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Trout Caviar: Recipes from a Northern Forager Hardcover – September 15, 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 261 pages
  • Publisher: Minnesota Historical Society Press; 1 edition (September 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0873518195
  • ISBN-13: 978-0873518192
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,693,692 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Brett Laidlaw is a writer, cook, bread baker, trout bum, mushroom hound, and gardener. After spending most of his life in the Twin Cities area, he recently relocated (along with his wife, Mary Eckmeier, and two wire-haired pointing griffons, Annabel and Lily) to hilly northern Dunn County, Wisconsin. He's the author of two novels, "Three Nights in the Heart of the Earth" and "Blue Bel Air", and his short stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in Gray's Sporting Journal, the Star Tribune newspaper, Minneapolis Observer Quarterly and elsewhere. He has also recorded essays on northern foods for the "Wisconsin Life" series on Wisconsin Public Radio.

In 2008 he started an on-line journal (aka, a "blog") titled Trout Caviar ( www.troutcaviar.blogspot.com ), celebrating local, seasonal eating and the distinctive foods of the upper Midwest. The blog led to a book of recipes, essays, and photographs, "Trout Caviar: Recipes from a Northern Forager", published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press in September, 2011.

Speaking on Minnesota Public Radio, award-winning food writer Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl chose Trout Caviar... as her favorite book of the year, calling it "...an astonishing trove of recipes using the things that grow so well here. Laidlaw lives deeply in the land, and has a real sensitivity to food, a sense of what cuisine is -- and his book is a revelation because of it. If it catches on it could transform northern cooking in our day." Star Tribune food writer Rick Nelson called Trout Caviar... "the most original and beautifully written local cookbook of the year."

Trout Caviar... was a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award in general non-fiction, and Laidlaw was nominated for the Best Chef of 2011 for the "Silver Whisk Awards" of the Heavy Table website.

While Laidlaw tirelessly champions the glories of our regional cuisine, he detests the word locavore.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jay Gilbertson on January 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
It's a rare treat when a cookbook reads like a novel, is paced like a thriller and ends with a riddle;

"Round and `round."

Author Laidlaw is no stranger to the written word. He's published two novels; Three Nights in the Heart & Blue Bel Air, lived internationally but is most at home in the country. Through clever anecdotes and totally approachable recipes Laidlaw brings a fresh voice into the fast-expanding world of foraging locally and how to cook the stuff.

"...90 percent of good cooking is good shopping--taking shopping here in its broadest sense..."

By broadest sense he often times means heading out the door and into the nearby woods surrounding his western Wisconsin cabin aptly named "Bide-A-Wee." It's in the woods or out in a local fishing hole that Laidlaw seems the most inspired to forage for the ingredients that transform into surprisingly unusual dishes.

One of the many things I found refreshing was the non-Martha Stewart attitude the author exhibited by constantly suggesting alternative ingredients as well as using what was in season and readily available to most of us rural folks. His pizza dough recipe was a snap, the Buckwheat cookies a treat and I look forward to smoking our own bacon; a staple in many of Laidlaw's creations.

If you're like many of us the idea of French cooking seems off-putting and downright scary. Though some of us can recall giggling along with Julia as she slugged wine from her measuring cup and yet managed to create some un-pronounceable dish in under a half-hour, it was off to Hamburger Helper land during commercial breaks.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the cookbook I turn to whenever my forays into the woods and waters of the driftless area yield an abundance of wild foods. The recipes are infused with a health amount of terroir of the upper midwest and accompanied by excellent anecdotes of the authors sense of place. The title recipe illustrates the authors approach throughout the book. Trout caviar is a simple preparation of fish roe and salt that tastes divine and is an homage to the rivers the author loves so well. This book includes ideas on how to prepare a wide variety of game and fish as well as things like wild mushrooms and more conventional fare from the garden. The recipes typically focus around exotic ingredients, which is sort of the point of the book, so if don't hunt, fish or forage you may often find the recipes hard to adapt, but If you live in WI, MN or MI and routinely find yourself with an abundance of trout, an overflowing basket of mushrooms or handfuls of ramps and don't know how to turn them into dishes deserving of such fine ingredients then look no further. The authors anecdotes and stories behind the recipes are also an enjoyable read and would be worthy vignettes if published in their own volume.
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