Friday, December 30, 2011

Eating Winter Fresh in California

The great sunshine state of ours supported Native Americans for centuries with an abundance of year around fresh foods, not to mention the plentiful game from land and sea. Blessings abound while we eat our winter navel oranges, lemons, mandarins, and pommelos and East Coast localvores gaze jealously our way. Everything will be fine, because, if you didn't already know, California grows about 80% of the fruits and vegetables sold in the continental United States. Industrialized ways of farming do grow fruits and vegetables to a grand scale to our own future's demise. This isn't, as we all know, the best practice or "sustainable capitalism" ~Al Gore. If you are reading this blog you are probably familiar with the benefits of shopping at your local farmers market for seasonal veggies and fruits. The hardest part of being a true locavore is eating what is grown in 150 mile radius. Then the question becomes, how do you cook a rutabaga? It can be challenging and cooking local and seasonal does require a bit of experimentation to make things taste good. Below you will see that cooking rutabaga with a bit of olive oil, garlic, oregano, and a sprinkle of parmessan, can make your rutabaga experience delicious. For the winter I like to serve things warm, in soups, or hot dishes.

For winter you are sure to find the following vegetables at your local California farmers market with high nutritious value and hopefully grown organically.

Winter Produce:
Rutabagas

Cardoons
Chicories 
Escarole
Grapefruit
Jerusalem artichokes
Kale
Mandarins
Navel Oranges
Persimmons
Pommelos
Radishes
Rutabagas
Salsify 
Squash
Winter Squash

Year around produce: 
Beets
Cooked Rutabaga
Belgian Endive
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots
Cauliflower
Celery
Collard Greens
Horseradish
Lettuce
Mint
Mushrooms
Oregano
Parsley
Sorrel
Spinach
Sprouts
Thyme
Watercress


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Crab Bisque


Merry Christmas! I was surprised to have crab leftovers, and so I decided to make a crab bisque. If you don't have left over crab legs, your local sea food purveyor will have some shredded crab to add to your bisque. I had some carrots boiled in chicken broth from the night before. It was specially good with Husch Sauvignon Blanc I had gotten as Christmas present. This year we decided only to exchange edible items, which turned out to be so fun! This recipe was very easy and quick. It serves 4 bowls!

 Ingredients: 

1 cup of shredded crab 
1 cooked carrot 
1/2 white onion 
4 tablespoons of butter 
2 cups of chicken broth
1/4 cup of half & half 
1 cup of milk 
4 tablespoons of flour 
1/2 cup of wine 
1 clove of garlic
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne 
1/4 teaspoon of white pepper 
Salt to taste

First fine chop the onion. Next fine chop the cooked carrots. On medium heat (3-4 minutes) saute the onions and carrots in two tablespoons of butter till onions are translucent. Place onions and carrots in to another bowl. Next on medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter, 1 cup of chicken broth, flour, whisking constantly so that it does not clump. Add, another cup of broth and continue whisking for a 2-3 minutes. Once flour is smooth in chicken broth, add carrots, onions, crab. Continue cooking on medium heat and add half & half, milk, spices, and garlic. Make sure, while cooking you are stirring your soup. Do not let the soup reach boiling, and continue cooking for at least 5 minutes. Lastly, I add the wine, turn heat off, cover with a lid, and let the soup steep for 30 minutes or more. This is when the flavors really come to life!
 Enjoy! 
Have a Happy Holiday! 


Monday, December 19, 2011

Sajen Interview

This episode took place at New Taste Marketplace, a community market, held at St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church. It was also a fundraiser for The Food Pantry. Here Tarabud interviews Morsinah Katimin founder of Sajen, gourmet foods and healthy drinks. More information on Sajen: Jamu Drink.