Sunday, April 12, 2009

Week 1--The Farmers Market Re-Opens!

We love the farmers market in Coppell, TX. We started going there last year and were impressed that the items are actually locally grown, unlike our previous outings to huge farmers markets like the one in Dallas. The Dallas FM has 'some' locally grown items, but there are also a lot of imports. Where in Dallas can one grow pineapples and mangos? However, they were always there at the Dallas FM.

The Coppell FM requires growers to be local with a few exceptions. The honey sellers have products from Llano and Round Rock. There is also a seafood vendor, but he and his wife have a boat. They fish in the gulf during the week, and sell at the market on the weekends. The veggie, meat, and cheese vendors are all local. There are also a few local bakeries, dog biscuit, and plant vendors as well.

On our first trip out we picked up the following items: ocean pollack, frogs legs, Ahi tuna, Mahi Mahi, two types of lettuce, rainbow Swiss chard, turnips, green garlic, tomatoes (large and small ones), purple onions (green onion style with purple bottoms), and eggs. We also picked up some bread from the Great Harvest Bread Company: cheddar/garlic and a honey wheat bread shaped like a bunny. :)

Tonight, I'll be grilling the Mahi Mahi with a sauce that I concoct with whatever whim strikes me while I'm cooking. We had some left over baby spinach from last week, so it will be sauteed with the fresh garlic. The honey bunny will become garlic bread. Add some wine, and dinner is served!

Lunch for the next two days will be salad with seared tuna for me. Yum!

Sugar Bear will have onion pie with a Swiss chard and chick pea soup. Here is how they were prepared:

Swiss Chard and Chick Pea Soup (modified from the cookbook Asparagus to Zucchini):
3 hand fulls of baby carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 cup red onion
1 sprig rosemary, chopped with stem removed
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh green garlic (can use crushed garlic)
8 cups vegetable stock
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 15oz. can of chick-peas, drained and rinsed
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed and coarsely chopped
salt and pepper

Combine 1st 6 ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low boil and cook for 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer another 15 minutes. Add seasoning to taste. Makes 8-10 servings.

Onion Pie (modified from Recipes from America's Small Farms):
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 pounds yellow onions, thinly sliced (I used 3 big onions)
1/3 cup couscous
2 cups grated cheddar (or Gruyere, Swiss, or whatever you have on hand)
1 1/2 half and half
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash of fresh ground black pepper
1/8-1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Grease deep dish pie pan. Heat butter over medium/low heat. Add onions, salt and black pepper, and cook slowly. Stir occasionally until golden and tender (20+ minutes).

Sprinkle couscous into the bottom of the pie pan. Layer 1/2 of the onions, 1/2 of the cheese and then repeat.

Whisk the half and half, eggs, salt and red pepper until combined. Pour over onions and cheese in the pie pan. Bake until surface is light brown and center is set (recipe says 30 minutes, but it took me 45 before it looked done).

Next time I do this recipe, I'm going to experiment with a different cheese, seasonings and place some thinly sliced tomatoes on the top for color.

Later in the week, I'll make something with the turnips and turnip greens. I'll post about that dish when I get to it.