MARKET RECIPE: Gazpacho

Gazpacho 1

By Brooke Marshall

While trying to bear the hot summer days we’ve had, turning on the oven or firing up the grill seems like the last thing anyone would want to do.  Luckily, with tomatoes coming in, we don’t have to.  Gazpacho is a cold soup that’s not only served cold, but actually a raw veggie soup that is never cooked.  So we don’t even need to turn our stoves on for this one.  Just get out your blender or food processor and you’re good to go.

The other thing I like about gazpacho is that it can be garnished with so many things.  Try basil, cilantro, avocado, shrimp, sour cream, Mexican crema, or extra olive oil, whatever you fancy.  I garnished mine with cilantro, avocado, and Mexican crema, but it’s also perfect without any extras at all.

This recipe is coming to you just in time for Tomato Fest at the Ambler Farmers’ Market.  In case you’re wondering whose tomatoes I used, I spread the love and used a combination from Pennypack Farm, Taproot Farm, and Clay Brick Farms.  I hope to see you at the market this weekend getting some delicious tomatoes while they’re at their peak.

GAZPACHO
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs white wine vinegar
  • More salt to taste

Gazpacho 2

Recipe:

  1. Mix the diced tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, green pepper, and salt in a large mixing bowl and let it rest for 30 minutes. This will draw the juice out of the tomatoes and other vegetables.
  2. Reserve 4 cups of the tomato mixture and put the rest of the mixture and juice into a food processor or blender along with the minced garlic and jalapeño. Then puree the vegetables.  While pureeing, drizzle in the olive oil and vinegar.  After pureeing the vegetables, you may want to strain the puree with a fine mesh strainer to remove any solids.  I used a food processor and skipped the straining step myself.
  3. Stir the puree and 4 cups of reserved tomato mixture together in a bowl and add more salt, if needed.  Chill in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.  Then garnish as you see fit.

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Brooke Marshall is a market volunteer, Ambler socialite and overall good egg. This season she will be the market’s resident locavore, turning market proceeds into culinary delights. If you see her at market, say hello. And if you make one of her recipes, bring it to market for her approval. Only kidding about the last part.

MARKET RECIPE: Rainbow Trout Tacos with Pickled Salsa

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By Brooke Marshall

I’m a colossal fish taco fan.  If they’re on a menu, it’s difficult for me to pass them up.  So I decided to make them myself for the first time with Clay Brick Farms’ fresh caught rainbow trout.  I thought I’d fry the fish, even though I’ve never fried a single thing in my life.  So you can probably guess things didn’t turn out perfectly.  These fillets come two in a pack and I battered the entire fish and fried them in my cast iron skillet that ended up being a bit too small.  I lost some of the batter that stuck to the pan, but what remained was delicious.  Next time I’ll cut the trout into smaller pieces first, then batter and fry those.  That’s what I’m suggesting in the recipe.  I hope your luck with the batter and frying is better than mine, but even if it doesn’t work out perfectly, expect an excellent meal.

RAINBOW TROUT TACOS with PICKLED SALSA
Serves 2

Ingredients:

Pickled Salsa

  • 1 medium-to-large tomato, diced
  • 2 Tbs chopped onion
  • 2 Tbs chopped parsley
  • 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • Salt

Fish Batter

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, divided
  • ½ cup milk or buttermilk
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking powder

Tacos

  • 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Canola oil for frying
  • 4 flour tortillas
  • 1 pack of Clay Brick Farms’ Rainbow Trout
  • 2 cups of roughly shredded lettuce
  • Salt and Pepper

Recipe:

  1. Make the salsa – Combine the diced tomatoes, onion, parsley, and apple cider vinegar in a bowl. Add salt to taste.  Set aside.
  2. Make lemon vinaigrette – Whisk the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard together, or put these ingredients in a small air-tight container and shake. Then set the vinaigrette aside.
  3. Fry the trout and tortillas – Put a ½ cup of the flour in a shallow dish or plate. Combine all other batter ingredients in a bowl and whisk until combined.  Remove the skin from the trout fillets, rinse them, and pat them dry to remove excess moisture.  Then cut them into strips or pieces.  Set the trout aside.  Heat a couple of tablespoons of Canola oil in a skillet or dutch oven.  Fry the tortillas in the oil one at a time, turning so that both sides are browned.  Add more oil if necessary as you move through the tortillas.  Set the tortillas aside.  Add more oil to the skillet or dutch oven so that the oil is an inch or so high.  Heat the oil to 350-375°  Use a thermometer to check the temperature of the oil.  While the oil is coming to temperature, coat the trout with the ½ cup of flour and then with the milk mixture.  Fry the trout for a few minutes, turning the trout to make sure the batter browns evenly.
  4. Assemble the tacos – When the trout is almost done, use the lemon vinaigrette to dress the lettuce. You may not need it all.  Put the dressed lettuce in the flour tortillas.  When the trout is done, top the lettuce with the trout and season with salt and pepper.  Serve with the pickled salsa.

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Brooke Marshall is a market volunteer, Ambler socialite and overall good egg. This season she will be the market’s resident locavore, turning market proceeds into culinary delights. If you see her at market, say hello. And if you make one of her recipes, bring it to market for her approval. Only kidding about the last part.

MARKET RECIPE: Dijon Potato and Green Bean Salad

Dijon Potato Salad 1

By Brooke Marshall

Once things warm up outside, I’m always looking for light meals using market produce. With green beans and red potatoes now at market, I thought the combination of the two would make a great dinner-time salad. I served this with hard-boiled eggs to round it out with protein. It tastes as good cold as it does at room temperature, so it’s a great dish to make a day ahead for a BBQ or to have for leftovers. You could also make this with double the potatoes or double the green beans if you want a straight-up potato or green bean salad.

DIJON POTATO AND GREEN BEAN SALAD
Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 6 Tbs olive oil + a couple teaspoons
  • 2 Tbs white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbs Dijon mustard
  • 1 quart new red potatoes
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 quart green beans, trimmed and cut in half
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley + extra for garnish
  • salt and pepper

Dijon Potato Salad 2

Recipe:

  1. Hard boil the eggs. Put the eggs at the bottom of a saucepan and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil. Remove the pan from heat and cover for 12 minutes. After removing the eggs from heat, prepare an ice water bath. Immediately transfer the eggs to the ice water bath when they’re done. This will prevent the yokes from having green edges.
  2. While the eggs are coming to a boil, make the dressing. Combine six tablespoons of olive oil, white wine vinegar, and Dijon mustard in a mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper for seasoning. Whisk until emulsified. Set aside.
  3. Cook the potatoes and sauté the chopped shallots. Bring a saucepan filled with salted water to a boil and add the potatoes. Cook the potatoes until they can be pierced with a fork, but not too tender that they’re mushy. While the potatoes cook, heat a couple of teaspoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and sauté them until they just start to brown. Then set the shallots aside. When the potatoes are almost done, prepare an ice water bath. Transfer the potatoes to the ice water bath when they’re done. Once the potatoes have cooled down a bit, peel the skins. They should peel off with your fingers. Chop the potatoes into half-inch pieces and put them in a mixing bowl. Add a third to half of the dressing to the potatoes and toss to coat. Then add the shallots to the bowl with the potatoes.
  4. Blanch the green beans. Bring a saucepan filled with salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook until crisp-tender (4-5 minutes). While the green beans are cooking, prepare an ice water bath. Once the green beans are done cooking, drain off the water using a strainer and transfer them to the ice water bath too cool. Then add the green beans to the bowl with the potatoes and shallots. Add the parsley and as much dressing as you’d like to coat the vegetables. I didn’t use all of the dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve with a hard-boiled egg and garnish with extra parsley.

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Brooke Marshall is a market volunteer, Ambler socialite and overall good egg. This season she will be the market’s resident locavore, turning market proceeds into culinary delights. If you see her at market, say hello. And if you make one of her recipes, bring it to market for her approval. Only kidding about the last part.

MARKET RECIPE: Chopped Market Salad

Chopped Market Salad 11

By Brooke Marshall

It’s heating up outside, so this week I decided to cool things down with a chopped salad.  Produce is starting to pour into the market and I couldn’t resist the peas and broccoli we’re seeing for the first time this market season.  I also picked up some beets and cucumbers to round things out.  This salad required a little prep in terms of cooking some of the veggies first, but you can do this a day ahead or on the weekend and have everything ready for salads all week.

CHOPPED MARKET SALAD
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2 heads of lettuce
  • 2 heads of broccoli
  • 2 quarts of hull peas
  • 1 bunch of beets
  • 2 cucumbers
  • chopped dill
  • salt and pepper
  • pepitas or sunflower seeds (optional)
  • ranch or blue cheese dressing

Chopped Market Salad 21

Recipe:

  1. Roast the beets – Preheat the oven to 350° Remove beet stems and clean beets with a brush.  Make a packet out of aluminum foil and place clean beets in the packet.  Put the packet on a cookie sheet and roast for an hour or until the beets are tender.  Let the beets cool down a bit.  Then peel them.  The skin should come off very easily.  I used my fingers to peel the skin off after roasting.  Set aside or store the beets in the refrigerator if you’re cooking these ahead.
  2. Blanch the peas – Hull the peas and get set up for blanching.  Get a pot of water boiling, fill a bowl with ice and water, and line a large baking sheet with kitchen or paper towels.  Put half the hulled peas into a fine-mesh strainer.  Once the water is boiling, immerse the peas in the strainer into the pot of boiling water making sure the peas are covered completely.  Keep them in the water for 90 seconds.  Remove the peas and put them into the ice-water bath.  Once the peas are completely cooled, pour them out of the strainer onto the towels to dry.  Add more ice to the ice-water bath and repeat with second half of peas.  When the peas are dry-ish, set them aside or store them in the refrigerator until they’re ready to be used.
  3. Blanch the broccoli – Cut the broccoli into florets.  Blanch the florets in two batches using the same method as used for the peas.  You can use the same water you used to blanch the peas and the same ice-water bath, as long as you continue to add more ice.
  4. Chop the lettuce, cucumbers, broccoli, beets, and dill. Combine all of the chopped ingredients in a salad bowl with the peas.  Season with salt and pepper.  Then top with pepitas or sunflower seeds if you’d like.  Dress with a creamy dressing, like ranch or blue cheese.

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Brooke Marshall is a market volunteer, Ambler socialite and overall good egg. This season she will be the market’s resident locavore, turning market proceeds into culinary delights. If you see her at market, say hello. And if you make one of her recipes, bring it to market for her approval. Only kidding about the last part.

MARKET RECIPE:  Market Dessert – Strawberry Ice Cream & Shortbread (Sandwiches)

Ice

By Brooke Marshall

It’s strawberry season, or at least it was.  It seems strawberry season has been cut a little short this year because these berries love water about as much as the Wicked Witch of the West.  All that spring rain had me worried, but we’ve been lucky to have lots of strawberries at the market the past two weekends.  So I wanted to do something with them I’ve never done before, and that something turned out to be ice cream.

One of my favorite summertime desserts is an ice cream sandwich.  Typically, I cheat and buy my favorite store-bought cookies and ice cream.  Then seconds after I get home, I smush the ice cream between the cookies, wrap them in plastic wrap, and throw them in the freezer.  These are simple, delicious, and ready to eat in no time, but I thought it might be time for me to make ice cream sandwiches from scratch.  I have to confess, I still cheated.  I did make strawberry ice cream sandwiches from scratch, but I didn’t come up with my own recipes this time.  I relied on the expertise of the Serious Eats writers for the strawberry ice cream and shortbread recipes.  They both turned out to be great recipes.  The ice cream and shortbread pair together nicely, whether you decide to put them in sandwich-form or not.

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STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM & SHORTBREAD (SANDWICHES)
Serves 8

Recipe Links:

Note:  For the shortbread recipe, instead of using a tart pan, I used a 13”x9” inch baking pan so I could make rectangular cookies for ice cream sandwiches.  This size pan was perfect to get 16 cookies for 8 sandwiches.

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Assembling the Sandwiches:

Notes:

  1. The ice cream needs to be very frozen to easily make sandwiches. After making the ice cream, it should be frozen overnight before attempting to assemble the sandwiches.
  2. Once you take the ice cream out of the freezer, you’ll notice that your first sandwiches are easy to make, but as the ice cream begins to soften, it will become more difficult. Therefore, it’s best to work as quickly as possible.  To make things move more quickly, I lay out the plastic wrap that I use to wrap each sandwich on the counter before I take the ice cream out of the freezer.  I also lay out the cookies so I can work through them like an assembly line.
  3. After you make a sandwich, put it directly in the freezer. If you wait to put them all in when you’re done, you’ll likely end up with very messy sandwiches that look like they melted and refroze.

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Brooke Marshall is a market volunteer, Ambler socialite and overall good egg. This season she will be the market’s resident locavore, turning market proceeds into culinary delights. If you see her at market, say hello. And if you make one of her recipes, bring it to market for her approval. Only kidding about the last part.

MARKET RECIPE: An American Gyro – Merguez Burgers with Tzatziki Sauce & Roasted Potatoes

Burger

By Brooke Marshall

For many of us, Memorial Day marks the beginning of backyard barbecues and pool parties.  I’m not much of a griller, but I wanted to celebrate this past Memorial Day with some traditional all-American fare.  I knew my bases were covered at the Ambler Farmers’ Market. Freeland Market had scrumptious-looking hamburger patties and frankfurters, but my thoughts shifted when I realized they also had Merguez sausage burgers.  For those of you who are unfamiliar, Merguez sausage is a lamb sausage flavored with harissa and cumin.  I also remembered that Taproot Farm has had cucumbers, the first of the season, and thought tzatziki sauce would balance the spicy harissa nicely.  So I settled on the lamb burgers topped with tzatziki sauce, an American gyro.

At first I planned to grill these burgers, but since I don’t have a grill, I was at the mercy of my friends and our conflicting schedules over the holiday weekend.  In the end, I decided I would pan-fry the burgers in a cast-iron skillet.  This was a great way to prepare them, giving the burgers a very crispy crust.  If you don’t want the smell of fried burgers lingering in your house though, you may want to try the grill.  Either way, my only other recommendation is to make sure you toast those hamburger buns on the grill or in the oven before constructing these burgers.  Nothing makes a burger fall flat faster than a cold roll.

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MERGUEZ BURGERS WITH TZATZIKI SAUCE & ROASTED POTATOES
Serves 4

Ingredients:

Tzatziki Sauce

  • 2 cucumbers, approximately 1 lb. (Taproot Farm)
  • 2 cups full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill (Pennypack Farm)
  • Juice from 1 lemon

 Roasted Potatoes

  • 4 potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (Clay Brick Farm)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley, chopped

Merguez Burgers

  • 4 Merguez burger patties (Freeland Market)
  • 4 hamburger buns, preferably brioche
  • Lettuce (Taproot Farm)
  • Sliced onion (Clay Brick Farms)

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Recipe:

  1. Make the tzatziki sauce. This can be made the day before and refrigerated.  If you make it ahead, make sure to take it out of the refrigerator so that it comes back up to temperature before constructing the burgers.  For the sauce, first, cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds with a spoon.  Cut the cucumber halves in half again lengthwise.  Then slice the cucumbers and spread them out on paper towels.  Sprinkle the cucumber slices with salt and let them sit for 30 minutes.  Then press with more paper towels.  This will remove excess moisture.  Combine the cucumbers, yogurt, garlic, dill, and lemon juice and mix to combine.  Put the sauce aside to let the flavors meld.  You can also strain the yogurt before combining the ingredients to make sure this sauce is as thick as possible.  A very thick tzatziki sauce works well as a burger topping, but you probably wouldn’t want it this thick if you were just making a sauce to scoop up with pita bread.  I strained mine in a yogurt strainer, but you could also use layers of cheese cloth or a fine-mesh strainer.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425°F and prepare the potatoes. Put the cut potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Then drizzle olive oil over the potatoes and toss to coat.  Roast in the oven until golden brown, removing the tray from the oven once while roasting to toss the potatoes so that they roast evenly.
  3. While the potatoes are roasting, cook the Merguez burger patties. If you’re pan-frying them, pour Canola oil into a skillet until the bottom is completely covered with oil and heat on medium-high.  Once the oil is heated, cook the patties in the oil, flipping occasionally, until you begin to see juices flowing out from inside the patties.  Then remove the patties from the skillet and put them on a plate covered with a paper towel.
  4. Remove the potatoes from the oven and toss them with the butter and parsley. Then construct the burgers.  I put my burgers together in the following order, bottom bun, a thin layer of tzatziki sauce, lettuce, onion, burger, thick layer of tzatziki sauce, top bun.

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Brooke Marshall is a market volunteer, Ambler socialite and overall good egg. This season she will be the market’s resident locavore, turning market proceeds into culinary delights. If you see her at market, say hello. And if you make one of her recipes, bring it to market for her approval. Only kidding about the last part.

MARKET RECIPE: Sunday Dinner – Baked Apricot Chicken with Market Veggie Couscous & Greens

Chicken

By Brooke Marshall

I can only remember eating apricot chicken twice before.  The first time was at a family friend’s house.  I remember liking it so much that I asked for the recipe.  She just replied, “Oh, it’s so simple, just mix up apricot preserves, Russian dressing, and an onion soup packet.  Then pour it over the chicken and bake it.”  Over ten years later, my parents were visiting me in Ambler and we’d decided to eat in the following night.  I had a chicken from a local farm in the freezer and remembered the mouth-watering apricot chicken dish.  So the next day we went out for the three ingredients to make apricot chicken.  Then that night we also made a greens salad and tabbouleh, substituting couscous for bulgur as I usually do, and using a pile of fresh parsley from my Pennypack Farm crop share.  It might seem silly that I remember this meal so vividly, but I’m so glad I do because it was the last meal I made with my Mom before she passed away less than two months later.

So when chicken thighs and legs were on sale at Clay Brick Farms at the Ambler Farmers’ Market, I felt compelled to make a similar meal again to share with my market family.  This time, something magical happened.  I can only guess that I somehow haphazardly bought the perfect combination of ingredients, but the result was so amazing I wanted to eat every last piece of chicken as soon as I took my first bite.  I did stop myself in case you’re wondering and was rewarded by having leftovers for lunch during the week.  I was also delighted that the couscous made the perfect vehicle to sop up the apricot sauce left on my plate from the chicken.  So I probably won’t do this often, but I’m going to share the brands of ingredients I used to make this meal in hopes that you’ll have the same miraculous experience I did if you decide to try the recipe.

BAKED APRICOT CHICKEN DINNER
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

Baked Apricot Chicken

  • 3-4 packages of bone-in chicken thighs/legs, skin removed (Clay Brick Farms)
  • 13 oz jar apricot preserves (Bonne Maman)
  • 1 8 oz bottle French salad dressing (Annie’s Naturals)
  • 1 packet French onion dip mix (Simply Organic)

Market Veggie Couscous –

  • 1 bunch spring onions, thinly sliced (Clay Brick Farms)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, tough ends removed and chopped into one-inch pieces (Clay Brick Farms)
  • 1 small box Cremini mushrooms, sliced (Davidson’s Mushrooms)
  • 1-2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 10 oz box couscous (Near East)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Greens Salad –

  • 4 small or 2 large heads of lettuce, washed and torn (Pennypack Farm and Taproot Farm)
  • Balsamic vinaigrette (Homemade or Newman’s Own)

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Recipe:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° While oven is preheating, remove the skin from the chicken and place in a greased or nonstick-sprayed baking dish.  In a bowl, mix the apricot preserves, French dressing, and onion dip mix.  Once combined, pour the apricot mixture over the chicken and bake in the oven for 60 minutes.  Baste the chicken in the apricot mixture at 20 and 40 minutes.
  2. While the chicken bakes, chop the veggies for the market veggie couscous. Heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and sauté for about 10-12 minutes until they begin to brown.  Increase the heat to medium-high and add the mushrooms and asparagus sautéing for another 3 minutes until the asparagus are bright green and crisp-tender.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
  3. Prepare the couscous based on the package directions replacing water with chicken broth and cutting the amount of salt in half. (In a saucepan, add the chicken broth, butter, and salt.  Then bring to a boil.  Stir in the couscous, cover, and remove from heat.  Let stand for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork.)  Mix the sautéed veggies with the couscous, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cover again to keep the couscous warm.
  4. Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest while you prepare the salad. Tear the lettuce and toss with balsamic vinaigrette.

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Brooke Marshall is a market volunteer, Ambler socialite and overall good egg. This season she will be the market’s resident locavore, turning market proceeds into culinary delights. If you see her at market, say hello. And if you make one of her recipes, bring it to market for her approval. Only kidding about the last part.