Monthly ArchiveAugust 2010

Seasonal Cooking 16 Aug 2010 10:13 pm

Stuffed Kohlrabi

Two awesome-looking kohlrabi came through from the Paisley Farm CSA this week. This was my first time cooking with kohlrabi, so I wanted to try something a little interesting. Also, I wanted to use up some turkey sausage that had been sitting in my freezer. Here is a recipe that I came up with for sausage stuffed kohlrabi.

I know a few people who become almost lyrical when talking about this strange-looking and strangely-named vegetable, so I’m glad to’ve finally indulged my curiosity about it.  Its juicy texture is sometimes compared to that of an apple, though its flavor is vegetable-y and not sweet. It’s related to the cabbage (as is broccoli, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts), and it’s name is German for “turnip cabbage.” The round bulb looks like a root, but is actually part of the kohlrabi plant’s stem.

I made up this recipe as I went along, so I can’t vouch for its reliability, but it did come out pretty tasty. Please suggest any improvements that come to mind.  A better variation might be to stir in some of the chopped kohlrabi pulp after the rice has cooked, so it retains some crunch. Or, stuff the un-cooked kohlrabi, then braise them, like this Epicurious recipe for German-style stuffed kohlrabi says to do. My version, however, seemed simpler for a first-timer like me.

NYC Greenmarkets &Seasonal Cooking 15 Aug 2010 04:29 pm

Summertime Risotto with Sweet Corn, Basil and Tomato

Thanks everyone for coming out to the Borough Hall Greenmarket yesterday and for having a taste of my Sweet Corn and Tomato Risotto. I had a blast! I hope you all were inspired to buy some corn and tomatoes and try this yourself. Here is the recipe.

NYC Greenmarkets 14 Aug 2010 09:23 am

McCarren Park Greenmarket Update: August 14

Greenmarket update for McCarren Park, from market manager Chelsea Whittaker:
Local chef Jordon Colòn of Eat restaurant, at 124 Meserole Avenue in Greenpoint, will be doing a cooking demonstration in the morning using only Greenmarket produce. Come watch him cook, eat his delicious food, and ask him questions about his restaurant and cooking.

And don’t forget to check out your favorite market’s Twitter page for more updates: @McCarrenPkGmkt

And my own note: Red Jacket Orchards now has popsicles! They’re made by a gourmet popsiclery in Chelsea Market, but made of course from Red Jacket juices. Yum!

Seasonal Cooking 08 Aug 2010 10:22 pm

Home Made Lamb Sausage

There’s a lesson every cook learns when he’s first starting out, and maybe re-learns many times thereafter. It is, simply: I can make that! It’s when he realizes that some food he’d always encountered only as an already assembled thing, that seemed to have been created by some mysterious procedure, is something he can create himself at home, in his own kitchen.  In that moment he has taken that food back from the chefs and supermarkets. Whether he chooses from then on to always make this food himself, or whether he goes back to allowing the pros to make it for him, he’s broken its mystique it and gained an understanding of what’s inside it.

It’s a lesson I learned again a couple of weeks ago when I visited my brother Joe in Vermont and he suggested that we make sausage. “Make sausage,” I thought “you can just make sausage?” Somehow, I’d always thought some special machinery or a secret, unobtainable ingredient was required to transform meat into actual sausage.

But  it turns out all that’s really needed is meat, fat, spices, and something to chop them all together with. A chef’s knife might do, but there are some gadgets that help to do the job properly.  A meat grinder or food processor will ensure that the meat, fat and spices are thoroughly mixed and have the even texture you expect in sausage. And if you want to pack your sausage into links (rather than patties), you’ll need sausage casings and some kind of sausage stuffer.  Sausage stuffers come in many shapes and sizes, but perhaps the most common for home use, and the one my brother and I used, is the sausage stuffer / meat grinder attachment to the KitchenAid stand mixer.

As for casings, Joe managed to find them at his local supermarkets. That’s Vermont, though, and people up there expect such things to be on hand. You may need to seek out a butcher shop.

Other than that, you just need a recipe. Sausage recipes are as endless as, well, as endless as there are kinds of sausage. We were after lamb sausage, since Joe had a lamb he’d recently bought all wrapped up neatly in butcher paper parcels in his freezer. Interestingly, all of the the recipes called for pork fat and not lamb fat – lamb fat being, I suppose, a bit harder to come by. This being Vermont, we didn’t have to look far to find pork fat – we got ours from a farm near Middlebury.

The process was slow and labor intensive, but simple. Cut the meat & fat in to cubes, and toss it together with the spices. Run the mixture through a meat grinder. Run the mixture through a meat grinder again. Taste-test your recipe by taking a bit of the mixture and cooking it on a hot skillet. Adjust the spices as necessary.  Attach the sausage stuffer to the meat grinder and thread a sausage casing onto it (the casings will need to’ve been well rinsed & soaked). Pull a little of the casing off of the stuffer and tie a  knot in it. Run the sausage mixture through the meat grinder again, this time feeding the mixture into the casing.

This part definitely works best with two people: one person pushing the meat mixture through the grinder and one person holding the casings as the mixture feeds into it. I found that it helped to force he mixture down into the casing with my hands, since the  stuffer didn’t to push the meat through with enough force to fill out the casings for nice plump sausages. Twist the sausage into links as you go, or wait until you’ve filled entire casing is filled and then twist it into links. Lay it out in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze. Amazingly, it’s sausage!

NYC Greenmarkets 06 Aug 2010 06:06 pm

Dance with a Farmer this Weekend at the Borough Hall Greenmarket

From David Sherman, market manager of the Borogh Hall Greenmarket:
Dance with a farmer this Saturday the 7th at the Brooklyn Borough Hall Greenmarket. Come and support local, sustainable agriculture and get your groove on with NYC’s premier global party band The People’s Champs, who will be performing for free at the market. We will also be serving up our delicious sweet corn for all our customers to enjoy. Nothing goes better with local Donut Peaches and Free-Range Bacon than sunshine and afro-rock grooves! The most fun you’ll ever have shopping for groceries — guaranteed!

Local Food, Global Funk
Where: Brooklyn Boro Hall Greenmarket, Cadmen Plaza on Court & Montague  4,5,1,2,F,A,C,G
Date: Sat, Aug 7th
Cost: Free