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Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Salad And Steak Are Best Served With Homemade Sauces

This week, Chef Dean Wirkerman uses housemade buttermilk to make ranch dressing. He also whips up a chimichurri to serve over grilled steak.

chef dean wirkerman at cardinal spirits

Photo: Eoban Binder/WFIU

Executive Chef Dean Wirkerman at the Cardinal Spirits kitchen

The overall concept is you have a base — it’s the yogurt, the mayonnaise, all that. You have the onion powder, the garlic, and then you have salt and pepper.

Add some herbs and you’ve made ranch dressing. Chef Dean Wirkerman of Cardinal Spirits calls it the Midwest’s mother sauce. He also makes a chimichurri sauce to season some grilled New York strip.

We ask Sycamore Land Trust to introduce us to some invasive species and to describe their impact on native plants. Assistant Director John Lawrence says fighting invasives sometimes feels like a losing battle:

It’s kind of like fixing the roof on your house. You might get a water leak here or there and you’re going to have to patch it. It’s always going to keep raining outside.

From Harvest Public Media, we hear about the controversy swirling around the world’s largest meat company.

And, some people who own land along the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline say their soil is too fragile for that kind of construction.

Stories On This Episode

Swiss Supermarket Launches Europe’s First Worm Burgers

Mealworms served in Yunnan, China

A grocery coop in Switzerland has unleashed new burgers and balls packed with protein from mealworms.

JBS Mired In Multiple Corruption Scandals In Brazil

cattle feedlot

Known for its rapid expansion across the globe, Brazil-based meatpacking giant JBS has been embroiled in scandal for much of 2017.

With Invasives, Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth A Pound Of Cure

john lawrence sycamore land trust

On this week's show, we visit Sycamore Land Trust to find out what it takes to control invasive plants and restore an ecosystem to its preferred state.

Ranch Dressing: The Midwest Mother Sauce

summer salad with ranch dressing

Cardinal Spirits Executive Chef Dean Wirkerman uses homemade buttermilk and a combination of fresh and dried herbs. You'll never buy a bottle of ranch again!

Cardinal Spirits’ Grilled Ribeye Nuggets With Chimichurri

ribeye nuggets on greens

Chimichurri is best made with herbs fresh from your garden, whether it's mint, cilantro or parsley. Use Chef Dean Wirkerman's recipe as a jumping off point.

Examining The Sandy Soil Along Proposed Keystone XL Route

Anti-pipeline sign

Landowners and environmental groups wanted Keystone XL out of the Nebraska Sandhills, a region with sandy soil that is quick to erode and hard to restore.

Annie Corrigan

Annie Corrigan is a producer and announcer for WFIU. In addition to serving as the local voice for NPR's Morning Edition, she produces WFIU's weekly sustainable food program Earth Eats. She earned degrees in oboe performance from Indiana University and Bowling Green State University.

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