Winter Stew

Did any of you make it to the Fulton Winter Market on Saturday? I was there from 11-2 and there was a steady stream of people coming through the whole time. We even had to turn away a few people who stopped in after the stands had started to come down. Since it’s the off season, I wasn’t sure what there would be to choose from so I didn’t come prepared to buy much. After about 5 minutes I was regretting that choice. The market seemed larger than last year’s winter market with plenty of canned goods, hearty root veggies, fresh mushrooms, hot food and cold beer. I made a few notes on where I’ll want to return for next month.

WINTER STEW

I did come away with a bag of goodies from Wise Acre, a restaurant that features local food year round.  They had ready made bags of stew mixings which, with another polar vortex coming on strong, sounded perfect. It came with a few carrots, shallots, celery root, cabbage and sprig of rosemary.  I picked up some cubed beef from the Co-op and seared it a dutch oven before removing the meat and adding in the veggies with the exception of the cabbage.  Once the shallots started to brown and get translucent I poured in a few good glugs of red wine to pick up all the good brown bits from the bottom.  I let that reduce a bit before adding in canned tomatoes, beef broth, and meat.  Once it comes up to a boil, I added in my bundle of herbs and let it sit on low for a few hours until it smells too good to ignore.

I’ve never really done much measuring with this recipe.  It’s truly whatever sounds good or what we have on hand at the time.  We’ve done carrots, onion, celery and mushrooms as well as potatoes and peas.  Herbs have ranged from just generous salt and pepper and a bay leaf to the fresh rosemary, sage and thyme from this last weekend.  It’s really easy to make it your own and any combination goes well with a buttery roll.  Hope you enjoy!

Winter Market

Raise your hand if you’re sick of the cold.  Ok, thank you.  Now, raise your hand if you’re tired of the snow. 1,2,3,4…. Got it, thanks.

Now, what if I told you there was a way to get a break from it and get you in the mindset for spring and summer?  Well here you go.  The Fulton Farmer’s market is hosting it’s first winter market at Bachman’s in South Minneapolis.

Image

You can find the full list of vendors, hours and location details on their site, here.  I’ll be volunteering as well as picking up some goodies for myself.  I hope to see you there!

Roasted Beet Salad

It took a lot of effort for me to not title this post something like: ‘We Got the Beets’  or some other awful pun.  I’ll save you from my awkward sense of humor for the day.  I picked up beets from the farmer’s market last weekend, it’s the first time I bought them.  I have memories of having to sit at my grandparents kitchen table until I had finished all the canned, pickled beets.  I thought they were the worst veggies in the world.  Things change; since elementary school I’ve grown to like beans, Mexican food and avocados , why not beets?

beet collage

I found a recipe on Bon Appetit for Roasted Beet Salad with Citrus and Feta.  It’s seemed far enough away from the awful canned beets of  my youth and get me to use up some more of the salad greens that are overtaking the garden.  You can find the recipe here.  It went together fairly easy but it took a bit longer than I wanted it to.  I roasted the beets one night and assembled the rest of the salad the second night.  I have to admit, when I smelled the roasted beets coming out of the oven, it made me thing of those nasty bright pink discs and I had a moment of nervousness.

beet collage 2

When I started to mix up the vinaigrette and add in the citrus and cheese, I felt more comfortable with trying the beets again.  They didn’t have as strong of a flavor as I remembered and the mix with feta was pretty tasty.   I’ll probably look for other beet recipes, salads or otherwise and it was enough to put beets back on my ‘edible’ list of foods, feels good.

String Beans

This weekend I picked up some green and purple string beans from the Farmers Market.  I’m a sucker for interesting colors in my veggies. I whipped them up with some pasta and parmesan cheese tonight, a.k.a. my ‘I’m to lazy to really think about this’ recipe, although I threw in some garlic to make things really interesting.  Fun Fact: the purple beans turned green as they cooked, I got a close up of it happening to prove it.

Before

string beans before

During

string beans during

After

string beans after

 

Roasting Radishes

Last weekend, we picked up a small bunch of radishes from Uproot Farms.  I always like eating them raw on salads or with a bit of butter and salt but I’ve never tried cooking them before.

raw radishes

For dinner last night we tried roasting them on the grill along with some asparagus and steak, also local finds.

radishes with salt and pepper

I trimmed and cut the radishes in half before adding some olive oil, salt and pepper.

roasted radishes

I closed up my aluminum foil around it to make a little pocket.  I put it on the grill at the same time as the steak and kind of forgot about them until the steak was done.

radishes- final meal

When I took them off, the radishes were really tender and cut easily with a fork.  They had a similar consistency to potatoes but with a bit of pepperiness.  Prep and clean up couldn’t have been easier either.  It’s good to have another option for preparing radishes.  We’ve got plenty of sprouts of our own in the garden so, fingers crossed, we’ll have plenty to eat in a few weeks!

Poached Egg Scramble

Remember how excited I was about the pretty blue egg I bought at the farmers market?  Well I finally got around to using it.  I didn’t want it to turn in to a mass of scrambled eggs so I tried something new for me and poached it.  I have to admit, poached eggs kind of freak me out.  I’ve tried them before and my mind starts screaming, “YOU’RE EATING A RAW EGG!!”.  However, I’ve always thought they LOOK really creamy and The Hubs loves them.  I don’t have a lot of photos of the cooking process.  Once I got started I was too afraid to take my eyes of the egg to take any pictures, you’ll have to settle for a Before and After.  Here’s my favorite egg, just a pretty, pale, blueish green.  The picture doesn’t do it justice, it makes me want to meet the chicken.

blue green egg

And here’s the after. I lost a bit of the white in the water, I need some more practice.  I added just a bit of butter (not nearly enough according to The Hubs), salt and pepper.  In place of traditional triangles of toast, I opted for dipping bacon.  I’d say it was a pretty good choice.  It tasted just great and as long as I was dipping the bacon the yolk didn’t get to me.

egg with bacon

I made a second one for The Hubs that turned out a little bit better.

Hubs poached egg

He used ‘the correct’ amount of butter with just salt and pepper.  His method is to just mix it all up in the bowl and eat it with a spoon.  I’m not quite ready for that yet.  We used his parents expertise in preparing the eggs. The steps sound easy enough, but it definitely takes some practice and finesse.

 

1. Bring a few inches of water to just about a simmer, you don’t want it to get to a high boil.

2. Crack your egg into a small bowl or coffee cup, I’d say the smaller the better.

3. Use a spoon to make a little whirlpool and slide the egg in.  You’ll probably have a few wisps of whites separate but it’ll be fine.

4. Let the egg sit for about 3-4 minutes.  After some practice you can get an idea of what the right look is, if in doubt go for the full 4.

5. Use a slotted spoon to carefully scoop out the egg and place it in a bowl or on top of your toast.

6. Add butter, salt and pepper and enjoy!

New Ingredient- Pasta with Ramps

The first week of the farmers market, I picked up a small bunch of ramps.  I’d seen lots of talk in the blogosphere about these rare, once a season wild leeks and didn’t want to miss out.

ramps 1

Since it was my first time fixing them, I went to my usual prep method; olive oil, salt and pepper. I did a quick chop, separating the bulb from the greens.

ramps 2

I got the bulb ends going in a generous tablespoon of olive oil.

ramps 3

When they were starting to brown just a bit, I added about 3/4 cup of frozen peas that I’d rinsed and drained to start the thawing a bit.

ramps 4

After a couple of minutes, I added in the leaf ends of the ramps.

ramps 5

When they started to wilt a bit, I added in the pasta (oh yeah, didn’t I tell you, I was making pasta in a separate pot).

ramps 6

I mixed it all up and added a bit of butter and salt and pepper before serving it up.

ramps 7

I can see what all the fuss is about.  They had a great onion and garlic taste, perfect for pasta, and at the same time, weren’t to over powering.  They made me want to start trying them in different ways but I haven’t seen them at the market since the first weekend.  I’m hoping if I get there early this wee I’ll be able to snag another bunch but if not, I’ll be grabbing as many as I can carry next spring!

Back to the Grind

I hope you all had a relaxing holiday weekend.  I spent most of it in the back yard working on the garden and grass (or lack there of).  We only have a few more things to plant on the patio and then we can sit back and watch it all grow.  I’m crossing my fingers for the second round of grass seed we put down.  Don’t let the green in the photo fool you.  It’s 90% weeds with a few patches of grass around the edges.full garden

 

I also spent some more time helping out at the Fulton Farmers Market on Saturday.  I went towards the end when I would be starting to help with the clean up.  By the time I got there a lot of the easy to grab greens and veggies had been sold which was great for the farmers but not so great for me.  I made up for it with a run to Kingfield market on Sunday morning for fresh salad fixings.  Even with the cooler weather this weekend both markets were busy.  I hope it keeps up that way for the rest of the season, I’ll just have to try and get there earlier to make sure I get what I need!

kingfield market

In my travels last week I got to check out the Momofuku Noodle Bar in NYC.  Not exactly local but look at that noodle bowl!  So good!  I got their namesake Momofuku noodle bowl as well as some pork dumplings (missed getting a picture of those).  Both were really, really good.  You could easily share the dumplings and noodle bowl.  I was stuffed by the time my bowl came to the table.

momofuku

I also tried some New York brew while in town, Porkslap Pale Ale.  It was sold to me as a hoppy IPA, not so much.  It was an easy drinker, light on the bitter hops taste.  The can itself sold me on trying it though.  It must be the Iowa farm girl roots.

porkslap