Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Home Cookin' - Liberty Delight Farms Sausage with Peppers and Onions

My buddy Farmer Shane of Liberty Delight Farms has some excellent products besides steaks, chicken and pork. He also has some custom-made sausage products available. This weekend I picked up some sausage from him at the Central Farm Market in Bethesda.
For a simple, but awesome recipe read on.
 Start out with two packages of sausage. I like to use one sweet Italian and one hot Italian. For variety you can always try some of the other options available including chicken or other varieties of pork. 
Start by slicing the sausage into 1/2" nuggets. Heat up a Dutch Oven or similar heavy-bottomed pot with a lid over medium heat. After a few minutes add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pot and let that heat up for another few minutes.
 While that's heating up, cut one onion and 2-3 peppers into strips about 1/4" wide and 1 inch long. Chop up 2 cloves of garlic and you're ready!
 Brown the sausage, turning frequently, until it's cooked through.
 Add the cut up vegetables and cook over medium heat until they start to soften. At this point you're all but finished with the tending. Cover the pot and simmer over low heat until the vegetables have melted into a lovely sauce. Add some freshly-ground black pepper and a pinch of salt along with a pinch of oregano. Once that's done you can leave it on the stove over very low heat for an hour or two or let it cool and refrigerate it for another day. If it seems like the liquid from the vegetables is evaporating too much you can add a little dry white wine or chicken stock to re-hydrate it. The flavors will actually improve if you let it sit in the fridge over night.
Serve on some good rolls or mini-baguettes, being sure to spoon some of that sauce over the bread. It's messy, but it's awesome. 
Thanks for reading folks. As always, I welcome your questions, comments, and rude remarks.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Central Farm Market Bethesda - Know where you food comes from!

Central Farm Market
Arlington Rd., Bethesda MD
Sundays from 9:00am to 1:00pm

This is the Culinary Nomad truck. It was exactly what I was looking for when I walked into the Bethesda Central Farm Market on Sunday.
Cheryl, Alex and I headed there around 9:30 to get some breakfast and provisions. Luckily I saw breakfast first....always better to shop on a full stomach.
Here's a link to their website: http://www.culinarynomadeats.com
 I saw this and said, "Yes, please."
While I was waiting for my $7.00 delight I went across the lane to grab some fresh-squeezed OJ. 
 Upon my return to the truck I was handed a togo box that looked like a couple of runny eggs over a slice of toast. I was ready to be disappointed.
However, what I didn't realize was that the bread under this was some full-bodied, chewy Asiago loaf that had been griddled and covered with a generous helping of spicy chorizo, then topped with chipotle sauce...the eggs were covering everything. This is the kind of breakfast food I dream about. 
It had heat and chewy-cooked cheese covered in runny-yolked goodness. Now THAT was a breakfast. I ate it sitting in the back of the Liberty Delight Farms panel truck before I headed back into the crowd to do some shopping.
I had to stop back and inquire about the bread....here it is. Available from one of the other vendors at the market.

 My first stop after wiping the egg off my face....literally and figuratively, was my friend Farmer Shane's truck. Liberty Delight Farms.
This guy is a hero of mine. He's a farmer. He loves what he does and cares about it. I've been to his farm in Reisterstown Maryland and seen how he treats his animals. They're happy animals and they taste like they lived good lives. The website is www.libertydelightfarms.com
You can order online, or just go to the stand at Rockville on Saturday, and on Sunday at both Bethesda and Mosaic District.  If you do, you've got a good chance of meeting Shane. Take the time to chat with him. It's good to know your farmer. Tell him I said to stop by and say hello.

 Here's a list of some of the products he carries.
Today I grabbed some skirt steaks, bacon, and sausage. Everything he sells is processed in FDA-approved facilities, vacuum packed, and frozen. You throw the package in a sink of cold water for 1/2 an hour and it's thawed. Ready for the grill/oven or whatever else you've got in mind. His steaks are so good that if you do your job and cook them right they'll bring a tear to your eye.
 There are lots of vendors there with fresh fruits and vegetables as well as flowers.
 Here's me and Alex with Mitch Berliner. 
He's a colorful fellow who happens to own the MeatCrafters operation. They make all kinds of charcuterie. Good stuff. He also happens to own the Central Farm Market concept. He's a good guy and you'll always find him there. 
 Did I mention the mushroom vendor? These looked fabulous!
 The artisan cheeses Stoneyman Gourmet are incredible.

And then...to the grill with me for dinner. I rubbed one of the skirt steaks with spices and grilled it for about 10 minutes along with some corn. The salad is from one of the purveyors at the market as well. I rubbed that with a little mayo, tossed on a little fresh-cracked black pepper and some shredded parm.
Nice meal and a nice way to end the holiday weekend.
Thanks for reading...as always, comments, questions and rude remarks are welcome.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

And now for something a little different..Charity

Hopefully all of the wonderful meals I've had and great times I post about haven't left you feeling that I'm a purely hedonistic, self-indulgent FOWG. I actually am all of that, but there's more to it. I am involved in charity as well.
Over the past year I've begun organizing events to benefit the Make A Wish foundation named Shooting with Chefs™ with my friends William Rothwell and Jason Wilt.
Here's our cool logo, courtesy of Unison:

Here's a shot of us with the two guest chefs:
From left to right William Rothwell, Bryan Voltaggio, your's truly, Mike Isabella, and Jason Wilt.

Here's a nice groupie of all of the participants and the sponsors who came.

Our first event was held at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Izaak Walton League last year. It was a small event where about 25 people got together, ate some good food, shot some fine firearms, and then had a silent auction by the bonfire while imbibing in cigars and bourbon. We raised a little over $1,500, and had a damn fine time doing it.

This year, we cranked up the gas a bit and formalized things a little more. We raised, thanks to the overwhelming generosity of some great companies and restaurants, $17,000 for Make a Wish Mid-Atlantic.
The event has taught me about fund raising, working with people across a much wider range of businesses than I'm used to dealing with, and the generosity of some restaurant people. I have to say, it's been eye opening, impressive, and humbling.

The restaurants and/or chef/owners who so generously donated auction items and time to the event are:
Bryan Voltaggio of Range, Volt, Aggio, Family Meal and lunchbox
Mike Isabella of Graffiato, Kapnos, and G Sandwich
Michael Knapp of Irish Whiskey and Copperwood Tavern
Jawad Saadaoui of District Kitchen
Jaime Sanchez of Cactus Cantina and Lauriol Plaza
David Moran of the Old Ebbitt Grill
Justin Guthrie and Mark Kuller of Doi Moi
Donna Giarratana of ThinkFood Group
Thomas Gates of BF Saul Properties
Michael Morris of Cana Development
Laetitia Liguouzat of Paul Bakery

We'll be doing this again next spring. If you're interested in participating as a sponsor, contributor to the silent auction, or just attending please email ChefShoot@Outlook.com

Thanks for reading!