Archives for posts with tag: farmers market

just in time for the labor day…otherwise known as national grill + drink with your friends + family day!

this baby back rib recipe is about as easy as it gets, and although it calls to finish them off in the oven under the broiler, there is no reason you can’t put them on a hot grill to get that extra added char. i was given the recipe from my friend linda, the farmers market fairy, who says she jotted it down from the chalkboard at mccall’s meat and fish co. a few years ago. both sources i trust in all things food, so you will not be disappointed. i get my baby backs from peads and barnetts at the hollywood farmers market, and they are outstanding.

as far as the sauce, everybody has an opinion on bbq sauce, and i will not try to sway those that want their sauce the way they want it. this is how i like mine: tomatoey, tangy, spicy with just a bit of smoke. the base of the recipe comes from a family friend, who’s sauce i had the pleasure of having slathered over perfectly grilled chicken wings at my stepmom’s 60th birthday in upstate new york a couple of years ago. i was fortunate enough to have him share his recipe with me. i made a few adjustments. the biggest being that i chose to make my own heinz chili sauce (i prefer to use as little processed food as possible), which i got a cheat from the spice guru at food.com. i made a few other slight adjustments in regards to spices mostly because of what i had on hand in my kitchen, but for the most part i give credit to nick fox for what i consider my favorite bbq sauce.

the ribs:

  • rack(s) of baby back ribs
  • apple cider vinegar
  • dry rub of choice (i use a combo of penzeys bbq 3000 and a friend’s special mix called bacon sugar)
  • salt

splash a tablespoon (or so) of apple cider vinegar on each rack and massage in. let them sit for about 10-15 mins.

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rub in a couple tablespoons of your favorite dry rub and sprinkle with salt.

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wrap in plastic wrap, and then in foil.

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place on a baking sheet in the oven for 3-4 hours at 225ᴼ. unwrap and peel away the plastic being careful of the steam. the plastic will be melty so make sure not to leave gooey bits behind.

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slather on your favorite bbq sauce (see recipe below).

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put them under the broiler for a few minutes on each side until they have a bit of char. warning: keep an eye on them, and do not get distracted.

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cut them up between the bones, and by all means slather on more sauce.

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the sauce:

sauceingredients

as written and sent to me, with my adjustments and changes in parenthesis.

  • 2 1/2 cups heinz chili sauce, or 2 bottles (i doubled the spice guru’s recipe at food.com to equal 2 bottles, using garlic instead of onion flakes, and spicy instead of sweet chili powder)
  • 2 tsp tabasco (scottie b’s chipotle fever smokin bbq spicy pepper sauce)
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp tarragon (dried)
  • 2 cups finely chopped onions
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced (large)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar (sugar + molasses)
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water

combine in a pot and bring to a boil, then turn to low and simmer 30 minutes. strain through a fine mesh strainer.

sauce

makes about 4 cups

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the first corn of the season started showing up at the farmers market a couple weeks ago, which means any cookout, BBQ, or gathering that has a grill, i will be asked to make mexican grilled corn. happily i will abide, because it is so damn good. i first came across this recipe in the october 2009 issue of cook’s illustrated, and without a doubt it is the number one dish my friends ask me to make during the summer months.

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ingredients:

  • 6 ears of corn, husks + silks removed
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp sour cream
  • 3 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, minced
  • 1-2 medium garlic cloves, pressed through a garlic press
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 oz pecorino romano cheese, about 1/2 cup
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • vegetable oil for cooking grate

 

mix together the mayo, sour cream, cilantro, garlic, 1/4 tsp chili powder, black pepper, cayenne, lime juice and cheese in a bowl.

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add the remaining 1/2 tsp of chili powder and salt to the vegetable oil and whisk together. brush this oil mixture all over the corn.

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once you have heated your grill to hot, wipe the grate with a paper towel wad and tongs dipped in vegetable oil. put the corn directly on the grill and shut the lid. check after about 5 minutes, or if you start hearing it pop, and rotate so all sides get brown, about 10-15 minutes.

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transfer to a platter or dish, and slather on the sauce.

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this is a perfect side to bring to, or make for any BBQ or grilling event you might be having for this memorial day. please take note that this monday is not our national day to have a cookout, but to honor and remember the men and women who have died while serving in our armed services. peace + love.

 

 

as winter melts into spring, i get excited when the produce at farmers markets starts changing, but here in southern california it seems as though beets and kale are here year round. that is just fine by me. this salad blends the merging seasons well with earthy wild rice, sweet golden beets, and crunchy green kale.

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ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice, cooked yielding about 3 cups, let cool
  • 3 medium golden beets, roasted, peeled, let cool and diced
  • 1 bunch of kale (i prefer lacinato for this recipe), blanched, drained fully and chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced small or minced
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

directions:

in a large bowl mix together the cooled wild rice and beets with the kale and onion. in a small bowl add a generous pinch of salt to the vinegar, and slowly whisk in the olive oil until it emulsifies. toss dressing into rice mixture. add salt and pepper to taste.

makes about 4-6 cups

tip: for breakfast the next morning, sauté a little and add to scrambled eggs with goat cheese.

this past weekend, our loft building in downtown los angeles had the first planting of our community garden. we started with a tabula rasa, added some organic soil, trellises, stepping stones, lanterns, tables and chairs.

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we all agreed we wanted it to be organic, so no gmo’s or pesticides allowed. one of our members, and original instigators, linda, also known as the farmers market fairy, was able to pick up a good portion of the seedlings at the wednesday’s santa monica farmers market, and dan, our hoa president, was able to find the remaining at armstrong’s nursery, including a dwarf meyer lemon tree he has named ‘lucy.’

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to celebrate the occasion, dan mixed up a pitcher of refreshing strawberry basil cocktails, which with all the herbs we are growing was a fitting premonition and inspiration for upcoming garden cocktail parties.

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we spread out our newly adopted wee loved ones, guided by what little knowledge we knew of what needs sun or shade, and some other random tips we had collected.

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with that…we started digging.

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once everything was planted, we did a trial watering to get the roots good and soaked.

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we are all aware that urban gardening has it’s challenges. for instance, here in skidrokyo, we find trash thrown over the fence daily, like this welcoming pile of clothing on this particular afternoon…

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…but bringing together our neighbors…

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…and seeing those vibrant green sprouts sticking out of the dark brown soil…

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…makes it all worth it.

‘when i go into the garden with a spade, and dig a bed, i feel such an exhilaration and health that i discover that i have been defrauding myself all this time in letting others do for me what i should have done with my own hands.’  -ralph waldo emerson

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for those interested, here is a list of the fruits, vegetables and herbs we have planted thus far:

  • arugula
  • spinach
  • mint
  • spearmint
  • parsley
  • thyme
  • mediterranean thyme
  • rosemary
  • variegated sage
  • oakleaf lettuce
  • chamomile
  • cilantro
  • lavender
  • basil
  • thai sweet basil
  • purple basil
  • oregano
  • mexican oregano
  • greek oregano
  • poblano pepper
  • fatali pepper
  • serrano pepper
  • green bell pepper
  • red bell pepper
  • yellow bell pepper
  • maui onion
  • bunching onions
  • honeydew
  • snap beans
  • appalachian pole bean
  • tsungshigo tomato
  • cherokee purple tomato
  • hawaiian pineapple tomato
  • sungold cherry tomato
  • sausage tomato
  • armenian cucumber
  • persian cucumber
  • meyer lemon

often by the time i am in need of a trip to the farmers market, i am usually left with a few remaining random things in my fridge. in this episode of ‘cleanin’ out my fridge’ i luckily found the makings for chorizo tacos:

  • chorizo sausage (from lindy + grundy)
  • corn tortillas
  • green + red cabbage, chopped thin
  • green onion, sliced thin
  • cilantro, chopped well
  • adobe chile sauce
  • sour cream

remove chorizo from the casing (if there is one), and sauté, breaking up into small pieces until cooked through. meanwhile pre-heat your oven to 275º, and place the corn tortillas right on the rack to warm. divide sausage among the tortillas, and garnish with cabbage, green onion, cilantro, chile sauce and sour cream.

the only thing that would have made these better was if the tortillas were from guisado’s, and not from crummy whole foods. i can only hope armando would be impressed with this quick creation.

this morning not only did i find myself without coffee in my cupboard (oh the horror!), but also not much was in my fridge either. thankfully, made, the cafe and gift shop next door at the downtown women’s center has delicious coffee from groundwork, and helped me out with my daily caffeine fix. now i could think about food. i am working the next couple of days and only need a few things to tide me over until i am able to make it to one of the bigger markets this weekend. i just wasn’t going to make the trip all the way to the wednesday market in santa monica. while perusing twitter, sipping on my dirty chai latte, the downtown news tweeted that the pershing square market would be open today between 1130-2p. having never been, i thought this might hold me over for a couple of days, or at the very least, get me out on my trusty steed for a quick ride.

albeit small, it had a decent variety of produce stands, and the gama farms stand even had eggs. often these smaller markets have zero options as far as meat, dairy and eggs, so i was thrilled. in addition to a half dozen eggs, i picked up an onion and garlic. they also had potatoes, citrus, and honey.

the stand next to them had many different greens and herbs, potatoes, daikon radish, some squash, green beans, and even sugar cane.

i was also happy to see arnett farms, which i often hit at the hollywood farmers market, and has some of my favorite citrus fruit. i chose a couple satsuma mandarins, a blood orange and a cara cara orange. why not? it is cold and flu season.

total cost $12.50:

  • 1 head of garlic, 1 red onion, 6 eggs: $3
  • 1 bag of green beans, 1 bag of mixed salad greens: $4
  • 1 bunch of carrots: $2
  • 4 pieces of citrus fruit: $3.50
  • 1 gallon of gas saved by biking: – $4
  • total price for my bounty: $8.50
  • getting out for some much needed fresh air and exercise: priceless.

in a pinch, your smaller local farmers market can be just what you need…get your vittles and save on fossil fuels to boot.

if you live in los angeles county, here is a list of california certified farmers markets in the area. in the greater united states, the usda has this farmers market search available.

when summer comes around i start craving blt’s. a lot. this is mostly because the tomatoes are so damn delicious! today the urge hit hard. unfortunately, i didn’t have any of the ingredients that i needed in my kitchen (with the exception of mayonnaise), so i headed out on my trusty steed to the farmers market at city hall a few blocks from where i live. it’s a pretty small market, so i wasn’t sure i was going to find everything i needed, but i was certain i would at least get tomatoes and lettuce. my preferred green on a blt is arugula, and was lucky enough to find a vendor that was selling it. right next to the arugula guy was a stand with beautiful red tomatoes on the vine. he also had ripe avocados, which aren’t essential to the classic blt, but a nice addition. since there are no meat vendors at this market, and i refuse to go to ralph’s for bacon, i thought i’d check out two bits market a few blocks down spring street. sure enough they had bacon from zoe’s meats, and thankfully, since i forgot to pick up bread at the farmers market, they had fresh loaves as well. with my shopping done, i headed home.

i don’t think anyone needs a recipe for a blt, but this is what i used to make mine:

fresh bread, sliced and slightly toasted.

arugula.

ripe red tomatoes.

avocado.

bacon, fried crisp.

slather some mayo on the toasted bread. pile on the arugula, layer the tomato slices, and avocado. top with bacon and the other piece of bread.

craving very satisfied. hello summer!

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