourmet’s Vicky Potts. This intro eased the less-familiar cooks in the 16-person class into the experience, which is open to all levels.


Next, Molly took us on a tour of the market, highlighting the fresh, in-season and obscure (e.g. goat tenderloin). I jotted mental notes, as we created the night’s menu on the spot.

Our newly formed teams engaged in a menu-planning pow wow with the professionals (Molly and other chefs present) and got Market Money to buy necessary ingredients.

We got our goat…


…which probably wasn’t even a funny joke the first five times I used it.

After slicing the goat, we marinated it in zatter (a Middle Eastern spice none of us girls had ever heard of), each taking turns executing the steps Molly delineated.


Note the ubiquity of wine, equally important to those in our group who like to cook (me) and those who like to drink while watching others cook (Kelly).


Our goat “lollipops” entered the commercial convection oven pretty early in the night, compared to the duration of active time involved with other attendees’ dishes. Thus, we creeped on everyone else.


Another team prepared a Greek salad with wild rice.


This scene looks deceivingly chaotic. Everything remained calm and organized.


Smoked salmon croquettes with mango salsa.


Our team’s favorite dish: beef stew.


Tastefully simple (can I call this a) tablescape, with our free whisks. I love free stuff.


Hurry up, people. We’re ready to gorge.


Our presentation of skewered goat tenderloin with yogurt sauce (clearly, arranged with assistance).


Look at that, more wine! And the Greek salad…yum.

The beef stew atop pureed butternut squash proved the class favorite, as well.

Shaved brussels sprouts with lingonberries. Saffron rice.


Personally, I like when dessert isn’t afraid to tell me what to tell me what to do. A cookie who speaks her mind = very sexy. Though, hers wasn’t a bright future, unfortunately.


Warners’ Stellian
loves the idea of KITM and helped supply a Thermador induction cooktop for use in cooking demonstrations.


A view of the Thermador induction cooktop from KITM’s overhead camera feed.

Amber Procaccini Photography

Induction is a great choice for KITM because it’s as powerful and responsive as gas, but it only heats cookware that touches it…not little hands :)

 

From KITM's The Counting Chef cooking demo for kids.

Thanks to Molly and Tracy for a fun, unique night.

Has anyone else been to Kitchen in the Market or the Midtown Global Market in general? This experience inspired me to seek out more cooking classes, so I’d also appreciate any suggestions.

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