To Amy Thielen's Grandma Addie, butter was the essential lifeblood of every dish. The famous Midwestern double-crust fruit pies rely solely on the quality of butter to achieve the perfect crust, gathered from independent creameries across the Midwest. After visiting Nordin Creamery in Westby, Wis., Amy butters up to prepare Blueberry Lemon Pie, New Potatoes With Grilled Onion Butter and Greens With Spiced Butter and Fresh Ricotta.
Bologna Days has been occurring weekly in Amy Thielen's parents' Minnesota hometown since the 1960s. It's a celebration of hot ring bologna -- all you can eat -- coming fresh from the smoker at Thielen Meats, operated by Amy's cousins. This is a show about lake cabin food, which includes Midwestern Fried Bologna, Peppered Pork Loin and Parmesan Sandwiches on Grilled Flatbread and Fried Onion Dip.
In the tradition of her grandmother, Amy Thielen roasts a local chicken "granny style" together with a plain, natural gravy and bread stuffing which is prepared with a medley of Swiss chard, caramelized onions, some mashed giblets cooked with sherry and lots of parsley and chives. For dessert, Amy whips up a super simple dessert of Rhubarb Spears baked in Wild Raspberry Syrup.
Amy Thielen has been visiting the town of Fargo, N.D., since she was a young teenager. She meets up with friend and fellow-chef Andrea Baumgartner, and the two prepare Icelandic pancakes to celebrate Fargo's first generation of immigrants. Back at home, Amy prepares Spit Cooked Lamb Shoulder served with an herb yogurt and Edamame tossed with pea shoots and dill salt, showing off some of the more contemporary African and Southeast Asian influences found in Fargo.
Amy Thielen celebrates everything outdoors as her neighbors bring back the freshest catch in order to prepare a crispy Skinned Trout With Butter Sauce. Amy's garden provides the inspiration behind a Green Salad With Brown Butter Balsamic Walnut Vinaigrette and Sheep's Milk Cheese. On the grill, Amy enjoys grilling skewers of tomatoes, onion, bacon and bread, served with a ripe Cheddar aged in a cave by cheesemaker friend, Willi Lehner of Blue Mont Dairy.
As the weather breaks after a long, bitter winter in Northern Minnesota, tradition calls for the start of road trips. Amy Theilen heads to Madison, Wis., where she meets with local butcher and friend Johnny, who sends her home with delectable beef spare ribs from Fountain Prairie Farm. At her favorite cheese shop, Fromagination, Amy picks some of Wisconsin's best cheeses before stopping at Karben4, a new brewery that will supply her a smoked Porter used both as an ingredient and accompaniment to her recipes. Back at home, uses her collected ingredients to prepare Oven Baked Ribs, Smoked Sardine Caesar and Maple Bread With Washed Rind Cheese.