march 17, 2016

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Cod, mushrooms, bread

Last week a couple of market board members joined me on a site visit to Madura Farms, in Goshen, where we spent quite a bit of time visiting Dan Madura’s mushroom “den” – two truck beds that have been converted into misty, temperature-controlled rooms where the mushrooms morph and spawn.

It’s always nice to get away from the market and step on the soil where our farmers labor. In this case, the very rich, loamy soil of black dirt country in Orange County. This is also home to Morgiewicz Produce, who, like most farmers, is getting a jump on sowing thanks to the winter that never really was. Looks like we will have plenty of greens come May 7th when we open outside at the train station.

Continue reading march 17, 2016

march 17, 2016

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cod/mushrooms/bread

Last week a couple of market board members joined me on a site visit to Madura Farms, in Goshen, where we spent quite a bit of time visiting Dan Madura’s mushroom “den” – two truck beds that have been converted into misty, temperature-controlled rooms where the mushrooms morph and spawn.
It’s always nice to get away from the market and step on the soil where our farmers labor. In this case, the very rich, loamy soil of black dirt country in Orange County. This is also home to Morgiewicz Produce, who, like most farmers, is getting a jump on sowing thanks to the winter that never really was. Looks like we will have plenty of greens come May 7th when we open outside at the train station.

Captain Rick of Pura Vida Fisheries in the Hampton Bays tells me cod season is winding down. Make sure to pick some up this weekend. I often overlook cod – opting for something a little more exotic to take home from the market. But whenever I bite into cod’s sweet, flaky flesh I am reminded why entire books have been written about this fish. Yes, it is common – but it is delicious. I never quite understood why so many recipes call for battering and frying it up. I am always on the lookout for recipes that don’t, in fact, mask its delicate flavor (Remember that first time you tried that Miso cod at Nobu?). Since I had mushrooms on the brain this week, I was very pleased to find this recipe in Cooking Light for poached cod with shiitakes that’s perfect for this time of year when we crave dishes that are lighter, yet belly-warming.

Continue reading march 17, 2016

march 10, 2016

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KNOW WHAT I’M CRAVING?

STEAK.
I’m not sure if it’s this gift of warm weather that has me eyeing the grill, or if it’s because I’ve been cooking so many vegetarian meals of late to accommodate my family…but I can’t stop thinking about steak. In particular, the steak I’m going to buy from FarMeats this weekend and all the ways I could gussy it up

What I love about steak is that serving (and eating) it feels like a celebration and yet is pretty easy to pull together midweek. Caramelize some shallots, roast some pearl onions. You can make a little chimichurri sauce (here’s a recipe from Bevcooks.com). Or you could just season with salt and cracked pepper with some chopped fresh shallots, melted butter and chopped parsley. (The parsley is key!).

My mom considers it blasphemy to make streak without frites, (since my father passed away she’s even bought a “friteuse” for one!)  But I can live with the guilt. I like my grilled steak atop a bed of wilted chard or spinach. And, these days, easy baked sweet potato fries are more my speed. Here is a David Lebovitz recipe for steak with mustard butter. And, if there’s steak in your future…shouldn’t you get our steak knives sharpened? Lucky you! Knife sharpeners are here tomorrow!

Continue reading march 10, 2016

march 3, 2016

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Tired of turnips? GET YOUR DAIKON ON!

D & J Produce’s stall at the market is stacked with gorgeous white daikon but more shoppers pick it up and look at it quizzically, than actually buy it, unsure what to do with this tuber that resembles a thick pearly white carrot.

Daikon is Japanese for “great root.” It is considered “great” because it is a staple in Asian kitchens, precisely because of its versatility: both raw & cooked. Shredded or julienned, Daikon radish can add crunch to a green salad or a bit of spice to a slaw. It’s distinct crunchy texture makes it a natural for pickled dishes like kimchi where it is often mixed with carrots.

You can slice daikon radish into rounds and bake them at a very low temperature to make Daikon chips. Because it is earthy and slightly bitter, daikon is just right for curries and soups, and even pot roasts. You can pretty much substitute daikon in any recipe that calls for trad turnips. Continue reading march 3, 2016

february 25, 2016

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Wow your Oscar party guests with Coquille St. Jacques – or Lamb Chili

When we moved house last summer we did a lot of purging – particularly in the kitchen where we found that we had many duplicates – a by-product of our newly-blended family.

One of the items that was up for debate was the set of 12 large, perfectly-flawless scallop shells that my parents used for making Coquilles St. Jaques – one of their dinner-party staples when I was a kid. Even though I loved this classic French dish of baked scallops (eaten from a giant shell no less!), and, even though I vividly remember my parents’ friends swooning over it, I’ve only made it once as an adult. It always seemed too, well, retro. Since Pura Vida’s scallops are so exquisite, I tend to simply sear them in an extra hot pan with a bit of olive oil and garlic…and let their big flavor do the talking. Still, the beautiful shells made the cut.

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february 18, 2016

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BELLY AND HOUSE WARMING BONE BROTH

How do I survive bitter cold temps like those that gripped our area last weekend? With a giant vat of bone broth bubbling on my stovetop. The constant aromatic simmer alone warms up this drafty house. And whenever I feel a chill coming on, I pour myself a shot. I’ve been doing the bone broth thing off and on for the last three winters now. My sister turned me on to it a while back when she went through some health issues and this was recommended to her by a nutritionist. bitter cold temps? I had a vat of bone broth simmering on my stove-top for the duration.

Bone-broth devotees (mostly folks who’ve gone Paleo) credit it with treating everything from eczema to cellulite to nervous stomachs. Who knows? What is true, is that when bones cook for an extended period of time, they do release collagen, amino acids and minerals, hence the health benefits of “broth-ing.”

Continue reading february 18, 2016

february 11, 2016

LAMB CHOPS FOR YOUR LAMB CHOP ON VALENTINE’S DAY

Sunday is Valentine’s Day and what with planning your winter break getaway you may have overlooked this holiday that suggests you spend some money on your honey.

Worry not. The CFM is here to help.

Some Swine (as in BACON)  for your Valentine? This week, Sunset View Farm in upstate Otsego County is bringing down lots of lamb (from roasts to chops to plump legs) as well as plenty of pastured pork cuts.

Celebrate LOVE on Sunday with an ice cream sundae. We are so pleased to introduce a new guest vendor: The Ardent Homesteader, maker of Cara-Sel a salted caramel sauce, made in small batches with all natural ingredients, that’s perfect to drizzle, warm, over a bowl of ice cream or a slice of Pie Lady & Son‘s apple pie. Also perfect for dipping slices of Breezy Hill Orchard‘s organic apples.
Or, (who is going to stop you?) over delicate meringue cookies from the Meringue Queen, also here this week.

Consider an assortment of organic teas from Teagevity. Or some (several?) saucisson sec from Larchmont Charcuterie (he is off to India for a month so will not return to market until April. Devotees – plan accordingly).
OR – bring the kitchen knives you got on your wedding day for a little t.l.c. from the Knife Sharpener. Now that’s romantic.
Continue reading february 11, 2016

february 4, 2016

Feeding football fans be they Broncos or Panthers

…should be pretty easy come Sunday provided you stop by the farmer’s market tomorrow. The way I see it there are two ways you can go: prepare a spread for your guests made entirely of market nibbles: an ambitious cheese tray featuring gruyere and soft Chaource from Chaseholm Creamery, as well as a nutty gouda, an artisan blue and a wedge of Mancheli – a Manchego-like sheep’s milk cheese from The Cheese Guy. Don’t forget sliced saucisson sec from Jacuterie with an assortment of tangy pickled veggies from Deep Roots Farm. No Superbowl spread is complete without dip: enter the slightly smoky artichoke and pistachio dip from Steve’s Country Kitchen and the various hummus options from Taiim Mobile Shack. Make sure to pick up some of Taiim’s hummus chips and Bien Cuit’s traditional baguettes to accompany all of the above. As well as carrots from D & J. and fennel from Madura for dipping.

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january 28, 2016

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EAT MORE SHIITAKE! And Bacon, too. Wiltbank Mushroom Farm and Jacuterie – BOTH here this week.

Gary, the mushroom “whisperer” from Wiltbank Farm is back for a visit. His oyster mushrooms and shiitake are as flavorful as they are fetching. And ridiculously affordable. Healthy, too. Shiitake in particular, are full of copper and selenium – good for the heart.

And, here’s the thing, they keep FOREVER so long as you store them in a brown paper bag in the fridge. Buy them this Saturday and plan a dinner party around them for NEXT Saturday. No problem.

Chop them up and sautee them with garlic, a little white wine, and put them on crostini, with fresh parsley, cracked pepper and parmesan shavings; tuck them in a dinner-worthy omelet or build a risotto around them. Ask Lisa at Wild Sea Salt (also here this week) which of her “local” salt flavors would showcase them best.

Jacuterie is also back with their BACON and fresh pork sausage seasoned with local herbs and spices. They are also well-stocked in Chaseholm Creamery artisanal cheeses.
Continue reading january 28, 2016