buy fresh, buy local, cook deliciously

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Sundays invariably become a cooking day for me. I often get things lined up for the week ahead. Today I made another batch of fresh Gazpacho and put a small beef roast and chicken breasts into marinades for cooking over the next couple of days.

I toss the meat and chicken into their own (as in individual) ziplock bags with either a homemade or semi-homemade marinade which includes fresh herbs out of my garden, garlic cloves peeled and sliced.

Marinades are easy. There are tons of recipes out there, or you can use a prepared one and tweak it. I like Stubb’s marinades and Pete’s Produce has their own line of marinades too which are very good, and KC Masterpiece has a couple which aren’t bad. I seem unable to use these marinades on their own, I tweak them to what I want. I never add more salt, but I might add herbs, spices, lemon juice, lime juice, fresh ginger, and so on.

We buy our meat and poultry from a local Chester County butcher who in turn buys from a lot of local farms. We use Worrell’s Butcher Shop on King Street in Malvern (Borough). You can’t beat the quality, and truthfully their prices are competitive with supermarket chains. If you have never tried them, you should. They will prepare custom freezer orders for customers too.

Since I have moved to Chester County I have made an effort to source our food locally. I love the East Goshen Farmers Market and West Chester Growers Market, but am becoming increasingly fond of Pete’s Produce on 926 because they pull in from a bunch of local farms, including for dairy products. Also on my list is Sugartown Strawberries and Strattons’ Wynnorr Farm. Also to be included in the rave category is the Phoenixville Farmers Market.

The locavore movement is continuing to grow in this country and there is more than a little truth in local food is better on so many levels. In Chester County we are lucky to have so many farms and farmers markets, so why not support the local farm economy?

Buy fresh, buy local, cook deliciously.

Thanks for stopping by!

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summer luncheon

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Today I had a very dear friend over for lunch whom I hadn’t seen in forever. One of my favorite people, she is actually a mom of one of my friends. (And I love that my friend will share her on occasion!)

I wanted to do something special so I had a lot of fun playing with Depression Glass today for my table setting. I have collected this stuff over the years at church sales and flea markets and the Smithfield Barn. The cute napkin rings are a bit of vintage fun and came from Garage Sale Chic Chester County which is now part of Home Eclective in Downingtown.)

Anyway I wanted to make a ladies who luncheon kind of lunch, so I did. I started with Kendall’s Gazpacho, and also served my twist on chicken salad and a new potato salad in a mustardy dressing.

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And yes….approximate recipes are right here:

Chicken Salad with a Twist

Boil 3 bone in chicken breasts in water and sea salt. ( when cooled, I put the broth in small containers and freeze for later use).

When chicken is cooked, allow to cool. Remove skin and bones from breasts and discard. Next chop up the chicken into bite sized pieces.

Then, chop fine: 1 medium sized or small red onion, 3 stalks of celery hearts, fresh herbs (I used dill, tarragon, basil, Italian flat leaf parsley.)

In a bowl whisk together mayonnaise to taste, olive oil, red wine vinegar, a couple dashes of Garam Masala, salt and pepper. Also add a tablespoon of orange marmalade with any peel minced fine. (For me this was easy because my friend Sara had given me homemade orange marmalade that is not dense so I was able to spoon out a tablespoon of the jelly without the peel. The olive oil and wine vinegar is not so much, about 3 tablespoons each and maybe 1/2 cup of mayonnaise. Whisk together.

Combine all in a bowl and toss in a 1/2 cup of black or white seedless raisins. Mix and chill.

 

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Roasted Potato Salad

Roast 1 1/3 pounds of small or new potatoes in a 400 degree oven with 1 head of garlic whole but topped (drizzled with olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste) for about 30 minutes give or take a few minutes.

You only want potatoes cooked and firm, not super crunchy and overly brown. I picked potatoes large enough to slice in half, did not peel them, and cooked them in a flat baking pan lined with parchment.

Meanwhile cook 4 oz of pepper coated bacon and crumble.(They have this amazing bacon at Pete’s Produce in Westtown that I used.)

Dice three stalks of celery heart stalks, 3 shallots, and one cucumber peeled and seeded. (Some people are cucumber sensitive so I have taken to scooping out the seeds as some have told me they like that better.)

Chop fine a bunch of fresh herbs- I used tarragon, chives, basil, dill, and Italian flat leaf parsley.

In a small bowl put half of the cloves on the head of roasted garlic minced, grainy mustard, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and a little mayonnaise. Whisk it together and add a little salt and pepper to taste.

Combine everything, toss, and refrigerate.

 

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