a whole new experience…

I went to my farmers’ market…the same farmers’ market I’ve been going to for twenty years.  It was a whole new experience.

The normal opening of the Collingswood (NJ) Farmers’ Market is quite exciting.  Balloons.  Music.  People.  Strawberries.  Asparagus.  Coffee.  Donuts.  Fun!

This year we are “flattening the curve” of the global pandemic caused by the virus COVID-19.  We cannot gather in groups.  We must wear masks.  We do not touch.  No welcoming handshakes at the market.

In an effort to allow farmers to sell their fresh fruits and vegetables to those of us who need and love those same fruits and vegetables, the powers that be who run this best of all markets have come up with a plan.  I don’t know how they did it.  Zoom meetings….distanced meetings…many phone calls perhaps.  Maybe all of the above.  But they did it!IMG_1132

There is a new location not far from the actual Collingswood Farmers Market.  And there are rules.  Lots of rules.  But good rules…well thought out, well planned, and necessary rules.

There are four days on which four to five different farmers space themselves across a large parking lot and we shoppers drive through a labyrinth and stop at our farmers, trunks open, to collect our Jersey Fresh gems.IMG_1131

The first thing I had to do was go to the market’s website and follow the links to the calendar and shopping.  I chose my farmers, placed and paid for my choices online, and waited for Saturday morning (other markets are Wednesday morning, Friday morning, and Saturday afternoon…different farmers, different days).
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When we arrived at the market we were asked our name and given a sign for our windshield.  The sign is prominently displayed so the farmers can see who is next and can prepare the delivery.  We used our truck so our purchased were placed in the bed.  If you don’t have a truck your purchases are placed in your open car trunk.  That’s it.  No contact.IMG_1151

Easy peasy…with a little effort.

I was going to blog about the first strawberries of the year.  I was going to give you a recipe for Strawberry Muffins.  And I am.  But I didn’t make them.  You can if you want to.

I never thought in early March when I stopped leaving my house because I was committed to not being exposed to the virus, to not getting the virus, to “flattening the curve” that I wold still be home in the middle of May.  I did not think the Farmers’ Market would not open as it normally did.

There are new ways of doing things.  I wait longer for things.  I plan weeks in advance.  And I wait.  I’ve cooked every meal for months.  But I’ve rediscovered the books, music, and movies that are in my house.  And I’ve rediscovered the joy of staying home.

So, after picking up my orders from the market, I decided not to do anything to my perfect strawberries but eat them. I know that this bizarre time will come to an end eventually.  Things will be different, absolutely.  But fresh, new strawberries will still and always smell and taste the same.  Happy and delicious.

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“Life is not shrinking me; it’s morphing into a whole new world of possibilities”.
–Peyton Manning

 

 

 

Strawberry Muffins

Makes 12 large

 

Ingredients:

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

6 teaspoons sugar

1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries

2 eggs

1/2 – 1 cup unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 cup of the sugar in a medium bowl.
  3. Toss in strawberries, set aside.
  4. Beat together eggs, butter, milk, and vanilla in a small bowl.
  5. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients; stir until just combined.
  6. Spoon batter into muffin tins lined with paper.
  7. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of sugar on top of each muffin.
  8. Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffin comes out clean.

Savory bread pudding with leeks and mushrooms

There is a new baked good vendor at our wonderful Collingswood Farmers’ Market.  They are Lost Bread Co., from across the bridge.  Every Saturday morning Eve drives her van full of interesting and delicious baked goods which she sells at the far end of the market to new and loyal customers.

A very unique feature of the products sold by lost bread is that the grains they use in the baking process are milled by Lost Bread Co. itself.

their webpage

I chose a potato bread for this recipe as it was a sour dough bread and it had potatoes in it.  They pop up in the bread like a small prize.  Hey, I got a potato!

Ingredients:

2 1/2 tablespoons butter
A one pound loaf of day old bread
2 leeks, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon of granulated garlic
3/4 pound of cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
4 eggs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup Gruyere cheese (I used Conestoga cheese from Hillacres Pride)
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh parsley

Directions:

1. Grease a 2 quart baking dish with 1/2 tablespoon butter.
2. Cut bread into 1 inch cubes (about 6 cups of bread cubes).


3.  Melt 1 Tablespoon butter in a large frying pan over medium heat.  Add leeks and cook until they begin to soften (about 8 minutes).  Add mushrooms, garlic, salt, pepper and remaining 1 Tablespoon of butter stirring occasionally until the mushrooms start to soften (about 10 minutes).


4.  Toss together the bread and mushroom/leek mixture and transfer to the prepared casserole dish.


5.  Whisk together the cream, thyme, parsley, and cheeses.  Pour over the bread mixture.


6.  Chill and cover at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
*7.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. (see #9)
8.  Uncover the bread pudding and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
9.  DO NOT PUT A CERAMIC OR GLASS CASSEROLE COLD FROM THE REFRIGERATOR INTO A HOT OVEN!!!!  I put the cold dish into a cold oven and then start the preheat…with the casserole in the oven so they can heat up together.
10.  Bake until the top begins to brown…about 40 minutes.  Serve.

 

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Bread from Lost Bread Co.
Cheese and eggs from Hillacres Pride
Leeks from Flaim and Formisano Farms
Fresh herbs from Flaim Farm
Mushrooms from Davidson’s Exotic Mushrooms

Iced applesauce cake

It’s apple time!

There are many tempting varieties of very tasty apples available nearly everywhere. But especially at my local farmers’ market.

I prefer a crisp tart apple.  But all apples are good.  This week I made a huge pot of applesauce using a variety of apples including Honey Crisp, Stayman Winesap, Red Delicious, and Autumn Crisp.

Here is a link to my applesauce recipe….The boss.  All you add is a little water on the bottom of the pot to start the process.

Ingredients for the cake:

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened (sweet, not salted)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup milk

 

Directions for the cake: 
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
2.  Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray or butter
3.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon
4. In another large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.
5.  Then add the eggs and vanilla and beat until incorporated.
6.  Add dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture and beat until just combined
7.  Add applesauce and milk and beat until just combined.
8.  Place in a preheated 350 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 25 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Adding applesauce to a cake is a good way to cut out some of the fat in a recipe.  It also makes the cake very moist.  If you use purchased applesauce be sure to buy unsweetened for use here.

When the cake has cooled, it can be iced using this recipe for buttercream icing.   Butter cream icing   I added a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to the icing.

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Fried apple slices

This recipe is so simple and so easy I know you’ve already thought of it!

Fried apple slices are a quick and delicious side dish to chicken or pork cutlets.  And they are a fabulous addition to those weekend pancakes.

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Recipe for pancake batter.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
3 Tablespoons melted butter

Directions:

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.  Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg, and melted butter.  Mix until smooth.

Heat a frying pan over medium high heat.  Add some butter to the pan to prevent the pancakes from sticking.  Measure approximately 1/4 cup of the batter per pancake and pour onto a medium hot pan.  Wait for the bubbles.  When the entire pancake is bubbles…flip.  Leave a minute or two.  Done.

 

Recipe for fried apple slices.

Ingredients:

apples
butter
cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Wash, peel, and thinly slice apples.
  2. Melt butter in a frying pan.  Drop the apple slices in the pan with melted butter.
  3. Fry the apple slices for about 5 minutes or until they change color and become soft. Stir to keep from burning.
  4. Sprinkle with cinnamon

 

To make the apple pancakes spoon some of the fried apple slices into your medium hot frying pan.  Pour pancake batter over the apple slices.  Watch for the bubbles.  When the bubbles cover the pancake, flip.  Leave a minute of two more.  Serve with a pat of butter and maple syrup or honey.

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Delicious!IMG_0600

 

Apples from Schober Orchards and Fruitwood Farms

Butter from Hillacres Pride

 

Sous Vide

I have a new toy.  It is a sous vide immersion circulator slow cooker.  And I am having so much fun!

What is a sous vide immersion circulator?  It is a special kitchen appliance that regulates water to an exact temperature for a  set amount of time.  The water is preheated in a large pot or container.  The selected food is placed in a plastic bag and submerged to press the air out of the bag (or vacuum sealed if you have such a machine…and I do!) so the meat or food being cooked under water.  The food is cooked in the circulating hot water bath for the specific time. The reason for the success of this method of cooking is that the temperature will never go higher than set. Afterward, a quick sear on a hot pan or grill is recommended for extra flavor and texture, since this method of cooking will not brown the meat.

In the two weeks that I’ve had this new gadget I have sous vide six different items that were all purchased at my favorite Collingswood Farmers’ Market.  And all were great successes!

The first food sous vide was poached eggs.  The water container was filled ( a 12 quart clear plastic food storage container…. stainless steel pots get very hot) to the fill line on the circulator and the temperature was set to 167 degrees Fahrenheit.  I wanted a poached egg with the white and yolk more solid than loose liquid.  Now the directions I read said to drop the egg into the water.  I did not.  All I could imagine was the shell cracking and my brand new machine sucking up the egg that escaped into the water and fouling the motor.  So two eggs in a zippered food grade plastic freezer bag and were  put it into the circulating water and then clipped  to the side of the container.  13 minutes later I had two perfect poached eggs in their shell.  A little hot to handle but so worth it!IMG_0409

Poached egg >167 degrees Fahrenheit for 13 minutes.

Potatoes…yes,  potatoes.  The potatoes were scrubbed but not peeled and cut into similar sized pieces for even cooking.   The water temperature was set to 194 degrees Fahrenheit.  When the temperature hit 194 degrees the bags of potatoes were submerged, sealed, clipped to the side, and left them in the water for one hour.  In one hour the bags of potatoes were cooked.  Some melted butter and olive oil in a hot frying pan produced lovely, crispy potatoes.  Sprinkled with a little salt and made them the perfect side to a burger.  HINT:  At the start the potatoes wouldn’t sink…they floated.  I found this hint that really worked….drop a couple of heavy stainless steel spoons into the bottom of the bag of potatoes.  The weight of the spoons keeps them under the circulating water.

Potatoes > 194 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hours.

Did someone say burger?  Patties of ground beef that are at least 1/3 of a pound were put in bags and submerged in water that has been heated to 137 degrees Fahrenheit and left there for 1 hour.  Perfectly medium rare.  Out of the sous vide, the burgers were fried  in a hot skillet for one minute on the first side, then flipped, and topped with American cheese.  Delicious!

1/3 of a pound beef burgers (medium well) > 137 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour

 

Burgers and fried potatoes are easy and homey.  But husband and I were aiming for more sophisticated dinners.  Three nights in a row we were delighted with our meals.

First we did boneless pork chops.  The water was heated to 145 degrees Fahrenheit and the chops were bagged with some fresh thyme and put in the circulating water for one hour. A quick sauce of some mushrooms fried in butter and finished with a teaspoon of mustard and about 1/4 cup of cream finished the dish.  Wow!

 1 inch thick boneless pork chops > 145 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour

Next we did beef filet mignon.  I put a dot of butter (grass fed meat loves butter…oil, not so much) and some salt with the beef.  I Closed the bag (making sure there was no air to keep it above the water), and submerged the bags for 1 hour at 136 degrees Fahrenheit.  I finished the beef by searing it in a very hot pan for 1 minute per side.  Fork tender and delicious!IMG_0398

1 to 1 1/2 inch thick beef filet mignon (medium rare)  > 136 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour

Finally.  It was boneless chicken cutlet time.  We all love them and we all know they can so easily be overcooked and dry.  Not so when you sous vide.  I buy my chicken cutlets from Hillacres Pride (as I did all of the meat discussed in this post…and the eggs).  The meat comes frozen and sealed in a bag.  I simply heated the water in the container to 146 degrees Fahrenheit), took the label off the pouch, and dropped the chicken into the water.  The bag was clipped to the side of the plastic container and cooked for 2 hours.  Because I did not remove the chicken from the plastic bag the cutlet was about 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick thus the need for a two hour cook.  When I pound the chicken to an even 1/2 to 1 inch thickness, one hour in the water is enough.

1 1/2 inch thick boneless chicken breast > 146 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 hours. (one hour if cutlets are pounded to an inch or less)

All of the meats were thawed.  All of the meats were bagged in food safe freezer bags with the air pressed out of them.  All of the bags were submerged for a specific time in specific temperature water.  All of the bags were clipped to the side of the water container.  And all of the meat was cooked properly, hot, moist, and delicious!

My sous vide immersion circulator slow cooker is the best thing I’ve purchased for my kitchen in a long time. 

In the words of Ferris Bueller….

” If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up”.iu

All foods mentioned in the post were purchased at the Collingswood Farmers’ Market in Collingswood NJ.

Potatoes = Savoie Organic Farm 

Eggs, beef burgers, beef filet mignon, boneless chicken breast cutlets, boneless pork chops. = Hillacres Pride

 

Mashed potatoes and mashed potato pancakes.

It is September and vegetables at the farmers’ market are changing.  Potatoes are plentiful.  I buy my potatoes from an organic farmer who grows several varieties.  My mother bought potatoes.  That’s it…potatoes. In a bag.  Potatoes.  Plain old potatoes.  I have discovered that there are many types of potatoes and they are used for different purposes.  And the right potatoes for the right recipe really do make a difference.

This is a simple set of recipes that uses potatoes to make comforting food that can be a side dish or the whole meal!IMG_0355

Mashed potatoes.

Ingredients: potatoes, butter, salt, parsley (fresh or dried). (Olive oil is a good substitute for those avoiding dairy).

Directions:

Peel the potatoes and cut them into similarly sized pieces so they will all cook at the same speed.

 

Bring a pot of water to the boil.  Carefully drop the sliced and chunked potatoes into the boiling water.  Be careful not to splash! IMG_0359Boil the potatoes for about 15 minutes or until a knife easier goes through. (If they start to boil furiously and threaten to spill over the edge of the pot, lower the heat).  Drain.  Mash with a potato masher, a potato ricer, or a big fork…do not use an electric mixer.

 

Drop in butter in pieces (about 4 to 6 ounces total).  Sprinkle with salt.  Add dried or fresh parsley, mix, done, serve.

 

 

“Nothing like mashed potatoes when you’re feeling blue.  Nothing like getting into bed with a bowl of hot mashed potatoes already loaded with butter, and methodically adding a thin, cold slice of butter to every forkful”.  Nora Ephron

 

I love these.  I could eat them every day.

Mashed potato pancakes.

Heat some butter on medium high heat in a large frying pan.  Take a large spoonful of specially prepared or leftover mashed potatoes and make a patty.  Drop the patty into a pile of panko crumbs.  Press gently.  Flip.   Press again.  Put the patty in the frying pan in the melted butter.  Do not touch, flip, or poke at the pancake for at least five minutes.  Slide a thin spatula under the potato cake and flip quickly.  Again…leave alone for five more minutes.  The potatoes are already cooked, we are just crisping the outside.

 

IMG_0372When the cakes have browned on both sides, remove from the frying pan to a plate, top with sour cream and devour.  Luxury!IMG_0382

In preparing this recipe to get photos I served them to my husband who is 100% Irish (yes, we did the DNA…100% second generation) and says he doesn’t like potatoes.  He had seconds of these!

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Where to get the ingredients at the Collingswood Farmers’ Market:

Potatoes:  Savoie Organic Farm (Ask them about their potatoes…they will sell you the right ones for this or any recipe), Flaim Farm, Formisano Farm, Muth Organic Family Farm.

Butter: Hillacres Pride (simply the best….unsalted)

 

Charlie’s Crepes

As a child I ate crepes for dinner on Friday nights.  Way back then Catholics could not eat meat on any Friday.  My mother’s Friday meal was often palicinke (or crepes…her family was from Czechoslovakia) and tomato soup, from a can.  I have fond memories of that meal despite it’s odd combination.  The palicinke were simply filled with prune lekvar.  Absolutely delicious! A deep and comforting memory of dark, cold evenings around the table.  My mother would make a pile of the thin pancake-like delicacies and we were in charge of spreading the prune lekvar and rolling them up for ourselves.

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Over the past few years there has been a crepe maker in a food truck at the Collingswood Farmers’ Market. Charlie’s Crepes.  He works in a tiny food truck and hungry shoppers line up to breakfast on the parking lot.  There’s a table with a cover where you can sit and eat family style.  He’s there every Saturday from 8AM to noon….regardless of the weather.

For the past several weeks here the temperatures have felt in triple digits with high summer heat and humidity.  And yet, Charlie continues to make his delicious filled crepes from eight to noon.  While I am always tempted by his offerings, quite honestly, it’s been too hot for me!

Luckily, Charlie has his brick and mortar shop in the town in which I live, Merchantville.  So yesterday I saw the OPEN sign and stopped in.  The store is wonderful.  Sparkling clean and lots of interesting design elements.  The coolest ceiling fans I’ve ever seen (pun intended)!  But most intriguing are the menu boards.

Charlie explained to me that one menu board is the “regular” stuff (which changes seasonally as Charlie works with local farmers for the choicest produce) and the other board is the “special” stuff.68983188_1124517434416360_2087988584194768896_o

 

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As we chatted, he’s a really nice man, I made the decision to buy two savory crepes and two dessert crepes. While I was alone for lunch, I knew I would have to share when I got home.

I watched the master at work and saw the crepes being made (I always sacrifice the first crepe to the garbage when I make them).  Lovely to watch.  Charlie told me that he mixes up a large fresh container of batter and can tell when it is the correct consistency by the sound it makes while he’s mixing!  And he never loses one.

The first crepe was Charlie’s Chicken described as “slow braised chicken served on an Asiago spinach crepe with basil caper cream sauce”.  Ooh la la.  The chicken was moist and tender, the sauce delicate and complimentary.  Perfect! IMG_0281

Next I tried Charlie’s “Angel” which is “spinach and asiago with two poached eggs and a caper butter cream sauce”.  Delicious! Poached eggs made a perfect combination with the other ingredients.  (This crepe is only available for breakfast and lunch).IMG_0280

Charlie’s Crepes does make buckwheat batter for those concerned about gluten but he suggests you call ahead to make sure he has it fresh for you.  Also, he is always willing to accommodate your tastes when making a crepe for you.  Talk to him.  Like I said a very nice man with great food in a very nice restaurant.  

While I ate we talked.  He says this summer has been extremely hot and uncomfortable in his little food truck but he loves making crepes and loves the people who come out to the Collingswood Farmers’ Market.  The crepe fillings are made with Buck Wild Bison, Hillacres Pride Bacon, Schoeber’s peaches and apples, Viereck’s tomatoes, Savoie’s potatoes, Davidson’s mushrooms…to list a few.  And Revolution Coffee’s special Charlie’s Blend.

Then it was time for dessert!  I ordered the Banana with Nutella Sauce and whipped cream (which he makes himself)!  And the Schober Orchards Caramel Apple Pie with homemade oat crumble and whipped cream.  The best!  Next time I’m going to bring some ice cream to top mine.  (…Charlie allows BYOB and BYOIC).IMG_0283

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Both desserts were superb and exactly as advertised.

When I asked Charlie what he wanted me to say to the Collingswood Farmers’ Market blog readers and others he became surprisingly shy.  He wants people to know that he loves to cook, he loves to make crepes, his wife, Lisa, helps by making the sauces, he loves his regular customers both at the market and in the Merchantville store, and he wants to make everyone feel friendly, at home, comfortable. 31357600_10156333429522378_7150832785031168000_n

He has limited inside eating space and bigger outside eating space on a patio covered by a pergola and surrounded by soft green grass, and games…like giant Jenga.  Very child friendly.  

Charlies cooks in his food truck every Saturday morning at the Collingswood Farmers’ Market.  He’s in the middle of the market.  You can’t miss his silver food truck kitchen with the table next to it.  He’s there from 8am to noon. The rest of the week he’s at his store in Merchantville.  If you’re coming from Collingswood, turn left at “That Donut Store” on Haddon Avenue, go north on Cuthbert Boulevard past the Courier Post building ( keep the Courier Post on your right and Camden Catholic High School on your left) until you dead end into Centre Street /Chapel Avenue in Merchantville (about a 5 minute ride)…and Charlie’s Crepes is in that shopping center.  Charlie will be happy to see you and make you feel more than welcome…and  then he’ll feed you delicious and comforting food in the form of crepes. Lots of free parking too!

For a number of years my two adult daughters and I would brunch on Sundays.  Not every, but at least once a month.  We like to eat local.  Our Sunday brunch spots have all stopped serving brunch…except Charlie’s Crepes.  We’ll be going there soon and often!

And as for palicinke…I think I’ll let Charlie handle those for me.  Maybe I’ll even bring my own lekvar.IMG_0285

Charlie’s Crepes

117 S. Centre Street

Merchantville NJ

856-320-9511

Hours at the market:  8AM to noon Every Saturday

Hours at the store:  9:30AM to 1PM, 4:30PM to 8PM

Eat in, eat out, pick up for take out.

Marinated eggplant

Deep summer is when eggplant is everywhere at the market.  All kinds.  Sicilian.  Japanese.  Purple.  White.  Striped.IMG_0227

Usually eggplant is turned into a large heavy casserole of breaded and fried eggplant slices smothered with tomato sauce and melted cheese.  And there is nothing wrong with that.  Extremely delicious!  And a lot of work!  This summer has been hot and humid followed by hotter and more humid followed by oppressive.

Here’s a simple recipe for marinated eggplant that takes little effort and produces a light and delicious side dish or salad ingredient that will last for several days.

First choose some lovely eggplants.  I like to peel them but they don’t have to be.  Next slice and salt.  Slicing and sprinkling with salt and draining in a colander will take the bitterness out of the eggplant.  Some are not bitter at all but for this recipe I de-bitter them all.  Sicilian eggplant are round and fat and are quite sweet.  Japanese eggplant are long and thin and are also sweet.

Let the salted eggplant slices sweat off their juice for about an hour.   Rinse them.  Dry them. (The yellow bowl shows the juice that drained out of the eggplant slices).

 

Fry the dried slices in olive oil.  Eggplant slices soak up oil like sponges so be careful.  You do not want too much oil.  Drain the fried eggplant slices on a paper towels.  Allow to cool slightly.

While the eggplant slices are cooling, mix the marinade.  Use 4 parts olive oil to 1 part vinegar.  I used extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar.  But you can mix what you prefer. Then add a Tablespoon of dried or 2 Tablespoons of fresh herbs.  I used a mixture of basil, oregano, garlic, parsley, thyme.  But,  here again, you can be creative and use what herbs you like best. IMG_0250

When the eggplant slices are no longer hot, put them in a container and pour the marinade over them.  Cover and refrigerate.  Periodically turn the slices so they are all covered some of the time.  These will last about a week in the refrigerator.

 

These marinated slices of eggplant are delicious with sliced fresh tomatoes on a roll.  They are delicious and make an elegant lunch or late dinner on a platter with tomatoes, salamis, cheeses, bread, olives, marinated artichokes, etc.  And, of course, they are wonderful eaten at the open refrigerator and eaten with a fork.

Eggplant is a wonderful treat during the hot summer and this is a simple and delicious way to enjoy it.IMG_0258

 

 

Eggplant is everywhere….Springdale Farms, Flaim Farms, Buzby Farm, Savoie Organic Farm, Muth Family Organic Farm, Vireck Farm, Formisano Farm, Fruitwood Farm!

Extra Virgin Olive Oil = Villa Barone

Fresh herbs – Flaim Farm, Formisano Farm

Out of this world chicken meatballs.

My grandson, who is five, made these and ATE them!  That is proof positive that these meatballs are mighty marvelous!  When trying a new food my grandson will either say “no thank you” or “it’s a little good”.  These meatballs got a thumbs up and were requested to be made again for supper.

This recipe is full of fresh seasonal ingredients.  It makes 12 to 14 meatballs baked on a tray.  While younger palates like the meatballs on their own…I think the addition of a pesto mayonnaise would be delightful.    That would be just some mayonnaise mixed with basil pesto in a bowl.  Measurements to your taste.

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Ingredients:

1/4 teaspoon of granulated garlic (that’s the children’s version)…two cloves of diced/smashed garlic paste for an all adult party.

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves sliced very thin

1 large zucchini, grated

1 large ear of fresh corn cut off the cob

1 egg

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs

1 pound ground chicken

 

Directions:

  1.  Finely mince the basil.
  2. Grate the zucchini
  3. Add the garlic and basil to the zucchini
  4. Add the corn
  5. Break the egg in a bowl and whisk until smooth
  6. Add the egg, salt and pepper to th zucchini
  7. Add the parmesan, bread crumbs, and ground chicken
  8. Mix all ingredients together
  9. Form 1/4 cup scoops into meatballs
  10. Place on a lied baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.IMG_7321IMG_7323

 

Ground chicken from Hillacres Pride (did you know they sell that?…..they do now!!)

Eggs from Hillacres Pride

Basil from Flaim or Formisano Farms

Zucchini from A. T. Buzby, or Viereck Farm, or Muth Organic Farm, or Springdale Farm, or Savoie Organic Farm, or Fruitwood Farms.

Corn from A.T. Buzby, Echert’s, or Muth Organic Farm,

Parmesan cheese from Villa Barone

 

Quick and easy zucchini bread.

A while back I blogged a recipe for “Z” bread.  It is a wonderful recipe.  But it is a big recipe.  Big loaf.  Big work.  This is an easy and quick recipe.  Two bowls, a spoon, and a loaf pan.  Easy.

The bread is delicious.  Bakes well.  Looks nice.  Tastes great.  And uses up a couple of zucchini.  I choose to use small to medium specimens for this recipe.  The GIANT zucchini that hide in your garden until you trip over them or the ones that get left on your front porch in the middle of the night are not really good for this recipe.

 

Ingredients:

3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 cups grated, unpeeled zucchini (about two medium…I use the small grater holes)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

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Directions:
1.  Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan.

2.  Combine the eggs, oil, and sugar in a large bowl and mix until well combined.  Stir in the zucchini.  (You could add walnuts, raisins, and/or chocolate chips at this point).IMG_0196

3.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and stir well.

4.  Pour the dry ingredients over the zucchini mixture and stir until well combined.

 

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5.  Pour the mixture into the loaf pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 65 to 70 minutes.  Makes one loaf.


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The longest part is the bake.  The hardest part is waiting for the bread to cool.  Delicious by itself, or spread with butter or cream cheese….while sipping a large glass of iced tea!

 

Zucchini from A. T. Buzby Farm

Eggs from Hillacres Pride