Review: Caffe DaVinci

In every restaurant I’ve reviewed, no matter what the type, I’ve always tried to look at the positives. Maybe I’ve turned into an Italian food snob. Maybe I expected too much. But unfortunately, I was unable to find a single thing about this restaurant that I liked.

Caffe DaVinci is the next incarnation of the long-running DaVinci Ristorante, which operated at the corner of Reed and Henderson on the city’s northwest side for many many years, until the former funeral home it was housed in was knocked down and the entire corner it was located on was redeveloped to accommodate several new businesses. After a brief period of closure, the same owners opened Caffe DaVinci, a casual eatery in Upper Arlington. We had been to the previous restaurant a few times before for their buffet, which was decent, but never for their sit down menu.

When walking into the building, it isn’t immediately clear what you’re supposed to do next – i.e wait to be seated, go up to the counter to order, etc. so we asked an employee. It turns out that you order at the counter using overhead menu boards, and then they hand you a number which you bring to your chosen table (you seat yourself). When your order is ready, they’ll bring it out to you.

If I were smarter, I would have made a lot less assumptions of what a dish is supposed to be and actually taken the menu quite literally. You’ll see what I’m talking about soon.

Service was competent and pleasant, but not outstanding, although it was a different person every time they came up to us. Our only complaint with regards to the service is that there was absolutely no staging on the courses. Our salads came within a minute, and then within 5 minutes we had our appetizer and entrees as well. This may be a kitchen issue rather than service issue, though.

For an appetizer, we picked the Blue Cheese Chips ($6.95) – it was described as being potato chips with a blue cheese dressing, so I specifically asked, “by blue cheese dressing, do you mean an actual blue cheese salad dressing?” to which she responded “no, it’s chips with an alfredo sauce and then sprinkled with blue cheese and put under a broiler” – I really should have gone with my first impression because I’ll be damned if those chips weren’t covered with a salad dressing of some sort – hard to tell if it was blue cheese or Caesar dressing, but it had the unmistakable vinegary tang of dressing. And hot salad dressing is just gross. If that weren’t bad enough, in the spots where the salad dressing was ladled, it was overly salty to the point of being inedible. If I’m incorrect and that was in fact alfredo, I’m thanking my lucky stars I didn’t order an alfredo based dish, because I’ve had better out of a jar. The chips that weren’t covered with the dressing or blackened and burned weren’t too bad, though. Unfortunately, at almost $7 a pop, I want an appetizer of which I can eat more than half.

Blue Cheese Chips from Caffe DaVinci

If the appetizer left me that underwhelmed, then I died a little bit inside when I got my entree. I opted for the Risotto alla Milanese ($8.95). Correct me if I’m wrong, culinary types – but isn’t a risotto supposed to be made with arborio rice, take at least 30 minutes, and for a Risotto alla Milanese in particular, be a saffron based risotto? In my mind, I pictured a lovely (but perhaps small) serving of nicely al dente risotto with maybe a little meat sauce ladled over the very center and then sprinkled with a little freshly grated Parmesan. I should have known I was in trouble when it came out 5 minutes after I ordered it, and was red all over, and liberally covered with melted mozzarella. On first taste, I knew something was off. After closer inspection, I realized that this definitely was not arborio (arborio grains are not that long), and hell if I’m not unsure if it was even long grain rice at all – if you click on the picture below and look at the large one, you’ll see that the texture of the rice has the strange rat-bitten appearance of Minute Rice. Mushy Minute Rice at that. And the flavor was so overwhelmed by the red sauce that it was like eating meat sauce straight up. This dish was an insult to risotto. Hell, this dish was an insult to rice, period. This was easily one of the worst things I’ve eaten this year.

Risotto alla Milanesa from Caffe DaVinci

We also had higher expectations of Paul’s entree, the Chicago Style Meatball Pizza ($7.95), which turned out to basically a bread bowl filled with meatballs and sauce and topped with cheese. The outer dough was vasty undercooked, and the innards tasted almost exactly like my entree. The meatballs were good, though – I definitely wouldn’t call this dish a pizza by any stretch of the imagination, though.

Chicago Style Meatball Pizza from Caffe DaVinci

We chose to add a Pronto Side Salad ($3.95) to both of our entrees. While the flavor wasn’t bad, the vegetables and lettuces lacked freshness (the cauliflower, in particular, was black/brown in places), and we felt this was an extremely steep price for the quantity and quality of the salad.

Pronto Side Salad from Caffe DaVinci

Needless to say, we won’t be returning. And judging by reviews on Yelp and Urbanspoon, most people clearly like it – just can’t say that we’re among them. Whether it’s because we’ve had too much good Italian to pay for bad or that we ordered the wrong dish, we parted with too much of our hard earned money today for horrible food that I’m not willing to take that chance again.

If you’d like to go: Caffe DaVinci, 3080 Tremont Rd, Columbus, OH 43221, 614-459-9945

Caffe Davinci on Urbanspoon

May 2009 Roundup

Another installment with tons of tasty recipes. One more left to go!

In sweet recipes, Cherry Oat Scones with Almond Glaze from 2 Stews, Peanut Butter and Jelly French Toast from 30 Bucks a Week, Cinnamon Roll Cake from Abby Sweets, Strawberry Margarita Pie from Annie’s Eats, Moroccan Rice Pudding from asankhana, Blueberry White Chocolate Cookies from Baking Delights, Banana Nutella Bread from Barbara Bakes, Cinnamon Churros from bFeedMe, Warm French Toast Bread Butter Pudding from Big Boys Oven, Raspberry Limeade Cake from Bless Us O Lord, Raspberry-Almond Cupcakes from Buff Chickpea, Margarita Cupcakes from Bunny’s Warm Oven, Strawberry Buttermilk Ice Cream, Neapolitan Cupcakes and French Toast and Bacon Cupcakes from The Busty Baker, Frozen Strawberry Margarita Pie from Confections of a Foodie Bride, Strawberry Sour Cream Ice Cream from Cooking, Dunkin Style, Orange Essence Chocolate Chip Scones and Lemon (or Lime) Sugar Cookies from Cooking with Cristine, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Blondies from The Crepes of Wrath, Strawberry Frozen Yogurt from Cupcake Muffin, Maple French Toast and Bacon Cupcakes from Cupcakes Take the Cake, Blueberry Lemon Buttermilk Bundt Cake from Dianasaur Dishes, Strawberry Margarita Cakes from Dunkin Cooking the Semi-Homemade Way, Banana Pecan Pancakes from Feasts and Fotos, Giant Dutch Baby with Sauteed Apples from Herbivoracious, Strawberry Fro Yo from Hey What’s For Dinner Mom?, Pinkberry-Style Frozen Yogurt from Ho Yummy, Chef Mark’s Southern Comfort Apple Pie from Just Get Floury, Strawberry Walnut Loaf from Kali Orexi, Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars from Lemons & Love, Roasted Pineapple with Pink Peppercorns from Lottie + Doof, Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cupcakes from Love and Olive Oil, Oreo Cupcakes from Marin’s Creations, 7 Up Pound Cake from Norah’s Menus and Recipes, Strawberry Popovers from Nosheteria, Olive Oil and Sherry Pound Cake with Peaches in Honey Lemon Syrup from ::pastry studio::, Easy Crescent Danish Rolls, Brownies Samoa and Chocolate Strawberry Crispy Pie from Real Mom Kitchen, Buttermilk Berry Ice Cream from Slim Pickins’ Pork, Kentucky Derby Mini Mint Cheesecakes from strawberries in paris, and Jewel Punch from YumSugar.

In savory recipes, Leek & Pea Risotto from 10thirty, Shrimp a la Mexicana (Camarones a la Plancha) and Shrimp Croquettes (Shrimp Balls) from [eatingclub] vancouver, Malabar Chicken Khorma from A Delighted Foodie, Creamy Sausage, Spinach and Morels over Polenta and Grilled Duck with Wild Rice Cakes and Sesame Tomato Chutney from A Good Appetite, Mama Mia Stuffed Shells with Vodka Sauce from A Pookie Pantry, Cauliflower Spanish Rice from A Veggie Venture, Garlic-Dill Oven Fries from A Year from Oak Cottage, Tequila Lime Chicken from A Year in the Kitchen, Mustard Garlic Flank Steak from Accountants Can Cook?, French Onion Soup from Aapplemint, Chinese Scallion Pancakes from All AppetiteForChina, Crab Wontons from All That Splatters, Chicken Pesto Pasta from Almost Italian, Sriracha Mayonnaise from An Invitation to the Barbecue, Grilled Honey Lime Chicken Sandwiches and BLT Pasta Salad from Anissa’s Kitchen, Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms from Annie’s Recipes, Goat Cheese and Chive Gnocchi with Asparagus from Apartment Therapy: The Kitchn, Cuban Beef Picadillo from Apple a Day, Russian Creamed Sauerkraut with Bacon and Shiitake Mushrooms from The Bacon Show, Slowcooked Butter Chicken from The Baker & The Curry Maker, Thai Coconut Shrimp from Baking a Sweet Life, Pasta avec Trois Fromages from Baking Delights, Scallion and Red Onion Pancakes with Ginger Dipping Sauce from The Barefoot Kitchen Witch, Coronation-ish Chicken Salad from Bay Area Bites, Chicken Egg Drop Corn Soup from Beachlover Kitchen, Mac ‘N Cheese with Bacon from Big Black Dog, Stuffed Tomato with Eggplant (Patlicani Domates Dolmasi) from Binnur’s Turkish Cookbook, Samosa Potato Salad from BitterSweet, Greek Burgers from Blog Chef, Burger Explosion from Burgatory, Chicken Fiesta Tacos with Mango Pineapple Salsa from Bytes from Texas: One Longhorn’s Adventures, Slow Cooked Beef and Red Wine Stew from The Canberra Cook, Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken from Cassie Craves, Braised Beef Jalisco-Style (Birria) from Chili Cheese Fries, Chicken Marsala Casserole from Cookin’ with Cyndi, Garides Tourkolimano (Greek Shrimp) from Closet Cooking, Beef Teriyaki Kebabs and Mongolian Beef from Confections of a Foodie Bride, Cauliflower Fritters from Cook (Almost) Anything at Least Once, Spring Greens with Gorgonzola from Cook sister!, Italian Jambalaya from The Cookbook Junkie, Caramelized Onion and Blue Cheese Orzo and Garden Risotto from Cookies with Boys, Spiced Rhubarb Chutney and Pork Tenderloin from Cookin’ Canuck, Ramp and Potato Soup with Saffron, Chives, and Tomatoes from Cooking Books, Moroccan Style Beef Kabobs with Spiced Bulgur from Cooking…by the Seat of My Pants, Best Ever Brisket from Cooking for Comfort, Ramp and Sausage Risotto and Tuscan Bean Soup from Cookography, Layered Strawberry Cake from The Cooks Collection, Enchiladas Verdes from The Crepes of Wrath, Quinoa Lobster Mac ‘n Cheese and Cumin Spiced Chicken with Green Tomatillo Sauce from Culinary Adventures of a New Wife, Wild Mushroom Agnolotti with Balsamic Browned Butter Sauce from Eat Real, Mexican Grilled Corn with Crema from Ezra Pound Cake, Strawberry Risotto from Food Junkie Not Junk Food, Coleman’s Spicy Egg and Potato Salad from Get Cooking, Creamy Fried Confetti Corn from Gluten-Free is Life, Fresh Corn Soup Topped with Roasted Corn Guacamole from got no milk, Tex-Mex Pollo Fundido from Healthy Delicious, Mini Hot Browns from Hedonia, Fresh Fettuccine with Ricotta, Spring Onions and Fried Duck Egg from Herbivoracious, Beef and Bulgur Bake and Greek Bulgur Salad from Hey What’s For Dinner, Mom?, Quick Beef Enchiladas with Salsa Verde from Homemade, Muffin Tin Potato Moussaka from I Pray to Feta, Orange Saffron Chicken with Coconut Saffron Risotto and Greek Lentil Salad from Jenn Cuisine, Vegetable Garden Risotto from imafoodblog.com, Casarecci con Melanzane e Pomodoro from Just Call Me Marta, Grilled Chicken Stuffed with Ramps and Feta Pesto from Kalofagas.ca, Weeknight Paella from Kelly Cooks…and Other Amazing Feats, Crab Enchiladas with Black Bean Sauce from Kitchen Empress, Orzo Stuffed Peppers from La Bella Cook, Chicken Parm Pizza Balls from Lauren’s Kitchen, Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Chimichurri Sauce from Life’s Ambrosia, Pea and Leek Risotto with Basil from Lime in the Coconut, Spicy Vegetable Korma with Chana Dal in a Cashew Coconut Tomato Sauce from Lisa’s Vegetarian Kitchen, Sausage-Stuffed Mushrooms from Live.Love.Eat., Loaded Tortilla Soup with Shrimp from Lori’s Lipsmacking Goodness, Tarragon Chicken Salad from Lottie + Doof, Chicken Enchilada Roll-ups from Macaroni and Cheesecake, Red Skinned Potato Salad from Marin’s Creations, Thai Red Curry Risotto and Thai-Style Halibut with Coconut-Curry Broth from Meet Me in the Kitchen, Cheddar Chive Biscuits from Moogie & Pap, Tuna Salad – Sashimi Style from Munch + Nibble, Claypot Chicken Rice from My Asian Kitchen, Pineapple-Banana-Coconut Bread from My Baking Addiction, Kimchi Fried Rice from Mysoorean, Potato Mash with Wild Garlic from nami-nami, Orange Chicken and Huli Huli Chicken from Norah’s Menus and Recipes, Shallot Tarte Tatin from O Pistachio, Gin’s Japanese Potato Salad from Once Upon a Gourmet Gin, Tropical Wrapped Tilapia and Lighter Sesame Chicken from Oven Love, Thai Peanut Turkey Burgers from Perrys’ Plate, Paneer from The Purple Foodie, Crepes Ensenada from Real Mom Kitchen, Indonesian Chicken from Restaurant Widow, Crock-Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu from Sara’s Recipe Spot, Tortilla Española from The Sensitive Epicure, Pan Fried Chicken Sandwich and Barbecue Chicken from Serious Eats, Tuscan Chicken and Charred Corn Salsa with Blue Chips from Smoky Mountain Cafe, Roast Pumpkin, Mushroom and Leek Risotto from ::sweet treats::, Coconut-Crusted Chicken with Cashew Curry from Taste & See, Ramped-Up Spaghetti and Meatballs from Tigers & Strawberries, Coconut Curried Red Lentils from Vegetarian Foodie, Fresh Blackberry Vinaigrette and Pesto and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken from Vintage Victuals, Toasted Coconut Cilantro Rice from We [Heart] Food, Moroccan Eggs and Braised Rabbit with Dijon Mustard & Rosemary from What You Having For Your Tea?, Moroccan Beef Stew from Wino Sapien, Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Soup from Working Girl Cooks!, Albanian Chicken Noodles from Ya Salam Cooking, Seared Tuna With Avocado Salsa Verde from Yum Sugar, and Spicy Pomegranate Ribs from Zested.

Review: Grill & Skillet

My family has a weekend tradition – this year, after heading to the farmers markets on Saturday mornings, we’ve been stopping at area restaurants for breakfast, or if it’s been late enough when we got there, brunch or lunch. Grill and Skillet has come recommended to me by a couple of different people, so we decided to give it a try this past weekend.

It’s fairly easy to pass by if you’re not looking. It’s on fairly non-descript stretch of East Main Street, just east of Bexley and on the same block as The Top Steakhouse. Once inside, the decor is a bit dated, composed of slightly ratty booths and a counter. The place definitely shows its age, but sometimes the best food comes from the biggest dives. It’s also the first time I’ve been made as a food blogger/reviewer – our waitress was someone who knew me from our dining out meetup group, so in the interest of full disclosure, that may have affected my experience. Your mileage may vary.

Their menu is your basic diner fare – lots of sandwiches and hot plates, burgers, breakfast items, along with a couple of specials. The coffee drinkers at the table rated the coffee highly. I, because I’ve been on a milkshake kick lately, decided to have a strawberry shake with my breakfast, which is made with Johnson’s ice cream and definitely has that real milkshake flavor. The strawberry flavor wasn’t artificial in the least, and I was thankful that the serving size wasn’t outrageously big. The thickness was ideal, too – not so thin that it was basically strawberry milk, but not so thick that I couldn’t suck it through the straw.

Strawberry Milkshake from Grill & Skillet (Bexley, OH)

I opted for the Country Fried Steak breakfast ($7.25) with a side of bacon ($1.90), which came on no less than 4 separate plates. The chicken fried steak seemed to be battered rather than dredged through flour and fried, and was a bit odd to my palate – kind of reminded me of something that I’d get in a frozen TV dinner because it lacked the texture I normally expect in that dish. My husband, who ate the rest of mine, thought it was just fine, so it just may be a personal preference thing. The sausage gravy on top was good, though.

Chicken Fried Steak from Grill & Skillet (Bexley, OH)

On the other hand, the eggs and hash browns that came with the dish were fan-friggin-tastic. Eggs that were done perfectly (I ordered them over easy and they came out exactly that way), hash browns that were perfectly browned, just the way I like it, and the bacon I ordered was also cooked exactly the way I like it, nice and crispy. My other dining companion who ordered a variation on the same dish agreed that his came out perfectly as well. Their short order cook definitely knows his way around a grill top.

Fried Eggs, Hash Browns & Bacon from Grill & Skillet (Bexley, OH)

And as minor a detail as this is, the toast was the best I’ve had in a while. Dipped into my egg yolk, it was one of the most satisfying things I’ve eaten for breakfast in weeks.

Toast from Grill & Skillet (Bexley, OH)

My husband chose the Mexican Omelette ($6.75), a three egg monster that is stuffed with onions, jalapenos, cheese, sausage, and then covered with salsa. Although it was a bit more browned than I prefer my eggs, it was done exactly to my husband’s liking. It, too, comes with hash browns and toast.

Mexican Omelet from Grill & Skillet (Bexley, OH)

My husband also opted for a side of corned beef hash, which was a little more processed than I like, but the crispiness made up for any sins of a food service grade nature.

Corned Beef Hash from Grill & Skillet (Bexley, OH)

It will take a few more visits to find our ideal order here, but lucky for us, it’s affordable enough for us to do that. There’s not a great amount of variety on the menu, but it’s a credible diner and one of the areas in which they excel is providing you with your food in just the way you want it. We’re eager to return.

If you’d like to go: Grill and Skillet, 2924 E. Main Street, Columbus, OH 43209, 614-231-1702

Grill & Skillet on Urbanspoon

April 2009 Roundup

Still catching up on the roundups…two down, two to go. :)

In sweet recipes, Key Lime Cheesecake from A Dash of Sass, Rice Pudding with Coconut Milk from A Gluten-Free Day, Goat Cheesecake from a whisk and a spoon, Chocolate Truffle Tarts with Raspberries from alpineberry, Blood Orange Yogurt Cake from An Edible Symphony, Lemon Creme Scones and Sopapilla CheesecakeCream Cheese Pound Cake with Strawberry Coulis from Anissa’s Kitchen,  Cookies and Cream Rice Krispie Treats from Annie’s Eats, Honey Ricotta Cheesecake with Almond Crust from Baking and Books, Butterscotch Thins from Baking Bites, Butterscotch Rice Krispie Cookies from Bakingblonde’s Weblog, Strawberry and Nutella French Toast from Big City Cooking, 7-Up Bundt Cake from Blog Chef, Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Cake from Brake for Bread, Portuguese Sweet Bread from breadbasketcase, Pom-Berry Chip Ice Cream from Buff Chickpea, Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake from The Busty Baker, Tropical Oatmeal from Cafe Cyan, Grilled Cheesecake from CakeSpy, Strawberry and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream from Cannelle et Vanille, Crispy Flax Cookies from Christie’s Corner, Baked Sweet Potato Oatmeal with Pecan Streusel from Closet Cooking, Peanut Butter Reese’s Cookies from Cooking is Medicine, Clafouti aux Poires (Custard Tart with Pears) from culinary annotations, Grilled Pancakes with Balsamic Strawberries from Culinary Cory, Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Squares from The Cutting Edge of Ordinary, Watergate Salad from Domesticated Engineer, Key Lime Pie Fudge and Better Than Starbucks Lemon Pound Cake from Dozen Flours, Fresh Strawberry Gelato from Eat Real, Blood Orange ‘Lemon’ Bars from Eating Out Loud, Baked Brie from Fake Ginger, Chocolate Raspberry Layered Cheesecake from Good Things Catered, Lavender, Honey and Vanilla Custard from Jenn Cuisine, Cherry Vanilla Cupcakes from Lazy Susin, Nanny’s Raised Doughnuts from The Life and Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch, Oatmeal Snack Cake from Lottie + Doof, Strawberries & Cream Stuffed French Toast from Mrs Regueiro’s Plate, Ricotta Crumpets with Mulberries from Nina’s Kitchen, Orange Olive Oil Cake from Oh Kitchen, What Won’t You Do?, Rhubarb Chutney from Old Dog…New Tricks, White Chocolate Coconut Key Lime Cupcakes from Peanut Butter and Julie, Cherry and Chocolate Chip Cookies from Pink Stripes, Gelato di Riso (Rice Gelato) from Spice of Life, Tiramisu Bread Pudding from Spork or Foon?, Sugared Apple Galette and Dutch Caramel Cashew Cookies from Technicolor Kitchen, Peanut Butter Crispy Bars from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures, Ricotta Pancakes from Trifles.nl, and Berry Trifle with Lemon Mousse from Two Peas and Their Pod.

In savory recipes, Mexican Chicken Skillet from $5 Dinners, Chive Knots from 1x umruhren bitte, Savory Red Pepper and Onion Matzo Brei from 30 Bucks a Week, Balsamic Snake Beans from 80 Breakfasts, Swedish Meatballs with Buttered Boiled Potatoes and Spanakorizo (Greek Spinach Rice) from [eatingclub] vancouver, Savory Ramp Bread Pudding from A Curious Cupful, Garlic Oven Fries and Chicken Enchiladas “Swiss Chard” from A Feast for the Eyes, Moroccan Chicke with Lemons and Olives and Pasta with Bacon, Leeks and Mushrooms from A Good Appetite, Quick Chicken and Scallop Carbonara from A Series of Kitchen Experiments, Ramp and Buttermilk Biscuits from A Singleton in the Kitchen, Manitoba Special from A Year from Oak Cottage, Mu Shu Vegetables from A Year in the Kitchen, Rustic Mushroom Tart from Adaptations, Tilapia al Ajillo from Adventures in Home Cooking, St. Andre and Crab Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms from The Adventures of Kitchen Girl, Garlic Shrimp from All That Splatters, Leeks and Sour Cream Flan from Allotment 2 Kitchen, Susan Boyled Potatoes from The Amateur Gourmet, Island Chicken from Anya Cooks!, Lighter Chinese Chicken salad from Apple A Day, Chinese Sausage and Onion Omelette from Babe in the City-KL, Cheese and Bacon Smashed Potatoes and Easy Chicken Mole Stew from Baking Delights, Chinese One Pot Meal from Balance, Joy and Delicias!, Black Bean and Plantain Tostadas from Beans and Greens, Red Onions Roasted with Balsamic and Honey from Big Black Dog, Fig, Goat Cheese, Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza from Big City Cooking, Steak, Asparagus and Chimichurri Pasta from bitchincamero, Pineapple-Mustard Glazed Ham from The Bitten Word, Chicken Involtini with Prosciutto and Basil and Mixed Mushroom and Gruyere Tart from Blisstree, Passover Zuchinni-Matzo Meal Pizza from Blog Appetit, Tomato, Feta and Barley Salad from Buff Chickpea, Rustic Pan-Fried Chicken in Creamy Mushroom Sauce from cabbage roses & cupcakes, Cheesy Chicken and Veggie Soup from Cafe Munchkin, Kerry Gold Dubliner Stuffed Chicken Breast from Calm in the Kitchen, Italian Potato Soup from Chef Chuck’s Cucina, North Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Hot & Sour Slaw from Chili Cheese Fries, Perfect Microwave Rice from chubba gurl, Creamy Tuscan Bean Soup from Cinnamon, Spice & Everything Nice, Butter Paneer Masala, Swordfish Steak with Mango Chutney on Curried Lentils, Chicken Giouvesti and Ham and Lentil Soup from Closet Cooking, Pasta with Goat Cheese, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Shrimp from Confections of a Foodie Bride, Ramp and Mushroom Risotto and Ramp Fritters from Constables Larder, Spicy Shrimp and Dirty Grits, Broiled Grits with Smoky Bacon and Sharp Cheddar and Creamy Meyer Lemon & Chive Grits from Convivial.org, Broccoli, Leek and Taleggio Roll from Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once, Thai-Inspired Fried Rice from Cook’s Hideout, Corn Fritters from Cooking For Comfort, Panko-Crusted Pork Chops from The Crepes of Wrath, Weekday Paella with Sausage from Crispy Waffle, Cauliflower “Cake” from Croque-Camille, Roast Leg of Lamb from Cucina Panzano, Sopa Seca from Cucina Pazza, Pomegranate Pulled Pork from Culinary Disasters, Gnocchetti with Meyer Lemon Cream Sauce and Crispy Sage from Cupcake Muffin, Posole with Eye of the Goat Beans and Shredded Chicken from The Days Are Just Packed, Spinach and Gouda Strata from Dish ‘n’ That, Pork Souvlaki, Bacon and Tomato Tart, Chicken Satay Skewers and Springtime Carbonara from Dishing Up Delights, Teriyaki Burgers from Dunkin Cooking the Semi-Homemade Way, Cauliflower Gratin from eat me, delicious, Enchiladas Verdes from Eating Out Loud, Greek Sandwich with Feta Vinaigrette from Elle’s New England Kitchen, Mofongo Served with a Sofrito Soup Broth from Eric Rivera’s Cooking Blog, Chicken Breasts in Mustard Tarragon Cream Sauce from The Essential Rhubarb Pie, Seared Scallops and Corn Cakes with Bacon Vinaigrette from Everything is Better with Bacon, Instant Tamale Pie from Ezra Pound Cake, Frittata from Feasts and Fotos, Black Bean and Rice Stuffed Poblanos with Creamy Corn and Avocado Salad from Food alla Puttanesca, Arroz con Pollo, Breakfast Skillet and Asian Chicken Breasts from For the Love of Cooking, Stuffed Matzo Balls from Grow. Cook. Eat., Pistachio and Truffle Pesto from Hannah’s Country Kitchen, Skillet Cheese Potatoes from Hobble Creek Kitchen, Lamb Barbacoa from Homesick Texan, Smoked-Gouda Risotto with Spinach and Mushrooms from Honey Muffin, Leek, Pea and Bacon Risotto from Hungry in Hogtown, English Muffin Margherita Pizzas from I Heart Food 4 Thought, Alex’s Stuffed Mushrooms from I’m Running to Eat, Crunchy Cranberry Chicken Salad from In Good Taste, Paella, Italian Style from Je Mange la Ville, Chicken Risotto with Sweet Peas, Artichokes and a Balsamic Reduction from Jennifer’s Cooking, Baked Spaghetti Pie from Jenny Mac’s Lip Smack, Shiitake Mushroom Brown Rice Pilaf, Hae-Mul Pa-Jeon (Seafood & Vegetable Pancake), Roasted Garlic Risotto and Bokkeum Bap (Kim Chee Fried Rice) from Joelen’s Culinary Adventures, Beef, Cheese and Noodle Bake from Julie’s Foodie, Garlic Makaronia with Mostra and Shrimp with Capers and Dill from Kalofagas.ca, Braciole from La Bella Cook, Thai Turkey Burgers from Le Petit Pierogi, Grilled Fillet Steak with the Creamiest White Beans and Leeks from Lemons and Cheese, Deep-Dish Ham Quiche with Herb and Asparagus Salad from Living in the Kitchen with Puppies, Lebanese Couscous and Chicken from Lonely Sidecar, Shrimp and Ham Jambalaya from Lori’s Lipsmacking Goodness, Vietnamese Omelette from The Maltese Bacon, Chicken Satay Skewers with Cilantro Cream from Mary Ellen’s Cooking Creations, Edamame and Mushroom Risotto with Pancetta from Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska, Feta-Stuffed Tomatoes from Meet Me in the Kitchen, Lentils with Caramelized Leeks and Sausage from more bread and cheese, please!, Sun Dried Tomato Cream Pasta with Sausage and Spinach from Mrs Sac’s Purple Kitchen, Chicken Salad with Red Grapes and Pecans from Munch + Nibble, Glazed Mini Meatloaves from My Kitchen Cafe, Baked Potato Salad from My Sister’s Kitchen, Kofte from My Yummy Life, Bacon-Veggie Pizza from Noble Pig, Eggplant Rollatini from Noodle Nights and Muffin Mornings, Leek and Bacon Risotto from Nook & Pantry, Bacon-Wrapped Teriyaki Chicken Skewers from Our Best Bites, Creamy Crab Pasta from The Persnickety Palate, Honey Bunches of Oats Chicken and Macaroni ‘n Cheese from Pete Bakes!, Olive and Rosemary Crackers and Garlicky Baked Fries from The Purple Foodie, Chicken Manchurian from Real Mom Kitchen, Sweet Miso Glazed Pork from Restaurant Widow, Agnolotti in a Spinach Light Cream Sauce from Rhodeygirl Tests, Ham and Broccoli Quiche from Sammyw, Pineapple Salsa from Seasaltwithfood, Creamy Parmesan Orzo and Roasted Garlic Risotto from Señora Española, Fried Eggs with Bacon, Gorgonzola and Frisee, Vietnamese Pork with Vermicelli Noodles and Nuoc Cham and Sauerkraut and Sausage Paprikash from Serious Eats, Panang Curry from sjgourmet, Louisiana Chicken Pasta from Smells Like Home, Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Freekeh & Fried Prosciutto from Stacey Snacks, Sweet-n-Sour Pork Chops from Stylish Cuisine, “One” Mediterranean Couscous Salad from Supermarket Serenade, Mushroom and Brie Tart from Tamarind and Thyme, Sausage Gravy with Buttermilk Biscuits from Thibeault’s Table, Red Wine, Garlic and Rosemary Lamb Shanks and Lamb Shank Ragu with Ziti from Timeless Gourmet, Navratan Korma from The Veggie Option, Arroz Forno from What Geeks Eat, Wigg’s Awesome Chicken, Avocado, and Lime Soup from What’s For Dinner?, Ropa Vieja from Whipped, Venetian Bean Soup from Whitney in Chicago, Farro Salad with Peas, Asparagus, and Feta from YumSugar, and Morel Pizza with Fontina, Asparagus, and Smoked Ham from Zen Can Cook.

OLS Week 7: Fun with Frittata

onelocalsummer

Remember last month, when I told you about my frittata nightmare? And that I wasn’t sure what the problem was? Well, it turns out that the problem WAS the cookware. I picked up a nice oven-safe nonstick omelette pan from Amazon.com, and it worked beautifully.

Because for this edition of One Local Summer, I ended up making an Oven Omelette, which for all intents and purposes IS a frittata. I ended up using andouille sausage from Thurn’s in place of the chorizo, which was a nice substitution. Additionally, I used Gretna Grillin’ Cheese from Blue Jacket Daily, which is a halloumi-esque cheese made locally. I have to honestly say that the cheese didn’t behave like I thought it would (I figured it would stay in cubes and brown up, but it ended up getting more melty than that and sticking to the andouille, which wasn’t a bad thing. I can see myself making this again.

Local food sources:
Eggs: 2 Silos, Mt Gilead (bought at Clintonville Farmers Market)
Sour Cream: Smith’s Dairy (bought at Carfagna’s, IIRC)
Green Onions: bought at Worthington Farmers Market
Onions: bought at Worthington Farmers Market
Andouille Sausage & Ham: Thurns, Columbus
Cheese: Blue Jacket Dairy (bought at Worthington Farmers Market)
Zucchini: grown in my backyard

Chorizo, Halloumi and Zucchini Oven Omelet

Chorizo, Ham and Haloumi Oven Omelette
recipe courtesy Donna Hay Magazine

6 eggs
2 tbsp. sour cream
6 green onions, chopped (scallions)
sea salt
cracked black pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, sliced
1 link chorizo sausage, sliced
3 1/2 oz. halloumi cheese, chopped
1 zucchini, sliced
5 1/4 oz. ham, chopped

Preheat the oven to 355F. Place the eggs, sour cream, green onions, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.

Heat a medium non-stick ovenproof frying pan over high heat. Add the onion, oil, chorizo and halloumi and cook for 3-4 minutes or until onions are soft and the chorizo is golden. Add the zucchini and cook for a further 3 minutes or until just soft.

Stir in the ham and add the egg mixture. Place the pan in the oven and cook for 15 minutes or until the egg is set and the top is golden.

March 2009 Roundup

I’m not sure if any of you are aware of the method of generating these roundups. I have 5,000+ rss feeds for food blogs in my feed reader, and usually just save the recipes that sound interesting to me. Believe it or not, even without every blog posting every day, it’s not unusual to open up my feed reader when I wake up and see 2,000-3,000 new posts. That’s an amount that’s doable, if I keep up it with it on a daily basis. However, miss a day or two, and you fall behind – far, far behind. I’ve spent the past 6 months trying to catch up. At the worst of it, I had 40,000+ messages in the feed reader, with more coming every minute. But I can finally gladly say that I’ve *finally* made my way through Bloglines, and am caught up (at least when it comes to reading).

So here’s the first of four new roundups, the last of which will bring us to the end of June. I’ve already got them written, so it’s just a matter of formatting them and posting them. I should be able to get that done by this time tomorrow, which will free up my time for doing other things that have been neglected – like updating menus, events, and starting to clear out the backlog of blog posts and restaurant reviews. As always, thank you all for being so patient. :) So without further delay, here’s March’s notable recipes:

In sweet recipes, Chocolate Matcha Bundt cake from 17 and Baking, Applesauce Snack Cake from A Whisk and a Spoon, Thai Pineapple Curry Banana Bread from Airy Fairy Cupcakes, Lemon-Blueberry Muffins from Alexandra’s Kitchen, Peach Pancakes from AnniesRecipes.com, Enriched Cream of Wheat with Egg and Vanilla from Apartment Therapy: The Kitchn, Lemon Lime Meltaway Cookies from Appoggiatura, Chocolate Matcha Bundt Cake from Bakerella, Buttermilk Lemon Bars from Baking Bites, Cherry Swirl Coffee Cake from Bunny’s Warm Oven, Strawberry Sherbet from Cafe Johnsonia, Victoria Toffee Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream from Chocolatechic, Caramel Brown Butter Shortbread from Clumbsy Cookie, Amaretti-Stuffed Nectarines from Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once, St. Andre Dessert Tart from Cooking with Anne, Snickerdoodle Blondies from The Crepes of Wrath, Peanut Butter and Jelly Shortbread Wedges and Blood Orange Sorbet from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody, French Silk Pie from Dinners for a Year and Beyond, Sincere Strawberry Cupcakes from Dozen Flours, Banana Maple Oatmeal Porridge with Buttered Apples from Eat and Be Happy,  Fig Nut Bread from Elle’s New England Kitchen, Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Muffins from Epicurean Escapism, White Chocolate Lime Cookies from Evil Shenanigans, Lemon-Ricotta Fritters with Strawberry Curd from Half Baked, Spicy Vanilla Rice Pudding from Healthy Delicious, Meyer Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Wild Blueberries from Jerry’s Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!, Banana Nut Oats from The Little Red Hen, Orange Panna Cotta from Me and My Three, Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins from “Mommy? I’m Hungry!”, Kuih Keria (Fried Sweet Potato Donut) from My Asian Kitchen, Gooey Cookie Pie Bites Our Best Bites, Homemade Orange Marmalade from Oven Love, Strawberry Yogurt Panna Cotta from Passionate About Baking, Chewy Dark Chocolate-Cherry Cookies from real life foodie adventures, Ricotta Beignets with Red Wine Berry Coulis from Restaurant Girl, Apple Cake with Toffee Crust from Technicolor Kitchen, Blood Orange Cheesecake from Under the High Chair, and Butterscotch and Banana Pound Cake from vanilla sugar.

In savory recipes, Halushki from A Fridge Full of Food, Roast Brisket with Melting Beans from A Good Appetite, Ginger, Scallion and Garlic Shrimp from A Taste of Home Cooking, Goat Cheese and Tapenade Sausage and Peppers Pasta from A Year in the Kitchen, Dungeness Crab Soup from Accidental Hedonist, Cod in Champagne Sauce with Saffron Pasta and Porcini Gnocchi from Almond Corner, French Lasagna from Always Tie Your Apron Strings, Fresh Ricotta from Angry Asian Creations, Rigatoni with Shredded Pork in Mustard Cream Sauce and Wheat Berry Salad with Blood Oranges, Feta and Red Onion Vinaigrette from Apartment Therapy: The Kitchn, Dirty Risotto from Apple a Day, Kimchi Fried Rice from Baking Cottage, Hash Brown Quiche from Barbara Bakes, Cream of Cauliflower Soup from Big Black Dog, Irish Eggs Benedict from Big Red Kitchen, Thai Curry Lime Noodle Soup with Fried Egg from bitchincamero, Roasted Bay Scallops with Brown Butter and Shallots from Bitten, Risotto with Duck and White Balsamic Vinegar from The Bitten Word, Orange Marmalade BBQ Ribs, Slow Cooker Chicken Tagine and Filipino Egg Rolls (Lumpia) from Blisstree, Mongolian Beef from Blog Chef, Slow Cooked Lamb Ragu from BookTheCook, Cabbage Vareniki from Carrots ‘N’ Cake, Rainbow Colcannon from Cave Cibum, Spicy Southern Fried Chicken from Christie’s Corner, Vietnamese Chicken Salad from Cookography, Chicken Paillards with Basil Cream and Balsamic Vinegar from Cooking in Kansas City, Foolproof Chicken (Pollo Pendejo) from Cooking in Stilettos, Garlic Shrimp in Coconut Milk from crispywaffle, Spring Asparagus Puff from Cucina Panzano, Grandma Maroni’s Smackdown Italian Meatballs from Culinspiration, Steak and Guinness Pie from The Cutting Edge of Ordinary, Spicy Potato Skins from The Daily Spud, St. Paddy’s Day Potato and Kale Croquettes from Delicious By Nature, POM and Balsamic-Glazed Chicken from Diana Takes a Bite, Truffle Salted Roast Potatoes from Diary of a Fanatic Foodie, Pork Hock and Butterbean Stew from Dinner Diary, Farro Salad with Asparagus, Tomatoes, and Feta from Dishing Up Delights, Eggs in Purgatory from Divine Domesticity, Potato and Kale Frittata and Goat Cheese & Herb Gougeres from eggs on sunday, Savoury Crispy Bacon & Cheese Muffins from Elinluv’s Tidbits Corner, Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms from Elizabeth’s Edible, Sauteed Beet Greens with White Bean Mash on Toasted Baguette Slices from Elle’s New England Kitchen, Creamy Shrimp Scampi from Everyday Cookin’, Honey Mustard Chicken from Erica’s Kitchen Adventures, Lemon Frittata with Leeks and Goat Cheese from Food alla Puttanesca, Smoked Salmon, Leek and Goat’s Cheese Quiche from For the Body and Soul, Sandra’s Jucy Lucy from Full Bellies, Happy Kids!, Sweet Potato-Red Lentil Coconut Curry from happyveganface, BLT Salad from Hold the Onions, Green Chili Chicken Soup from Hot Off the Garlic Press, Caramelized Onions Fettucini from Karma-Free Cooking, Grilled Moroccan Chicken from La Petite Chef, Rosemary Mustard Pork Chops, Fried Risotto Cakes and Brown Sugar Glazed Meatloaf from Le Petit Pierogi, Greek Cinnamon Stewed Chicken from Lorence’s Kitchen, Pasta Pie from Noble Pig, Chicken and Risotto Milanese from the practical gourmet, Asparagus and Egg Spring Pizza from Pro Bono Baker, Grilled Ham Steaks from Recipe Collector and Tester, Shepherd’s Pie with Toasted Leeks and Irish Cheddar from Recipe Play, Thai Red Curry with Chicken Thighs, Sweet Potatoes and Fresh Bamboo Shoots from Restaurant Widow, Crispy Salmon with Lentils du Puy and Two-Mustard Creme Fraiche and Pork Souvlaki with Pita and Tzatziki from Serious Eats, Anazaki Bean Dip from Simple Daily Recipes, Fettuccine with Creamy Tomato Italian Sausage Sauce from Simply Recipes, Matt’s Tortillas from Simply YUM, Grandma’s Beef and Noodles from The Spiced Life, Macaroni and Cheese Tartlette with Mushroom Veloute from Spork or Foon?, Homemade Ricotta from Technicolor Kitchen, Tiny Tacos from Time in the Kitchen, Buffalo Blue Creamed Orzo with Turkey Meatballs from Vanilla Basil, Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms from Vintage Victuals, Duck Legs with Pear, Currant and Balsamic Sauce from We Are Never Full, Cobb Salad Sandwich from Wives with Knives, Beef, Mushroom and Rice Noodle Salad (Goi Bo) from wrightfood, and Pão de queijo from yummy!!.

Farm Fresh and Local Produce 7/1/09

Wow, I really have been horrible about updating this month, haven’t I? I guess in a way it’s bad, and in a way it’s good. It’s not like I have stopped eating or going out or anything. I’ve just got so preoccupied about experiencing everything that I haven’t found the time to actually write about it. So bad because by the time I get to writing, it’s a bit outdated, but good because I actually HAVE been photographing and taking notes, just not posting. So thanks so much for bearing with the flakiness on my part. Between the cooking and eating and gardening and farmers marketing and events and dealing with trying to resolve my back pain on top of all that? I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed by life lately, and the blog has been suffering for it. I’ve been finding myself doing a lot more microblogging on Twitter lately, so if you’re not following me already, please do!

We finally got around to stopping at the new farmers market in Dublin a couple of weeks ago. It’s held in a church parking lot right near the BriHi district (right across from the side entrance of Le Chatelaine, if that helps any) on Wednesday nights from 4:30-8PM. There are more details here if you’re interested in going. We were on our way to the Canada Day poutine dinner at Hills Market, so it was a natural stop since we were passing through that part of town anyway.

For a new market, it had quite a few vendors (especially since the truly prolific part of the growing season is just now beginning). And quite a few people strolling through as well. Lots of familiar ones that I see at the weekend markets (like Rhoads Farms, Blue Jacket Creamery, Honeyrun Farms, etc) but also other farmers that I don’t normally run into. It’s a great midweek market that I want to hit again before the summer is over.

Honeyrun Farms was one of the more well-stocked of the farmers, bringing some of their colorful carrots.

Carrots from Honeyrun Farms

And it was the first market where I saw plenty of summer squash everywhere I looked. Given how prolific my own garden has been, I can only imagine that we’ll be inundated with squash like crazy in the coming weeks. The 8-ball style squash is one of my favorite varieties because it takes to being stuffed so well, as well as being sliced and grilled.

Eight Ball Squash

And some sour cherries by who I think was Jacquemin Farms (not sure on this one, but it sounds right – this is one of those farms I wasn’t familiar with). Is it just me, or are we seeing a lot less sour cherries this year than we did at the markets last year?

Sour Cherries

And continuing in the fruit theme, black raspberries, although I don’t remember who the vendor was. I need to be better about tagging my pictures. Or writing about the markets on the day I actually visit.

Black Raspberries

I believe these were some of the first pickling cucumbers at Rhoads.

Pickling Cucumbers

And although I didn’t realize it at the time (I must’ve been blind, since Sungold tomatoes were what I was looking for in the first place!), what I think are Sungold tomatoes (because they look more orange than red, right?)

Tomatoes

Dublin is a bit out of my way on weekday rush hours, but I’ll definitely be back, when I’m in the area anyway.

I want to make it a point to visit as many different farmers markets as possible this year. Which are your favorites?

OLS Week 6: BBQ Chicken and Sweet Corn Risotto

onelocalsummer

One of the things that has popped up the past couple of weeks at the farmers market is one of my favorite things about summer – sweet corn. Last week I kept it simple by just boiling it and eating it off the cob, but this week, for One Local Summer, I wanted to kick things up a notch and use the corn in a recipe that would bring out its inherent sweetness and creaminess. This was absolutely delicious eaten al fresco on my deck tonight, with the beautiful breeze we had going.

I served it with some local chicken breast that I grilled outside, which I then brushed with locally produced barbecue sauce.

Here’s a rundown of the ingredients that I used and where I got them. There are a couple of items where I can only record the market where I got them, but both of those markets are producer only, so I’m sure the items are local.

OMC Farms Chicken Breast (Worthington Farmers Market)
Kansas City BBQ Sauce from OK Mercantile (Worthington Farmers Market)
Kitchen Basics (OH produced) chicken broth (The Anderson’s General Store)
Sweet Corn from Rhoads Farm Market (North Market Farmers Market)
Garlic and parsley from my backyard garden
Arugula from Honeyrun Farms (Worthington Farmers Market)
Ohio Amish Roll Butter (Carfagna’s Market)
Leek (Worthington Farmers Market)
Hot Italian Pork Sausage from Mr. Meatball (Columbus, OH)

Not local = olive oil, arborio rice, salt and pepper, wine, and Romano cheese
BBQ Chicken Breast and Risotto with Corn, Spicy Sausage and Wilted Arugula

Risotto with Corn, Spicy Sausage, and Wilted Arugula
recipe courtesy Fine Cooking magazine

6 c. lower-salt chicken broth; more as needed
3 medium ears fresh corn, shucked and halved crosswise
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
3 packed cups trimmed arugula
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 medium leek (white and light green parts only), finely diced (about 3/4 cup)
1/4 lb. hot Italian pork sausage, casings removed and broken into chunks
2 c. arborio or carnaroli rice
1/2 c. dry white wine (like Pinot Grigio)
1/2 c. freshly grated Pecorino Romano; more for serving
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)

Heat the chicken broth in a medium saucepan over medium high heat until very hot. Add the corn and cook until the kernels are just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the corn to a cutting board and reduce the heat to keep the broth hot but not simmering.

Once the corn is cool enough to handle, slice the kernels off four of the pieces. Grate the kernels from the remaining two pieces using the large holes of a box grater. Discard the cobs.

Heat the olive oil and garlic in a large, heavy saucepan or medium Dutch oven over medium-high heat until the garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the arugula and toss with tongs until wilted, about 1 minute. Season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Transfer the arugula to a cutting board, let it cool slightly, and then coarsely chop it. Wipe the pan clean.

Melt the butter in the cleaned pan over medium heat. Add the leek and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the sausage, breaking it apart with a fork or spoon into crumbles, and cook until no longer pink. 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir until the grains are well coated with fat and the edges become translucent, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and stir until it’s absorbed, about 30 seconds. Stir in the grated corn.

Ladle enough of the hot broth into the pan to barely cover the rice, about 1 1/2 cups. Bring to a boil and then adjust the heat to maintain a lively simmer. Cook, stirring frequently, until the broth is mostly absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes. Continue adding broth in 1/2-cup increments, stirring occasionally and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next.

After about 20 minutes, the rice should be just cooked but still fairly firm. At this point, add the whole corn kernels, chopped arugula, and another 1/2 cup broth. Continue to simmer and stir until the corn is warmed through and the rice is just tender to the tooth, an additional 1 to 3 minutes. Stir in another splash of broth if the risotto seems too thick. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the risotto immediately with a sprinkling of cheese and parsley, if using.

OLS Week 5: Soul Food

onelocalsummer

This week’s edition of One Local Summer was entirely inspired by collard greens I saw last week at the Elizabeth Telling Farm stand at the North Market Farmers Market. Collard greens are one of my favorite things about summer, and when I think of collard greens, I think of soul food. So this week is all about comfort – the way food can reach down to your very soul.

For the fried chicken, we used all thighs from Speckled Hen Farms.

Soul Food made w/ Local Ingredients

Spicy Southern-Fried Chicken
recipe courtesy Country Living

Buttermilk Marinade:
2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Fried Chicken:
1 (3 1/2-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 cups vegetable shortening

Buttermilk Marinade: In a gallon-sized sealable plastic bag or a large bowl with a tight-fitting lid, combine the buttermilk, mustard, salt, dry mustard, cayenne, and black pepper. Add the chicken pieces and turn to coat. Seal and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Frying the chicken: Preheat oven to 150 degrees F. In a 13-inch by 9-inch by 2-inch pan, whisk together flour, baking powder, dry garlic, and salt. Add chicken pieces and turn to coat thickly. Let the chicken stand 10 minutes, turning occasionally to recoat with flour. Shake off excess flour before frying.

In a 10-inch by 12-inch heavy-gauge skillet with a deep-fry thermometer attached, heat the vegetable shortening over medium-high heat, bringing it to 375 degrees F. In batches of four, fry the chicken pieces, turning once when the coating is sealed and begins to brown — 3 to 4 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium to lower the temperature to 325 degrees F. Maintain temperature and continue to fry, turning the pieces halfway through cooking time until chicken is golden brown and cooked through — about 20 more minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack on a baking sheet and place in oven to keep warm. Repeat the procedure for the remaining batches. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Local Ingredients used:
Chicken Thighs from Speckled Hen Farms

Red, White and Blue Potato Salad
recipe courtesy Bon Appetit

1 cup chopped green onions, divided
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 pound unpeeled small or baby red-skinned potatoes

1 pound small purple or blue potatoes, peeled
1 pound unpeeled small white creamer or White Rose potatoes

2 cups cooked fresh peas, or one 10-ounce package frozen, thawed
1 1/2 cups crumbled blue cheese (about 6 ounces)

Paprika
preparation

Whisk 1/2 cup green onions and next 7 ingredients in medium bowl. Cover and chill dressing.

Do ahead: Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

Place all potatoes in large saucepan. Add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Sprinkle with salt. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium, and boil until tender, 10 to 15 minutes (time will vary depending on size and variety of potatoes). Drain and cool to room temperature.

Cut potatoes into 1/2-inch-thick slices and place in large bowl. Add dressing, peas, and blue cheese; toss gently. Cover and chill at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

Sprinkle potato salad with paprika and remaining 1/2 cup green onions.

Local Ingredients Used:
Red, White and Blue Potatoes from Worthington Farmers Market
Green Onions from Worthington Farmers Market
Peas from Clintonville Farmers Market

I’ve been searching for a good macaroni and cheese recipe for a while. This one is definitely a keeper – cheesy without being too eggy, and creamy without tasting processed.

Macaroni and Cheese

Fannie Farmer’s Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese
recipe from Recipezaar

SERVES 4

1 (8 ounce) package macaroni
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups good quality shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup buttered breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cook and drain macaroni according to package directions; set aside.

In a large saucepan melt butter. Add flour mixed with salt and pepper, using a whisk to stir until well blended. Pour milk and cream in gradually; stirring constantly. Bring to boiling point and boil 2 minutes (stirring constantly). Reduce heat and cook (stirring constantly) 10 minutes.

Add shredded cheddar little by little and simmer an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese melts. Turn off flame. Add macaroni to the saucepan and toss to coat with the cheese sauce. Transfer macaroni to a buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake 20 minutes until the top is golden brown.

(You can also freeze this recipe in zip-lock bags for later use – once you have mixed the macaroni along with the cheese sauce allow to cool to room temperature before adding to your freezer – I generally pull it out the night before and allow macaroni and cheese to reach room temperature; I then add the macaroni and cheese to a buttered baking dish, sprinkle with bread crumbs and then bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown on top and bubbling.

Local Ingredients Used:
Cheddar from Middlefield Cheese House
Habanero Gouda from Oakvale Gouda
Hartzler Dairy Butter
Snowville Creamery Milk
Snowville Creamery Heavy Cream

Green Beans with Bacon

Green Beans with Bacon

1 lb. stringless green beans, ends removed, and cut into 1″ pieces
1/4 lb. double smoked bacon, chopped
1 small onion, chopped

Place beans, bacon and onion into saucepan, and simmer until tender.

Local Ingredients Used:
Green Beans from Rhoads Farm Market
Double Smoked Bacon from Thurn’s
Onion from 2 Crows

Collard Greens

Collard Greens with Ham Hocks

2 large bunches collard greens, large stems removed and leaves chopped
2 ham hocks
1 onion, chopped
vinegar, to taste
hot sauce, to taste

Cover ham hock with water, and simmer for 2 hours. Add collard greens and onions, and simmer until tender, about an additional hour. Finish by adding vinegar and hot sauce to taste.

Local Ingredients Used:
Collard Greens from Elizabeth Telling Farms
Ham Hocks from Thurn’s
Onions from 2 Crows

I’m a bit picky when it comes to cornbread. I like Northeast style cornbread – sweet and moist, kind of dense. This recipe fits the bill perfectly.

Cornbread

Grandmother’s Buttermilk Cornbread
recipe courtesy AllRecipes

1/4 pound butter
2/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch square pan. Melt butter in large skillet. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Local Ingredients Used:
Hartzler Dairy Butter
Eggs from 2Silos
Cornmeal from Flying J Farm

Peach and Raspberry Crisp

Peach and Raspberry Crisp
recipe from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

4 to 5 pounds firm, ripe peaches (10 to 12 large peaches)
1 orange, zested
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 cups plus 2 to 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 pint raspberries
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1/2 pound cold unsalted butter, diced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the inside of a 10 by 15 by 2 1/2-inch oval baking dish.

Immerse the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds, then place them in cold water. Peel the peaches and slice them into thick wedges and place them into a large bowl. Add the orange zest, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons of flour. Toss well. Gently mix in the raspberries. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes. If there is a lot of liquid, add 1 more tablespoon of flour. Pour the peaches into the baking dish and gently smooth the top.

Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, salt, oatmeal, and the cold, diced butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the butter is pea-sized and the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle evenly on top of the peaches and raspberries. Bake for 1 hour, until the top is browned and crisp and the juices are bubbly. Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator and reheat in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until warm.

Local Ingredients Used:
Peaches preserved from 2Crows
Raspberries from Rhoads Farms
Butter from Hartzler Dairy

Farm Fresh and Local Produce 6/27/09

I think I’ve finally figured out why it’s been taking me longer than usual to make my Saturday morning farmers market run – tons of road construction on our highways here on Columbus means I have to take so many detours, that it takes me twice as long to travel from one market to another. It’s been really frustrating to get around this area, to say the least. Your highway dollars at work, folks…

But I digress. Once again, we got a pretty early start, arriving at the North Market at that sweet time where everyone is pretty much already set up, but it isn’t crowded yet. This week, I saw the first of the pickling cucumbers at the Rhoads Farms stand, but Paul gave me that glare that told me that he wanted a week off between the dozens of jars of mulberry jelly he canned and doing pickles. Not that pickles are hard to can, but I can understand where he’s coming from. It was a bit hot this past weekend, and I wouldn’t have wanted to be canning either.

Pickling Cukes from Rhoads Farms

We did, however, pick up some beautiful blueberries from The Orchard of Bill and Vicky Thomas. I love blueberries. I’m hoping that I can find a pick your own blueberry farm within an hour’s driving distance. If I do, I’ve got some plans…

Blueberries from The Orchard of Bill and Vicky Thomas

And at Elizabeth Telling Farms, I picked up a couple of bunches of collard greens, to be part of an all local soul food dinner I was planning….

Collard Greens from Elizabeth Telling Farms

Other notable gets at the North Market? The first of the Chioggia beets of the season, which were made into a lovely cold salad with a vinaigrette and local feta.

Off to Worthington, which was already crowded by the time we made our way over there. Nonetheless, there was still plenty of produce to be had, including the last of the early season’s strawberries. We picked up a quart, although we’re a bit strawberry fatigued at this point. I have plans this week to make up a batch of strawberry ice cream using Snowville Cream. I did pass on the cherries this week, though, no matter how enticing they were.

Cherries from Gillogly Orchard

Similarly, I admired all of the beautiful flowers that seemed to be everywhere. I guess that’s how we know we’re into the thick of the season.

Flowers

Finally, off to Clintonville, where I didn’t buy much this week. I did pick up some cornmeal and whole wheat flower from Flying J Farms. I hear that there will be sweet corn there this weekend. Can’t wait! In the meantime, check out these stunning beets.

Beets

Tonight, I’m checking out the new farmers market in old Dublin. Say hi to me if you see me there – I’ll be the chick taking a bunch of pictures. :)