Farms Food and Photography at Longlesson Farm

April 6, 2014 § 1 Comment

Grass-fed Angus cows


Before 7am we had cameras in hand overlooking the beautiful views of Longlesson Farm. This was the second class in the series in with ASA, The Arts Center of the Capital Region, and Honest Weight Food Co-op. We photographed under the mist, walked the mud paths, and smelled Spring in upstate New York. It was a great day of food and storytelling! Melanie shared with us their journey from Staten Island to Buskirk. Her and Bob went out of their way to make us feel at home. Thank you so much for your wonderful hospitality and for sharing  your day with us. The Chuck Roast prepared by Melanie was mouthwatering (check out her recipe bellow!). I can’t wait to visit the farm in the summer to see their hundreds unique varieties of Daylilies.

I was really excited to share my family recipe for Beef Heart Stroganoff. Growing up in Brazil, I watched my mom cook delicious meal using the heart. She is very creative in the kitchen and used the protein we could afford. We ate lots of chicken and beef liver. I crave her trip soup with potatoes!

1800′s Barn





Beef Heart Stroganoff
(Estrogonofe de Coração de Vaca)
by Ellie Markovitch

1 Longlesson Farm beef heart cut into cubes
juice of one lemon
2 bay leaves
water or chicken broth
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup of roasted mushrooms
2 tablespoons of flour
3 cups of broth
1/2 cup of cream
salt and pepper to taste
Chives, chopped to serve

Trim fat from the heart, cut into cubes and rub lemon juice and let it marinate for 10 minutes
1)In a pressure cooker add heart, bay leaves and covered with water or broth by about 2 inches above the meat
2) Cook in the pressure cooker according to your pot instruction for about 30 minutes. Reserve meat and broth.
3) Meanwhile, in a saucepan cook onions for about 3 minutes, add roasted mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes
4) Stir the flour, cook for one minute
5) To the onion mushroom mixture, add the reserved cooked meat, 3 cups of broth from the cooked meat and cook for 10 minutes until thick.
6) Stir cream on low heat and cook until heated through. Sprinkle chives to taste and adjust the salt and pepper
Serve over cooked noodles

Slow Cooker Roast
served with cooked yucca




Pudim also know in other countries as crème caramel, flan, or caramel custard. It is a custard dessert with a layer of soft caramel on top

1/2 cup sugar for the caramel sauce
5 eggs
3 cups of milk (of a combo of milk and cream)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Heat oven on broiler. Add sugar to an oven safe dishes you will use to bake the Pudim. Let is caramelize, sugar will melt and until liquefied and golden in color (about 10 minutes). Watch here as it burns very fast.
Meanwhile, mix all ingredients in a blender for about 1 minute. Pour mixture into prepared, caramelized dish and pour hot water into a roasting pan within 1 inch of top of cups or the dish.
Bake the pudim, in water bath for about 1 hour, test with a knife in the center comes out clean. It will turn golden brown on top and start separating from the sides of the mold. Let it cool, refrigerate at least 4 hours
To serve, carefully invert on serving plate.

(This bellow traveled to the farm on bumpy roads, still arrived mostly in one piece!)


Pudim de Leite Condensado  (Brazilian-Style Flan)
1 cup sugar (for the caramel)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Equal volume of regular milk (use the can to measure)
3 eggs
1 8-inch ring mold or oval glass baking plate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place 1 to 2 inches of  hot water in a roasting pan and keep warm in the oven.
In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt sugar until liquefied and golden in color. (about 10 minutes).  Carefully pour hot syrup into a 9 inch round glass baking dish, turning the dish to evenly coat the bottom and sides. Set aside. (or split it into 5 ramekins for individual servings)
Combine the condensed milk, regular milk and eggs in a blender for about 5 minutes. Pour this mixture into the mold or divide the mixture among the ramekins; pour HOT water into pan within 1 inch of top of cups.
Bake the pudim, in water bath for about 1 hour, test with a knife in the center comes out clean. It will turn golden brown on top and start separating from the sides of the mold. Let it cool, refrigerate.
To serve, carefully invert on serving plate.


Farms Food and Photography at Cannon Cattle Ranch

March 27, 2014 § Leave a comment


What I love about teaching photography is taking the time with each student to answer their questions and watch them conquer steps towards using photography as their art and voice.


This Saturday, we did just that during Farms, Food and Photography class at Cannon Cattle Ranch farm. We had wonderful hosts, Matt and Peggy Cannon. Matt took us on a maple tour and Peggy shared her beautiful kitchen with us where we cooked delicious food using their maple syrup and other local produce.

These wonderful classes are possible with The Arts Center of the Capital Region teaming up with the Agricultural Stewardship Association (ASA) for this unique from farm to table program. In addition, I am very thankful Honest Weight Food Co-op sponsored 3 scholarships for the series.

The next class is April 5th at Longlesson Farm. These are participatory classes. We photograph and cook together.  Here a shot from the early hours being welcomed by white geese

1922426_10152258289966358_1427545015_nPhotos by Ellie Markovitch

We took our time enjoying the views and exploring the farm



We cooked a meal from farm to table.


Lentil soup:
French green lentils, sun dried tomatoes, onions, 3 cups water for each cup of dried lentils in crockpot for 3 hours on high. Before serving add garlic, fresh chopped turmeric, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and juice and zest of one lemon.


Salad with maple vinaigrette:
Slack Hollow Farm spinach, beets from Honest Weight Food Co-op, raw apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, salt, pepper, R&G goat cheese


Fruit Flambé with Whipped Greek Yogurt
(banana foster)

1 tbsp butter
1 banana
2 Tbsp Cannon Cattle Ranch maple syrup
1 TBSP rum
Argyle whole milk Greek Yogurt
more maple syrup

Melt butter in a skillet. Sauté bananas over low/medium heat, 1 minute on each site. Add maple syrup, vanilla and cook to caramelized for about 1 minute. Add rum wait a few seconds, then tilt the edge of the pan towards the flame and it will ignite.
Whip the yogurt, maple syrup with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes. Top the fruit flambé.

One more — class picture!



Passion Fruit Mousse

March 7, 2014 § Leave a comment

pf mousse12by Ellie Markovitch

Passion Fruit Mousse (Mousse de Maracujá)

For me this is the taste of my mom’s kitchen growing up in Brazil

pf mousse8by Ellie Markovitch
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk (homemade recipe bellow)
4 ounces of whipping cream
1/2 cup of passion fruit pulp (about 1/2 pound of fruit)
pf mousse5by Ellie Markovitch
1) Cut the passion fruit in half and scoop out the pulp into a measuring cup to obtain 1 cup of pulp.
(Save a few tablespoons of seeds to decorate the mousse)
pf mousse9by Ellie Markovitch
2) Add the pulp to the blender and pulse a few times to release the juice from the seeds

pf mousse10by Ellie Markovitch
3) Strain the juice, discard the seeds. (The juice concentrate can be frozen, specially when you find good fruit and/or good deals.)
pf mousse11by Ellie Markovitch
4) In the blender, add passion fruit juice, whipping cream and condensed milk. Blend for 2 minutes.
Pour the mixture into a large glass bowl or individual containers. Refrigerate for 4 hours.

For the sweetened condensed milk
adapted from
1 1/2 c. whole milk
1/2 sugar
1 Tbs. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix sugar and milk together in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. I used my smaller burner, stirring often to melt sugar and bring to a low simmer. I kept it cooking, uncovered, on low heat for 45 minutes checking on it every 15 minutes.
Stir in butter and vanilla and cook until it thickens (happens very fast)
It yield a bit over 1/2 cup of very thick sauce. The goal is to reduce the milk, simmer down to about half and still have a dense liquid.

pf mousse2by Ellie Markovitch

“Instant” Noodle Soup Jars

March 5, 2014 § 3 Comments

“Instant” Noodle Soup Jars

noodle soup jar5

On my quest to have some handy and portable snacks for the kids, I wanted to do a remake of “ramen noodle bowls” (minus the plastic, chemicals, and expenses (there are some all natural and organic bowls available in the market)

noodle soup jar4
I adapted our recipe from Super Healthy Kids  and some tips from my friend Kian who suggested I added seaweed and berries, which I was not sure the kids would go for, but they did! My kids love noodles and broth. Maybe they like their special bowls and chopsticks, but I just eat from the jar. I have also tried bean thread noodles and Chinese rice noodles. If you are given them as gifts and sharing with friends, I think it is pretty safe to say shelf life of about a month if you store your jars in your pantry since all ingredients are dried.
noodle soup jar1
So here what goes into each jar:
1 ounce of noodles (your choice — we love soba (buckwheat). We also like rice vermicelli and bean thread noodles
1/2 cube of vegetable bouillon with sea salt (organic without hydrogenated oils, msg, coloring, etc) Check expiration date.
1/2 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
1 tsp dried seaweed (cut small)
5 goji berries
1/8 teaspoon celery flakes or other spice combos your family may like to try
2 tablespoons of dried vegetables ( I mixed a variety pack with dried chives and dried parley in a bowl to make it easy to scoop out into the jars)

noodle soup jar3
When ready for soup, add 1 1/2 cups of boiling water, stir well, cover and wait 5-7 minutes, which works well with thin soba noodles.
It is recommended to rinse soba noodles in cold water. You can do this extra step if you are home, but I just add hot water and really enjoyed the flavors.

noodle soup jar6

Pancake Day

March 3, 2014 § 3 Comments

Happy Pancake Day or Fat Tuesday. In Brazil and many other countries, people are getting ready for 40 days of lent as they are almost done with Carnaval festivities.

When I lived in France, I looked forward to a day of eating pancakes –  some say tradition was to use all the eggs and butter in the house before lent season. Today’s post, recipe and photos comes from the Hooper family. Thank you Mary, Jillian and Phillip for sharing this great recipe. This is a delicious healthy recipe that can go into lent season without the guilt!


Korean Vegetable Pancakes (Panjun)

These Korean inspired pancakes are filled with shredded, local, colorful, seasonal vegetables, pan fried and

served with a garlicky semi sweet sesame soy dipping sauce.

We have learned some basics of Korean cooking from Camp MuJiGae, a Korean culture camp in Albany,

NY which, as Korean adoptees, we have been fortunate enough to attend since we were toddlers.

Today we are sharing this family recipe we adopted with participants of the Center for Disability Services

where we volunteer as a part of the Youth Volunteer program.


Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, one of the most adaptable, simplest, and good for all age groups

Korean recipe is Panjun, Korean pancakes.

Here is how we like this Korean comfort food:


2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 ½ tsp sea salt

1 ½ cups water

1 egg

4 cups of shredded or julienne style vegetables. (use what you like)

We used local grown vegetables purchased from the Honest Weight Food Co-Op- yellow zucchini, green

zucchini, carrots, shallots, scallions, and new potatoes.

We used a food processor to shred the vegetables.


Dipping sauce:

½ – ¾ cups low sodium soy sauce

½ cup water

2 tbs rice vinegar

2 tbs honey

2 tbs sesame oil

2 cloves minced garlic

2 tbs sesame seeds

¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

¼ cup green onions/scallions

Heat a skillet and add cooking oil or spray to coat the pan. Ladle batter into the pan and fry 4-5 minutes per

side until golden brown and crispy on both sides.

Serve warm with dipping sauce.



Makes 4 large or 8 small pancakes.

Baked Falafel

February 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

leah falafel

During a recent visit at Soul Fire Farm with Leah Penniman and Jonah Vitale-Wolff, we talked about their Black and Latino Farmers Immersion 2014 this summer and ate a delicious wholesome meal. I was so inspired and if that was not enough, I watched Leah dance around her kitchen and add a bit of this and a bit of that to her food processor as she made falafel. We talked about acarajé  and other delicious soaking legume recipes. For tonight, I adapted her recipe. The baked falafels were delicious. I served with a salad and tahini sauce. I do not like frying, and was not a bit disappointed with this baked version!

Baked Falafel
2 cups DRY chickpeas, soaked overnight, do not cook
1 onion, chopped
1/2 to 1 cup fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1 dash pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
bit of oil on the baking sheet

Tahini Sauce: 1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)
1.    Soak the chickpeas overnight. DO NOT COOK. (This is so important. Authentic falafel has no flour to bind because the soaked chickpeas bind themselves). In the morning, rinse and drain chickpeas.
2. in a food processor or blender, blend the chickpeas adding the olive oil and lemon juice (but slowly not to be too wet) until you get a nice puree.
3. add the remaining ingredients and continue blending.
4. add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
5.  scoop 3.5 inch balls and then flatten them a bit but still thick patties. (I double her size size here)
6.  put the falafel on the prepared pan and drizzle some olive oil over them. Bake on a 375F oven until golden all over, 10 to 15 minutes on each side.

If you would like to fry them, she says: heat 1 inch of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry patties in hot oil until brown on both sides.

For the Tahini Sauce: Whisk 1/4 cup tahini, 2 tablespoons warm water and salt to taste until smooth. To serve, drizzled the sauce over falafel.

beef and sprout Japanese inspired patties

January 29, 2014 § 1 Comment

japonese inspired burgers

Last night I taught another 7 meals for $40 at the Honest Weight Food Co-op and use the same recipes from a couple of weeks ago. We had a great turn out and wonderful questions. Thank you everyone who braved the bitter cold and joined the class.

I adapted this Japanese style hamburgers to make a beef and sprouts Japanese inspired patties

Today I made more changes and my version made 7 medium patties

8 oz. ground beef from Tarbox Farm
2 large handfuls of lentil sprouts
1 cup of oats
1 egg
I made my “tempero” (seasoning) in the blender. Add all ingredients bellow to the blender cup with olive oil to make a paste

1/2 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup parsley
1/2 cup scallions
3/4 tsp. salt
, 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper or to taste

High Heat Oil for cooking
Combine the meat, sprout, oats and eggs with the blender seasoning using your hands until it comes together as a patty. Add more oats if too wet.
Divide into 7-8 portions. Form into patties. The recipe said to “Indent the middle with your thumb – this makes sure the middle gets cooked evenly.”
Cook the patties on medium-high heat until brown on both sides. Turn heat to low, cover and steam-cook the patties for about 10 minutes.

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