Thursday, 17 June 2010

Farm to Fork: Cooking Local, Cooking Fresh

Farm to Fork
Cooking Local, Cooking Fresh
Emeril Lagasse
Softcover, 336 pages

I have always had a soft spot for Emeril and I am so thrilled with his come-back. The pioneer of celebrity chefs is using his fame and talent to encourage everyone to cook at home using fresh, local, and sustainable ingredients. He strongly advises the reader to get to know their local food providers; farmer's markets, local farms, fishermen and fish mongers, millers and bakers. Knowing where your food comes from is key to making sustainable choices and supporting your local purveyors helps to stave off the industrial food chain.
This newest book is a celebration of home-grown, locally grown, and locally produced foods - showcasing how to prepare them and also how to preserve them.
I loved the scope of the book, the chapters include:
  • The Herb Garden
  • Milk, Eggs, and Cheese
  • Leafy Greens
  • The Three Sisters: Corn, Beans, and Squash
  • Nightshades
  • Berries, Figs, and Melons
  • The Orchard
  • Cole Crops: Broccoli, Cabbage, and Cauliflower
  • Thistles, Stalks, and Pods
  • Roots, Shoots, Tubers, and Bulbs
  • Winter Fruits
  • From the Mill
  • Fresh off the Dock
  • Out on the Range
  • Home Economics: Preserving the Harvest
What an awesome way to present the recipes! I was very impressed with this book, it is my absolute favourite Emeril book.

Here is what we tried out this week:

From the Herb Garden chapter we had these delicious and easy to prepare Herbed Goat Cheese Buttons. My herbs are up and happy with the warm days and still cool nights and they were fabulous with the tart goat cheese and the fragrant garlic. I'll be making these often.

Absolutely to-die-for was this Tomato, Zucchini, and Leek Galette with Roasted Garlic Goat Cheese. It took a while to make, each component is prepared separately, but the results were totally worth it. Hubs and I ate the entire tart for dinner while watching The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus on Blue-Ray. How decadent!

Okay, here is where I toot my own horn - I made mustard!!! As soon as I saw that there was a recipe for Homemade Mustard I knew I had to try it. The ingredients, largely liquid, are combined and left to sit overnight. Then they get blended. I thought that there was no way that bowl of liquid with some seeds and such floating in it would become mustard, but magically it did! And so delicious too. I am hooked. I am making all of our gourmet mustard from now on. Who knew it was so easy?

Another recipe that I had always wanted to try was this one for Kosher-Style Dill Pickles. A fresh pickle, it is light and crunchy and ready to eat quite quickly. What a perfect way to use farm-fresh cukes!

Another great condiment (can you tell I have a thing for condiments?) was this Spicy Tomato Jam. In fact it was wonderful with the Herbed Goat Cheese Buttons (from above) and a crusty baguette. Sweet, spicy and delicious - a great way to preserve the bounty of fresh summer tomatoes.

And who doesn't know someone with an over-flowing crop of zucchini? I happily live beside a gal who grows more than she eats. Tender garden zucchini are perfect for muffin-like breads and Emeril's Spiced Zucchini Bread made for delicious lunch-box fare.

Cocktails, salads, soups, apps, sides, entrées, desserts and preserves - this book has tons of great recipes and great ides for embracing and enjoying the local harvest.

Click here to Browse Inside Farm to Fork!