My little garden in the backyard has finally started producing something! After a REALLY disappointing zucchini season – read: Lack Thereof – the garden has made up for things by giving me a ton of cucumbers. I planted lemon cucumbers, regular old green cucumbers, and miniature white cucumbers. I’ve foisted some off on the neighbors, and have been eating a lot of them fresh out of the garden, but there are still too many. So, I found a wonderful recipe for cucumber soup. I doubled the recipe, using three green cukes, two lemon cukes, and two of the over-ripe white cukes that turned bright yellow. Used cilantro, oregano, basil, and sage from the deck herb planters, plain old water instead of broth, and left out the avocado. My soup isn’t bright green like the picture in the recipe, but I let the onion get a good carmelization going which contributed to the brownish tinge to the soup. It’s great both hot and cold, with or without the dollop of yogurt.
Week three brings us Shiitake Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo with a salad covered in Portabella mushrooms. I really cannot get enough of those crispy spring greens and they’ve been making an appearance at every meal. The ‘alfredo’ sauce was home made, and while it didn’t come out just like the store-bought stuff, it was pretty good for using only local ingredients. I probably could’ve added a hunk of cheese to make it more flavorful, but didn’t happen to have any on hand. I’m a little late getting this one posted (week 4 is cooked and consumed already!), but, better late than never, right? Here’s the run-down.
My basic recipe consists of one cup whole wheat pastry flour, one egg, a teaspoon of olive oil and water to make proper consistency. Then the good ole KitchenAid Mixer with pasta roller/cutter attachment does the rest!
Flour - Mill at Anselma
Egg – Mountain View Organics
Non-Local – Olive Oil
Chicken was marinated in olive oil, pepper and italian seasoning, then tossed on the grill.
Chicken – Mountain View Organics
Non-Local – Pepper, salt, olive oil
I’m not going to provide the recipe because it didn’t come out right, but I’ll give you a basic idea. Mushrooms and spring garlic were sauteed in some olive oil. Melted butter and added flour to thicken to a roux. Then added milk and goat’s milk yogurt to make consistency.
Raw Milk – Kimberton Hills Dairy
Goat’s Milk Yogurt – Shellbark Hollow Farm
Flour - Mill at Anselma
Spring Garlic – Jack’s Farm
Mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms
Non-Local – Butter, Olive Oil
Spring Mix Greens – Jack’s Farm
Portabella Mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms
Non-Local – Salad Dressing
And we’re onto Week 2. So far, there’s not a lot of produce to pick from at the market given that our growing season REALLY gets moving at the end of May into early June. Oley Valley Mushrooms always comes through with fantastic mushrooms – these Crimini ‘shrooms were seriously the best mushrooms I have ever eaten. There may have been one or two that didn’t make it into the pan. The recipe we used was the Beef Stroganoff recipe from SimplyRecipes.com with a couple of local substitutions made. We used bison in place of beef, goat’s milk yogurt instead of sour cream, and since we couldn’t find onions at the market just yet, we ended up replacing those with a few leeks and it worked out just fine. So, let’s start in the back with the bread and run around, clockwise.
Bread – Saint Peter’s Bakery. This was their rustic white bread, which was sweet and super soft.
Mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms. Crimini mushrooms with this incredible earthy flavor.
Bison – Backyard Bison. We used a sirloin that we happened to have in the freezer from a few markets ago.
Goat’s Milk Yogurt – Shellbark Hollow Farm. The yogurt is tangy and actually made a perfect substitute for sour cream.
Leeks – Hoagland Farm. It’s a little bit of an odd substitution for shallots, but it worked out well.
Noodles – Mill at Anselma. The base for the noodles was whole wheat pastry flour from the mill made with wheat grown in Pennsylvania. This is one find that I’m SUPER proud of and just love that it’s a local ingredient. I also used an egg from Mountain View Organics and a touch of olive oil. Then the pasta roller/cutter and KitchenAid mixer did the rest of the work. These noodles really came out fantastic, arguably my best attempt at pasta yet.
Non-local – Olive oil, spices.
Honey Rhubarb Muffin:
Okay, maybe this wasn’t 100% local, but we’ll call it a bonus localish item on the plate. The recipe came from here and I tried to keep it as local as possible, but with bakery items, it’s just not possible to use pastry flour and get just the right consistency. A blend of flours (all-purpose and pastry) seems to work out best, and I figure it’s better to stick with that than force the locality issue and get something that’s more like hardtack than a muffin. We left out the chopped nuts.
Flour – Mill at Anselma. Split 50/50 with generic all-purpose flour.
Rhubarb – Hoagland Farm. I remember not liking rhubarb as a kid, but now? I cannot get enough. There is chopped rhubarb in the muffin as well as a sort of honey rhubarb reduction jelly sort of spread on top.
Egg – Mountain View Organics.
Sour Cream – Shellbark Hollow Farm. Substituted goat’s milk yogurt here again, and it worked fine.
Honey – Baues Busy Bees.
Non-local – Sugar, Canola Oil, Salt, Baking Soda, Vanilla
Penns Woods Chambourcin Reserve (2006). It’s a local winery that we hadn’t had the chance to try before and decided to go for it since they were at the farmer’s market running tastings. We were not disappointed.
This might just be the best one local summer meal we’ve ever made. I’m pretty sure it will be going into regular dinner rotation in the future! Now I want to hear about some other recipe sites that you enjoy using for dinner ideas. I’m slowly picking through Elise’s Simply Recipes site and am just plain running out of meal ideas. So, please share your favorites!
I don’t think farmtophilly.com is doing the One Local Summer challenge again, so I figured I’d just do it on my own for the duration of the summer Phoenixville Farmer’s Market. This past weekend was the first market for the regular season and wow was it incredible. There were so many great vendors, and the market was PACKED! So nice to see. So, the meal!
Clockwise, starting with the pile of mushrooms..
Portabella mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms. Always delicious.
Mixed Greens – Jack’s Farm. Crisp and clean. Perfect.
Blue Cheese – Birchrun Hills. This blue cheese is incredible and a household favorite.
Bread – Sweetwater Bakery. The ingredients may not be entirely local, but the baking sure is. This is the first time we’ve tried their bread and we were definitely not disappointed.
Chicken – Mountain View Organics. Pounded out thin
Bacon – Countrytime Farm. Nitrate free, and if you’ve never had nitrate free bacon? This stuff is amazing.
Mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms. Same Portabella’s as the salad, and they cooked up perfectly.
Blue Cheese – Birchrun Hills. Same as in the Salad.
We marinated the chicken in homebrewed beer, garlic, and spices, then added some BBQ sauce (mixed with Tangerine juice, maple syrup, and Good Ole Jack) and some other spices on the outside (paprika, Montreal Chicken Seasoning) while it was cooking up in the smoker.
This was a pretty easy one. The bacon stayed soft inside the roulade and the fat also kept the chicken moist, not to mention the slow-cooking in the smoker aided as well. The Husband decided to not use mushrooms in his (blasphemy, I know), but did come up with an excellent BBQ sauce and spiced the outside just right.
I’m so excited for another Local Summer to get started, I’m already planning a whole bunch of meals in my head for the next few weeks until my backyard vegetable garden gets growing!
My two little jalapeno pepper plants were VERY good to me this year. TWO POUNDS OF PEPPERS good to me. The first pound went to jalapeno pepper jelly which quickly became a favorite with the husband. The most recent pound was waiting for me in the fridge since I wasn’t sure quite what to do with that many jalapenos. Someone suggested jalapeno poppers, but since I’m not a big fan of frying and have never really been able to get that whole breading thing right, the idea was pretty much abandoned. Then I happened upon this recipe and decided to give it a go. The process involves cutting and de-seeding all of the peppers, dipping them in milk, then flour and after a quick dry, two rounds through milk and bread crumbs. It’s time consuming (especially when there are 56 poppers to make), but the result is a PERFECT jalapeno popper. I’m really kind of shocked that these came out so well. Served up with a little sour cream, they make a great snack. I plan on freezing most of them to save for later since there are 56!
|Torta di Mele (Apple Cake)|
|2 Eggs||300 g (2.25 cup) All-Purpose Flour|
|200 g (1 cup) Sugar||1 tsp Baking Powder|
|1/2 cup Olive Oil||4 Apples, peeled and sliced thinly|
|1 cup Milk||1 tbsp Confectioners Sugar (optional)|
And another week down, bringing us to week eleven of the One Local Summer challenge. This week we decided to attack the pulled pork sandwich. I wasn’t able to find locally baked rolls that would work for sandwiches, so we found Vermont Bread Company rolls at Kimberton Whole Foods that worked out well, even if they’re not really that local. It’s probably the biggest non-local item I’ve used, but I really, honestly tried to find local rolls that would work and just couldn’t find any. Oh well! We did go the extra mile with the barbeque sauce and made that from scratch. The dinner was delicious and while the pork butt took all day to cook in the smoker and then crock pot, it was WELL worth it. Non-local ingredients used (other than the rolls) were in the barbeque sauce: pepper, salt, cider vinegar. The rest of the ingredient run down follows.
Corn: Kimberton Whole Foods (locally grown)
Peaches: North Star Orchards
Feta Cheese: Apple Tree Goat Dairy
Pork Butt: Countrytime Farm
Maple Sugar: Miller’s Maple
Tomatoes: Jack’s Farm
Garlic: Jack’s Farm
Onion: North Star Orchards
|Day two of zucchini week brings us to Stuffed Zucchini. As usual, I used the recipe as a guideline and substituted a few things using ingredients found locally. For the ground turkey, I used hot italian turkey sausage. Instead of Parmesan Cheese, I threw in Sharp II Chevre. Tomatoes were both from a local source and even last year’s garden in the form of sun-dried roma tomatoes. Mushrooms are also local mushrooms of the Crimini variety, bought from my favorite farmer’s market. The zucchini used here is a monster zucchini, probably a little past its prime, and a result of a neglectful gardener who didn’t want to go out picking through her garden during the heat, humidity, and thunderstorms we’ve been having lately. However, those three things have given me quite the harvest, so I suppose I shouldn’t complain too much. Now if only I could find a way to combine both zucchini and cucumbers into one dish!||Stuffed Zucchini – Recipe on SimplyRecipes.com|
*Zucchini – my garden
*Basil – my herb garden
*Egg – Mt. View Organics
*Sausage – Mt. View Organics
*Onion – North Star Orchard
*Tomatoes – North Star Orchard
*Cheese – Shellbark Hollow Farms
*Mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms
|For day one of zucchini week, I decided to try something new and different. I just love Elise’s website for recipes and this one jumped right out at me as being something relatively easy and delicious and above all, different from the normal uses for zucchini. The Zucchini Fritters were all of those things and this is definitely going see many repeat performances! I switched out the scallions for a locally grown onion, and used goat’s milk yogurt and cheese, both from local farms. The cheese in little lumps at the back of the plate is a spicy chipotle chevre and since I like a bit of tabasco sauce with anything involving egg, this pleased my palate to no end. This may not be a whole meal, but it’s a great use for at least one of those zucchini!||Zucchini Fritters – Recipe on SimplyRecipes.com|
*Zucchini – my own garden
*Egg – Mt. View Organics
*Onion – North Star Orchard
*Flour – Mill at Anselma
*Yogurt – Shellbark Hollow Farms
*Cheese – Amazing Acres
I’ve taken to growing this peculiar little vegetable in the garden every year after finding a packet of seeds in Target (Thank you Martha Stewart). I thought, Wow, that’s different, let’s give it a shot. Well they grew like weeds the first year, but our soil wasn’t quite ready to support them, so I got a few, but the vines died off. We tilled in a little compost this year and they’ve all but taken over the garden.
They’re somewhere between baseball and softball sized usually and, when ripe, have a yellow skin that ranges from a very pale yellow to nearly orange. All the information I can find online says that they’re less bitter than traditional cucumbers and have more seeds. Today, one little cucumber was destined to be a part of my sandwich, paired with some bison bologna, lettuce, goat’s milk feta cheese, and some rustic wheat bread. DELICIOUS! This upcoming week, we’re going to review the Zucchini, all week. If you’ve ever grown zucchini, you understand the agony of finding new things to do with zucchini after you’ve already steamed it, fried it, and grilled it. I’m going to try and do all the recipes using only local ingredients to go along with my One Local Summer challenge.