Saturday, July 28, 2007

One Local Summer - Week of 7/22/2007

I think we got doubled up on one OLS week, and missed the next one or something. Anyway, I took a turn at cooking our local meal this week. At my favorite, favorite farmer's market, they were conspiring to make me fire up the grill this week. (A grill/smoker/steamer that I affectionately refer to as R2BQ.)

So first, a youth group was selling some charcoal they made, for a fundraiser. Next, one of my favorite market gardeners had a bag full of tiny peppers, baby squash, mini zucchini, and undersized onions, which she was pitching as perfect for roasting on the grill. (They certainly were.) And finally, I realized that the naturally raised (and delicious) pork tenderloin chops that we enjoyed a while back were priced at $4.00 for four chops. How can you go wrong with one-dollar slabs of tenderloin? And that's not even a sale price.

And what goes better with pork than apple cider? Of course I get the cider every week anyway. Better than canned soft drinks, eh? I had to give some of my precious cider to the meal, but it was a worthy cause.

So you're probably thinking, "Get to the meal already!" Alright, you savages, simmer down...

Grilled Pork Tenderloin Chops
(recipe improvised)
Pork tenderloin chops - VanMeter Farm, Latham, OH (57 miles)
Apple cider (marinade) - Hirsch Fruit Farms, Chillicothe, Ohio (25 miles)
Rosemary - Our herb garden (0 miles)
Pepper seasoning - non-local

Roasted Potatoes with Garlic
(recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Gas Grill Cookbook)
Fingerling potatoes, green onions, garlic - Kinnikinnick Gardens, Chillicothe, Ohio (20 miles)
Rosemary - Our herb garden (0 miles)
Non-local ingredients - less than a tablespoon each of: oil, salt, pepper, vinegar, dijon mustard

Roasted vegetables
(recipe improvised)
Green, purple, yellow and red peppers, white and red onions, baby zucchini, baby patty-pan squash - Kinnikinnick Gardens, Chillicothe, Ohio (20 miles)
Non-local ingredients - Italian dressing marinade

Milk - Our goats (0 miles)
(I know, I got the cider for the meal, but for some reason, milk sounded better.)

I cheated a little on the marinades, but I made up for it by cooking with local charcoal. Or something like that.

Unfortunately, the potatoes were very undercooked, despite an hour wrapped in a foil tent over the charcoal. I'm not sure what went wrong there. I'll try something different next time. The pork was a tiny bit overcooked, but still very tasty. The roasted vegetables were excellent.

I'm finding that my favorite thing about local cooking is the forced creativity. Often, you can't just follow a recipe exactly, so you end up swapping, omitting, adding, or otherwise improvising, which always leads to something new and different. And so far at least, it almost always works out well...

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At 7/28/2007 9:21 PM, Blogger barefoot gardener said...

Looks fabulous. Those grilled veggies are giving me a craving.

At 7/29/2007 8:46 AM, Blogger ~Lori said...

Those pork tenderloin chops are really good. I had never had them before getting them from this place.

Everything was very good, we just need to remember to precook the potatoes a bit next time.


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