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Coconut Fish Stew at Lumeria Maui's Harvest Cafe Print E-mail
Written by Ann Shepphird   

Lumeria dining areaIn my travel post on Lumeria Maui, I mentioned that one of the benefits of its location was the proximity to both the ocean and the Upcountry farms. It's perhaps not surprising then, that the focus at their Harvest Cafe is on locally grown, organic and free-range foods. The cafe's Chef Indica Chaves said that she "seeks to share the joy of supporting local organic farmers and enjoying a farm-to-table experience." To that end, Chef Chaves was kind enough to share the recipe (below) for a dish that reflects both those local farms and the bounty of the nearby ocean: coconut fish stew. Enjoy!

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Citrus Tabbouleh from Seasons 52 Print E-mail
Written by Ann Shepphird   

Citrus Tabbouleh from Seasons 52Gotta love winter citrus season. In the past, we've shared recipes for a Pantescan Winter Salad from Tasha Zemke (who lives on the Italian island of Pantelleria). This year, we have a new recipe from Seasons 52 Culinary Director Cliff Pleau, who previously shared with us his tips on working with beets and a fabulous beet carpaccio recipe. This time he's sharing a recipe for his citrus tabbouleh, which at Seasons 52 they serve with scallops (pictured here). Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 lime, zest and juice
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 orange, zest and juice
1 cup bulgur wheat
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
6 ounces water
5 drops Chipotle Tabasco
12 orange segments, cut in 4
1/4 cup sun-dried cranberries, reconstituted
1/4 cup English cucumber, diced small
1/4 cup tomato, diced small
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped

Preparation: Wash and zest lime, lemon and orange. Squeeze juice and reserve. Place the bulgur wheat in a flat glass baking dish. Combine olive oil, ginger, salt and citrus zest. Mix with the wheat. Combine citrus juice, water and Tabasco. Heat in microwave for 1 minute. Pour liquids over wheat, set aside covered for 1 hour. Place wheat in a bowl, add all other ingredients and toss lightly. Refrigerate until needed.

 
The Jolly Oyster Brings Aquaculture-Farm-to-Table to Ventura's San Buenaventura State Beach Print E-mail
Written by Ann Shepphird   

Jolly OysterWhen Mark Reynolds wanted to go into the business of farming healthy, local, sustainable seafood, he quickly learned that the only real sustainable seafood option was to raise filter-feeding molluscs. So he started with oysters and clams. In addition to being sustainable, oysters are packed with vitamins and minerals and low in calories -- only about 10 calories apiece, according to Reynolds, who said that was one less than licking a stamp (and a whole lot tastier).

Reynolds and business partner Mark Venus started their venture down in Baja California in 1997 and seeded their first farm in 1999. They now have two farms producing Kumamoto and Pacific oysters and Manila clams. Many of their oysters and clams go directly to restaurants but consumers who want to buy directly from the source can now visit The Jolly Oyster at San Buenaventura State Beach in Ventura and either buy the molluscs to take home or just shuck them right there at the park -- which offers picnic benches and outdoor barbecues for a true seaside feast.

If you're interested in doing the latter, you'll need a shucking knife for the oysters (and some charcoal and a skillet, if you're going to be grilling the clams). You'll also need some sauce. Reynolds was kind enough to share his recipes for a mignonette sauce and a Thai chili sauce, both of which go great with the oysters. Even better, the ingredients include many of the things growing in our gardens. Enjoy!

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Finding Classic Ottoman Cuisine at Istanbul's Ciragan Palace Kempinski Print E-mail
Written by Ann Shepphird   

TugraAs I mentioned in my post on "Finding the Familiar (Produce-wise) in Turkey," one of the interesting trends I found on my trip to Istanbul earlier this year was the return of Ottoman cuisine. And one of the restaurants serving this cuisine is even located in a renovated Ottoman Imperial Palace: Tugra, the signature restaurant at the Ciragan Palace Kempinski hotel (pictured, right). Interestingly, for us gardens-to-tables types, one of the things that distinguishes Ottoman cuisine is a return to slower ways of cooking involving local seasonal ingredients -- which means, of course, that now we can all say, "if it's good enough for the Sultans, it's good enough for me."

For those who want to attempt Ottoman cooking at home, Tugra Chef Ahmet Kara was kind enough to share one of his signature recipes with us: the Triple "Gozleme" (stuffed pastry). Even better, the recipe includes a number of things probably found in our gardens (or farmers market) -- spinach, radishes, baby carrots, etc. Now, it may be hard to find pastirma here in the states but I am sure you can substitute the cured meat of your choice -- or leave it out for a vegetarian version of the dish. Enjoy!

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Sicilian-style Stuffed Zucchini Print E-mail
Written by Ann Shepphird   

zzucchiniAs promised, for those of you who (like me) have an abundance of zucchini currently growing in your garden, here is a recipe for Sicilian-style stuffed zucchini, courtesy of my friend Tasha Zemke, who happens to live on an island off of Sicily. As you will see, the recipe is very Italian -- no amounts to the ingredients and a lot of smooshing and using your hands -- but that's what makes it fun, right? If it helps, throw in the occasional "abbondanza" while you work. Also, in her recipe, sardines or anchovies are suggested, but I'm guessing salted meats would also be good. Enjoy!

Cut a zucchini in half and hollow it out. Chop up the insides roughly and set them aside. Boil a pot full of salted water and stick in the halves and let them cook until you can prick them with a fork and they seem tender. Be careful, though, because if you overcook them, they'll fall apart and you want them to keep their shape.

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Celebrating the Farm-to-Plate Movement at Cleveland's Greenhouse Tavern Print E-mail
Written by Ann Shepphird   

Greenhouse Earth to Table dinnerAs Ohio's first certified green restaurant, Cleveland's Greenhouse Tavern is adding a new dimension to the city's increasingly sophisticated food scene. Owners Chef Jonathan Sawyer and Amelia Zatik-Sawyer have not only incorporated eco-friendly elements (including a rooftop herb garden, composting and using recycled products) into the restaurant and but have also partnered with a number of local farmers, including Thaxton's Organic Garlic in nearby Hudson. Their strongest ties are with The Chef's Garden in Milan, Ohio, and its charity, the Culinary Vegetable Institute, which brings chefs and farmers together to "share knowledge, experiment and discover techniques for growing and preparing the most flavorful varieties of vegetables in the world."

Chef Sawyer recently provided the meal for the institute's monthly Earth-to-Table dinners (above) and also launched a new spring menu at The Greenhouse Tavern, which includes ramp-wrapped local asparagus, Cleveland greenhouse arugula salad and three onion risotto. Also on the new menu is a goat-cheese morel raviolini that Chef Sawyer was kind enough to provide the recipe for. (Click "read more"). Enjoy!

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