couple of Sundays ago, the CBS Sunday Morning show did a segment on
farmers markets and their growing popularity. Within the story,
they gave the following statistics. In the last year, in the US,
there were 858 new farmers markets started for a total of 6,132 markets
currently in operation. That number is a 16% increase over the
number of markets that existed in 2009.
story inspired me to use these statistics as a jumping off concept for
this month's newsletter. I can't help but be encouraged that
people are supporting their local farmers and even more than that,
they're seeking them out.
you read through this month's newsletter, you'll see how Richard (our
Chef de Cuisine for Frontera) has incorporated the best of the season
within his new menu. I've created an apple coffeecake using apples
from my local farmers market. In the Frontera Farmer Foundation
section, I'll introduce you to a local farmer - one of our Frontera
Farmer Foundation 2010 recipents. And finally, I'll give you some
ideas on how to extend the season through preserving all those fabulous
fruits and vegetables.
Spotlight on Frontera
of my favorite times of the month is when I get the chance to sit down
and talk to our chefs about their menus and the new dishes that they
have created. This month Richard James, our Chef de Cuisine for
Frontera, has woven both seasonal ingredients and some traditional
dishes from the Yucatan and coastal regions into his menu. This is
Richard's favorite time of year since there's so much great produce
example, on his new menu, he has six dishes that feature both local
tomatoes and the tomatoes from our rooftop garden. He challenged
himself to creatively incorporate tomatoes into each dish in a way that
wasn't redundant, but, at the same time was an integral part of the
using tomatoes as the base of our famous Poblano Gazpacho, in a sauce
for his Albondigas Cazuela, as a raw salsa for his Baked Skirt Steak
Tostadas, in our seasonal "Rooftop" Table Salsa, in the Queso Fundido
and finally in the Poc Chuc which relys on sliced tomatoes to complete
picked the Yucatan and Coastal regions to inspire many of his dishes
this month since the cuisine from those regions work so well at this
time of year. The classic dishes from this area of Mexico tend to
be lighter, are served chilled or at room temperature, and relies
heavily on fresh produce.
Come in and taste the best that summer has to offer featured this month on our
Rick's Upcoming Events
Sept. 25th Millenium Park in Chicago. Rick will be appearing on the Main Stage at this year's
Chicago Gourmet event.
This is a two day wining and dining extravaganza. Check out their
web site for more details on this annual event.
29th Macy's in Pasadena at 401 South Lake Ave. Rick's demo
starts at noon with a book signing afterward. There is a suggested
donation of $5.00 with proceeds going to the Los Angeles Regional Food
Bank. No RSVP required.
Sept. 30th Macy's Home Store at South Coast Plaza in
Costa Mesa. Rick's demo will be held in the Cellar Kitchen at
6:30pm with a book signing afterward. There is a suggested
donation of $5.00 with proceeds going to the Second Harvest Food Bank of
Orange County. No RSVP required.
7th San Antonio, Texas Join Rick and KLRN TV for a
fundraiser to benefit the station at the St. Anthony Hotel.
"Dinner with Rick Bayless" includes Rick's demonstration, dinner and an autographed copy of "Fiesta at Rick's".
Left to right - Kyle, Colton, Raven, 2nd row- Donna, Keith, Jason
2010 has represented a turning point for
South Pork Ranch,
a family farm located in Chatsworth, Illinois. The changes have
been the most dramatic in the last six months with their decision to
stop selling their milk conventionally and start selling raw milk
directly from the farm. They have customers coming daily from all
over Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and even Missouri to buy their raw
milk and also their organic beef and pork.
huge influx of customers coming to buy direct prompted them to consider
building a store which Donna blogged about several months ago.
One of their milk customers read her blog and came forward to fund that
project and become an investor in the farm. The store is about halfway
completed and has been the turning point of getting their three sons
more vested in the farm.
oldest son, Colton, is a licensed electrician and is handling all the
electrical work in the store. Their middle son, Jason, has taken
over more responsibility for their herd of cows which has allowed Donna
and Keith to devote more time to raising their Red Waddle Hogs.
Keith and Donna started raising these hogs commercially in 2009 and were
able to expand the herd with their Frontera Farmer Foundation grant
this year. Their youngest son, Kyle has jumped into the marketing
side of the business and he and his wife just did their first event in
Chicago where they cooked tastings for 300 people.
of the Red Waddle hogs, Keith and Donna can't raise them fast enough to
keep up with the demand. They're planning on increasing their
operation by between 100 to 150 percent, and even with that huge jump in
growth, they still won't be able to meet all the demand they currently
have on their books.
If you're interested in purchasing any of the products from
South Pork Ranch,
Donna encourages you to call ahead (815-635-3414) to verify the hours
and availability. If you get a chance, you should really check out
Donna's blog for an inside peek at life on the farm. It's very entertaining.
Kitchen Gadget Adventures
I first saw these serving knives by
at this year's Houseware show. I will confess that I hadn't had a
chance to test them out until recently, however I gave them quite the
workout this month while testing the apple struesel cake. (Don't
ask how many times we tested this cake before we decided on this
version. Let's just say that everyone in the building has started
to run away when they see me coming.)
There are two styles of knives, the
rectangle and the
I worked with both styles and can't say that I prefer one over the
other. They both have a nonstick surface for easy release and
clean up. I like the serrated edge since you no longer need a
separate knife to cut servings. It comes with a protective sheath
for storing the knife. Each style retails for $18 and they're
available on the internet and at many cookware stores and houseware
departments that carry the Kuhn Rikon line.
New from the Test Kitchen
Extending the Summer Harvest
snapped this photo Saturday morning as I was shopping at my local
farmers market. Everyone at the market was talking about the
display and the variety of tomatoes this farm had for sale. There
were hundreds of tomatoes piled onto two six foot tables. It was
an amazing sight. It motivated me to think not only about the
vegetables I wanted to buy for the coming week, but also to think about
how to extend the season by taking advantage of the summer bounty and
of the easiest ways to preserve is by freezing the produce either whole
or made into sauces, purees, or soups. It does require freezer
space which is usually at a premium, but I've gotten around this by
borrowing space in my friends and family's freezers. You can also
try your hand at canning or pickling as a method of preserving.
Give it a try, you'll be glad you did come December when summer is just a distant memory.
See you next month.
Test Kitchen Director/Web Site Culinary Director
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