This weekend marks the last of the 2011 season for a number of Twin Cities metro-area farmers market, including:
Mill City Farmers Market: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Chicago Av. S. and S. 2nd St., Minneapolis
Bloomington Farmers Market: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., 1800 W. Old Shakopee Rd. (Bloomington Civic Plaza), Bloomington
Lakeville Farmers Market: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., 210 St. and Holyoke Av., Lakeville
Northeast Minneapolis Farmers Market: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., University Av. NE. and 7th Av. NE., Minneapolis
Two more markets have their final installments next week.
Brooklyn Park Farmers Market: 3 to 7 p.m., 8717 Zane Av. N. (Zane Sports Park), Brooklyn Park
Maple Grove Farmers Market, 3 to 6 p.m., 12951 Weaver Lake Rd. (Maple Grove Community Center), Maple Grove
In this week’s Market Watch, Salty Tart baker/owner Michelle Gayer laments the end of burgers-on-the-grill season, although we do point out that her fantastic brioche-like sandwich bun also shines as a component in sloppy Joes.
I’ve been making this recipe since 2003, after interviewing comfort food cookbook author Marian Burros. I’ve tweaked it slightly over the years – I like more ground beef, celery and green pepper – and the results always garner many enthusiastic thumbs-up at our annual Halloween party.
It’s one recipe that actually tastes better the next day. I like to prepare an emergency batch that I can stick into the freezer (it freezes well for up to a month) and reheat when I need it.
Serves 4 to 6.
Note: From "Cooking for Comfort" by Marian Burros (Simon & Schuster, $15.99).
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
3/4 c. finely chopped celery
3/4 large green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 large garlic cloved, peeled and minced
2 lb. ground beef
1 c. beer
1/4 c. Worchestershire sauce
1/2 c. ketchup
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
4 tsp. white vinegar
1/4 to 1 tsp. hot pepper sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Toasted rolls, such as hamburger buns
In a large skillet on medium-high heat, heat olive oil and sauté onion for about 3 minutes. Add celery and green pepper, and continuing sauteing until vegetables are soft and taking on color. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Push vegetables to side of pan and add beef, breaking it up with a fork until meat is crumbled. Cook until meat is cooked through and no pink remains. Add beer, Worchestershire sauce, ketchup, mustard, vinegar and hot pepper sauce. Stir, reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes until flavors are blended and liquid is slightly reduced. Season with salt and pepper and serve on rolls as open or closed sandwiches.
This week's Market Watch takes a peek at beautiful delicata squash, from the Community Design Center of Minnesota's stand at the Mill City Farmers Market. Don't delay: the center's last market appearance is this coming Saturday. Here's a recipe that makes great use of the squash's thin, edible skin.
GLAZED DELICATA SQUASH RINGS
Note: From “The Garden-Fresh Vegetable Cookbook” by Andrea Chesman (Storey Publishing, $24.95).
2 medium Delicata squash
3 tbsp. butter, melted
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. freshly minced ginger
1 tbsp. honey
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice off ends of squash and scoop out seeds and fibers with a spoon. Cut squash into 3/4-inch rings. In a small bowl, combine butter, garlic and ginger. Using all but 1 tablespoon of butter mixture, brush both sides of squash. Place squash on prepared baking sheet. Roast 15 minutes, turning rings once halfway through. Add honey to remaining butter mixture. Brush honey mixture over squash, return to oven and roast until completely tender and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and serve hot.
Pepper season is finally upon us. Here are two recipes that showcase sweet red peppers (such as the Carmen, pictured above, from Fazenda Boa Terra in Farmington, Minn., and purchased at the Bloomington Farmers Market), as outlined in this week's Market Watch.
CHAR-GRILLED RED PEPPERS WITH GARLIC, PARSLEY AND OREGANO
Serves 4 to 6.
Note: From “Fields of Plenty” by Michael Ableman (Chronicle Books, $35).
10 medium sweet red peppers
2 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
3 tbsp. roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp. roughly chopped fresh oregano or marjoram
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste
Red wine vinegar to taste
Prepare a charcoal grill, or preheat a gas grill. Place peppers over high heat and grill, turning as needed, until charred on all sides. If peppers still feel a bit firm, place them in a large bowl, and cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap (the residual heat will finish cooking them). If peppers are already tender, set aside to cool to room temperature.
When peppers are cool enough to handle, peel back blackened skins with your fingers. Discard skin, core and seeds. Cut or tear peppers into strips about 1/2-inch wide and place them in a medium bowl. Add garlic, parsley, oregano and olive oil. Season with salt, cayenne and red wine vinegar to taste and toss to combine. Serve as a topping on freshly grilled bread rubbed with a clove of garlic, or as an appetizer with olives, cured meats and crusty bread.
POTATO, SWEET PEPPER AND FENNEL SALAD
Serves 6 to 8.
Note: This recipe must be prepared in advance. From “Outstanding in the Field” by Jim Denevan (Clarkson Potter, $32.50).
2 lbs. small, waxy potatoes, such as Russian banana or fingerling
2 lbs. sweet red peppers, such as Carmen
2 tbsp. minced shallot
1/3 c. red wine vinegar
2/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. fennel seed
2 tbsp. chopped fennel fronds
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wash potatoes, place them in a pot over medium heat and cover with cold salted water. Bring to simmer, reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, very gently, so skins do not break and until potatoes are tender and can be easily pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
While potatoes are cooking, place peppers on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in oven, turning them over once or twice, until skins are blistered, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer peppers to a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 10 minutes. Remove plastic wrap and let peppers cool. When they are cool enough to handle, remove and discard skins and seeds (do not rinse peppers, or you will wash away some of the roasted flavor). Cut peppers into 1/2-inch wide strips and set aside.
Meanwhile, place minced shallot in a small bowl and whisk in vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let stand for 10 minutes. Whisking constantly, pour in olive oil in a slow, steady stream until all has been added and dressing is emulsified. Place fennel seed in a small, heavy skillet over medium heat and toast until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let seeds cool slightly. Transfer to a mortar and crush seeds very well with a pestle.
Cut potatoes in half lengthwise or into 1-inch cubes. In a medium bowl, gently toss peppers and potatoes. Add dressing, crushed fennel seed and fennel fronds and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside at room temperature for at least 1 hour to incorporate flavors before serving.
Here's an easy-to-prepare recipe that showcases tart, early-season apples (such as the Hazen, pictured, above), as chronicled in this week's Market Watch. It's from the new "Desserts from the Famous Loveless Cafe" by Alisa Huntsman, pastry chef at the landmark Nashville, Tenn., restaurant.
APPLE-GINGERSNAP BROWN BETTY
Note: From "Desserts from the Famous Loveless Cafe" by Alisa Huntsman (Workman, $24.95).
For streusel topping:
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. rolled oats
2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/4 c. chopped walnuts
For brown betty:
3/4 c. sugar
1 tbsp. flour
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
6 c. peeled, cored and sliced apples (about 1 1/2 to 2 lbs.) tart apples, such as Hazens
2 c. coarsely broken gingersnap cookies
1/4 c. heavy cream
Vanilla ice cream, optional
To prepare streusel: In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar and cinnamon and rub together with your fingertips to blend and break up any clumps of brown sugar. Scatter butter cubes over flour mixture and continue to rub ingredients together with your fingertips until it forms small clumps and butter is no longer visible. Stir in walnuts and reserve.
To prepare brown betty: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg. Add apples and toss gently to coat with flour mixture. Arrange half of apple slices in an even layer in an 8-inch baking dish or other shallow 1 1/2-quart glass or ceramic casserole. Sprinkle half of gingersnaps over apples. Repeat with a remaining layer of apples and gingersnaps. Drizzle cream over gingersnaps and top with an even layer of streusel. Bake until apples are tender, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer baking dish to a wire rack and cool until warm. Serve with a scoop of ice cream, if desired.
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