Monthly Archives: March 2009

Grilled Salmon Tacos with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Wild Alaskan salmon, fresh roasted tomatillo salsa, shredded cabbage, grilled green onions, crèma Mexicana, homemade tortillas and plenty of hot sauce..

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Marinate salmon filets in olive oil with a pinch of sea salt, chipotle powder and parsley.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Make salsa verde from finely chopped roasted tomatillos, garlic, Serrano peppers, S&P, fresh cilantro and fresh lime juice.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Prep masa for tortillas, shred cabbage, slice onions, heat your comal, etc.

Sear salmon with a tablespoon or two of its marinade in a heavy skillet.  Add green onions to the same pan and cook until the edges begin to brown.

Meanwhile, cook tortillas in a comal or another heavy skillet.  Keep warm.

To serve, mound cabbage on warm tortillas.  Place salmon on top, dress with salsa and garnish crèma Mexicana and grilled onions.  Serve with hot sauce and a wedge of lime.

Rating  ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

What’s In Your Sandwich?

I hope its not that “fat-free mayo” in the easy squeeze bottle!  Take a look at the actual ingredients from one of the major brands on supermarket shelves from coast to coast..

WATER, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, SUGAR, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, VINEGAR, SOYBEAN OIL, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF SALT, CELLULOSE GEL, NATURAL FLAVOR, ARTIFICIAL COLOR, EGG, YOLKS, XANTHAN GUM, MUSTARD FLOUR, LACTIC, CELLULOSE GUM, PHOSPHORIC ACID, VITAMIN E ACETATE, LEMON JUICE CONCENTRATE, DRIED GARLIC, DRIED ONIONS, SPICE, YELLOW 6, BETA CAROTENE, BLUE 1, WITH POTASSIUM SORBATE AND CALCIUM DISODIUM EDTA AS PRESERVATIVES.

Make your own real mayonnaise!  It is delicious, inexpensive, healthy and and easy to make..

Adapted from a recipe by Sally Fallon

Makes 1 1/2 cups

1 whole farm-fresh egg at room temperature
1 farm-fresh egg yolk at room temperature
1 teaspoon homemade mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about 1 med. lemon)
1 tablespoon whey
3/4 to 1 cup extra virgin olive oil or expeller pressed sunflower oil (not canola)
generous pinch of sea salt

“Homemade mayonnaise imparts valuable enzymes, particularly lipase… The addition of whey will help your mayonnaise last longer, adds enzymes and increases nutrient content…”

In your food processor, place egg, egg yolk, mustard, salt, whey and lemon juice and process until well blended, about 30 seconds.  With the motor running, add oil in a very slow, thin stream.  Taste and adjust seasoning.

Allow to sit at room temperature for 7 hours before transferring to refrigerator.  The mayonnaise will thicken as it stands.

Ginger Maple Pork Chops

Inch-thick, bone-in pastured pork from Richardson Farms in a ginger and maple butter glaze..

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Season chops on both sides with sea salt and black pepper and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Heat oil in an iron skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Brown on both sides, then transfer skillet to a 350 degree oven until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees.

Transfer chops to the side and keep warm.

Deglaze the pan with a little apple cider vinegar, scraping up all the brown bits with a wooden spoon.  Add a teaspoon each of minced ginger and maple butter and tablespoon of water.  Season with a mixture of salt, pepper, coriander, dried orange peel and parsley.

Return the chops to the pan just long enough to heat through.

Serve with pan roasted carrots and homemade raisin chutney.

Rating  ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Crisis at Tecolote Farm

*****   See 05/19 update here *****

“This is the time.  And this is the record of the time.”


MEETING POSTPONED

The Commissioner’s Meeting has been postponed until 1:45pm on Tuesday, April 7th.

Please email/phone your Commissioner this week!


Buy local and raise hell

Please Email or Call Your County Commissioner Now Before they Vote on April 7th

§ 551.071. CONSULTATION WITH ATTORNEY; CLOSED MEETING.

A governmental body may not conduct a private consultation with its attorney except:

(1) when the governmental body seeks the advice of its attorney about:
(A) pending or contemplated litigation; or
(B) a settlement offer; or

(2) on a matter in which the duty of the attorney to the governmental body under
the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of Texas
clearly conflicts with this chapter.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.


Katie and David Pitre of Tecolote Farm


Action Alert: Tecolote Still Needs Your Help:
Call or Email County Commissioner Prior to Vote on 4/7

Background:
Tecolote Farm has been providing locally-grown, organic vegetables to the Austin area since 1993.  It is a vital part of and gives much value to our community.  Recently they have suffered a water crisis.  Water levels in Tecolote Farm’s well dropped dramatically, and then went completely dry, soon after Travis County installed nearby high-production wells used to water recreation fields a few miles away.  At first, Travis County officials indicated that if they had caused the problem, they would help fix it.  Since that time, several highly-qualified hydrogeologists, including ones with extensive experience in studying and working with the local aquifer at issue have confirmed what Tecolote has always known:  that the high-volume pumping by the County was at least a significant contributor of what has happened to Tecolote’s water supply. Tecolote Farm is just asking for access to the groundwater that they always had, and they are willing to exchange that access for providing produce to County Jail inmates.

This coming Tuesday, March 31st, the Travis County Commissioners’ Court will be considering Judge Biscoe’s plan to help solve a problem that they (at least in part) created.

Email the Travis County Commissioners

Please send an email very soon – preferably today, Friday, 3/27- but no later than Sunday, 3/29, letting all of the Commissioners, especially Commissioners Eckhardt and Davis, know how important it is to you that the County step up to the plate and help solve preserve this local farm. If you don’t know who your county commissioner is, just send the email to all of them.

List of County Commissioners and their email addresses and telephone numbers:

County Judge – Samuel T. Biscoe – sam.biscoe@co.travis.tx.us – 512-854-9555
Commissioner, Precinct 1 – Ron Davis – ron.davis@co.travis.tx.us – 512-854-9111
Commissioner, Precinct 2 – Sarah Eckhardt – sarah.Eckhardt@co.travis.tx.us – 512-854-9222
Commissioner, Precinct 3 – Karen Huber – Karen.Huber@co.travis.tx.us – 512-854-9111
Commissioner, Precinct 4 – Margaret Gómez – commissioner.gomez@co.travis.tx.us -512- 854-9444

Below is suggested text for such an email.  Feel free to add to it by discussing your relationship with Tecolote or how important it is that our local governments support those within our community who produce local, healthy food, and that Travis County not contribute to the demise of Tecolote or ignore this legal opportunity to do the right thing.

Suggested text:

Dear _______

I am a supporter of local, sustainable agricultural in Travis County.  It has come to my attention that the Travis County Commissioners Court is ready to vote on whether or not to assist Tecolote Farm solve its water crisis.

I understand that County Judge Sam Biscoe has drawn up a plan that would allow the County to provide Tecolote Farm with access to groundwater in exchange for the Farm providing produce to the County Jail.  I also understand that this plan has already been approved by the County’s attorneys and that there are no “legal impediments” to its implementation.  Please do the right thing to support sustainable, local agriculture and save this long-standing farm. Small family farms are the county’s heritage, and hopefully you will help to preserve them for the future.
First Option – You can do nothing.  You can wash your hands of this matter and seal the fate of Tecolote farm.  And the way you can do that is by hiding behind the antiquated but still-in-effect common law doctrine known as the Rule of Capture.

But there is nothing about the Rule of Capture that prevents the County from doing the right thing and helping Tecolote Farm.

Second Option – is that you can decide to not hide behind the Rule of Capture and decide to implement one of the low-cost options that will prevent the loss of Tecolote Farm. In this era of obesity and poor nutrition, please back up your recent adoption of a Sustainable Food Policy Board and keep this local provider of healthy, high quality produce in business.

Sincerely,

____________

SFC

Contact Information
Susan Leibrock
Community Relations Director
Sustainable Food Center
512-236-0074 ext. 111

Grilled Lamb Chops with Orange Rosemary Demi-Glace

Grilled lamb chops with orange rosemary demi-glace and roasted fennel, tomatoes and cipolline onions..

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Marinate lamb loin chops in olive oil, garlic, fresh rosemary, dried orange peel and freshly ground ground black pepper for at least 2 hours.

Layer wedges of fennel bulb, tomatoes and cipolline onions in a small skillet and drizzle with olive oil.  Season with sea salt and freshly ground ground black pepper and place in a 400 degree oven until it begins to crisp and brown around the edges.

Sauté lamb chops in a little of the marinade over medium high heat until nicely brown on both sides but still rare.  Transfer to a holding plate.

Deglaze the pan with Grand Marnier, add a little stock, rosemary and orange peel and reduce quickly.  Taste for salt & pepper.

Arrange chops around roasted vegetables and dress with demi-glace.

Rating  ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Stuffed French Toast

I buy large jars of cultured, whole milk yoghurt for the purpose of separating the whey, which I use to ferment things like homemade ketchup and breakfast quinoa.  After the whey is removed from the yoghurt, one is left with a very nice soft cheese, similar in taste and texture to commercial cream cheese.  Stuffed French toast is one great way to use it up..

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Liberally spread slices of sturdy bread (such as whole grain spelt) with yoghurt cheese.  Add rounds of sliced banana and minced candied ginger, and press the two sides together.

Saturate the sandwich on all sides in an egg beaten with light cream.  Let it get really wet, but not to point that it falls apart.

Cook the sandwich in whole butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat until golden brown on both sides.  Keep warm.

Add blueberries and maple syrup to the remaining butter and cook quickly until the berries start to pop and the syrup has thickened a little.  You could flambé it with a bit of Grand Marnier if you like.

Pour the hot syrup over the diagonally cut sandwich and garnish with fresh mint.