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Cook your favorite MN State Fair foods at home

Some of the most interesting new and all-time favorites at the fair can't be replicated but can be 'approximated' at home.

Rachael Perron from Kowalski's returns to the KARE 11 barn to show us some of her new and all-time favorite fair foods and explains how we can make them at home. 

BUFFALO CHICKEN NACHOS (a la RC BQ’s, THE HOT HEN)

3 generous handfuls BBQ-flavored potato chips (about 6 oz. total)

¾ lb. shredded rotisserie chicken, warmed gently in the microwave

⅓ cup buffalo sauce, or to taste

1 tsp. pure maple syrup (or honey)

1 cup Kowalski’s Signature Queso Blanco

¼ cup milk

½ cup (about 3 oz.) creamy blue cheese crumbles (such as St. Pete’s Select), plus more for garnishing to taste

- garnishes: diced tomatoes, thinly sliced green onion and pickled jalapeños, to taste

Split chips between 3 serving dishes; set aside. In a medium-sized mixing bowl combine chicken, buffalo sauce and syrup; stir to coat chicken evenly and set aside. In a microwave-safe dish, heat queso and milk until very hot (about 2 min.); stir in blue cheese to melt. If necessary, return queso to microwave and heat in short 15-30 sec. increments until cheese is almost fully melted; stir. Top chips evenly with chicken and drizzle with blue cheese queso. Garnish with tomato, onion, jalapeño and more blue cheese crumbles to taste.

Serves 3.

BLUEBERRY BASIL LEMONADE (a la THE BLUE BARN)

½ oz. fresh basil leaves (a generous handful)

½ cup blueberry jam (such as Bonne Maman Intense)

48 oz. Kowalski’s Fresh Squeezed Lemonade

Place basil in a glass pitcher and use a wooden spoon to bruise the leaves and release the essential oils. Add jam and lemonade to the pitcher and stir until well-combined (it may help to loosen the jam by heating it in the microwave for about 30 sec.). Refrigerate mixture 2-3 hours. Strain lemonade to remove basil leaves and blueberry solids; discard. Serve strained lemonade over ice.

Serves 6.

TASTY TIP:

Try other flavors of jam and other herbs such as Kowalski’s Strawberry Rhubarb Jam with lavender or rosemary.

SHREDDED BEEF TACOS (a la SHANGHAIED HENRI’S)

1 pkg. Dole Sweet Kale Chopped Salad Kit, dressing and mix-ins reserved for another use

½ cup shredded Brussels sprouts (from the Prepared Produce Section)

3 tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar

1 ½ tsp. sugar

12 (6”) Kowalski’s Flour Tortillas

1 lb. Kowalski’s Signature Shredded Barbacoa-Style Beef, warmed gently in the microwave

7-8 oz. smoked Gouda cheese, to taste, shredded

- BBQ sauce, to taste

In a large mixing bowl, combine kale salad mix with brussels sprouts. Drizzle with vinegar and sprinkle with sugar; toss to combine and let stand 15-30 min. On a nonstick griddle heated to medium-low, warm tortillas a few at a time until hot and just beginning to puff, turning once (about 1 min. total); remove tortillas from heat and keep warm. If necessary, coarsely chop or pull beef into bite-size pieces; serve warm beef in warm tortillas topped with cheese and kale salad mixture. Drizzle tacos with BBQ sauce; serve immediately.

Makes 12.

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