Pascale’s Blog

november 11, 2016

frametemplatecomfortTime for Comfort Food

For me, that means a plump roast chicken and sweet potato fries. Not just any roast chicken. When I lived in San Francisco, I had the privilege of living not too far from Zuni Cafe, famous for Chef Judy Rodgers’ legendary moist and crispy roast chicken made in a brick oven and always served atop a bread salad. The recipe for “Zuni chicken” has been passed from many a friend to many a kitchen over the years.

For a juicier bird, (the late) Rodgers always suggested using a smaller, free-range bird rather than larger roasters which can be too lean. Both Yellow Bell or Letterbox Farm chicken should be able to happily accommodate.

If the bread salad does not appeal, try a side of sweet potato fries which provide all the pleasure of French Fries with none of the guilt or potential indigestion. This recipe from Mark Bittman is fool proof and the market is brimming with sweet potatoes. Incidentally, you can use regular potatoes for this recipe, though the cooking time will have to be extended.

Continue reading november 11, 2016

November 3, 2016

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Talkin’ turkey and pears

Because it’s their season, and because this election season has definitely gone pear-shaped here are some interesting recipes for pears that aren’t limited to dessert. This recipe for pear-prosciutto-toast is so appealing to me. It’s simple, pretty and combines all of my favorite food groups. Though the recipe calls for fig jam I would happily use the radicchio marmalade from Anna Maria’s Savory jams. The perfect thing to serve on election night if you plan on camping out in front of your TV (Also good – any prepared soups from Steve’s Country Kitchen).

Here is a recipe for pork tenderloin served with sweet potatoes and pears. Again, as with all recipes, use this as a starting point. This autumnal side dish would also taste great with Letterbox Farm pork chops or roasted fish from Pura Vida. Continue reading November 3, 2016

october 27, 2016

diaframetemplateIn Honor of Dia de los Muertos

The Chappaqua Farmer’s Market brings you authentic Mexican fare this Saturday courtesy of Mariachi Mexico. We’re talking REAL chilaquiles verdes and hand-pressed veggie quesadillas , along with seasonal roasted butternut squash tamales made with fresh masa. They will also be serving a warming pozole verde (a stew made with local pork, hominy and corn). Mariachi Mexico restaurant has been a mainstay in Armonk for over 30 years. Recently, the couple who owned it. retired and passed the reins on to their three hard-working (and always smiling) daughters. Chef Joana has given the menu a modern – and local – twist. The lines are long for their made to order tacos at the Hastings Farmer’s Market. Make sure you don’t miss their visit!

It might be too early to put up holiday lights, but it’s not too early to start thinking about gifts. CLEAN RIDGE is here for the last time this season…so if, like me, you’re a fan of their honest, clean and fresh-smelling lotions and soaps – make sure to buy plenty for yourself and for the dog walker, Aunt Tillie, or the patient piano teacher on your list.

Continue reading october 27, 2016

october 21, 2016

applepieframetemplateCome celebrate the apple harvest at the market this Saturday…and bring pie!

Our country may be divided right now but there’s one thing I think we can all agree on as Americans: pie is good.

I can’t think of anything that would help ease some of the stress of this election right now than rolling out a piece of pie dough, except maybe eating a slice of still warm apple pie. Tomorrow is our annual Apple Pie Contest…and I hope many of you will see fit to bake this very evening or early Saturday if only to focus on something as simple and delicious – and truly patriotic – as apple pie.

The rules are simple:
Your pie must be made from scratch and local apples must be the main ingredient. No store-bought crusts, please.
Please submit your pie to the market tent by 10:30 am with your recipe and ingredient list attached.

As per tradition, market shoppers can purchase tastes of the pie entries post contest. In honor of the apple harvest, we Strudel-Z is back with not one but two types of strudel – classic apple and walnut/raisin. LOVE that they cut the strudel to order, the old fashioned way, using a wooden measuring stick. Breezy Hill Orchards be offering tastings of their award-winning hard cider.
La Petite Occasion will be bringing trays of salted caramel apples – several notches above your county fair variety.

Continue reading october 21, 2016

october 13, 2016

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ugly duckling celeriac shines in the kitchen

If produce bins held beauty pageants, most likely, celeriac would not make the cut. This craggy, bulbous, slightly hairy root vegetable is not exactly easy on the eyes which is why, I often see shoppers pick one up then put it right back in the bin and go for smooth leggy parsnip instead.

I’m always quick to jump to celery-root’s defense having been weaned on it – literally. My mother made celeriac puree all the time when we were toddlers. It’s unique flavor and texture lends itself beautifully to stews, soups and salads is worth peeling past the ugly.

Peel off the skin with a peeler or paring knife. It will oxidize quickly so put some lemon juice on it if you are not going to use it right away. My favorite way to eat it is roasted then mashed with potatoes into a puree that has more spine and earthy nuttiness than straight mashed potatoes. Celeriac is often paired with potatoes, as in the case of this vintage Gourmet magazine recipe for potato and celery root gratin with smoked haddock.

Continue reading october 13, 2016

october 6, 2016

cauliflowerframetemplate

Cauliflower, Bacon and Bone Broth

Who would have thought that cauliflower would ever become hip. But ever since it ditched the steamer and the crudite platter and took it’s rightful place in the oven or on the grill, cauliflower has a whole new attitude. Chefs and home cooks are rubbing cauliflower with cumin and turmeric and roasting it whole until its snowy white curds go bronze. Or, they are grilling this hardy cruciferous in thick “steak” slices, cut from the center.

Any of Wild Sea Salt’s rubs would be great for either one of these methods of cooking cauliflower by the way. Morgiewicz Produce is bringing plenty of white cauliflower (did you know that they stay white because their thick leaves protect them from sun exposure and that yellow-hued cauliflower are that way simply because they caught glimpse of the sun.). Madura Farms will also have some of their heirloom purple and orange varieties, always a favorite among our artsy shoppers.

Bon Appetit magazine just did a big spread on cauliflower which is loaded with Vitamins C and K and also known to have cancer-fighting properties. I was drawn to the shrimp curry with chickpeas and cauliflower. (Bombay Emerald Chutney Co. is here this week so pick up some of their mint or pomegranate chutney to go with this curry). I also bookmarked this roasted cauliflower pasta with breadcrumbs and pinenuts.

Continue reading october 6, 2016

september 29, 2016

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Ground Cherries and Saucy Mushrooms

Last week, a friend of mine saw the ground cherries at the farmer’s market (at the Growing Hearts tent) and though curious, she continued on and walked right past them. “They look like something only serious cooks would know what to do with.” she explained. This is the curse of the ground cherry, also known as the husk cherry for its crinkled, paper-like husk that, well, intimidates the uninitiated.

What a shame to miss out as their season is ending. Husk cherries, known yet again as husk tomatoes, are small pale orange fruits with a unique sweet flavor some have likened to a cross between a tomato and a pineapple.

Their inherent brightness makes them delicious in salads. They make great compotes and jams and, of course, are delicious eaten out of hand. In fact, you may want to slide them in the trunk or they will be gone by the time you get home from the market. The Smithsonian Magazine has compiled five ways to eat them other then just popping them in your mouth.

Continue reading september 29, 2016

september 22, 2016

mozzframetemplate

 

How much do we love our mozzarella guy?

So much that we will suffer gladly through Joe’s absence this week as he celebrates his 60th birthday in style – driving up the California coast with his wife Mary Ellen (yes, the lovely lady who sells the Bronx Baking Co. pretzels her niece bakes, in the tent next to Joe’s). So, there will be a mozzarella withdrawal in Chappaqua this Saturday. Fortunately, we have plenty of other cheese to get you through the week – Dobbs & Bishop will be at the market and it’s always a pleasant surprise to see what regional cheeses they bring. Also Stone & Thistle has been bringing (in addition to their amazing sausages with the clever monikers) some stellar cow and goat’s milk cheeses from their friend and neighbor – Sherman Hill Farmstead. Make sure to pick up some of their basket cheese.

And, though this will not help you this week, Jacuterie returns in October with their line of Chaseholm Creamery cheeses (in addition to their popular sausage and bacon).
Continue reading september 22, 2016

september 15, 2016

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It’s always “community day” at the farmer’s market…

But this week it’s officially Community Day at the train station which means we will be re-located to one of the parking bays on the north side of the station. Different location, but all of your favorite vendors including some of our most popular rotating vendors like MOMO Dressing, Anna Maria’s Savory Jams (have you tasted her new tomato sauces?) and Azukar will be there.

La Petite Occasion is back after a long hot summer with her heat-sensitive caramels. Her new flavor is Montauk Salt Caramels made with locally-harvested salt. Of course, she will have caramel apples.

Since Community Day is likely to bring in some new shoppers to the market I thought it would be nice to go over some “insider tips ” for shopping farmer’s markets.
I shared these tips with Westchester Magazine earlier this season.
For the full story click here

1. Research Ahead of Time
Know what is in season so there is no disappointment when you get there and so you are prepared with recipes and know what ingredients you need. Understand that markets sell things that are local and fresh and you might not be able to get all your ingredients there.

2. Stop By the Market Tent
Find the information tent and ask if there are any special vendors who are not there every week. Some vendors are only at the markets once a month and have goods you want to take advantage of while they are there.

3. Do a Recon Tour
Farmers’ markets can be overwhelming, so it is a smart idea to “do a reconnaissance tour. Don’t just jump at the first rhubarb you see. There might be another vendor that has a better price or whose rhubarb looks fresher and more vibrant.

4. Bring Cash
There are usually no ATMs at the market, and people often run out of money before they are done shopping. Come prepared with cash and small bills. The farmers are typically not going to have change for a one hundred dollar bill, especially not at the beginning of the day. Although here in Chappaqua, Citibank and Bank of America are in walking distance.

5. Bring Bags
Some markets have bags for shoppers, but not all, so don’t forget to bring a reusable one or two. You can also bring a cooler bag with you if you plan to buy meat or dairy, or just ask vendors to keep things in the cooler for you if you are going to hang out for a while.

6. Get to Know Your Farmer
One of the best things about markets is that you can form relationships with your vendors. They love to see regular shoppers and often offer them special prices or special items. Take advantage of having a conversation with the person with whom you are exchanging money. Farmers have hard lives working in fields every day. They love conversation and hearing what people do with their produce. If you made a really great eggplant dish with a vendor’s eggplant and took a photo, show it to them. It’s also a good idea to tell the farmer what you plan to make with their items and ask them for some tips and recipes.

Continue reading september 15, 2016

september 9, 2016

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Sinking into a Routine

Day Three of school. My teen girls are making their own salads for lunch every day…I am, of course, loving this and praying it will lasts beyond September. Of course, it helps that Mom brings home so much salad goodness from the farmer’s market: radishes, peppers of all shapes color and sizes, organic baby greens, mushrooms, walnuts from Nutty Spread, cucumbers, mozzarella, chicken thighs or breasts, sliced, hard-boiled farm eggs with hearty golden yolks, eggplant and zucchini (leftover from weeknight grilling) and of course cherry tomatoes, so sweet this time of year. Brooklyn Kimchi – also a delicious add.

We started the year off right by making a vat of vinaigrette using Kontoulis olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette and buying Tupperware that includes a cute salad dressing container – perfect.

Looking back – I don’t know if I would have been so eager to make a salad for myself for school. Then again, supermarket produce didn’t exactly make your heart sing back then. The colors at the market are insane right now: all the night shades are converging. Seeing eggplant in such large quantities makes me happy. Continue reading september 9, 2016