Pascale’s Blog

January 19, 2012

Stone Barns slashes the price of everything “pork” and Gaia’s Breath organic veal is a steal!

Stone Barns has had a bumper crop of swine this past season and their freezer is loaded with beautiful roasting cuts of pork that are absolutely perfect for these cold winter nights — and for your Super Bowl spread. Their bounty is your gain: they are dropping their price on all pork roasts and hams by $3 a pound. So, shoulder roast is going for $4.25 a pound and Boston butt is only $6.25 a pound. Bone-in smoked ham is $6.50 pound. Farmer John Agostinho says the crew at Stone Barns has been experimenting with lots of different pork recipes and they will share one of their current faves, a recipe for Cuban Roast Pork, with market shoppers this week.

Also, Gaia’s Breath, organic farm will have their plump veal meatballs and veal cuts as well as artisanal cheeses and their unique line of veal charcuterie that everyone’s buzzing about. (I’m a big fan of the veal pastrami). They also have some amazing ravioli which needs nothing more than a drizzle of top-notch olive oil.

As luck would have it, Kontoulis Olive Oil will be at the market this week. Their oil, made from olives that were harvested and pressed in Messinia, Greece, but bottled here in Westchester, is not only deliciously light – it’s transformative. Drizzle it on any hard, nutty cheese, tender greens, a gorgeous piece of Pura Vida fish or any of Flour City Pasta’s small-batch pastas – and watch it work its magic. Whatever you do, don’t cook with it! This is a finishing oil, pure and simple.

We are happy to announced that Buddhapesto is joining our market line-up this week. Most of you have tried (and become addicted to) their electric green, brightly flavored pesto. I like to put this prize pesto on eggs, fish and on my daughters’ sandwiches. And, pasta of course.

We are keeping our promise and quality gluten-free baked goods every single week. Last week, Little Croc Bakehouse nearly sold out and this week, we are sure By the Way Bakery will do the same.

Fork and Glass will have their fantastic citrus farro salad as well as a bevvy of soups good enough to main course a meal.

Honey Locust Farmhouse is back with her delicious jams, honey and organic herbal and aromatic teas. The Chef at The Red Hat restaurant in Irvington is now using her jams for some of their desserts.

Don’t forget to bring your knives for the knife sharpener! You don’t want to carve into a Stone Barns ham or Gaia’s Breath roast with a dull blade!

See you at the market…
Pascale Le Draoulec
food writer/ author/ farmers market director

January 13, 2012

Dear Shoppers,

On an impulse, and because my contractor friend had some free time on his hands, I decided to remodel my kitchen during the holidays.
Actually, it’s not as bad as it sounds. There’s something kind of humbling, and liberating, about being reduced to sub-flooring and pipes during what’s supposed to be the busiest time of year in the kitchen. The contractor has been kind enough to leave my stove and bare bones sink hooked up during the makeover, even though the rest of my kitchen is now in my dining room. (My girls think it’s really cool that our fridge is in the living room).
All this to say that these days I’m keeping the cooking real simple. Never have I been more appreciative of having access to farmers market products on a weekly basis – and in the winter no less! I’ve said it a million times, I know, but, truly, fresh, local ingredients are so inherently flavorful they don’t require much fussing in the kitchen.

A friend who is giving me some advice on layout dropped by this week and was surprised to smell a Stone Barns chicken roasting in the oven along with some Newgate Farms fingerlings and some cumin-dusted cauliflower. “I can’t believe you’re cooking when you’re kitchen is gutted,” she said. I literally put everything in a pan, added salt and pepper, olive oil and cumin and was done in five minutes. But the payoff was grand.
Local personal chef Maria Reina ( is also a big advocate of keeping things simple in the kitchen. She will be doing a cooking demo at the market this week using fresh fish fillets from Pura Vida, encrusted with basil and sea-salt onion cashews from Tierra Farms and topped with a savory jam from Renee’s Jams (also here this week). Stop by her table for a taste and a copy of the recipe (we’ll also post it on the website). Maria can also answer any ingredient or cooking questions you may have while shopping.

For a quick and easy lunch these days, I’ve been subsisting on sandwiches made with Bread Alone ciabatta or levain bread with cheese from Amazing Real Live Food Co. This week they are having a 30-percent-off special on their nutty Stella Valis Tomme cheese. Make sure to pick some up! Lucky for me, I stocked up on some of Renee’s savory jams, like pineapple habanero, and some of Bombay Emerald’s plum chutney last month. Good condiments makes such a difference. Just like that, they can turn a sandwich into a simple pleasure. Speaking of good condiments, make sure to pick up some Guyank Brand mango hot sauce this Saturday.

Roaming Angus is also back this week. If you’re a fan of their grass-fed beef, this is your chance to stock up. They won’t be back until January 28th.

Also back after a long absence, Big Girl Bakery with her fanciful line of cookies and Little Croc Bakehouse! I hate to even mention that many of her baked goods are gluten-free and/or vegan because I don’t want to turn people off. Trust me, you would never know her teacakes and lemon bars are “missing” anything. They are divine…which is why baker Suzanne Whitney has such a loyal following all over Westchester.

See you at the market – and come early if you want some of those Stone Barns eggs!

Keep your knives at home – Knife Sharpener back next week!

Pascale Le Draoulec
food writer/ author/ farmers market director

January 5, 2012


Dear Shoppers,

No doubt many of you have made resolutions to eat better in the new year and the Chappaqua Farmers Market is going to make it that much easier – and fun – to do so.

We are very happy to announce that Stone Barns of Pocantico Hills will be bringing their gorgeous poultry (and rock star eggs!) every week that the market is open this winter.

Many of you have asked for more winter greens, and this week, we are delivering: please welcome Newgate Farms of Windsor, CT. This is a family-run farm that goes back five generations. They will be bringing cauliflower, butternut squash, iron-packed kale and more. We are so excited to have them join our market family.

Ditto for Flour City Pasta, of Rochester, NY, which will be bringing their small-batch organic pasta every Saturday. This, on top of so many of our regular favorites: the husband and wife team of Fork & Glass Catering Co. got inspired during our holiday break. They’ll be bringing an unbelievably tasty cannelini soup with country ham and rosemary. Their laurel-infused cauliflower soup was such a hit in December they’re bringing lots more, along with their Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa ready to heat and serve with their Cowboy Beans and Mexican Rice, available individually by the pint.
Plus: they’ll be whipping up some Norwegian pancakes for breakfast and three types of quesadillas for lunch: Cheese, Black and Bean and Sweet Potato as well as Roasted Chicken tossed in lime juice and cilantro.

Organic farm Gaia’s Breath will be visiting us again with plenty of cuts of pork, beef and heart-healthy veal. In addition to veal sausage, meatballs, shanks and roasts, they are also now making delicate veal pastrami. They are also selling lovely coarse country pate in small portions – ideal to serve those unexpected guests, with a glass of wine and crackers (and cornichons, of course).

Amazing Real Live Cheese Co. is developing a loyal following thanks to interesting, pro-biotic cheeses like Chaource, a semi-soft log that parades as goat but is made with cow’s milk.

Pickles will be outside this week. Grab a pickle on a stick to nibble on while you shop and then grab your pints of pickles as you head out.

And wouldn’t it be nice to start the new year with fresh new soaps and hand lotions in your kitchen and bathrooms? The entire Clean Ridge Soap Co. line of soaps, lotions, diffusers, lip balms, etc. is made with local herbs and flowers and once you try them – you’ll be hooked. The kitchen soap is especially nice. Make sure to stock up at their table.

We so look forward to seeing you all in the new year!

See you at the market!
Pascale Le Draoulec
food writer/author/farmers market director

December 15, 2011

Dear Shoppers,

I just came back from walking the dog and was chilled to the bone, when I got an email from Fork & Glass describing the soup they are making for Saturday’s market: “pureed cauliflower with a touch of milk that has been steeped in laurel leaves.” And just like that I was all warm and tingly inside. Not only will our favorite catering couple from Cold Spring be selling their soups to take home, but for the first time, they will be selling their soup to eat on the spot. You can grab a satisfying bowl as an alternative (or addition) to their hearty, but healthy breakfast tacos or chorizo and potato quesadillas – the perfect energy food for this big last-minute holiday shopping weekend.

Of course, you can opt to make shopping super easy on yourself and buy all your gifts at the farmers market:
Amazing Real Live Food Co. will be selling festive $30 gift baskets with three of their most popular cheeses: Moonlight Chaource, Camembert and Stella Vallis Tomme. Why not combine with some of Honey Locust’s quince preserves which would add panache to any cheese tray.

Demetra of Kontoulis Olive Oil  –  is just back from harvesting in Greece – with her seminal oil and balsamic vinegar. As if these nectars weren’t delicious enough on their own, the amphora-shaped bottles are so beautiful they can be reused in a million different ways. I put my dishwashing liquid in one and just looking at it takes all the drudgery out of doing the dishes (well, not quite but…)

Who wouldn’t want a gift box of exotic (yet locally-made) Bombay Emerald Chutneys? Flavors include royal mint, royal pomegranate and royal tomato – and all are 100 % fat-free. The mint chutney is divine on lamb and the others add a touch of class and spice to any poultry dish.

Ready, Set Sharp, the knife-sharpeners are in the house and offering a 20 percent discount off of all sharpening services. What’s more they’re selling gift certificates worth $25 of sharpening for only $20. How’s that for an original stocking stuffer or Hanukah gift?

Our new gluten-free baker By the Way Bakery is also back this week, as is Big Girl Bakery – one of our market’s best-kept secrets!

As luck would have it Stone Barns is back with their quality line of meats and fowl. So many of you have written us to comment on the deliciousness of their chickens. And they’re so reasonably priced!

Mountain Smokehouse – famous for their chipotle-laced bacon is also back for a visit this week.  They will have smoked salmon and smoked trout for only  $6 per package.  All their smoked chicken sausages will be priced at $9/package. Half hams and smoked ham steaks for $5.95/lb (Bone-in) will also be available. And boneless hams will be $6.95/lb for a super holiday deal!

Finally,  we are introducing a new vendor this week: Rochester-based Flour City Pasta which makes about 15 different varieties of pastas each so flavorful that they require nothing more than splash of Demetra’s olive oil. Some of their fettuccini flavors  include pumpkin-chipotle & wild mushroom. They will also feature a few different types of orzo pasta including a sweet cranberry-pistachio orzo, the perfect holiday side dish. I recently tried (and loved!) their Rasta Pasta – a combination of shapes, each one a different flavor: sweet potato shells, carrot-thyme radiatore;  spinach/lime rigatone – cayenne fusilli  all with a hint of cinnamon spicing. Crazy flavorful and festive…

See you at the market….Happy holidays everyone!

Pascale Le Draoulec
food writer/author/farmers market director

December 8, 2011

Dear Shoppers,

Raise your hand if you’ve ever tried veal pastrami!
After 20 years of food writing I’ve never tried it. So I’m very excited that Gaia’s Breath will be selling some, along with their organic greens, at the Chappaqua Farmers Market this week. Gaia’s Breath is our alternate organic meat vendor who will be at the market every second and fourth Saturday, when Stone Barns is not. Their farm “265 acres of pure organic bliss” is situated between the Catskill and Adirondack mountain ranges. When owner Mark Santoro, isn’t farming, he spends his days dreaming up all sorts of charcuterie products. “In the summer we’re too busy to get creative in the kitchen,” says Tara Santoro, Mark’s sister. But in the winter “that’s when Mark gets really creative.” So, in addition to beautiful cuts of organic free-range lamb, pork, veal and chicken you can expects lots of high-end flavorful sausages and charcuterie as the winter progresses.

Or course, Roaming Angus, always has beautiful cuts of grass-fed beef and pork at a great value. This week he’s particularly proud of his thick pork chops.

There will be plenty of fresh fish this week. Roast some monkfish. Make fish tacos with flounder or lemon sole. Bake some hake!

As promised, By the Way Bakery will make her first appearance at the market this Saturday. I know many of you are not yet familiar with her product, but I promise you that once you take a bite of her sour cherry coffee cake you will be hooked. Oh and “by the way” everything that comes out of Helene Godin’s bakery is 100 % gluten-free, though that barely seems relevant it’s all so delicious.

Renee’s Jams is also back this week with her tantalizing (local!) fruit preserves in adorable homespun jars. Grab some for yourself, and then pick up a trio of jams as a gift for someone sweet in your life. Clean Ridge Soap will also be there on Saturday, so you can cross some more names off of your gift list with her natural homemade soaps in lovely gift baskets.

Fork & Glass will be back next week. This week in our live cooking corner,  personal chef Maria Reina will be making a couple of recipes using proteins from our vendors to show you how easy farrm-to-table cooking can be.

The knife sharpeners will be back on Dec. 17th with a 20 percent off sale. They will also be selling gift certificates (which will include the discount) — a great gift for any foodie on your list.

We know there are many markets to choose from in the area, we appreciate you making Chappaqua your weekly habit!

Pascale Le Draoulec
food writer/ author/ farmers market director

November 28, 2011

Chappaqua Farmers Market
The Region’s Largest Year-Round Market – Moves Indoors With Stone Barns!

Chef Dan Barber has become the voice of food sustainability and his restaurants Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns are the gold standard of true farm to table cuisine. So, it is with great pleasure that the Chappaqua Farmers Market announces that on the first and third Saturday of every month, Stone Barns will be selling their pristine meats raised in the Pocantico Hills at the Chappaqua Farmers Market indoor location at St. Mary’s Church in downtown Chappaqua beginning December 3rd. Now you can serve your family the same thoughtfully raised meats and poultry Barber is serving at his restaurants. Expect to find: pork roasts & chops, fresh & smoked hams, sausages, ground pork, ground beef and beef frankfurters. They will also have turkey cuts and whole chickens including slow growing “Italian chickens.”  On December 3rd and 17th, they will also have Bourbon Red turkeys to grace your holiday table.

Roaming Angus will continue to sell their grass-fed meat and chickens at the market as will the bio dynamic Gaia’s Breath Farm, which also sells charcuterie, and gourmet sausage and some organic greens.

In other fantastic news, Pura Vida Fish will return in December so customers can continue to buy their weekly fix of uber-fresh local fish that tastes like it jumped out of the net and onto your plate.

Other new vendors include Spice Revolution, a new shop in Dobbs Ferry that sells meat rubs and seasonings for baking and vegetables as well as exotic spices and gourmet salts and chocolates. This season we’re adding By the Way Bakery to our lineup. The New York Times has written about this cute Hastings on Hudson bakery that looks like it should be set in Paris. The baked goods (layer cakes, sour cherry coffee cake, tea breads & muffins) are 100 percent gluten free but customers would NEVER know it — hence the name. The same can be said for the divine creations from Little Croc Bakehouse, which will also be returning for the winter. Hence, we will have not one but two gluten-free bakers who will come on alternating weeks.  

All the favorite Chappaqua Farmers Market favorite vendors from the summer will return, such as Picklelicious, Flour and Sun Bakery (with their ‘out of this world’ cupcake creations), Big Girl Bakery, Taiim (with their gourmet line of Middle-Eastern hummus spreads and salads), Bread Alone Bakery, Tierra Farms (with their line of organic nuts and granola & locally roasted coffee).

Also: Amazing Real Live Food Co. is back for the winter with their fetching line of probiotic cheeses (Chaource, queso blanco and farmers’ cheese). They also carry Ronnybrook milk and drinkable yogurts. Madura Farms will be there, as well, bringing customers a steady supply culinary mushrooms and greens from their greenhouses in Black Dirt Country.

And so will the Pie Lady of Nyack, which will be there EVERY week, as will the Orchards of Concklin with their apple-cider donuts and their panoply of apple varieties.

Chappaqua Farmers Market favorite catering couple, Fork & Glass will make sure customers are greeted with tantalizing smells every Saturday from their Mexican meets Norway “street food.” Get in line for samples! True Foods will have hot breakfast burritos at the ready.

And, on some Saturdays, Ladle of Love will be selling homespun soup from their soup truck.

We hope to see existing…and new customers… every Saturday!

Nancy McNamara of Honey Locust Farmhouse has been busy making preserves from the fruit and berries on her organic farm, famous among New York City chefs who, come springtime, go gaga for her greens. She will have raspberry, blackberry, quince with ginger & mango, grape and/or plum with Pinot Noir and paradise jelly.
She will have Cayuga brand beans and popcorn. And, she will also be bringing her charming cider cart to make sure you stay nice and warm as you shop the market.

In addition to Stone Barns, we will have Hudson Valley Duck with their whole local ducks as well as confit’s duck legs that are ready to roast and enjoy in no time at all.

And, if meat isn’t your bag, dive into the fish display at Pura Vida Fishery where you can get fish that was caught in the Hampton Bays today! It just doesn’t get fresher than that unless you catch it yourself.

I’m including this fabulous monkfish recipe. Capt. Rick was fairly certain he’d have some monkfish on Saturday – he hadn’t gone fishing for this week’s market yet when this went to press – but this recipe is just as delicious with striped bass or grouper. I love all the aromatic spices this recipe calls for. Just reading it makes me feel like I’m in a souk. Looking forward to our new spice vendor who will by dropping by the market soon!

Roast Monkfish Moroccan Style
4 To 6 small fillets monkfish tails * (1 1/2 lb) membranes removed
1/4 c parsley; minced
1 T minced garlic
1/4 tsp cayenne or to taste
1 tbp ground cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 pinch  ground cloves
1/4 tsp  ground cinnamon
1/4 c  olive oil
2 c  chopped ripe or canned tomatoes, drained
S/P to taste

* if desired substitute strips of blackfish grouper, or striped bass cut from steaks or thick fillets

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Rinse and dry monkfish. Mix together the parsley, garlic, cayenne, cumin, coriander, cloves and cinnamon (in a food processor if desired; add a little olive oil or white wine if needed to process). Rub monkfish all over with this mixture.

Spread half the olive oil on the bottom of a roasting pan. Place the monkfish in the pan, top with the tomatoes and the remaining olive oil, and roast until the monkfish is tender, 20-30 minutes, turning once or twice. Serve over rice or with bread, with the sauce spooned over it.

See you at the market,
Pascale Le Draoulec
food writer/ author/ farmers market director