Sunday, December 20, 2009

Live Blogging - Cooking Locally Root Vegetables and Pork Loin

Ladies and gentlemen, I bring to you...the first live blogging event of this blog!
Today's cooking locally menu comes to you through precarious events! Your brave blogger attempted to trudge through the snowpacolypse 2009, the blizarrd that snowed in all of DC (even the gov't has Monday off due to the snow!)

This morning I suited up in long underwear, snowboard pants, long sleeves, a fleece, and a ski jacket, ski gloves and my boots. I got all the way to the gym to find it closed. I called and no one picked up, so this should have been a sign, but I didn't want to let my class down if they did show up.

On the way over, I glanced towards where the market is and didn't see the tents, so, I walked to the gym, dejected. I was so looking forward to finally getting to the market. When I saw the sign on the door, I turned around, looking a little like Ralphie's little brother in A Christmas Story. Coming back, I took the long way due to a huge bank of snow, and saw a familar sign "Farmer's Market Open" and ran my little fluffy pants over there.
There were 8 very brave farmers there this morning. I'm sure their journey from PA, WV, VA, MD, was in no way easy, but boy was I glad they showed.
Here's what I purchased. Remember the rules:
- I will bring $30 in cash. That's it.
- I will be cooking for 2 people.
- I can only use items from the market, unless it's spices or dairy
- I will create my own menu/recipes (though I know I'll start out using the interwebs as a cheat sheet)

1.42 lbs of Pork Loin
- Cedarbrook Farm, Kearneysville, WV (78 miles)
- $15.84

Butternut Squash Ravioli
- Smith Meadows Kitchen, Berryville, VA (66 miles)
- $7.00

Cherry Tomatos:
- The Farm at Sunnyside, Rappahannock County, Virginia (70 miles)
- $4.00
Brocolli, Radishes (1 white, 1 red), 1/4lb. salad mix
- Tree & Leaf, Waterford, VA (47 miles)
- $7.00

I know, I know, I went 2 dollars over. Truth be told, the hardest part of shopping was determined what to make tonight. I read some advice in an article I'll try to track down that my mom sent to me about buying at the market--the advice was "don't go with a shopping list." So, I didn't. I picked up what looked good! I am having to fudge the garlic as they didn't sell any there. I'm stepping into the full cooking locally thing slowly, so for now, main ingredients will have to do.

On the menu tonight:
Mesculin Salad with Grape Tomatos
Porkloin with garlic vinegarette
Butternut Squash Ravioli
Roasted Winter Veggies
It'll probably be a bit overkill, my goal is to have leftovers tomorrow and kind of a tasting menu tonight. Fingers to roast some veggies.

So, I made the mistake of putting the pork chops in too soon, but I did roast a head of garlic, make a baslamic garlic sauce for the pork, roasting veggies, and currently boiling water for the ravioli. I really failed on timing my meal correctly, but it's okay, Chadd's pretty forgiving.

Final review:
Pork was a bit tough, but I think that's my fault. The taste of the pork was very good, even when I overcooked it, it was flavorful with just salt and pepper. Also, the pork was very very lean. Loin cut, the guy from the market told me, doesn't have a lot of fat between the muscle fibers.

Turnips: easily my favorite part of the dinner. I tossed them in my cast iron skillet with some oil, paprika, chili powder, and salt, I baked it in the over for about 30 minutes, turning every so often. They were like a more fibrious potatoe. Hard to explain, but cooking the turnips makes them less "spicy."

Brocolli: OH MAN. Delicious. There was an amazing freshness to the brocolli. Lurv to the brocolli.
Ravioli: Without sauce, they get draw, but definately delicious. I recommend adding butter, maybe a very light sauce, oil based.

All together, successful. Next time, I need to be a bit better about timing. But so far, so good. I can definately tell the difference between store bought and locally grown.

What are your favorite winter picks at the market? Your favorite recipe? What should I have done better this time around? (aside from the timing?)

1 comment:

  1. Nice job! You could probably have a filling meal without the pork chops, and you would have had cash left for a gourmet sauce or cheese!