Monday, June 25, 2012


Another beautiful day at the Farmer's Market.  I have read much about grass feed beef as being healthier and more flavorful than grain fed.  This week I decided to try it.  After spending a lot of time looking at the offerings and speaking with the vendor, I chose a flat iron steak.  It proved to be everything I had been told and more.  Here is what was on the Table:

Grilled Flat Iron Steak
Asparagus Risotto Cake
Cucumber, Radish and Jalapeno Salad with a Parmesan Tuile
Summer Fruits with Sorbet

The steak was a nice size and I marinated it for about 4 hours in EVOO, garlic, white balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, honey and salt and pepper.  I used my stove top grill and cooked it about 7 minutes on each side.  The meat was very tender in spite of having very little fat. The marinade brought out the flavor of the meat.  I will try another cut next week, perhaps one of the bison offerings.

Along with it I prepared a risotto cake.  The risotto was left over from dinner the day before and had blanched asparagus and sauteed leeks with the rice, wine and broth.  Parmesan and fresh mozzarella were stirred in at the end.  The leftover risotto was formed into a patty, dipped in egg and coated with Panko.  The cake was browned in a bit of canola oil.

The salad was a simple one: curled strips of cucumber, thin slices of radish and a bit of minced jalapeno were tossed with a bit of oil, sugar, vinegar and salt and pepper. Years ago during a cooking class I had learned to prepare tuiles and thought it might make a nice base for the salad.  A tuile is made from a Parmesan cheese, butter and flour mix.  It is spooned into a non stick skillet and cooked until lightly browned.  After it is cool, it firms up and is much like a cracker. The saltiness of the cheese went well with the salad.

Summer fruits are coming into their own.  I chose a number of berries, a peach and some watermelon for my dessert. A simple syrup is simmered until the sugar dissolves.  I had added some lemon zest to tang it up a bit.  When cooled the syrup is poured over the fruit, spoon fulls of the fruit  are ladled into a tall glass and topped with a couple of small scoops of raspberry sorbet and a mint sprig.  Very refreshing after my meal.

This proved to be a lot of food.  I think next week I will prepare fewer dishes as part of the Table.  Have a good week and if you have not visited you local Farmer's Market, do attend.

Monday, June 18, 2012


I've been waiting for several weeks for the Buffalo Grove Farmers' Market to open.  It turned out that it was well worth the wait. I expect my table each week will feature items I purchased.  This week included Michigan strawberries & asparagus; and local rainbow Swiss chard and radishes.   They were exactly what I  needed to complete my table which featured gingered pork tenderloin.

Gingered Pork Tenderloin
Sauteed Rainbow Swiss Chard
Grilled Lemon Asparagus
Mixed Greens with Radishes, Cucumber and Strawberries: Feta Buttermilk Dressing

The tenderloin is marinated overnight in soy sauce, chicken broth, canola oil, minced ginger, sugar, minced garlic, rosemary and thyme. The tenderloin is removed from the marinade which is discarded.  Then the meat is browned on a grill pan and finished in the oven. The chard is sauteed in a bit of oil, garlic, a pinch of red pepper flakes and lightly salted and peppered. The chard served as a bed for the slices of pork.

Asparagus has so many applications, but a favorite of mine is grilled.  When it is plated, a dusting of lemon zest, a squeeze of the juice and a pinch of salt and pepper were added.

The salad is simple; mixed baby greens, chopped cucumber, sliced radishes and the smaller strawberries are tossed with a feta buttermilk dressing.  The dressing is buttermilk, Greek yogurt, minced shallots, a pinch of red pepper flakes and crumbled feta cheese.

I was very happy with this meal and I look forward to next week. One of the vendors has grass fed beef, bison, chicken and several other proteins.  My entree will be one of these so I will need to do some recipe research.  Have a great week and keep cool!!!