It's no secret, one of my favorite places back in my home town of Milwaukee, WI is Braise. Their creative use of local ingredients never disappoints. How I came to know Dave and his passion is through his classes when he started the Braise travelling culinary school. My first class with him was in the back of the Outpost about chocolate. I know you can't go wrong with chocolate but he used it in some interesting ways... I'll cover more of that later because today I am craving Indian food! At Braise I took "Braise Basics: Indian Food" in April of 2015 and learned some great basic skills that I thought I could only get at my favorite Indian restaurants.
Chicken Tikka Masala
1/4 cup garlic puree
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup peeled ginger, grated
2 teaspoons ground tumeric
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
4 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups whole milk yogurt
2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast, cut into strips lengthwise
1/4 cup ghee or vegetable oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
36 ounces whole peeled or crushed tomatoes
2 cups heavy cream or coconut milk
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Create spice mixtures by combining garlic, ginger, turmeric, lime juice, garam masala, coriander, cumin and cardamom in a small bowl. Whisk yogurt, salt and half of spice mixture in a medium bowl; add chicken and turn to coat. Cover and chill overnight or 4-6 hours. Reserve remaining spice mixture.
Heat ghee in large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion, tomato paste and crushed red pepper flakes and cook, stirring often, until tomato paste has darkened and onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add remaining half of spice mixture and cook, stirring often, until bottom of pot begins to brown, about 4 minutes.
Add tomatoes with juices, crushing them with your hands as you add them. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often and scraping up browned bits from bottom of pot, until sauce thickens, 8-10 minutes.
Add cream and chopped cilantro, simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, 30-40 minutes.
Puree sauce until smooth. Add back to pot.
Optional: preheat broider or grill. Grill or broil until chicken starts to blacken in spots.
Add chicken to sauce and simmer until chicken is cooked through and tender.
Moong Dal Curry
1 cup split yellow mung bean, rinsed
2 cups water
1 tablespoon curry
1 cup coconut milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons yellow brown mustard seeds
2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds
1 small red onion, peeled and minced
1-2 whole dried red chilis, crushed
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic
1 small tomato, finely chopped
salt, to taste
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced
Pick through the dal and remove any debris. Rinse the dal thoroughly under running water in a fine mesh sieve. Drain thoroughly.
In a deep saucepan, bring water, curry powder and 1 tablespoon of oil to a boil over high heat. Add dal. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until dal is very soft. If the water starts to dry up, add another 1/2 cup water. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a medium skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds, mustard seeds; when they begin to sizzle, add onion. Saute for 7-8 minutes, until onions are well browned. Add ginger, chilies and garlic (tomato if using). Cook, stirring occasionally, for another 8 minutes; add onion mixtures, coconut milk and salt to dal. Bring to simmer, check seasoning and add cilantro, serve.
Garlic & Herb Naan
Yield: approx 20 2oz flat breads
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons yeast
1/3 cup herbs, chopped
4 teaspoons salt
2 3/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons garlic puree
2 ounces butter, melted
2 tablespoons garlic puree
1/4 cup herbs, chopped
1/4 cup oil
Combine flour, salt, sugar, yeast, and herbs in bowl of mixer. Whisk together milk and egg and add to dry ingredients. Mix with paddle on slow until a rough ball of dough is formed.
Combine melted butter and garlic puree, then add to dough and mix with paddle on slow until fully incorporated. Place ball of dough into a bowl and place in proofer. Proof until 2-2 1/2 times the original size, about an hour.
Portion dough into 2 oz balls, then roll out with rolling pin until 4-5" in diameter and about 1/4" thick. Place onto floured parchment lined sheet pan and place back into proofer and proof 20 minutes.
Drizzle liberally with oil and place oiled side down on grill. Grill on a low flame. When the bread is easy to handle and is set and browned on one side, flip over. After grilling, brush both sides of naan with herb oil.
Mix to taste. Top any of these dishes with this!
A rainy day in Milwaukee is a great day to get inside the art museum for Art in Bloom. I love seeing an end to winter by looking at the beautiful arrangements paired with a great work of art.
Here's some of my favorites of this year, and the slide show below shows all the great works.
Last year I took most of the Rishi tea series at Discovery World in their thirst lab. It was not only educational but fun and yummy. The only downside was it was difficult to fall asleep on class nights... caffeine overload!
Stay tuned for my recap on the classes I made it to, we missed a few and hope to catch them this year. The schedule is on Discovery World's website.
As my husband and I were sitting at one of our favorite bars eating some of our
favorite Mexican food at Margarita Paradise, he asked me when the first time my family brought him there... my guess was around 1994ish. I remember going there as long as I can remember eating good Mexican food!... many birthday celebrations or impromptu family
gatherings were here.
Right after this conversation the General Manager, Amil Alarcon, came up to us with a card and said "I have to tell you guys something..." those words always make me nervous... as he continued to say they are closing this location sometime this May. We were sad of course and told him of our recent discussion but he promised us it's a good thing. They will be moving into the new construction near the old CBS building on Hawley Road (813 S 60th St in West Allis). They will still make everything from scratch but are expanding beyond Mexican and into more varieties of Latin foods. The building was getting old I guess and the timing was right when this opportunity presented itself. It's a much bigger space, closer to the freeway but they will be missed in the charming building. The Margarita Paradise in the Milwaukee Public Market will not change. We are sad to see them go but looking forward to new celebrations in their new space!
As the weather gets cold and festivals are long gone, one of Milwaukee's most unusual structures comes alive on Thursday nights through winter. I love all things plants and to see the domes at night is a great change of pace.
The Floral Show Dome features a band and the inside walls of the dome light up. There's seats so you can enjoy the show or walk around and view the displays while being entertained. Food is available (sandwiches and some desserts, not a huge selection but something to grab while watching the show!) along with a few cocktails and wine.
The Tropical and Desert domes remain dark with some spotlights and a giant globe. Beautiful decorations were up for the Day of the Dead among marigolds, an important flower for the holiday.
Last season, my husband and I went opening night to see a friend that works with Streetlife and we look forward to returning this year. The 2012 lineup is listed on the Milwaukee County Park's web page.
Small Mixed Bag $2
I love going to Harvest Fair at Wisconsin State Fair park at the end of September. Fall is my favorite season and seeing all the pumpkins, scare crows and fall colors in one place alongside fried food is such a good thing. To my suprise looking through the rows of food deciding what to get the first stand I spot is Sil's and immediately head towards it.
My husband and I loved a stop in on our way home after our early morning grocery shopping at Whole Foods on North Ave on Sundays (hey, we'll make it up later with all that healthy food we just bought!). Or for a late night snack after bar hopping, or after a Rocky Horror Picture Show showing! Sil's was a Milwaukee landmark in that quirky little drive through and I miss it every time I drive by.
But, they are not done... you can still get these mini donuts at 7 Mile Fair in Racine and the woman working the stand promised at several other local events, including WI State Fair next year. So I'll look forward to getting my sugar & powdered sugar mixed mini dohnuts then!
Deconstructed leather jacket art piece.
"Worn to be Wild' is the Harley-Davidson Museum's latest special exhibit and in my humble opinion, the best one yet! I eagrly awaited the opening after seeing it highlighted in the June 2012 Elle Magazines's column in the front where they cronicle upcoming fashion events. This is the first time I've seen anything from MKE in there so it's a great shout out for the city!
After I checking it out, I could see why it made that list of events! It's got to be one of the best representations on the subject of leather jackets. Yes, it's a bit biased to the motorcyle angle but those two things belong together and are shown perfectly together in this exhibit!
As you enter you learn about how motorcycles and leather jackets have been paired together since the invention of motorcyles. There's vintage motorcyles paired with outfits that the rider would have worn. There's a look back at an important part of the leather jacket's history with aviation. It's an interesting look back at the early 1900's along with the beginning of Harley-Davidson's history.
Even back in these early days of motorcycle history you see examples of mass market leather jackets catching on. My favorites being one you could purchase from the Sear's catalog, and the baby leather is obviously adorable!
The Antihero's Antisportcoat
Continue on to learn how the leather jeacket became the ultimate symbol of rebellion in the section titled "The Ant-Hero's Anti-Sportcoat". Examples of early lawbreakers and motorcycle gangs are shown alongside with the contrasting Police force's own versions of leather jackets.
Around the corner the exhibit takes a turn into the world of pop culture. There's a huge wall of album covers featuring the artists in leather jackets, of course. And early B-Movie posters with actors sporting leather jackets. Examples from many movies and many rock stars are displayed along with framed photos of the celebrity wearing the ensamble. Lots of fun to look back and remember these pop culture moments!
The exhibit continues with fashion's intrepretation of the leather jacket. An incredible catwalk display of Jean Paul Gaultier's leathers spanning several collections was shown along with photos from the runway. Many other high end designer's takes on the classic are also displayed. My favorite in this area being the legendary 1980's artist, Keith Haring and a white leather jacket with his signature graffiti print in black.
The end of the exhibit is the coolest part in my opinion. There's an artistic display of leather jackets embellished by people in Seattle in the 1980s-1990s shown on giant spikes. I could stare at them for hours! The amount of detail that went into each piece was impressive. Then to realize these were traded in for a new jacket at a vintage clothing store makes you wonder what else these people created.
Rockerbox 2012 sign in front of Fuel Cafe
I've been fortunate enough to visit many motorcycle rallies but my favorite happens to be right in my hometown of Milwaukee. Rockerbox was created by two local business owners (Fuel Cafe & The Shop) in the Riverwest neighborhood. It's fun to see every year it get bigger and better. It's a combo bike show, street party, motorcycle flea market, and fundraiser for The Steel Shoe Foundation for injured flat track racers.
Motorcyles of all kinds are found here... scooters, sport bikes, choppers, Harleys, homemade from bicycles, tractors, beer kegs, and many other random spare parts! It's always fun to see the great mix of bikes and creativity in customization. And the people watching is the best here. Crowd is a mix of all people that love motorcycles and curious neighborhood residents. Great style and tatoo inspiration can definately be found here.
Food reflects the neighborhood with a mix of vegan sloppy joes, burritos, burgers and of course PBR a plenty. It's held in front of Fuel cafe on Center Street so there's many great restaurants and bars in this area if you don't want the street food.
The show is one day only on a Saturday in August from 11-6 with a couple rides scheduled throughout the city to drive into the event (Harley-Davidson Museum & Southeast Sales put together rides this year). Follow them on Facebook, to get the dates for next year.
Hot Pop is one of the coolest places ever...
besides having one of the most fun bathrooms in the city and the coolest toys / housewares / clothes / random gadgets to buy they have an art gallery in back.
Some friends and I checked out the latest showing about a robot named Jimbot. Very funny to read Jimbot's "Little Clues" about what he is thinking.
I believe it's in it's final days so get there quick...
This last Sunday one of my favorite restaurants, Braise, hosted a Garlic Fest in Walker's Point. Garlic food, garlic drinks, garlic games, garlic drawing... you get the idea.
It was super hot that day, but was lots of fun. I got to talk to a garlic farmer and eat lots of great garlic food, including hummus, puff pastry, open faced sandwich, garlic cotton candy... not your regular festival food! That great food was provided by Braise (of course), Ball & Biscuit Catering (love their vegan friendly stuff!), Chez Jacques (love that French guy!), and even some garlic Rx from Outpost Co-op (mints, ginger, brownies!).
Loved that there were composting bins next to the recycling and garbage cans! And the beautiful floral displays are from my favorite greenhouse, Plantland! Wine came in these funky plastic glasses they ask you to keep and reuse all summer. And music from WMSE's was perfect!
Great fun celebraing all things garlic, looking forward to seeing the fest expand in years to come!
True Milwaukee girl, lived in a multiple areas in the state of Wisconsin and has traveled around the world but always remembers "where ever you go, there you are".
All Art Art In Bloom Asia Bar Beading Braise Bridge Coffee Colorado Discovery World Domes Donuts Doors Fair Flowers Forest Gallery Glassblowing Growing Power Harley-Davidson Museum Hong Kong Indian Food Menomonie Mexican Milwaukee Milwaukee Art Museum Motorcycles Music North Carolina Peeps Restaurant Rishi Tea Shopping Tapas Tea Tiki Vietnam Virginia West Allis Winston Salem Winston-Salem