Tag Archives: farmer’s market

Roasted Garlic Scapes and Red Curry Bison

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One more week, folks!  Next Friday my weekly CSA boxes from Basket of Life Farm start again.  And with that, I’m going to do my best to resume regular blog posts.  I’m thinking that I’ll shoot for Tuesdays and Fridays, so be on the lookout!

While I’m waiting for my CSA boxes, I’ve been frequenting the Countryside Farmers’ Market, and this week was a jackpot!  Garlic scapes as far as the eye could see!  (Okay, maybe not that many, but a lot for sure.)  I ended up buying two large bags – probably 1 1/2 to 2 pounds altogether.  After I made several batches of pesto and garlic scape butter with the larger, longer scapes, I still had a bag of smaller, thinner, more delicate garlic scapes.

I had never tried roasting the scapes before, but it was fantastic!  I just tossed them with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and roasted them in the oven for about 5 minutes at 375 degrees.  It mellowed some of the garlic flavor, and they were tender and beautiful and delicious!

The roasted scapes paired perfectly with a grilled bison ribeye marinated in a mix of Thai red curry paste, olive oil, honey and lime.  The bison steak was also a farmers’ market purchase – from Red Run Farm in Marshallville, OH.  I have had bison burgers before, but never a full on steak.  It was awesome – lean and flavorful, and it went wonderfully with the red curry marinade.  I’ll definitely be buying bison again!

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Plus, it gave me a chance to use another purchase from earlier in the season.  In the beginning of May, I bought an assortment of honey from Kline’s Honey Bee Farm.  You can see that they’re labeled Summer, Fall and Buck Wheat.

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Each honey has a really distinct, lovely taste.  The Summer honey is light and sweet, the Fall honey is warmer – more like a clover honey, and the Buck Wheat is a dark, almost astringent taste that reminds me of a little of a dark molasses.  Yum!!  I used the Fall honey in the marinade.

Even better – after days of gray skies and rain, the evening was sunny and beautiful!  That means outside pictures and dinner on the back patio.

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Thai Red Curry Marinade

  • 1/4 cup Thai red curry paste
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • juice of 1 large or 2 small limes
  • salt and pepper

Combine all ingredient and mix well.  Pour over steaks (beef or bison, your choice) and marinade at least 1 hour up to overnight.

Grill steaks and enjoy!

This post is linked to What’s in the Box? at InHerChucks.

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Chicken Stir-Fry with Ramps and Asparagus

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Hi, all!  I know, I haven’t been around for a little while.  I’m sorry!  No excuses, I think I was just being a bit lazy.   I have been cooking, I promise!  I just haven’t been so great about taking pictures and actually writing down what I’m doing when I cook.

Truthfully, sometimes it’s a struggle for me to write a “recipe” for what I cook.  If I’m not baking, I typically don’t use measuring spoons or measuring cups. so I’m not always sure how much of something I’ve added.  Heck, sometimes I can’t remember what ingredients I added!

The bonus to having to pay attention to ingredients and amounts is that I can recreate those recipes that worked really well.  Before I started blogging, there were times when I would create a dish, or I would make a change to an existing recipe that was fantastic! But when I tried to make it again, I could not remember what I did.  Anybody else have this problem?

For dinner tonight, I looked at maybe a dozen recipes for stir-fry sauces – and used none of them.  I wanted to use the chicken and veggies from Saturday’s farmer’s market, and I really didn’t want to make a grocery store stop.  I was sure that I had enough options at home to throw something together.

When I tasted the finished dish, I was really glad that I took the time to write everything down!  I’ll definitely be making this again.  It was filling but not heavy, and it had a good amount of heat, which I enjoy.  Plus, a stir-fry works with almost any veggies, which will definitely come in handy when my CSA starts back up!

I used a lot of the same spices that I first tried in my Hangover Soup, but the rice vinegar and the red pepper flakes gave it a nice bright finish and some extra spice.  The buckwheat honey that I used in the marinade is one of my new favorites – it’s like a deep, dark cross between honey and molasses, with a slight grassy undertone.  Sounds weird, but it’s so good!  I’m trying to figure out how to use it in everything.  (I’m not kidding.)

Buckwheat honey is awesome.  This is from Kline Honey Bee Farm in Edinburg.

Buckwheat honey is awesome. This is from Kline Honey Bee Farm in Edinburg. Oh yeah, there’s fish sauce, red pepper and vinegar as well.

Chicken Stir-Fry with Ramps and Asparagus (serves 2)

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced
  • about 12 stalks of asparagus, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 5-6 ramps, bottoms trimmed, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Buckwheat Honey (you could sub regular honey or molasses)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Curry Paste
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • Rice noodles (or leftover rice)
  • Vegetable or canola oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Pepper the chicken.  (I didn’t salt it because fish sauce is usually salty enough.)  Marinate the sliced chicken in the vinegar, fish sauce, honey and red pepper flakes.  I threw the marinade together as soon as I got home from work, so by the time I was ready to cook dinner, the chicken had been in the marinade for about an hour.

Marinade!

Marinade!

Before you start cooking the chicken, soak the rice noodles in a bowl of hot water.  They need to soak for about 8-10 minutes, so by the time the stir-fry is done, they’ll be ready.  If you’re using leftover rice, don’t soak it in water.  Nobody wants soggy rice in their stir-fry.

Rice noodles are awesome.  There's no need to boil a huge pot of water...and they're tasty!

Rice noodles are awesome. There’s no need to boil a huge pot of water…and they’re tasty!

Heat a small amount of oil in a wok (or large skillet – I don’t use my wok very often, so I enjoyed busting it out).  When the oil is hot, add the chicken in a single layer.  Let the pieces brown on one side, then toss in the garlic, asparagus and the bottom, onion-like part of the ramps and stir.  (I added the ramp leaves at the end.)  Keep the chicken and veggies moving around the wok – you don’t want them to burn.

You can see the flame under the wok.  Good stuff.

You can see the flame under the wok. Good stuff.

After the chicken and veggies have cooked for a couple of minutes, add the red curry paste and chicken broth.  Stir everything around to make sure the curry paste is dissolved into the chicken broth and continue to cook for a minute or two.  I added a pinch of salt and some additional red pepper flakes here (because I like it hot!), but taste a piece of chicken or asparagus and do what you need to do.

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When the chicken is done and the veggies are cooked but still crisp, add the ramp leaves and rice noodles (or rice).  Stir everything together, turn off the heat to the work and serve!

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My big orange cat was unimpressed by the stir-fry, but I enjoyed it!

Jake was hanging out on the cat tree next to my desk while I typed this.  I'm sure he's wondering why his dinner isn't on the blog.  Fancy Feast, anyone?

Jake was hanging out on the cat tree next to my desk while I typed this. I’m sure he’s wondering why his dinner isn’t on the blog. Fancy Feast, anyone?

This post is linked to What’s in the Box?  at In Her Chucks.

Farmer’s Market Meals

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Saturday was the last indoor Farmer’s Market at Old Trail School.  While I’m happy that the Farmer’s Market continues outdoors at the Howe Meadow in May, I will miss the challenge of the winter farmer’s market.

What challenge, you ask?  Well, the winter farmer’s market is smaller, which means less vendors, and of course, in the winter in Ohio, there is less produce to be sold.  I’ve learned that to get the best haul, it is necessary to get there early and wait for the market to open.  Here’s my favorite part – they open the market by ringing a cowbell!  As soon as the cowbell rings, all the people eagerly lined up at the door surge forward with one goal – get the carrots!  Or greens.  Or radishes.  Or whatever it is that looks the freshest, the most crispy – and get it before it’s sold out!

I’ve got this down now – as soon as the bell rings, you bypass the vendors on the first floor (coffee, tea, prepared foods), go past whichever musician is providing music this week, and head immediately down to the gymnasium of the school.  This is where the good stuff is!  Ignore the cheese, the bread, the pasta – it’s not going anywhere.  Instead, push (politely) through the crowd to the back of the gym and the produce vendors.

This week, I grabbed Siberian Kale, mixed salad greens, two bundles of tiny beautiful carrots, and a bunch of ramps from one vendor, plump red radishes from another, and lovely bok choy from a third.  Veggies done!

Isn't the bok choy lovely?

Isn’t the bok choy lovely?

Ramps!  I've never cooked with these before, so it should be an adventure!

Ramps! I’ve never cooked with these before, so it should be an adventure!

Next – eggs.  There is no comparing a supermarket egg to a fresh, local egg.  It’s just no contest!  Fresh and local wins hands down every time.  The eggs have better color and unbelievable flavor.

Nothin' beats a farm fresh egg.

Nothin’ beats a farm fresh egg.

This time, I also picked up some brats from Brunty Farms.  They had both beer brats and apple brats, so of course I wanted to try both!  (They were awesome, by the way.)

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I eat and why.  If I look honestly at what I’m eating now compared to what I ate a year ago, I can say that I eat more vegetables and much less processed food.  Whenever possible, I am buying and eating locally grown produce, and spending very little time and money at the conventional grocery store.  Can I get better?  Of course – and I’m continuing to work at it.

One reason that I love the Farmer’s Market and my CSA is that I like to know where my food come from.  I get to meet the people that grow what I’m eating, and what’s cooler than that?

However, I’ve realized that I haven’t applied that same philosophy to the meat that I eat.  I’m not going to lie – I like meat.  But when I buy a steak or a pack of chicken from the grocery store, what do I really know about what I’m putting in my body?  Not much, that’s for sure.  I’m lucky to have places like Brunty Farms to get locally raised chicken, pork and turkey, and like Dumas Meats, where they raise the majority of the beef that they sell.  I need to take advantage of that.

Whoops – made a bit of a speech there, didn’t I?  Let’s get back to what I cooked – and ate – this weekend.  Saturday, we grilled the brats from Brunty Farms.  The apple brats were a little softer, with a slightly sweet taste from the apple that went well with the spicy mustard and hot peppers (the only way to dress a brat!).  The beer brats had that awesome snap! when you bit into it, and the flavor was amazing.  I’ll definitely be buying those again!

The radishes also bit the dust on Saturday – Brian demolished both bunches in one sitting as an afternoon snack.

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Spicy mustard from the Schmit House in Columbus, Ohio.  You have to put German mustard on a brat!

Spicy mustard from the Schmidt House in Columbus, Ohio. You have to put German mustard on a brat!

Sunday, I made Tuscan Glazed Chicken and roasted potatoes, but the star of the show was the roasted carrots.  I trimmed the tops of the tiny carrots and scrubbed them with a vegetable brush, but didn’t peel them.  (I did trim the bottoms,)

I wish I could say this was locally raised chicken, but alas, this was from the grocery store.  Next time I'll be better...

I wish I could say this was locally raised chicken, but alas, this was from the grocery store. Next time I’ll be better…

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Then, I tossed the carrots in olive oil, salt, pepper and some Penzey’s Bonnes Herbes mixture. I roasted them in a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes – just until they were tender.  Conveniently, the potatoes took almost the same amount of time to cook.

The roasted carrots were delicious!

The roasted carrots were delicious!

The tiny potatoes were so cute!

The tiny potatoes were so cute!

It was a good weekend for food.

Saturday Brunch

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Yesterday morning I went to the winter farmer’s market at Old Trail School.  Let me tell you, it was hopping!  I got there  just as it opened at 9am and it was already packed.

I’ve been so impressed with the quality and selection at this market all through the winter, and this was no exception.  Everything looked so good!

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I picked up some mixed salad greens, baby swiss chard, onions, garlic, a butternut squash, some pappardelle from Ohio City Pasta, swiss cheese, a jar of Strawberry Balsamic Black Pepper Jam (more on that in a moment), and…

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a big ol’ bag of beets!  I had to restrain myself – there were apples that looked fantastic, local honey, and fresh eggs from Brunty Farms… I could just go on and on.

Anyway, all the good stuff at the farmer’s market made me hungry, and to paraphrase my best friend Kara, “I was craving a Blue Door croissant like it was my job!”  So I stopped by the Blue Door Cafe on my way home for a couple big fluffy croissants and whatever else looked good, which turned of course was everything.  It was a tough decision, but I settled on some mixed berry Danish.

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There were originally two Danishes (is that the right plural?), but I ate one before it made it into the picture.  If you haven’t been to the Blue Door, and you’re anywhere near the Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio area, you should go.  The place is amazing.  Awesome baked goods, beautiful local and organic foods…I can’t say enough good things about it.  I would go every day if I could!

Alright, so back to brunch!  I wanted eggs and bacon to go with the croissant, but the mixed greens are Brian’s favorite, so that’s where breakfast became brunch.  I really wanted to use the Strawberry Balsamic Black Pepper Jam (seriously, how good does that sound?) but I wasn’t sure what to do with it.  As I was eating the Danish, I had an inspiration:  make a vinaigrette for the salad!

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I got this from the same folks at the farmer’s market where I got the Tuscan Glaze, so I had every confidence it would be good.  I chopped up a garlic clove very finely, added a big spoonful of this strawberry goodness, and whisked it with olive oil until it looked like a vinaigrette.  I tasted it and it was super yummy.  I tossed some of the mixed greens with the dressing and put them in the fridge to stay cold.

From there, it was simple – scrambled eggs, some amazing thick cut bacon (after having thick cut bacon, I will never buy another kind), and a couple kinds of jam for the croissants.  I went with blueberry preserves (my new favorite, I think) and strawberry/blackberry jam, mainly because I had both in the fridge.

The green salad with the strawberry vinaigrette was perfect to offset the breakfasty foods (considering we ate this around 1 o’clock in the afternoon) and the croissants were heavenly.

All in all, it was a great way to start a Saturday! (Saturday night I made a weird but excellent pizza – look for that to come soon!)

What’s you favorite meal to start your weekend? 

 

Tuscan Glazed Chicken

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I love farmer’s markets, and now that my CSA is over for the season, I’m even more grateful that I have a farmer’s market nearby all winter long.  One of the little gems I picked up on my first trip the farmer’s market at Old Trail School was this beauty:

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There was a booth selling all kinds of homemade jams and jellies, but after tasting this one, I had to get it.  Straight out of the jar it tasted wonderful.  Turns out, cooking makes it even better!  Tonight I sauteed a couple boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a skillet and after I had seared both sides, I added a generous dollop of this good stuff on each peice.  It cooked down to a beautiful, caramelly glaze with a deep, rich, flavor- just a little bit of sweetness, but tempered with the rosemary and garlic.  Fantastic!

I served the chicken with a baked sweet potato and asparagus simply roasted in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper.

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Oh and I finished it off with a pint glass of Belgian ale from JAFB Brewery!  Always get a growler to go 🙂

Sometimes a simple meal is the best.  This was very much a basic “meat and potatoes” meal, but the Tuscan glaze elevated it to something better.

Have you ever found an awesome homemade food item at a farmer’s market or festival?  If so, tell me about it!

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Yum!