Monthly Archives: June 2010

Farm Fresh and Local Produce 6/26/2010

I still wasn’t feeling 100% this past weekend, but I couldn’t resist the ritual of my Saturday morning farmers market trips, especially now since so many things are available.

We started, as usual, bright and early at the North Market – Mrs. Rhoads had the first peaches of the year, and was also kind enough to gift me a few ears of sweet corn, also new this week. I’m looking forward to eating the peaches out of hand – last year, her peaches were the picture of perfection.


After buying a few more things at the North Market (blueberries, shoo fly pie, and some really nice hothouse tomatoes from Wish Well Farms), we headed over to Worthington, early enough to beat the crowds. I need to remember to pick up a few ears of popcorn the next time around.


I love sunflowers, and love taking pictures of them. Each photo is almost like a painting. I wish I had an artistic bone in my body – if I did, my first subject would be paining sunflowers.


This head of red cabbage from Two Crows Farms turned into a fabulous slaw with a buttermilk-based dressing. It was a great side to the fish boat – nice and cooling and perfect for a summer meal.

Red Cabbage

I love that no matter what staple item you need, someone inevitably has it – like these carrots – would love to try these glazed. Not pictured but something I got a lot of were sour cherries – their season is short, but they’re great for making pies.


A quick trip to Clintonville to get some zucchini and a few other items. I’m always tempted by the artisan bread there, but unfortunately it’s just a bit too dear for my budget right now.

Artisan Bread

So where are your Saturday morning haunts? What great market am I missing? Who is your favorite farmer and whichever market you love?

Behold the Fish Boat

Oddly enough, even though I’ve lived in Columbus for the better part of 15 years now, I had never been to Comfest. I don’t know what exactly kept me away – the traffic nightmares, the horror stories, maybe knowing that it wasn’t Paul’s thing and that he would “harsh my mellow”,  so to speak – in any case, year after year passed by without me going, and then looking at the pictures and stories of those who had gone, and wishing I had too.

This year, Slow Food Columbus was sharing a booth with Snowville Creamery, and I volunteered to talk to folks and answer questions for three hours Sunday afternoon. Even though it was unbearably hot, the general vibe of the festival was really nice, and I enjoyed the music coming from the Gazebo, just a couple hundred feet away.

But I was there with a mission. Everyone raved, year after year, about this “fish boat” that could be had pretty much only at Comfest. I had no idea, really, what it actually was, but I knew I had to find out. So after my shift, I wandered off, following the scent of food, until I came to a booth from “Queen’s Table”, home of the Fish Boat. I ordered one up, not exactly knowing what to expect.

The fish boat, as it turns out, entirely lived up to the hype. A nice torpedo roll, slathered with tartar sauce, topped with loads of wonderfully cornmeal fried catfish, lettuce, onion and diced tomato. You were left to your own devices to slather it up with Frank’s Red Hot to your liking.

Fish Boat from Queen's Table

There’s just something about the unholy mixture of tartar sauce, perfectly fried catfish, and hot sauce that makes this sandwich instantly addictive. So addictive that I wasn’t willing to wait until next year to have another, since I don’t believe that Queen’s Table has an actual brick and mortar restaurant. Once I showed him the picture and told him about it, Paul was instantly on board for trying to make it here at home.

The verdict? Our version was just as good, if not better, than the original. Not sure exactly what rolls they used, so we picked up a couple of torta rolls from our local Mexican grocery. Recipes for our fish and tartar sauce can be found below, and top it with as much lettuce, onion, tomato and hot sauce as you like.

Our version even looks similar:

My Rendition of the Fishboat

Cornmeal Breaded Catfish
modified from Recipezaar

3 lbs catfish nuggets or catfish fillets
1/3 cup milk
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
canola oil

Soak fish in milk for 15 minutes. Heat about 1/2″ canola oil , in deep skillet (I use my cast iron chicken fryer), until a drop of water sizzles violently but below smoking point.

Combine cornmeal, flour, salt, garlic powder, and Old Bay in a plastic bag. Shake a few pieces of catfish at a time in the breading then fry in the oil until browned and crisp, turning once. Drain on paper towels then keep hot on warmed plate. Repeat, frying small batches, until finished.

Tartar Sauce
recipe from Life’s Ambrosia

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1 tablespoon minced yellow onion
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
2 teaspoons minced dill pickle
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Combine all ingredients together in a bowl. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Serve.

Mixed Berry Scones with Orange-Honey Butter

I’ve been spoiled rotten with regards to berries – the beginning of summer, while it means that strawberries are just about gone for the season, also means that raspberries, blueberries, and soon blackberries are all available instead. I went a little raspberry crazy last weekend, and between those, the mulberries from my backyard tree, and the blueberries that I’ve been harvesting from the bushes I planted last year, scones seemed like a natural choice.

Mixed Berry Scones with Orange-Honey Butter

There’s only one brand of heavy cream I like for making butter – that from Snowville Creamery, a local producer down near Athens, OH. Their products aren’t ultra- pasteurized and are non-homogenized, so it just makes a superior end product. What I really liked about this particular recipe is that the cream gets infused with the orange zest and honey up front, so both the butter and the buttermilk picks up the flavor.

My mother, who is a scone purist, absolutely loved these. I have to agree – it will definitely be a recipe that I will refer to again when I have berries I need to use up.

Mixed Berry Scones with Orange-Honey Butter
recipe courtesy Tyler Florence

Orange Honey Butter:
1 quart heavy cream
Zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup honey
Pinch salt

Berry Buttermilk Scones:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling scones
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 stick cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 1/2 cups fresh mixed berries (e.g. blueberries, raspberries, blackberries), washed and dried
3/4 cup buttermilk, (leftover from orange butter), plus more to brush scones


You can do this the old fashioned way and add ingredients to a mason jar, cover with the lid and shake vigorously for 10 minutes, or you can use the food processor.

In a food processor bowl add all the ingredients and turn on high. The liquid will slosh, whip and then separate after about 4 minutes. When the mixture separates, (these are the butter solids and buttermilk), stop processing and strain out the buttermilk – there will be just under a cup. Reserve the buttermilk to make the scones. Strain out the butter and squeeze dry. Work the butter a couple of times to bring it together to form a nice ball. Refrigerate butter until ready to use.

For the scones:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a food processor bowl add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add cold butter cubes and pulse until you have the texture of coarse bread crumbs. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, then add 3/4 cup of buttermilk and stir to combine. As it comes together add berries and fold dough to incorporate berries but not break them up too much.

Drop spoonfuls of dough onto a parchment lined sheet pan. Using a pastry brush, paint the tops of each scone lightly with buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake until golden brown, and nice and puffy, about 17 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack.

Serve warm with the Orange Honey Butter.

April 2010 Roundup

I’m so glad that I’ve had the past couple weeks off school – it’s given me the chance to get caught up with some of my blogging – here’s April, with May coming as soon as I can get it formatted. 🙂 Luckily, lots of these warm weather ingredients are still available, giving you a chance to enjoy spring favorites before summer fruits and veg start coming in.

In savory recipes, Peach Chutney and Steelhead Trout from A Feast for the Eyes, Bubble and Squeak with Bacon and Fried Egg and Old Bay Seasoned Crispy Crumb Chicken from A Glug of Oil, Seared Scallops, Carrot Fritters, and a Yoghurt Dressing from All That Splatters, Twice-Cooked Pork Belly with Toffee-Crisp Crackling from Almost Bourdain, Bulgur Kofte from Almost Turkish Recipes, Arroz Verde al Poblano from Almost Vegetarian, Crispy Mexican Chicken from Amanda’s Cookin’, Yogurtlu Kofte Kebabi (Lamb Kebab with a Spicy Tomato and Yogurt Sauce) from Amuse Bouche, Chicken Tamale Casserole from …and a cookie for dessert, Spaghetti and Stuffed Mini Meatballs from Angel in the Kitchen, Fresh and Creamy Cauliflower Soup from Annarasa, Japanese Braised Pork Belly (Buta no Kakuni) from Appetite for China, Salmon with Lentils from April’s Home Cooking, Mexican Bean Dip from bFeedMe, Layered Stuffed Cabbage Bake from Big Red Kitchen, Iskender Kebab with Meatballs from Binnur’s Turkish Cookbook, Guacamole Chicken Salad from The Bitten Word, Ramps with Linguine and Fried Egg from Blue Kitchen, Asian Baked Chicken from ButterYum, Cilantro-Pesto Salmon with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Poblano Peppers from Cara’s Cravings, Spiced Black Eyed Peas from Chef in You, Fast Taco Rice from Chef Tess Bakeresse, Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Rice and Deviled Ham Sandwich from Closet Cooking, Tortilla Espanola from Cooking 4 the Week, Hickory House Barbecue Baked Beans from Cooking Claire, Smoked Cheddar, Chorizo and Green Onion Macaroni and Cheese from Daily Unadventures in Cooking, Chicken Milanese with Spring Greens and Parmesan-Browned Butter Orzo from Delectable Dining, Slightly White Trash Ham and Cheese Egg Casserole from Diana Takes a Bite, Carne Guisada (Mexican Beef Stew) from Dinner & Dessert, Thai Noodle and Prawn Salad from Dinner Diary, Pizza Bowties with Italian Sausage from Eat at Home, Soba Noodles with Grilled Shrimp and Cilantro from Eat. Drink. Think., Citrus Potato Salad from The Endive Chronicles, Rice Noodles with Shrimp and Cilantro from evil chef mom, Clams Casino from EZ Home Cooking, Mexican Steak Pizza from Food o’ del Mundo, Mexican Pizza from For the Love of Cooking, Quick & Easy Palak Paneer from Fun and Food Cafe, Ham and Brie Sandwich with Agugula from Gastronomer’s Guide, Baked Lump Crab Cakes with Red Pepper Chipotle Lime Sauce from Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes, Beef Cheek Ragu with Wild Garlic Gnocchi from Girl Interrupted Eating, Kibbeh Balls without Stuffing from Hommus & Tabbouli, Alaskan King Crab Cakes with Dijon Aioli from Hot off the Garlic Press, Spicy Shrimp with Buckwheat Soba Noodles from The Kitchen Illiterate, Chicken Udon Noodle Soup from Life’s Ambrosia, Southwest Rice and Corn Salad from Lindsey’s Luscious, Cobby-Chef Salad from Missy’s Recipes, Teriyaki Turkey Burgers from my kitchen addiction, Mexican Black Bean Chicken Cakes from My Suzy Homemaker, Smothered Cabbage Risotto from Not Derby Pie, Cheesy Orzo Pilaf from One Perfect Bite, Chicken Tequila Burgers from Pink Parsley, Orzo Risotto with Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil from Runs with Spatulas, Maine Lobster Rolls from Seasaltwithfood, Roast Pork Belly from she craves, Moros y Cristianos from Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy, Seared Scallops with Lime and Miso Dressing on Avocado Puree from thepassionatecook, Seared Salmon with Spinach and Creamy Roasted Peppers from We [Heart] Food, Cindy’s Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken Salad from What’s For Dinner?, and Beef Short Rib Fricassee from Wrightfood.

In sweet recipes, Chocolate Crescent Rolls from April’s Home Cooking, Strawberry Shortcake Scones from Arctic Garden Studio, Orange-Scented Sweet Potato Cake from Bless Us O Lord, Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Bites from Carmen Cooks, Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake from Delicious Dishings, Snickerdoodle Cupcakes from Dinner & Dessert, Orange Ricotta Pound Cake with Strawberries from Gimme Some Oven, Chocolate Cannolis from Lobster and Fishsticks, Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips from Mary Ellen’s Cooking Creations, Carrot Cake with Pineapple and Coconut and Brown Butter Rum Cream Cheese Frosting from Nook & Pantry, Coco au Miel from :pastry studio:, Raspberry Jelly Candies from Playing House, Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Raspberry Sauce from Recipe Shoebox, Pasteria with Balsamic Strawberries and Basil from Sass & Veracity, Raspberry Long Island Ice Tea from sjgourmet, and Buttermilk Pie from Way More Homemade.

Farm Fresh and Local Produce 6/23/2010

I don’t usually go to mid-week markets, but a couple weeks ago I found out that one of my favorite farmers (Denise of 2Silos) was only going to be selling her eggs at one farmers market this year – the one in Upper Arlington on Wednesday afternoons. Since I had to be at a meeting at Goodale Park anyway, I decided to stop by to check things out.

There were a lot of familiar (to me) farmers there – Honeyrun Farms, 2Silos, Toad Hill Organics, Folck Family Farms, just to name a few. And it’s a nice little market with 8-10 farmers that I could see. Definitely worth checking out, that’s for sure.

I’m so glad that I’m seeing green beans with regularity – they are a perfect accompaniment to any number of grilled foods. I see a nicoise salad in my future…

Green Beans

I saw the first sweet corn of the season – summer kicks into high gear for me when sweet corn becomes available – the high point of summer eating in my house is when both tomatoes and corn are in season at the same time. Nothing else quite like a tomato-sweet corn salad.

Sweet Corn

I’ve got a nice little herb garden going on here at home, but for those of you that don’t, now is the best time of year to cook with fresh herbs, with a wide variety available at just about every market.


Every year, the first apple to show up is the Lodi variety. I guess this means that Honeycrisp season is only a couple of months away now. 🙂

Lodi Apples

I got a major case of sticker shock on these blueberries. $7 for a pint of blueberries? For real? I’m loco for eating local, but that price tag sent my locavore ass scurrying in the other direction. I brought up this question on Twitter – for those of you who consider yourselves locavores, is there a certain threshold that makes you say “it’s just not worth it” – not surprisingly, from what I heard from another vendor, he didn’t make that many sales that afternoon.


Seeing the freshly harvested garlic from Honeyrun Farms made me remember that it was the right time to harvest the garlic I grew here at home. It’s out of the ground now and looks fabulous. Even though you can eat garlic in it’s fresh state like this, it’s best to let it cure in a well-ventilated area for a few weeks.

Fresh Garlic

So, that was my Wednesday marketing – where are your favorite places to pick up local foods midweek?

Sweet ‘n’ Sticky Baby Back Ribs

In the absence of a smoker, I’ve found the best way to make ribs with the most consistent results is in the oven. This recipe is no exception – it uses a delicious rub that forms a beautiful crust which, when combined with barbecue sauce, is really something special. This (oven ribs) is one of my favorite summer meals, especially when served with some potato salad and corn.

Sweet Sticky Ribs

Sweet ‘n’ Sticky Baby Back Ribs
recipe from Black Girl’s Chef Whites

2 racks baby back ribs
Smoky BBQ rub (recipe below)

The day before you plan on grilling, sprinkle the ribs with a thick coating of the rub, making sure that all surfaces are covered. You want a nice coating of rub, as this will crisp up and form a flavorful crust.

Cover and refrigerate the ribs overnight so the spices can really penetrate and flavor the meat.

Grill Method

Prepare your grill for low, indirect heat. Place the ribs on the grill, cover and cook them until tender, about 2 hours. Check them occasionally to make sure there are no hot spots on your grill, and move them around if needed.

Oven Method

Heat your oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil, to make cleanup easier. Slow roast the ribs for 2 hours, or until tender and the meat has pulled back from the bone.

Once the ribs have become tender it is time to put the sauce on. Some have a favorite bottled sauce they use, and some insist on making their own sauce. I do both, depending on how much time I have and/or how much energy I have. These ribs were sauced using a good bottled BBQ sauce, but I added 2 tablespoons of rib rub to 1 cup of bottled BBQ sauce.

Let the ribs cook for 20 – 30 minutes more, so the sauce can caramelize and thicken. This is where the sticky comes in.

Slice the ribs and serve them with your favorite BBQ side dishes. Do not be ashamed when you find yourself licking your fingers, and possibly the fingers of those you are dining with…

Smoky BBQ Rub

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
6 TB smoked paprika
2 TB chili powder
4 tsp granulated garlic
4 tsp granulated onion
4 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp ground black pepper

In a small bowl mix all the spices together. This makes over a cup of rub, so you can use some now and save some for later. Store the rub in an airtight container, such as a jar or resealable bag.

Farm Fresh and Local Produce 6/19/2010

If I’ve been noticeably absent the past couple of weeks, it’s been with good reason – I’ve been in agony. I’ve been having horrible pain in my shoulder for the past two or so weeks now, and I ended up in the emergency room a couple of Fridays ago – they initially thought it was a pulmonary embolism, but thankfully it wasn’t – I try to remember that as I continue dealing with subacromial bursitis, a pinched nerve in my neck, and costochondritis. I’ve mostly been living on pain killers and whatever food I can grab quickly or Paul is kind enough to make for me. What that meant as far as my blogging went is that I didn’t go to the farmers markets on the 12th – I did drag myself out this past weekend, though – I regretted it by the time I got home because my shoulder was as bad as ever.

Still, part of me can’t regret going this weekend – we’re finally starting to get into the time of year where veggies start coming in with ferocity, and it’s super simple to plan your meals around all the fabulous produce you see at the markets.

I saw the first (non-hothouse) squash this week – my own squash in my garden is starting to come in, but not quite there, so I made sure to pick a little bit up to grill with some steaks this week.


This weekend was also Pride weekend, with the big parade on Saturday. AJ had the most marvelous cookies to commemorate the event. 🙂

Pride Cookies

I was extremely taken by these Bull’s Blood beets, a variety that is entirely red from root to greens. Aren’t they beautiful?

Bulls Blood Beets

Nice looking shiitakes at the Clintonville Farmers Market this week.


My backyard blueberries are starting to ripen, and it’s a great year for blueberries. So plump and juicy and sweet. For those of you who don’t have your own bushes, there were blueberries at the market. Be sure to pick some up while you still can, you won’t be sorry. 🙂


Ditto with garlic scapes – they’re great in stir fry.

Garlic Scapes

Sorry for the abbreviated descriptions. I’m hoping that I’ll feel well enough by Wednesday that I’ll be able to hit the Dublin Farmers Market and give you a full review of what has turned out to be an excellent midweek market.

So what did you get this past weekend? What’s your favorite part of this time of year?

Beet and Goat Cheese Crostini

It’s hard to believe that just a couple years ago I absolutely hated beets. Couldn’t even stand the smell of them, as a matter of fact. These days? I can’t get enough.

Beet and Goat Cheese Crostini

My favorite way to eat them lately? Crostini spread with a bit of Lucky Penny goat cheese, with sliced roasted baby red beets, topped with some lightly dressed arugula from my garden, and then finished with some balsamic glaze. Definitely craveworthy!

Gnocchi with Chicken Sausage, Bell Pepper and Fennel

My mom and I got into a discussion today about fennel – she said she has never had anything with fennel bulb in it, and I, remembering this recipe, went to my blog trying to pull up the recipe to give to her.

Imagine my surprise when I realized that I had never posted about it. And I’m not sure why – this recipe, because it uses a few convenience products, is a piece of cake to prepare and absolutely delicious. Healthy, too. Great use of produce that will be coming into season before we know it. You can find just about all the ingredients you need to make this at Trader Joe’s for a song.

Gnocchi with Chicken Sausage, Bell Pepper and Fennel

Gnocchi with Chicken Sausage, Bell Pepper, and Fennel
recipe courtesy Cooking Light

Preparation Time: 33 minutes minutes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)

1 (16-ounce) package vacuum-packed gnocchi (such as Vigo)
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
6 ounces basil, pine nut, and chicken sausage (such as Gerhard’s), casing removed and sliced
1 cup thinly sliced fennel
1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1/2 cup (2 ounces) freshly grated Asiago cheese
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Cook the gnocchi according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain the gnocchi in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Keep gnocchi warm.

2. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Remove sausage from skillet using a slotted spoon.

3. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in pan. Add fennel, bell pepper, and onion to pan; cook 13 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add sausage, gnocchi, cheese, black pepper, and reserved cooking liquid to pan; cook 1 minute or until cheese melts, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in parsley.

CALORIES 342 (30% from fat); FAT 11.5g (sat 4.3g,mono 4.7g,poly 1.6g); IRON 1.1mg; CHOLESTEROL 50mg; CALCIUM 155mg; CARBOHYDRATE 45.4g; SODIUM 829mg; PROTEIN 15.9g; FIBER 2.9g 

Farm Fresh and Local Produce 6/5/2010

I’m a little bit late getting last weekend’s market report up – this week was finals week for me, with the first part of the week being consumed by finishing up my anatomy class, and the latter part with addressing issues that happened during my practical that really bothered me – I’m finally able to put the quarter behind me, though and have about 2-3 weeks to do some heavy duty catching up on blog entries.

Sometimes things just fall into place. I’ve finally found the perfect time to leave my house in order to get to the North Market when most of the farmers are set up, but before the crowds take over. When I got to the North Market at around 8am Saturday morning, I most most taken by the amount of fruit Mrs. Rhoads had this week – her requisite strawberries, beautiful sweet cherries, and my favorite (but very short season) serviceberries. These will taste wonderful in scones I’m planning on making this week.

Service Berries from Rhoads Farm Market

When I saw all this beautiful local asparagus at the Wish Well Farms stand, I thought about Asparafest that would be held at Wild Goose Creative the next day, and wondered how many people would be buying it over the next few hours to make their creations? It’s one event that I regret missing.

Asparagus from Wish Well Farms

I picked up about 3 quarts of sweet cherries at the North Market this weekend, to be used in a multitude of dishes I’ll be posting about soon….

Sweet Cherries from Rhoads Farm Market

And kohlrabi from Bridgman Farms, which was made into a nice dish with cream sauce and crisp bacon.

Kohlrabi from Bridgman Farms

Impending doom in the form of thunderstorms started bearing down on us, and I got into my car to head to Worthington as the first raindrops fell. By the time I got to Worthington a few minutes later the rain was coming down pretty hard, but I just grabbed my umbrella and headed out. By the time I had walked from the parking lot to the sidewalk at High Street, the rain had pretty well stopped.

Still, I didn’t do too badly at Worthington. I got a few items from Snax, some cheese at Osage Lane Creamery, some jarred peaches at Two Crows Farms, and a few other items that are slipping my mind now.

Radishes are one of the few things that are almost always available throughout the whole growing season.

French Breakfast Radishes

Along with potatoes, which I’m pretty sure are grown in a greenhouse during this point in the growing season.

Small Red Potatoes

So how about the rest of you? Which markets did you hit and what did you get?