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Farmers Market Recipes: Spring Season

21 Apr

B Gibson - Version 2An uplift in mood is clearly evident come spring at the farmers market. And the beauty of cooking and eating along a somewhat seasonal track is the joy that comes from seeing favorites return after a long absence.

Below are a few items you’ll find in abundance now along with recipe links. And if you do live in Marin, check out the Spring Schedule of Local Farmers Markets below.

Click images for recipes        

ARTICHOKES

ArtichokesThis recipe is straightforward and full of flavor. Artichokes are trimmed, seared and then sit covered to cook for 45 minutes. And although a dip isn’t necessary, here’s a good one to accompany a more simple steamed artichoke.

 ASPARAGUS

Asparagus Pic Monkey

Go with the fatter spears to avoid them becoming stringy when roasted. This recipe is a great meld of flavors.

BEETS

BeetsA simple, versatile and tasty recipe. Feta works well too.

CARROTS

Carrots

I usually make this recipe without the orange juice and use fresh or dried rosemary, thyme or a combination.

STRAWBERRIES

Strawberries

Although the freezing-for-winter strategy extends strawberries’ lifespan, there’s nothing like the freshly picked. Click the image above for recipes.

 


 MARIN COUNTY FARMERS MARKET Spring Schedule      

SUNDAY

SAN RAFAEL, 8:00-1:00, Marin County Civic Center Parking Lot

TUESDAY

MILL VALLEY, 3:00-7:00pm, Tam Valley Community Center, 203 Marin Ave   (Starts in May)

WEDNESDAY

CORTE MADERA, 12:00-5:00 pm, Corte Madera Town Center, Highway 101 & Tamalpais

FAIRFAX, 4:00-8:00pm, Bolinas Park, 124 Bolinas Avenue     (Start in May)

THURSDAY

SAN RAFAEL

8:00am-1:00pm, Civic Center, Marin Veterans Memorial Auditorium’s Parking Lot

6:00-9:00pm, Downtown San Rafael, 4th Street between Lincoln and B Streets

FRIDAY

MILL VALLEY, 9:30am-2:30pm, CVS Pharmacy Parking Lot, 759 E Blithedale

BOLINAS, 2:00-6:00pm, Star Route Farm, 95 Olema-Bolinas Road

SATURDAY

LARKSPUR, 9:00am-2:00pm, Marin Country Mart, Larkspur Landing Circle

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Thanksgiving Feasting Favorites

24 Nov

Although tradition dominates the Thanksgiving feast, leaving little room for variation much less something entirely new, here are a few favorites and tips to stir up inspiration prior to the big week ahead.

COOKING THE BIRD

For a turkey deep in flavor and a moist, yet firm consistency, try following the award-winning Judy Bird technique inspired by the roast chicken made famous by the late Judy Rodgers at Zuni Cafe in San Francisco. (See my post here about the chef, her philosophy and restaurant and her recipe for Salmon with White Beans, Bacon and Red Wine.)

NOTE: I do not follow Step 7 and start the bird in the oven breast side down.

Sage and Bay Salt Dry Brine
Sage and Bay Salt Dry Brine

The turkey is dry brined for three days although I have done it for much less with equally good results. Here is a tasty dry brine recipe.

APPETIZERS

Ellen's Nuts
Ellen’s Nuts
Rustic Bakery Meyer Lemon and Chickpea Spread
Meyer Lemon and Chickpea Spread, recipe from Rustic Bakery
Baked Rosemary Beet Chips
Baked Rosemary Beet Chips, by Minimalist Baker
Crab Cake Bites
Crab Cake Bites, from Savory Simple
Artichokes
from The Real Deal Marin

 ACCOMPANIMENTS

Tyler Florence Mashed Potatoes
Tyler Florence Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes
Savory Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Creamed Pearl Onions
Thomas Keller’s Creamed Pearl Onion, via Smitten Kitchen
Ina Garten Spinach Gratin
Ina Garten Spinach Gratin via The Food Network

STOCK and GRAVY

How to Make Stock, A video tutorial with simple instructions from Mario Batali on Food 52.

How to Make Gravy, from The New York Times Cooking

DESSERT

Although no dessert would be shunned, Apple Pie is a must. If you have any doubt, read this, and you may get lured into making it a regular closer to your feast too, if it isn’t already.

    Butter Pie Crust, from Epicurious

    Crust Tipsfrom Joy the Baker

    THE Apple Pie, inspired by Kierin Baldwin

    Ala Mode, a basic vanilla ice cream recipe

    Best Apples for Piefrom Baking Bites

LEFTOVERS

Thanks Benedict on Stuffing Cakes with Sage Hollandaise, by Giada De Laurentiis
Thanks Benedict on Stuffing Cakes with Sage Hollandaise, by Giada De Laurentiis
Turkey Tetrazzini
Turkey Tetrazzini, from The Real Deal Marin 
Loaded Turkey Panini
Loaded Turkey Panini, from Pinch of Yum

 (This is a good framework that you can alter based on what you have leftover.)

If you try one of these recipe, please let me know what you think in the comments section below. Or take a photo and post it on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #realdealmarin.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Zucchini, Mushroom and Tomato Roasted Casserole

7 Oct

It may be fall, but the deep heat I experienced on both the east and west coasts last week was no indication. A football tailgate spent seeking shade rather than warmth has thankfully delayed the inevitable seasonal shift in mindset.Fall 2And since summer produce remains readily available at the farmers market, the hearty squashes can be nudged out for a bit longer as far as I’m concerned. Soon enough.

Squash and Chard

Try to fit this colorful, flavorful veggie casserole in before the turn. You get the joy of layering but without the heavy prep of lasagna. And you can delete, substitute or add just about any vegetable which is a great way to use things up you have on hand. Any way you stack it, it’s simple to throw together and delicious to go along with any meat, poultry or fish.

Zucchini, Mushroom and Tomato Roasted Casserole

  • Servings: 6+
  • Print

INGREDIENTS

  • 3-5  Zucchini, sliced lengthwise or in rounds (amount depends on variety/size)
  • 15  Mushrooms (sliced)
  • 5  Scallions (sliced up to dark green stalk)
  • Tomatoes (one basket cherry or 4 -5 sliced whole *)
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt (Herb, Large Grain or Kosher)
  • 3/4 Tablespoon Black Pepper, preferably freshly ground
  • 1 Tablespoon Thyme (Dried)
  • 1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup or more Parmesan Cheese

NoteMeasurements are approximate. 

* If using whole tomatoes, slice and place on a paper towel while prepping other ingredients to soak some of their liquid.

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Arrange 1/3 of the vegetables on the bottom of an oiled or buttered medium baking dish.
  3. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the salt, pepper, thyme, and red pepper flakes.
  4. Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil over and sprinkle with 1/3 of the parmesan cheese.
  5. Repeat three times.
  6. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.

 

 

The Amazing Artichoke – Pan Roasted with Garlic, Basil Mayonnaise

20 May

My first introduction to artichokes was an unpleasant one. Just after college, I was invited to have dinner with my friend and his parents at their home in a high-end New York suburb. They had the kind of dining room table that is perfect for Thanksgiving but otherwise does not promote intimate conversation. We each had a side on which to hold court.

Artichoke

To start off the meal, we were presented with an artichoke, an unusual budding flower head that was entirely unfamiliar. Certainly New Jersey, my birth place, provides impressive crops of corn on the cob and beefsteak tomatoes, but these? Since 100 percent of all artichokes sold commercially in the United States are grown in California, it’s not a wonder that we had never crossed paths, but still.

What could I do but mouth a plea of “Help…!” to my friend across the expanse of table. He got the hint and I was able to imitate my way through navigating this tricky thistle. It was equally disconcerting when asparagus, another flowering perennial plant species that had not seen its way to my plate before, was served as a side dish. It was a challenging dinner.

Although neither item won me over first time around, both have become favorites, especially considering Castroville, the artichoke capital of the world, is now a not too distant neighbor.

PURCHASING

Artichokes are readily available in spring and fall. Select globes that are deep green and have petals that are tightly closed rather than splayed out and dehydrated looking. They should feel somewhat heavy for their size and will squeak when squeezed.

Artichokes

To store, sprinkle with a little water and refrigerate in an airtight plastic bag. Do no wash before storing. They should last a week.

PREPARATION

With a sharp or serrated knife, slice off the top 1 inch and most of the stem of the artichoke, snap off the small, tough outer leaves and with scissors, snip off thorny tips.

From there, go through the following steps:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Immediately add to lemon water where they will keep in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days until ready to cook.

Here’s to enjoying them while you’re young!

Pan Roasted Artichokes

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 lemons, quartered
  • 4 medium to large artichokes
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 to 6 peeled garlic cloves, crushed

PREPARATION

  1. Fill a large bowl with water and squeeze in the juice from the four quarters of one lemon.
  2. With a sharp or serrated knife, slice off the top 1 inch and most of the stem of the artichokes, pull off the small, tough outer leaves and with scissors, snip off the thorny tips.
  3. Cut in half or quarters lengthwise.
  4. Separate the first few, purple-tinged leaves in the center from the base by pulling them away from the choke with your fingers.
  5. Use a spoon or melon baller to scrape the fuzzy center from the choke. (See slide show above.)
  6. Immediately put artichokes in the lemon water to help avoid discoloration. Keep in the water until ready to cook; they may be stored in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. Just before cooking, spread the artichokes on paper towels, sliced side down, and pat dry.
  7. When ready to cook, heat a large sauté pan over medium-high flame. Warm the olive oil until nearly smoking. Sprinkle the pan generously with salt and pepper.
  8. Carefully place the artichokes sliced side down in the pan. Do not overlap. Season with more salt and pepper and slip the garlic into the spaces between the artichokes.
  9. Cook, shaking the pan occasionally to keep the artichokes from sticking, until they are evenly browned underneath, 6 to 10 minutes. Using tongs, lift 1 or 2 artichokes up to check for doneness.
  10. Add the quarters of the second lemon to the pan, place a piece of foil over the pan and cover with a lid. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat and keep covered for 30 to 45 minutes or if longer, briefly re-heat over low flame.
  11. Transfer the artichokes to a serving platter. Squeeze the juice from the cooked lemon wedges into the pan and whisk to scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom. Pour the juice over the artichokes, garnish with the remaining lemon quarters and serve with Garlic, Basil Dip.

Adapted from: The Food Channel

 

Garlic, Basil Dip

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

PREPARATION

Mix all ingredients in medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Note: Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Source: Epicurious

Farmers Market Recipes: Spring Season

29 Mar

An uplift in mood is clearly evident come spring at the farmers market. And the beauty of cooking and eating along a somewhat seasonal track is the joy that comes from seeing favorites return after a long absence.

Below are a few items you’ll find in abundance now along with links to some favorite recipes. Since the weather is more winter than spring at the moment, it’s a good time for roasting and braising which is not ideal in the warmer months.

If you do live in Marin, check out the Spring Schedule of Local Farmers Markets below.

Click images for recipes        

ARTICHOKES

ArtichokesThis recipe is straightforward and full of flavor. Artichokes are trimmed, seared and then sit covered to cook for 45 minutes. And although a dip isn’t necessary, here’s a great one to accompany a more simple steamed artichoke.

 ASPARAGUS

Asparagus Pic Monkey

Go with the fatter spears to avoid them becoming stringy when roasted. This recipe is a great meld of flavors.

BEETS

BeetsA simple, versatile and tasty recipe. Feta works well too.

CARROTS

Carrots

I usually make this recipe without the orange juice and use fresh or dried rosemary, thyme or a combination.

STRAWBERRIES

Strawberries

Although the freezing-for-winter strategy extends strawberries’ lifespan, there’s nothing like the freshly picked. Click the image above for recipes.

 


 MARIN COUNTY FARMERS MARKET Spring Schedule      

SUNDAY

SAN RAFAEL, 8:00-1:00, Marin County Civic Center Parking Lot

TUESDAY

MILL VALLEY, 3:00-7:00pm, Tam Valley Community Center, 203 Marin Ave   (Starts in May)

WEDNESDAY

CORTE MADERA, 12:00-5:00 pm, Corte Madera Town Center, Highway 101 & Tamalpais

FAIRFAX, 4:00-8:00pm, Bolinas Park, 124 Bolinas Avenue     (Start in May)

THURSDAY

SAN RAFAEL

8:00am-1:00pm, Civic Center, Marin Veterans Memorial Auditorium’s Parking Lot

6:00-9:00pm, Downtown San Rafael, 4th Street between Lincoln and B Streets

FRIDAY

MILL VALLEY, 9:30am-2:30pm, CVS Pharmacy Parking Lot, 759 E Blithedale

BOLINAS, 2:00-6:00pm, Star Route Farm, 95 Olema-Bolinas Road

SATURDAY

LARKSPUR, 9:00am-2:00pm, Marin Country Mart, Larkspur Landing Circle

Savory Roasted Sweet Potatoes: A Side Dish or Pillow for Poached Eggs

1 Mar

Sweet Potatoes

When it comes to side dishes, I gravitate to the quick prep/undisturbed cooking options because pre-dinner, a multitude of other interferences insist attention. Weeknights don’t tend to be the time for fuss. The default is to gather a variety of potatoes and/or veggies, toss them onto a baking sheet, glug on some olive oil and sprinkle with herbs and a seasoning salt before setting in the oven. Although the results hit the high mark sometimes more than others, you’ll get a tasty and reliable side staple regardless.

But something about this sweet potato recipe has me hooked. I made it three times last week. Like the stand-by, preparation is simple and there is no need to monitor, but it has a winning flavor and perfect bite every time.

Sweet Potatoes

Reheated leftovers are just as worthy. Or try with poached eggs! (see recipe below)

Nutritional Information

As an added benefit, this tuber vegetable side dish will up the nutrition quotient of your meal:

Low

  • Calories
  • Sodium
  • Saturated Fat
  • Cholesterol
  • Glycemic Index

High

  • Dietary Fiber
  • Calcium
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Beta-Carotine
  • Potassium
  • Iron
  • Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Magnesium and Vitamin C

Sweet Potato or Yam?

Surprisingly, both of the above are sweet potatoes. Those yams we think we’re eating at Thanksgiving are more commonly harvested in West Africa are very rarely found in our supermarkets. These two have a slight consistency and taste difference but both work well in this recipe.

Conventional or Organic?

Sweet potatoes are on Environmental Working Groups Clean 15 List so are considered less likely to be contaminated by pesticides. Their strong outer layer would seem to provide a sufficient boundary, but this  video-gone-viral of a little girls’ science experiment could give you pause next time you purchase them. She attempts to grow roots in jars using non-organic, conventional organic and local organic sweet potatoes. I think I’ll be adding a plus one to EWG’s Dirty Dozen List.

For more information on the experiment and Bud Nip, click here.

Savory Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Servings: 6-8View or Print Recipe Only

INGREDIENTS

  • 3-4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into uniform sized pieces
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup water

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place sweet potatoes in a baking dish or on a sheet pan. Lining with foil will minimize clean up.
  3. Melt butter either in a microwave safe measuring cup or in a small saucepan.
  4. Add rosemary, garlic, 
salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat potatoes and spread 
into a single layer.
  5. Drizzle with olive oil and top with parmesan cheese.
  6. Add water to baking dish.
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until tender when pricked with a fork.

Adapted from It’s a Keeper

Poached Eggs and Bacon/Spinach Over Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Sweet PotatoesINGREDIENTS

  • Roasted Sweet Potatoes (Leftover)
  • Eggs
  • Bacon (optional)
  • Spinach (optional)

PREPARATION

  1. Begin heating a few inches of water in a frying pan.
  2. While waiting, start bacon and/or spinach. See instructions here for cooking bacon in the microwave or oven or on the stovetop. See instructions here for sautéing spinach.
  3. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of white vinegar to the water which helps to keep the eggs intact.
  4. Break the first egg into a small bowl.
  5. Just as the water is starting to lightly simmer but before it comes to a full boil, turn down the flame to keep it minimally bubbling.
  6. Begin swirling the water with a spoon and gently slide the bowl into the water letting the egg slip out. Add the remaining eggs to the bowl one at a time and repeat the process. (If the white seems to be spreading significantly, you can gently push toward the yolk with a spoon or spatula.)
  7. When done placing the eggs to the water, set the timer for 3 minutes and line a plate with a paper towel.
  8. After 3 minutes, check the eggs. Remove when the whites have set, up to 1 minute more.
  9. Gently remove from the water with a slotted spoon onto the paper towel. If not serving immediately, remove the eggs at 3 minutes when they’re slightly underdone (whites aren’t floating and are close to set.) Place in a bowl of cold water, cover and put in the refrigerator. Reheat for a minute in lightly simmering water.
  10. Heat the potatoes in a microwave or oven. Place on a plate, top with bacon and/or or spinach, slip poached eggs on top.
  11. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Food for Thought and Recipes for the Week

18 Jan

Below is a weekly food roundup, locally and beyond, of ideas for what to cook, where to eat, things to consider and actions to inspire. If you have something to add to a future Friday Food list, please share it in the comments section below. Enjoy the weekend!

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Judy Rodgers: Her Philosophy, Restaurant and Recipe for Salmon with White Beans, Bacon and Red Wine

6 Dec

Judy Rodgers, 1956-2013

Raw ingredients trump recipes every time; farmers and ranchers who coax the best from the earth can make any of us appear to be a great cook. JR

Twenty years ago, having recently arrived in San Francisco and feeling the financial sting of a first and last months’ rent and security deposit, the plan was made that as soon as the checkbook took a rest, we’d dine at Zuni Café because that was THE place to get a taste of the iconic California cuisine that in part fueled the pull westward. This was my kind of eating. Food that didn’t stretch too deep to the side of unusual but was far from typical and showcased the fresh ingredients that California is known for. Continue reading

Thanksgiving: Recipes, Gadgets and Food News

26 Nov

Wordle

EAT

TURKEY

Local Diestel Ranch birds do have that idyllic image tied in. But being fed a 100% vegetarian diet milled right there at the farm and slowly raised in the Sierra Nevada Foothills does increase the price tag.

Diestel

Click on image for more information

Check out this interesting breakdown of what it costs to bring that turkey from farm to feast. A true bargain.

Continue reading

Broccoli Two Ways and Its Showdown with Kale

14 Nov

Not sure why it was the chosen one, but broccoli in my house got an early distinction as the acceptable vegetable, even in an era of a broccoli hating president. It’s easy to steam and mix with a little butter and became the one chicken finger side, in addition baby carrots in a bag, that my kids did not ignore entirely.

Broccoli Melts Butter

Photo illustration from Victors & Spoils

Continue reading