The Best Things I Ate and Drank at the Kohler Food & Wine Experience


Last weekend I attended the Kohler Food & Wine Experience at The American Club Resort in Kohler, WI. It’s an annual event that brings together thousands of people who love food, alcohol and just plain having a great time. This was our–my boyfriend and I–first time in Kohler, though I’ve been aware of it as a food and golf destination for years. Overall, it was a fantastic time, especially thanks to the Kohler staff and volunteers. (I learned that many of the staffers were volunteers, and they were some of the happiest, most helpful people ever. Kudos to them!)

Our first event was a beer luncheon with Chef Grant MacPherson and Stella Artois.

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Singapore Noodles


I had never been a big fan of Singapore noodles. Every version of this Chinese-American was bland, gritty and boring. Then, I tried the version at RuYi, a surprisingly good restaurant in the Potawatomi casino, and found it better than I had remembered. And more recently, I tried the version at Kim’s Thai to Go, my favorite Thai place located in Pacific Produce on the south side of Milwaukee, and that version was a revelation. It was bright with curry and heavily seasoned; a cross between Chinese noodle stir fry and Indian curry. 

So when I had a couple pork chops to use up before they expired, I decided to give Singapore noodles a shot myself. I cobbled together a few recipes around the internet, and followed Cook’s Illustrated’s general method. The verdict: a definite make again recipe.

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Thai-style Drunken Noodles


Ah, drunken noodles. No, the noodles themselves aren’t drunk; There’s no alcohol in the dish, contrary to what you may be thinking. Instead, the name refers to the state people are often in when they’re eating these noodles. What drunk doesn’t love garlicky, spicy, salty food?

And really, if you’re not a fan of garlic or chile heat, then don’t make this. Don’t leave out the garlic because your mom doesn’t like it, or only put in half a seeded jalapeno because you don’t like heat. I’m sick of seeing comments on blogs and recipe sites where people explain how they changed numerous major components of a dish before they’d think about trying something. I don’t believe that recipes are gospel, by any means, but you can’t completely omit or change a dish’s major flavor profile. And in this case, that means garlic and chiles (and it could be argued, fish sauce).

Rant aside, this is a super easy and fast meal, great for weeknights. Just make sure to take some breathmints to work the next day.

Drunken Noodles

1 14 oz package of wide rice noodles
6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or minced through a press
1/4 c Thai chiles, chopped (alternately, use 5-7 serrano chiles if Thai are not available)
1 lb ground chicken or pork
1/3 c fish sauce
1/4 c soy sauce
1/4 c Golden Mountain sauce, or more soy sauce
2 T sugar
2-3 cubanelle or Anaheim peppers, sliced
Thai basil, to taste

1. Cook noodles in boiling water until cooked, but still firm. Time it so the noodles are done the same time as the sauce/meat.

2. Add a little vegetable oil to a wok, then add your ground meat. Stir fry over high heat until done, then add garlic, chiles and peppers. Stir fry until peppers are tender, about 2-3 minutes.

3. Add sauces and sugar, and bring to a simmer. Toss noodles into the wok, and combine with sauce. If needed, cook 1-2 minutes more in the sauce in order to cook noodles to your liking.

4. Serve with chopped Thai basil and extra chiles, if desired.

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Crock Pot Pulled Pork


Sometimes you just want a little bit of summer all year long. That’s when it’s time for picnic’y foods!

This is perhaps the easiest recipe, one of the most versatile, and very cheap. You can’t screw it up. It’s impossible. You can make any number of dishes out of it when you’re done: BBQ pork sandwiches, a topping for nachos, tacos, carnitas, use some to make a pork stew, perogies, a porky version of shepherd’s pie….You get the idea. It’s stolen from the lovely goons over at the SomethingAwful forums. And while that can be a scary, scary place, the food forum is actually quite good and full of food snobs where I fit in quite comfortably.

Crock Pot Pulled Pork

1 pork shoulder, whatever size you can fit in your pot
Worchestershire sauce, about 1/4 cup, depending on the size of your roast
Light brown sugar, enough to cover your roast
Lots of salt

Plop your roast in your crock pot. Cover that baby with worchestershire, until there’s a little pool in the bottom of the pot. Pat brown sugar liberally all around the roast until it’s covered. Put the lid on, turn it on low, and cook for 10-12 hours. If you have a relatively small roast, check it at 8 hours. If it’s falling apart, it’s done. If you’re impatient, you could probably get away with cooking it on high for 5-6 hours, but low and slow is the way to go.

Once it’s done, take it out of the pot and let it rest on a cutting board until it’s cool enough to handle. Then pull into shreds and salt liberally. And I mean liberally. You will use more salt than you think you need.

Then, do whatever you want with it! I usually just keep it plain and add BBQ sauce to it as needed, so I can use the leftovers for tacos or whatever else. If you’re going for picnic’y, then serve with chips and pickles, of course.

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