Farm Fresh and Local Produce 5/29/2010

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Columbus, Events, Farmer's Market, Food Porn, Grilling, North Market, Produce

I’m pretty good about getting up early on Saturdays – and am also pretty good about getting out of here early enough to get to the North Market before 8am – that is, unless P. is getting up and going with me. He’s the only person I know who can stretch out taking 2 pills in the morning to a 30 minute ordeal. What that meant for us was that we got out of here later than we usually do, and didn’t get to the North Market until about 8:15. The good thing about that was that all the farmers were set up already. The bad thing about that is that between his late start and my tendencies to be a motormouth, we didn’t get to Worthington until 9:15. But more about that later – for the time being, let me tell you about all the stuff available at the North Market this weekend.

As they do every week, Wishwell Farms had some stellar looking grape tomatoes – just the perfect thing to be paired with some fresh mozzarella and basil in a caprese salad.

Grape Tomatoes from Wishwell Farms

Toad Hill Organics had lots of pretty looking lettuces and other greens.

Lettuce from Toad Hill

And the flowers at Combs Herbs were just gorgeous this week. While I was here, I bought some arugula.

Pretty Flowers from Combs Herbs

I got a pound of shiitakes at Toby Run (yay for mushrooms!) to make paprikash – yes, I know – unseasonably hearty, but damn I’m craving it.

Shiitake Mushrooms from Toby Run

And Rhoads had, in addition to the strawberries they’ve had every week, some sweet cherries – this is just one of the two varieties they had.

Cherries from Rhoads Farm Market

Off to Worthington – by the time I got there after 9:15am, parking was almost impossible and the place was a madhouse. The holiday weekend brought out the mean in people, though – with all the pushing and shoving and rudeness and impatience, I could only snap a few pictures, like this of some of Mockingbird Meadows’ honey. That was just nuts – I was definitely reminded of why I like getting there as close to 8:15-8:30 as possible. Many of the farmers there start selling at 8am – while you won’t have all of the same produce you can get when everyone is set up, it’s definitely a more relaxed vibe before 9am.

Honey from Mockingbird Meadows

After dropping my stuff back off at home, it was back to the North Market for the Grillmaster’s Festival, where I, along with Miriam Bowers Abbott (reviewer for The Other Paper), G.A. Benton (reviewer for Columbus Alive), Tricia Wheeler (editor of Edible Columbus) and fellow food blogger Jim Ellison (CMH Gourmand) judged the Thrilla at the Grilla, which pitted 2 local chefs + a mini-Weber grill against each other for a showdown to crown one the Baron(ness) of the BBQ!

Grillmasters Festival

Janel Hedgepeth of Latitude 41 (and last year’s Baroness of BBQ) had an extremely strong showing with her grilled pork belly dish, which topped a super-tender but flavorful cheddar biscuit that I fell in love with. The slaw on top tied everything together, and her dish, at least for me, edged out the competition by a narrow margin. Of course, pork belly is one of my favorite things in the world so I may be a bit biased. ;)

Pork Belly on Cheddar Biscuit with Slaw

John Skaggs (of MyCateredTable.com, and formerly of Giorgio, R.J. Snappers, L’Antibes, and Northstar (to name a few)), who was also Baron of BBQ in 2007, picked up another win this year with his Seasonal Veggie Skewers with Marinated Grilled Bison, and what if I’m remembering correctly was a Blackberry BBQ sauce. I loved the presentation and use of seasonal ingredients in his dish, and thought his extremely tender bison was absolutely perfectly cooked to bring out the best in the meat.

Grilled Bison with Seasonal Veggie Skewers

I had a great time judging, and tasting the creativity of what some of our Columbus chefs have to offer up close and personal.

So how are the rest of you spending your Memorial Day weekend?

Grilled Pizza Al Fresco

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Food Porn, Grilling, Recipes

The one thing that sustained me through winter was looking forward to the first warm day. To me, spring starts when I can grill out and eat outside comfortably. So even if it’s a single unseasonably warm day at the end of February, just the simple act of cooking and eating outside starts to chisel away at the blues that plague me when the weather gets cold.

Grilled Flatbreads

One of our favorite quick lunches is grilled pizza. We get pre-made pizza dough from Trader Joe’s, cut each ball into four more manageable chunks, let them rest and warm up a bit, and then stretch them out a bit to throw on the grill. I set up a mobile work station on the still-covered cooktop next to the grill.

Flatbread Prep Area

For the Caprese pizza, I used olive oil (to be brushed on the crust), fresh mozzarella, sliced Campari tomatoes, and basil. For the Chicken Buffalo Bleu, I used chicken pieces tossed in wing sauce, chopped onions caramelized in butter (to be used as the base), and Cambazola cheese, which is a really creamy, really mild blue type cheese.

It’s super easy to grill pizza – just makes sure that you have fairly high heat, and a well greased or well seasoned cooking surface. Just set the dough directly on the the grill, and when it’s done on the bottom (it will be more solid, and have grill marks), flip it over and put on your toppings, and then lower the grill lid until the toppings are melted to your liking.

Flatbread on the Grill

On the side, I served it with a mixed baby green salad with balsamic dressing, to which I added a slice or two of bresaola.

Mixed Green Salad with Bresaola

For dessert, I grilled some pineapple on the grill, and brushed it as it was grilling with the reserved pineapple juice mixed with brown sugar.

Grilled Pineapple

And I haven’t looked back since. I think we’ve grilled out nearly every nice day this past month. Can’t wait until the farmers markets open for the season so I have nice fresh ingredients to work with.

So have you all broken out the grill yet this season? What have you made so far?

Fresh Morels = Spring’s Welcome Mat

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Food Porn, Grilling

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I start going a little stir crazy at the beginning of March, when Mother Nature teases us with the fluctuations in weather. One day it’s perfect, where it’s warm enough to grill out and run around in shorts and sandals, and overnight I’m back to hoodies and turning on the fireplace. So even though the calendar may say it’s spring, it truly isn’t spring for me until I run into the first morels of the season. One of my Facebook friends, Joel, called them  “the welcome mat to spring.” I can’t think of a better way to describe them.

Imagine my surprise when I spied these at Hills Market yesterday (sorry for the picture quality). And at $42.99/lb, they were priced quite well. They’re not from Ohio, but they’re fresh. And that’s enough to hold me over for the moment.

Fresh Morel Mushrooms

My favorite way to prepare morels is to just saute them in a stick of butter. Maybe a touch of salt and pepper. Just saute them until they crisp up and there is no better thing in the world. Drizzled over steak, it’s absolute heaven.

Steak with Morel Butter, Baked Potato, and Asparagus

As is dining al fresco on the deck out back with my husband. We fired up the grill, opened up a bottle of wine, and grilled some delicious thick ribeyes, baked some potatoes and roasted some asparagus. I can’t think of any place I would have rather been tonight. A few more days like this and I might be downright giddy. Summer can’t come soon enough.

Grilled Teriyaki Shrimp Kebabs

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Cooking Light, Food Porn, Grilling, Healthy, Recipes

I’ve just made the discovery that I do, in fact, like seafood. Just don’t like it when it’s prepared badly. So I’ve been excited to start trying different recipes. This is my first attempt ever at grilling shrimp. I just couldn’t let a beautiful day like yesterday pass by without sitting outside grilling and eating. I’ve still got a few kinks to work out (like being able to tell for sure when it’s done without it getting over or underdone), but it shows a lot of promise. And it’s healthy, too. I can learn to love this! :)

Teriyaki Shrimp Skewers

Grilled Teriyaki Shrimp Kebabs
recipe modified from Cooking Light

Makes 4 Kebabs (2 servings)

Sauce:
1/4 cup low-sodium teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

Kebabs:
24 large peeled and deveined shrimp (about 1)
32 (1-inch) pieces cubed fresh pineapple (about 3/4 pound)
1 medium red onion, cut into 8 wedges
Cooking spray

Prepare grill. To prepare sauce, combine teriyaki sauce and sesame seeds in a small bowl.

To prepare kebabs, thread 6 shrimp, 4 pineapple chunks, and 1 onion wedge alternately onto each of 8 (10-inch) skewers. Brush kebabs with teriyaki mixture. Place kebabs on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 8 minutes or until shrimp are done, turning once. Brush on teriyaki sauce as it’s cooking to intensify flavor.

Nutritional Information: 254 cal (14% from fat), 4g fat (0.7g sat, 0.8g mono, 1.6g poly), 35.6g pro, 17.6g carb, 1.9g fiber, 259mg chol, 514mg sod, 110mg calcium

Grilled Pineapple with Butter Rum Glaze

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Food Porn, Grilling, Recipes

After last week’s warm temperatures (I had a hard time believing it was November!), the cold is back, and with the warm weather goes any hope of it being unseasonably warm for more than a few days at a time. So call this recipe a reminder of the warmer days of this past summer. I actually made this dish in August, but am just getting around to blogging about it now.

I guess you could call this one a modification of a modification. The original recipe was a part of a menu by Bobby Flay for a backyard barbecue, which was then posted on Epicurious.com. Then I modified it further by changing out the topping – the original called for Vanilla Mascarpone, but I bought some lovely tropical goat cheese at the farmers market, and topped it with that instead. Either way, I’ll give you the original recipe intact, and let you decide what *you* want to do to modify it (if at all). It truly is a quick and tasty end to a barbecue.

Rum Glazed Grilled Pineapple with Tropical Goat Cheese

Grilled Pineapple with Butter-Rum Glaze and Vanilla Mascarpone
recipe courtesy Bobby Flay, via Epicurious.com

1 cup dark rum
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 vanilla bean
8 ounces mascarpone
1 ripe pineapple, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

1. Combine the rum, butter, and sugar in a small saucepan and simmer, whisking often, until the sugar has melted and the mixture is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. (The glaze can be made a few days in advance, cooled, covered, and kept refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using.)

2. Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise in half and scrape out the seeds with the tip of a sharp knife. Whisk the mascarpone and vanilla seeds together. (The mascarpone can be made a day in advance, covered, and kept refrigerated.)

3. Heat your grill to high.

4. Grill the pineapple slices, brushing frequently with the glaze, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

5. Remove the pineapple to a platter or serving plates and top each slice with a dollop of vanilla mascarpone. Garnish with a few fresh blueberries. Serve immediately.

Mu Shu Brat Bites

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Food Blogging Event, Grilling, Recipes

I kind of had a theme going when we cooked out the other day, and this recipe (described in the magazine as “Shanghai meets Sheboygan”) truthfully? Was a bit weird. Not bad, just weird. I think it’s just that the flavors in the brats and those in the sauce clash a bit. If I were to try it again, I’d definitely use the sesame seeds and mustard (we didn’t find out until last second that we didn’t have either on hand – figures that I can’t find those takeout chinese packets of hot mustard when I needed them even though they were squirreled away in junk drawers for years), and would definitely use Thurn’s teriyaki brats in place of the normal brats we used. I’m submitting this recipe to the Chinese Cuisine (although this is more Chinese-inspired than actual Chinese) event at Joelen’s Culinary Adventures.

Mu Shu Brat Bites

Mu Shu Brat Bites
recipe courtesy Cuisine at Home magazine

2 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
1/4 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1/2 c. plum jam
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. toasted sesame oil
4 bratwurst, precooked
12 cocktail buns
6 scallions, cut into 3″ lengths
1 tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted
prepared Chinese hot mustard

Preheat grill to medium high. Saute ginger, five-spice, and pepper flakes in oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until ginger softens, about 2 minutes, then add jam, vinegar and soy sauce. Simmer until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Off heat, whisk in sesame oil. Cut a slit in the top of each cocktail bun.

Grill bratwurst until cooked thourgh and browned, 5-6 minutes total. Slice crosswise into thirds, then toss in plum sauce.

To assemble, tuck 1 or 2 scallion pieces and piece of bratwurst inside each bun. Drizzle with some of the plum sauce, sprinkle with sesame seeds, then top with a dollop of mustard.

Per bite: 266 cal, 57% cal from fat, 17g fat, 20g carb, 623mg sod, 0g fib, 10g pro.

Jerk Pork Cheeseburgers with Green Apple Slaw

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Food Blogging Event, Food Porn, Grilling, Recipes

One of the things we’ve been doing this summer is trying unusual burgers – having the outdoor kitchen has made this a breeze. In this case, we were able to do everything on the griddle. The apple slaw rocked. The burgers themselves? I think I’d use less jerk seasoning next time, because while they were good and the combination worked, the ginger was a little too in your face. Live and learn. I’m submitting this dish to the Food Network Chefs event over at Joelen’s Culinary Adventures, since Rachael Ray and the Food Network are practically ubiquitous.

Jerk Pork Cheeseburger

Jerk Pork Cheeseburgers with Green Apple Slaw
recipe from Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, grated and patted dry
Grated peel of 1 lemon plus 1 1/2 tbsp. juice
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/3 c. chopped chives
3 tbsp. pure maple syrup
2 tbsp. Jamaican jerk seasoning
1 1/2 lbs. ground pork
8 slices applewood smoked bacon
4 oz. smoked cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
4 burger rolls, split and toasted

In a medium bowl, toss the apples with the lemon peel and juice. Add the mayonnaise, chives, 1 1/2 tbsp. maple syrup and 1/2 tbsp. jerk seasoning; stir to combine; refrigerate.

In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 1/2 tbsp. maple syrup and the 1 1/2 tbsp jerk seasoning. Add the ground pork and combine. Shape into four 1-inch-thick patties, pressing your thumb in the center of each to prevent it from bulging.

In a large nonstick skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain, reserving the skillet with the drippings. Cover the bacon with foil to keep warm. Heat the bacon drippings over medium-high heat until sizzling. Add the prok patties and cook for 4 minutes; flip, lower the heat to medium and cook for 3 minutes more. Lower the heat to low and top each patty with a quarter of the cheese; cover the skillet until the cheese is melted and the patties are cooked through, about 2 minutes (ours took far longer, more like 5).

Place a pork patty on each toasted roll bottom; top with 2 bacon slices, a quarter of the apple slaw and a roll top. Serves 4.

Rotisserie Cornish Game Hen

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Food Porn, Grilling, Recipes

Cooking with my outdoor kitchen has been an enlightening experience, to say the least. This time around, we made Cornish game hens on the rotisserie of the grill, and were quite pleased with the results.

Rotisserie Cornish Game Hen

It’s quite simple to make, as long as you have the proper equipment. Sprinkle game hens liberally with Rostisserie seasoning, and then secure it onto the spit (we ended up using silicone bands, which is why our bird has tan lines). Rotisserie on medium (around 300 degrees) until internal temperature is 165 degrees, about 45 to 60 minutes. This method produces a nice crispy flavorful skin.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Food Blogging Event, Food Porn, Grilling, Recipes

reciperemix

Recipe Remix is an food blogging event that asks you to take a typical dish, and then do an unusual variation of it somehow. The theme for this round is summer cookout foods like hot dogs, hamburgers, pizzas, potato salad, etc.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Ever since I’ve discovered that you can make perfectly tasty pizza on a BBQ grill, I’ve been trying different variations. This particular one came about a few weeks ago when our electric went out for several hours. I had to find something to cook that could be done completely on the outdoor kitchen, and this was it – I sauteed the chicken breast and onions on the stovetop outside (and doused it liberally with wing sauce), and grilled the pizza dough and finished it it on the BBQ grill. The Cambozola cheese added just the right amount of blue cheese bite. This one is a keeper.

I think I’m going to try a peach/prosciutto/goat cheese variation of pizza tonight. Any other unusual combinations that I should perhaps try?

Monthly Mingle: Grill It!

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Cooking Light, Food Blogging Event, Grilling, Recipes

mm-grill-it-august-20081

This month’s Monthly Mingle is being hosted by Sig over at Live to Eat, with the theme of dishes that are cooked on the grill (or can be adapted to be cooked on the grill). Needless to say, we’ve been getting a lot of use out of our outdoor kitchen. And this was the first time I used the grill basket I got over at Williams-Sonoma. Hard to believe these are healthy, because they tasted amazing.

Fajitas

Mixed Fajitas with Peppers and Onions
recipe courtesy Cooking Light

1 1/4 pounds flank steak
1 cup fresh lime juice (about 6 limes)
2/3 cup beer
4 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 pounds skinned, boned chicken breast
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups vertically sliced onion (about 2 large onions)
2 cups red bell pepper strips (about 2 peppers)
2 cups green bell pepper strips (about 2 peppers)
12 (10-inch) flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups diced seeded tomato (about 1 large)
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro

Preparation
Trim fat from steak, and score a diamond pattern on both sides of steak.
Combine juice and next 7 ingredients (juice through garlic) in a small bowl. Divide marinade equally between 2 large zip-top plastic bags, adding steak to 1 bag and chicken to the other. Seal bags, and marinate in refrigerator 6 hours or overnight, turning bags occasionally. Remove steak and chicken from bags, discarding marinade.

Prepare grill or broiler.

Place steak on a grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray, and cook 10 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices. Place chicken on grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done. Cut chicken into thin slices.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell peppers; sauté 10 minutes or until onion mixture begins to brown.

Warm tortillas according to package directions.

Spoon steak or chicken, onion mixture, tomato, and cilantro down center of each tortilla; roll up.

Yield
12 servings (serving size: 1 tortilla, 2 ounces meat, 1/2 cup onion mixture, 2 tablespoons tomato, and 2 teaspoons cilantro)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 378(30% from fat); FAT 12.4g (sat 3.5g,mono 5.3g,poly 2.3g); IRON 4.1mg; CHOLESTEROL 57mg; CALCIUM 97mg; CARBOHYDRATE 38.7g; SODIUM 444mg; PROTEIN 26.8g; FIBER 3.3g