Earth Week

Once a week I go to Nine Mile Farm to cook and to learn from Rebekah Rice, the farmer. What do you do with the sprouted onions and potatoes and the old tired squashes? You eat them! This week, Amy Ellis, Rebekah Rice and I came together to show how we celebrate food in our kitchens, by using all of the produce! The day started with a tour by Rebekah Rice of her biodynamic organic vegetable farm. Visitors pulled veggies from the root cellar and green house then went to Honest Weight Food Co-op and joined me for a Farm-to Table cooking class.

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It was a super fun class! A class on my favorite topics: Local Food, Food Waste and Nose-to-tail and Root-to-Stalk cooking.  Cooking seasonally in Upstate New York is embracing the leftover winter produce while welcoming and Spring early greens and herbs.

Thank you everyone who came. Can’t wait to cook with you soon.

Jack Bostic Curried Squash Soup

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1 large onion, chopped

3 tablespoons oil

2 pounds of Jack Bostic Squash, peeled and cubed (save seeds)

About a cup of garlic bulbils to make the broth with 4 cups water

1 apple, peeled and cored

1 fresh or frozen lemongrass stalk, root end trimmed

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon ginger, minced

1 red chile, seeded and chopped

2 teaspoons ground turmeric

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Hot peppers, chopped, to taste

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

½ cup chopped cilantro

½ cup chopped parsley

½ cup chopped green onions

Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté onions in oil for about 5 minutes on medium-low heat. Stir in vegetables and cook for about 5 minutes. Add water to cover the vegetables. Add all spices, lemongrass and hot pepper. Simmer for 20–30 minutes. Add vinegar, cilantro, parsley and green onions. Adjust salt to taste, let soup heat through. Remove lemongrass and blend the soup. Serve with a drizzle of sorrel sauce.

Sorrel Sauce (Sauce à l’oseille)

  • 1 bunch of sorrel (coarse stems removed, leaves roughly shredded)
  • 1 cup crème fraîche
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • salt pepper to taste

Peel the shallots and chop them finely.

Wash and chop sorrel.

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the shallots and cook for 2 to 3 min.

Add the sorrel in the pan. Cook until soft on low heat.

Add the crème fraîche, salt, pepper and let it heat over low heat 2 to 3 minutes more.

Blender and serve immediately.

Because of its higher fat content, we can also heat crème fraîche to higher temperatures without fear of it curdling. This makes it a great choice for sauces and soups.

Crème Fraîche recipe

1 cup heavy or ‘whipping’ cream

3 tablespoons plain yogurt

In a jar, combine the cream and yogurt. Cover with a lid let sit in the counter until thickened, 24-36 hours. Stir and refrigerate until ready to use. (Can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.)

“Red Velvet Brownies” (Beet Brownies)

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2-3 medium size cooked or roasted beets, pureed, to equal 1 cup

½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick) or coconut oil

3/4 – 1 cup maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 large eggs, whisked

½ cup  White Whole Wheat Flour (or Gluten Free 1:1 Flour or Buckwheat flour)

1/3 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder or unsweetened baking chocolate bars or dairy free chocolate chips

1/4 cup chocolate chips

1/4 cup cocoa nibs

Preheat oven to 350F

In a cast iron pan:

Melt butter and chocolate. Stir in cocoa powder, Stir in sugar. Turn off heat.

Add eggs, vanilla.

Whisk dry ingredients: flour

Fold in pureed beets. Add chocolate chips. Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean.  Cool completely before cutting.

Or  Pour into prepared 8×8 pan and bake as above.

Root Veggie Pancakes made by Rebekah Rice:

 Potatoes (includes some dark blue Magic Mollies), turnips, parsnips, sprouting onions, red onions, eggs

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Delicious salad made by Amy Ellis:

Lettuce, sorrel, lambs quarters, purslane, chick weed and dill, fresh turnips (tops and bottoms), edible flowers

 

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Farm to Table cooking class

Join us for a farm-to-table class April 20th at 9 Mile Farm in Delmar and at Honest Weight Food-coop in Albany, NY. Early Spring cooking in the Northeast is a mix of using up root vegetables and welcoming the early greens.  We will talk about what is in season and how to use the whole vegetable and make the most of our delicious local produce.

 

Brigadeiros

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I am making this Brazilian treats at Cafe Dali Mamma.

Order #brigadeiros @cafedalimamma 518-443-2233 . Retail and wholesale. Sampler clockwise: white chocolate, caramelized pecans, coconut, matcha, walnut, cocoa and blueberries. Other favorites: curry coconut, peanuts, spiced pumpkin, almonds, dulce de leche, cocoa nibs, ginger sesame, coffee, lavender, raspberry, calendula. All natural #gf. #storycooking

Sweet Potato Chocolate Rye Marble Cake

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2 cups of cooked and mashed sweet potatoes leftover = 2 loaves of sweet potato chocolate rye marble cake for the week. Make that one left for the week! We devoured this cake. The rye, the chocolate or just all of it together! So here a delicious long title recipe adapted from different sources for you.

My girls love to help and marbling is sure fun:

Sweet Potato Chocolate Rye Marble Cake

1 cup of all purpose farmer ground flour
1 cup of rye farmer ground flour
1 cup of sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup of cooked and mashed sweet potatoes;
1/2 cup of milk
1/3 cup light olive oil
2 eggs
3 tbsp cocoa powder + 4 tbsp water

In one bowl, add dry ingredients and whisk.
Add Sweet potato, milk, olive oil and eggs and mix well.
Take one cup of the mixture and add 3 tbsp of cocoa powder and 4 tbsp of water. mix well.
On a greased loaf pan, layer half of sweet potato mixture left, cocoa mixture in the middle and the rest of the batter last.
Use a knife to “cut” into the batter to create the marble. Oven 350 for about 1 hour. Enjoy!

Empanada Thursday

Thank you Edible Capital District for featuring my recipes for roasted vegetable empanadas, pumpkin compote and curried butternut squash lentil soup. I am honored. Beautiful magazine and gorgeous photos by Brent Harrewyn.

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I come from a place known for it’s “ Empadão de Goiás ” A pie filled with meats, olives, boiled eggs, and more.

I love making pastry or pastel. It is a tradition in our home making them with our children. As the Media Chef at Dali Mamma,  I get to make them at work too. Every Thursday.

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Above, black bean mole empanadas at Dali Mamma in Albany, NY.

I have being making empanadas since we opened in September.  Rachel Reed and I have a lot of fun using seasonal ingredients, Farmer Ground Farm flour, and making Glutten Free and vegetarian versions. Stop by to try these delicious savory and sometimes sweet hand pies. #‎empanadathursday

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Fermented Carrots

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I love my hashtag #farmkitchencook.  I love looking at the photos of foods I make while cooking at Nine Mile Farm. I have a notebook with recipes and notes I hope to blog, but I do not get to do every week. But I always take pictures and you can see them on my Instagram feed. I am posting at least one photo of something I cook everyday in my kitchen.

Tonight, I would like to share this delicious simple recipe Rebekah Rice and I adapted from Wild Fermentation  and Cultures for Health

We started with lots of carrots “seconds” or “imperfect” carrots, that were very beautiful and delicious. We made 3 batches!

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I used a kitchen brush to clean this organic carrots. I did not peel them.

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We decided to use some cabbage to keep a good fermenting environment as it has been very hot in Upstate New York this week and this ferment is ready in about 4-5 days.

Fermented Carrots

5 pounds of carrots, grated

1 pound of cabbage, grated

4 tbsp sea salt

1-2 tbsp ginger, finely chopped

1 tsp turmeric, finely chopped

In a large bowl, mix carrots, cabbage, ginger, turmeric and sea salt. Using a potato masher, press until there is enough liquid to cover the produce.

Transfer the carrot/cabbage mix to a gallon glass jar, pressing to submerge completely underneath the liquid. Cover with a large cabbage leaf, add weight to keep the produce submerged under the brine. If you do not have enough liquid  from the vegetables, make extra brine. For the brine, mix 1 TBSP of salt with one cup of water, stir well and add to the vegetables as needed.

Cover the jar with a tight lid or use paper towel secured with a rubber band.

I like to use a cabbage leaf or a piece of fruit like a pineapple round, depending on the jar and add another jar inside to keep all the vegetables under the brine.

Ferment at room temperature (60-70°F is preferred) until desired flavor and texture. We like it firm so 4-5 days in the summer time. (If using a tight lid, burp daily to release excess pressure.) If the ferment start to dry, add more brine.

Once the ferment is done, put a lid on the jar and move to the fridge.

Enjoy!

Camp Season

ffpsession1day1byellieFriday was the last day of 2015 Farms, Food and Photography camp. This is the third year I teach the Agricultural Stewardship Association Camp at the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy, NY.  This summer, we featured different sessions and it was wonderful to meet new students on session one and work with returning students on session two.

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When Monday come around, we gathered in the conference room and I shared our exciting plan for the week — farm trips, photography lessons, cooking and sharing recipes, and reflecting on the important role that farms and food play in our lives. We still kept the week open to new experiences. Students voted on the foods they wanted to learn to cook and skills they wanted to gain.

Some wanted to make time-lapse videos, some wanted to learn to chop or make pasta from scratch. Others wanted to learn how to photograph action or how to use macro. By Friday, all of them had used digital SLR cameras and ipads to to document their experiences, visited farms and cooked with local ingredients! Thank you Andrea, Madison and Ashely for all your help! Thank you Amy Halloran for the amazing pancake clinic.

Thank you Homestead Farm, Denison Farm, Lewis Waite Farm and Washington County Fair for your wonderful hospitality.

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I am really thankful for the community that comes together to make this program possible.

Special thank you ASA’s business sponsors for their support of the “Make a Connection with the Land program”

Title Sponsor: Salem Farm Supply, Inc. Lead Sponsors: Stewart’s Shops and TCT Federal Credit Union. Other Sponsors: CaroVail, Currin Compliance Services, LLC,Fronhofer Tool Company, Kelly + Sellar Ryan, PLLC, Attorneys at Law, O’Brien Insurance Agency. Grant support from: New York State Agricultural Society Foundation and the Review Foundation.

Pictures of the foods we cooked are on my Instagram feed #farmsfoodphotography  Bellow some reflections from the students:

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Aiyana seeing above, making pizza during the camp. “Putting an egg on pizza is something I have never heard of and in this class, I learned that experimenting can have good outcomes, even with food. I took some risks and got out of my comfort zone this week. I’m proud of that. I learned how to capture a moving object without making appear as if it were still.”

Aiyana favorite picture was of a boy with his pig at the fair. “It gave me insight onto farmer’ lives are like, especially children. This boy told us about farms and what it’s like to be involved in farms that treat their animals with great compassion and tenderness. There were other children that were even attached and had strong relationships with their animals. It was beautiful.
I also learned some different skills in photography. I now can focus on objects and adjust the lighting and the shutter speed.
While taking photos, I try in use different angles to create an interesting picture.”

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Sofia, above, seeing while being photographed by campers, said she enjoyed cooking. “Yesterday we went to the Washington County Fair. There we saw a horse show, cows (like this one,) pigs and many more animals. Something that I really liked about this camp was that we got to experience different foods and take a lot of photos. For example, we made homemade pizza, West African peanut soup and much more.

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Campers making pancakes with Amy Halloran at the Arts Center

Hanna said she learned a lot of new skills in photography this week, including how to use macro.”It helped open up my mind to different types of photography using small details and composition. I had fun everywhere but I really had a good time exploring and taking photos of downtown Troy.”

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Wren, right, seeing above with Hanna is one of our returning campers.

“Reporting for Farms, Food and Photography on our breaking news:
>On Wednesday, we went to The Washington County Fair for the day. We spent all day photographing animals and their emotions. When we got back to the Art Center, we cooked African peanut soup. It must have been good because it was gone after ten minutes.Today we made fresh pizza with sourdough as crust. It was a really good taste and we all enjoyed it. Hanna and I put fresh pesto and mozzarella on ours, and it was delicious. Along with the pizza, we learned how to use controlled lighting and change the settings on the camera to take the perfect portraits. We all got to pose while people took our pictures and it was really fun. Well that’s all I’ve got on this story today, now back to our current news broadcasting.

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Last, but not least, campers wanted me to post the sourdough recipes we made

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Camp Sourdough Pizza

2 1/2 cups sourdough starter, room temperature

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (more if needed to adjust consistency)

(if short on time, add 1/2 tsp yeast to speed up the process)

In a  large mixing bowl, and whisk flour and salt. Pour in the sourdough starter and olive oil. Mix it together with a wood spoon and  to make a wet dough. Cover the bowl tightly with lid and let it sit on your kitchen counter until doubled in bulk, could take 4- 8 hours. (if short on time, add 1/2 tsp yeast to speed up the process)

Flour your working surface, using your hands, knead the dough for 5 minutes , then cover it with a large bowl, and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 500 F.

Separate the dough into 2 balls. The dough will be weat, so roll spread the best you can onto a baking sheet with parchment paper or heated baking stone until 1/4 inch thick. Bake for 5 minutes without the toppings.

Remove the crusts from the oven, add your favorite  sauce, toppings, cheeses. Return to the oven and bake a further another 5-6 minutes, or until cheese is melted, crust is golden.

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For the Sourdough Crackers, we used King Arthur flour recipe

 

Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce

When I started cooking at Nine Mile Farm in Delmar NY on Thursdays, I imagine I would learn, from Rebekah Rice, how to organically grow new foods. I planned to feed the farmers, put produce going bad to good use while developing recipes and bring home leftovers as a payment. But last but not least have fun.

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Before the produce gets to me, the food is touched by many hands, not machines. ( Reflecting on this makes me follow in love with the produce before I even start cooking!) Someone is sorting seeds, someone is planting, someone is weeding, watering, transplanting. On harvest day, someone is selecting, counting, sorting and by the time it gets to me, the cook, It has layers of stories that I may not ever know or hear during the few hours I am there each week. I appreciate the stories, I can taste them.

I have not cooked alone and that has also being great. Cooking along side farmers helps me understand what is like to cook and eat in season. The farmer told me: “Well, we have early onions so far, so that is what we will use!” So the Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce will have early onions and garlic scapes and some of last year’s sun dried tomatoes. I am also super happy about that!

I am learning so much from other cooks in the kitchen and improvisation is at the heart of this process. I rely on techniques I have internalized and just keep myself open to use what comes my way.

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Mid-week I get a text with what Rebekah, Azuré and Christian are harvesting, what they may have extras and what is coming up. I am of course reading these e-mails 11pm right before going to bed and then I can not follow sleep thinking of what a good problem it is to have lots of garlic scapes and rhubarb. Yum, raw rhubarb on a tabbouleh salad and I am making beef patties and really need a barbecue sauce…

Problem solved. Yes, I am sure I can make some kind of rhubarb barbecue sauce?… I can figure out the details in the morning. I went to bed satisfied.

Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce

Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce adapted from www.canadianliving.com

Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce
about 2 pounds of Rhubarb
1 to 1/2 cups of sun dried tomatoes
1/2 bunch of young onions
2-3 cups water, more as needed
1 1/2 cups of garlic spaces, finely chopped
1/3 cup rapadura
1/4 cup honey
3 TBSP Dijon Mustard
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tsp mild pepper powder
salt and pepper to taste
Add all ingredients to a heavy bottom sauce pan. Bring to a boil for a minute and then reduce to a simmer, cooking with the pot lid propped open, but to keep your stove top clean. Cook until rhubarb is tender, about 20- 25 minutes.

Say SCOBY

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Say SCOBY!  Symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. What a fun class!

And Kraut, Kefir, Kombucha, Fermented Salsa and Sourdough Pita.

Thanks to everyone who came to Agricultural Stewardship Association (ASA) ” Can to Preserve the Land ” fermentation workshop at Honest Weight Food Co-op.  I love that I get to do these classes as an outreach coordinator for ASA. We are able to reflect on the role of local land and local farms. We talked about the local produce in season and how by learning to ferment we extend our opportunities to eat local food.

In this class, we talked about the nutritional and experimental nature of home fermentation and how the microbes do all the work to transform bland carbohydrates into sour, bubbly drinks and breads!

This time I was joined by Caren Irgang, RPI-Sage Hillel Civil Engineering major. She said that being a “hungry all the time” college student is only part of the motivation to learn about cultures.

“I like observing the magic of the process and products (explaining the world around me in a tangible, edible way), probiotics (because of chronic disease colitis and I am excited by structural properties (as a structural engineer).”

For me, a cook, experimenting with fermentation, I love the unique nature of working with cultures and partner with them to create delicious and nutritious foods.  As my family and I eat these foods, we are engaged by the produce and the environment around us. The process is as exciting as the outcome.

We used Sandor’s recipe from the book Wild Fermentation to make Sauerkraut

If you need to add extra brine mix: 1 1/2 TBSP ( 4.5 tsp) Sea Salt per 4 cups of water

For the Kombucha we used Cultures for Health recipe

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I am very thankful to Our Happy Acres for sharing online a delicious Whole Wheat Sourdough Pita Bread. I adapted their recipe by adding a 30 minute autolyze and increased the water to 4 ounces. ( I did use matured White Whole Wheat starter, 100% hydration)

8 oz mature White Whole Wheat sourdough starter
8 oz White Whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp  salt
1 tbsp olive oil
4 oz warm water

1. Mix starter, flour and water and mix for 5 minutes.

2. Let dough rest 30 minutes in a dark place

3. Add salt and olive oil and mix on low speed with dough hook and knead for 5 minutes

4. Let dough rise in a oiled bowl for about 2 hours.

5. Divide dough in 8 balls, roll out and bake on a pizza stone on a preheated 500F oven for 2 minutes on one side and turn and bake one more minute on the other size.

6. If storing, let it cool, keep air thigh, it freezes well.

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and Fermented Salsa

  • 3 lbs of tomatoes
  • 1-2 onions
  • head of minced garlic
  • 1 bunch of fresh Cilantro (some prefer parsley)
  • juice of 1-2 lemons or limes
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • Spices to taste (chipotle chili powder, cumin, oregano, fresh hot or sweet peppers, cumin, and cayenne)
  1. Pulse in a food processor until finely chopped, or dice by hand: tomatoes, peppers, onion and cilantro and garlic.
  2. Strain extra liquid if desired and add contents to a bowl
  3. Add lemon juice, salt, spices
  4. Pour into quart of half gallon size mason jars, leaving about an inch of head space, and secure the lid tightly.
  5. Leave on the counter for approximately 2-3 days and taste to desired flavor. Burp your jars daily to release built-up carbon dioxide.
  6. Transfer to fridge to storage

This salsa will keep up to a few months in the fridge. The flavors will actually intensify over time.

* If you are using whey use only 1 tablespoon of sea salt and add 2 tablespoons of whey.

Caren tested the ferment I brought from home for the class to taste using PH strips she ordered online. All good and ready to taste!

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Last we talked about  how to make Water kefir:

    • 3 cups of water
    • 1/3 cups of grain
    • ¼ cup sugar
    • Melt the sugar in boiling water, and then add some cold water to cool it off and fill up the jar. But I like the water to be a little warmer than room temp when I put the grains in.
    • Whenever I wake them up from hibernation it takes several batches of sugar water to get them going.
    • Dehydrating is very easy. I just spread them out on a piece of parchment paper, on a cookie sheet, for a few days until they are hard. They will shrink quite a bit, but plump right back up when you put them in the sugar water.

2 Week Ramp Diet

Eating seasonally is a way to savor life. It challenges me to make time to cook, enjoy the moment and the produce at hand. I look forward to ramps that are around 2 weeks in a year; if I can get them. Here how we are enjoying this gift from Chef Michael Lapi, who carefully forages them. Our 2 week ramp diet: raw, blanched on dishes, pesto, on pizza and with rice and lentils.

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rice lentil ramps

I am thankful for Spring. Or is it summer already? It sure feels like this week with highs around 80F. I am very happy to see the sun and the flours, but we need the rain. The sorrel is back and next I hope is the asparagus and radishes soon.

Ramp Pesto:

In the food processor or blender:

2 cups of ramps, cleaned and blanched
1/3 cup walnuts
1/4 cup olive oil
3 TBSP lemon juice
3 TBSP Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
salt and black pepper to taste