september 3, 2015

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The Thrill of Fish on the Grill

When we kiss summer goodbye, the steaks & burgers kiss the grill. So it’s been for generations. But what about shaking things up this weekend and grilling some of the flappingly-fresh fish our favorite fishmonger brings every week.

Afraid to grill fish? You’re not alone. Will it fall apart if I use a marinade? Should I grill skin side down? Do fillets stand up to the heat of the grill? That’s why I was so happy to come across this article in Bon Appetit earlier this summer, unveiling the best kept secret to acing grilled fish: make escabeche.

Escabeche is a classic Spanish preparation in which you sear fish (or meat), then marinate it in a vinegary sauce loaded with aromatic herbs and spices. You can serve it cold or at room temperature. Marinating the fish post grilling helps it keep its integrity during cooking. And the marinade adds an element of texture and interest to anyone who isn’t crazy about eating “just plain fish.” While the Bon Appetit recipe calls for ubiquitous red snapper any skin-on white fish will work for escabeche as long as it’s super fresh.

Continue reading september 3, 2015

august 27, 2015

Summer’s IT fruit: WATERMELON

Want to know how to stretch out summer?

Buy a large watermelon at the market this week and enjoy it every day of the week. It’s as versatile as it is sweet – you can use it any thing from savory salads, to gazpacho to cocktails. And, nothing beats gnawing on a slice on the back porch while the juice runs down your arms and drips off your elbows.

PLUS, watermelon is healthy! As its name suggests, watermelon is about 92 percent water and is the perfect way to hydrate first thing in the morning or after a workout.   This juicy fruit is also among the best sources of lycopene – a nutrient found in red fruits and vegetables that’s important for vision, heart health, and cancer prevention.

What’s more, watermelon contains just 40 calories per cup.
I couldn’t resist this Food52 recipe for beefsteak tomato and watermelon salad since both are at their peak right now.

Continue reading august 27, 2015

august 21, 2015

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A little bird told me…

Someone in my family had her braces taken off this week. Naturally, we’re eating lots of corn on the cob. Lucky for us, the corn at the market is just AWESOME right now. And I do mean that literally – Morgiewicz Produce is bringing a variety of bi-color corn that is aptly named, Awesome. It is, in fact,  so awesome that you barely need to add salt and rolling it in butter could be considered blasphemy.
That being said, our corn on the cob needs to feel a little bit more celebratory this weekend and, how much unadulterated corn on the cob can you really eat in the span of a summer?

Here are  6 ways to jazz up your corn  from thekitchn.com, including the Mexican-style corn on the cob.

After eating all that corn, a little washing up is always in order. Clean Ridge Soap Co. is here this week with their line of liquid kitchen soaps that will make your entire house smell fresh and clean as a meadow. Stock up on their lemon grass body lotion to sooth your sun-kissed skin. Their products are made with local herbs and flowers, right in Pound Ridge.

Continue reading august 21, 2015

august 13, 2015

frametemplate81415Plant-Based Diets
by Ryan Rusiecki

Intrigued by plant-based diets? The Chappaqua Farmers Market has dozens of options for you. It’s a great place to start.

With vegetarianism on the rise since 1971, (the release of “Diet for a Small Planet” by Frances Moore Lappé) it is likely that you know at least one or more vegetarians. You may even be a vegetarian yourself. Well, if you aren’t, why not give it a try for just a day or maybe a weekend? A plant-based diet has many offerings. Cutting meat from your diet can reduce your food’s carbon footprint by 50%. Not only that, a healthy vegetarian diet, rich in nutrients and fiber can provide energy and make you feel alive. The Chappaqua Farmers Market has dozens upon dozens of options for those drawn to plant-based diets. It’s a great place to start out.

I often hear the words, “Being a vegetarian is SO hard!” and “I could never be a vegetarian, I LOVE meat,” whenever the topic of vegetarianism pops up into conversation. However, being a vegetarian really isn’t that hard. Cooking a vegetarian meal is just as convenient as cooking a meat-based meal, if not easier. Kitchen legend, Mark Bittman is the author of dozens of incredible plant-based recipes such as this mouth watering eggplant un-parmesan. What makes this recipe even better, is that all of the ingredients, with the exception of bread crumbs, can be bought at the Chappaqua Farmers Market.

Continue reading august 13, 2015

august 6, 2015

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Fairy Tale Eggplant

You say you don’t like eggplant? Surely you haven’t tried these miniature, jewel-like eggplants streaked violet and cream, pretty as can be. When cooked, their skin is far more tender than that of regular eggplant and they have absolutely no seeds. What’s not to love?

They are even beautiful in the fields, or in container pots (yes, they are small enough for containers) with their jet-purple blossoms that boast bright sunny centers. Fairy tale eggplants caramelize beautifully and they are perfect on the grill. Here’s a great recipe for grilled eggplant with a garlicky yogurt sauce with pomegranate seeds from SavorySimple.
And, here’s a recipe for fairy tale eggplant with peppers from personal chef Maria Reina, a regular at the market, who blogged about fairy tale eggplant  in LoHud last week.

Going to a beach or lake rental anytime soon? Make sure to pick up some organic teas to make pitchers of summer “sun tea” from Teagevity, some basil or lemon-infused olive oil and dried pasta from Arlotta Food Studio for some quick market dinners while you’re away – or as a hostess gift if you are guesting. Their pastas are made with local, seasonal ingredients, are 100 % organic and all are made within a week of market day. Kale and semolina fettucine, or basil rigatoni anyone? Continue reading august 6, 2015

July 30, 2015

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Nuts for Nectarines

Many of you are familiar with the great romantic poet Keats’ Ode to a Nightingale. But have you read his homage to a nectarine?

“Talking of Pleasure, this moment I was writing with one hand, and with the other holding to my Mouth a Nectarine — how good how fine. It went down all pulpy, slushy, oozy, all its delicious embonpoint melted down my throat like a large, beatified Strawberry.”
John Keats (1795-1821)

Keats understood that a nectarine, just arriving at market, is more than a hairless peach with smoother skin. So much more. There is something so bright, clean and refreshing about a just-ripe nectarine. This is one stone fruit that knows exactly what it wants to be whether pickled or eaten out of hand.

It stands up far better than frail-of-flesh peaches do to savory preparations as in this beauty of a salad from Epicurious. Though the recipe calls for burrata, Joe Tomato’s creamy mozzarella would work just fine.

Or, for another way to combine mozzarella and nectarines, consider making this “summer in a stack” recipe at your next dinner party – as easy to make as it is on the eye. If you want to try this recipe with classic tomatoes, know that Honey Locust Farmhouse is back this week with some stunning tomato specimens (along with her elderberry concoctions).
Or,  you can toss sliced nectarines on a homespun pizza as in this easy height-of –summer recipe from Alexandracooks.com.

Saratoga Crackers is here this week. Don’t forget you can drop shards of their parmesan crisps on any summer salad for some extra crunch, flavor and panache. Continue reading July 30, 2015

July 24, 2015

How to empty your fridge in one easy step…the summer chopped salad
I am moving house this week, something I haven’t done in about a dozen years and have never done with 3 kids and five pets.
I somehow thought that since I was only moving a quarter mile from my house, it wouldn’t be that big a deal. Ha!

A week before moving day, the girls inventoried the fridge and freezer so we could eat our way through it before moving day. Waste not, want not. They even came up with a tentative seven-day meal plan. Yes, there were some interesting combinations (and a lot of duck fat), to be sure, but it got the job done. But in the end, it came down to the inevitable – my father’s very chopped salad.

In honor of my dad, who passed away earlier this year, I am reposting this blog I wrote several years ago about his knack for cleaning out the fridge with an “everything but the kitchen sink salad”. Useful information whether you are moving cross-country, going on vacation, or just need to declutter your KitchenAid.

“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 more sprout or cucumber square.

These salads have always screamed “California” to me. When I pine for home they are a huge part of what I miss. But this week it struck me that there is no reason not to make these California-style salads back home during market season. At the Chappaqua Farmer’s Market you will find everything you’d find in one of my dad’s chopped salads- save for the avocado: fresh tuna, shrimp, chicken breasts, sprouts, peppers, fennel, golden and red beets, olives, hard-boiled eggs, scallions, peaches etc. etc. There is no recipe for my father’s “stream of consciousness” salads. They just happen while my mother is showing us their herb garden or we’re out talking to 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. You can clear out your fridge and let a little California into your kitchen.”

Continue reading July 24, 2015

July 16, 2015

COMB HONEY, FALAFEL AND GOURMET KETCHUP AT THE MARKET THIS WEEK!

Got allergies?
You’re in luck…Nancy McNamara from Honey Locust Farmhouse is bringing jars of her sought-after “comb honey”  this week. Comb honey is the honey in its purest, most unadulterated form. Comb honey is, essentially, a chunk of the hexagonally-shaped beeswax cells of the honeycomb, where each individual cell is filled with unctuous raw honey – just as the bees filled it.

Since this is honey that has not gone through an extractor – therefore unfiltered and untouched by human hands – it still contains every bit of pollen, enzymes, propolis, vitamins, amino acids, antioxidants, minerals, and aromatics that the bees produced in the hive.

Only the best honey extractor will produce honey that is therapeutic, but the comb itself, also edible, is also full of health benefits. It contains a natural antibiotic, bee pollen, residual royal jelly and large amounts of propolis. This resinous substance that bees gather from the leaf buds of trees and certain vegetables helps disinfect the beehive as well as seal crack and build wall panels. Good stuff! In fact, the International Federation of Beekeepers’ Association calls honeycomb (no matter the geographical origin) one of the best natural cures for allergies and asthma.
It’s also delicious to eat out of hand. Break a chunk off and pop it in your mouth like candy.

Chef Patty Sobol from Northern Westchester Hospital is back with another tantalizing cooking demo. This week she is whipping up a Berry Beat Smoothie. Here’s the recipe so you can shop accordingly and make one for yourself this weekend. Continue reading July 16, 2015

July 9, 2015

BASIL SCHMAZIL – YOU CAN MAKE PESTO OUT OF JUST ABOUT ANYTHING

It happens to me every year about this time. The local greens are finally coming in and I get so excited at market at the site of the produce bins brimming green that, well, I get a tad over-ambitious about how many greens my family can consume in a week. By Thursday I have two options: make juices or make pesto.

This week, the latter won out. As if the inability to close my crisper drawers weren’t incentive enough, there’s the spinach and garlic pasta at Arlotta Food Studio that is crying for a pesto upgrade at my house.

Here’s the good news: you can make pesto with just about any market green out there. News flash: what makes pesto so delicious is not the basil but the powerful combination of nuts, salty cheese, and uber-fresh greens. And, of course, quality oil – though it doesn’t necessarily have to be olive oil.

This article on how to riff on pesto in Bon Appetit confirms that you don’t have to spend a lot of money on pine nuts that inevitably go stale – walnuts, sunflower seeds, pistachios even pumpkin seeds taste great in pesto. They mention one restaurant down South (Southbound) that’s known for its collard green pesto made with peanuts. This recipe from SimplyRecipes.com doesn’t even call for cheese or garlic – but uses lots of cilantro, red onion and serrano chile instead. Just imagine how it would tastes with that bright and fragrant Morgiewicz cilantro…

Continue reading July 9, 2015

Pascale’s Blog July 2

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FROM FARM TO GRILL

If ever there was an official grilling week-end this would be it. If Memorial Day is the kick-off of the grilling season, the Fourth is the pinnacle.

If you are hosting, you may have to borrow an extra grill because the market will have so much to offer your Weber this weekend. Southtown Farms alone has 8 different varieties of sausage – from classic brats to maple – in addition to hot dogs made with local pork and grass-fed beef patties. They and Stone Barns will also be offering spatch-cock chicken. And Letterbox Collective has organic chicken as well as pork and rabbit.

And, then, of course, there’s fish: hake, tuna, swordfish – all great on the grill, especially when it’s from Pura Vida. Make it easy on yourself and prepare some kebabs in advance. Use the summer squash that is just turning up and the mushrooms at Madura (larger portobellos are the vegetarian answer to a burger btw.). Make potato salad sides, snap peas, cole slaw and grilled onions for all your meats.

Continue reading Pascale’s Blog July 2