I headed over to the farmers’ market on time yesterday, for a change, and picked up a bunch of awesome food. As I drifted around, I thought about various meals that I might want to make, and I ended up assembling the perfect ingredients for champ, courtesy of three different farmers. I figured I might as well pick up some local meat and make a locavorean feast of it.
I picked up Korean garlic from Sky Hoyt, a specialty grower based in Lakeport. Sky always has awesome produce, as well as a smile. While I was at his stand, I also got a vidalia onion and a handsome bag of tomatoes. The sign on the Korean garlic said that it was hot, like incendiary hot, and that turned out to be correct. Ladies and gentleman, I have discovered the perfect food for garlic lovers. It is pungent, firey, intense, garlicy perfection.
The kale came from another farmer, who also had some sweet looking romaine lettuce and carrots. I wanted to grab fennel, too, but the guy in front of me got the last fennel. After a brief confusion over correct change, I was on my way to yet another farmer, who had the sexiest yukon gold potatoes ever.
(For those of you playing along at home, I also got summer squash from Cinnamon Bear Farm, and fruit from the guy with the apricots. Which I had for dessert. The apricots were really good, small and soft and oh so sweet.)
I dropped everything off at home and diddled around at work for a bit before going over to Roundman’s for meat. Fortunately for me, they had fabulous pork chops from Covelo, and I also picked up a Rosie breast for a project later in the week. (Think chile verde, think tortillas, think reappearance of the summer squash, and…Wehani rice! What is Wehani rice? You’ll find out. Unless you already know, you food savvy reader you.)
When I got home, I put some water on to boil for the potatoes and briefly steamed the kale, throwing it into a bowl with finely minced garlic and some butter and cream from Clover. Which is fairly local, I guess. When it came to salt and pepper I dispensed with the locavore concept altogether, and went with what I had in the spice cupboard. After the potatoes were done, I busted out my ricer for smooth creamy mashed potatoes while the pork chop was introduced to the heat.
The pork chop was crusted in salt and pepper before being dropped in a nice hot cast iron pan with a smear of olive oil and butter to sear for one minute on both sides. Then, I covered the pan and let the chop cook while I unearthed some applesauce from last year. (Which I happened to make with Gowan’s apples, also local!)
The results were magically delicious. The pork was really superb, fresh and flavorful and extremely juicy, and it went well with the applesauce. I like my applesauce rather tart, as a general rule, and the cinnamon I added to this batch actually complimented the plain preparation of the pork chop quite nicely. The champ was, of course, awesome, as champ always is.
I actually took a picture of the plate, but it looked horrible. It had gotten too dark for my little cellphone to be up to the task, and it looked like a murky photograph of the Loch Ness Monster, or perhaps grainy footage from a police bust, so I decided to leave it out.
The total cost of the meal was pretty minimal, probably much cheaper, actually, than with food from Harvest. Eating locally produced food, it turns out, doesn’t just make you smug…it also saves you money.