Saturday, August 21, 2010

Fresh from the Farm dinner

Saturday is market day for me; that is to say, the local Farmers Market. I am a happy locavore, which means I prefer to eat only local and in-season foods and I give preference to organically grown foods produced without pesticides, hormones, or genetically modified organisms. So I shop every Saturday at my local farmers market, where I know my farmers by name and rate them among my friends. One of the many benefits of eating locally produced food is that it simply tastes much better. I am in earnest here, it really does taste better. Your food is fresher and at it's peak; it has not sat on a shelf for weeks, it has no preservatives, it is fresh and straight from the earth in which it was grown.

If you have never tried a farmers market before, I highly recommend that you start now. And those of us in the Portland Metro area haven't any excuses; there are farmers markets in nearly every city every week. Find the one closest to you and go!

Tonight, I made dinner in about 30 minutes using fresh from my garden and just bought today ingredients. It was as tasty and delicious as anything you would order at a fancy restaurant. A whole lot cheaper too.

This menu requires a specialty item that I realize most of you will not have: Apricot Ginger Chutney. An Oregon City Farmers Market vendor, Diana's Delights, makes this wonderful chutney with apricots, oranges, fresh ginger, golden raisins, onions, garlic, coriander and sugar. It's amazing. You can easily substitute: use apricot jam mixed with some fresh minced onions and garlic, then add coriander and ground ginger.

Tonight's dinner: 
Golden Spiced Rib Chops
Haricot Verts
Sweet Corn

Pork Chops:
Bone-in rib chops or boneless loin chops, thawed
rubbed sage
salt & pepper
Apricot Ginger Chutney

Turn oven to broil. Rub in with your hands a sprinkle or two of sage, salt and pepper onto both sides of chops. Place chops on a broiler pan. Put in oven, 4 inches from the heat and broil for 15 minutes, turning chops every 5 minutes. Spread chops with the apricot ginger chutney and broil for 5 minutes more. Pork is done when it reaches 150°-160°.

Haricot Verts (pronounced ar-ee-co verz):
1 lb haricot verts, slender french green beans
2 Tbsp butter
1 large shallot, minced
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
red wine vinegar

Boil green beans for 3 minutes. Green beans will be crisp-tender. If you like your green beans more tender, you may boil for up to 5 minutes, but no longer or you'll have a goopy mess. Drain and set aside. In the same pot over med-high heat, melt butter. Add shallot and garlic. Saute, stirring until garlic is golden and shallots are tender, about 1-2 minutes. Add green beans and toss around in pot for 1 minute. Add a splash or two of red wine vinegar, it will deglaze the pot and add wonderful flavor.

Sweet Corn:
Fresh ears of corn (best the day you've bought them)

In a large pot, half fill with water. Shuck the corn, removing husk and silk strands. Drop into the pot of cold water. Bring to a boil on high heat. Cover with a lid, turn off heat and let stand 10 minutes.

1 comment: