Saturday, May 9, 2009

Sauteed Asparagus Coins w/Green Garlic

Asparagus season..... 
Please consider taking a look at our local asparagus.

I know, I know.

You can buy asparagus at the grocery store for a fraction of the price and it's all bundled in cute little bunches. But consider this: Once asparagus is picked, it quickly begins to loss important nutrients.

How long did it take the cheaper asparagus to get to your store?
How long has it been in the grocery cooler? How long will you let it sit in your refrigerator before you decide to cook it? How much of the vegetable will you cut off because it has gone bad, limp, or is just too tough? Where IS the bargain when you really are not that excited about your "cheaper" store purchase, and you have to throw so much of it out?

There is something very special about purchasing asparagus from our local farmers.  You KNOW they were out late the evening before the market, harvesting at the VERY last moment, to ensure you have a product at the very peak of its flavor. When you see them standing proudly behind those gorgeous bundles of dirt covered stalks....please remember, that it's local soil my friends, and buying local keeps those sad road weary California asparagus out of our landfill.

Local Asparagus season is roughly 10 weeks, that's it.  We've already said goodbye to two...  I'll see you next week...

This photo is of Sauteed Asparagus coins w/ Chive blossoms, we ran out of green garlic.

Sauteed Asparagus w/Green Garlic

Asparagus, washed, bottoms trimmed, and the bottom 1/3 peeled, if the bottom is tough
Olive oil, or butter
Green Garlic, whites and light green parts sliced.
Salt and pepper

Slice asparagus into 1/2 inch thick slices, leave the tip intact.  Heat a saute pan on medium heat, add oil/butter and wait for 2 minutes,  then add green garlic.  Saute for 2 minutes, then add asparagus and continue to saute for 5-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.


See you at the market!

Chef Deb 

Friday, May 8, 2009

Roasted Sunchokes

Longmont Farmer's Market: May 9, 2009  
Time: very early- 2:00p rain or shine!

Sunchokes (a.k.a. Jerusalem artichokes)  These are odd little guys...They are North Americas oldest tuber. They look like a cross between ginger and a potato, but they have a sweet, nutty flavor.

As defined by, The Food Lover's Companion:  "This vegetable is not truly an artichoke but a variety of sunflower with a lumpy, brown-skinned tuber that often resembles a gingerroot. Contrary to what the name implies, this vegetable has nothing to do with Jerusalem but is derived instead from the Italian word for sunflower, girasole. Because of its confusing moniker, modern-day growers have begun to call Jerusalem artichokes sunchokes, which is how they're often labeled in the produce section of many markets. The white flesh of this vegetable is nutty, sweet and crunchy. Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week. After that, they will begin to wither because of moisture loss. They may be peeled or, because the skin is very thin and quite nutritious, simply washed well before being used. Jerusalem artichokes can be eaten raw in salads or cooked by boiling or steaming and served as a side dish. They also make a delicious soup. Jerusalem artichokes are a good source of iron."

More useful facts: The plant stores inulin (not insulin) as starch for extra energy during winter months in its tubers. What makes the sunchoke useful, for diabetics in particular, is that the inulin it contains breaks down into fructose instead of glucose during digestion. For diabetics, this makes the sunchoke a good substitute for other starchy foods such as potatoes.


Here is a quick recipe:

Roasted Sunchokes

1-2 lbs sunchokes, scrubbed, cut into uniform chunks
2 Tbl olive oil
Fresh herbs ( Thyme, Rosemary. Sage, etc.)
Green garlic, Chopped
Sea Salt
Fresh ground pepper

Oven: 375 Degree F.

Toss Sunchoke w/ olive oil, salt and pepper and place on a parchment lined sheet pan in the middle of the oven. Roast for 20 minutes. Add Fresh herbs and green garlic to sunchokes and stir, return pan to oven, and continue to roast until chokes are golden and the green garlic is tender. Season with additional salt and pepper.

See you at the Market.

Chef Deb 

**P.S. Meet us in Longmont for our first, Farmer's Market Tour & Dinner!! 

May 30, 2009 @ 1:30-5:00 ish  
Fee: $45 per guest
Register at LFM this weekend!

 Chef Guided market tour, food, cooking class, dinner, recipes and a whole lot of fun!


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Soft Scrambled Eggs w/Spinach Arugula Pesto & Sauteed Mushrooms


I have dreams of creamy scrambled eggs made with fresh farm eggs. In fact, I love eggs cooked in every conceivable manner: boiled, basted, sunny side up, over easy, poached, and the perfect omelette.  

Gordon Ramsey has a great video demonstrating, what I consider to be, the perfect scrambled egg recipe. While his kitchen persona is rather brutish, his scrambled eggs more then make up for it. If you have a moment, please click here 

While your at it, here is an example of the perfect omelette...notice, no color on his omelette! Except for Julia Child's video, 95% of all omelette demonstrations are done improperly, leaving the eggs overcooked, crusty and tough. But this is just my opinion....

Local eggs from the Olin Farm's stand on 95th.

The premise of this recipe is to reduce the cooking surface area of the eggs, so use a small pot with tall sides rather then a fry pan.  You will also begin with a cold pan, and the butter is IN the eggs and not ON the pan.

Soft Scrambled Eggs w/Spinach Arugula Pesto & Hazel Dell Mushrooms
serves 2

6 eggs
2 Tbl unsalted butter, cut into pieces
salt and pepper
1 tsp. creme fraiche, cream, soft goat cheese, or cream cheese

Break your eggs and put them in your  pot (you can use a nonstick pot if you want), add your butter pieces, then put the pot over high heat and stir. As they begin to cook remove the eggs from the heat, stir for 30 seconds, the return to heat. Repeat.  When the eggs begin to set, add cream or goat cheese, and season with salt and pepper.

Mushrooms, wiped clean
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Fresh Thyme

Heat a skillet over high heat, add olive oil and mushrooms. Sear for 3-4 minutes, season with salt and pepper and a pinch of fresh thyme.

Spinach Arugula Pesto

2 cups boiling water
1 cup Spinach
1 cup Arugula
2-3 Tbl olive oil
3 Tbl Parmesan or bread crumbs, or pecan/walnuts or pine nuts
Salt and pepper 

Place greens in a bowl and pour boiling water over them ( I just skip the bowl and place them in my blender). Let stand for 3-4 minutes, drain well. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasonings. 

To serve: Place toast on plates, drizzle with olive oil or pesto, top with eggs, mushrooms and additional pesto if desired. Season with salt and pepper (yes, again...). Serve immediately.


See you at the Market!

Chef Deb 

Note: Saturday Market Demo: 
*Soft Scrambled Eggs w/ Spinach Arugula Pesto and Mushrooms
*Sauteed spring Asparagus coins w/green garlic  (recipe will be posted by Wednesday)

Radish Greens Soup w/Salted Radish Butter Crostini

Longmont Farmer's Market Begins May 2, 2009


Rain or shine, we will be there!

Update 5-03-2009:  It DID rain, and it was c-o-l-d! Thanks to all the die hard Longmont Market shoppers/groupies who showed up anyway!! A very humble thanks to Susan and Chris for volunteering this week. I would not have been able to keep up without your help.  I promise to feed you better next are coming back next week...right? 

For quite some time, I have been contemplating my first two recipes of the season. Should I make:

*Braised beef (or pork, although not technically at our market this year..Long Family Farms IS still local)
*Soft scrambled eggs w/herbs and goat cheese
*Braised beans w/spring greens
*Parsnip puree w/ green garlic
*Arugula pesto w/ local pasta
*Hazel Dell mushrooms: 2 ways.. Sauteed w/ garlic, butter and sherry & a cold mushroom relish

However, in the event of rain, I always turn to soup. This Saturday, I will offer something a little different using: Spring Radishes.  The radish is a humble item often ignored on most Crudité platters. But I want to introduce you to a bright and vibrant, radish greens soup paired with the gorgeous blush of fresh radish butter and salt on toasted baguettes. I love these recipes for their flavor, color and most importantly because it is inexpensive and so unexpected. It's going to be a hard sell this time, but I am up for the challenge! 

This WAS a hard sell, but as soon as I convinced ONE brave soul to taste it, (and the Guinea pig did not die or make faces), I was on my way.  We actually sold out of Radishes this week! 

I hope you will give one or both of these recipes a try. Better yet, stop by the Longmont Farmer's Market this Saturday and I will make it for you!  Please note...I generally do not arrive at the Market until 8:30 ish.   I am not as punctual as our farmers.  

Market Radish Green Soup w/ Radish butter Crostini

2 Tbl. Olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 medium potatoes, diced
4 cups raw radish greens (about 2-3 bunches)
6 cups water, vegetable or chicken broth
1/3-cup heavy cream (it's still good without it)
5 radishes, grated
Salt and pepper
Lemon juice (optional)
DIRECTIONS: Heat olive oil in a 4-quart soup pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and sautÈ for 4-5 minutes. Next, add potatoes, water/stock and simmer for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Add Radish greens and cook for 5 more minutes,
Allow the soup mixture to cool slightly, and transfer to a blender. Blend until smooth. Return the mixture to the saucepan over low heat. Stir in the heavy cream, season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Serve with grated radish or Radish Butter & Salt Crostini!

Radish Butter & Salt Crostini 

6-8 Radishes, chopped
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, chopped
1 tsp. Fluer de Sel (or Kosher salt)
Fresh ground pepper

Combine: radish and butter with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper.
To serve: Spread radish butter over toasted baguette slices and sprinkle with additional salt
**Or for vibrant pink color combine radish, butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor and mix briefly. **

Enjoy.  See you at the Market!

Chef Deb 

*Longmont Farmer's Market Tours and Dinner*  May 30 @ 1:30 to 4:30 $45 
*Boulder Farmer's Market Tours and Dinner * coming soon!