Posts Tagged ‘crepes’

Local Potluck Tuesday (and Recipes for Peach Season)

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

If you’ve been to a DC-area farmers market lately, I don’t have to tell you peaches are here. After a couple week hiatus, we stopped by the Crystal City Farmers Market last week to stock up on fruit at Kuhn Orchard — but I passed up the peaches and went for apricots, plums, blue and blackberries. I’ll definitely get the peaches this week, but I figured apricots were easier for one-handed eating while holding the baby.

If you’ve already stocked up on peaches and need inspiration, here are a few of my favorite recipes from past years:

If you’ve got a favorite peach recipe, please share it below — or anything else you’ve cooked up lately from the farmers market, CSA or your garden!

Local Potluck Tuesday — a few guidelines:
1. Share a relevant post — a recipe, menu or pictures of a meal featuring local foods, from the farmers market, CSA, farm stand or your own garden — using the MckLinky widget below. In the link title field, enter both your post title and your name &/or blog name, e.g., “Lemon Cucumber Salad — Colleen @ FoodieTots.”

2. Bonus points if you included your kids in picking, growing, purchasing or cooking the ingredients for the meal! (And by bonus points, I mean increased likelihood of seeing your post featured in a future post.)

3. In your post, please link back to this post here at FoodieTots, so your readers can find the potluck and be encouraged to join in as well.  Of course if you don’t have a blog, you’re welcome to share in the comments.

That’s it! I hope you’ll join in and share what you’re cooking up that’s fresh & local to you!

{Editor’s Note: I’m on “maternity leave” for the next couple weeks. Posts are scheduled to keep you satiated (including a whole month of cherry recipes!), but please forgive me if I don’t respond to comments promptly.}

At Market: Squash Blossom Succotash (and get ready for Farmers Market Week!)

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

July at the Markets: Summer harvest is in full stride now at the Alexandria/DC markets, with sweet corn, summer squash, and the first heirloom tomatoes making their debut. Blueberries and raspberries will soon be gone, and early varieties of apples are already turning up.

I intended to make Oyamel’s squash blossom soup with my recent market bounty, but instead decided to make a succotash to fill some buckwheat crepes. Sort of a repeat of last summer’s Chesapeake Crepes, with the addition of okra and the blossoms. I picked up okra and multicolored jalapeños at Sunday’s West End Alexandria Market, and the squash blossoms I scored two-for-one from Westmoreland Berry Farm as it was getting close to closing time. The bicolor sweet corn came from Long Meadow Farm at last Wednesday’s King Street Market.

Cooking with squash blossoms: Sure squash blossoms look pretty and have a heady sweet fragrance that screams summer, but are you wondering what to actually do with them? They have a mild flavor that benefits from a simple preparation – stuffed with goat cheese or ricotta and quickly fried is a classic Italian dish, but you can also use them in soups or other dishes more like an herb. The blossoms are very delicate and are best used the day of purchase. If you don’t get to them that day, be sure to put them in the fridge. When you’re ready to cook them, pull the flower open gently to avoid ripping and be on the lookout for little, uh, critters (the downside of buying organic) while you pinch and gently remove the stamen. Then carefully fill and fry or bake for stuffed blossoms, or slice them up for this recipe.

Recipe: Squash Blossom Succotash

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 ears corn, kernels removed
  • 1 or 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 pint okra, thinly sliced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 4 squash blossoms, thinly sliced
  • 4 leaves basil, torn
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper

Instructions: Heat oil in sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic until translucent. Add corn and jalapeño and cook several minutes. Increase heat to medium high and add okra. Cook 3-4 minutes until corn is beginning to brown and okra is just tender. Stir in tomato, squash blossoms and basil and cook 1 additional minute, then remove from heat. Sprinkle with lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 4 servings.

To make crepes: prepare buckwheat crepe batter and cook crepes on one side. Flip and sprinkle cooked side with grated cheddar cheese and a large spoonful of succotash. Cook about a minute and fold, then remove from heat. I folded the toddler’s in half like a quesadilla. He doesn’t usually eat tomatoes and had never eaten okra, but he devoured this and asked for more. I have to give credit to Mr. Tom’s cheese, it makes everything go down easier. Enjoy!

More squash blossom recipes:

Farmers Market Week is coming! National Farmers Market Week begins Sunday, August 2. Visit a farmers market near you and let me know what’s new! See something unusual? Ask here and I’ll tell you what to do with it.

At Market: West Virginia Ramp Crepes

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

In typical DC fashion, we jumped from unseasonably cool to 90 degrees this past weekend. Toddler in tow, I made it out to the markets a little earlier this time and successfully obtained my two wishlist items: ramps and asparagus. At the Old Town Alexandria market, the khaki-colored umbrellas of Bigg Riggs farm were a welcome oasis in a sea of dubious-origin produce. Melon, tomatoes and corn in April? Right…. I hope more local vendors will join Bigg Riggs as the season goes on, but unfortunately Old Town continues to disappoint those of us looking for authentic local produce. (Blue Ridge Dairy was there, and local bakers, but this market’s strength is its fresh flower vendors.

ramps wild leeks bigg riggs

Back at the Del Ray Farmers Market, Three Way Farms was rapidly unloading their fresh asparagus, even at the price of $5.50/lb. Fresh spinach was the last of my produce purchases before moving on for yogurt, cheese, ground beef and pasta. The warm weather crowds bode well for the season, though the small market space will quickly become crowded when fresh berries and more produce start rolling in in the next few weeks.

asparagus three way farm va

The West End Farmers Market re-opens this Sunday, May 3rd, in Ben Brenman Park. Tom the Cheese Guy was eager to let us know he’ll be joined there by a Virginia winery, North Gate, though the city forbids sampling their products at the market. At any rate, West End’s more spacious set-up — and wider array of vendors this year — make it great for a more relaxing stroll with meandering kids (or dogs – Lisa will be back with her homemade dog treats, too). The market is on Sundays, 9am-1pm; read more about this year’s vendors here.

Back to my finds… Sunday the toddler was in the early stages of a stomach bug, and requested pancakes for dinner. While he got plain old pancakes with maple syrup (I have a feeling he would have declared the ramps “too spicy!” but will have to test that another time), I used some of my ramps in a scallion pancake-inspired crepe, filled with leftover roast chicken. The quick and simple preparation let the ramps’ pungent garlicky flavor shine through, yum! Served along with simple roasted asparagus, this quick spring meal was perfect for breaking in our picnic table for the season. (Just be sure to stock up on breath mints before enjoying.)

Recipe: Ramp (Wild Leek*) Crepes

Ingredients:

  • 1 handful ramps, rinsed and thinly sliced
    - reserve some of the green portion for garnish
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pinch ground black pepper
  • 2 cups cooked chicken meat, pulled into chunks
  • butter

Instructions: Beat eggs and milk in mixing bowl. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper until batter is smooth. Stir in ramps and let batter stand while you prepare the filling. Heat crepe pan or skillet over medium high heat. Melt a pat of butter in the pan. Pour crepe batter in a quick swirl to make a circular shape. Cook until just set and flip; cook just a minute or two more and remove from pan. Watch closely to keep crepes from browning. Fold in half and place on warm plate while you cook the remaining batter. Spoon warm cooked chicken (tossed with vinaigrette if desired) into crepes and serve. Makes a dozen or so 3-inch crepes.

* What’s a Ramp? Also called a wild leek, these delicate-looking little plants pack the flavor of a more potent spring onion and stench of fresh garlic. Use the whole thing, bulbs and leaves. They grow in the wild at elevations above 2000 feet, only in the mid-Atlantic region for a few weeks in early spring. For more ramp inspiration, visit Tiffany over at The Garden Apartment.

Shellfish on Friday

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Now that Lent is here, I have even more incentive to try new seafood recipes to incorporate more sustainable seafood into our diet. This was actually our Shrove Tuesday pancake meal, but we will definitely be making it again. Shellfish is loaded with nutrients (scallops with vitamin B12) and while my son isn’t yet slurping raw oysters, he has no problem eating shrimp or fried clam strips. This was the first time I tried giving him scallops, and he was skeptical but ate several bites. Scallops overcook very quickly, so don’t make the mistake I did of cooking the seafood first — cook the crepes and keep them warm in the oven while you prepare the etouffee and scallops.

Recipe: Shrimp & Scallop Crepes Etouffee

Ingredients:

Crepes

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c milk
  • 3/4 c buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 unbleached flour
  • 1/4 t salt

Etouffee

  • 1/2 pound jumbo wild-caught US shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 small white onion, finely diced
  • 2 celery ribs, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon tapioca starch (or corn starch)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 6 large diver-caught scallops, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • salt and pepper
  • Tabasco (optional)

Instructions:

Crepes: Whisk together crepe ingredients until combined. Cook on a large cast iron skillet or crepe pan, and transfer to cookie sheet in warm over to keep warm.

Etouffee: Melt butter in skillet or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, celery and red pepper and cook until tender and golden, about 10 minutes. Add shrimp and cook 2 minutes, until shrimp begins to turn pink. Dissolve tapioca starch and water and add to pan. Stir, then cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Scallops: Warm olive oil in skillet over medium high heat. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Add scallops to pan and cook 2 minutes, until bottoms are golden brown. Flip scallops and add butter to pan. Cook 2-3 minutes more, until just cooked through. (Scallops should be opaque and just firm to the touch.)

Fill crepes with a spoonful of shrimp etouffee, fold and serve with scallops on the side. Add a few dashes of Tabasco if you like a little heat. Makes 4 servings. Enjoy!

For more scallop inspiration, check out this yummy Lemon-Thyme Scallop recipe from one of my favorite new foodie kids’ blogs, Chow Mama.

Note: Shellfish is not recommended for children before one year of age, and possibly longer if there is a family history of allergies. Our pediatrician advised us to wait until 18 months, but check with your own doctor if you have not yet introduced shellfish.

Chesapeake Corn and Peach Crepes

Monday, August 4th, 2008

Last weekend, the toddler and I wrapped up the Maryland/WaPo Eat Local Challenge week with a tour of the farmstands and markets of the Chesapeake shores. The husband was away for work, so I thought the boy and I would fake a beach trip with day-trips to the Bay.

On Friday nights, the town of North Beach in Southern Maryland hosts a farmers market and cruise in. The market was fairly small, but there were Harris peaches (so good we stopped at their farmstand off Rte. 4 again this weekend), pesticide-free corn, lots of tomatoes, melons and peppers, cheap blue crabs, and kettle corn. The toddler enjoyed the cars on display at the “Cruise In,” and we topped off our Tastee Freez dinner with kettle corn and dancing to live music as the sun set.

Saturday morning we hit the road for St. Michael’s on the Eastern Shore. Traffic got us into town just in time to catch the tail end of the market, undoubtedly the most scenic of FreshFarm’s eight area sites. There were peaches, Chapel’s Country Creamery raw milk cheese, local lamb and more. A 2-week old calf provided entertainment before the toddler selected his peach and took off to see the boats. We headed over to the Chesapeake Folk Life Festival for seafood, watermelon, Smith Island cake and more dancing.

We stopped at historic Wye Mill for local! organic! cornmeal and buckwheat flour (more on that soon), and the Councell Farms farmstand with grown-on-site sweet corn and melons of every shape, size and color. (I highly recommend this stop if you’re taking Rte. 50 to the shore — they have a farm playland for kids that includes a tractor, combine reconfigured into a slide/swing, John Deere tricycle racetrack and adorable pygmy goats.) Came home with a Blue Bonnet watermelon that is so sweet and flavorful.

I wanted to use the local grains in my meal with all this Chesapeake bounty, so I made buckwheat crepes filled with corn, tomatoes, peaches, onion and Chapel’s crab spice (Old Bay) cheddar cheese.

Recipe: Chesapeake Crepes

Corn & Peach Filling
Ingredients
:

  • 2 ears sweet corn, cut from ears
  • 2 peaches, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 t olive oil
  • 2 T fresh parsley or other herb(s)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 c grated cheddar cheese

Instructions: Stir all ingredients except cheese together and let stand.

Crepes
Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c milk
  • 3/4 c buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 unbleached flour
  • 1/4 t salt

Instructions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk eggs, add remaining ingredients and whisk quickly until lumps are gone. Cook in oiled crepe or frying pan over medium heat. Takes about 2-3 minutes per side, depending on the size of your pan. Remove and place on warm cookie sheet. Top each with generous scoop of filling, then cover with shredded cheese. Roll. Cook in oven 5 minutes, until cheese is just melted. Makes 6-8 crepes. Enjoy!

Notes: I made a toddler version by making mini crepes (about 2 inches in diameter), then topped with cheese and corn/peach filling for a mini pizza. This would have been improved immensely with some fresh crab meat (the Old Bay in the cheese was such a tease!), but I wasn’t able to bring back crabs since it would be a few days before I got to cook this. Next time!

This weekend, the toddler and I hit three Northern Virginia markets in honor of Virginia’s Eat Local week (Aug. 3-9) – stay tuned for a report on those. It’s also National Farmers Market Week, so visit LocalHarvest to find your closest market and check it out!