Saturday, August 5, 2017

Cookbook Review: Dishing Up Minnesota by Teresa Marrone

Title: Dishing Up® Minnesota: 150 Recipes from the Land of 10,000 Lakes
Author: Teresa Marrone
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: June 28th 2016
Source: Storey Publishing, LLC/Netgalley

Book Description:

These 150 mouthwatering recipes, contributed by some of Minnesota’s best chefs, farmers, and foragers and accompanied by gorgeous photography, celebrate the state’s outstanding and unique cuisine. You’ll find dishes featuring fish from the lakes as well as morels and chanterelles, wild blueberries, wild game, beef and bison, orchard fruits, berries, dairy products, and much more. There are recipes inspired by German, Scandinavian, East Asian, and African traditions, as well as dishes from fairs and food trucks. There’s something here for everyone, from Carrot Risotto and Dry-Fried Sugar Snap Peas to North Shore Fish Cakes; Wild Cherry Jelly; Northland Venison Burger with Wild Rice; Bison, Bacon & Cheddar Meatballs; Busy-Day Pho; Egg Coffee; Gravlax; Varmland Potato Sausage; Hmong Chicken Larb; Tater Tot Nachos; Thai Peanut Caramel Popcorn; Honey Pecan Pie; Classic Pound Cake with Cardamom; and Apple Dessert Hotdish.



Three and a half stars.

Ah, Minnesota. Home of the hot dish. Being a Midwestern girl, I love learning recipes from my own neck of the woods. Minnesota is in my region, but ultimately isn't a place I associate with food. This book helped to teach me more.

The good outweighed the not-so-good in this book. I really liked the amount of information that was smooshed into it. There's all sorts of historical notes and facts about Minnesota. There's also some inviting information about places to visit, as well as a guide to all the festivals that are hosted throughout the state.

The recipes themselves sounded delicious, and came off as approachable to a home cook. The instructions have numbered steps, making it easier to follow along. There's also notes about substitutions when you don't have certain ingredients, or can't consume them. This is something that I wish more cookbooks had, and I appreciated it here. There's also quote a few vegetarian dishes, and even some gluten-free ones. This was a pleasant surprise, because I know we aren't known for our health-consciousness here in the middle of the country. There's also some drink recipes, and there's a list of sources included.

The pictures were okay, but I wish there were more photos of the finished dishes. There's pictures of ingredients, or some of the steps, but not so much of the "ta da! Here's what it should like!" type. That's mainly what I look for when I look for a new cookbook.

I like that there was an homage to the many cultures that call Minnesota home. Some recipes of Native American, German, and Scandinavian origins are in this book, and it was these types of recipes that I found the most interesting and that I most want to enjoy.

The one thing that really annoyed me about this book is the way that the recipes are organized. They're organized by type of dish. Now when I say that, I don't mean divided by ingredient, or by course, or by occasion. More like general labels of "how would this be categorized?" Some of the chapters include The Land of 10000 Lakes, Multi-Cultural Specialties, and Fairs. This leads to the recipes being in a really, really weird order. For example, blueberry pie and mushroom soup are next to each other. It's awkward, and incredibly hard to navigate.

That aside, the dishes in this book sound delicious. Some of the ones that I thought sounded great include Grilled Venison Loin with Honey, Juniper, and Black Pepper Glaze , Pickle-Brined Chicken Nuggets with Dill Horsey Sauce, and Honey and Sunflower Ice Cream.

I think this book does Minnesota justice, said as someone who isn't from there. It's full of yummy sounding things with easy to follow instructions, and I'd recommend it to those looking for more Americana type recipes.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


  1. I'd be really excited to try the Native American dishes, but everything else sounds like it'd be delicious too!