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Archive for September, 2010

Farewell until next season, NW 23rd Market

Today is the last day of the season for 2 of PFM’s Markets. Thursdays seemed to be especially cursed this year – it seemingly rained on 85% of our weekday afternoon Markets. A sentiment nullified by PFM Executive Director Ann Forsthoefel. When asked about her thoughts on the first full year of our 23rd Ave Market, Ann responded, “Weather-smeather, it was a good first year…NW 23rd is a great neighborhood; hosting great farmers, vendors and customers. Food Front Coop did a great job of promoting our new Market and Con-way, who donated the location for the Market, were wonderful hosts. We have a strong foundation to build on next season.”

We will be saying goodbye to our Buckman Market today too – Except for one day in November to help Southeastern Portlanders keep Thanksgiving local. Today is your best chance to say so long to Buckman-only vendors: Denison, Tails & Trotters, Star Anise, 2 Forks Farm and Reister Lamb. If goodbye is too final for you, head to Buckman for the food. Market Manager, Jamie thinks you should close out the Market by staying seasonal and local; Tamiyasu pears paired with either Rogue ‘Caveman’ Blue or Dee Creek ‘Chester’. For those looking for a heartier meal now that it is October – from the Roman/Latin, meaning ‘season of soup’* – Jamie recommends Kabocha and Cinderella squash for squash soup time. (*Or, a more literal translation is octo=eighth; October was the 8th month of the Roman year.)

And if you think how can the Markets close when the bounty is just getting started, PFM still has 4 Markets going. There is another month of Farmers Marketing to be had at the Shemanski, King and Pioneer Courthouse Square locations. PSU goes until very late in the year – And there is some seriously good food rolling through the Markets now. Award winning cheeses, grass fed beef, line caught fish, Oregon and SW Washington grown fruits and veg, delicious hot food and pretty-pretty flowers offer 100s of chances to keep it local.

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September 25, 2010 Chef in the Market demonstration by: Brad Root, Roots Restaurant 

Creamed Local Chanterelles on Toast

Serves 4

Ingredients for Toast:

fresh baked focaccia

olive oil

salt and pepper

Ingredients for Creamed Chanterelles:

1/4 lb. chanterelles, cleaned and cut

3 T shallots, diced

1 t  fresh thyme

salt and pepper, to taste

1 T garlic, minced

1 C cream

2 t red wine vinegar

butter

Directions

  • Toast focaccia
  • Sauté shallots, garlic and chanterelles until all moisture has been released
  • Add cream and reduce by ¾
  • Season with salt and pepper, fresh thyme and vinegar

 

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Weekly Market Report-Pears are Amongst Us Edition

Today may be the first day of Autumn but we are in the middle of Pear Season.

Oregonians grow $110 million worth of the fruit. Pacific Northwesterners pretty much own the domestic and export markets. We love us some pears at the Market and not just because it is mandated as the official state fruit of Oregon. We don’t need an official decree to tell us they are good. You can read more about the virtues and possibilities of pears, at least as according to our friend Nicolette Smith here. There is really no end to their use and with associated words like pyrus, pyriform, perry, there is no end to the fruits usage either.

Pearity; Photo N. Smith

Gala Springs’ organic pears are good to eat out of hand, or cut them up in a salad. Try them sautéed in butter and served over pancakes. With the proper know-how; 30 lbs can be pretty good mashed then triple-distilled to make a Poire Eaux de Vie, or Pear Brandy. Combine it (either the eaux da vie or the actual pears) with Vincent Cranberries for a sweet/tart treat. Or Monteillet Fromagerie Cheese, featured in the news here.

You can get pears at all 6 of our Markets this week. It is the second to last week for both the Buckman and 23rd Ave Markets – enjoy the Markets while they last, they end next week on the last day of September. Our King and Pioneer Square Markets go until the End of October, but don’t squander your chances to attend…like summer they will be gone before you realize they were here.

And speaking of Pioneer Square Market, this Monday our friends and Market sponsors, Country Financial, will be at the Market handing out 200 reusable shopping bags. Okay, that is nice, but garnering reusable totes isn’t the problem, remember to bring them along is, so why bring this up?

1) They are nice bags at a great price.

2) One of the bags will have a certificate for $200 worth of Market tokens – all the better shop with.

That will keep you in pears for some time.

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Pear Season

Glorious Pears

Pear cake.

Pear chutney.

Pear cider.

And those are just the ‘C’s…

A few weeks ago my better-half and I went out to Hood River for the Mt. Hood brunch train. If you haven’t heard of it, you’re not alone. The Mt. Hood Railroad has been choo-chooing through gorgeous apple and pear orchards all the way up to Parkdale for 100 years, but it still continues to be a well-kept secret. (Well, ahem, was a well kept secret.) So when the opportunity arose for my chance to hop aboard, I couldn’t say no.

I was relaying this story to one of my favorite vendors at Kiyokawa Orchards (you know, the apple samples…) and she was quick to point out that you can see their fruit orchards right from the train. Throughout the nearly four hours we were whistling away along the historic tracks, we passed row after row of local produce. Some of which is available weekly though our own farmers market.

Don’t you just love that?

When you can visualize the place where your own food comes from? Right down to the tree?

Pears have long been a favorite of mine, but admittedly, they always seem to get overshadowed by their more full-figured cousin, the apple. “As American as apple pie!”, “It’s like comparing apples and oranges”, “An apple a day will keep the doctor away”. Poor pears. Always Ringo and never John…

Don’t get me wrong, I wait all year for apple season to come around. (There I go again, apple season.) But it’s time we spotlight this frequently underappreciated curvy-bottom darling for a while.

In early and mid-September markets you can find varieties like Bartlett and Star Crimson pears, and look forward to more varieties week by week as the season extends into late October and early November. The Comice pear, with its golden skin and buttery flesh will be arriving for some vendors in just a few weeks.

According to Theresa, from Draper Girls Country Farm, new varieties of pears will be coming in every week. The day I called, she excitedly told me that they had actually sold out of all of their U-pick that day. Business is good.

When asked about the recommended storage of pears she said it really depends on the variety, but for summer pears, like Bartlett and Star Crimson, the kitchen counter is a good spot to leave them for a few days until they are fully ripe.

“Winter pears take forever,” she says while explaining the proper cold-storage temperatures that give farmers market patrons delicious local pears right at the start of spring.

To know when pears are ready, the stem-end of the pear will yield to a little bit of pressure when pushed gently. Theresa also says that some varieties of pears will actually turn just a little bit lighter as it gets closer to eating time. That is if you choose to eat your pears rather than drink ‘em…

Draper Girls sell a mean pear cider that is truly something to write home about. Many of us have had their samples of apple cider at the Saturday PSU market, but when pears are in season apple cider better watch out. Sweet and juicy, pear cider delivers the classic sweet-tart goodness of traditional apple cider, but with a sassy this-has-got-to-be-bad-for-you kick.

Imagine pear cider as apple cider, in a red dress and heels.

Wherever you once used apples, you can now use pears: pear sauce, pear pie, and my most recent addition to Sunday morning pancakes, spiced pear compote with cinnamon and ginger. Just chop up some ripe, peeled pears and sauté them over medium heat with cinnamon, sugar, powdered ginger, and a tiny bit of butter for good measure. Your pancakes will never be the same.

And maybe this year, you can let the pears be the center of attention at your fall table. After all, we all need a little time in the spotlight to really shine.

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September 18, 2010 Chef in the Market demonstration by: Doug Lum, Crave Catering 

Multi-Grain Blini with House-Cured Salmon Gravlox and Chive Crème Fraiche

Yield: 12 or more appetizer servings

Salmon fillets are cold-cured with salt, sugar, pepper, dill or any of your favorite herbs. It is imperative that the fish be absolutely as fresh as possible. No cooking required. Plan ahead. This will take about 3 days.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients: 

1 (3- to 4-pound) salmon, weighed after cleaning and beheading, skin on

3 Tablespoons salt

2 Tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 good-size bunch dill, roughly chopped, stems and all

1 package of Multi-Grain Pancake Mix from Gee Creek Farms, prepared according to package directions

1 cup Crème Fraiche from Jacob’s Creamery

 

Directions for Salmon 

  • Fillet the salmon or have the fishmonger fillet it for you; the fish need not be scaled
  • Lay both halves, skin side down, on a plate.
  • Sprinkle with the salt, sugar, and pepper and spread the dill over them
  • Sandwich the fillets together, tail to tail, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap
  • Cover the sandwich with another plate and something that weighs about a pound — an unopened can of coffee or beans, for example
  • Refrigerate
  • Open the package every 12 to 24 hours and baste, inside and out, with the accumulated juices
  • On the second or third day, when the flesh has lost its translucence, slice thinly as you would smoked salmon — on the bias and without the skin
  • serve on the multi-grain blini topped with chive crème fraiche

Directions for Chive Crème Fraiche:

Chop chives and fold into crème fraiche

 

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Weekly Market Report – Begins with B-E-E Edition

B-E-E-F: Carman Ranch raises grass-fed beef in Oregon’s Wallowa Valley. If you are like me in the sense that you live in Portland for its urban amenities instead of its proximity to nature and the outdoors, nay the rugged outdoors, the Wallowa Valley is tucked up in the Northeastern corner of the state – closer to Idaho than Portland. Although you might recognize Carman Beef from trips to Pastaworks or from the menu of clarklewis, Ned Ludd or Tabla. The Carmans are a just as likely a familiar sight from their appearances at PSU on Saturdays. Stop by this week and say hi and talk about ordering a beef share this fall. If you are wondering what you would do with that much beef, the Carmans will be joined by Lynne Sampson Curry author of the forthcoming Pure Beef: A New Way to Cook and Eat America’s Favorite Meat (Perseus/Running Press, 2012), Lynne will share cooking tips, recipes

Busy as Something or Other

and ideas. Learn more about Lynne by checking out her blog. And you can check out Carman Ranch from the comfort of your couch here. Sure the website is full of what looks like inviting pictures, just keep in mind man v. nature is more than a literary theme.

B-E-E: This Friday, the 17th, Queen of the Sun, What the Bees are Telling Us?, opens for at least a 2 week run at the Hollywood Theater. Sure it is a movie, where experts like Michael Pollan explain the importance of bees. But the nightly screenings are also an interactive fiesta with raffles, local beekeepers, the film’s director, hive keeper and Portland Mayor Sam Adams and a chance to visit the city’s beeworks with the Tour De Hive. Learn More by visiting the documentary’s website here.

B-E-E-R: Okay that one was easy. Upright Brewery makes beer and they sell tall bottles of French and Belgian style Ales at PSU. These aren’t your everyday lagers; definitely worth the taste.

B-E-E-T-S: Rick Steffen, Groundworks, the Spring Hill Gang are all are going to be selling this undervalued beet. Don’t let the ones you were forced to eat from a can as a kiddie deprive your adult taste buds. Beets and Beef stock make for some fine borscht. Top it with some sour cream and enjoy the chill of the night air.  Yep, it is soup weather. Summer, oh summer gone before we barely knew thee.

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September 9, 2010 Taste the Place demonstration by:

Adam Hawkins, Genoa and Accanto

PEACHES, PROSCIUTTO & PURSLANE

Ingredients:
Purslane
·    available from Gathering Together Farms
·    is a succulent flowering plant
·    full of omega 3 fatty acids
·    flavor is slightly sour and resinous but mild and it is really a weed
Prosciutto
·    ask your butcher to slice you prosciutto di parma as thin as possible(12 thin slices makes enough for 12 one bite hors d’hoevres)
Peaches
·    available from Market Fruit and Tamiyasu
·    are a great source for potassium and vitamin C

Directions:
·    clean the purslane of any woody stems so to have nice leafy pluushes….(not sure about sp.)
·    slice 2 peaches, 1/8″ thick right before serving
·    take a small bunch of purslane, place it against the peach slice
·    wrap the prosciutto around peach and purslane to bundle (the ham should adhere itself)
·    sprinkle with sea salt, good olive oil, and possibly a drop or 2 of old balsamic vinegar

CHILLED CHERRY TOMATO, MELON & CUCUMBER SOUP
Serves 4-8

This soup is wonderfully simple in preparation and nutrition. Feel free to switch up the recipe with different types of tomatoes and  melons to suit your tastes.  Right now I am using Gathering
Together Farms Sungold cherry tomatoes and Charentais canteloupe melon as well as their cucumbers because they are the sweetest and purest in flavor.

This soup can be served in shot glasses as an hors d’ ouevre or in individual bowl servings.

Ingredients:
8 cucumbers,  peeled and roughly chopped (remove seeds if bitter)
1 pint Sungold cherry tomatoes cleaned and halved
1 Charentais canteloupe seeded and roughly chopped, skin removed
1 clove of garlic thinly sliced
1 small spring onion chopped  (small meaning the size of golf ball)

Directions:
·    add all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl with 1 1/2 T of salt and mix well ( the salt will get the juices going and all of the ingredients will get to know each other)
·    add 2 T champagne vinegar and 2 T fruity olive oil to the mix also
·    after all the fruit and vegetables marinate for at least an hour but preferably up to a day puree, juices and all
·    adjust the salt and pepper, chill and serve

*optional*-   add herbs like mint, basil, etc…. or chili if you like

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