The New Midwestern Table: 200 Heartland Recipes


“The Midwest is rising,” writes Minnesota native Amy Thielen, host of Heartland Table on Food Network—and her engaging, keenly American debut cookbook, with 200 recipes that herald a revival in the region’s cuisine, is delicious proof.

Amy Thielen grew up in rural northern Minnesota, waiting in lines for potluck buffets amid loops of smoked sausages from her uncle’s meat market and in the company of women who could put up jelly without a recipe. She spent years cooking in some o

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  1. Author/Reviewer Geri Ahearn says:
    51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    “INSPIRING, DELICIOUS RECIPES, STUNNING PHOTOS, AND HELPFUL TIPS!”, September 24, 2013
    By 
    Author/Reviewer Geri Ahearn (Phoenix, AZ) –
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    Amy Thielen delivers much more than a cookbook as she offers a brief history on the Midwest, and her experience of cooking in Manhattan’s fine-dining kitchens. The heartwarming presentation in her introduction and notes throughout the book is inviting, and interesting. Amy Thielen portrays great tradition of American country cooking, as she discusses praise-worthy Midwestern restaurants. Her tour through the Midwest captivates the heart and soul, especially for anyone who has not visited, or lived there. There are several mouth-watering recipes with helpful tips, which also include the number of servings. The stunning photos of prepared meals, along with famous places in the Midwest are delightful, and refreshing. We tried the Fried Onion Dip, which was delicious. In addition, there are recipes for various dips. Some of the recipes include: Freshly Ground Black Pepper; Cheese-Balls; Homemade Italian Sausage; Old-Fashioned Pounded Cheese With Walnuts And Port Syrup; Steakhouse Deviled Eggs; Cracker-Crust Pizza; and more. There are many recipes for different types of pizza, and the recipe for Artichoke Fondue Dip is my next selection. The Spicy Beef Tartare, and the Sweet-And-Sour Potluck Meatballs are indeed inviting. I will leave updates as we try new recipes. Delightful, refreshing, and enjoyable. Highly recommended!
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  2. L. Mountford says:
    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Regional ingredients in the spotlight — emphasis on “NEW” Midwestern cooking …, January 17, 2016
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    L. Mountford (Bellingham, WA United States) –
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    I was born and grew up in the midwest (Missouri), so I’m somewhat familiar with the fresh ingredients that are so abundant and delicious there but so nonexistent … or mediocre … elsewhere. US-71 — the highway that runs from the Canadian border in northern Minnesota, that passes within shouting distance of Two Inlets Township in north central Minnesota (not far from Bemidji, one of my favorite vacation stops, where I had my first taste of walleye in 2001) where Amy Thielen’s cabin is located — that same US-71 highway passes through my old south Kansas City neighborhood about two blocks away from my former home. I grew up helping my mother tend a large garden every summer — fresh corn, melons, beans, okra, tomatoes — a mother who routinely produced a pantry full of canned tomato sauce, apple butter, spiced peaches, pickles — all from the produce we grew in the backyard.

    Reading “The New Midwestern Table” is a bit like coming home for me, but to a more modern updated version of “home cooking.” In other words, these aren’t exactly my mother’s/grandmother’s recipes, but they do throw a huge spotlight on the best that the midwest has to offer in terms of local ingredients and the melting pot of internatinoal influences contributed by early settlers.

    The first thing that struck me about this book: Amy Thielen can write! Seriously, you must read the introduction as well as each chapter and recipe intro if you want to get a real sense for what NEW midwestern cooking can be when in the hands of someone who totally understands its roots and who is also sufficiently well-versed in modern “technique” to create new variations/versions for today’s palates. Ms. Thielen has a way with words and tells her story exquisitely.

    And the recipes? Creative, flavorful, solid. If you’re looking for “quick and easy” or “5-ingredients or less,” this is probably not the book for you. Not that there aren’t some that come together fairly quickly — but that’s not the focus here. This is about seasonal ingredients available fresh, prepared in ways that highlight the flavors. Yes, some do take quite a lot of prep, and some of the ingredients can be a bit tricky to find (one of the soup recipes calls for boneless shoulder bear roast, which the author claims has ” … a flavor that can be described as falling somewhere between beef and pork, but maybe with a tumbler of port wine on the side— not unlike wild boar” — beef can be substituted if bear is unavailable).

    My usual practice is to make 3 recipes from any cookbook that I review, and I followed that practice with this one.

    1. Classic Beef Pot Roast with Pistachio Salt — made with a well-marbled beef chuck roast, seared quickly on the stove top, then slow roasted on a bed of onions with garlic for awhile, then accompanied by carrots, turnips, celery, and cherry tomatoes to finish, all topped with a pistachio/parsley/garlic mixture (sort of like a gremolata). This is actually similar to a roast my mother made, but with a few more steps. The slow covered roasting produced a succulent tender juicy roast, with veggies that haven’t been cooked to mush. I’ll make this again, but I’ll substitute parsnips for the turnips (I just like the flavor better).

    2. Baked Apples with Sour Cherries, Rosemary, and Yogurt Whip — This one wasn’t difficult at all, and came together quickly. Apples stuffed with a mixture of dried sour cherries, butter, vanilla, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Rosemary, lemon juice and water goes into the pan with the apples, and you just bake them for a total of about an hour (there’s some fiddling with them mid-bake to create a flavored glaze, but it’s easy). Serve with the whipped yogurt (whipping cream whipped with sugar, then yogurt is mixed in and it’s whipped again). This was wonderful!! Living in the Pacific NW, apples and cherries are standard fare up here, so this one is definitely a keeper.

    3. Baked Chicken with Porcini Spice Rub — the recipe calls for a whole skin-on bone-in chicken cut into 8 pieces; I used 4 breasts and 4 large thighs. This is a non-fussy very basic simple recipe — chicken pieces rubbed with a mixture of spices and ground dried porcini mushrooms, rested for 20 minutes or so, then baked on a foil-lined baking sheet. The spice/mushroom rub makes this dish special: coriander, allspice, mustard seed, sage, and nutmeg with the pulverized earthiness of the mushrooms. Very tasty, indeed, and another keeper.

    Some of these recipes probably won’t work in my kitchen, primarily due to the region-specific ingredients featured in some of them (I haven’t found a Pacific NW source for walleye, for example, nor do I expect to). But enough of them will, and I look forward to trying more of these dishes later this year when more fresh produce is in season.

    But the book is worth…

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  3. Jennifer Guerrero says:
    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Fun, delicicious, absolutely from scratch book of nostalgic Midwestern recipes. Thumbs up from a homesick Cheesehead!, June 2, 2016
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    This review is from: The New Midwestern Table: 200 Heartland Recipes (Hardcover)
    Great, fun, regional book. I grew up in Wisconsin, so these recipes are all nostalgic for me. My family loved the Butcher’s Kraut. It’s the sort of Meat Tornado that would warm Ron Swanson’s heart. The Cracker-Crust Pizza is great, but keep your eye on it. The recipe calls for 15-18 minutes at 500. On a properly preheated pizza stone, ours were done in 6.

    The Old Fashioned Pounded Cheese with Walnuts and Port Syrup is fantastic. Yeah, those are pecans in my photo, but I’m a Cheesehead in Texas now. 🙂

    She includes UP Pasties (Upper Peninsula), Beer Cheese Soup, Fancy Meatloaf with Bacon and Mushrooms, Cream Potato Lefse, Ginger Aebelskivers, and a take on rhubarb that I’ve never heard of, but can’t wait to try, Rhubarb Sangria.

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