Saturday, July 29, 2017

Roasted Lemon Soy Chicken Legs

The Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market is excited to announce that Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm have teamed up to bring you fresh eggs and pastured chicken, beef, pork, and lamb every week. Also at the market you'll find fresh cut flower bouquets from Tiger Lily Art Company and fresh produce from Camas Swale Farm including gorgeous heirloom tomatoes (make a pitcher of gazpacho for the hot days ahead), berries, honey and (new this week) melons.

In addition to whole chickens, Fog Hollow Farm offers parted breasts and legs. I purchased a package of legs last week, which I thawed for a few hours in a bowl of warm water and then tossed in a lemon and soy sauce marinade.

Dinner Sunday night was a delicious and easy Farmers Market feast of roasted chicken, kale chips (since the oven was on), fresh heirloom tomatoes and cucumbers and roasted onions with lemony pan juices over rice. 

Roasted Lemon Soy Chicken Legs
2 chicken legs (drumsticks and thighs, about 1.5 lb)
1 large lemon
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp coarse kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
1 large onion

1. Peel the lemon with a vegetable peeler and cut the peel into thin strips. Juice the lemon. In a glass bowl big enough to hold the chicken, combine the lemon juice and zest, soy sauce, olive oil, honey, garlic cloves, salt and pepper. Cut the chicken legs to separate the drumsticks from the thighs, add them to the bowl and coat them well with the marinade. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator at least 1 hour or overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 425. Cut the onion into about 16 wedges and arrange on the bottom of a baking pan or pie dish. Arrange the chicken pieces, skin side up, on top of the onions, and drizzle over the marinade. Roast until the chicken is cooked through, basting occasionally with pan juices, about 35 minutes. The onions should char a little at the edges. 

3. Remove the chicken from the oven and let rest 10 minutes. Serve the chicken with the onions and pan juices.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Zucchini Poppy Seed Muffins

This Sunday at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market, you can expect to find pastured meats (including parted out chicken) and eggs from new Market member, Fog Hollow Farmfresh cut flower bouquets from Tiger Lily Art Company and fresh produce from Camas Swale Farm including:

cherry tomatoes (make a cherry tomato clafouti)
carrots (riff on this salad with harissa and feta)
summer squashes (make the zucchini muffins below)
salad mix
cabbage (try some stuffed cabbage)

Recently I had a hankering for muffins and a sense of obligation to bake with zucchini. Paralleling the fecundity of summer squash plants, the internet is heavily ladden with zucchini bread recipes. I took inspiration from a couple recipes from Heidi Swanson and Melissa Clark to make these muffins. I incorporated poppy seeds and buckwheat flour into the batter for flavor, and I moved the walnuts to the top for crunch.

The resulting muffins were very tasty with just the right balance of indulgence and virtue, a perfect accompaniment to a midmorning cup of coffee.

Zucchini Poppy Seed Muffins
makes a dozen muffins

250 grams grated zucchini (1 medium), grated and mixed with 1/2 tsp salt
⅓ cup/80 grams coconut oil
½ cup/106 grams brown sugar
⅓ cup/80 grams plain yogurt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup/120 grams all-purpose flour
½ cup/60 grams buckwheat flour
⅓  cup poppy seeds
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

2 Tablespoons coconut oil melted for greasing pan and then
½ cup/55 grams chopped walnuts
2 Tablespoons brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt the coconut oil and use a little to brush into the cups of your muffin tin to grease.

2. Squeeze the liquid from the salted grated zucchini and place In a large bowl. Use a rubber spatula to mix together with the melted coconut oil, sugar, yogurt, eggs and vanilla extract.

3. Prepare the topping. Melt 2 more Tablespoons of coconut oil and combine with the chopped walnuts and sugar.

4. Whisk together the flours, poppy seeds, baking soda, baking powder, lemon zest and spices in a separate bowl. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. 

5. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle a little of the walnut mixture over each muffin.  Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. The muffins will be done when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Gado Gado and Chicken Satay

This Sunday at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market, you can expect to find pastured meat and eggs from Fair Valley Farm, fresh cut flower bouquets from Tiger Lily Art Company, and fresh produce from Camas Swale Farm including:

strawberries (make some fresh fruit crepes)

last of the snap peas
beets (try this quinoa and beet salad with roasted kale)
potatoes (make some gado gado below)
summer squashes
onions (make this addictive cumin lamb with seared onions and Fair Valley Farm lamb)
salad mix
chard (why not bake a chard and bacon tart with Fair Valley Farm bacon)

When we were in Bali a few weeks ago, we took at cooking class at a restaurant in Ubud, Cafe Wayan, where we made (clockwise from top left) eggplant with sambal balado, chicken satay with peanut sauce, chicken curry in coconut milk, and a Balinese grilled fish salad.  

It all tasted wonderfully exotic, but in fact many of the ingredients were ones we have in our kitchen, and the flavors came from how they were combined, often in complex ground pastes, or cooked in unexpected ways. For example, the peanut sauce for the chicken satay, unlike our regular peanut sauce for noodles, was made by grinding fried peanuts with garlic and some tomato and then simmering in a pan with water. 

Last week we recreated this recipe at home, along with another Indonesia dish called gado gado, a composed salad of boiled and fresh vegetables that is also served with peanut sauce. We made a trip to Sunrise Market for small peanuts, kecap manis (a sweet soy sauce), palm sugar, and prawn crackers (little discs that puff up when fried and are traditionally served with gado gado).   

All the vegetables we sourced from the Fairmount Farmers Market, including fingerling potatoes, green beans, cabbage, cucumbers, and carrots. Almost anything could go into gado gado, so it is the perfect farmers market dish for any season, and once you've made a big batch of peanut sauce, the rest of the recipe scales easily for a crowd.

We served ours with hard boiled eggs and fried tempe, with chicken satay skewers on the side. It was a wonderful meal for reminiscing about our recent trip and my husband's family's years spent in Indonesia long ago.  

Gado Gado

peanut sauce (recipe follows)
lightly steamed cabbage leaves
boiled little potatoes
blanched green beans
fresh cucumbers and carrots
other steamed or fresh vegetables of your choice
hard boiled eggs
tempe or tofu, sliced into thin strips and fried
prawn crisps and sambal oelek for serving

Prepare all of the vegetables, the hard boiled eggs, and the fried tempe or tofu. Serve with peanut sauce, fried prawn crisps, and sambal oelek.

Peanut Sauce (Bumbu Kacang) 
from Cafe Wayan (for four servings of gado gado)
100 ml water
100 g small peanuts (often called Spanish peanuts)
canola oil as needed for frying the peanuts
1 slice tomato
1 clove garlic
1 Tbsp palm sugar (or use white sugar)
a pinch of salt
1 Tbsp kecap manis (sweet soy sauce, or use regular soy sauce and 1 tsp sugar)
1 tsp tamarind paste or lime juice to taste

If using fresh, small peanuts, fry them in a small amount of canola oil until they harden and become fragrant. Drain on paper towels and season with a pinch of salt. Grind all of the ingredients together with a mortar and pestle or in a food processor. Place in a pan with 1/4 cup water and simmer over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking. Then add 1 Tbsp kecap manis and 1 tsp of tamarind paste. Combine, taste, and if needed add more salt, sugar, tamarind paste, or lime juice.

Chicken Satay (Sate Ayam)
from Cafe Wayan (serves four as an appetizer) 
1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp oil such as canola
3 Tbsp kecap manis (sweet soy sauce, or use regular 3 Tbsp soy sauce and 1 Tbsp sugar)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
mild chili
salt and pepper

Mix the ingredients thoroughly. It's best if you can marinate the chicken for several hours or up to a day. Thread the chicken cubes onto skewers and grill until cooked. Serve with peanut sauce.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Bibim Guksu with Summer Squash and Sesame Turnips

This Sunday at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market, you will find fresh cut flower arrangements from Tiger Lily Art Company and lots of fresh produce from Camas Swale Farm including:

beets (cook in a hash with spinach or pack into foil bundles for the grill)
turnips (delicious cooked in brown butter or in the bibim gusko below)
radishes (try smashed in chili oil
summer squash and zucchini (make a gratin or stir fry for bibim gusko below)
sugar snap peas
kale (try kale Florentine for brunch)
cabbage (make some homemade kimchi for bibim guksu below)

Since recovering from a bout of food poisoning while traveling in Asia, I've had a strong craving for kimchi. Perhaps it's nostalgia for all the delicious Asian food we'd sampled, or a subliminal need for probiotic bacteria, but when I read this description of a cold Korean noodle dish bibim gusku (literally "mixed noodles") I immediately wanted to try it. One of my favorite dishes to cook for the family is bibim bap ("mixed rice"), and here was a summery version with similar flavors and formulation.

A little internet searching revealed that a more traditional version of bibim gusku would use thin white wheat noodles (Somyeon) and incorporate chopped kimchi into the sauce. I love the flavor of buckwheat soba noodles, so I used these, and I kept the kimchi separate to maintain one of the virtues of bibim family meals: everyone is happy when they can customize the spicing and toppings to their preference.

This dish lends itself to improvising with your Farmers Market finds. In a pan Asian mash up, I made a quick side of Fuchsia Dunlop's Chinese sweet and sour summer squash and gave julienned hot pink turnips a Japanese-inspired treatment after the kinpira gobo (stir fried burdock) from Elin England's Eating Close to Home. Served along with some crunchy sliced cucumbers and Gryffindor carrots, a boiled egg, and some briny kimchi, this was a perfect summer meal that will be a regular on our dinner rotation. 

Bibim Guksu
serves four
300 g (3 circular packets) of soba noodles
Cook in salted boiling water until barely cooked through (about 5 minutes), then immediately rinse under cold water until entirely cooled. Toss with a drizzle of sesame oil to help prevent the strands from congealing. 

2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp honey
1 tsp Korean gochujang paste for a mild, kid-friendly sauce, or more as desired 
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
Mix together all the ingredients. Taste and adjust flavorings as desired.

sweet and sour summer squash
2 zucchini
2 Tbsp cooking oil
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp Chinkiang vinegar
Quarter the summer squash lengthwise, and slice thinly. Toss with 1/2 tsp salt, mix well and set aside for 30 minutes or so to sweat. When you are ready to cook, squeeze the slices to get rid of excess water. Heat a wok over a high flame. Add the oil, then the garlic, and stir-fry for a few seconds until you smell its fragrance. Add the squash and stir-fry until they are hot and just cooked, but still a little crisp. Add the sugar and vinegar, with salt to taste, stir a couple of times, then tip on to a dish and serve.

julienned sesame turnips with edamame beans
3 large or 4 small turnips, washed, topped, and tailed
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sweet mirin or rice wine plus a pinch of sugar
1/2 cup fresh or frozen edamame beans
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp sesame seeds
red pepper flakes to taste

Slice the turnips and cut the slices into matchsticks. Mix together the soy sauce and mirin. Heat a skillet or wok over high heat and add the oil. When it is hot, add the julienned turnips. Stir fry for a couple minutes until a few start to brown. Add the soy sauce mixture and the edamame beans and continue cooking over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has completely reduced to a glaze. Remove from heat, drizzle with sesame oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds and red pepper flakes.

additional toppings
4 eggs cooked for six minutes in boiling water and immediately cooled for jammy yokes
julienned carrots and cucumbers

Before serving, toss the noodles with the sauce (or leave the noodles undressed for very picky eaters), adding sauce a little at a time until the noodles seem lightly coated. Let people serve themselves their preferred toppings and mix the noodles with the toppings on their plates. 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Ginger Herb Tonic

This Sunday at the Fairmount Farmers Market you can find all your fixings for a Fourth of July feast, with pastured meat and eggs from Fair Valley Farm, fresh produce from Camas Swale Farm, and beautiful flowers from Tiger Lily Art Company.

For a refreshing beverage to sip, cold or hot, at a picnic or while tending the grill, here is a ginger and herb tonic I concocted. It's inspiration is both exotic (a ginger, lemongrass, and honey drink sipped on a recent trip to Bali), local (herbs from our garden and alley way), and practical (an antidote to travel-induced tummy travails). What started as a medicinal brew has turned into a culinary craze in the house with infinite possible variations incorporating other herbs, dandelion and other greens, and citrus. I've even been eying our newly planted lemongrass plant, but resolved to let it recover its strength first before harvesting its stalks for any restorative tonics. 

Ginger Herb Tonic
for one pot of tea
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup fresh fennel fronds
1 inch ginger root
honey to taste

Boil water for a pot of tea. Once it boils, let it sit for five minutes to cool slightly. Rinse the herbs and put them in a teapot. Coarsely chop the ginger root (no need to peel) and place in the pot. Fill the pot with the boiled water, cover the teapot, and allow to steep for at least 20 minutes or longer for a more intense flavor. You can add honey now or keep it out and let people sweeten each cup to their liking. Serve warm or chilled.