Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Finished Pizza

The crust was light and crisp. I like to bake my pizzas in a 385 degree oven, I find that it keeps the crust from becoming too hard. The combination of the mascarpone, duck, chutney and onions was a delight. A very full mouth mellow flavor with a tart finish. Amy and the rest of us loved it! I used some of the left over dough to make fresh buns and made duck confit cranberry chutney sandwiches for lunch. A very tasty experiment! We won't be at the Winter Market at Local D'Lish this Saturday, but Ann carries our products in her store so I highly recommend trying this one out!

The Pizza Part

I started with a thin crust of dough and let it rise for about an hour. This adds a lot of air to the dough and makes for a very light, crunchy crust. I topped with Red onion, Duck Confit, Lucille's Kitchen Garden Cranberry White Balsamic Chutney, and Mascarpone. I also sprinkled with olive oil and just a little White Balsamic Vinegar.

Duck Confit Update # 3

Place duck meat into sterilized jars and cover with duck fat. Place lid on and refrigerate. The fat becomes solid so you can pull the pieces of duck out without getting chunks of the fat. However the fat gel is very rich and flavorful, so a little sticking to the meat enhances the flavor. I have read that the duck confit is good in the refrigerator for a month to 6 months, but as this is my first time making it, and because I am using cooked duck from the start I am not sure how this will affect the shelf life. For now I am concerned with the long anticipated pizza.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Quick Garlic Tip

I process A LOT of fresh Garlic for our Garlic Pepper Jam. We use this wonderful garlic that we get from Swede Lake Farms. The quickest way to undress fresh garlic is a gentle blow from a meet mallet. You don't want to crush it, just crack the skin off a bit. If you break the top off the bulb and use the corner of your mallet to hit the base, most of the cloves break away and lose, at least, some of their skin.

The Duck Confit Adventure Part One

We love duck confit. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. In fact, Amy's favorite thing to order in the whole world is the duck confit pizza at Pairings Food and Wine Market in Minnetonka I have looked into making my own duck confit, as buying it is out of the question, and have found several snags. First of all most recipes call for dedicating a whole duck purchase to the venture, which makes it as costly as just buying the confit. Secondly, most recipes only recommend using farm raised duck. Now, while I do purchase and enjoy farm raised duck, we eat a lot of game, which means wild duck. Wild duck tends to be much lower in fat then farm raised duck and rendered fat is an essential element of duck confit. Some recipes say to add pork fat, but I didn't want to dilute the flavor. So. . .I decided to save and freeze all the leftover duck and duck fat from the past three times that we have had it. We have it about once a month. The last time it was partially smoked, since once I fire up the smoker I tend to grab anything in the house and smoke it. (See my smoked garlic blog). So I assume that my confit with have a mildly smoky flavor to it. I have just completed phase one. Since the thawed duck had much of the fat stuck to it I decided to start the rendering process by putting the whole bits of leftover duck into a pot and melting it off. I wish that I could say that the duck confit is a fabulous success. . .but I don't know yet. I just finished part one and am now sharing it with you.

Also, since my goal is to make Amy her favorite pizza (with my own twist) I have also begun the dough from Zoe Bakes recipe book "Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day" , I have started a fresh batch of that as well. It is the most practical bread recipe that I have come across and you can add whatever grains etc. that strike your fancy. We always have a batch in the fridge and use it every Friday on our family Pizza and a Movie night. I will let you know what happens next. . .

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Last Week of the Season at Mill City Farmers Market

Where did the summer go? We have been busy writing for the downtown journal this summer and I am afraid that we got a bit behind on our blogging. We will be ending the market season this Saturday and I really hope to see you all there. If it is anything like last year we will need a ton of Jam for all you folks that like to stock up. Our Ginger Pear has been the big fall surprise. We have been thrilled with the response. With this in mind, I highly recommend that you pop us an email and let us know what you will need on Saturday. While it is always good news to sell out, we won't be able to say, "We'll have more next week." Thanks for the great market season!

See you at the last Market.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Vote for Mill City Farmers Market

I just cast my vote in the nation wide "Love your farmers market contest" It is no surprise that I voted for our favorite place the Mill City Farmers Market. Here is the link if you would like to vote as well

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Bread and Butter. Cheese and Crackers

This past Wednesday evening we were invited to be a part of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretums annual fundraiser, Toast and Taste Event. The event featured over 20 of the best restaurants and local breweries and wineries. We shared a space with Steve Young-Burns of Pastureland, which is a cooperative of farmers from the southeastern portion of MN. They raise 100% grass fed cows, which result in their amazing Summer Gold cultured butter and artisan cheeses. Wednesday evening they were serving the first of this years butter. It was a beautiful yellow gold in color from all of the nutrients in the spring grass that the lucky cows of pastureland have been feeding on. The butter immediately melted in our mouths , flooding our taste buds with a sweet, creamy flavor. I can honestly say that I have never tasted butter like this before. They also sampled their aged cheddar that had all the flavors of a great ageing process, but stayed surprisingly soft and rich.
It did not take long for Steve and ourselves to figure out that our products worked well together and we quickly traded in the cream cheese we had brought along for pairing with our Raspberry Garlic Jam and our Blueberry Pepper Jam, for Pastureland's lovely Aged Cheddar and Summer Gold butter.
And so in the gorgeous evening among the height of the early summer blooms of the MN Landscape Arboretum two new and wonderful ideas for your next brunch or evening appetizer were born:

1 crusty fresh Baguette
1 Jar Lucille's Kitchen Garden Blueberry Pepper Jam (or your favorite other flavor)
1 Pound Pastureland Summer Gold butter
Simply slice baguette and spread with Summer Gold and top with Blueberry Pepper Jam for a savory twist on bread, butter and jam.

1 Package of your favorite Herb Cracker
Pastureland Aged Cheddar Cheese
1 Jar Lucille's Kitchen Garden Garlic Pepper Jam or Raspberry Garlic Jam
Serve up the classic cheese and cracker platter with some of the finest Minnesota flavors from Pastureland and Lucille's Kitchen Garden to your guests or just make a plate for yourself on days when it is too hot to cook. We like to have it with one of the many great MN wines, such as the Chardonnay from Saint Croix Vineyards.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Rhubarb Strawberry Basil Fool

Rhubarb season is in full swing at the Mill City Farmer's Market and to celebrate we have dusted off our favorite Rhubarb Strawberry Basil Jam recipe and sent Amy's mom, Jackie, to round up any of the neighbors extra rhubarb. If you have grown rhubarb before, you know that there is always extra; the rhubarb have and have nots if you will.

If you are one of the rhubarb haves, then you probably will understand the search for recipes that answer the question, "What am I going to do with all of this rhubarb?" That is exactly the question that led us to find one of our favorite non-low fat, non-lactose free desserts. The rhubarb fool.

I have tried to find the origins of this tasty goodness and am afraid that I have come up short, other then that it is a delightful treat which seems to originate in Europe, though the exact country of origin is a bit of a debate. The Swedes have a version that is primarily served with milk, while the Scottish and English go all in for the whipped cream. In our house, the whipped cream one wins. The process, however can take a bit of planning, and I am staunchly opposed to too much planning during our short season of beautiful weather, and an embarrassment of riches of fresh foods, so I tweaked the recipe to make it quick, easy, and delightful. The best part is that you don't need to be one of the rhubarb haves to enjoy it!

I recommend that you serve it with Bramblewood Traditional Shortbread. Amy, the founder of Bramblewood, uses her great grandmother's recipe to create this delicious Scottish treat. It is available at the Mill City Farmer's Market in a variety of flavors, however my favorite is the simple, classic butter flavor the really pulls out the flavors in the Fool. We hope that you enjoy this rhubarb season, and this new twist on an old classic. We will see you at the market.

Rhubarb Strawberry Basil Fool
Ø 1 Jar Lucille’s Kitchen Garden Rhubarb Strawberry Basil Jam
Ø One cup heavy cream
Ø 2 tbs Sugar
Ø Whip heavy cream and sugar to stiff peeks with mixer on high
Ø Gently fold in ¾ to 1 jar Lucille’s Kitchen Garden Rhubarb Strawberry Basil Jam into the whipped cream. You don’t want it completely mixed; just make sure that the jam is spread throughout the cream. A butter knife works best for this.
Ø Serves nicely in chilled Martini glasses and can be made several hours ahead and kept in the refrigerator.

Monday, June 1, 2009

For One Week and For Our Blog Readers Only

The Mill City Farmers Market has been in full swing for about a month now and we have been delighted to find that many of our blog readers are regular Mill City Farmers Market shoppers. In light of this information we have decided to offer a discount to our most loyal customers.

We are offering a pre-order special price of $4.50 per jar of your favorite Lucille's Kitchen Garden products on all orders of 4 jars or more received by June 5th, 2009.

You simply mention this offer when you pop us an email at lucilleskitchen@gmail.com , we will send you a pay pal invoice that you pay with your credit card or checking account, and we will have your jars of jam waiting for you to pick up at the Mill City Farmers Market on Saturday, June 6th between 8AM and 1PM.

You can order our regular online selection of Lucille's Kitchen Garden Products including:

Raspberry Pepper Jam

Garlic Pepper Jam

Green Pepper Jam

Blueberry Pepper Jam

As well as our farmers' market only flavors:

Raspberry Garlic Jam

Rhubarb Strawberry Basil

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Trout Fest 2009

We had another wonderful Memorial Day at Star Prairie Trout Farm for their 2009 Trout Fest. This is the second year that we have attended with our Lucille's Kitchen Garden Savory Jams, but the first where I was asked to cook. With all that wonderful fresh trout, surrounded by 150 year old natural trout ponds, how could I resist. First a bit about the farm, then the recipe that I used.

Star Prairie Trout Farm is located about an hour out of the metro just across the boarder in Star Prairie Wisconsin. As I said before, the trout ponds have been around for about 150 years and due to their location next to the Apple River, a natural spring of water keeps the pond temperatures at 45 degrees year round. They offer tours, fee fishing on sight, as well as fresh and smoked trout products at the Mill City Farmers' Market. It is a wonderful family day trip with the bonus of driving through Still water, MN where you can stop in at the River Market Co-op and pick up the Lucille's Kitchen Garden Jam that you use for the this recipe.

With the exception of a few family reunions, this is the largest group of folks that I have ever cooked for, so I kept the recipe really simple. I was very grateful to have had two wonderful students from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts to assist me in plating. FYI this recipe also works well with salmon.


  • 4 medium sized salmon fillets preferably skin on

  • 1/2 Jar Lucille's Kitchen Garden Garlic Pepper Jam

  • 1 shot good Irish Whiskey

  • 2 TBS Lucille's Kitchen Garden Raspberry Garlic Jam

  • Fresh Greens

  • 2 parts good extra virgin olive oil to 1 part apple cider vinegar (for every table spoon of vinegar use two tablespoons of olive oil)

Instructions: Whisk together Garlic Pepper Jam and Whiskey to make a glaze. Lightly salt and pepper fresh trout fillets and paint on a thin layer of glaze over the top. Place on a hot grill (indirect, high heat is the best, so if you are working with a gas grill consider lighting only one side at high and grilling on the unlit side) Place the trout, skin side down and close the grill. You are not going to flip the trout over, it will cook from the bottom up. The skin side should protect the actual meat of the fish from burning. I feel that with fish fillets, flipping causes all the juices that rise to the top to be tipped off leaving you with a dry, flavorless fish. Grill until you can see by gently prying apart at the thickest point, that the fish is completely cooked. Do not over cook or it will cause the fish to dry out.

The Raspberry Garlic Vinaigrette can be made in advance or while the fish is on the grill. Simply whisk together the vinegar and garlic pepper jam. Slowly add, in a thin stream, the olive oil and whisk thoroughly to emulsify.

Serve the trout fillets over a bed of mixed greens and dress with vinaigrette. Adjust your salt and pepper to taste. If you are using this as a starter or a salad you can serve a half fillet with the salad, which will serve eight.

I hope you get a chance to try this recipe, as I think that it is a great way to a quick, fresh, local meal. Have a great day and we will see you at the market!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Loser Pie dedicated to Sue Zelickson

I was recently at a Women Who Really Cook meeting, an organization dedicated to helping local women in the food business to network and share information. Local D'Lish, one of our favorite stores, was hosting the meeting. Ann asked us to serve some of our jam and we were given the an opportunity to say a bit about our company. Sue was the MC at my first pie contest in which I made my pie that has now been fondly renamed Loser Pie. You may have read about it under the blog RNC MEDIA PARTY AND THE PIE THAT LOST. Sue was nice enough to remember my Loser Pie and ask me share the recipe with the group, as it is a pretty great pie even if it did lose. I did my best from memory, but promised to re post it on my blog, so here it is. I recommend serving it in small slices, like you would cheese cake as it is very rich. It goes nicely with a crisp white wine and has a tendency to disappear quickly, so you might want to make two. Click on the recipe if you are having trouble reading it. Have a great day and we will see you at the market!

Lucille's Kitchen Garden Available at Whole Foods Market

We are very excited to announce that Lucille's Kitchen Garden is now available at Whole Foods Market in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, MN.

For a complete map of all of the retail locations that are currently carrying us visit our website at http://www.lucilleskitchengarden.com/

Mill City Farmers market starts Mothers' Day Weekend May 9th from 8AM to 1PM. Remember to preorder your favorites, pay with pay pal, and pick up at the market. Email us at lucilleskitchen@gmail.com for your preorder. We especially recommend it for the crowd favorite Raspberry Pepper Jam.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Celebrate Earth Day 2009 on April 18th

Due to some scheduling conflicts we have moved our Earth Day celebration to Saturday April 18th from 10AM to 2PM. It is also the last winter farmers market of the season. Come by and sample great locally produced foods at our vendor booths and the demo stage. There will be kids activities and an opportunity to meet and have Sue Zelickson sign her new cook book! Click on the flyer for more details and we will see you at the market!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Earth Day 2009

We are getting super excited about Earth Day 2009, which we will be celebrating with Local D'Lish on Sunday April, 19 from 10AM to 4PM. Bring your family and join us for some great cooking demo's, local food sampling, kids activities and much more. Eating locally produced foods is one of the easiest ways to lower your carbon foot print, and contribute to the economy in your area. Check back as we add more details. For now here are the basics:
Lucille's Kitchen Garden and Local D'Lish Celebrate Earth Day 2009 on April 19th
208 North 1st. Street
Minneapolis, MN 55401
phone: 612-886-3047

Monday, February 16, 2009

Minnesota Monthly Food and Wine Experience

Lucille's Kitchen Garden will be part of the Mill City Farmers' Market booth at the Minnesota Monthly Food and Wine Experience: Thursday, February 26, 2009 | Macy’s Gourmet Gathering, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. Tickets still available! and Saturday, February 28, 2009 | Show Hours, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. | Reserve Hours, 12 - 4 p.m.
Stop by and sample our products, pick up great recipe ideas, and talk to us about all the great products and plans that will be available this summer at the Mill City Farmers' Market.