I have been volunteering at the new farmers market in Searcy. I’ve had such a fun time and really enjoyed getting to meet people and getting some great seasonal products. The Searcy Farmers Market is a Certified Arkansas Farmers Market. That means that everything at the market is grown or raised in the state of Arkansas! Vendors are not allowed to ship in produce and sell it under the presumption that it is local when its not, which is sadly what happens at many farm markets across the country. Because each farmer undergoes an onsite inspection at least once a season I can be certain that what I am buying is local produce.
I got so many great things at the market Wednesday. I came home with a bushel basket that was filled with new potatoes, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, eggplant, turnips, beets, spring mix salad greens, fresh pasta, butter, cheese, milk, eggs, peaches, red onions, bacon, summer sausage, shiitaki mushrooms, blueberries, green beans, pinto beans, and sunflowers!
I have been cooking up a storm with all my market finds. Here are some of the recipes I made with what I have found!
Shiitaki Mushrooms and Brown Rice
10 Fresh Shiitaki Mushrooms
1 tbs. light olive oil
2 Tbs. White Wine (optional and only if you have on hand)
1 cup brown rice
1 Cup chicken broth
1 Cup Water
Salt to Taste
2 Tbs. Fresh Butter
Heat a medium saucepan over high heat. Add olive oil. Chop the shiitaki mushrooms into small pieces and add to the pot. Cook mushrooms for about 5 minutes or so until they have become soft and darker in color. Add white wine to “deglaze” the pan and cook 2-3 minutes until the liquid is evaporated. Pour in one cup of brown rice. I used a mixture of long and short grain. Stir until rice is coated with remaining oil. Add chicken stock and water and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and reduce heat to low. Allow rice to simmer about 35-45 minutes or until done to your liking. Remove lid and stir in two tablespoons of fresh butter and add salt to taste. Enjoy!
Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of that one before we ate it all. The mushrooms and butter were from yesterdays market. The brown rice was leftover from some I picked up at the market last fall.
1 lb. (about 2 1/2 c.) FRESH pinto beans
6 c. water
1/2 lb. smoked bacon
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 lg. onion, thickly sliced or chopped
1 lg. cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 sm. bay leaf
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
5 leaves of fresh oregano, chopped
3 fresh roma tomatoes, chopped
Put beans into a crockpot and add six cups of water. Turn crockpot to high heat setting. Cut bacon into chunks and add to the beans. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and cook slowly for 6-8 hours, until liquid resembles a medium-thick gravy. Stir once or twice during cooking. Long, slow cooking helps make a nice, rich flavor.
This recipe used pinto beans, onion and bacon from the farmers market. The oregano and tomatoes came from my garden. The bay leaf came from my mom’s friend.
Peach Blueberry Cobbler
1/4 cup fresh butter
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
2 cups fresh sliced and peeled peaches (I used 4 peaches)
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
Heat oven to 350° Melt butter in a rectangular baking dish. Set aside. In medium bowl, combine flour, 3/4 cup sugar and baking powder; add milk; and stir until blended(will be thick). Spoon batter over butter in baking dish; do not stir. Combine peaches, blueberries and 1/2 cup sugar; spoon over batter. Do not stir. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 to 55 minutes until dough is lightly brown. Serve warm with vanilla gelato, if desired(recipe below).
The butter, milk, peaches and blueberries all came from the farmers market.
6 Large Egg Yolks
3/4 Cup Of Granulated Sugar
2 1/2 Cups Whole Milk
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1 Tbs. Real Vanilla
1 tsp. dried lavender
Pinch of Salt
In a large bowl, beat together the egg yolks and sugar until light and thick. Add the lavender to a mesh tea ball and place in a medium saucepan. Add the milk, cream, vanilla, and salt and heat over medium heat until bubbles begin to form around the edges. Remove the tea ball. Remove from the heat. Take 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture, and slowly whisk it into the beaten eggs. Next whisk the egg mixture into the saucepan. Cook over low heat stirring continuously until the mixture thickens, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a metal bowl and refrigerate until cold. Once the custard mixture is cold, transfer it into an ice cream maker and churn following the manufacturers instructions. Serve immediately, or freeze in an airtight container until you are ready to use.
This recipe used eggs and milk from the farmers market and lavender from my own garden.
1 Pound Fresh Pasta
Variety of seasonal veggies (I used zucchini and yellow squash, eggplant, cherry tomatoes and shiitaki mushrooms)
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Fresh Herbs (I used thyme, basil, sage and oregano)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add about 1/4 cup or so of salt to the boiling water. In a large skillet, add the olive oil and saute the chopped fresh vegetables until cooked to your desired level of doneness. Remove the veggies to a separate bowl. Add the pasta to the boiling water. (Fresh pasta cooks very quickly. If using dried pasta you will likely want to add this earlier.) In the pan in which you cooked the veggies, ladle about one cup of pasta cooking liquid. Stir in order to incorporate the bits of fond on the bottom of the saute pan. Add ricotta cheese and continue to stir. Add Parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Return the cooked veggies to the sauce you have created. Add the cooked, drained pasta and stir until the sauce has coated the noodles. You can add additional cooking liquid if the sauce is too thick. Top pasta with freshly chopped herbs and additional Parmesan as desired. Enjoy!
This recipe used veggies and pasta from the market and herbs from my own garden.