Our friends at Gill Farms in Hurley, New York keep surprising us with beautiful, tasty, healthy vegetables. Life is too short to only eat broccoli! So come on in and try some of the wonderful vegetables we have been preparing. Expand your mind and your palate!
Today’s delivery included multicolored mini-eggplants and gorgeous okra. There is definitely much more to do with okra than making gumbo, (which we love) so to highlight these fascinating vegetables I made an Indian inspired dish, called a “bhadji”, delicately seasoned with ginger, tamarind and chili for today’s plat du jour.
The fresh cranberry beans we cooked yesterday are another late summer treat, truly amazing! I folded these into a clove, cardamon scented rice, sort of like an Indian version of the Cajan “dirty rice”.
To finish the dish we’ve paired a nice cool cucumber yogurt raita, with cucumbers from Gill Farms, of course, and some fresh herbs from our garden out back. We’re loving the bounty of the harvest in August, come share it with us!
Even if you’re not Irish, you’re probably up for either a corned beef sandwich today or one of our corned beef and cabbage dinner specials which will include the ever popular colcannon. But here’s the big question – have you ever tried it?
Colcannon (or “colchannon”) is extremely popular in Ireland and is much the same today as it’s been for centuries. It was traditionally eaten in at Hallowe’en as until recently this was a fast day when you weren‘t allowed to eat meat. The name derives from cal ceann fhionn — white-headed cabbage.
The correct way to make colcannon (according to Irish tradition) is with chopped kale (a member of the cabbage family) but it can also be made with white cabbage. Here at Bistro-to-Go we cook up Potato Bob’s carola potatoes and mash them as we would to serve every day.
Take a bunch of leeks, chop them fine and soak in water to clean out the sand. Drain, then sweat them in a pan on top of the stove, sauteing with some butter, salt and pepper till soft.
Chop the kale and savoy cabbage (the queen of all cabbage) into horizontal strips about 1″ wide and put into a deep pot with about 1″ of water in the bottom. Steam until they’re tender and drain off the excess water.
Toss in some olive oil, salt and pepper and stir into the potatoes along with the leeks. Check the seasoning and voila! Colcannon!
May the luck of the Irish be yours today!
We always welcome our weekly delivery of potatoes from the guy we affectionately call “Potato Bob” (aka Bob Kiley) from RSK Farms in Prattsville, New York. In the winter months Bob draws from his store of carolas and fingerlings that were harvested last fall. Now that we’re nearing spring he’s getting ready to start planting all over again. I asked Bob what he has planned for this year’s growing season and here’s his list: Carola, Red Norland, Green Mountain, Adirondack Blue, Adora, two types of fingerlings = Russian Banana and Laratt, Austrian Crescent, Rose Finn Apple, New York 118, and Keuka Gold. And that’s just potatoes! This spring he’ll begin planting my personal favorite mesclun salad greens, and later in the season pumpkins, winter squash, sweet corn, string beans, tomatoes, and peppers.
Bob is what I would consider a farmer out of the old tradition – no corporate farming going on here! He and his family started their farm in Ashland, New York in 1984 with 40 milking cows – selling their raw milk to the Dairylea Cooperative. In 1998 they decided to switch over to growing vegetables “because they’d lose money slower with vegetables”!!! Over the years he’s developed a wholesale customer base of local restaurants, the Kingston and Woodstock Farmers’ Markets, and the Culinary Institute of America in Poughkeepsie.
His favorite outlet, however, is still his own personal farm stand in the front yard of his home. If you want to go for a visit, you’ll find his delicious produce on Route 23A in Prattsville, New York. Best time to visit would be late summer! For more info call 518-299-3198.