OLS Week 7: Fun with Frittata

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Eating Local, Food Blogging Event, Produce, Recipes


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.

Farm Fresh and Local Produce 6/13/09

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Columbus, Eating Local, Farmer's Market, North Market, Produce

Well, I got an early last Saturday morning, but got sidetracked at Taste of Belgium, so really set my schedule behind about a half hour or so. I didn’t leave the North Market until almost 9am. But one of the benefits to sticking around the North Market later than usual is that all of the farmers were set up, and I didn’t have to forgo anything in order to rush out to make it to Worthington in a rush.

This was the first weekend that Mrs. Rhoads had raspberries, and if last year is any indication, she should have them until well into autumn (or at least until the first freeze). I picked up a couple of pints, because who can resist something this beautiful?

Red Raspberries from Rhoads Farms

Another thing I couldn’t resist was this Crispino iceberg lettuce from Wayward Seed Farm. Looks nothing like the anemic iceberg lettuce one finds in the grocery store. And it was perfect this week for making BLTs in an all-local meal along with bacon from Thurns, and tomatoes from Wish Well Farm.

Iceberg Lettuce from Wayward Seed Farm

Off to Worthington, where surprisingly Paul managed to find parking, albeit not in our usual spot (we got relegated to the lot near the church, behind the gas station). Unfortunately, since I got there so late I had to navigate around all the double strollers and huge dogs, which made the whole experience a whole lot pleasant than it normally is. Normally I can relax and be a bit leisurely about it, but the long lines and huge amount of grumpy people made me do more picture taking than buying. So excuse my not knowing where each one of these is taken, but people were getting impatient with my stopping to take pictures, and I didn’t get to tag each one with the location of the booth.

So while I have no idea where these turnips were from, they sure are pretty.


These potatoes, I think, are from HW Organics. I love Yukon golds.

Potatoes from HW Organics

And these sour cherries were from Gillogly Orchard, a place where I go fruit crazy all the time, normally. But remember what I said about long lines? This one was like 10 or 15 deep, and my sour cherry buying can wait a week or so…

Sour Cherries from Gillogly Orchard

Nice carrots from HW Organics. I love when I start seeing root veggies, because it means I can make a lot more meals that are completely local.

Carrots from HW Organics

I did also make it to Clintonville, eventually, but didn’t get many pictures, again because the lines made it nearly impossible to get close enough to take any. As we were leaving, I quipped to my companions, “now you see why I hit the markets early?”. Hopefully tomorrow, I can go back to getting through by 9:30am. πŸ™‚

Thurn’s Specialty Meats

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Columbus, Eating Local, Food Porn

I’ve been meaning to write about Thurn’s ever since Rosie turned me on to them. It’s an old-fashioned (and I mean OLD fashioned – no cash registers, they add everything by hand on butcher paper, they don’t take credit cards kind of old-fashioned) meat shop in a part of town (South Columbus) that most people don’t ever go to unless they have to. It’s family run, only open for sales 3 days a week (the other four are for smoking and preparing the products for the week), and the meat is prepared and sold right there on premises. It’s been around for 118 years, originally in the old Central Market on 4th Street downtown, according to the newspaper article on the wall. If a place lasts that long, they’ve got to be doing something right. If you’re a hunter, they also do deer processing, and they participate in a program that process venison to donate to homeless shelters.


Thurn’s is the real thing, folks. You know that as soon as you open the door and the sweet, sweet smell of smoked meat smacks you in the face. If you go a weekend, prepare to wait in line. This place is definitely NOT a well kept secret, given the scores of older folks who wait patiently for their turn at the counter with Scott or Al. And considering it’s only open from 7 to 1 on Saturday, you better get there early if you want to make sure the item you’re seeking doesn’t run out. Once it’s gone for the week, it’s gone. They have a huge selection of different brats, bacons, sausages, and other smoked meat items:


What draws me there, more than anything else, is the schinken – which is a smoked German ham reminiscent of really good proscuitto in texture and taste, except a little smokier. I love it sliced paper thin, and plan on having some tonight on a plate with some canteloupe, strawberries, and cheese.


A pound of their baked ham is always a must for sandwiches – that is, if it manages to make it home without us scarfing most of it on the way.


My husband loves their German bologna, and gets it in a 1+ lb. chunk that he eats a few slices at a time. It’s also very good fried like a pork roll, I hear. Most of their bologna is a much coarser texture than you find in your typical deli.


We decided to get a few of their Cincinnati Brats, which are fully cooked, and which they advised us to fry in a saute pan with some butter – these will be wonderful tomorrow for lunch with some fried onions and mashed potatoes.


Another one of my husband’s favorites are their beef and cheese sticks and their landjaeger, which he likes to snack on.


We usually get our Schaller and Weber double-smoked bacon at Carfagna’s, but saw on this trip that Thurn’s offers their own double-smoked bacon, so we got a one pound hunk of it to try. We’ll let you know how it is.


Expect to see these items pop up in some dishes in the next couple of weeks. πŸ™‚

If you’d like to go: Thurn’s Specialty Meats, 530 Greenlawn Ave., Columbus 614.443.1449

Friday Roundup 1/26/07

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Columbus, Friday Round Up, Recipes

Sorry about the amount of time it’s been since my last post. With the health problems I have, I never know when my condition is going to flare up – when it does, I barely have enough energy to function, let alone cook or go out or even think about eating. I’ve been eating a lot of convenience foods this month, and have only left the house a handful of times. So it ended up turning into an unexpected three week hiatus. But I’m feeling much better and hopefully will get back in the swing of things soon.

I already have a bunch of stuff to post about, since I did manage to cook a couple of meals this past month. Plus I still have to post about December’s Christmas cookies (and here it is almost Valentine’s Day already!)

Tom Barlow posts a nice list of Columbus restaurants that would be perfect for Valentine’s Day. Remember to make your reservations early, folks. My husband and I are either going to celebrate on the weekend before or after, or maybe go out of town to a bed and breakfast or something. Haven’t decided yet.

Interesting reading. I’ve been made aware that the Columbus Health Department’s inspection reports for local restaurants are now online. I have to say, I was honestly surprised. Places that I thought would pass with flying colors had some severe deficiencies, while some I expected to have a nightmare record had no problems whatsoever. I can’t put too much stock in that, though. I’ve spent my time in the restaurant industry. If I think too hard about that stuff, I’d never go out to eat again. πŸ˜‰

Lisa the Restaurant Widow waxed poetic about one of my favorite local meat shops, Thurns. And then graced us with a wonderful recipe for Knackwurst and Kraut to use up those purchases. This place is the greatest – I went after Rosie did a great writeup of the place and mentioned it when we had dinner.

If you haven’t been yet, don’t hesitate for a second to go. It’s one of Columbus’ hidden treasures. You’ll thank yourself as soon as you walk in and the smoky smell hits you in the face. πŸ™‚ Word of warning, though – they don’t take plastic, so make sure you have cash or your checkbook with you if you go.

So Dispatch readers think Bob Evans has the best breakfast? Oy. Not to pooh pooh the opinion of Dispatch readers…but Bob Evans?? I think my mission this year is to convince my visitors to go outside of their comfort zone a bit and try some non-chain restaurants. One of these days I’ll do a post on the best breakfasts in town, and believe me — Bob Evans is not on that list. The Northstar Cafe definitely is. πŸ™‚

This week’s poll question is about one of my favorite subjects – chocolates and sweets. They want to know who has the city’s best sweetheart treats? No surprise here, for me it’s Pure Imagination all the way! Cast your vote by Monday to enter to win a $25 gift card from one of the winning restaurants.

Lots of recipes and stuff to list here, since it’s been a few weeks since my last roundup.

Savory recipes I’ve earmarked to try (and there’s a ton of them, bear with me!) are Zuppa Toscana from the Columbus Dispatch, Cauliflower Soup with Gorgonzola from 101 Cookbooks, Red Potato, Turkey Sausage, and Kale Soup from A Fridge Full of Food, Red Wine Beef Stew with Lentils and Whisky from Anne’s Food, Stir-Fried Brussels Sprouts, Shiitakes and Scallions from Bay Area Bites, Troffiete in a Spicy Tomato-Bacon Sauce from Blue Lotus, Chicken Pot Pie from Chez Megane, Cauliflower Gratin from Chocolate & Zucchini, Frikadellen from Cookin’ with Cyndi, Cheesy Grits and Eggs from Copperpots, Spiced Honey Chicken Tagine from Cucina Bella, Zucchini Souffle from The Culinary Chase, Bread Dumpling Soup from Eat, Macaroni and Cheese with Buffalo Chicken from Fancy Toast, Sesame Marinated Steak on Spinach and Soba Noodles from Coconut & Lime, Ricotta and Herb Dumplings from Fresh Approach Cooking, Leek Fritters from Gluten-Free By the Bay, Balsamic and Onion Pot Roast from Kalyn’s Kitchen, Macaroni Gratin from Leite’s Culinaria, Individual Sausage and Egg Casseroles from Little Spatula, Beef Braised in Red Wine with Creamy Polenta from Lox, Stock and Barrel, Black Summer Truffle Penne from Morsels & Musings, Linguica Chili from Slashfood, Tarocco Orange Chicken ala Panda Express from Rubber Slippers in Italy, Caramelized Onion Quiche and Greek Meatballs from Simply Recipes, Gulaschsuppe and Pork Fillet with Sherry Sauce and Polenta Flans from thepassionatecook, andΒ Cheese Dumplings in Chicken Broth from What Did You Eat?

In sweet recipes, I’m bookmarking Creme Brulee for Two from A cat in the kitchen, Chocolate Nut Truffle from Anne’s Food, Chocolate Custard Tart with Homegrown Raspberries from Bron Marshall, Guinness Stout Brownies and Small Batch Chattanooga Chew Chews from Cookie Madness, Chocolate Walnut Tart with Cajeta from crispy waffle, Sticky Buns from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody, Sables au chocolat et a la fleur de sel from foodbeam, Simple Mixed Berries Gratin from La Tartine Gourmand, andΒ Chocolate Crepe Cake by masak-masak.

In informative posts, the Columbus Dispatch instructs us on how to roast garlic, Anthony from Bachelor Cooking shows us how to make homemade paneer, Helen from Beyond Salmon shows us how to make pasta dough, Calendula & Concrete present us with a nifty link to an online tool for planning a vegetable garden, Chez Pim gives us a primer on Pad Thai for beginners, Brys of Cookthink tells us how to prep (and use) avocados, Katerina from Daily Unadventures in Cooking shows us how to clean a spice grinder or coffee grinder and how to use lemongrass, and Slashfood talks about freezing fresh herbs.

In other news, Frank Bruni checks in on the subject of photography in restaurants. Now, I’m approaching this from a purely food photography perspective, and will be the first to admit that I’m one of these fools who uses a flash (if I don’t, my pictures don’t come out with my crappy point and shoot digital camera). I try to be considerate, and go at times other than when it’s busy, or be seated away from other people, etc. But I’m finding that I’m not taking as many pictures as I used to because I don’t want to be perceived as rude. I think I need to stop being so paranoid – it’s not like I set up a photo shoot in the dining room or use a tripod or make the wait staff pose or anything. And really, is it that much different than taking a shot of the people at the table? I usually only take one shot, two tops of each dish. What’s your take on it? It seems to be a very controversial subject.

Am I the only one surprised that Trader Joe’s and Aldi’s are owned by the same company? Am I the last to know? In retrospect, I can see how their business models are similar. Good to know, since I’m a big fan of both stores.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now. Thanks for sticking around while I’ve been not feeling well. πŸ™‚