Pascale’s Blog

november 8, 2018

CFMHeader11918bIt’s Chili Time!

There are as many legends about the origin of chili con carne as there are varieties of peppers. One of the more far-flung stories says the dish hails from a Spanish nun in the early 1600s who never left her convent but had out-of-body experiences in which her spirit was transported across the Atlantic to preach Christianity to the Indians. After one of the return trips, her spirit wrote down the first recipe for chili con carne: chili peppers, venison, onions, and tomatoes. Another yarn says the dish was brought to San Antonio by Canary Islanders who were sent to Texas by the King of Spain as far back as 1731.

Others believe the first chili mix was concocted around 1850 by Texan adventurers and cowboys as a staple for hard times when traveling to and in the California gold fields and around Texas. Needing hot grub, the trail cooks came up with a sort of stew: they pounded dried beef, fat, pepper, salt, and the chile peppers together into stackable rectangles or chili bricks ” which could be easily rehydrated in campfire pots of boiling water.

Either way, chili is a point of personal pride for Texans and most Texans have a family recipe they are willing to share – or not.

We had so much fun at last year’s Chili Cook-Off we decided to make it an annual affair. Continue reading november 8, 2018

november 1, 2018

Header11218v2Cultured Cream at the market this week

You all know how I feel about our resident market chef, Marti Wolfson. This woman can cook no wrong. I’m thrilled when she likes a new vendor at the market, And, when she likes a new item or ingredient, I pay attention.

So does Colin McGrath at McGrath Cheese Co. So, when he was trying out a new cheese concept, he brought it straight to Marti to see if it was something she would want to work with in her incubator of a kitchen.  She went nuts for it.

Here’s what she had to say after testing McGrath’s new cultured cream: “Upon receiving a pint of McGrath’s new cultured cream, I dipped my finger in and gave it a quick taste. Like all of their products it has the perfect balance of flavor and texture. But this product is unusually hard to describe. It reminds you of some mixture of greek yogurt, raw cream, whipped cream, and creme fraiche, which is why I knew it would be easy to incorporate into nearly every dish I made this week. It started on Sunday, whipped into my favorite gluten free pancake mix. The pancakes came out super light and fluffy. Sun Sprout’s butternut squash called for soup and the cultured cream got blended in right at the end. As you might add a dollop of sour cream to a steak fajita, I added the cultured cream. This should be a condiment at every taqueria. Lastly, it was the perfect cool, sweet and creamy pairing to a warm bowl of ancient grain blueberry porridge. McGrath’s cultured cream will become a new weekly staple. “ Continue reading november 1, 2018

october 19, 2018

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No, the contest was not rigged…

We were tickled – and surprised – to have one of our very own CFM board members win the apple pie contest last week. We knew Nancy Silver has an array of talents but she’d kept her pie-baking prowess under wraps. Nancy was kind enough to share her pie recipe with us. She got the recipe for her winning pie from the King Arthur Flour website, which, in turn got it from Anita Newell of Groveton, NH, who also took first place with this pie in the Lancaster, NH fair.

“I try different apple-pie recipes all the time,” said Silver, a longtime Chappaqua resident. “What intrigued me with this recipe was the addition of caramel sauce,” which mimics a caramel apple. Nancy said she “just happened” to find a jar of goats-milk bourbon salted caramel from Vermont tucked away in her pantry, so, she went for it. “I think that might have been the special ingredient.” It was her one substitution to the recipe. If your pantry is not as well-stocked as Nancy’s, I’m sure Michele Kim, our caramel expert at La Petite Occasion will have some good options the next time she at the market (November 3). Added Silver, “this particular recipe calls for a streusel as well as a lattice crust. How crazy is that? I’ve never done that before. More butter and sugar I guess.” Indeed.

pie Continue reading october 19, 2018

october 11, 2018

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You could go to Koreatown for some great bbq…

…or, you could just head to the train station on Saturday where Kimchi Culture will be dishing up traditional Bulgogi.

Bulgogi, literally, “fire meat,” is a Korean classic dish made of thin, slices of superior beef (or pork) that have been marinated in a sweet/savory sauce of soy sauce, sugar, and pear juice, then cooked. Almost all Korean family celebrations include a bulgogi dish. Sunny will be serving the bbq as part of a “Korean lunch box” which will also include some of her classic cabbage Kimchi and her rice cooked with Aster leaves and kabocha squash. The combination lunchbox sells for only $7.

bulgogi and kimchi_650px Continue reading october 11, 2018

october 4, 2018

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Crunchy, tart, sweet or crisp?

No matter how you like your apples, Caradonna Farms delivers. They are bringing 8-10 varieties of apples to the market his week and no fewer than six types of pears. Fan of grapes? There will be five types to choose from on Saturday, too. Autumn has definitely arrived.

Cold crops like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, are also hitting the produce bins.

Many of you have been asking about mushrooms at the market. You’ll be happy to know that Letterbox Farm is now bringing bags of oysters and shiitakes which they sell by the bag (3/4 lb) for $10. They sold out quickly last week so don’t dawdle.

Bien Cuit is also selling mushrooms on behalf of Bulich Mushroom Farm. They bring them in very small quantities so make sure to ask the bread vendor about them.

applesetc Continue reading october 4, 2018

september 27 2018

HeaderRABBITRabbit!

It was both my mom’s rustic cooking and her healthy appetite that made my father fall in love with my mother, but it was her rabbit in paprika sauce that made him get down on one knee. This humble stew was a touchstone dish in our home and whenever my sister or I brought a gentleman caller home – my parents would prepare the rabbit dish to see if it (and the boyfriend) passed muster. If the dish didn’t fly, neither did the guy.

My mom, who has moved from Santa Monica to New York for a year to be closer to her granddaughters, was tickled to see that we have fresh rabbit at the market. This week Letterbox Farm is bringing lots of fresh rabbits which they are selling whole at $9 a pound.

41022b05-93c3-4940-baf4-91a172961ee8--rabbit_stew_smallIf you’ve never cooked rabbit, and don’t have a family recipe of your own, here are a couple recipes for inspiration. This rabbit stew from Food52 is the perfect dish to usher in fall.  Continue reading september 27 2018

september 20, 2018

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Pick some peppers this weekend

Standing in the Sun Sprout Farm tent last week, I was awed by their panoply of peppers. Remember when Bell peppers were it? And buying a yellow bell pepper seemed exotic? I counted no fewer than 8 varieties in the Sun Sprout bins alone. In addition to the classic red bell, they had sassy shishito peppers, Carmen peppers, Corno di toro peppers which are sweet and shaped like a bull horn. You can use these in recipes that call for an anaheim or poblano pepper. There were also shiny serranos and spicy jalapeños and those loveable lunchbox peppers – the perfect size for a snack with hummus or dip or to eat out of hand. (But they can also work as a terrific side dish sauteed en masse with garlic as in this recipe from 2sisters.com).

peppers1 Continue reading september 20, 2018

september 13, 2018

Header91418The early bird gets the…

Ground cherries!

Ground Cherries are in the same genus as tomatillos. The Smithsonian describes the ground cherry as a “cherry tomato injected with mango and pineapple juice and looks like an orange pearl encased in a miniature paper lantern.” I won’t even try to beat that description which is absolutely perfect.

Ground Cherries are hyper-seasonal and so they won’t be around long. Growing Hearts has a few but you best get to the market early. Their common name stems from the fact that the fruit falls to the ground when it is ripe. Some farmers call them simply, “ground tomatoes” but they are also known as husk cherries or strawberry tomatoes. They are super versatile and suitable in both savory and sweet preparations.cherries1

Here are some ideas from said Smithsonian article:

1. Puree them into a salsa verde, or chop them in into this ground cherry salsa.

2. Bake a ground cherry pie, upside-down cake, or a husk cherry and plum tart.

3. Layer halved ground cherries with fresh tomatoes and basil for an easy appetizer.

4. Make a simple salad from greens, ground cherries and goat cheese, or get a little more complex with husk cherry Waldorf salad.

5. Ground cherry jam is “easy peasy,” we hear. Continue reading september 13, 2018

september 7, 2018

Header9818Last minute dinner guests? No problem…

We had some last minute guests pop by and stay for dinner last week two nights in a row. Day one, I opened the fridge, and looked around my kitchen countertops to see what I could throw together. I had some fresh tuna I’d bought at the farmer’s market but certainly not enough to feed eight as an entree.

And, because it was late August/early September, I had plenty of peppers and tomatoes. Tuna, peppers and tomatoes and a handful of green beans…hmm. A Salade Nicoise was a no-brainer. Alas, we were out of potatoes. If you’ve been reading these blogs for a while now,  you know that in my French family Salade Nicoise was our traditional lunchtime salad whenever we had a tag sale – about two or three times a year. Tag sales were always a family affair and, bang on noon, my French father would bring out a giant Nicoise salad that we’d eat on a folding card table in the middle of our lawn – and sale.

I can’t tell you how many times shoppers asked us if they could “buy” a plate of salad it looked so good. Of course, we offered it up for free, always warning folks that the olives had not been pitted. My father, who grew up in Nice but was born in Brittany, insisted you needed boiled potatoes for a true Nicoise.

nicoiseI did a quick internet search to see if I was committing blasphemy making a potato-less Nicoise. Lo and behold – David Lebovitz came to my rescue with a recipe that deviated quite a bit from my father’s. No boiled vegetables. Period. I chose to ignore the passage forbidding the use of seared fresh tuna instead of poached or canned. Clearly, Lebovitz never tasted the tuna at Pura Vida. A boule from Wave Hill Breads and dinner was saved. Continue reading september 7, 2018

August 30, 2018

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Squeeze in those last, late summer picnics

The other day I took my family to Boscobel to see Taming of the Shrew, and I dare say our family picnic stole the show.

Yes, the Hudson River views were dramatic, but all eyes were on our market spread: some bread rolls from Wave Hill Breads, Rascal and Victoria Cheese from McGrath Cheese Co., some pate de campagne from Larchmont Charcuterie, kalamata olives from Kontoulis. garlicky hummus from Taiim Shack Mobile, cubed melon from Caradonna Farms, couscous salad with tomatoes from Sun Sprout, hard-boiled eggs from Letterbox Farm, and of course, some red wine and chocolate buckwheat treats from Bien Cuit and caramels from La Petite Occasion. Such a treat.

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Your Labor Day BBQs can (and should) be just as local. Letterbox Farms is bringing plenty of thick pork chops and country and spare rib. Also, they are well stocked on chicken cuts including their “airline breast” which is basically a skin-on breast with the first wing joint and tenderloin attached, otherwise boneless. The elegant cut is also known as a Frenched breast and lends itself to grilling and pan-frying. Continue reading August 30, 2018