Pascale’s Blog

october 6, 2017

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Soul Food

It’s been a bruising week for our country. This weekend would be a good time to chill with family, prepare a simple meal and just be together. In fact, my recipe for this week is just that. Doesn’t matter what you make. Just break bread with the people you love.

There will be no shortage of stellar ingredients at the market to work with.
McGrath Cheese is here with their pillowy Victoria cheese and their queso fresco which tastes great on roasted beets (gold and scarlet) filling the fall produce bins.
Blessed Brewery is here for their one a month visit, with their popular kombucha drinks including “fairy tonic.” Calcutta Kitchens is bringing her simmer sauces for an easy heartwarming supper.
Dragonfly Granola has added extra market dates for the fall, including this weekend, so you can sprinkle some granola goodness into your Hawthorne Valley or Shepherd Valley yogurt.
La Petite Occasion is back with her always satisfying salty caramels.
Laurelmaud’s Kitchen always has a new fruit jam or blend up her sleeve.
Mangalitsa will be cooking up brats in addition to selling their charcuterie made from heritage pigs.
If Farm EATS burgers are what you need, NY Chup is here to help you gussy them up.
How perfect: Pennylick Ice Cream is also here. Ice cream and apple pie should round out any family meal this weekend.food Continue reading october 6, 2017

september 29, 2017

HeaderFall into Winter Squash

While summer squash and winter squash are obviously related but where they part ways is in their maturity and growing times. Summer squash (zucchini, patty pan etc.) is best when its skin is soft and tender, while winter squash is best when its exterior “shell” is rigid and hard.

Summer squash doesn’t keep for more than a couple of days in your fridge whereas winter squash can keep for a long time in a cool, dark place for several months which is why it’s available from fall through spring. But autumn, which seems to have finally arrived, is when they are at their taste and texture peak.

ssquashSpaghetti squash are a big favorite at my house for their stringy texture and golden color. As I am still without a kitchen, I am looking forward to making this lasagna stuffed spaghetti squash in the toaster oven (my new bestie). Continue reading september 29, 2017

september 21, 2017

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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

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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

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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

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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