Archive for the ‘PSA’ Category

Support Farmer Heinz (and a Sunchoke Soup Recipe)

Friday, January 7th, 2011

A local Maryland farm, Next Step Produce, recently lost their boiler room in a fire. They lost $1600 worth in seeds in the fire and are unable to heat their greenhouses until the boiler room is rebuilt. Read more about the situation here, or go to FreshFarm Markets’ website to make a contribution to the “Help Heinz Fund.” Not only is farmer Heinz a fixture at the Dupont Circle FreshFarm market, but his organic produce is also distributed through our CSA in a crop-sharing arrangement. Below is a favorite recipe from the FoodieTots archives using one of the ingredients I was first introduced to by Heinz, sunchokes. My toddler, then just two-and-a-half, eagerly sampled a sunchoke handed to him by Heinz at the market — and if I remember correctly, sampled this soup as well.

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Sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem artichokes, look very similar to ginger root, but when you begin to peel them they offer an intensely concentrated artichoke aroma. Raw, they have the texture of a water chestnut, but taste sweeter and nuttier. They are a member of the tuber farm and are packed with iron and potassium. They aid in digestion and store carbs as inulin, not starch, making them an ideal substitute for potatoes. The farmer suggested roasting them or serving raw in a salad, but I’ve had sunchoke soup on the mind since Ramona’s post in the spring. This simple soup lets their flavor shine. I added mushrooms which added to the earthy flavor, but you can omit them.

Recipe: Creamy Sunchoke Soup
Adapted from Thomas Keller

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound sunchokes
  • 1 leek, white part and an inch of the green portion, rinsed well
  • 1/2 cup maitake mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup cream

Instructions: Peel and thinly slice the sunchokes. (They are a little tricky to peel, so go carefully.) Slice the leek cross-wise into thin strips. Coarsely chop the mushrooms. Melt butter in stock pot over medium low heat. Add sunchokes and leeks and cook until they are translucent, about 8 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook 2 minutes more. Season with white pepper and salt, and stir in chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and puree in blender or with stick blender until smooth.  Stir in cream, warm over low heat for two minutes, then remove from heat and serve. Makes 4 servings. Enjoy!

Farms of Origin: Organic sunchokes and leek, Next Step Produce and maitake from the Mushroom Lady, Dupont Circle Farmers Market. Butter from South Mountain Creamery.

– originally posted 12/09/08

Share our Holiday Table

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Today we wrapped up the Share Our Holiday Table progressive dinner to support Share our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. The dessert course features more than a dozen recipes, from maple cheesecake to a pomegranate mousse tart and croquembouche. The complete menu of recipes is below; I’m sure you’ll find something to add to your own holiday feast, and maybe a few new blogs to tempt your taste buds as well. And if you haven’t yet, please take a moment to sign the No Kid Hungry Pledge and/or make a contribution. Thanks, and happy holidays!

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Sunday Brisket {and A Plea}

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Today I’m pleased to share our family’s favorite Sunday brisket for a virtual progressive dinner party, Share Our Holiday Table. Together with more than 50 fellow bloggers, we are sharing our favorite recipes to help raise awareness of Share Our Strength‘s work to ensure no child goes hungry.

You’ll see below I made my own chili sauce for this recipe, using organic ketchup, out of frustration with the HFCS in the store version. So when I read this story in yesterday’s SOS email, my heart broke:

…. a young boy who received free meals all summer at a small community organization in El Dorado, Arkansas, thanks to the support of Share Our Strength. One day, a staff member noticed that he was stuffing his pockets with ketchup packets and asked him why he wanted so much ketchup.

He replied, “I hope it’s okay. I bring them home and when we have enough my grandma and me make tomato soup.”

Won’t you hop over to SOS and donate even just $2.99 — the cost of a carton of tomato soup? It doesn’t take much to make a world of difference for hungry kids this holiday season.

Thank you! Now, on to the recipe.

My brisket recipe comes from my Jewish mother-in-law, who instructed me to simply add a jar of chili sauce and a can of beer to a brisket and roast it. The first time I attempted this to nearly disastrous results. The supermarket had only corned beef brisket, and I did not yet know the difference. I couldn’t find chili sauce, and wound up with a bottle of something like Pete’s hot sauce. Hot sauce + hot pink and uber-salted corned beef is, for the record, almost inedible, as the husband likes to remind me.

Now, I buy my brisket from Smith Meadows at the farmers market, and I know that chili sauce comes from Heinz. Unfortunately, Heinz is made with high fructose corn syrup, so I made my own chili sauce. Instructions below. The best part about making this brisket on a Sunday afternoon is that the leftovers can be stretched out into one or two more dinners during the week — sliced thin for brisket sandwiches one night, then shredded and served over egg noodles another. It’s a great way to stretch your food budget and get the most out of your grassfed beef.

Recipe: Sunday Brisket

Ingredients:

  • 1 4-pound beef brisket
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 10 ounces chili sauce (see below)
  • 1 bottle dark beer (I used Guinness)
  • sea salt and black pepper

For Chili Sauce:

  • 1 1/4 cup organic ketchup
  • 1/4 cup dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce

Instructions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the chili sauce ingredients. Trim any excess fat from the brisket and place in roasting pan. Season generously with salt and pepper. Spread chili sauce and onions on and around the brisket, then pour beer over top. Cover pan with foil and cook for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, until tender. Serve with pan juices as gravy. Makes 8 servings.

Below are the other sites sharing entree recipes on Share our Holiday Table today. In addition to our usual year-end donation to Share our Strength, I’ll be donating my December ad revenue as well. If you’ve already donated to Share our Strength, I hope you’ll take a moment to share this post with a friend too. Thank you so much!

Gourmet

Family Friendly

Vegetarian

Gluten Free

Find the full menu of appetizers, drinks, soups and salads that have already been shared after the jump. (more…)

Kids Restaurant Week in the District

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

kids restaurant weekThis Saturday, June 13, Washington DC’s first Kids’ Restaurant Week kicks off with a day of kids-cooking demos and other fun at historic Eastern Market. Kids’ Restaurant Week, June 13-21, is sponsored by Cookie and Gourmet, my two favorite magazines, and took place last year in New York and Chicago. This year, they bring the fun to the District’s youngest foodies with early 5-7pm seatings and special prix fixe menus for grown-ups and kids at more than a dozen DC restaurants. Grown-ups will pay $29 and kids under 12 pay their age. And these aren’t your usual casual/chain “safety” choices, but truly some of the city’s best, including several who emphasize local, organic and seasonal ingredients such as Art and Soul, Dino, Firefly and Zola. Visit the website for the complete list and to make reservations. A portion of proceeds go to two worthwhile local charities, Miriam’s Kitchen and the Eastern Market renovation fund. I wish we could try every restaurant but I don’t want to push my luck at keeping the boy on his best behavior too many nights in a row!

Several of the restaurants have posted their menus online, so you can take a look before deciding. A few of the highlights: alphabet tomato soup at Belga Cafe; pasta with wild boar sauce (or meatballs) at Dino; a pop tart filled with Pennsylvania mushrooms, brie and asparagus at Juniper; shrimp and mushroom fried rice at Mie N Yu; lamb meatball sliders at Zola; and at Firefly, kids can decorate their own cookie after dinner. Firefly has a creative kids’ menu available anytime, that includes a side of broccoli & dip and other healthy options, if you miss out on the official restaurant week.

The kick-off schedule for Saturday at Eastern Market (225 7th Street, SE):

  • 10 a.m. – Kids’ Market Lesson: Bowers Cheese
  • 11 a.m. – Chef Demo: Travis Timberlake of Art & Soul
  • 11:30 a.m. – Kids’ Market Lesson: Agora Farms
  • 12 p.m. – Chef Demo: Greg Lloyd of Zola
  • 1 p.m. – Chef Demo: Danny Bortnick of Firefly (joined by his son Jonah)

Over at Metrocurean, you can find more kid-friendly food events and deals in her “Kids Week” series … and be sure to check out today’s post for some foodie parenting advice from yours truly!

Blog for the Bay to Save our Chesapeake Blue Crabs

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

blog for the chesapeake bayI use the term “Chesapeake Bay Foodshed” to describe the region from which we source as much of our fresh food as possible. Foodshed is a play on the term “watershed,” and it’s no secret that the Chesapeake Bay watershed is in trouble.

Aside from a love of fresh oysters, crab and fish, I have strong personal ties to the Bay as well.

My mother’s ancestors were among the early settlers on Maryland’s Eastern Shore centuries ago. My husband and I were married on Kent Island, less than a mile from the creek bearing the family’s name.

On my dad’s side, he grew up in the District and no family gathering is complete without a crab feast. The day after our wedding, my Grandpop sat my poor Jewish husband down and said, “Now that you’re part of this family, you need to learn how to pick crab.” He was a good sport about it but still prefers to let others do the work. As for me, it just isn’t summer without a trip to Quarterdeck in Arlington for a dozen crabs on a humid evening.

If we’re going to continue to enjoy local blue crab, significant actions must be taken to clean up the Bay. The Clean Water Act is 30 years old. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had a 2010 deadline to get the Bay off the “dirty waters” list, and has admitted they might not make it before 2020. If you caught last night’s “Poisoned Waters” documentary, you saw how drastic the decline has been for oysters (2 million bushels to 100,000 bushels a year) and fish (most species are already gone completely). The Bay can’t wait any longer! Please join me and fellow “Blog for the Bay” participants and sign the petition to the EPA Administrator urging them to avoid any further delay.

Blog for the Bay Round-Up: Please visit these other local blogs to hear more stories about what the Chesapeake Bay and its seafood mean to all of us, and chime in with your own stories in the comments or on your own blog. Check back here and at my co-host The Arugula Files for updated links later in the day. And please share on Facebook &/or Twitter (hashtag #blog4thebay), too!

  • Arugula Files tells of an unsuccessful crabbing experience, and the iconic Cantler’s Riverside Inn. (And a previous post about the sustainability of Maryland’s blue crabs.)
  • Capital Spice tells of a favorite market vendor, Chris’ Marketplace.
  • The Green Phone Booth‘s JessTrev reminisces about roof deck parties and a soft shell sandwich to mark Bill Clinton’s inauguration.
  • Capital Cooking Show‘s Lauren was recently introduced to blue crabs after moving here from the Midwest.
  • Metrocurean used “pretty please with crabcakes on top” to beg favors from her father, and shares her grandmother’s crabcake recipe.
  • Plight of the Pumpernickel gives a tutorial in eating those steamed blue crabs.
  • DCist chimes in with a plug for the Maine Avenue Fish Wharf, and link to those terrific “save the crabs .. then eat ‘em” ads of a few years back.
  • Endless Simmer sees ulterior motives in our campaign. (Hey, we’re not denying our self-interest. Crabs are yummy!)
  • Internet Food Association is stung by Old Bay and scary magic cards.
  • Etsy Inspiration gives us a look at arts and crafts inspired by the Bay.

Related: The Chesapeake Bay Daily has a graphic representation of the Bay’s blame game, and our campaign is featured on the CBF blog.