Monthly Archives: July 2010

Friday’s Hot Dish

Welcome and Happy Friday!

Quick back story: A friend and fellow blogger and I were discussing the term “hot dish” as I mentioned in another post on this blog. We decided that “hot dish” should be incorporated more  into everyday vernacular as a term for something awesome.  It also works for something exciting and newsworthy.   Or as an exclamation.

See if you can use it in a sentence today.  For example:  “Hot dish!  Someone brought bagels for the office.”  or even, “The formulas on this excel spreadsheet are a hot dish.” (ok, that one might just be me)  See?  So easy.

So crack the champagne and break out the langostines: this is the inaugural edition of the Friday Hot Dish full of food news and fun from around flyover country!!!  A big filling mix of all the food groups.  Enjoy!

1. It’s sweet corn season! Everyone is busy boiling and grilling ears and basting with butter.  Mmmmm.  But what about after the meal?  Check out this article from The Tasting Table all about dessert recipes using our favorite ingredient from God’s Country: Sweet Corn Desserts

2. Only two weeks until I can eat the Octo-dog! Check out the 2010 New State Fair Food Then, a few weeks later, head north and devour a corned dog pizza: Minnesota State Fair.

True story: my little sister made Octo-dogs (unfried) once when we were home from college.  I don’t remember how she did it, but I’m pretty sure the octo had a smiley face.

3. If you’re local, spend a few minutes day dreaming before lunch today about your favorite yummy hot spots.  Then channel your inner Food Network host and share The Best Thing You Ever Ate, local style.  Enter the contest here.

4. The people in South Dakota know how to let loose!  Make a weekend trip to enjoy Clarke Potato Day in Clark, South Dakota.  In their own words, “the highlight of the celebration involves grown adults wrestling each other in mashed potatoes!”  Glorious.  I love living in a part of the county where carbs are still reason to celebrate.  Clark Potato Day

5. Did you watch the “Jersey Shore” premier last night?  For shame.  Atone by spending  a day immersed in Italian Heritage.  The Festival runs today through Sunday and has been completely revamped.  Italian American Heritage Festival

6. So this isn’t food news per se, but it’s hilarious and I laugh every time.  And, yes, you can bake me a gourmet cake in the kitchen you made for me with your own hands.  Hello, Ladies.

HOT DISH, its the weekend!

xoxo Flyover Foodie

Something new…tomorrow!

Tomorrow I have a new feature, inspired by casserole, to unveil!  It will be a fun hodge-podge of flyover items to keep you going through the weekend.  A proverbial smorgosboard of virtual delights.

A Verietable Smorgasbord of Foodie Delights

And yes, you read that right: inspired by casserole.

See you back here tomorrow!

xoxo Flyover Foodie

Morning, Sunshine!

“All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.” – John Gunther, American journalist and author

I love breakfast:  Sitting at the kitchen counter; big fancy brunches; en route to work; sitting at my desk.  There is something great about the first meal of the day, enjoyed while sipping hot, fresh coffee.  I especially love breakfast treats.  Like apple fritters, cake, tiramisu,  and Christmas cookies (I have a weakness).  And cinnamon rolls.  Homemade cinnamon rolls.

On occasion, I do to pop open a tube of the pre-made cinnamon rolls while bleary eyed on a Sunday morning.  Although, I have an irrational fear of losing an eye when the seam gives way and it actually “pops” open.  I flinch every time.  But I was excited to try something more authentic.

I found this recipe from Alton Brown and planned on getting up early to make the dough and then going back to bed for a couple more hours while the dough was rising.  Plus, the flyover pup does a daily 6am wake up call complete with pouncing, so getting up early would be easy.

Dough Hook

Whisk Attachment

So 6:15am, I’m in the kitchen, looking like Sebastian Bach circa 1988, starting to make the dough.

You start by whisking your eggs, buttermilk, sugar, and butter, then adding some of the flour and yeast in a mixer.  Now the fun part: switch out your whisk attachment for your dough hook.  Pop the champagne: this was the maiden voyage of my dough hook!  And its an awesome attachment.  It does all the work and you just slide the dough off the hook when its pulled away from the sides of the bowl.  Genius.

Now, put the dough into a bowl with a little non-stick spray, cover, and let it rise for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.  Feel free to go back to bed at this point.

Dough: Step 1

After rising, the dough will have doubled in size.  It’s soft and stretchy and full of air.  By now everyone at our house was awake.  One of our house guests wanted to touch the dough saying, “it just looks so soft”.  I love that…the appreciation of the process of real cooking.

Dough: Step 2, doubled in size and very "touchable"

Turn the dough out, knead out the air, and roll it into a big rectangle, with the long side nearest you.  “Long side” is the mathematical term.

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Madison Avenue to Main Street

“Look we’ve got oysters Rockefeller! Beef Wellington!  Napoleons! If we leave this lunch alone, it’ll take over Europe.” – Roger Sterling, “Mad Men” Season 1

Sunday night was a big night in the Flyover House:  We roasted a duck AND Season 4 of AMC’s Mad Men premiered.

In anticipation of our favorite show returning for another season, I planned a retro menu even Betty Draper could be proud of.  If Betty Draper cooked.  Or ate anything other than Melba toast and chardonnay.

We started the evening with an Old Fashioned and the classic appetizer, Devils on Horseback.  We used the classic recipe for Old Fashioned’s.  You can find one here: “Mad Men” Classic Cocktails.  I must say, I think that people drank differently in the 1960’s.  The drinks seem fuller, heavier, the flavors more complex, requiring you to slow down, sip, enjoy. I feel more relaxed just writing that.  As Roger Sterling would say, our generation drinks for the wrong reasons.

To go with our heady drinks, I made devils on horseback.  They’re simply dates wrapped in bacon cooked under the broiler for a couple minutes until  hot and crispy.  The salty bacon is great with the bourbon.

We're just getting warmed up

And for our main event: duck l’orange.  The recipe I found was featured in Gourmet magazine in 1948 and reprinted in 2006.  The good people at Gourmet even noted that this recipe is not the tired 1960’s cliche, but truly a lovely dish deserving of place on the modern table.  You can find the recipe here: duck l’orange.


I am thrilled to report that even my flyover small town grocery store carried frozen duck.  Much like turkeys, frozen can work almost as well as fresh thanks to modern processes of flash freezing.  This recipe calls for a Long Island or Peking duck.   My bird just said “DUCK”.

Close enough.

The bird gets seasoned inside and out with salt, pepper, a little cumin, and coriander.  Stuff the duck with onions, oranges, and fresh thyme, parsley, and marjoram.  Then into the roasting pan on a bed of onions, carrots, and celery.

It gets roasted for 30 minutes on high (475°) heat, then the temp is lowered and you add white wine, orange juice, and stock to the roasting pan and cook until a thermometer says  you’re not going to poison your guests (165° should do it).

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A Surprise over Breakfast

As I was eating breakfast at my desk this morning, I got a text from a friend saying “Love the article in the ‘Iowalife’ section today!”.  I grabbed the copy of the paper I had just picked up from the doorway of our office and pulled out Section E.

And there I was!  My column from DM Juice and Metromix was above the fold in this morning’s Des Moines Register Iowalife section.  An exciting day to say the least!!

Oysters on the half shell at Waterfront.

Thanks to the good folks at the Des Moines Register for supporting one local hungry blogger! Check out the article here:

Flyover Foodie’s Favs

What a great way to start the week!  xoxo Flyover Foodie

p.s. Watch for a post later tonight about the return of “Mad Men” and the drinks that fuel Madison Avenue!