Tag Archives: Greenmarket

Do This!: Learn Lacto-Fermentation {Kimchi! Chutney!} with Leda Meredith

Leda Meredith's Lacto Fermentation Sidetour Experience

Leda Meredith's Lacto Fermentation Sidetour Experience

2012 is the year of #scratchcooking. Getting back to the ingredients and making things that you can hold in your own two hands and be proud of. Last weekend I took my new-found pickling love to the next level with a lacto-fermentation class {not to be confused with a lactation class}. Woah. Spicy Carrot Kimchi and Apple Chutney that I would eat straight out of the jar was the end prize. The Sidetour event took place in Brooklyn and was hosted by Leda Meredith, author of The Locavore’s Handbook and food preservationist-extrodinaire.

We spent two hours learning the difference between several food preservation techniques and rules to live by to safely avoid the dreaded botulism {good news, botulism can’t happen when you ferment so keep reading}. Leda showed us a quick hot water bath pickle to distinguish between that jarring method and the lacto-fermentation approach which was going to be our main focus. I’ll skip over the details of the pickle since I covered it in my Happy Girl Pickle Post {read more here}. Jumping to fermentation, just know one thing: this is a quick and easy project that can be done in under 30 minutes, so don’t be scared off by big long words or the idea that jarring is a day-long commitment. Get involved!

Learn to Make Kimchi with Leda {here}

Leda Meredith Makes Hot Water Bath Pickled Carrots

Leda Meredith Makes Hot Water Bath Pickled Carrots

Lacto-Fermentation defined: the biological process by which bacteria converts starches to lactic acid.

Why Lacto-Fermentation is GOOD, not scary: loaded with probiotics that help with digestion and have anti-inflammatory properties. May even fight cancer — hooray!

Stage one of lacto-fermentation: vegetables are submerged in a brine that is salty enough to kill off harmful bacteria. The Lactobacillus good guys survive this stage and begin stage two.

Stage two of lacto-fermentation: the Lactobacillus organisms begin converting lactose and other sugars present in the food into lactic acid. This creates an acidic environment that safely preserves the vegetables – and gives lacto-fermented foods their classic tangy flavor.

Key Fermentation Tips to Live By:

  • Botulism CAN’T happen with fermentation. phew!
  • Fermented foods don’t need to be canned via hot water bath or pressure canning, so can easily be made with an empty mayo jar, salt, vegetables and water. No fancy sealing jars. No sterilization. No equipment needed. But they do need to be stored in the fridge.
  • More specifically, fermented foods should not be canned in a hot water bath, as the heat will kill off all bacteria needed for the lacto-fermentation process.
  • The salt brine is the safety factor in fermentation. As long as you maintain the proper ratio of 1 pint H2O to 2 teaspoons salt, you can play around with any seasonings and veg to let your creativity safely run wild.
  • Adding a splash of whey {from strained yogurt or cheese} will help jumpstart the fermentation process {finally, something to do with all the whey from my homemade ricotta!}
  • Must use filtered water. Chlorine and flouride found in our tap water could kill the bacteria {brita is fine, bottled water may not be since many brands are just bottled tap water}.
  • Must fill the jar all the way to the top with veg and brine so everything is 100% submerged {unlike hot water bath pickling where air space is needed}.
  • Product keeps forever, but flavors will continue to develop to the point of being too pungent and mushy. Peak flavor: 3 months.
Fermented Apple Chutney and Spicy Carrot Kimchi

Fermented Apple Chutney and Spicy Carrot Kimchi

Spicy Carrot Kimchi

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Unrefrigerated Fermentation Time: 48 hours
Minimum Wait Until Eat: 1 week | Peak: 2-3 months

Yield: 1 quart or 1 liter

3 cups filtered water {brita or spring bottled}

1 1/2 tablespoons kosher or other non-iodized salt
1/2 teaspoon nam pla (fish sauce) OR soy sauce
3/4 pound carrots, peeled
1/4 pound daikon radish, peeled
1 scallion, white parts and some of the green, chopped
1 – 2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste

  1. Dissolve the salt in the filtered water. It’s important to use filtered water because the chlorine and other chemicals in most municipal tap water can interfere with the fermentation process.
  2. Stir in the fish or soy sauce.
  3. Finely julienne the carrots and daikon radish into matchstick sized pieces. A mandoline or thin slicing blade of a food processor will make this step easier.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the carrots, daikon radish, grated ginger, chopped scallion, garlic and red pepper flakes. Pack them into a clean quart or liter glass jar.
  5. Pour the brine over the other ingredients. Press gently on the vegetables and spices to release any air bubbles. The brine should completely cover the other ingredients. If the food floats out of the brine, weight it with a smaller glass jar filled with water. If the vegetables are staying immersed in the brine, just cover the jar they are in loosely with a lid.
  6. Place the jar of kimchi on a small plate to catch the overflow that may happen as it starts to ferment. Leave it at room temperature for 24 – 48 hours until you start to see bubbles and it smells slightly sour when you remove the lid.
  7. Once you see and smell signs that the kimchi is actively fermenting, transfer the jar to the door of your refrigerator. This is the warmest part of your refrigerator but still cooler than room temperature – perfect for your kimchi to keep slowly fermenting.
  8. If you plan to store it for longer than a month, move it to a cooler part of your refrigerator (one of the central shelves rather than the inside of the refrigerator door).

Spicy Apple Chutney

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Unrefrigerated Fermentation Time : 48 hours
Minimum Wait Until Eat: 2 weeks | Peak: 2 months 

Yield: 1 quart

1/2 cup filtered water {brita or spring bottled}

2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons whey* (see note below)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 cups cored and finely chopped apples
1/2 cup raisins
2 tsp. kosher or other non-iodized salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. slightly crushed coriander seeds
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (or more, if you like your chutney spicy)
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. caraway seeds

  1. Combine the water, vinegar, honey and whey. Mix the combined liquids with the other ingredients and pack firmly into a quart-size glass jar, leaving at least an inch of head space. The liquid should come up to the top of the fruit. If it doesn’t, add a little filtered water.
  2. Cover and leave at room temperature for 2 days. You should see some bubbles on top by then, which is a sign of active fermentation.
  3. Refrigerate and leave for another week before eating. Will keep in the refrigerator for 2 months. Delicious as a side, on top of meat {pork chop!}, with cheese or on its own!
  4. *The whey in this recipe is already alive with healthy, probiotic bacteria and jumpstarts the fermentation process. To make whey drain plain whole yogurt or homemade ricotta through cloth or paper filters over a bowl. The liquid that separates out is whey.

Scratch Projects {Get Back to your Roots}:
CHEESE | Homemade Ricotta
BREAD | 101: How to Make Bakery Quality Bread @Home
PICKLES | Homemade Spicy Pickled Carrots 

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Do This!: Local Legends: Celebrating Regional Cheeses & Wines

Artisanal Cheese Pairings

Join Artisanal and Greenmarket, GrowNYC for this very special series of events exploring the delicious bounty the New York region has to offer. The events will feature award-winning local cheese and wine makers presenting their farmstead cheeses and hand-crafted wines as you discover perfect pairings from our local terroir. Proceeds from these events benefit the Greenmarket Youth Education Project, which introduces the concepts of seasonality, local food, and sustainable agriculture to over 4,500 NYC school children each year.

Event Line-Up

Friday, October 21st from 6:30-8:30pm — $75
with Jonathan White from Bobolink Dairy and John Martini from Anthony Road Winery and Fromager Jessica Wurwarg 

Thursday, November 17th from 6:30-8:30pm — $75
with Eran Wajswol of Valley Shepherd Creamery and Ann-Marie Borghese of Borghese Vineyards and Fromager Jessica Wurwarg

Wednesday, December 14th from 6:30-8:30 — $75
with Angela Miller from Consider Bardwell and Charles Massoud from Paumanok Vineyards and Max McCalman

Sign-Up HERE

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Do This!: Freshocracy Greenmarket Cooking Demo This Friday

Freshocracy

NYC’s local farm-to-table
grocery and recipe delivery service. 

The tools to put better meals on your table. 

“Freshocracy takes real ingredients, from real local farms, and wraps them in a bow with a recipe card that promises success at the table.”
— Keith Gibson, Grazin’ Angus Acres Farm

Come Meet and Try Freshocracy!

When:  Friday 8/19 from 11-1pm
Where:  97th Street Greenmarket (@Columbus Ave)
What:  Christina and Ferdinand will be running a cooking demo of a favorite Freshocracy recipe: Summer Corn-Peach Salad
Why:  Why not?!
  • Meet Christina (or just say hi)
  • Watch, taste, ask questions, ooh and ahh
  • Introduce neighbors and friends to the new farm-to-table delivery service that so many New Yorkers have come to know and love!
  • Meet the farmers who are working hard each week to bring you such amazing seasonal farm-fresh food!
  • Did we mention free food?
See What People Are Saying About Freshocracy:

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Do This!: Freshocracy Greenmarket Cooking Demo This Sunday

Freshocracy

NYC’s local farm-to-table
grocery and recipe delivery service. 

The tools to put better meals on your table. 

“Freshocracy takes real ingredients, from real local farms, and wraps them in a bow with a recipe card that promises success at the table.”
— Keith Gibson, Grazin’ Angus Acres Farm

Come Meet and Try Freshocracy!

When:  Sunday 6/12 from 12-2pm
Where:  77th Street Greenmarket (@Columbus Ave)
What:  Christina and Andreas will be running a cooking demo of their favorite Freshocracy recipe: Ostrich Tacos with Lime-Pickled Radishes
Why:  Why not?!
  • Meet Christina (or just say hi)
  • Watch, taste, ask questions, ooh and ahh
  • Introduce neighbors and friends to the new farm-to-table delivery service that so many New Yorkers have come to know and love!
  • Meet the farmers who are working hard each week to bring you such amazing seasonal farm-fresh food!
  • Did we mention free food?
See What People Are Saying About Freshocracy:

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Freshocracy On Fox News Live!

Wow, what a week! After launching Freshocracy under the radar just a few weeks ago, we somehow got picked up by Fox News Live {Video: HERE}! One week later, I’m riding the subway down to News Corp. with two bags of fresh greenmarket ingredients, recipes and pre-measured seasonings to show the entire world how easy it is to get back into the kitchen and cook from scratch {seriously, we’re taking all the hard work out of the equation!}

We’re small, but growing and our goal is to make it really easy for busy New Yorkers to put better meals on the table. We do all the planning, shopping and some of the pre-measured prep to deliver everything you need to make dinner easily. The best part about it {well there are many things} is that we source the absolute best ingredients from the local farmers’ market — you just can’t get quality and flavor like this elsewhere. All you have to do is pull out a few pots and pans, follow our easy directions and enjoy!

So if you know any busy working urbanites, new moms or just lovers of good food who are looking for an exciting cooking experience to be apart of, spread the word about Freshocracy! Ramp butter, green garlic, 100% grass-fed beef, 100% Berkshire Pork, mustard greens — are all part of next week’s delivery. Oooooooh!

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and see all the amazing things we’re doing!

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Announcing the Launch of Freshocracy!

Freshocracy

NYC’s Local Farm-to-Table
Grocery and Recipe Delivery Service

Quite Simply: The tools to put better meals on your table.

  • The best local, sustainably-farmed greenmarket ingredients – handpicked by us!
  • Our favorite recipes – inspiring new flavors and improved cooking skills
  • Pre-measured pantry items to reduce waste, saving you time & money
  • Delivery to your door every two weeks

After a year of exciting new food ventures — launching my blog and the 8.ate@eight supper club, attending countless foodie feasts and meeting so many food-loving friends along the way, I’m starting a very exciting new greenmarket grocery and recipe delivery service called Freshocracy.

So many people ask for advice and recommendations about how to make a delicious meal without a lot of effort. Undeterred by the lack of counter space and mini appliances in my own kitchen, I realized all people really need is good products and a little guidance.

Quality Local Greenmarket Ingredients

{fresh, local and sustainably-farmed greenmarket goods is a great place to start — you really can taste and see the difference, I promise}.

Local sustainably-farmed greenmarket goodness

Awesome Recipes!

{And then it helps when you have a great recipe to follow. How do you know it’s great? because I’ve tried it and recommend it much great ooompf! We’ve integrated the instructions for the entree and side, making it extremely easy to get a complete meal on the table at once using all the ingredients we deliver. Each recipe can be made in 30-45 minutes}.

Pistachio-Crusted Lamb with Green Bean and Tomato Salad

Conveniently Pre-Measured!

{And of course it doesn’t hurt to have some conveniences that save you time — we’re all busy New Yorker’s after all. The Freshocracy team pre-measures everything you need for the recipe. Right down to the 1 TBS of worcestershire sauce you need so you don’t have to go out and spend $9.99 for an entire bottle that you will never use again}.

Freshocracy does all of recipe and ingredient planning, shopping and packaging — and then delivers it right to our customer’s door. We take the least fun parts about cooking out of the equation. All you have to do is Join, turn on the stove, chop a few fresh ingredients and enjoy a meal made from scratch in the same amount of time it would take you to review a menu, place an order and wait for take-out.

Follow Freshocracy and stay updated on how to put better meals on your table!

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recipe goodness :: best butternut squash and green apple soup

Fall is my favorite time of year. The air has a slight chill and smells of damp leaves, the colors have a vibrance that puts spring blooms to shame, and the farmer’s market is flush with the fall harvest eager for roasting up a cozy meal to share. Some of the most spectacular veggies made their way to the market this weekend, so before I jump into my favorite fall soup recipe, I just have to share my bounty: Easter Egg Radishes and Graffiti Cauliflower

Fall Farmer's Market Bounty

…leeks, butternut squash and granny smith apples.

Butternut Squash Soup Inspiration

I’ve made this recipe so many times, I’ve lost count. The base of the soup is courtesy of Michael Chiarello, but I’ve made a few adjustments that make this one of the best bowls of butternut squash soup I’ve ever had. The sweetness of the squash and apple is enhanced by the subtle spice from the chili and pepper, but what really adds a memorable, unexpected contrast is the slightly tart pomegranate that bursts with each bite and the salty melt-in-your mouth fluffy popcorn.

Best Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Prep Time: 20 mins | Cook Time: 1 hour
Serves 8

Squash Soup
2 TBS unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sliced leeks, white parts only (~1 large leek)
1 TBS minced garlic
6 cups peeled and roughly diced butternut squash (~1 medium squash)
3 cups peeled and roughly diced apples (~2 large apples)
3 tsp Toasted Spice Rub, recipe follows
6 1/2 cups chicken stock or 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans low-sodium chicken broth mixed with 3 cups water
Sea salt
Pomegranate, deseeded
1 bag microwave popcorn

Toasted Spice Rub
Note: the spice mixture makes enough to fill an empty spice container to use in the future and make the soup even quicker next time.

1 TBS coriander seeds
1 TBS black peppercorns
1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup pure chili powder (about 1-ounce)
2 TBS kosher salt
2 TBS ground cinnamon

In a small heavy pan over medium heat, combine the coriander seeds and peppercorns. Turn on the exhaust fan, add the red pepper flakes, and toss, toss, toss, always under the fan. Immediately turn the spice mixture out onto a plate to cool. Put in a blender with the chili powder, salt, and cinnamon and blend until the spices are evenly ground. If you have a small spice mill or a coffee grinder dedicated to grinding spices, grind only the coriander, pepper, and chili flakes. Pour into a bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients.

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat, and cook until it turns nut brown. Add the leeks and cook until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute briefly to release its fragrance. Add the squash and apples, raise the heat to high, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Stir in the Toasted Spice Rub and cook briefly to toast it, about 1 minute. Add the stock or broth-water mixture, bring to a simmer, and partially cover. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the squash and apples are tender, about 40 minutes. Transfer in batches to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Return to the pot, reheat to serving temperature, and season with salt. Divide the soup among bowls and garnish each portion with some of the pomegranate and popcorn. Serve immediately.

Roughly Dice Peeled Squash and Apples

Slice Leek and Mince Garlic

Saute Leeks and Garlic Until Soft

Stir Until Caramelization Begins and Add Toasted Spice Rub

Add stock, simmer partially covered for 40 minutes and then blend until smooth. Garnish with Pomegranate seeds and popcorn kernels. Serve immediately.

The Best Butternut Squash Soup

A Bountiful Market:
Crop to Cup Creating Quality Community Coffee
Greenmarket: Put Smarter, Cheaper & More Scrumptious Food on Your Table
Why Buy the Cow, When You Can Get the Milkshake for Free?
I Scream, You Scream For MilkMade Handcrafted Ice Cream

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recipe goodness :: roasted cauliflower with gremolata bread crumbs

Stunning Graffiti Cauliflower

“Say it with cauliflowers.” Because I love you, one great cauliflower recipe begets another this week. For a couple years I’ve had a photo I took of a purple cauliflower hanging on the limited wall space of my NYC kitchen.  And while I was walking through the farmer’s market this weekend, I saw him again. The most stunningly royal purple “graffiti cauliflower.” Let me be clear — this graffiti cauliflower is not purple because of some lame carnation-in-dyed water method, this is the color nature intended! So I bought him, brought him home and consulted one of my favorite food websites Food52 for some inspiration from their week 6 recipe contest: “your best cauliflower recipe.” Just today the recipe below was announced as the winner — and I concur with the crowd!

This winning recipe is just another reason to fall in love with cauliflower, and while most people turn the other way from the boring, colorless white cauliflower, let me remind you that this veg is packed with cancer fighting nutrients and vitamin C. So when you can cook up a recipe with lots of other great flavors and find a beautiful variety like this one, you not only create a heathy dish, but one that looks and tastes spectacular. If you can’t get your kids to eat this, I don’t think there’s any hope for them! This recipe is so tasty I recommend following the quantities below so you have leftovers, but you can easily cut it in half if you only want to make enough for 2-3 servings.

Roasted Cauliflower with Gremolata Bread Crumbs
Courtesy of: TheThinChef

Prep Time: 5 mins. | Cook Time: 20 mins | Preheat Oven 425°
Serves 6

2 large heads cauliflower {I used purple grafitti}
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp coarse salt, divided
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup panko {Japanese bread crumbs}
Zest of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 TBS roughly chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 425°F. Trim tough stem and core from cauliflower and discard. Using a paring knife, cut cauliflower into smaller spears. Place in a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper; toss to combine. Spread cauliflower out on 2 large, rimmed baking sheets. Roast until edges start to brown, about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add panko and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir to coat in oil. Cook, stirring constantly, until bread crumbs are golden. Add lemon zest and garlic and toss until mixture is very fragrant and bread crumbs are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Place in a medium bowl and add parsley, stirring to combine. Set aside. Remove cauliflower from oven and place on serving platter. Top with bread crumbs and serve immediately.

The Goods-Roasted Cauliflower with Gremolata Bread Crumbs

Toss with Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper and Spread on Baking Sheet

Add Fresh Chopped Parsley to Toasted Bread Crumbs

Take Lots of Pictures and Enjoy

My Fall Harvest

Fall Harvest Fare:
Autumn Manhattan {Herby Garnished Classic a la Tippling Bros.}
Rosemary, Truffle and Parmesan Chips or Fries
Savory Cauliflower Fried Rice

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Crop to Cup Creating Quality Community Coffee

Crop to Cup Coffee

Bike stop #2: Brooklyn’s Crop to Cup. We had only just finished breakfast and certainly weren’t yet in need of a caffeine pick-me-up, but couldn’t resist a stop in this quaint coffee cafe where brick walls and unmatched chairs welcome you to stop and enjoy a different kind of joe.

Crop to Cup‘s mission is to support the coffee family farmer community beyond what you can expect from Fair Trade brews, employing what they call their “20, 5, 10” program. What that means is farmers receive 20% over market price for their coffee, plus 5% of their coffee’s selling price in coffee consuming communities, plus 10% of company profits. Why should you care? Coffee farmers sell into an open market. They sell to Crop to Cup because they pay higher prices and higher prices encourages farmers to work their farms with more care and commitment creating premium quality coffee that you will no doubt taste in your cup.

There is certainly no shortage of coffee cans on the market, but why not try one that is better for you and the family farmer community. Click here to meet the family faces behind your crop and here to find C2C coffee near you. Good Coffee comes from Good People.

Crop to Cup Coffee, Brooklyn: 139 Atlantic Ave {btw Henry & Clinton St}

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee:
Give Your Monday Morning Mug a Kick in the Pants with Kicking Horse Coffee
Summer Fancy Food Show: Full Belly and Learnings Digestion
recipe goodness :: how to cook the perfect sunny side-up egg
Community Food & Juice: Fresh & Fantastic Fare

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SF Best: RoliRoti Rolls Out Revolutionary Rotisserie

RoliRoti Sets Up

At first RoliRoti may sound like the name of an Indian restaurant, but in fact it’s a food truck rolling out gourmet rotisserie recipes originating from the Swiss Alps and taking the Bay Area by storm. Rotisseur Thomas Odermatt, the son of a Swiss “Metzgermeister,” or Master Butcher, grew up in the family’s Swiss butcher shop before moving to Berkley to pursue an education in organic farming. Serving only sustainably-farmed meats and organic produce, Thomas learned the importance of premium cuts from his father and perfect preparation with a secret spice rub from his mother, bringing a crowd-pleasing culinary combination to the local San Francisco market.

…and to my brother’s wedding rehearsal dinner. Normally to get a bite of RoliRoti you would have to queue up in a long line of hungry Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market foodies on Saturday morning, but after standing in many long lines themselves, my brother and his wife decided to hire RoliRoti to cater the Friday night rehearsal dinner. Lucky us.

So what kind of goodness did this infamous truck roll up with? It’s all about the rotisserie chicken and porchetta slow roasting over a bed of potatoes — yes, vegetarians will have to pass on these spuds. RoliRoti’s prized crispy rotisserie chicken is served with a generous portion of rosemary sea salt and a squeeze of fresh lime for a burst of zesty flavor. The porchetta consists of Heritage’s free range pork loin rolled into the belly with RoliRoti’s original herb mix and lemon zest, grilled on the rotisserie for four hours until crispy brown on the outside, resulting in one succulent hunk of pig!

Dinner's Done!

Rosemary Sea Salt

RoliRoti's Famous Rotisserie Chicken and Roasted Potatoes

The rotisserie may be the main attraction, but the steakhouse salad with sweet early girl tomatoes, red onion and roquefort cheese is a perfect pairing. Or try the charred corn summer salad with fresh avocadoes tossed in punchy lime-jalapeño vinaigrette, garnished with halved cherry tomatoes, bell pepper chunks, and cilantro. Both provide a light and refreshing plate partnership to your carvings.

Early Girl Tomatoes

RoliRoti Summer Salads

The Skim: Whether you’re looking for some finger lickin’ chicken at the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market or a really kick-ass party pleaser, roll over to the RoliRoti truck and you will be begging for seconds. Case in point, after a lot of excited and hungry guests, RoliRoti packed it up early after running out of food — only the second time that had ever happened!

Map: San Francisco Ferry Plaza
Phone: 510.780.0300

More on the Left Coast Cuisine:
Bistro Don Giovanni: Napa-Sourced & Italian-Inspired
Do This!: Le Grand Fooding 2010 New York vs San Francisco

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I Scream, You Scream For MilkMade Handcrafted Ice Cream

MilkMade Homemade Black Currant and Gingersnap Ice Cream

It all started with a purchase of an ice cream maker, a small East Village kitchen and two friends trying to churn out their love for ice cream with their own two hands for kicks. Using nothing but premium, local ingredients sourced from farmers at the NYC greenmarket and a touch of inspiration from seasonal flavors and dining experiences, Diana Hardeman and Michelle Truong, quickly went from being just roommates with a taste for scoops of ‘scream to business partners and co-founders of MilkMade. Once these two milk maids started sharing some of their handcrafted treats with friends, it wasn’t long before many were clamoring for more creamy creations. A shared scoop became a request for a pint became a featured dessert at dinner parties and then suddenly they were getting coverage in local publications and a new business was born. I sat down with Diana last week and she shared not only some scrumptious ‘scream, but the ups and downs of being a small artisan food purveyor in NYC. Here’s the scoop:

First things first, the ice cream goodness. After a long and hot bike ride down to the East Village, this was a welcomed treat for a girl whose body temperature had risen a couple of degrees. Each month MilkMade creates two featured flavors from which their ‘scream subscribers get to choose. For August the churned choices are Black Currant with Chunks of Homemade Gingersnap Cookies or Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie. Black Currant with Gingersnap — two flavors I have never used in my own kitchen, let alone thought of as a perfect match, but let me tell you it was a prized pairing. The fresh tartness of the currants, mellowed out by the creaminess of the ice cream is smooth and delicious on its own, but then you get a crispy chunk of the cookie with the ginger spice and you think, something about this just works — it’s refreshing, it’s rich and it’s something I’ve never tasted before!

So how do you try some for yourself? Well you used to be able to sample at the Greenpoint Food Market, but due to a string of bureaucratic city health regulations, the market was forced to close until all its vendors could find a certified kitchen to operate from along with a range of permits and certificates — all of which can be prohibitively expensive for start-up artisanal food purveyors who barely break even while selling at the market. Lucky for us, MilkMade also has a membership-based subscription option, where those fortunate enough to get off the wait-list can get a pint hand-delivered to their door each month. The ice cream is so fresh, the ingredients are bought, churned and delivered to you within a 2-3 day window. The cost of this unique experience? $50 for 3 pints of ice cream. {!!!}. Expensive, yes, but when you consider the costs I referenced at the beginning of this ‘graph, the fact that this premium treat is hand made in small batches with high quality ingredients from farms such as Ronnybrook Dairy Farm and Knoll Crest, and hand delivered to you by the founders themselves — well, you can’t buy that kind of quality and experience in the freezer section.

Of course for those of you who are lucky enough to grab a seat at a future 8.ate@eight Supper Club, you may just get a sampling of this special treat, but in the meantime, give a gift to yourself or a well-deserving friend and sign-up to put something more exciting in your freezer than a late-night frozen pizza or bag of peas.

Screaming for More?
Why Buy the Cow, When You Can Get the Milkshake for Free?
Greenmarket: Put Smarter, Cheaper & More Scrumptious Food on Your Table
Michael Pollan Agreed With Me, $8 Eggs Are A Good Idea

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Greenmarket: Put Smarter, Affordable & More Flavorful Food on Your Table

Greenmarket Groceries

Happy Father’s Day to my dad and all the other great dads out there. It’s on holidays such as these, that we are reminded of the people we love and want to do the best to take care of them and ourselves so we’re together as long as possible.

Eating better is one way we can certainly make an effort to do that, so I made a trip to the Columbus Ave Greenmarket this morning to pick up some things for breakfast and dinner and thought I’d share a little encouragement to make your own trip to a local farmer’s market. I may not be able to convince you of the wonders of the greenmarket meal over a blog, but I will do my best to paint a picture for you as to why it’s at least worth trying. Once you taste the meal prepared with farm fresh ingredients, I hope you will agree that it’s worth every penny and can taste far superior than a meal you’re willing to tip someone for.

Affordable:

First things first: cost. You look at the price at a local stand and think “some of this stuff is more expensive than what I pay at the store.” It’s all relative. Compare the cost of farm fresh food to all your dining options, as well as the quality of ingredients.

  • Brunch OUT at my favorite UWS joint: $12.88 {food, tax, tip, no drinks}
  • Egg on a roll DELIVERED from the local deli: $4.72 {food, tax, tip, ignoring min. delivery requirement}
  • Breakfast COOKED with deliciously farm fresh organic, antibiotic and hormone-free greenmarket ingredients: $1.77

Let’s break this down even further. This is what I bought:
1 Loaf ‘Not Just Rugelach‘ 7-Grain Bread (~20 slices): $4
1 Quart NJ Organic Strawberries (~40 berries): $6
1 Dozen Grazin’ Acres truly Free Range Pullet Eggs: $8
Grocery Total: $18
Cost / Breakfast: $1.77-$2.43

Assuming you make 12 breakfasts out of what I just bought (1 egg per meal), that $18 turns into  $1.77 per meal. And if you’re the kind of person who likes 2 eggs in the morning, it’s still only costing you $2.43!

Flavorful:

Ok, the math works, but $8 for a dozen eggs you scream! $6 for a quart of strawberries?! I can buy a dozen Free Range, Organic eggs for half that cost at the grocery store and 2 quarts of strawberries for the same cost as what you just spent and lower the cost/breakfast even further than that. True, you can. But do those same purchases taste anything like what I just bought? NOT EVEN CLOSE.

Here’s why. The strawberries are field grown, with absolutely no pesticides or unnatural fertilizers. What that means is they grow with nature, at the speed nature intended.  Often when chemical fertilizers are used, the growing process is accelerated and produce retains more water, diluting the sweet, natural flavors of a plant that is allowed to grow without these additives.  I can’t let you taste how sweet these strawberries were through the power of the Interwebs {at least not yet}, but take a look at how RED they are all the way through each berry and you will get a sense that this is no ordinary store bought fruit. Buying from a local market allows you to talk to the farmers {who woke up at the crack of dawn to bring you this goodness} and ask them about the size of their farm and growing methods. The bigger the producer, the more “help” they need to maintain the volume required to supply grocery chains. Buying local and buying from smaller farms often means there is more attention given to what is being produced and what ends up on your table.

Color IS an indication of flavor.

And the eggs. Oh, the eggs! Yes, I admit, $8 for a dozen eggs sounds crazy. BUT, if you have read The Omnivore’s Dilemma, these are the happiest little egg-producing chickens out there. These gals live in an eggmobile {love it} and follow around Grazin’ Acres Grass-Fed Cattle, munching on nutrient-rich larvae from the cow poop {mmm!}, fertilizing the grass that the 100% Grass-fed beef eat and contribute to a finely tuned symbiotic relationship from grass to cattle to hens to us. Read more about it here, if you’re interested. The bottom line: truly free range, organic, antibiotic- and hormone-free eggs that results in yolks a shade of orange you have never seen before, with a nutrient rich flavor I could never even begin to convince you of on a computer screen. Try them, if only once for curiosity sake.

Smarter:

No chemicals, no added hormones. Period. There are plenty of experts out there arguing the negative health impacts of industrial farming where pesticides, chemical fertilizers and added hormones make things grow bigger and faster. I won’t bring those arguments in here, but I’d prefer take a bite out of something that hasn’t been tainted with potentially harmful chemicals, wouldn’t you?

The Skim: I’m not getting all tree-hugging hippy on you, I’m just telling you that the breakfast I had tasted better than any $50 brunch you could throw at me from any high end, place-to-be-seen NYC hot spot.  By visiting the local market, you can pick up some seriously premium tasting ingredients without spending a fortune {and hey, it’s better for you too}. So tell your friends to bring the mimosas, cook up some ridiculously good $8 eggs and give Pastis a run for it’s money. Who knows, maybe you’ll even earn some tips.

Like This? So Does Michael Pollan:
Michael Pollan Agreed With Me, $8 Eggs Are A Good Idea
How to cook the perfect sunny side-up egg
How to Cook the Perfect 8.5 Minute Egg
How to Cook the Perfect Poached Egg {with Ramp Butter!}
Cumin & Dill Dijon Egg Salad with Radish Sprouts
Secret DiLaura Family Frittata with Sweet Italian Sausage
 

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Why Buy the Cow, When You Can Get the Milkshake for Free?

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Thanks to the renovation of the High Line, Chelsea Market is abuzz more than ever. Over the past two years a lot of great new purveyors of local and artisan food products have claimed a spot in the market to appeal to professional and casual foodies alike. One of my favorite shops is the Ronnybrook Milk Bar, which is both a great place to pick up some premium organic dairy products, as well as a fun place to grab a bite to eat. With milk crate-stacked walls and pull-handle glass front refrigerators showcasing Ronnybrook’s old-fashioned glass bottled milk, the food bar has the feeling of being run right from the farm. The glass bottles aren’t the only thing old-fashioned about Ronnybrook though — the farm prides itself on producing “beyond organic” local products from a herd of grass-fed, free range cows that are hormone and pesticide free, just as farming used to be.

“Our cows’ health is more important to us than the label.”

The Milk Bar’s menu goes beyond their udderly delicious creamline milk, with items such as the Free Range Roast Chicken sandwich with spicy aioli, avocado on a baguette or the homemade Hummus with warm pita, tahini, mushrooms, olive oil and pickles. But don’t fret, you will not leave without enjoying the creamy goodness of the Ronnybrook Farm. Before we even ordered we were presented with an ‘amuse bouche’ single shot of a super premium vanilla milkshake — a delightful and unexpected surprise! But it didn’t stop there — midway through my chicken sammie, our server brought us another shot of a chocolate milkshake, followed by a third shot at the end of the meal of an apple milkshake {not my favorite}. If they weren’t so generous with the free milkshakes, I might have been tempted to order some ice cream for a post-lunch treat, but as the title says…

The Skim: …Or The Creamline — know where your food comes from. You don’t have to be a hemp-wearing, tree-hugging hippy to understand the benefits of chemical-free, locally produced sustenance. If you haven’t given Ronnybrook a try, stop in for a bite to eat at the Milk Bar and nab some free samples — maybe then you’ll fall in love with the creamy goodness. {Chelsea Market, 75 9th Ave.}

Check out other Chelsea Market Good Eats:
NYC Best: Falafel @ Ruthy’s

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