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One Local Summer 2017 – Meal 6

Meal 6 in week 9!  I actually cooked this on Saturday right after the farmers market, having come home with my head full of ideas thanks to the kind folks at North Star Orchard.  You see, I was gushing over how pretty the rainbow chard was and how versatile the leafy green is since it’s the best of celery and spinach in one plant, plus, THOSE COLORS.  We chatted for a bit about the myriad of ways to use this gem of a plant, and how great is it that farmers take the time to extol the virtues of their vegetables and offer recipe ideas and cooking advice?!  Well, a quiche is just one of the ways to use chard, so the second I got home, I set out to make a late breakfast for myself.  I like using recipes since I need a good guide when I cook, so I found this one that included a cornmeal and flour crust for the quiche.  I replaced the shortening with lard, because lard, and again instead of milk, I used goat’s milk yogurt.  Chard replaced the spinach, and I sautéed the chopped stems with spring garlic, garlic scapes, and scallions.  Instead of swiss cheese, I used blue cheese fresh from my first Collective Creamery cheese CSA pickup.  I cheated a little and just pressed the crust into the pie dish instead of rolling it out, saving myself the trouble of washing the rolling pin and mat, but that worked out just fine since the crust came out nice and crispy, and the dark roasted cornmeal I used kicked the flavor of the whole thing up a notch.  On the side are three asparagus spears wrapped in culatello, topped with a bit of Red Cat cheese (because always cheese), and a wee little fried quail egg.  The bowl in the back contains fresh strawberries drizzled with our own honey, and I’m not ashamed to say I polished off a whole pint of strawberries in one sitting because they were FANTASTIC.  There’s also a mug of non-local (but absolutely necessary) cold brew coffee.  I also now have a whole bunch of quiche leftovers, so there’s breakfast for the week!

Ingredients:
Asparagus – Hill Creek Farm
Eggs (Quail and Chicken) – Deep Roots Valley Farm
Cheese (Red Cat & Blue) – Birchrun Hills
Whole Wheat Pastry Flour – Mill at Anselma
Dark Roasted Cornmeal – Mill at Anselma
Lard – M&M Creek Valley Farm
Goat’s Milk Yogurt – Shellbark Hollow Farm
Rainbow Chard – North Star Orchard
Culatello – Countrytime Farm
Garlic – Charlestown Farm
Scallions – Jack’s Farm
Garlic Scapes – Jack’s Farm
Strawberries – Jack’s Farm
Honey – Our Beehives
Non Local – Salt, pepper, olive oil

One Local Summer 2017 – Meal 4

See, I knew I was going to get behind on these, so while this is meal 4, it’s technically week 7.  Things have been a bit crazy, so while I haven’t had time to put together exclusively local meals, most of what I eat while the farmers market is in full swing ends up being local since that’s where I do the majority of my grocery shopping.  Anyway!  This is a bit of an ambitious dinner for me, but it’s a pretty awesome one, if I do say so myself.  The centerpiece is the banh bao, a Vietnamese pork bun.  Husband came across these on his travels for work at one point or another and we figured the recipe had to be fairly easy – meat and a hard-boiled egg in a dough wrapper.  We found a recipe online and made a huge batch a few years ago.  They freeze and reheat surprisingly well, but it definitely is quicker work with two people.  For this version, I made my own self-rising flour using the ratio here, making a 3 cup batch of flour.  The original recipe calls for milk and sugar, so I substituted in 1/2 cup honey and 1 cup of goat’s milk yogurt to keep it local.  My flour is also a whole wheat flour, so they didn’t come out perfectly white like the traditional banh bao, but that’s just cosmetic anyway.  The filling consists of a hard-boiled quail egg, scallions, and ground pork.  I even took half the batch and added a few cheese curds just for fun.  The quail eggs are a new offering from our farmers market poultry vendor this year, and it’s neat to be able to use quail eggs instead of quartering a chicken egg.  The poultry vendor’s two girls are raising the quail and running the whole quail egg operation on their own, so supporting the next generation of farmers as well as two young girl entrepreneurs sweetens the deal!  Going around the plate, next we have sliced, roasted cheesy asparagus.  I picked the bigger asparagus lot at the market, sliced them on a mandoline slicer, then tossed them with olive oil, salt, and pepper and topped with cheese.  Into the oven at 425 for about 8-10 minutes, and voila!  The cookies may not be made with local ingredients, but they are from a farmers market baker.  Supporting local business is part of the One Local Summer equation, so while it’s a bit of a cheat, it’s chocolate chip cookies, how could I not?  In the glass is some more homebrewed mead to finish out the meal.

Ingredients:
Whole Wheat Pastry Flour – Mill at Anselma
Quail Eggs – Deep Roots Valley Farm
Ground Pork – Countrytime Farm
Scallions – Jack’s Farm
Cheese – Cheese curds and Fat Cat from Birchrun Hills
Asparagus – Hill Creek Farm
Cookies – The Flour Fairies
Honey – Our Beehives
Goat’s Milk Yogurt – Shellbark Hollow Farm
Non Local – Salt, pepper, olive oil, baking powder

One Local Summer 2016 – Week 3

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Moving right along!  I’m a little late posting this (a theme you’ll see as we get into mid and late summer and I just get too busy to blog), but it was definitely made during week 3, I swear!  Here we have my sad attempt at an omelette and roasted asparagus.  I learned that while I make tasty omelets, they’re not very pretty to behold and probably work better as open face egg creations more than properly flipped and perfect omelets.  Presentation is just not as important as the flavor, and I can assure you that this disappeared pretty quickly!  Inside the egg are scallions, spring garlic, mushrooms, goat cheese, and spinach.  On the side is sliced asparagus, roasted with some salt and olive oil, and then given a little cheesy topping for the last few minutes.  You guys, I may never eat asparagus any other way ever again.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s great grilled, but roasted?  It comes out so much more tender and crisps a little on the edges which is so wonderful.  Of course, you can never go wrong with putting cheese on top!  I plan on doing this for breakfast a few more times since I still have spinach and goat cheese, but it will probably be more of an unsightly scramble than a nicely plated creation.  Did I mention that I’m a lazy cook?  Oh, and the coffee, not local, but absolutely necessary for survival.

Ingredients:

One Local Summer 2016 – Week 2

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Husband was home briefly over the weekend, and thankfully I had thought ahead enough to pull some pork butt steaks out of the freezer.  I suggested we go out for our 12th anniversary dinner, but the man loves to cook, and I have a policy of never saying no to his cooking (any meal I don’t have to cook is a good one!), so dinner at home it was!  The pork butt steaks were given a little time to marinate in some homemade riesling with some fresh cilantro from the patio planters.  That stuff re-seeds itself and springs back every year, so we had plenty of cilantro to work with.  The asparagus was given a rub down with olive oil, salt, and pepper and then both the butt steak and asparagus were put on the grill.  Meanwhile, back at the kitchen, I was tasked with making spätzle.  I kind of did it by guesswork – it’s a combination of flour, eggs, and water (since we had no local milk) until the batter is almost the consistency of a thick waffle batter (thicker than pancakes, thinner than cookie dough).  The spätzle was then given a toss with some spring garlic, cheese, and pepper and plated together nicely with a glass of celebratory spumante.  A really nice meal for a rainy Saturday evening!

Ingredients:

One Local Summer 2015 – Week 6

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Well I really have no reason to cook since the husband enjoys it so much and I find it such a chore.  That said, I did help out this week by making the spaetzle!  We had bought a spaetzle maker (basically a slotted metal plate like a cheese grater with an open-bottomed container that slides across the plate) but hadn’t tried it out yet, and this week seemed like a great opportunity to use it and fill in some space on the plate!  We followed the recipe on the spaetzle maker package which gave us a really thin batter, but I’ve tried it once now and know what sort of consistency to shoot for.  Also on the plate is a pork rib roast, cooked on the rotisserie on the grill, covered in maple sugar, salt, and crushed pepper and brushed with homebrew amber ale, vinegar, salt, and pepper while on the rotisserie.  Then we have bacon wrapped asparagus, a bowl of cucumbers with salt and pepper and vinegar, and a nice glass of Blaufrankich from Chaddsford Winery.  Everything came out AMAZING and made for a really nice dinner.

Ingredients:
Pork Rib Roast – M&M Creek Valley Farm
Asparagus – Clover Hill Farm
Spaetzle – Whole Wheat Pastry Flour from the Mill at Anselma and butter from Handmade by Abby
Bacon – Countrytime Farm
Cucumber – Clover Hill Farm
Maple Sugar – Miller’s Maple
Wine – Chaddsford Winery
Non Local – homemade vinegar, salt, pepper, homebrew amber beer