september 21, 2017

Header

Seek the Leek

Leeks are better than onions. WAY better. They are sweeter and more delicate. And, you can use them in any preparation you would use a cooking onion. Start a soup base with chopped leeks for a flavor that’s more refined than hearty. Saute them into pasta or egg dishes for an added touch of sass and sophistication.

Bon Appetit knows exactly how cool leeks are. They dug up over a dozen recipes in which to make them shine. Check out their recipe for cod poached in milk with leeks, included in their roundup.

Leeks1 Continue reading september 21, 2017

september 14, 2017

Header

Rudderless

That’s how I feel right now that my kitchen is under construction. We’ve jam-packed a sink, a fridge, a dining room table and a portable pantry and a toaster oven into our small dining room – so there is room only for basic, very basic cooking. Just to be clear, I’m not complaining. How could I when so many were left homeless, let alone kitchen-less, in the aftermath of Harvey, then Irma.

It’s Week Four now, and the kids are tired of take-out since options are limited in my town. They’ve even tired of grilled cheese – in all its iterations. Fortunately, I have friends like Annabelle.

Annabelle is also French and loves to cook. Even more so with a cooking companion. So last night she texted: “I’m making your vegetable curry tomorrow. I bought enough ingredients for two pots. So come and chop and cook with me since your kitchen is out of commission. This way you’ll have a home-cooked dinner for your family and I’ll have company in my kitchen.”

currydishes Continue reading september 14, 2017

september 8, 2017

HeaderSandwiches Fit for an Earl

Ok. The kids are back in school. Some of you are making their sandwiches in the morning. Others like me, have kids old enough to make their own. And, if your kids are like mine, one day a prosciutto and mozzarella sandwich is lit and the next day, lame. Ah yes, the teenage years. So it’s wise to keep lots of options in the fridge. Fortunately the market can help.

First, Wave Hill’s sandwich breads are top notch, from marbled rye to French country. Baguette sandwiches are always smart since they won’t get soggy in the lunchbox. (Not ideal for kids with braces. Pain de mie a better choice for them). Check out these rather ambitious sandwiches from Bon Appetit for inspiration.

wich Continue reading september 8, 2017

september 1, 2017

HeaderChopped!

In honor of summer vacation, I am re-posting a blog I wrote about my late father’s famous chopped salad. I often get requests for this salad and enjoy any excuse to write about my dad who would have loved the Chappaqua Farmers Market and vendors like Larchmont Charcuterie and McGrath Cheese – both here tomorrow!

My very French father is the master of the very chopped salad. It is the one American dish this passionate French gastronome has embraced after 50 years of living stateside. He loves the pele mele nature of it: open the fridge, pull out anything that’s fresh and can be minced (including last night’s leftover ahi tuna or roast chicken or lamb roast) and start chopping. Don’t stop until you’ve got a cramp in your arm or Maman’s storied green salad bowl (a wedding gift) can’t possibly take one corn kernel, endive leaf or cucumber round.

Every time I go home to visit, there is a day designated for one of these salads which have always screamed “California” to me. When I pine for home they are a huge part of what I miss. There is no recipe for these “stream of consciousness” salads. They just happen while my mother and I are working in the garden or out running errands or visiting with a neighbor. He always presents them with a bit of flourish. My girls love ferreting out the ingredients one by one. The average ingredient count is about 14. I hope you will get inspired at the market tomorrow to make a Papie salad and let a little California into your kitchen.
At the Chappaqua Farmers Market you will find all the ingredients my father typically puts in his chopped salad – save for the avocado, of course. Continue reading september 1, 2017

august 25, 2017

Header11 Great Things to look for at the market this week!

1. The Morbier-style cheese at Valley Shepherd Creamery

2. Bacon Marmalade at Stone & Thistle (it’s the end of summer…live a little)

3. The ridiculously sweet and crunchy CORN at Black Creek Farm

4. Growing Hearts Farm’s okra. Think you don’t like okra? Let them prove you wrong.

5. Carnitas tacos and bright/seasonal agua fresca at Mariachi Mexico

6. The oh-so popular Monkey Bread at Wave Hill Breads

7. Shishito peppers for the grill, teeny yellow cucumbers and any and all tomatoes at Letterbox Farm.

8. A bouquet of ornamental flowers from Treadlight Farm, because blossoms=bliss. Especially when they are grown locally by an awesome couple.

9. Pickled golden beets from Deep Roots Farm my new favorite condiment for any all salads, sandwiches and sliders.

10. Neversink Spirits’ very floral gin which deserves to star in a creative summer cocktail.

11. The “petite” watermelons at Madura Farms

Continue reading august 25, 2017

august 17, 2017

Mainegone fishing’

I’m shopping the local farmer’s markets in and around Blue Hill, ME. this week, the official end to the blueberry season. The markets here are so tiny and quaint. Makes me appreciate how fortunate we are to live smack in the gateway to the Hudson Valley and all its bounty, from beets to beans, to heritage pork and artisanal cheese and charcuterie…and tomatoes, so many tomatoes.

Hope someone is making a panzanella salad this week…since we have the best tomatoes and the best bread of any farmer’s market hands down. I’ve searched far and wide for best Panzanella salad recipe and I must say this one from Bon Appetit nails both the proportion of bread to other “good stuff” perfectly.

BigFish650pxI thought I’d send a little taste of Maine your way this Saturday. Please welcome the BIG FISH food truck coming to you from Mt. Kisco Seafood.
They will be serving the following menu:
Shrimp and crab gazpacho – $9
Lobster roll w/ corn and black bean salsa and chips – $19
Poached salmon with cucumber salad & green sauce – $11
Jumbo shrimp cocktail with cocktail sauce – $2.50 each
Swordfish sandwich with arugula, tomato and aioli chips-$13

And, they may even throw in some fish tacos. Continue reading august 17, 2017

august 11, 2017

Header

Grilling the Gills

Burgers. Hot Dogs. Been there. Done that.

With all the great fish available to us at the market it’s a shame not to experiment with different types of fish on the barbecue. I was thrilled to find this primer on grilling fish – whole and fillets – in the food section of a Portland paper (they do know their fish). We tend to go with the meatier fish like tuna and sword for the grill, because they just seem, well, safer. But the grill really does wonders for smoky, flavorful fish like mackerel, sardines and striped bass.

Fish

Continue reading august 11, 2017

august 4, 2017

Header

August Fruit: Eggplant!

This is the moment in summer when colors start to change at the market, as the night shades (eggplants, peppers, tomatoes) fill the bins. We have so many eggplant varieties at the market this year from Asian varieties that are slender and striated, to Fairy Tale eggplant and the classic, dusky Black Beauties.

I see so many folks pick them up, admire their smooth glossy skin and deep pigment but put them back because, well, “spongy.” I believe that is the word non-eggplant eaters use to describe this fruit (yes it is a fruit) that deserves more respect and a place of honor in the kitchen. It’s as delicious and versatile in the winter as it is in the summer. And, for all you vegetarians and vegans out there – it’s a great substitute for meat because of its heft and texture.

Fine Cooking knows exactly what I’m talking about. Here’s their roundup of summer eggplant recipes. I am eying this recipe for roasted-eggplant-and-tomatoes-with-tangy-cucumbers-and-yogurt because these four ingredients seemed destined to be together and we have them all at the market right now.

recipesBut of course given that we are blessed with Joe Tomato’s presence every week, these slightly retro eggplant, tomato and mozzarella “stacks” seem perfect for dinner on the deck after a day at the beach or pool. Continue reading august 4, 2017

july 27, 2017

Header

old dog, new tricks…and here they come: tomatoes

Just when you thought Bien Cuit couldn’t possibly come up with another loaf to love in comes the multi-grain Pullman, my summer sandwich fling. If you are a Bien Cuit fan then you know about their pain de mie, their take on the classic Pullman, a stretch loaf with perfectly straight edges baked in a lidded pan. The pain de mie is perfect for breakfast, either to sop up whole milk for French Toast or to slather with some of Anna Maria’s apricot rose jam or the organic ginger pear jam from Laurelmaud’s Kitchen.

Though the traditional Pullman, was made with ho-hum white flour, this new multi-grain is packed with poppy and sesame seeds, millet, oats, rye, wheat, and buckwheat for a standout texture. The bread has a really wet dough so the crumb is disarmingly soft. It slices up and toasts beautifully. So delicious with a grainy mustard and slice of ham or cheese and arugula. The perfect foil for some sliced duck from Larchmont Charcuterie or for charcuterie from Mangalitsa (here this week).

PandeMie Continue reading july 27, 2017

july 21, 2017

HeaderWe have a guest organic mushroom vendor from the Catskills on Saturday

Nestled in the western foothills of the Catskill Mountains, Township Valley is a small, sustainable farm that grows a variety of gourmet mushrooms which they sell to restaurants and discerning shoppers at farmers markets. Their mushrooms (blue oyster, yellow oyster, shiitake) are all certified organic.

Township1A little bird must have told Bon Appetit they were coming, because the magazine just published this terrific roundup of interesting mushroom recipes that go way beyond mushroom omelets. Sign me up for the ricotta kale and mushroom toast. And the quinoa mushroom burger which, I hope, will save me from those ho-hum freezer section veggie burgers at home.

Continue reading july 21, 2017