Monday, February 15, 2010

Garlic, Onion and Chorizo - Portugeese Main Courses

Quote of the Concept
For each mouth, a different soup." Portuguese Proverb

It seems that the Portuguese use garlic, onion and a lovely Chorizo sausage to flavor their cooking as much as other cultures use salt and water, with the outcome as aromatic and enticing taste delights.
Carol, a Portuguese American friend and cook extraordinary recommended most of the following menu.  Tied for first place were the Portuguese Clams Stew and the Chorizo Stuffing in the chicken. (Yes, ‘clams’ is plural on purpose and there is Chorizo in it.) Second place tie was the St. John’s Club Kale Soup (more Chorizo) and the Salad (No Chorizo!).  St. John’s Club is located in River Falls, Massachusetts where 47% of its current citizens claim Portuguese heritage and is the hometown of Carol and Emeril Lagasse.  The soup recipe may come from Massachusetts but YELLS Portuguese authenticity.
The Salt Cod Count of Guarda link below is not the exact recipe we used; it is very close.
Celebrating Portugal Main Course Menu included:

^St. a Sopa de Couve de Clube de John
(St. John’s Club Kale Soup)

*Salada de Arroz, Atum e Tomate
(Rice, Tuna and Tomato Salad)

Carne Cozida de Amêijoas de Portugeese (Portuguese Clams Stew)

*Bacalahu a Conde da Guarda
Salt Cod Count of Guarda

^Chorizo Encheu Galinha Assada
(Chorizo Stuffed Roasted Chicken)

*Costeletetas de Porco a Alentejana
(Pork Chops Alentejo-Style)

Recipes from:
*The Food of Portugal by Jean Anderson
 1986, updated 1994 HarpersCollins Publishers
^Emeril’s TV Dinners by Emeril Lagasse
 1986 William Morrow and Company, Inc.
+ Food Network contributed by Emeril Lagasse
 2010 Scripps Networks, LLC

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Heart and Soul of a Dining Cooking Club: What makes it work?

Quote of the Concept
What we know about individuals, no matter how rich the details, will never give us the ability to predict how they will behave as a system. Once individuals link together they become something different ... Relationships change us, reveal us, evoke more from us. Only when we join with others do our gifts become visible, even to ourselves. Source: Off the net... Contributed by: Jeff Hutner

This dinner club is noted for it’s outstanding food, cultural research, and playful experimentation. Those aspects alone would make it a group worthy of membership. Deeper reflection uncovers what makes it a deeply soul satisfying experience and changes us each time we meet.

Our Dining Club 
What makes it work?

    Delightful Flair
     Inquisitive Listening
      Artistry - Creativity

       Generosity of spirit
        Sharing of

and stories - ours and the people we meet 
Generous Curious Hearts
 without pretension or competition

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Four Legged Foodie Critic

If your dog is fat, you aren't getting enough exercise. 

Cook into Culture Dining Club had been keeping a memory record of our menus in a three ring binder. Not very high tech but it worked until a new member joined our group.  Both he and Sofia relish the wonderful smells of our creations. 

We think the food smells permeated our binder as Riley the ENERGETIC decided to chew it. 
We're taking it as a positive review of our culinary skills. Next time we have a dinner club we'll have to make Riley his own cuisine.  Dr. Fox a veterinarian who has a column promoting healthy care for pets offers these  homemade dog food recipe and DR. FOX''S BEST DOG-COOKIE RECIPE  as healthy food for our dog pets.  Bon appetit Riley.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Hoban Korean Restaurant in Eagan, Minnesota

Quote of the Concept
The best way to experience Korean food is to come in and try for yourself! Hoban web pages
Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook:
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox scrapbook

The scrap book tells the success story of the wonderful visit we had to Hoban Korean Restaurant. We all will return many times in the future. Besides delightful food, the service was attentive and the ambiance engaging. Our table was ready for us when we arrived and set with beautiful metal chop sticks.  Over our three hour stay the restaurant was busy, but not overly crowded, with all generations of guests.  Eight young adult Korean American girlfriends celebrating a birthday at the table next to us added to our enjoyment.  At all times we could converse and hear each other.

Before you go be sure to visit their web pages and peruse the menu which has tempting photographs of each choice if you mouse over the text.   That overview helps to clarify questions to ask when ordering.  Our servers were instructive and guided us well between choices on the menu and shared information about the food when serving it.  When we asked advice of one young man, he would explain, "In my country..."  Because we are as interested in learning about the food culture of Korea, as dining well, his candor and coaching increased an already positive evening.  The freshness of the food, the wonderful favors, generous portions, and reasonable prices all added to our positive dining experience.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Subo (Pan- Asian mostly Filipino cusine)

Quote of the Concept
Sabotage’, from the French language, meaning to deliberately destroy. ‘Subo’, from the Tagalog language of the Philippenes, meaning to feed. By combining these two words I like to call your dining with us a deliberate feeding. With my background growing up in my filipino home under the comfort of my mother’s cooking, and my formal french training under great chefs from the west coast to the east coast, I blend the two experiences to create a uniquely energetic dining experience. Neil Guillen, Chef

Earlier I wrote about finding great restaurants on references from friends; what follows is good example of how folks who love to eat and to celebrate cultures network.  Gary King, a friend from the Philippine Scholars program wrote the following unsolicited message; it is shared with his permission. 

Subo at 89 South 10th Street, between Nicollet and Marquette.  
Glen and I and Joe and Rose ate dinner last night at a “soft” opening of the newest Minnapolis restaurant, SUBO = “to feed”, and it was super.  Not only because our son Geoff is the sous chef, and because the top chef Neil is Filipino, but also because it was a happy, friendly, charming place, with amazing food.

They offer Pan-Asian food, mostly Filipino.  We had Sinigang soup with shrimp and mussels, chicken adobo, lumpia Shanghai, green papaya salad, garlic fried rice, sweet pork sausage (candy pork), breaded tilapia (nearly like coconut shrimp), lechon Kawali, and then three desert sampler with turon wrapped in banana leaves, with a mango sauce, a chocolate mousse, and coconut crème broulee with lemon grass.  (Six people, $80)

Fantastic food.

Some of their description:  Subo is a dynamic new restaurant with fresh and friendly service that welcomes adventure, culture and a sense of style.  Our chef, Neil Guillen, brings his Filipino background along with his classical French technique to deliver a unique food experience.  Located in downtown Minneapolis, Subo offers great ingredients prepared on small plates meant to be shared.

They have about 25 dishes.  Each plate costs $5 to $7.  If each person in your party orders two plates, you have a great meal, and not too expensive.  They can compete with fast food downtown, since their plates are quick to be served.  ALL THINGS ARE COOKED FRESH, ON SITE!

Today, it is now open for lunch and dinner, all days but Sunday and major holidays.  Lots of meters on the streets, free after 6 PM.  You might arrange for a private party, especially brunch, in the future.

Call  612-886-2377 for reservations.  Host Ian and manager Johann will treat you well, especially if you say the Kings sent you!   Ask if Geoff is on duty.   They have many details about the concept of the restaurant, the foods, the cultures.  They love to talk about it:  and show it!!!!

The cuisine is amazing!!!
Happy dining!


Geoff King is sous chef, and he studied at NECI, the New England Culinary Arts Institute 
Neil Guillen is the head chef.  He studied at the CIA  Culinary Arts Institute in New York City.
The manager, who is from France and very suave is Johann:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dining Cooking Club- Where do we shop? A prolifera of places!

Quote of the Concept
You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.  Julia Child (1912 - 2004)

If a person were to predict just looking at map they most likely wouldn't think of Minneapolis and St. Paul as foodie havens. Luckily for us it is!  The area is blessed with:
We have a prolifera of places to obtain fresh and reasonably priced food.   Shopping for our meals paired with the help and advice we receive from vendors, growers and grocers is a cultural experience itself.  

Fun Fact: Minnesota has more Local Co-op groceries listed on co-op web sites than any other state including California!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Dining Clubs and Chosing Ethnic Restaurants

Quote of the Concept
Well, I look at it like this: When you go to a restaurant, the less you know about what happens in the kitchen, the more you enjoy your meal. Jeffrey Wright

Eating Out as a Dinner Club We take turns finding an entrepreneurial restaurant that offers both a new cuisine and location experience.  We look for ethnic, locally owned restaurants in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area. Surprisingly  internet searches haven't been helpful in locating restaurants. The most effective hunt and peek strategies have been the oldest.  What we see is what we get and word of mouth.  Our recommendations are:
  1. look in small out of the way suburban strip malls
  2. look in out of the way city streets
  3. look on 'eat streets' in changing neighborhoods
  4. get recommendations from friends and coworkers
  5. read your local neighborhood papers ( Sun Sailor and Minneapolis Star Tribune Taste  reviews work for us)
  6. take advantage of food market news such as Lakewinds Natural Foods newsletter.
One couple takes the responsibility for choosing the restaurant and makes reservations. It's evolved  that someone volunteers after we talk over potential choices at the end of a dinner.  We leave trusting that where ever we go will be a "mini vacation" and an adventure.  Once a potential restaurant is found, the Internet has been great to take a virtual tour at the restaurant's web site and peruse reviews, menu, and price; we stick to moderate price range restaurants.   When reservations are finalized, links are emailed so we can preview the evening and if we are in the mood read about the country and cuisine.