Shopper Chef No. 3
Community Resident, Financial Consultant, and Son of a Former Restauranteur
July 25, 2012
I really liked the beets, asparagus and bread best of all the Govanstowne Farmers Market finds. Some local butter bean honey and locally farmed chicken rounded out our purchases. While it seemed the idea going in was to prepare a single meal, my ingredients didn’t really hang together that way. Instead I shared the love further and used the ingredients over three days.
The first day my wife had about a dozen ladies over for an afterschool gathering. I prepared a great salad using the beets, the beautiful beet greens and a little goat cheese. Everyone loved the salad and it disappeared quickly. I heard some comparisons to Swiss chard and kale, and people were pleasantly surprised that the salad was made from the beet greens.
The second day we started off with toasted baguette with a little butter and the butter bean honey for breakfast. The buttery flavor of that honey was really wonderful. We learned some interesting things about the art of beekeeping talking to the owner/beekeeper from that stall.
That night we also roasted the chicken for dinner for our family of five. I must admit to having been initially disappointed to see that the chicken had been frozen since December—I was looking forward to a different level of ‘freshness’ than that. On the other hand, the color and taste of the chicken was certainly superior to our traditional grocery store options. After dinner I made some stock from the carcass. We never toss the carcass without making a broth, and typically will make a soup or risotto the following day after having a roast chicken.
The third day I used the asparagus and fresh chicken broth to make a cream of asparagus soup. My kids are very fond of vichyssoise and similarly styled soups, and the fresh stock always adds great flavor to the final product. We’re always looking for ways to get more veggies into the kids, and this soup certainly does that trick.
So, we really got some great mileage out of our farmers market purchases. We had to supplement with some basics like onions, cheese, and the like from nearby Belvedere Square, but we’re doubly blessed to have that market and the farmers market both super close to the house.
Co-owner of a financial consulting company, Kyahn Kamali and his wife, Leslie, live in the Govanstowne community with their three children. See his recipes on the next pages.
Roasted Beet Salad with Beet Greens and Feta
• 6T olive oil
• 2.5T red wine vinegar
• 1T minced garlic
• 7 Medium/Large Beets with greens attached
• 1C water
• 2T chopped capers
• 3/4C crumbled feta cheese
Make a simple dressing from the olive oil, vinegar and garlic, adding a generous amount of coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Cut the tops off the beets and set them aside. Arrange beets in a single layer in a baking dish, add water, cover and bake in 375 oven until tender when stuck with a knife, about an hour or so. Smaller beets may finish before larger ones. Peel beets while warm, cut them in half, and slice thinly. Transfer to mixing bowl, add 1/4C of the dressing and the capers and toss. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed.
Remove the beet greens’ stems and wash the greens thoroughly. Worst thing in the world is sand in your salad, so really take care to get them clean! Transfer the greens while still wet to a large pot on high heat and stir until just wilted—just 2-3 minutes. Drain the greens and gently squeeze out excess moisture. Cool them down and chop them to large salad size.
Toss the greens in the remaining dressing and add salt and pepper to taste. Arrange beets in a serving dish with greens surrounding. Sprinkle with the feta cheese and top with any remaining dressing. Serve promptly!
Homemade Chicken Broth
• Carcass of a chicken
• 2 medium carrots
• A large onion
• 2 bay leaves
• Rosemary and/or thyme if you have them
• 1-2 ribs of celery if you have it
• 8-10 whole peppercorns
• 2 quarts of water
Remove any large pieces of skin from the carcass to keep the broth from becoming too fatty.
Place all the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer/low and let cook for around two hours. If there’s still chicken on the bones or in the broth, you can save that. Otherwise strain the broth and toss the remaining bones and veggies. Use in the next couple of days or freeze for later.
Cream of Asparagus Soup
• 2lbs fresh asparagus
• 2-3 leeks
• 3T butter
• 5-6C chicken broth (homemade if possible)
• 1/2 C heavy cream
Cut the tips off of the asparagus and set aside. If there are some large pieces in there, chop them down a bit. I usually remove a bit of the thickest part of the base of the asparagus as well. Chop the remaining asparagus into roughly 1/2” pieces.
Cleaning leeks completely is something you can’t rush. They tend to have a good amount of dirt inside. Cut off the root and either split open the leek by slicing lengthwise or else cut into the stalk from the green down into the white part so you can splay the ends open. Clean all the dirt out so you don’t have dirt in your soup! Alternatively, you could replace the leeks with a large onion, but leeks make for better soup.
Cook the cleaned leek (or onion) in the butter over medium-low heat until they are softened. Add the asparagus and some salt and pepper and cook another 5 minutes. Stir frequently. Add 5C of the broth and simmer, covered, until the asparagus is very tender, maybe 20 minutes. I actually peeled and chopped a large potato in with the asparagus at this stage this time—it makes for a thicker soup—but that’s completely optional. Using homemade broth makes such a difference in the flavor of the soup that I rarely make the soup if I don’t have it.
Carefully puree the soup in a couple of batches until smooth and transfer results into a new pan. Add the cream and adjust the thickness with any remaining broth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve it cold or warm it up and serve it hot. Either way is delicious. Add a few of the tips when serving.