The lovely ladies of our Produce Team: Amelia Lord, Sue Guida & Wendy Jakobski at the Mystic Marriott, 04/16/12. (Photo courtesy of Wendy Jakobski.)
On Monday Chef Paul Krawic invited Fiddleheads to do a tasting at the Marriott in New London to sample the Produce Dept's wares. Richard Virgin, Wendy Jakobski, Sue Guida and Amelia Lord were the "prep chefs" for the evening. Dishes sampled included a vegetarian stiry fry done by Richard, Sue's wheatberry salad, and sweet potato-lentil stew from Alicia's Silverstone's book The Kind Diet, brought to us by Alison La Bella.
Sue told us her recipe for wheatberry & fruit salad came from Cooking Light Magazine, April 2010**; she has made it with and without the goat cheese listed, and each versions has it's devoted partisans here at the co-op. In other words, it's delicious either way, and the folks who got to taste it Wednesday night at the hotel certainly agreed.
Amelia, Sue and Richard Virgin "represent" Fiddleheads at the Marriott, with humor and style to spare. (Photo courtesy of Wendy Jakobski.)
We had a lot of requests for the sweet potato and lentil stew recipe from folks who sampled it that night, and we promised to share it here:
Alicia Silverstone's Sweet Potato & Lentil Stew
From The Kind Diet (Rodale Books, 2009)
1/4 cup safflower oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 small tomatoes, diced, or 2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
1 1/2 tsps. turmeric
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cayenne
fine sea salt
2-3 medium sweet potatoes,peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
7 cups vegetable broth
1 cup lentils, brown or multi-colored
Heat the oil over medium in a large, deep pot. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes or until the onion starts to soften. Stir in the tomatoes or paste and ginger and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne, and a small pinch of salt. Cook and stir for 2 minutes, then taste for seasonings; try to use only enough salt to heighten the flavors.
Add the sweet potatoes, broth, and lentils. Stir well, and bring to a boil over high heat. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 - 40 minutes or until the lentils and sweet potatoes are soft. Serve on its own, or over rice or couscous.
**Earlier today I listed Women's Day Magazine as the source of the wheatberry salad recipe; Sue corrected me and that has been fixed. -J-
This is the dressing I made for an appearance on “Thinking Green”, the cable access show hosted by Ronna Stuller, earlier this month. The focus of the show was actually a conversation with Rob Schacht from Hunts Brook Farm. He was passionate and knowledgeable and about a variety of issues affecting the business of a small organic farm. (Watch the show on our YouTube channel here.)
I meanwhile played "Vanna Organic", and managed to cut open a blood orange for the camera without actually drawing any blood...mine, that is. (Sorry, kids, no squirting arteries for your viewing pleasure; perhaps you'll get lucky next time.)
Blood oranges, sesame oil and fennel have been staples in my kitchen lately; the bitterness of the HBF greens provided a perfect foundation for the light and zippy dressing. (Last week Rob and Teresa made their last shipment of bagged mixed greens and spinach to the co-op, which we will dearly miss.) To the salad I also added slices of orange bell pepper, chopped tomatoes, carrots, sliced fennel stalks and more fennel fronds, cilantro leaves and blueberries. This recipe is very flexible and you can alter the herbs and spices to your liking. If you use celery instead of fennel, add a little celery seed; I like to include the chopped leaves in that case.
Another evening I mixed the salad dressing with homemade teriyaki sauce (store-bought would work just as well, if you like) in about a 1:1 ratio and used it as a glaze for pork chops; simple directions are below as well. My next adventure will be trying it with a tofu stir-fry; the tofu should absorb the glaze quite well. (If you get there before I do, let me know how it goes for you.)
Blood orange, Fennel & Sesame Salad Dressing
3 blood oranges (or other sweet, intense citrus fruit), juiced
1-2 tea. unfiltered apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg’s)
toasted sesame oil, in 1 : 1 ratio with the amount of orange juice
3 T fresh fennel or dill fronds, finely chopped; or 1-1/2 T dried fennel or dill
2-3 tea. finely-chopped fennel stem and/or bulb, or same amount celery stalks
finely ground sea salt, and black or white pepper to taste
2 tea - 1 T gomasio; or sea salt and sesame seeds, coarsely ground together; plus extra sesame seeds
3-4 cilantro stems and leaves; stems finely chopped and leaves torn
1T fresh or frozen blueberries, crushed (optional)
Blend all ingredients until thoroughly emulsified; I like to do it by hand with a small whisk, or simply shake vigorously in a jar. Taste after the addition of each ingredient to make sure it suits you, and adjust as necessary. Makes approx 1 cup.
Variation - Pork Chop Glaze: Combine equal parts of the dressing (above) with a thick, homemade or store-bought teriyaki sauce. Brown 1-2 pork chops in a lightly-oiled or nonstick pan or skillet on both sides over medium heat; pour sauce over chops and cover, about 1-2 minutes or sauce has thickened on surface of chop, turn and repeat, adjusting heat if needed. If using high-quality pasture-raised pork (with no added preservatives, etc), such as Four Mile River Farm’s, make sure you do not overcook the chops; they should still be slightly pink (not completely grey) and tender inside.
When last we left our heroes, Janice and Mark were going to appear on Ronna Stuller's "Thinking Green" cable access show (Metrocast 25) to talk about Fiddleheads and the 4th Birthday Party...
And so we did, and it was a good deal of fun. The conversation portion particularly was easy; Ronna is a congenial host, Mark Roberts was as terrific as a conversationalist as I'd imagined he'd be, and the 20 minutes flew by in no time. We had one phone call during the show, and the caller wondered if there were things at the co-op for diabetics. I was stumped by that but fortunately Mark wasn't; unbeknownst to myself or Ronna, Mark is diabetic and was able to address the caller's question. Perfect synchronicity, or maybe just luck, but I'll take it either way.
For anyone thinking about making an appearance on Ronna's show (but still afraid to do so), talking at the table with her is just like talking at a cafe with a friend. Except with microphones. And a camera. Just don't think about either one. As it happens, Ronna's hubby Bob is operating the camera, so you really are surrounded by your friends and neighbors.
The "cooking demo" portion, on the other hand...? Well, the other folks thought it went well; everyone certainly enjoyed trying the three mushroom and veggie medley with onion, yellow pepper and zucchini spears, laid over a bed of tri-color quinoa; and then morsels of Four Mile River Farm beef sirloin. Every single ingredient, even the squirt of ketchup in the tumeric sauce, came from Fiddleheads. Chris, the show's producer (who likes his meat "as close to raw as possible" - as do I) told me that he could smell the food coming through the wall inside the control booth, and loved the sound of the sizzle for the show. It may not have been state of the art FX, but it was quick and cheap, and everyone left with a smile on their face.
For my part, I didn't burn, cut or injure myself, or anyone else for that matter - no spurting arteries a la Dan Akroyd - so I'm placing it in the "Win" column. I would have liked the ingredients in bowls on the table, tupperware perhaps with cunning little lids, rather than produce bags. Alas I didn't have any such bowls at home to speak of, so I had to make due. But that's part of the rustic, retro charm of live cable access television. Right? Right? (The electric cooker, btw, came from the Four Mile River Farm booth, and everything else came from home, including the large knife that looks like it's been around since the days of Jim Bowie. Or maybe David.)
I promised last night that I'd put up the recipe for the tumeric sauce that I poured over the vegetable medley, so here it is, actually written down with proper measurements and whatnot. You can use this for all sorts of things: as a marinade, as a salad dressing, or as a sauce for a main dish as I did last night. It would probably go as well over pork, chicken or fish as it did on the vegetables.
(as seen on "Thinking Green")
1/4 cup organic EV olive oil
3 small satsuma mandarins, or 1 regular-sized tangerine, orange, etc.
2 T gluten-free reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 T ground tumeric
1 T cumin
1 tea coriander
1 garlic clove, crushed and finely minced
1 T unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar
1- 2 T maple syrup, or to taste
pinch of cumin seed (optional)
few pinches of finely ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
pinch of cayenne
squirt of organic ketchup
Blend all ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup; adjust seasonings as to taste; emulsify with a whisk. Can be used immediately or, stored in the fridge in a jar with a tight lid; shake jar vigorously to blend ingredients again. Makes about 3/4 cup.
*Edited on 3/19/12 to add link to YouTube video. -Janice*
I've been invited to join Fiddleheads Board member Mark Roberts on Ronna Stuller's "Thinking Green" cable access show. The program is at 7pm tonight on Metrocast channel 25 (in the New London CT area.) First I'll be doing a vegan dish - a variation on my beloved mushroom-veggie medley with quinoa, similar to my last post but with a turmeric sauce; and then a Four Mile River Farm sirloin steak. Something for everyone.
The real reason for going on the show is to promote Fiddlehead's 4th Birthday Bash this weekend, Saturday Feb 4. I really can't believe it's been an entire year since the last one. This year promises to be even bigger, with live music all day long, cake, raffles, prizes, cake, samples, the usual Farmer's Market vendors as well as reps from some of the brands that the co-op carries on its shelves, and - did I mention cake? We'll have donations of homemade cakes from various members and customers, plus local businesses such as Mangetout Organic Cafe and You Take the Cake. We've really grown this past year, so the party should be even bigger than the last one, and a lot of fun. (I've not decided yet what I want to sample at the FMRF booth: ready-made bbq beef (the work's been done for me), or bulgogi, the korean marinated beef that was such a hit a couple of weeks ago. Any opinions?
I know Mark will be wonderful on the show tonight; he's very articulate and has a warm, engaging presence. Me? I've got butterflies, but I'll get through. I will be pre-cutting and prepping everything, of course, both for the limits of time (I'll have 20 minutes), and the fact that my knife technique is a disaster. Laugh at my dramatics, my nerves, my imperfect teeth or my wild hair, if you will - but even I have my limits.
Please watch us tonight at 7pm (Metrocast channel 25) if you can, then join the fun at Fiddleheads on Saturday.
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Text and photos copyright 2011-2013 Janice Janostak unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.