Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Bolognese, Giada's Chocolate Mouse and Other Market Recipes

Here are the recipes concocted by Jim and a troop of Girl Scouts during the Slow Food Central New Jersey  Farmers Market.

Bolognese Sauce
You might want to wipe the mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Do not rinse – mushrooms soak up water like a sponge.
2 lbs Davidson's or Shibumi Farms wild mushroom mix
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, peeled and chopped
5 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon chili pepper flakes
1 package (about 1 lb) Beechtree Farm pork sausage
2 Lbs WoodsEdge Wool Farm ground beef
1 can (28 oz) plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 cups beef stock or 1 cup stock + 1 cup red wine
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pint Fulper Family Farmstead fresh ricotta
2 lbs dried pasta (the girls chose penne)

Chop mushrooms. Saute over high heat in small batches with two tablespoons of the olive oil and a little salt. The liquid released from the mushrooms should have enough room in the pan to evaporate and let the mushrooms develop a golden-brown color. Set aside.

Heat up the remaining oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and some salt, and saute for about five minutes until the onion is translucent.  Then add carrots, garlic, chili flakes and a little salt. Cook for another five minutes.

Add the sausage and ground beef. Cook, breaking down the lumps with a fork, until the meat is cooked through. Add tomatoes, olive oil and stock. Add salt and pepper to taste (not too much, the sauce will reduce and intensify). Reduce the heat and simmer for twenty minutes to - better yet - an hour.

Add sauteed mushroom and stir until heated through. Serve or refrigerate. The sauce tastes even better the next day. If you make it ahead of time reheat on a low heat while the pasta is cooking. Just before serving take the sauce off the heat and mix in the ricotta.

Cook pasta according to package instructions. When the pasta is cooked mix with bolognese.

Green Salad with Tre Piani Fresh Mozzarella and Bobolink Dairy and Bakehouse Croutons
Bobolink garlic croutons (recipe below)
1 ball freshly made mozzarella (the girls used Tre Piani’s housemade mozzarella. You can get great local mozzarella from Fulper Farms)
Mixed greens (the girls used the Tre Piani blend. You can get local mixed greens from Blue Moon Acres Farm)
Fruity extra virgin olive oil
High quality natural coarse salt (such as Maldon, Himalayan red salt or fleur de sel) and freshly ground black pepper.

Toss the greens with a little olive oil to coat lightly.
Mound on individual plates.
Arrange the tomatoes and mozzarella artfully on the greens. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Top the mozzarella with some croutons and serve. 

Bobolink Garlic Croutons
1 crusty loaf of Bobolink bread, cut into bite-size pieces
2 cloves garlic, chopped very finely
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil and garlic. Cook for one minute, stirring. Add bread cubes, and toss to coat. Spread on a baking sheet.
Bake for fifteen minutes, or until crisp and dry. Check frequently to prevent burning. Cool.

The girls brought a yummy chocolate-avocado mousse made from a Giada de Laurentiis recipe. Apparently Apparently one of the dads discovered it on the Internet. You can find the recipe here: http://www.giadadelaurentiis.com/recipes/997/chocolate-avocado-mousse

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Farms and Recipes at The Slow Food Farmers Market

Slow Food’s “Eat Slow” Winter Farmers Market is back this Sunday at Tre Piani. As always there will be a beautiful gathering of families, food enthusiasts, farmers, artisans and even musicians.

Our friends Chris Cirkus and Beth Feehan, the manager and co-founder (respectively) of the West Windsor Farmers Market  (
also co-leaders of Slow Food Central New Jersey) have put together an impressive roster of vendors. The atmosphere will be soothed by live music played  by Trumpeter John Henry Goldman and the Straight Jazz Quartet.

How many farmers markets do you know that have a bar? This one does, being located inside a restaurant. Beside wine and other beverages we will be offering delectable lunch fare such as fresh, market-driven soups, panini or Cape May salt oysters. Jim's book, Locavore Adventures will be offered at a special price for market goers.

The event takes place on Sunday, 2/24 11am -3pm. $2 suggested donation to benefit  Slow Food Central New Jersey. Please call 609 577-5113 for more information.

Here is a little about each of the vendors:

Bobolink Dairy and Bake House:
Wild local yeasts are responsible for the unique taste and aromas of both cheeses and the breads from Bobolink Farm. The cheeses are made with milk from a herd of cows that graze on native grass. The breads are made with heirloom wheat varieties. These varieties are tender and nutty and said to be easier on the stomach than the high-gluten variety.

Beech Tree Farm: succulent meat from lush grass pastures, lovingly tended by Lucia and Charlie Huebner. Lucia and Charlie are presently very busy with baby goats and calves at the farm. You can watch all those cute pictures and videos on their facebook page.

Jammin’ Crepes
One of the most original, cheerful & delicious businesses in our local food community. They started as a crêpe stand with an ever-changing menu that highlights local ingredients at their peak of freshness. Recently they expanded their line of products to include dry crêpe mix, pickles, lemon curd and jams to complement their crêpes.

Pure Indian Foods
Sandeep Agarwal, the owner of Pure Indian Foods was a Wall Street executive before he decided to pursue his family trade of five generations - making ghee (Indian clarified butter). Ghee made with raw pastured raw milk is extremely nutritious and utterly delicious. Recently they added a line of ghee made with cultured milk.

Birds and Bees Farm
Allergy season is right around the corner. Prepare yourself with raw local honey that may ease seasonal allergies. This farm also features varietal honey from around the country, combed honey, and specialty items that make unique gifts.

Cherry Grove Farm
Cherry Grove Farm’s 230 acres of organic pasture dotted with cute brown Jersey cows is an oasis in the middle of suburban Jersey (the farm is located in Lawrenceville). Their grass-fed, raw milk, award nominated cheeses have become a local source of pride and joy. They will also have some whey-fed Berkshire pork. Check out Jim's Berkshire Pork recipe.

Davidson’s Exotic Mushrooms
Exotic mushrooms from Pennsylvania? Yes it’s possible, come and see for yourself. The farm has pretty much no online presence to link to but here is a short interview presented by the Princeton Farmers Market.

Donna and Company
What a better chocolatier than one who has a “commitment to the Slow Food Philosophy...
In keeping with Diane’s [the owner]  affiliation with the Slow Foods movement, her chocolates are made with locally sourced ingredients when available, and use no artificial preservatives.” And may I add - these chocolates are oh-so-delicious!

Fulper Dairy Farm
For more than a century, Fulper family farm has been producing some of New Jersey’s highest quality milk. They did it with the help of generations of cow families the Fulpers have cared for. Earlier this year, the farm introduced fresh dairy products such as Greek yogurt, yogurt, mozzarella, and ricotta cheese. All are made with natural ingredients and without artificial preservatives, additives, or sweeteners. Check them out at the market.

Funni Bonz
In 2005, two best friends from New Jersey started their quest to make the tastiest ribs and wings on the planet. After three years of trying they finally decided that they nailed it, and FunniBonz was born. The result, finger licking sauces, rubs, and marinades are perfect with all the meat you will buy at the market...

Happy Wanderer Bakery
This Trenton homestyle bakery offers American classics such as seasonal pies, chocolate chips cookies, brownies and cakes. A great finale for a farmers market-driven meal.

Hopewell Valley Vineyards
A taste of New Jersey in a glass. Blending Old World flair with New World style, the Neri family of Hopewell Valley Vineyards brings three generations of Tuscan wine making experience to the beautiful Hopewell Valley and to the Slow Food Farmers Market.

Judith’s Desserts Boutique
The bakers at Judith's Dessert Boutique have been preparing from scratch delectable treats in for years. This Lawrecneville  Bakery use only fresh, all-natural ingredients in everything they make. This commitment is evident in their pastries, cookies, cakes and everything sweet the heart desires.

Rocky Brook Farm
Farm-fresh egg (real ones) are the perfect culinary creation. Rich, flavorful, delicate yet balanced. Get yours from this small, Pennington based farm.

Shibumi Farms Mushrooms
Alan Kaufman, an ex-Wall Street guy turned mushroom farmer grows a superb variety of meaty, intensely flavored mushrooms. You won’t believe how good a mushroom can be. Try them in this recipe.

Valley Shepherd Creamery.
Intense, herbaceous sheep’s milk cheeses aged in natural caves in North Jersey.
They will also have some lamb meat.
Here is a recipe created especially for the farm’s manchego-style cheese.
Tuna and Manchego Cheese Skewers (from Locavore Adventures)
½ pound sushi grade tuna cut into bite size cubes
½ pound Manchego Cheese cut into same size cubes
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. chopped parsley
¼ tsp. lemon zest
toothpicks or small skewers

Skewer the tuna and cheese on the toothpicks, I do a piece of tuna, then the cheese and another piece of tuna. Place the skewered picks in a single layer in a non-reactive container, glass or ceramic work best. Mix all the other ingredients and pour over the skewers, let marinate at least
1 hour or overnight. Serve slightly chilled.

WoodsEdge Wools Farm
Cozy, beautiful scarves, sweaters, hats, toys and other items made with llama and alpaca wool. WoodsEdge Wools Farm has one of the largest herds of suri llamas in the world; In  addition to wool products, they often bring to the market a cooler with yak and llama meat. If you want to know how to cook those meats, read Pat Tanner’s entertaining piece.

Friday, February 15, 2013

A Local Wild Mushrooms and Mascarpone Recipe

We're going to have two wonderful mushroom farmers at The Slow Food Central New Jersey Farmers Market on Sunday, 2/24: Davidson’s Exotic Mushrooms and Sibumi Farm
To celebrate our local farms as well as the winter weather (while it lasts) try this recipe. It marries the meaty intensity of wild mushrooms with the silky creaminess of a good mascarpone.

Pappardelle with Local Wild Mushrooms and Mascarpone Cheese

Serves four
1 pound pappardelle pasta
4 cloves garlic
½ cup Extra Virgin olive oil
½-3/4 pound mascarpone cheese
2 cups mixed sliced wild mushrooms, such as portabellos, shitakes, oyster mushrooms, morels etc.
2 tbsp. minced fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, tarragon, parsley and sage
¼ cup fresh grated Parmigiano cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a boil. Cook the pasta according the the directions on the package.

In te meantime, In a large skillet, combine oil and garlic, let cook until garlic is golden brown. Add the mushrooms and let cook while stirring every now and then.  Let the mushrooms cook through. Season with salt and pepper and ½ of the herbs. Add the mascarpone to the mushroom mix and remove from heat. Let the cheese melt in while stirring.

Add strained pasta to the sauce. Toss in the parmigiano cheese and remaining herbs check for seasonings and serve immediately.