High on the Hog

We have been eating really really well. Sort of blowing ourselves away by the amazing meals on our plates. I wish we could take more credit, but the truth is it is simply the quality of the ingredients that makes it all so awesome.

B and I are on our 3rd year participating in the challenge, but the first time we’ve done September (previous two were Augusts), and we’re finding that September opens up a whole additional world of foods while still keeping almost everything we got in August. This year in particular we are having fun discovering we can make some good ‘ole standards out of totally local ingredients.

burgersThis is Lasting Legacy ground beef, bought at the farm, buns made with Vermont flour, roasted fingerling potatoes from Meadow’s Mirth Farm and Bibb lettuce from Wildroot Farm purchased at the Portsmouth Farmers’ Market, and blue cheese dressing made from Great Hill Blue Cheese, purchased at basically any store and plain yogurt.

corn chowder

The cooler weather has inspired a couple chowders, this one is corn and fingerling potato, with a little bacon on top. Corn from Barkers’ Farm, on rte 33 in Stratham, potatoes from Meadow’s Mirth, purchased at the Portsmouth Farmers’ Market, milk from Brookford Farm in Rollinsford, bacon from Kellie Brook Farm, also from the Portsmouth Farmers’ Market.

Bubble & SqueakBubble & Squeak is theoretically made from the leftovers of your boiled dinner. We plan it for the same week as some mashed potatoes, then prepare a double batch of potatoes. Add in some chopped, blanched cabbage chunks, a bit of onion, and plentyo’bacon fat. Yup, bacon fat. Cook over fairly high heat in a heavy pan, turning sections as they brown. The dish gets its name from the fun bubbles and squeaking it produces as it cooks. Potatoes, cabbage, and bacon are all easily found at the farmers markets.

crabs These guys were the beginning of some crab cakes made by adding eggs, onions, and garlic from the Portsmouth Farmers’ Markets, herbs from the back deck, and a slice or two of Borealis Aroostook Wheat bread toasted then whirred in the food processor. Fried in Butterworks Farm sunflower oil. I purchased the crabs at the Old Mill Fish Market in Portsmouth, where the staff is very helpful and doesn’t mind endless questions about how-to and where-from.

poblanosRoasted stuffed poblanos with refried beans. Beans (beans!) from Meadow’s Mirth farm (Portsmouth Farmers’ Market). Onion, garlic, and chile peppers for the beans from New Roots farm (Portsmouth Farmers’ Market). The poblanos (Barker’s Farm, Portsmouth FM) were roasted till black, then peeled and stuffed with ground lamb (Chestnut Lamb co-op, Portsmouth FM) seasoned with garlic and onion and coriander from the back-deck cilantro that got out of hand. The stuffed poblanos went into a small baking pan along with some cooked yellow tomatoes (New Roots farm, PFM) and Silvery Moon cheddar (York Farmers’ Market) and the whole thing was baked just until the cheese was melted. yum.

2 Responses to “High on the Hog”

  1. MIchelle says:

    That is absolutely mouthwatering, Sara Zoe.

    Though my challenge is nowhere near as tightly local as others’, I too have found myself returning to really hearty and traditional meals as a result of participating. It’s almost like rediscovering food history – these dishes are iconic and classic because they made the best of what was locally available.

    Among the amazing meals I’ve enjoyed for the month:

    Grilled eggplant from Willow Pond and Nelson’s Farms, zucchini from my garden, and yellow squash from Stone Wall farm with Back River Farm garlic, served with whole wheat couscous (nonlocal) and sprinkled with melty goat cheese

    Skillet-cooked Sausage, peppers and onions cooked with Kellie Brook Italian sausage, Willow Pond Farm’s Italian frying peppers, and Meadow’s Mirth’s onions

    Verdura, an Italian way of preparing green leafy veg which is simple and incredible – sliced parboiled kale and parboiled diced potato sauteed with garlic in a nonstick pan until the potato is a bit browned, then sprinkled with a bit of cider vinegar and red pepper for a great finish

    Quiche galore, homemade wheat crust, usually with garden tomatoes and herbs – oh my goodness, local eggs are good

    Pizzas galore – homemade whole wheat crust made Margherita style with tomatoes, basil, garlic, and a bit of cheese

    Swiss Chard gratin

    Corn salsa with Stone Wall Farm plum tomatoes and Andy’s Greens cilantro

    And I would have to agree about the awesome quality. I spend so much time thinking about the political and social reasons to change the way we eat (which would be enough by themselves) that even I am started by how GOOD everything tastes. When you’ve become used to tired grocery store produce, you don’t realize how much the flavor has been compromised. Last night when I made my sausage and peppers I nibbled all the pepper ‘scraps’ right down to the stem as an appetizer, because the bright flavor and incredibly crisp snap of them was so deliciously superior to any California pepper after a long truck ride. Everything just tastes fantastic!

  2. Jeff says:

    We made the bubble and squeak last night. Delicious!

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