My brave Vermont quest to bring together food-love and mom-life.

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The Tagine Less Traveled 1

Posted on November 10, 2010 by crankycheryl

I’m so excited that tomorrow is ECHO’s Food Less Traveled event.  And in celebration of this contest that will be judged not only on taste, presentation and overall experience but also the “food miles” that ingredients have traveled, I offer this fabulous recipe for the aromatic Moroccan stew.  The starring ingredients were from my BFF-ish food sources: beef from Applecheek Farm, a stubbornly alive cardoon plant from Red Wagon Plants, and garlic, onions, tomatoes, cilantro and potatoes from the Intervale.  The lemons, olives, olive oil, ginger and spices made this a lovely celebration of sultry Mediterranean flavors to spice up that good and local stuff.

Of course this would never be able to win a localvore contest, with so much food from afar on the ingredient list.  But it was a pretty darned delightful dinner for these delightful friends:

Plus it was a chance to get to the bottom of the age-old question, “What the heck is a cardoon?,” which is a question you yourself might want to answer if you like that anise-y flavor that artichokes have, or are interested in good, new easy-to-grow things.

Tagine with Beef, Potato & Cardoons
6 servings

1.  Clean 1 or 2 large bunches of cardoon, using these instructions.  Keep in lemon juice until ready to use, marveling at how the enormous pile of leaves resulted in this tiny bit of stems.

2.  Prepare these quick prepared lemons and keep aside.

3.  Heat in a Dutch oven until rippling:

  • 3 T. olive oil

Then add and brown well:

  • 1 lb. grass-fed beef, cut into 3- or 4-inch pieces

4. Add:

  • reserved cardoons
  • 1 onion, chopped medium
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or pressed
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 c. chopped potatoes, peels removed or left on, as you prefer.
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Stir very well, bring to a slow boil, then cover and cook over low heat for 1 1/2 hours.  Check once or twice to make sure it’s not completely dry.

5.  Towards the end of the tagine’s cooking time, chop and combine:

  • 1 preserved lemon, cut into quarters
  • 1/2 c. pitted kalamata or other pungent dark olives
  • 2 T. cilantro leaves
  • 1 T. flat leaf parsley

6.  Remove stew from heat, then stir in lemon mixture.  Let cool for a few minutes, then serve with couscous or crunchy bread.  Good!

Supercool Food Day Giveaway 9

Posted on August 26, 2010 by crankycheryl

It was just one of those quirky and fun Vermont food days.   As Greg was getting some work ready for the Art Hop, I was scurrying around getting ready for an alfresco potluck dinner party tomorrow.

I had a fabulous score over at Resource: various used candle holders that would stand up to the wind, a few small rustic things for holding flowers, some canning jars, and this:

Then it was over to City Market for olives and wine for our dinner’s Mediterranean theme.  Right there behind the cheese counter where the olives hang out was Dave, cheesemonger extraordinaire.  And with Dave was a very nice looking person with a cooler who was giving Dave samples to try.

“Hi Dave.  Whatcha trying there?” I subtly asked.  I got to have a sample of Dancing Cow Lindy Hop (rich, sweet, and musty in a very pleasant way; Dave said it’s like a good authentic Stilton) and Plymouth Original (mild and fresh), both of which are fabulous Vermont cheeses that made me want to have an entire lifetime to devote to pondering terroir and the mouthfeel of the milks of different animals.

Then it was time to go collect our monthly delivery of our Applecheek Farm meat CSA share.  When I pulled into the parking lot at Bluebird Tavern, who’s nice enough to serve as the rendezvous spot, I found this little friend on a thistle pulling out seeds just like a goldfinch should.

And though I was forced to cancel dinner with friends tonight in order to attend an emergency meeting (more on that soon), this all left me in a pretty good mood.

So how about a give-away? Leave a comment here about what summer foods are making you happy by, say, September 1, and to enhance your vegetable slicing pleasure I will draw a name at random and send a Very Lucky Reader their very own vintage Feemster’s Famous Vegetable Slicer, as long as you promise to be much more careful with it than the picture on the box suggests.  Seriously: you must promise this.

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    Cheryl Herrick's brave Vermont quest to bring together food-love and mom-life. All original content (written, graphical, recipes or other), unless otherwise noted, is © and/or TM Cheryl Herrick. All rights reserved by the author. Want to reprint a recipe? Just get in touch and ask.

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