where the wild things are. wild foods discussion and dinner.

I want to take a second to tell you all about a special event happening this weekend. Les Hook and Nova Kim  of Vermont Wild Foods will be hosting a wild foods discussion and a dinner here in NYC. The wild foods talk is Saturday the 23rd and the dinner is Sunday the 24th  after theNew Amsterdam Market.  I love these guys and they are very dear to me. If you are at all interested in wild foods you will love this discussion. It is a special day when you get to meet Les and Nova.

xx

 A few years ago we had the honor of becoming friends with Nova Kim and Les Hook of Vermont Wild Food Gatherer’s Guild. We spent a few days with them in the woods making a short film, they are both mushroom gatherers and educators hosting a series of lectures, teaching one of the first accredited wild foods courses, and hosting wild walks.  They have traveled to Slow Foods Terra Madre to lecture. They have 70’s years of wild and medicinal food gathering knowledge between the two of them. They are a fascinating duo. You can find them occasionally at The New Amsterdam Market.  They will be there this Sunday pre thanksgiving with wild mushrooms and wild jerusalem artichokes. Les and Nova will be giving a lecture on wild foods at the New Amsterdam Market Offices post market this Saturday(223 Front Street NYC) There will be a  wild foods dinner  at Jimmy’s 43 in the East Village. (43 east 7th Street)  on Sunday following the market. . Tickets for these two events are available through Brown Paper Tickets event # 509353.

From The Brown Paper Tickets site...

Les Hook and Nova Kim - A Wild Food Discussion, Presentation and a Nibble

Join Les Hook and Nova Kim, Wild Gourmet Food and the Wild Food Gatherers Guild, in a Wild Food Discussion covering plants from all around you to plants deep in the woods.  Enjoy and be amazed by the samples of wild plants currently available...including, but not limited to, wild watercress, wild leeks, wild ginger, Jerusalem Artichoke slivers (for taste and crunch).   Also, share our standby "Chicken of the Woods Rice & Quinoa" dish with recipe handout.  This is a treat to eat that just happens to also be Vegetarian and Vegan friendly.Nova and her partner Les bring a wealth of information from their seventy-plus years of  experience in wildcrafting and working with forest resources in the Northeast, South and Rocky Mountains.  As long-time gatherers, original participants at the New Amsterdam Market, and spirited educators, whether at the Smithsonian, Terra Madre, Italy, Field Trip Leaders & Presenters at the IWEMM-7 Gautemala or Vermont's various educational institutions, you are guaranteed an interesting evening. This couple has been featured in numerous books and articles including the NY Times Magazine, NY Times, New York Magazine, Village Voice, The Boston Globe, Green Living Journal and others plus being featured on NPR's Splendid Table and Weekend Edition/Saturday."A Guide to Wild Harvesting & Ethics" and the "Mushroom Identification Aid / Spore Print Card" PDF downloads are included.  There will also be another Wild Food Event featuring this couple on November 24 at Jimmy's No. 43.  For information go to http://m.bpt.me/event/509353

Below a few photos inspired by Les and Nova.

wild mushrooms 

wild mushrooms 

raw milk panna cotta with maple and black walnuts

raw milk panna cotta with maple and black walnuts

wild black walnuts

wild black walnuts

carpaccio of jerusalem artichoke

carpaccio of jerusalem artichoke

where the wild things are. the blue pearl.

One afternoon, a couple years ago, around a tiny fire outside their farmhouse in Southern Vermont, Les Hook and Nova Kim cooked up some wild mushrooms we had gathered that morning nearby. In a  large cast iron pan, they seasoned them with nothing more than a little butter or olive oil and some salt and pepper. It had just begun to snow steadily when we set out to gather. Large fat flakes  floated around us amd landed on our eyelashes.Les pulled over in his red Subaru, flashers glowing in the wild flurry of white. He deftly put up a twenty-foot ladder against a slippery maple tree and quickly climbed up. He pulled of the biggest Blue Pearl Oyster Mushrooms I have ever seen off that tree. We drove back to their place and lit the fire. It was then that Nova told us about her non-turkey, perfect for vegetarians on turkey day or for any feast any time of the year for that matter. You must start with a large fan of a mushroom, as you can see from the photo it kind of sweetly resembles a turkey's tail! Though I have roasted many a mushroom from them, it took me two years to get to this post. I asked Nova to save me a large Blue Pearl that I would pick up from the New Amsterdam Market. Luckily my snail mail reached her in time and I was able to get a beauty from them the Saturday before Thanksgiving. I kept in a paper bag on my fire escape until cooking day. Now I know I have sung their praises before but people, if you have not been to the market on a day when they are there then you are SERIOUSLY missing out. If you are interested in finding out when The Vermont Wild Food Gatherer's Guild will be in town go to The New Amsterdam Market website and check the vendor and calendar listings! They always have something special and if you have never been to the market then what are you waiting for? It is every Sunday from 11-4pm.

Back to the mushrooms...

The mushroom I got from Les and Nova was held together by a stretch of bark. I left the piece of bark on the mushroom while I roasted it.

I brushed the mushroom with a generous amount of olive oil and sprinkled it with French sea salt cracked black pepper and thyme.

I put in my largest Cast iron pan...this was a BIG mushroom 14 inches across at least. I threw it in the oven at 350 degrees for a slow roast and when it started to brown at the edges I put about a 1/4 cup of water in the pan and covered it with tin foil to add a little more moisture. Mushrooms are essentially like sponges so they soak up all that moisture. I may not have needed to do this if I had roasted it right away but since I had waited a few days I thought it might help to add the additional moisture.. I took the tin foil off for the last five minutes or so of cooking. I can't give you a specific cooking time because it depends on how big or small the mushrooms are that you are roasting. So use your intuition. You want it to be moist and almost meaty when you slice it.

We loved this so much that we could almost forego the turkey next year and just eat this!

It was really good with gravy... 

Thank you Nova for this brilliant idea!

Roasted Wild Blue Pearl Mushroom Tail

Set your oven to 350 degrees 

1 large Blue Pearl Mushroom fan approx 12-14 inches in length

1/4- 1/2 cup olive oil brushed and drizzled on the mushroom

Seas salt to taste

Cracked black pepper to taste

Sprigs of Fresh Thyme

Gently brush any dirt or debris off the mushroom with a small mushroom brush or a small pastry brush

Place the mushroom upright in a large roasting pan or cast iron skillet

Brush and drizzle with olive oil. Mushrooms really soak it up so be generous with your application.

Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked black pepper

Add some fresh thyme leaves and a sprig or two for looks

Place in the preheated oven and roast for 15-20 minutes depending on the size of our mushroom.

Put about a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water in the pan and cover with tin foil

When the water is all evaporated the mushroom will be done. 

Uncover for the last five minutes or so.

The mushroom should be moist and easy to slice along the grain.

Cooking time really depends on the mushroom size so keep and eye on it!@ You don’t want it to be too tough!!!

As always, a word of caution where wild mushrooms are concerned. Leave the gathering to an expert!!

flying fox apples and french apple cake

10.27.12

This cold weather and early snow calls for a little something special with the afternoon PG Tips. I have been hoarding Maggie’s beautiful heirloom apples but yesterday's weather prompted me to finally use them.

I was recently in Southwestern France for work and was inspired by the small town farmers markets. It is fairly easy to find a market there on any given day. My favorite was a biodynamic market that sold organic fruit, vegetables and grains. Whenever we are traveling for work, I make it a mission to seek out these little markets. You never know what you will find. I am always on the look out for local specialties like honey and sea salt or liquor to take back home. At one of the markets in France there was a woman selling a very simple French apple cake. It was a plain and unassuming cake that tasted of butter and apples and not a trace of cinnamon which I find  to be highly overused where apples are concerned. The weekend before the storm I ventured down to New Amsterdam Market. The wind was wild and the rain was just settling in, but faithful vendors were there nonetheless. Maggie of Flying Fox had the last of the season's apples along with some beautiful medlars and quince.

Yesterday, I found a recipe worthy of her gorgeous apples, a simple French apple cake by Dorie Greenspan via David Liebovitz’s blogthat perfectly matches that simple cake from the French market. 

I made one substitution; instead of rum I used armagnac that I picked up in France.

This is a perfect cake for an afternoon tea or with a morning espresso. Come to think of it, it is just plain perfect anytime.

Marie-Hélène's Apple Cake

 recipe via David Liebovitzblog 

 Makes one 9-inch  cake

Adapted from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.

ingredients:

3/4 cup (110g) flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt

4 large apples (a mix of varieties)

2 large eggs, at room temperature

3/4 cup (150g) sugar

3 tablespoons dark rum (I substituted armagnac)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

8 tablespoons (115g) butter, salted or unsalted, melted and cooled to room temperature

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven.

2. Heavily butter an 8- or 9-inch (20-23cm) springform pan and place it on a baking sheet.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

4. Peel and core the apples, then dice them into 1-inch (3cm) pieces. ( use a mix of kinds. I used a mix of hierlooms)

5. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until foamy then whisk in the sugar, then rum and vanilla. Whisk in half of the flour mixture, then gently stir in half of the melted butter

6. Stir in the remaining flour mixture, then the rest of the butter.

7. Fold in the apple cubes until they’re well-coated with the batter and scrape them into the prepared cake pan and smooth the top a little with a spatula.

8. Bake the cake for 50 minute to 1 hour, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edge to loosen the cake from the pan and carefully remove the sides of the cake pan, making sure no apples are stuck to it.

Serving: Serve wedges of the cake just by itself, or with crème fraîche.

Storage: The cake will keep for up to three days covered. Since the top is very moist, it’s best to store it under a cake dome or overturned bowl.

Black Oxford, Old Maids Winter, D'arcy Spice and Hidden Rose... just a few of Maggie's beautiful hierlooms from The New Amsterdam Market.

 

The beautiful pink one is called Hidden Rose for it's surprising pink color.

The beautiful pink one is called Hidden Rose for it's surprising pink color.

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good butter makes the cake...

good butter makes the cake...

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121108_FRENCH_APPLE_CAKE-1611.jpg

stone fruit. purslane. and korean watercress salad. lunch for one.

The other day as I walked around the green market I had a stone fruit story churning in my head. I wasn't sure what I was going to do but I knew I wanted to make a salad of plums or peaches. So, with that in mind I started to pick up beautiful bits of this and that and slowly a salad began to form.

Two plums or one peach and one plum

A handful of purselane

A handful of Korean watercress

Mexican gherkins

Fresh dill flower

1 garlic scape

Sea salt

Extra virgin olive oil

Juice half a lime

1 teaspoon of rose syrup

Or maple syrup

The main ingredient in this salad is plum; everything else is just there to add a little bit of flavor and to play off the flavor of the plums.

Nothing here is that exotic, I found it all easily at the farmer’s market here in NYC. You can substitute and play around if you can’t find these exact ingredients. Embrace a little whimsy!

Stone fruit. Purslane. and Korean Watercress Salad.

Cut three medium size plums into small slices. Discard the pit. Use any kind. I used Elephant Heart and Santa Rosa plums.

Arrange the plums loosely on a plate.

Add a few sprigs of purselane ( a lemony tasting wild green )

Add a few sprigs of Korean watercress, which looks nothing like regular watercress. You can substitute celery leaf or parsley if you can’t find the watercress.

Cut in half a handful of Mexican Gherkins and sprinkle on top of the plums, again if you can’t find these use some other tender early cuke.

Add a few sprigs of dill flower, substitute dill if you can’t find dill flower

Thinly slice about an inch of garlic scape, use a finely chopped shallot or chive if you can’t find scape.

Sprinkle with a pinch of good crunchy seas salt

Squeeze the juice of half a lime over the salad

Drizzle with a good extra virgin olive oil

Finish with a teaspoon of rose syrup (I made my own from rose petals) If you can’t find a rose syrup then add a teaspoon of maple syrup!

It is all about improvising and throwing together whatever is in season.

Have fun! Let me know if you come up with any interesting summer salads!

Enjoy!

This salad is just about being inspired at the green market and then tossing it all together! Don’t be scared of combinations just be inspired by them. What is the worst thing that can happen?

More stone fruit recipes to come!!

summer daze.

I woke up this morning with a start, wondering what I am late for and realized that I actually have today off! Summer has been flying by this year. I have no idea where the days have gone... one seems to tumble into the next until weeks have passed. I am looking forward to a few days off in August spent upstate and in the company of good friends. I have had no time for blogging this past month, life and work have been busy and the heat wave somewhat unbearable in our non air-conditioned loft. While busy is a good... I have reached the point of a much-needed break. I have had to reconcile that I am not going to be able to get to all the ideas, shoots and recipes I have had in mind for the summer season. I will do what I can and put some things off to next year. Sometimes you just have to take a moment.

Jam, however, is definitely on the agenda. It looks as though the blackberries upstate are about to burst, hundreds of them dripping from tangled thorny bramble. They, unlike me, seemed to have thrived in this heat! The black raspberries and blueberries in the photos below came from Flying Fox at The New Amsterdam Market. When I am in town on a Sunday it is my very favorite place to go.

Have a great weekend friends! 

x

thank you shandaken bake. pie for dinner.

With Marty on his way to pick up Lula from the beach and Sam in Brooklyn for the evening, I see no reason why I should not eat this lovely little rhubarb pie that was so nicely given to me by Craig from Shandaken Bake at The New Amsterdam Market today. A little pie and some oregano tea, sometimes it just has to be dessert for dinner! ; )

 Our neighbors once in the Catskill's, Shandaken has moved to the city full time! We will miss them at the Round Barn. Don't miss their amazing seasonal pies and other treats at the New Amsterdam Market on Sundays! Keep your ears open for news of a retail venture soon!

sweet and sour.

The cherries seem to have arrived a bit early this year. I always associate them with the Fourth of July not June!. We had a sour cherry tree in our backyard when I was growing up, so sour cherry jam made it into out winter pantry year after year. July marked the time of the year when our fingers would prune from pitting pounds of luscious red sour cherries. It was always a race to pick them before the birds ate every last one but don’t' worry, we left plenty for our feathered friends!

I was surprised to see cherries at the market this past Sunday. Maggie from Flying Fox was at The New Amsterdam Market with a gorgeous assortment of varieties both sweet and sour!  She was selling;

Summit, Chinook, Emperor Francis, Benton. Chorne  Višnja (Russian sour),  Sweetheart,  Montmorency ( sour), Tientou, Hartland and  Royalton.

She had a few quarts of tiny black sour Russian cherries, which are incredibly rare.  I am dreaming up all kinds of things to cook up with my bounty but for now, I just wanted to share these photos to inspire you to run out to the greenmarket yourself! Don't miss out on this short season!

Sour cherry jam and other recipes to come later this week! xx

sweet valentine

This morning I left a little Valentine for the ones I love. I wanted to share in case you are in need of a last minute idea.... I got mine from New Amsterdam Valentine Market which was held last weekend in a very special public space managed by the South Street Seaport Museum at 215-217 Water Street. If you did not get a chance to swing by the market you can find these sweets by clicking on the links below!

Mast Brothers Chocolate

Bowne & Co. Bowne & Co. 211 Water Street (NEW LOCATION)

and Chocolate Whiskey from King's County Distillery made from the Husks of Mast Brother's Cocao Bean....

Have A Sweet One.

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Where to Buy Chocolate Whiskey

For now at least, the Chocolate Whiskey remains an experimental release and supply is extremely limited.The full list of stores that carry the chocolate whiskey is as follows:  (Brooklyn) Heights Chateau, The Greene Grape, Dry Dock, Fermented Grapes, Juice Box, Natural Wine Co., Pier Wines, Brooklyn Oenology, Thirst Wine Merchants, and The Whiskey Shop.  (Manhattan) Park Avenue Liquor Shop, Winfield Flynn, Astor Wines and Spirits, Union Square Wines Downtown Cellars, and (upstate) A Wine for All. 


And of those outside NYC, the following stores do online sales:

Pasanella and Sons 

www.astorwines.com

www.parkaveliquorshop.com

www.heightschateau.com

www.taigan.com/shops/wineforall