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Category : Eats

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chicken vegetable chowder

Cheesy Chicken Vegetable Chowder Recipe

cheesy chicken vegetable chowder

Cheesy Chicken Vegetable Chowder Recipe: Soup season is here and there is nothing better than throwing together whatever you have on hand into a kettle and making homemade soup. In my family our creations are generally named while we are eating.

Now, depending on your time frame, you can use store bought chicken broth. Also, if you don’t have enough time to roast your chicken you can pick up a rotisserie chicken at your local deli. Using a whole chicken will result in much more tender meat.

Ingredients:

3 cups chopped carrots (1 16oz bag of baby carrots chopped)

2 cups chopped celery (6 stalks)

1 cup chopped onions (medium white onion)

5 large baker potatoes chopped

48oz chicken broth

2.5 lb oven roasted whole chicken

1 cup cubed Velveeta Cheese (optional)

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup flour

1 cup heavy whipping cream

Salt and pepper to taste

2 pinches of thyme

roasted chicken

Directions:

If you are roasting a chicken be sure to get that going right away. Prep your vegetables. I go for a large chop because it makes the soup so much more hearty.

In large soup kettle melt 1 tablespoon of butter and add in all of your chopped vegetables, sweat for around 5 minutes on medium heat, add salt, pepper and thyme.

chopped Veggies

chopped vegetables

Now you add the chicken broth to just above the vegetable mixture, boil until all vegetables are tender. It’s time to thicken the soup. In a small fry pan melt 1/4 cup of butter and whisk in 1/4 cup of flour. Once it starts to bubble you can add your heavy whipping cream. Whisk thoroughly and then pour into your soup kettle slowly stirring until desired thickness.

flour and butter

heavy whipping cream

Now would be a good time to add the Velveeta Cheese, as a result it gives the soup a rich flavor. You can add the chicken now. We wait until the end since the chicken is already cooked. There is nothing worse than overcooked chicken.

velveeta cheese

chopped chicken

If you decided to try out this recipe please leave us a comment below and let us know what you thought.

Follow We’ve Tried It on Facebook.

Hudson Burger Battle

2016 Hudson WI Burger Battle Review

2016 Hudson Burger Battle

2016 Hudson WI Burger Battle Review – Back again for the second year in a row to give my vote for the #HudsonBurgerBattle2016.  Now you have from the 1st of November until the end of December to try five selected burgers at five local restaurants in Hudson, WI with the purchase of  a punch card for $25.00. One hundred percent of the proceeds go to BRIDGE, supporting programs that allow youth and adults with disabilities in the St. Croix River Valley to attend year-round day service programs, attain meaningful employment, participate in ongoing recreational activities, and socialize with friends.

It just wouldn’t be in We’ve Tried It fashion if I didn’t go and eat all five burgers in one evening.  So, let the meat sweats begin.

Right now I’m here at Dicks Bar & Grill for the first of five burgers in this burger battle.  Ricky Style – Topped with their special homemade sauce, lettuce, tomato, raw onion, American cheese and pickles. Kinda like a junior Mac, if you will.   Prepared nice and served open-faced.  Tasty and very fresh bun, lovely burger here with an excellent homemade sauce I might add!

Dick's Bar and Grill Burger

Moving down the street to Stone Tap for the second burger in this battle of meat.  What we have here is the C3BO – C3 is for the 3 cheeses involved; Queso, American and Wisconsin cheese curds. BO is for the bacon and onions mashed into the patty.  Stone Tap was my 1st place last year as well as the overall winner from all participants.  Does this one do justice this year with a new chef involved? Hell yes! Try this burger! It’s petite, but packs a delicious punch.

Stone Tap Burger

On to the third burger at Postmark Grille, which happens to be very unique.  The Peanut Butter Cup Juicy Lucy – a peanut butter cup (from local candy shop Knokes just across the street) stuffed burger, with crisp bacon and fried jalapeños. This actually works, there is no cheese to take away from the peanut butter cup, it oozes like a true juicy Lucy, it was just missing one major ingredient; seasoning.  However, I’m a fan.

Postmark Grille Burger

Unbuttoning the pants for this short drive to the outskirts of town to Seasons Tavern where I am chowing down on my fourth burger in this challenge which happens to be the return of a monthly special they had this summer know as their Empire Burger – 7oz burger patty, thin sliced apple, caramelized onions and bacon cream cheese on a pretzel bun.  I was a bit concerned about apples on my burger, but they really are thinly sliced and they mainly are added texture with a faint taste of apple that gets lost in the caramelized onions. Cream cheese was a nice touch with the pretzel bun.  Their caramelized onions are definitely the star in this burger.

Seasons Tavern Burger

The fifth and final burger tonight is served up at Big Guys BBQ Roadhouse, and is ironically named The Winner (aka The Trump) – 8oz blended patty of sirloin, chuck and short rib with pork Belly, Vermont cheddar, smoked chanterelle mushroom, chive horseradish sauce and arugula on a brioche bun.   Another petite burger served with all the right toppings, without the mess.  We have a serious battle going on here.

Big Guy BBQ Burger

In short, not one of the restaurants asked how I would like my burger prepared, but all served up some wonderful creations.  Who is on top of this burger battle?  I think they are all winners this year, they really stepped it up a notch with their creativity and execution.  Unfortunately, you will have to wait until the end of the year to see who brings home the title of this annual fun and delicious burger battle.

We regret to announce that the tickets have been sold out for the 2016 battle. The winners will be announced in January 2017. If you purchased your tickets already be sure to comment and let us know your favorite.

Be sure to follow @Phatphood on Instagram .

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Phatphood 2016 Minnesota State Fair Food Review

Phatphood MN State Fair 2016

Phatphood 2016 Minnesota State Fair Food Review: Well, it’s Summer ’16 and I’m back at the great Minnesota foodie get together to bring you a review of the new edible items they have to offer this year.  I took a different strategy this year by not reading any descriptions or list of the new foods before going on the first day of the State Fair.  Yea, I heard people mention items and I had seen a few pictures here and there on social media, but I stayed clear of the hype and went in blind to give an unbiased review.  With that typed; I’m giving you the description that was available on the Minnesota State Fair website first, followed by my review with a 1/5 scale, so I may have some similar descriptions as I was posting live via my Instagram account while I was eating each item in my 12-hours at the fair.  Here they are in the order that I ate them: 

Rustic Beef Pastry: Moroccan-spiced, grass-fed beef and baby spinach topped with creamy goat cheese and nestled in a flakey butter crust.

MN State Fair Rustic Beef Pastry

Located at: French Meadow Bakery & Café on the north side of Carnes Avenue between Nelson and Underwood streets.

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Dry, dry, dry. Pre-cooked and under heat lamps waiting for what I guess was an eternity.  The dry crumbles of beef reminded me of Tontio’s party pizzas when I was a kid.  This would probably work at a gas station next to the Taquitos.  1/5

Spicy Pork Bowl: A mix of adobo pulled pork, rice, black beans, spinach, charred salsa and fried onion strings.

MN State Fair Spicy Pork Bowl

Located at: The Blue Barn at West End Market, south of the History & Heritage Center.

It’s a lovely portion, and basically a burrito bowl. I’m a fan.  The pork could be much spicier for me, it was missing that heat I expected.  3/5

Candied Bacon BLT: Crispy, thick candied bacon, rancher’s slaw and green tomato spread on a sweet egg bun.

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Located at: The Blue Barn at West End Market, south of the History & Heritage Center.

My favorite new item thus far! Perfection. I want this BLT daily.  Blue Barn nailed the candied bacon and it has just the right amount of sweetness.  Sooooo good!  Bun and quality of every ingredient is top notch. 5/5

Candied Bacon Donut Sliders: Sliced glazed donut holes with thick candied bacon and a chocolate red wine ganache.

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Located at: Minnesota Wine Country on the west side of Underwood Street between Carnes and Judson avenues.

Cold. Not as fresh as I’d imagine. Bacon had a mild spice to it, yet cold as well.  This is the one that was brought up the most in the last few weeks leading up to opening day here at the fair so I was actually excited about trying it, not anymore.   It just could have been executed better, bummer.  1/5

Minnesota Corn Dog: Custom ground sausage on-a-stick made with blueberries, apples, wild rice, maple syrup and cayenne dipped in a homemade corn dog batter and deep-fried.

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Located at: Gass Station Grill on the west side of Cooper Street between Dan Patch and Judson avenues, outside the southeast corner of the Food Building.

Mn State Fair Minnesota Corn Dog

Actually, a pretty good tasting breakfast corn dog with a decent hint of spice.  Small, but covered an excellent tasting batter. Biggest complaint is that the sausage will come right out of the casing when biting, so you pretty much have to bite hard down onto the stick or eat it from the side and hope for the best.  For taste and the reasonable fair price of $5 it gets a 3/5.

Saucy Shrimp & Slaw: Breaded shrimp tossed in your choice of parmesan garlic, sweet chili or buffalo sauce on a bed of fresh coleslaw.

Mn State Fair Saucy Shrimp & Slaw

Located at: Fish & Chips Seafood Shoppe at two locations: In the Food Building, northwest section, and on the west side of Liggett Street just south of Mighty Midway.

Good ol typical battered shrimp tossed in buffalo sauce. Another item that has a decent amount of heat to it, duh, buffalo sauce, and the slaw is better than at most restaurants. Basic, but good. Was never given the option for the Parmesan Garlic, ugh I hate that here and it happens every year at most vendors. 3/5

Beer Brat Buddies: Oktoberfest beer brat in a German pretzel bun with sauerkraut, chopped onions and a choice of mustards — a serving for two!

Mn State Fair Beer Brat Buddies

Located at: Sausage Sister & Me in the Food Building, east wall.

Good little buddies here, sister!  Fresh, and made to order, unlike a few other items here at the fair just sitting around waiting to be bought. I put the special sister Sriracha sauce on one and their spicy brown mustard along with raspberry jam on the other.  The pretzel buns were very fresh. No complaints here.  3.5/5

Macaroni & Cheese Curds: Rich macaroni & cheese blended with fresh cheese curds.

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Located at: Oodles of Noodles in the Food Building, east wall.

Mn State Fair Macaroni & Cheese Curds

This a hefty dish! Excellent curds (not breaded), tons of thick melted cheese, and mixed with the macaroni noodles. Carbs on carbs!  The breadstick is blah, but who in the hell cares?  Comes in a to go box, kudos on that!  4.5/5

Sheep Dog: Lamb dog served hot in a bun with garlic sautéed kale, raw fermented sauerkraut, quinoa and honey mustard drizzle. (Gluten-free option without the bun.)

MN State Fair Sheep Dog

Located at: Lamb Shoppe in the Food Building, east wall.

This is a good solid dog. The honey mustard goes great with the fermented kraut. Messy, so make sure to lick your entire hand when finished. All the ingredients worked in harmony.  4/5

Carpe Diem: A Taiyaki (fish-shaped) buttermilk miso waffle cone filled with balsamic-roasted strawberry compote and topped with vanilla ice cream, graham cracker crumble and a fresh strawberry.

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Located at: The Rabbit Hole at the Midtown Global Market booth at the International Bazaar, east wall. Available Aug. 25-30 only!

MN State Fair Carpe Diem

Oh my damn this is gooooood.  The waffle cone is crisp and amazing, especially when the balsamic compote bleeds into the cone it tastes like PB&J.  Great dessert here; Don’t take a long photo session with it, this here melts FAST! Don’t just go biting into it either, scoop it out and enjoy it or the cone will explode at the seams…I know this!  Grab the wet wipes they offer. Thomas is a stand-up dude, so make sure you say hi to him. 5/5

Cheesy French Onion Monkey Bread: Savory, pull-apart artisan bread loaf filled with caramelized onions, cheese and beef broth, then baked in a wood-fired oven.

MN State Fair Cheesy French Onion Monkey Bread

Located at: Blue Moon Dine-In Theater on the northeast corner of Carnes Avenue and Chambers Street.

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French Onion Soup pored over some dinner rolls, literally. Simple, savory, deliciousness.  3/5

Bang Bang Fresh Chicken Tenders: Lightly breaded, fresh, never-frozen fried chicken tenderloins served with Bang Bang sweet and tangy chili sauce.

MN State Fair Bang Bang Fresh Chicken Tenders

Located at: LuLu’s Public House at West End Market, south of Schilling Amphitheater.

Definitely crisp and fresh.  Great with or without the sauce since the breading is seasoned well, a little on the salty side.  The sauce is a wonderful addition, so dip away. Pair it with a beer.  4/5

Minnesnowii Shave Ice: Maple flavor with bacon crumbles. A new flavor this year at the fair. These guys are at every carnival, fair and event here in Minnesota. Definitely at the top in their category.   The maple works of the shave ice, the bacon gets a bit soggy and chewy, but it all works together.

MN State Fair Minnesnowii Shave Ice

Located at entrance of the West End Market. 4/5

Burnt Butt Ends: Premium cuts of pork, seasoned with a BBQ rub, then smoked over oak and served with onions and jalapeños.

MN State Fair Burnt Butt Ends

Located at: RC’s BBQ on the north side of West Dan Patch Avenue between Liggett and Chambers streets (former site of Famous Dave’s).

Dry, burnt ends is right.  I’ve had much better.  Bring Famous Dave’s back!  Mmmm jalapeños. Good flavor in the sauce, on the salty side, but pretty basic.  1/5

SPAM® Curds: Cheese-flavored SPAM® that has been cubed, battered and deep-fried, served with a side of ranch dressing.

MN State Fair SPAM® Curds

Located at: SPAM® east of Chambers Street, just south of the Grandstand.

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Now you already know these are salty, but it’s a Minnesota food staple, and some us of grew up eating SPAM® and still love it.  Better with the ranch!  Not a single hint of cheese at all and not worth the $7 price tag.  Decent bar snack with a beer.  2/5

Gumbo Frites: A bed of crispy french fries topped with Ragin’s traditional New Orleans gumbo made with andouille sausage, chicken, bell peppers, onions, celery and a rich roux-based sauce, then finished off with cheese and green onions.

MN State Fair Gumbo Frites

Located at: Ragin Cajun in The Garden, west wall.

I’m turned-off when it comes to pale looking fries, but they are going to be soggy regardless and the gumbo is a wonderful reminiscence of Popeye’s gravy with nice chunks of sausage and chicken, hell yeah!  Good job on this!  3.5/5

Barbecued Shrimp Taco: Sweet, smoky, slightly spicy barbecued shrimp and cool, fresh jicama slaw in a warm flour tortilla.

MN State Fair Barbecued Shrimp Taco

Located at: Tejas Express in The Garden, north wall.

Not impressed, at all.  You would expect this at Taco Bell for $2.50, but $10 for two here with the most basic ingredients, or lack thereof.  Maybe try the macho taco if you come here.  0/5

Italian Taco: A flour tortilla baked with butter and shredded parmesan, filled with Italian sausage and mozzarella, topped with roasted bruschetta, romaine lettuce, Caesar dressing, pesto, pizza sauce and parmesan cheese, and then drizzled with a balsamic glaze.

MN State Fair Italian Taco

Located at: Green Mill on the east side of Cooper Street, between Randall and Wright avenues, at Family Fair at Baldwin Park.

I didn’t expect much when I read about this one prior to locating it, but after two bites I was amazed on how good it is.  For $5 this a decent sized meal, and a tasty one at that! 4/5

Reuben Pickle Dog: A dill pickle spear with sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing wrapped in a slice of pastrami.

MN State Fair Reuben Pickle Dog

Located at: Pickle Dog on the south side of Carnes Avenue between Liggett and Chambers streets.

Good little street food snack. Perfect amount of cream cheese to kraut ratio. Can’t go wrong with this one. 4/5

Deep Fried Nachos Supreme: Pepper jack cheese cubes coated with a mixture of crushed seasoned tortilla chips and nacho cheese, then deep-fried, covered with taco meat, guacamole, more nacho cheese and sour cream, and served with jalapeños on the side. Also available traditional-style without the supreme toppings.

MN State Fair Deep Fried Nachos Supreme 2

Located at: Texas Steak Out on the west side of Underwood Street between Lee and Randall avenues.

MN State Fair Deep Fried Nachos Supreme

Wow!! I am blown away by this one. I haven’t been very fond of the items sold in the last few years from Texas Steak Out, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Damn, I can’t get over how impressed I am, wonderful. Tastes like a mozzarella cheese stick wrapped in a ball of crushed Doritos deep-fried. Love. 5/5

MN State Fair Phatphood

Unfortunately I had a few bad items that I heard later in the day had improved, that is just the way it goes here at the fair.  They always have a new, young staff helping them each year and executing a new item at the same time.  So although these are my opinions of the items I had, they may be different for you when you try them.  It can be a hit or miss situation, and that is just how it is.  Had a great fulfilling time, thanks for following along and I hope you enjoyed!  Til next year.

truce MN s,

Phatphood Review: Truce Cleanse Part 2

Truce Cleanse

Phatphood Review: Truce Cleanse Part 2 – It’s a new season, and that means time for an all new seasonal 100% organic, raw, vegan and gluten free cleanse from Minnesota’s very own, TRUCE. As you may recall, during the Winter season I did their newly offered soup cleanse, you can find that review here.

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This time around I wanted to cleanse myself after a recent vacation and give their new Complete Cleanse a go. Now, I was told that I can consume my 5 daily products in any order, but I went by the order that they had basically laid out and typed-up for me and attached to each of my daily supplies.

truce MN

I started my mornings slamming a bottle of room temperature water as I always do, and continued drinking another 8 to10 bottles of water throughout the day.   I then enjoyed the remainder of my morning routines with my first juice, Morning Greens; Kale, cucumber, spinach, romaine, apple, lemon and ginger. This is your typical green drink that you may have read about (mean green), or may have had with most green juice cleanses that are out there. It’s good and refreshing and gave me a good amount of energy to start the day out.

Truce Morning Greens

I felt like it was a long stretch before I could enjoy lunch, so I had a small handful or two of raw nuts. Figured since this is an all raw cleanse that this wouldn’t do any harm at altering this three day diet I put myself on. Plus I was hungry!   Only on the first day though, the ingredients in each is designed to hinge your appetite as well as be a sufficient amount of daily requirements. So the next two days my appetite was balanced.

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Lunch time, woo-hoo! For the three-days, TRUCE gave me two different salads; The Isles Salad, which consisted of kale, carrot, beet, avocado, pistachio and hemp seed. Also included a Tahini-ginger dressing; extra-virgin olive oil, sesame seed, apple cider vinegar, ginger, salt and black pepper. Now normally I could consume a salad in 5-minutes-or-less. Not today, this mostly kale salad took me a good half hour. I’m pretty sure this was my first time eating raw kale. I’ve had it baked, sautéed and juiced before. This was a lot of work to chew. The beets, carrots and dressing added a good amount of moisture, but I didn’t give it much time to absorb. I plan on doing that when I eat the second one of this creation they gave me. It was still very good tasting, just time consuming and not all the fun. Also, I don’t recall having any avocado, especially like the picture shown on their website. So this was missing in two salads. The second salad that I had on the next day was the New Classic Caesar; Kale, cabbage, cucumber and capers with curried chickpeas. The dressing was made from cashews, grape seed oil, white wine vinegar, vegan Worcestershire, dulse flakes, garlic lemon, mustard seed, salt and pepper. This salad was much better and easier to eat since there wasn’t a large amount of kale.

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My midday snack was another juice called Glowing Greens; Grapefruit, pear, cucumber, dandelion greens, romaine, parsley and orange. Now this was a tasty refreshing concoction, a little more pleasing than the morning greens. I was told my skin had a nice glowing complexion throughout this cleanse, I give credit to this juice right here.

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My dinner every night was their Spicy Greens Soup; Avocado, kale, spinach, water, pepita, lemon, ginger, black pepper, salt and cayenne. Now even though this is a soup, it was recommended not to heat it. This is one of the same soups that I had with the previous cleanse I had from TRUCE and I treated it the same way, by letting it get to room temperature and then enjoying it while getting some work done. It is spicy like its name, mainly black pepper spicy, nothing that lingers, overall good tasting and obviously a bit thicker than the juices.

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This last one I considered a dessert that I looked forward to having every night. It was so smooth and delicious as well as a perfect way to end my evening, Cashew Milk; Cashews, dates, sea salt, maple syrup, water. I rarely drink milk these days, so I was a bit skeptical on this one, but it really won me over. It felt rewarding having this.

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Overall this is a great cleanse offered by TRUCE for approximately $50.00 a day. I had more energy than I did while eating my normal diet. Give it a go and try something new while shedding a few pounds while doing so, you will feel wonderful!

This Saturday, April 30th marks their 3rd year in business. So it would be a good day to go celebrate with them from 9am-5pm while enjoying some special giveaways and the chance to win a one day cleanse.

Truce is located at: 1428 W. 32nd Street, Minneapolis, MN

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Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: Danny’s Bar & Grill

PHATPHOOD EATING TWIN CITIES LOGO

Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: Danny’s Bar & Grill – Joining me on this adventure to find the perfect food pic is We’ve Tried It’s very own Missy G and we are dining at Danny’s Bar & Grill located at StoneRidge Golf Club in Stillwater, MN. Chef Ron is a multi-medal winner in American Culinary Federation Competitions dishing out some of his amazing creations using locally sourced and naturally raised foods.  Let me start by typing – I need to start dining at more golf clubs if they are all this amazing. Nothing but awesomeness coming up…

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First thing given to me upon my arrival is this foo-foo drink. Yup, one of those but this one does taste pretty damn good, actually.  It is called a Georgiapolitan ~ Ciroc peach vodka, Cointreau, limejuice and cranberry juice, served with a lime wedge. I wouldn’t be mad if another one was accidentally ordered for me.

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Macadamia Nut Encrusted Goat Cheese ~ warm Stickney Hills Farm creamy goat cheese, mango chutney and flatbread crackers. The goat cheese was indeed warm, and it spread like butter. I’ve always been a fan of goat cheese and I’m really enjoy what the chef has done with this. I could smell the mango chutney once it hit the table. This is a lovely medley here combining the three.

Danny's Bar & grill 4

A special that is currently being served as an appetizer, Salt and Pepper Seared Ahi Tuna ~ sauteed Asian slaw, wasabi aioli, with a soy ginger glaze. This is a very, very refreshing appetizer that won’t overfill you. That aioli was on point. Hurry up and get here to try this before the next special takes over.

Danny's Bar & grill 5

You know, I’m not super big into salads, but if it is unique or has this much bacon in it, I’m an instant lover of salads. Iceberg Wedge ~ crumbled black river bleu, crispy bacon, tomato and bleu cheese dressing.

Danny's Bar & Grill 6

American Kobe Waygu Burger ~ half pound, lettuce, house pickles, 5-seed bun, thick cut bacon, cheddar cheese.  Local grass fed beef…awwww so savory and fresh. I love how it moo’s with every bite. I’m in burger heaven. It’s served with house cut fries with partial skin on, yup!  Thanks Chef Ron!

Danny's Bar & grill 7

New York Steak & Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti ~ 7oz grilled strip steak with olive oil and charred lemon. I’ve actually been craving white sauce spaghetti for quite some time. Great touch with the NY strip!  Also, I never would have thought to squeeze the lemon over this dish, but sure glad it was recommended, what a delicious citrus splash on this already perfect combo.

Danny's Bar & Grill 8

Finally, the dish I’ve been reading about and the gold medal winning best seller here at Danny’s Bar & Grill, Chef Ron’s very own Pecan Walleye ~ dried cherry maple bacon pecan butter sauce (yea, read that again and fall in love with it), wild rice pilaf and roasted seasonal vegetables. Feed her this and she is yours.

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16oz Bone-in Rib Eye ~ with a loaded baked potato and fresh vegetables.  Butter love. This steak melted in my mouth like the butter that puddles upon it; perfectly cooked steak with a tasty potato to accompany it.

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CHOCOLATE TURTLE MOUSSE CAKE ~ rich chocolate cake layered with double chocolate mousse, topped with fudge sauce, caramel and candied pecans. I typed the title of this dessert in all capital letters for a reason. OMYUM!

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Chef Ron wanted me to have a chocolate martini to pair with my slice of chocolate cake. Who am I to say no to a multi-medal winning chef? Pour it up! Chocolate Martini ~ Stoli vodka, Bailey’s and Godiva.  Rimmed with hot cocoa I believe. Perhaps another foo-foo drink, but if you follow me on Instagram (Phatphood), you will see that I am really starting to fall for these.

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Tableside Baked Alaska by Chef Ron. What a wonderful finale to many outstanding dishes, and when the alcohol burns and the flame goes out, it is still…nothing but love.

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Missy and I had a great time not only enjoying the wonderful food presented to us, but also the conversations that we had with Chef Ron. He is well known here because he comes out and talks with the patrons and interacts with them, great guy in and out of the kitchen. I recommend coming during the off-season of golf, this place really has a warm cozy vibe that really fits in with the current season. Everyone that I talked to about Danny’s asked if I had eaten their brunch; unfortunately I haven’t…yet.

Danny’s Bar & Grill 13600 N Hudson Boulevard, Stillwater, MN 55082

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Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: Tamarack Tap Room

Tamarack Tap Room 1

Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: Tamarack Tap Room – We decided to do a special Christmas segment of #FOODPORN since we will be taking vacation next week. Don’t you worry; I’ll still be eating that good good, just not for TV. We are dressed for the occasion and keeping the theme going by coming here to Tamarack Tap Room. Tamarack as you may know is an American Larch, which is a tree in the pine family, hence a Christmas tree, er…well, close enough right? Snuggled in the 10-year-old Tamarack Village here in Woodbury and what use to be a Champps Americana for 20 years is now home of the finest craft beers, eats, and libations. I’m ready for some strong whiskeys and scrumptious dishes for my holly jolly belly. This will be airing TONIGHT at 11PM on ‘On The Fly’ only on MY29.

Tamarack Tap Room 2

Starting off with some small plates, and what I have presented in front of me is a Sausage Board – Jalapeno elk, Spanish chorizo, Andouille, local cheese, nuts, pickled red onion, beer mustard, sauerkraut and ciabatta. I’m diggin’ every single element on this board. The beer mustard is wonderful and pairs with everything shown and each sausage has its own unique taste that I enjoyed.

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Now if there are cheese curds on the menu, you best try them. These just happen to be Beer Battered Cheese Curds – with Wisconsin white cheddar and served with smoked blueberry ketchup. This dipping sauce is downright awesome! Not to put down the cheese curds at all, but this was truly the star of this dish. I want it on my pancakes.

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Raspberry Lemondrop – A twist on a classic made with Prairie organic vodka, French Chambord, an all-natural black raspberry liqueur, Cointreau, lemon juice and simple syrup served in a martini glass with a lemon peel.
 It’s a great tasting drink, but it’s also a foo-foo drink, so that’s going to Producer Doug back there.

 Bourbon Amaretto Sour – 100% real almond Gozio amaretto, buffalo trace bourbon (a relatively dry, nutty bourbon), house sour mix, fresh egg white (for foam and texture) and Peychaud’s (creole) bitters. I was a bit skeptical of the raw egg whites, but I’ll try anything. This was good and much stronger than I had anticipated. Egg white is the new froth; take that Starbucks. Maple Bacon Glaze – bourbon soaked bacon boiled down with pure maple syrup. Buffalo trace bourbon and Aperol, a bitter orange liqueur for balance. Mr. @tonyflizzle hogged the bacon outta this one, but he did let me get a small sip, and I want another one. Bold flavors here. We’re drankinnn!!

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The Big 24 – 24oz triple decker, 6-slices of applewood smoked bacon, 3-slices of American, 3-slices of Swiss, lettuce, tomato, red onion, house pickles and house sauce, all stacked in between a brioche bun. Each patty is a half-pound special blend of hand ground Midwest beef from Minneapolis butcher W.W. Johnson. This burger is offered as a challenge with having to consume the entire meal (fries included) within 8 minutes. @TonyFlizzle and I were wondering if we cut it in half that maybe we could just do it in 4 minutes. I don’t think they were having it. These seasoned meat patties were superb in flavor alone. Damn big, and very good tasting burger here. Quite impressive, but what’s next?

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Time for another round, on me…for me! 
Whiskey Flight: Knappogue 12 – Irish, pot-distilled whiskey made with barley. Light, grassy, earthy. Yamazaki 12 – Japanese whiskey that is both pot and column distilled and then blended together, aged in Japanese oak barrels that gives the whiskey a unique cherry flavor. Very complex, this whiskey hits a lot of notes. Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel – From Buffalo Trace Distillery, a single barrel, hand-picked by the master distiller. Very aromatic, rich and full of vanilla, caramel, and lactone notes from the wood aging. 
I’m pretty sure I can blow fire out of my mouth at this point.

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Locavore – Local Strauss free range grass fed beef, duck bacon, Wisconsin-aged cheddar, fried egg and pretzel bun. As if one 24oz burger wasn’t enough, we absolutely had to try this just because of the magic words; duck bacon. Just as I expected, the bacon did justice. These aren’t your skimpy slices of bacon here either, and who doesn’t like an over easy egg with #yolkporn on their burger? Pretzel bun again, this one actually has the salt on top unlike others we have devoured in this segment. Always get a side of tots.

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The chef came by and asked if we wanted any dipping sauce for the tots. He mentions Ghost Aioli and it was music to my ears with a slight burn to my esophagus. This sauce needs to be jarred up and taken everywhere. Oh My WOW!

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Short Rib Mac N Cheese – Four-cheeses, wild mushrooms, penne and ciabatta. I almost didn’t get to try this dish, but sure in the hell glad I did. Aside from burning my tongue because I couldn’t wait to dive in, with my remaining taste buds, this was spectacular. This dish had an ample amount of tender shredded short rib in a perfect mixture of cheese. Give me a glass of red with this dish and I’m good.

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Not that dessert isn’t (double negative) my favorite part of dinner…okay, maybe it is. Anyway, it’s about damn time I get some Peanut Butter and Chocolate served up as a shake. The peanut butter was dominant here, and I loved it. I’m kind of full, but I really don’t want to stop. @tonyflizzle and I shared this Lady and the Tramp style. Check out that kinky mess when this segment of #foodporn airs tonight at 11pm on ‘On The Fly’

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The staff said; “you guys cannot leave without trying our in-house bakery chefs Bread Pudding.” Fine, you don’t have to threaten me with stretch marks. It is incredible and it’s served warm even, yum. I think we officially did some damage here. I feel warm and fuzzy. What a great place to come anytime of the day. An awesome staff with a sexy lumberjack like vibe going. I can certainly dig that. I still want to try their bologna sandwich and their chicken and waffles. Next visit. Benjamin is the crafty alcohol wizard here. He can whip ya up something fancy or break down every element in a whiskey so come check this place out. The word is already getting out; it gets pretty packed.

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Tamarack Tap Room, 8418 Tamarack Village, Woodbury, MN 55125

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Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: The Local

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Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: The Local: The Local – If there is an award for pouring the most Jameson Irish whiskey in the world, The Local is a four year straight champ.  Surrounded by hand-carved wood and original chandeliers, this local watering hole has been around for two decades, not just serving up some stellar drinks, but are you aware about the food?  Yea, let’s get into that.

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Starting this evening of #FOODPORN off with two Big Gingers with my weekly gluttony man-date @tonyflizzle. This is their signature drink made with 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey. This drink and the whiskey in it were born here at The Local. 2 Gingers is made at Killbeggan Distillery, the oldest working distillery (1759) in Ireland. They just happen to be on special tonight, and we were told to definitely squeeze the lemon and lime for the ultimate flavor mix.  I love this drink and I love 2 Gingers, keep pouring.

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Mushroom Caps – Wild rice from northern Minnesota stuffed into champ potatoes (champ is a simple Irish side dish made of scallions, potatoes and butter, with the addition of spinach and ground mushrooms) and combined with cream cheese and seasoning. They are then topped with roasted garlic Panko and finish it with a dab of truffle oil and some porcini sea salt.  Crispy and tasty, those two qualities are a beautiful thing. The truffle oil made the whole dining area smell grand. Anything served in a cast iron gets bonus points from me, just let them cool and don’t burn your tongue from eagerness.

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Chicken Shots – Their signature appetizer; they brine and marinate chicken breasts. Then they bread them in their seasonal flour and fry them to order. They are then tossed with their whiskey honey glaze – reduced honey, molasses, vinegar and spices with almost 8 liters of booze to bring this lovely sauce together.
These are amazing. I imagine these being just as good the next day, easily.  Sweet and crisp on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside.  I would imagine these being great with noodles. I foresee endless possibilities and combinations with these. A staple here at The Local if you weren’t aware already.

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Fish and Chips – Their fish is caught and frozen on the boat and shipped directly to them without going through any extra processing until one of their prestige cooks cuts it down. Because of that, they have the advantage of avoiding the soggy water-logged fish that places try to pass off.  They use Finnagins in their beer batter and it comes with a pile of fries, their house tartar, and finished with course sea salt and fresh dill.
A lightly, yet crisp battered, lovely, fresh, and HUGE portion of fish. Perfectly paired with an ice cold Heineken.

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Guinness Nitro IPA – A perfect beer to pair with our next dish, curry. Seriously this is my first time trying this, and I’m highly impressed. Smooth, delicate, with a nice head, and three heads are better than one. Very well balanced and not what I expected from an IPA. Did you know this place was the first to have it on tap about two months ago?  Now you do.  Bring on that curry!

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Curry Dinner – Curry is a pub staple in Ireland. Theirs is a mild yellow curry with a bit of toasted coriander and cumin to round it out. They prepare the chicken in vinegar and coconut “brine” and simmer it in curry sauce with bell peppers and yellow onions to order. It is served with basmati rice and sides of popadom, chili paste, scratch cucumber riatta, and onion chutney.  What a pleasant and hearty curry. I’d come here just for this if there weren’t so many other amazing dishes to choose from. I’ve never in my curry-eating life had sides to add, and you know what, all of them worked. So go ahead and dump them in and enjoy.

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Trio of DessertsBread Pudding; A denser version of Grandmas favorite, topped with hazelnut struessle. Chiboust; Vanilla flavored pastry cream and merengue folded together and frozen. They then brûlée it and serve it with fresh berries. Guiness Mousse – Two types of beer infused mousse layered to look like a pint.

All three are wonderful and I’m not sure what to write to convince you otherwise. How adorable is that mousse? Also, perfect portions to share this trio of sugar. Paired with The Local Irish Cream…

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The Local Irish Cream – Made fresh in house with 2 Gingers Whiskey, and the rest is a big giant secret.  Just know that you will beg for the secret recipe to this dessert-inspired drink, because it is that good.  Move over RumChata & Hot Chocolate, there is a new after dinner drink in town.  I will get this recipe, give me time.

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I’ve had a few drinks and a few beers tonight, but the final drink to end the night was the strongest and gave me the biggest buzz. Ooooohweeeee! Pictured on the right is Irish Coffee – Sweetened with a little bit of stout and topped with a unique whipped cream.  Aside from the Big Ginger, this is their best winter seller and was named as one of the five best in the US by Imbibe Magazine. I can’t feel my face, and I like it…From a coffee drink? Yup.

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Like a game of clue, there are unique rooms such as the Boardroom, Kissing Room and private event rooms; The Hollow, The Sanctuary and The Choir.  Phatphood got Tony Fly wasted in The Hollow with the boulevardier, I win!  The view looking down from upstairs is like a wide-open old bank or a library, but with a party going on.  Great place to hold an event or meet just about everyone from Target after work… let me get that discount card.  But if mingling and throwing back Irish whiskey is not your thing, the food is magnificent and every plate should be left overturned.  Seriously, keep coming back until you’ve had it all, including the weekly specials.

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The Local, 931 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55402

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Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: B-52 Pop Up Dinner

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Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: B-52 Pop Up Dinner – B-52 decided to do their first ever pop-up dinner led by Chef Jason at a secret location on Saturday December 12th, 2015 at 6pm with a text just two hours before from sought out event planner Traci Czech.  The location happened to be at 11 Wells, a distillery located in the historic Hamm’s Brewery on Minnehaha Avenue in St. Paul.

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We were greeted by Tim Egbert, a mad scientist of spirits whom educated each and every of the fifteen guests that attended this secret feast on what they make as well as the process.  Due to cancelations they decided to seat everyone on one long table which was good for presentational purposes but not so good with getting to know your neighbors.  I have to admit, it was nice to sit in a distillery and admirer all of the equipment and machinery while drinking their product and enjoying some grub.

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Here is what I had for the five course meal paired with drinks:

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Bone Marrow with Toast Points – The beef marrow bone is roasted with herbs and spices. The marrow was sourced from Hometown Meats in Inver Grove Heights. The toast points come from a local bakery, Denny’s 5th Avenue in Bloomington, MN.  Paired with a Christmas Cocktail.   I do not believe there was alcohol involved in this drink, but the bone marrow is a meaty jam to this toast, that is a for sure.  Great taste with a good amount of garlic, bravo!

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Chorizo and Wild Rice Stuffed Mushroom Caps – Chorizo is provided by a local mix company. This is a spicy pork blend, mixed with the mushroom stems, shallots, and local wild rice. They are baked and smothered with parmesan cream sauce. Paired with a Planterns Punch.   Both good, I enjoyed the punch and the Chorizo wasn’t overbearing the mushrooms.  It also worked well with the parmesan.   I would order these frequently as an app if they were available at a favorite spot.  Jason, make this happen.

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Parmesan Crusted Tilapia – Most of the items from this dish are supplied from Urban Organics directly next door to 11 Wells here in St. Paul, MN. The tilapia is the freshest fish you can get here. Harvested this morning in fact. It is lightly crusted with parmesan and served on a bed of watercress they also grow next door. The watercress adds a vibrant spice to the dish. Shareable Brussel Sprouts are on the side and is paired with Rye Whiskey Old Fashioned.  My least favorite dish of the evening; parmesan is easy to burn, an in this case it tasted as so in some spots.  I really get turned off when I find bones while eating fish, I found several, so did my neighbors.  After that I was pretty much done with this dish.   The brussel sprouts with bacon were tasty and so was the Old Fashioned.

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Pork Tenderloin with Cajun Honey Crisp Apples – A match made in heaven. These pork tenderloins medallions have been slowly roasted for extra juicy tenderness. Minnesota’s very own local honey crisp apples are balanced with cayenne, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  A side of roasted red potatoes and paired with what was supposed to be a Cider with a twist, but it was a rum and ginger instead, which I believe was to go with the dessert.  The apples were thinly shaved which I liked so they weren’t the star of the dish.  The pork was cooked near perfectly and the spices worked very well.  Shame though that the cider wasn’t served with this dish because I think it really would have accompanied it well.

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Panna Cotta with Cherry Liquor – Paired with a Rum and Ginger from the last dish, but also with the Cider with a twist now.  Terrific with the cherry liquor addition, and an ample amount of Panna Cotta satisfied me for this finale.

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Overall, a great experience.  I would love to enjoy some other dishes by Chef Jason and his team.  Cool location for this pop-up, very intimate and felt like a secret diners club of some sort.  Can’t wait to give the next operative a try.

B-52 Burgers and Beer, 5639 Bishop Ave. Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076

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Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: The Pint Public House

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Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: The Pint Public House – Newly opened in downtown Minneapolis (3 weeks old) center stage on 1st Ave, The Pint Public House is where we are at. #FOODPORN is why we are here, and under the wing of Canadian Chef Len LeBlanc, Sous Chef Edward is serving up some good-good 40-ways, which seems to be a theme here. With 40 draft beers, 40 different ways to order the wings as well as the rice bowls, you should have no problem finding a favorite here.  With having five locations already in Canada, this is the first one to pop up in the states.  The first location out of the six to have this many draft beers as well.  We Minnesotans like our variety of beer.  It’s a very large space with ample room providing different dining areas, so they also have DJ’s providing the soundtrack every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, so come and get your dance on.

Kicking it off (literally) with some boot cocktails.

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I had the Rocket Pop and @tonyflizzle went ahead with the Pint Punch.  Both tasty cocktails with snow cone-like ice served in a mini boot.  Let Minneabrolis date night commence…NOW!

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Bring on the heat!! Death Wish Wings pictured here. This is just one of their 40-way flavors; only 39 other ways to go.  These definitely had a slight burn with a dry crushed habanero involved, along with a sweet BBQ.  They leave you chasing the heat with an addicting flavor.  I am a huge fan of these already.  Move over BWW, there’s a new wing joint in town with options galore.

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Pint Perogies – 8 deep fried perogies topped with cheese, bacon bits, green onion and a side of sour cream.  Different than I am use to, and I think we’ve already established that I dig different. I grew up eating pierogies (how we spell it) and I’m used to them being more in a pasta/dough form lathered in butter. Canadians have a different take that I don’t mind, and the potato filling was familiar.  Good bar apps!

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Prairie Panko Pickles – Breaded, deep-fried and unforgettable.  Served with tzatziki on the side.
Great seasoned breading with a crunchy pickle spear, and the tzatziki is a nice addition that I’m not use to having with these; typically ranch dressing. I would order a burger and put a minimum of two of these on it if I were you.

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Rocky Mountain Club – Grilled chicken, bacon, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, lettuce and maple mayo on fresh pretzel bread.   This is great for lunch, not hearty enough for a dinner in my opinion, but it is great with a side of poutine as shown here.  Really digging the soft pretzel bread loaf, and the maple mayo was a nice touch.  I’d like a side of that just to try alone with some fries.

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Pint Poutine – Pint fries topped with cheese curds and Pint gravy.

Finally, a true Canadian Poutine right here in Minnesota.  Not your typical deep-fried cheese curds that most places here think that they are part of this dish, and a very great tasting and hearty gravy over some crisp golden fries.  Finally 🙌 someone is doing it right.  🍁 Thanks!

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Just like the wings, you can get their Rice Bowls 40 ways here.  This way is Tandoori, one of thirteen dry rubs they offer.  Get your choice of chicken, beef or prawns with stir-fry vegetables and topped with green onions and sesame seeds.

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I want to try so many creations!!  Guess I will be a resident here until I’ve tried all possibilities.  Great flavors in this dish with the Tandoori.

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With only one dessert on the entire menu, you really can’t go wrong. Deep-fried Oreos.  It’s like The Minnesota State Fair year-round up in here!  All I know is that I was told that there was Not Your Fathers Root Beer involved and sweet beer batter, hell yeah!  A grand-finale at its finest, and definitely leaving with a smile on my face.

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We came, we ate, we conquered.  Unfortunately we did not have their burgers this time around.  They use Hereford beef in all of them and even go a step above with the Hereford 1881 in their sliders.  It took place of the old Rosen’s Bar & Grill, and I really love what they did with the place and the see-through drop ceilings are stylish.  A great, fun welcoming staff is always good to see as well.  I’ll probably see you here from time to time, so wave, why dontcha!

The Pint Public House, 430 1st Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55401

White Chicken Chili Recipe

White Chicken Chili Recipe

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White Chicken Chili Recipe: We are BIG fans of all soups and stews. Hard to believe that this is the first time I have made white chicken chili. My house smells amazing!

Generally I search out many recipes and take a little from each one. Most recipes called for 1-pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed, I prefer to use rotisserie chickens for my soups, they just seem tenderer and have better flavor.

White chicken chili ingredients

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 rotisserie chicken shredded

1 tablespoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons minced garlic

4 cups chicken broth

3 15 oz. cans white beans rinsed and drained

1 small can diced green chilies

1 11 oz. can whole kernel corn

Monterey Jack cheese for garnish

Fresh cilantro, chopped

Heat olive oil in medium sized soup pot. Add shredded chicken, minced garlic, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes. Stirring to get all the spices mixed into your chicken.

Chicken

Add 4 cups of chicken broth, 3 cans of beans, 1 can of sweet corn and 1 small can of green chilies. Bring soup to a boil and then simmer for 30-45 minutes.

White Chicken Chili spoon

Sprinkle with cilantro and Monterey Jack cheese.  I have seen many recipes that added slices of avocado to finish off. Enjoy!