Cooking a perfect stir-fry dish requires careful planning as the ingredients are being chopped and prepared. Especially important is to group the ingredients by cooking time. Continue Reading
Kohlrabi (kol-RAH-bee), sometimes called “cabbage turnip,” is a large spherical shaped vegetable that can be pale green, light yellow, or pinkish-purple. It looks like a root vegetable, but is actually the swollen base of the stem. The leaves have usually been removed before you purchase it, so there will be short leaf stems sprouting from various parts of the sphere. Continue Reading
Kale is easy to grow in our climate, and can grow year round except in the most extreme cold winters. The taste of the leaves becomes sweeter as the winter progresses, making it a wonderful cold weather vegetable when little else is being harvested locally. There’s even a variety of kale called “Hungry Gap,” a British term for the time between summer growing seasons. Continue Reading
I enjoy starting with a classic, ordinary recipe and making it local and special. This week I was in the mood to bake bread, so I decided to attempt an improved, locavore grilled cheese sandwich.
I knew just the cheese to make it special–Appel Farms’ Sweet Red Pepper Gouda. Homemade bread, artisan cheese, spread fresh basil leaves over it, and voila! I could almost taste it just thinking about it! Continue Reading
Mustard greens are an ingredient I hadn’t worked with before. In fact, I somehow have managed to never even taste them. When I saw fresh local mustard greens in the produce case at Terra Organica this week, I decided it was time to fill in that gap in my eating experiences. Continue Reading
Garlic scapes are the curly, peculiar-looking thickened parts in the middle of the garlic stem where the flower and seed head eventually forms. Farmers raising garlic usually trim off the scapes before they fully form. Instead of putting energy into flowering, it encourages the plants to use the energy to form larger bulbs at the base of the stem. Continue Reading
Start with a simple recipe, add a few pungent local herbs, and you have a whole new gustatory experience. Let me show you what we can do with pasta and meatballs.
I started with some Lummi Island grown, grassfed beef. I grated some dried homemade bread (made with bread flour from Fairhaven Organic Flour Mill, and other local ingredients) to make some bread crumbs. Then I walked out into the garden and snipped some fresh thyme and rosemary leaves. I had some aged gouda cheese from a recent visit to Appel Farms Cheese Shoppe, and some green garlic grown at Broadleaf Farm that I had purchased earlier from Terra Organica. Add a little salt and the meatball ingredients are complete. Continue Reading
One difference between regular American eating and locavore eating is the seasonality of ingredients. Some ingredients are only available fresh during a couple of months of the year.
For example, I love asparagus! It’s the best part about spring cuisine, in my opinion, usually available in late April and May. I like it in green salads, pasta salads, steamed with various sauces, in souffles, and many other ways. However, my ultimate favorite way of fixing asparagus is also probably the easiest.
When fresh asparagus is pan seared correctly, it will be delightfully crunchy on the outside and creamy soft on the inside. Searing also brings out a nutty flavor in the asparagus spears that makes my mouth water even as I write this. Continue Reading
I’d encourage you to experiment with this recipe, which combines two traditional elements of an American breakfast–eggs and hashbrowns. In this version, the potato “nests” are made with raw grated potatoes which are first parboiled, pressed into muffin tins, and then baked. One variation would be to pile the parboiled potatoes on a cookie sheet and use a spoon to make depressions for the eggs before baking the nests. Another possible variation would be to use mashed potatoes instead of grated.
There are multiple variations for the eggs as well. The version below cooks raw eggs in the “nests”. You could just as easily scramble the eggs first with various additional ingredients, such as mushrooms, jalapenos, etc. Another option would be to poach the eggs before topping with grated cheese and doing the final bake. Continue Reading
A classic comfort food, this baked version of French fries is both delicious and healthy. Russet potatoes used in this recipe came from Hopewell Farm near Everson. The texture was smooth and creamy with none of the dryness russets sometimes display.
Potatoes can easily be stored throughout the winter, and are a perfect ingredient for warming winter dishes. Ideally raw potatoes are stored just above freezing and away from light. Light can cause potatoes to turn green. Green potatoes should not be eaten.
Preparation is fast and simple. I left the skins on for additional nutrition and a traditional home-cooked appearance. Continue Reading
Twisted S Bison Ranch near Ferndale produces an extensive line of bison meat products, from ground bison to steaks to roasts to gourmet sausages. Bison is much leaner than beef, and what fat there is can be found mostly on the outside edges of the meat instead of marbled throughout the meat. Consequently, bison cooks more quickly than beef. Experts recommend cooking “low and slow”–lower temperature and slower cooking times–for more control of doneness. Also, aiming for “rare” or “medium” doneness is better than “well” done, which may toughen the bison meat. Bison is easily overcooked.
Bison has a marvelously subtle “wild” flavor without tasting gamy, so season it mildly. The raw meat is darker red than beef due to the lower fat content. Covering the pan as it cooks can help preserve moisture in the meat. Continue Reading
Last week I didn’t see locally produced butter in the dairy cooler at the Community Food Co-op, which usually stocks some. Since I don’t know of any locally produced cooking oils, I’m using butter instead, and was concerned when I couldn’t find any.
I remembered a friend had told me that butter could be made from whipping cream pretty easily, but I didn’t remember the details. I saw some Twin Brook Creamery cream, so purchased a pint. When I got home, I called the Creamery to see if they made commercial butter, or if they could tell me how to make it from their whipping cream.
Debbie returned my call and said they didn’t make butter for sale to the public, but that they regularly made butter for their own use from their cream. She said the recipe below is how her mother-in-law does it. I think you’ll be astonished at how simple and quick it is–and it’s fun! Continue Reading