Friday, March 22, 2013

Easter Recipe of the Week: Avgolemono Soup with Fungi

Mushrooms in the wild or at the co-op:

This classic Greek soup can be made with your own local stock, a local egg, lemon not local, rice not local and locally foraged mushrooms from the woods or the co-op. Typically, the soup does not call for fungi, but the smoky woodsy flavor of fungi creates a nice balance for the lemon.

4 C chicken stock or vegetable (or poach an entire bird and skim off fat.)
2 C water
1t salt
1/4 C long grain white rice
3 local eggs
Juice of 1 or 2 lemons
1 to 1-1/2 C thinly sliced foraged mushrooms - either crimini or oyster but not hen-of-the-woods or portabella.
S&P to taste
4 T chopped green for garnish such as parsley or chive or the green outgrowth from an onion, chopped fine.  
1 T chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)


First, identify a local forager (first generation Eastern Euporeans or Italians are good) or go to the woods and forage for local mushrooms with a guidebook and a friend.

1. In a large saucepan, combine the stock with water and bring to a boil and lower the heat.
2. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil and add rice. Cook the rice for 12 minutes or until tender and drain into colander.
3. Skim off and discard the fat from the broth. 
4. In a soup pot, return the broth to a boil.
5. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, lemon juice, and pepper.
6. Add a ladle of the hot broth to the egg mixture while mixing. Continue to gradually add broth until fully mixed.
7. Add mushrooms.
8. Return the soup to the medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes or just until the mixture thickens slightly. Do not let it bubble, even at the edges. Add the rice stir well. Serve with garnish.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Indian Line Farm, S. Egremont, 2012
photo by John Dolan
Outstanding in the Field’s first visit to the Berkshires took place in 2012 at Indian Line Farm of South Egremont. Tickets sold out the day they were announced.
This year, fans of  farm-to-table-in-the-field extravaganzas have two such events to choose from: 

On Saturday, September 7, Lila's Farm in Great Barrington will host a five-course meal. Dan Smith, chef-owner of John Andrews: A Farmhouse Restaurant, will man the field kitchen with his crew on Saturday beginning with 3 pm with hors d’oeuvres and followed by opening remarks, a farm tour and dinner for 150. Tickets are $220 per person.  

The day after, Chef Brian Alberg of The Red Lion Inn presenting a five-course farm dinner on Sunday, September 8, at Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield.
Outstanding in the Field describes itself as a roving culinary adventure that serves up local food in fields, gardens, vineyards, beaches and so on. They donate to a umber of farm and food related groups and have been in operation since 1999. 


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

RECIPE: Pickled Cranberries but why?

This is the kind of morning when you wish you made preparations. Now we're in the midst of March. Not much in the way of local fruit except for a bag of dried mango we bought last year in Las Vegas at the airport for a snack. Local because its in the house.

According to the doctor we must have fruit with oatmeal for breakfast, no excuses, but what fruit? We froze local blueberries last summer but those ran out at the end of 2012. Didn't get a chance to put up peaches but the good news is that local apples (from the Valley) are available year round. 

But we don't have any apples so Vegas mango gets a pass. I reconstitute it by pouring boiling water on the leathery strips. What results is a sweetish, flaccid fruit with a distinct airport flavor. But it is fruit and soon I'll purchase cranberries, not from the Valley but not from Vegas either. A bag of cranberries from nearby Cape Cod can be pickled passively (blanch in water then steep in honey and cider vinegar) in a jar and kept in the fridge for a month. This summer, I'll try to put up more fruit for next winter. For now, we're rolling with Hadley Grouts (whole oats) and Pickled Cape Cod Cranberries, hold the mango.