Carter Cooks: Okra, Tomato, Squash, & Eggplant Stew

Carter Cooks

Welcome back to another market season!

My brother’s Christmas wish list last year included cooking lessons from his sister. As a result, Joseph and I have instituted weekly family dinners prepared by the kids. My brother has traveled extensively in the Middle East and has a penchant for well-seasoned food. Middle Eastern cuisine is some of the tastiest in the world and most adaptable too. Below is a recipe using ingredients currently in season and spices typical of a Middle Eastern dish. This dish also freezes well and can be thawed in a pinch. Some of the spices may be unfamiliar, but you should be able to find all of them at your local grocery store.

Enjoy and thanks for stopping by the market!

From the Market

Okra

Tomato

Squash

Eggplant

Garlic

Onion

Cayenne

From the Pantry

Olive Oil

Chicken stock

Cumin

Tumeric

  1. Mix together cumin (1tbsp), tumeric (1-2tsp), cayenne (1/2 tsp), salt, and pepper to taste.
  2. Slice your eggplant into bite size pieces. Salt generously and dust with some of the spice mixture. Add cut tomatoes to pan. Roast at 450 for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Cube squash, onions, and okra. Keep separate.
  4. Meanwhile, mince garlic (1-2 cloves). Heat a sturdy saucepan with olive oil and sauté garlic until fragrant (1-2 minutes on medium heat).
  5. Toss in squash and onion to the garlic oil mixture and sprinkle some of the spice mixture. Cook until tender (approximately 4-5 minutes).
  6. Add enough chicken stock to cover the vegetables. Add in roasted eggplant, tomatoes, and okra. Add additional seasoning if desired.
  7. Cook until all vegetables are desired texture (approximately 5 minutes).
  8. Serve over rice, couscous or plain. Enjoy!

 

Carter Cooks: Deviled Eggs

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I love deviled eggs. Growing up in the South and attending countless church potlucks, how could I not? Deviled eggs are a staple for summer picnics, too. They can be as fancy as you want or plain Jane. Below is the base recipe and here are a few fancier suggestions. For a New York style egg, try adding chopped smoked salmon, capers, and parsley to the egg yolks. For a Greek style egg, add feta and green olives, diced finely. Often you’ll see pickle relish or pickle juice added to help smooth out the yolk. Also if you have a piping set for cakes, some people will pipe the yolk mixture into the white for a very finished look. I’m way too impatient for that. I tend to be a purist and only use the below ingredients. I do prefer a kosher large grain salt for this. I think it adds a nice extra bite of flavor.

Deviled Eggs

From the Market

Eggs

Chili powder (or Paprika)

From your pantry

Mustard

Mayonnaise

Salt

Pepper

  1. Boil the eggs. This is harder than it sounds. I place the eggs in a saucepan with a lid. Then I pour cold water into the saucepan. Place on the burner with medium high heat. Bring to a rocking boil. (This is where the eggs rock back and forth, not so hard that they break.) Boil only for a minute or so. Then remove from heat and leave covered for 10-15 minutes. Submerge the eggs in cold water to stop the cooking. (Some people add vinegar or salt to the water to help prevent the shells from cracking. Just a thought.)
  2. Peel the eggs. This is also sometimes harder than it sounds. To hard boil eggs try and use older eggs. They are easier to peel. So, you may want to try this next week with eggs you buy this week. Give the eggs one good whack on the fat end. Then peel away. If the eggs are still hot, I will do this under running water. You can store peeled or unpeeled eggs in the fridge for several days.
  3. Cut eggs in half along the long axis. Scoop out the yolk into a bowl. Take care not to break the cooked white shell. Add mayo, mustard, salt and pepper to taste. Mix until smooth.
  4. Dollop yolk mixture back into the cooked white shell. Sprinkle with paprika or chili powder and head to your favorite picnic spot!

Carter Cooks: Sausage Balls

Carter Cooks

So this is one of the ultimate Southern potluck foods. It’s perfect for church dinners, basketball games (NCAA championship is tonight!), funerals, and any get together with children. The traditional recipe is bisquick, cheddar cheese, and a pound of sausage. I wanted to try something a little different. Below is a homemade buttermilk biscuit with local sausage, goat cheese and chili powder. I think the creamy texture of the goat cheese really complements the flavorings in the sausage you can get at the market. I hope you enjoy this snack treat. It also freezes well. So think of making a double batch and freezing the second one, if you can get them to last long enough to cool. Another variation would be to substitute feta cheese for the goat cheese. Just something to think about experimenting with!

Sausage balls

From the market

Sausage

Chili powder

Goat cheese

Buttermilk

Flour

Butter

From your pantry

Baking powder

Baking soda

Salt

  1. In a skillet, brown sausage. Drain and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. Make biscuit dough. In a bowl, whisk together 2 cups of flour, 4 tsp powder, ¼ tsp soda, and a heavy dash of salt. Take 4 tbsp cold butter and mix into the flour mixture with your fingertips. You want to do this quickly and the butter should become pea sized or smaller. Pour in 1 cup cold buttermilk. Mix thoroughly. If the dough appears too wet, add a little flour.
  4. Mix dough, cooked sausage, goat cheese, and spices to taste. I would use about 1 lb of sausage, 8 oz of goat cheese, and 1 tsp of chili powder.  Again, if mixture will not form a ball, add flour. If too dry, add a bit of cold water or buttermilk.
  5. Spoon out bite sized balls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown and dough is cooked through.

Carter Cooks: Spring Salad with Vinaigrette

Carter Cooks

Welcome back and Happy Spring! This is arguably my favorite time of year, especially with 2013’s lackadaisical winter.  There is nothing I love better than coming out of yoga on Monday evenings at 8 o’clock to a still bright sky. The endless conversation I have with myself on the drive home is what do I feel like making after a long day in the office, a great yoga practice, and the prospects of an early bedtime. Perhaps it’s the yoga or the spring sunshine that makes me want salads in everyway shape and form.

I really enjoy salads. They are a great stand-alone meal if beefed up properly or the perfect side dish to any main course. Spring is a nice time for salads because the lettuce is so sweet and fresh. I learned to look for unusual items to toss in my salads either for kick or protein to make them last a little longer. Also, making your own dressing is so much less expensive than store bought and there is less waste if you only make enough for dinner and lunch the next day. The same can be said for croutons. If you have day old bread, slice it and toss it with oil, salt, and pepper. Broil the chunks for a few minutes and voilia, croutons.

We are excited to see the market start back this week. Make sure you swing by on Thursday!

Spring Salad with Vinaigrette

From the Market

Salad greens

Spring vegetables

Nasturtiums

Feta cheese

Bread

From your pantry

Nuts, pine nuts or walnuts work nicely

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Sugar

Mustard

Salt & Pepper

  1. Wash and dry your lettuce. Chop any desired vegetables. I like cucumbers and tomatoes. But, it’s a little early for these. Look for sun-dried tomatoes that were put up last year and early produce like asparagus.
  2. Add nasturtiums if using. Nasturtiums are an edible flower in season right now. They add a nice spicy kick and a beautiful color to the salad.
  3. Toast nuts in a dry frying pan. Place 2-3 Tbsp of desired nut in a dry skillet on medium-high heat. Toast until fragrant, stirring regularly, about 4 minutes.
  4. For croutons, slice older bread into desired size. Toss, just to coat, with olive oil, a little salt and pepper. Toast on about 375 until crisp (approximately 5 minutes). Be sure to stir have way through.
  5. Add feta, toasted nuts, and croutons to salad.
  6. In a mason jar add equal parts oil and vinegar (1/3 c. each), 1 Tbsp sugar (less if you don’t want it too sweet), 1 Tbsp mustard (I use a stone ground mustard), 1 tsp salt, and pepper to taste. Cap the jar and shake vigorously until incorporated. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  7. Add dressing to salad and mix to taste.
  8. Enjoy!

Appalachian Farmers Market Association Winter Conference

(David, Jen and Haven)

A small group of us had a wonderful time at the Appalachian Farmers Market Association Winter Conference in Bristol yesterday. We got some good ideas about how to promote our Market, as well as practical tips on whole farm planning, starting a farm, etc. There are so many terrific resources for beginning farmers, people interested in local food and folks trying to run Markets. Most importantly, the event got us excited about the upcoming season! We hope to see you at the Market this spring. 

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Eating Alabama

Last night, ETSU hosted Andrew Grace (director and producer of Eating Alabama). What a great story about farming and the joys of eating locally grown food. There was a great turnout and it certainly got me excited about the upcoming Market season. Check it out if you haven’t already. – Rachel

Spring 2013 Vendor Applications

ImageApplications for the spring 2013 Market are now available! Complete yours here today!* We’ll accept applications through February 14. Please send any questions to farmersmarketetsu@gmail.com -or- call 828-808-7913.

*If you would prefer a print copy of the application materials, please the Market manager (Rachel at farmersmarketetsu@gmail.com or 828-808-7813) and she will mail them to you.