Thursday, June 21, 2007

Locally grown

The Times of Trenton food editor Susan Sprauge Yeske had a great article yesterday about Central Jersey farmers markets. She included a list of some local favorites, which I condensed here and added a few:

Trenton Farmers Market, 9 a.m. -6 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays at 960 Spruce St., Lawrence.
Lawrenceville Farmers Market, Sundays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in the parking lot of Lawrenceville Fuel, 16 Gordon Ave., Lawrenceville.
West Windsor Community Farmers Market, Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Vaughn Drive lot of Princeton Junction Train Station.
Sergeantsville Farmers Market -- 8:30 a.m.-noon Saturdays on the township green on Route 604 Rosemont-Ringoes Road in Delaware Township
Liberty Village Premium Outlets Farmers Market -- 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays at Liberty Village Shopping Center, off Route 12, Flemington.
Toms River Farmers Market -- Wednesdays, 12-6, Ruddy Park.
Burlington County Farmers Market -- 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays at the former Winner Farm at Hartford and Centerton roads, Moorestown.
Freehold Farmers Market -- 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesdays at The American Hotel, 18 E. Main St., Freehold.
Hopewell Community Market, 2-7 p.m. Wednesdays near the train station, off Greenwood Avenue in Hopewell Borough.
Montgomery Farmers Market -- 12:30-6:30 p.m. Thursdays beginning June 28 behind the Red Oak Diner at Routes 206 and 518.
Capital City Market -- 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursdays beginning July 12 at East State Street between Warren and Broad streets
Russo's at Buckley Plaza -- 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays, Buckley Plaza, Route 130, Hamilton

Some of these, such as the Trenton Farmer's Market, have rules about only selling what you grow- but there's no guarantee for the rest. There are "farmer's markets" and roadside stands where you can see the employees unloading fruit and veggies out of the same boxes they get at Shop-Rite, so be careful. Don't be afraid to ask where the produce is grown. If you want Jersey Fresh, speak up.

(cross-posted at CoNJL)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Ginger shortcakes with fresh berries

The Recipe:

2 eggs
1 1/3 cup AP flour
2/3 c cake flour
1 T baking powder
¾ t salt
2 T crystallized ginger, chopped finely
3 T sugar
3 oz butter
¾ cup cream
1 T grated fresh ginger (grated on smallest holes of a box grater; avoid adding fibers.)

1 pt. fresh strawberries, sliced, 10 nice ones left in half or whole
1 pt. cream, whipped with 2 T. sugar and 1/4 tsp. vanilla

Hard-boil eggs. Separate whites and yolks.
Preaheat oven to 400.
Whisk dry ingredients together (including crystalized ginger.) Add butter and cut in with pastry cutter or two knives until butter is the size of large peas. Press egg yolks through a strainer and add; cut in, until no longer visible and the butter is the size of regular peas. Mix cream and grated ginger together in separate container; mix liquid into dry ingretients only until moist- do not over mix! Turn out to board; flour if needed. Knead 10-15 times only then pat out to 1/2 inch tall. Cut with 2 in. cutter. On parchment, bake 5 min, then 375 for 10-15 until done. Let cool and split in half.

Assembly: add strawberries and cream to bottom half; close. Put a swirl of cream and nice berry on top.

The Story:

I'm pretty sure it was Shirley Corriher who gave me the idea for the yolks. It gives the biscuits such a lovely color and richness. Between the yolks and the cream, these are seriously rich, dense biscuits- that's why you cut them so small!

The leftover egg whites make a good addition to an egg salad, or are good as a garnish on top of black bean soup. Really. Or feed 'em to the dog, if you have no other ideas; the dog will love you.

I love ginger and berries.

This is great with raspberries, too. Then again, isn't everything great with raspberries?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Fruit Cobbler

The Recipe:

4 Tbsp. butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla (see note)
1 cup flour
summer fruit: strawberries, blueberries, peaches are all favorites

Preheat oven to 350. Line the bottom of 8x8 in. glass baking dish with one layer of chopped/peeled fruit or berries.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in eggs and vanilla, beat until smooth. Beat in flour. Spread batter over fruit; bake one hour or until top is golden and lovely. Let cool a little.

The Story:

This recipe came from my sister's boyfriend's mother back when my sister was in high school. It's typed, with lots of typos, on a sheet of paper that's horribly stained and darn near unreadable now. Those are the best types of recipes, aren't they?

Adding extra vanilla makes it yummier but this is up to you. I like to add a bit more.

Double the batter and make it in a 9x13 for extra. We do this all the time. It's just as good cold as hot.

The name's clearly wrong: this ain't no cobbler. It's a cake. We've just always called it a cobbler and that's good enough for me. When the berries are fresh or the peaches ripe, we bake this for breakfast on occasional summer weekends because it falls into my "better-than-a-doughnut" theory (Doughnuts are deep-fried cake filled with jelly and covered with icing; if it's healthier than a doughnut, you can have it for breakfast.)

Easy, fast, delicious. What more could you want?

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Buy fresh, help Jersey farmers

Nice article in the Courier-Post this morning about Our Fair State's local produce season: Buy Fresh, Help Farmers.

It's time to go Pick Pick Picking! This morning I have to escort a bundle of young schoolkids to a nearby pick-your-own farm. It's a lot of fun; I went with my older child a few years ago. I know we'll come home with two huge baskets of strawberries... now, should it be cobbler, ice cream or just eat 'em fresh?

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Have yet to go

Has anyone tried Zen Palate in Princeton (or the NYC versions?)