Author Archives: Ibti

About Ibti

Just your friendly neighborhood food educator.... (http://abikeablefeast.blogspot.com)

Spicy Cheese Straws

*makes about 2 dozen straws

This recipe is adapted from a recipe in the January 2008 edition of Gourmet Magazine and has been tested many a time (and served at many a potluck) by SFDC Board member Sarah McKinley. Tasty party food doesn’t have to be complicated to be considered fancy!

We try to feature a delicious new recipe in every newsletter. (This recipe appeared in the March 2014 SFDC newsletter.) If you would like to have one shared with the SFDC community, send it to info@slowfooddc.org and we’ll see what we can do….


INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 pound coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Rounded 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (or more if you really like a kick!)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons milk

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°F with racks in upper and lower thirds.

Pulse cheese, flour, butter, salt, and cayenne in a food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add milk and pulse until dough forms a ball.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 12- by 10-inch rectangle (1/8 inch thick). Cut dough with a lightly floured pizza wheel or lightly floured sharp knife into 1/3-inch-wide strips. Carefully transfer to 2 ungreased baking sheets, arranging strips 1/4 inch apart. (If strips tear, pinch back together.)

Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until pale golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool completely on baking sheets on racks, about 15 minutes.

Cheese straws can be made 2 day ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.

 

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March 26: tasting the season at Bruce-Monroe Elementary

IMG956496Earlier this week, my friend and fellow SFDC board member, Amanda Terillo, and I joined 5th graders at Bruce-Monroe Elementary School for a talk about local, seasonal food. And because it was a Slow Food talk, of course there was some hands-on cooking and tasting at the end. I have never seen so many kiddos devour raw beet salad as I did that afternoon….

Our meeting started in the school cafeteria with a brainstorm: why might somebody choose to eat food that is from somewhere nearby? It tastes better! someone suggested. It doesn’t have to travel all the way from Florida…or India! (I later learned that students were in the midst of a history/geography unit on India. I am certainly not against Indian food, mind you.) You can meet the farmer who grew it!

These kids were awesome.

Next, we looked at our month-by-month seasonal food charts — courtesy of FreshFarm Markets — to determine the plethora of produce items in season in our area RIGHT NOW in the spring (or, more accurately, late winter) in the DC area. Students made mini posters with a few of their favorite fruits and veggies for each season.

Finally, Amanda and I worked with student volunteers (with recently scrubbed hands) to prepare two seasonal salads: a massaged kale salad (always a favorite) and a sweet-tart apple beet salad (which, incidentally, inspired Amanda’s husband to stop hating beets when I’d brought some to a dinner party a few weeks ago).

IMG956488On their way out, after a collective Thank you!!!  a few students paused to tell me that they were looking forward to making these seasonal salads at home. For SFDC’s part, we’re looking forward to more work with schools in coming months.

Interested in working with local schools and community gardens to promote Slow Food DC’s message of good, clean, and fair food? Sign up for our monthly newsletter to learn of opportunities, or send your ideas to info@slowfooddc.org.

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RECIPE: Pickled Lemon Rosemary Green Beans

With the help of a conference assistant, my fearless fellow food lover/SFDC board member/ace photographer, Shelu, and 30 avid novice pickle enthusiasts, this Saturday we made 60 jars of pickled cucumbers, beets, turnips, grapes, and green beans. Small batch, of course — this wasSlow Food workshop, after all.

rdc pickling workshop - march 2014

I guess with the recent rise of artisanal pickles in popular foodie culture I should not have been surprised that the hands-on pickling class sold out within hours of being posted on the Rooting DC website. But still. In case you missed the  session, the recipe for surprisingly tasty pickled grapes can be found here. And because I like you, Slow Food community, the irresistible pickled lemon rosemary green bean recipe is below.

Incidentally, this recipe makes one 8oz jar. (See? Small batch, but it scales up easily.) Adapted from a recipe in the Washington Post Food section, Sept 2010.

Combine in an 8oz jar:

  • ¼ cup + 2 TBSP water
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 TBSP white vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar

Once everything is dissolved, add in:

  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled — ours was from nearby Claggett Farm
  • 1 thick strip lemon zest (I use a veggie peeler to make these)
  • clean green beans, ends snipped – as many as will fit

Add additional white vinegar as needed to be sure beans are submerged. Seal, shake a few times, and refrigerate for 1 week before devouring. A great way to use the bumper crop of beans I always seem to get in the garden. Great in a bloody mary or as an alternative nibble to olives.

What’s your favorite pickle recipe?

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Seasonal Recipe: Butternut Squash Stew With Pomegranate Salsa  

*serves 6-8 people

This recipe is adapted from “Eat Yourself Calm: Ingredients and Recipes to Reduce the Stress in Your Life,” by Gill Paul (Hamlyn, 2014). Recipe tested by  Washington Post Food Editor, Joe Yonan…and then SFDC board member, Ibti Vincent.

We’ll be featuring more recipes in the coming months. If you have one you think needs to be shared with the SFDC community, send it to info@slowfooddc.org and we’ll see what we can do….


INGREDIENTS

FOR THE STEW

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1-inch piece peeled ginger root, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 serrano chili pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 28 ounces canned diced tomatoes, plus their juices
  • 1 large carrot, scrubbed well and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium (about 1 1/2 pounds) butternut squash from your favorite local farmers’ market, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • water, as needed
  • 4 cups baby spinach or kale leaves, chopped
  • 15 ounces canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves, chopped
  • hot sauce of your choice
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

FOR THE SALSA

  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 12 mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS

Pour the oil into a large saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, stir in the coriander, cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom and cloves; sizzle them for a few seconds, then add the onion, stirring to coat. Cook until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes, then add the ginger, garlic and serrano pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until soft, 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and their juices, the carrot, squash and enough water, if needed, to barely cover the vegetables. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 30 to 40 minutes.

Stir in the spinach, chickpeas, cilantro and hot sauce; season lightly to taste with salt and black pepper. Cook for just a few minutes, to wilt the spinach and heat the chickpeas through. Remove from the heat; cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, make the salsa: Stir together the pomegranate seeds, scallions, lime juice, mint and oil in a small bowl.

Serve the stew warm, with the salsa on top or served on the side.

 

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Seasonal Recipe: Pumpkin Kale Risotto    

*serves 6-8 people

This month’s recipe is from SFDC member and culinary adventurer, Katie Gatlin.

We’ll be featuring more recipes in the coming months. If you have one you think needs to be shared with the SFDC community, send it to info@slowfooddc.org and we’ll see what we can do….

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut into large wedges and scoop out the seeds and slimy strings (that’s the technical term) of:
-1 sugar pumpkin

Drizzle the pumpkin wedges with:
-olive oil
-salt and pepper

Bake on a cookie sheet for about 20 minutes, or until you can pierce it with a fork easily. Let them cool, and then peel off the skin and chop the pumpkin into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

In a medium pot, keep warm over low heat (until we’re ready):
-5 c. vegetable stock

In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat:
-¼ c. extra-virgin olive oil

Add in, and cook over medium heat until browned and soft (about 5-8 minutes):
-1 c. diced onion
-1 Tbs. finely chopped garlic
-salt and pepper

Then add and stir until “translucent” – it will look just a little more clear and less white (about 2 minutes):
-2 cups arborio rice

Add in and stir continuously until the liquid is absorbed:
-2 c. dry white wine

Add in the vegetable stock 1-2 cups at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed. Then repeat until you’ve used up the stock and the rice is cooked.

Lower the heat, and stir in:
-the roasted pumpkin pieces
-½ c. pumpkin puree
-¼ c. fried sage (cooked in hot oil for about 4 minutes, and drained – reserve a few pieces for garnish)
-2 c. roughly chopped kale
-1 tsp. dried oregano

Let those flavors combine for a few minutes. Then stir in:
– ½ c. grated Parmesan
-2 or 3 Tbs. butter

Taste, and adjust the seasonings, adding more salt, pepper, and/or garlic powder as necessary. Top with shaved Parmesan and a few pieces of the fried sage, and enjoy immediately!

 

 

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Know your tamales

Here’s a little something from SFDC board member, Mark Haskell, who led a tamale making class near Eastern Market this past Saturday:

“Aside from Mexico, many other countries in the western hemisphere have a tradition of preparing and cooking tamales during the winter holiday season. At our cooking class at the Hill Center on Capitol Hill this past Saturday, we prepared and ate a few of these types of tamales and accompanying sauces. New Mexico chicken tamales with red chile sauce, Mississippi Delta barbecued pork tamales, and Caribbean tamales, or pasteles which are made with a dough of pureed yucca, calabaza squash and plantains steamed in banana leaves. Tamales, and pasteles are a wonderful “community food”, that are economical, best prepared and cooked by a group, and when eaten like opening a present whether wrapped in corn husk, banana leaf or parchment paper.”

tamale_class_dec2013

Those who braved the winter weather were rewarded with a plethora of tasty tamales and went home with full bellies (and the recipes). For more information on tamales and other foods of the Mississippi Delta region, check out the Southern Foodways Alliance website and interactive map.

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Don’t forget to celebrate!

What better way to wrap up an early autumn weekend than with a pig roast and handmade ice cream sandwiches? Add the company of good folks and you’ve got yourself the third annual SFDC Snail of Approval awards party.

Sometimes in the midst of planning and advocating and organizing, some of us forget to take a breath and remember what Slow Food is all about, so Sunday was a nice opportunity to kick back for a change and just enjoy exceptional food and people.

This weekend’s Snail awards party was once again a stellar affair. The beautiful weather and courtyard set the perfect scene for a delightful and laid back afternoon. Sure, there were the official words of appreciation and handing out of awards and group photo taking, but the bulk of our time was spent milling about, chatting with new and returning Snail awardees while sipping on specialty cocktails and Brooklyn brews, and nibbling on a delectable assortment of seasonal treats prepared by the culinary geniuses at Jackson 20. I myself had a lovely time hanging out with area foodies and the folks who run some of my favorite eateries, farms, and farmers’ markets around town. It was awesome.

Even so, I thought to myself as I went back for a second helping of lamb and winter squash tacos, there have been a few places I have discovered since Snail nominations closed this year — folks who have been bringing good, clean, and fair food (and drink) to the DC area that have only recently appeared on my radar. I hope to see some of their faces here *next* year for the annual gala. I do love to celebrate…. When do the 2014 nominations start??

 

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DC welcomes Richard McCarthy to speak at Eat Local First week’s kickoff event

Our local Slow Food chapter was ELATED to welcome the new head of Slow Food USA to our fair city this week to celebrate the start of Eat Local First week. Richard McCarthy joined a series of notable speakers including local farmer/author Forrest Pritchard of Smith Meadows Farm, Ann Yonkers of (Snail winning) FreshFarm Markets, community gardeners, and others working to change our local food system for the better in the TED-talk-style “How Local Food Grows Our City” series. His main message: We can change policy and and opt for a more just food system through our actions and our food choices. (He also urged us not to forget the joy of sharing good food. Speaking of which….)

Because the pre- and post-talk receptions were sponsored by Slow Food DC — and supported by a handful of local Snail of Approval winners — you know the food and drink on hand was top notch. Many thanks to Busboys & Poets, DC Brau, Dino, Restaurant Nora, Sonoma Wine Bar, and The Pig and others who laid out quite a feast.

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Slow Food DC and area cyclists get their hands dirty in school gardens….

school garden bike tour, at h.d.cooke, june 2013

Many thanks to Farmer Kristin at Radix Farm* for the beautiful plants that were transplanted at H.D. Cooke Elementary, the final stop on the DC School Garden Bike Tour! Actually, we should give a big round of thanks all around: to the folks who helped to organize and run the tour — the good folks at BicycleSpace (who, incidentally, brought along my favorite cycling accessory ever: the bike trailer boom box), OSSE, school garden managers and students, and some of our very own Slow Food DC board members — and the generous cyclists who together raised over $400 to fund a much-needed school garden project, one which we collectively voted on at the end of the tour, while scarfing delicious burritos donated by the local Chipotle.

Here we are just moments before voting…and scarfing. Oh, the anticipation!
school garden bike tour, at h.d.cooke, june 2013 - 2Congratulations to Kid Power and the student gardeners at Jefferson Middle School, who we hope will give us updates soon on the tool shed they’ve built at their SW DC garden with the funds. Looking forward to more school garden tours in the future!

school garden bike tour, june 2013, slow food dc board members*You may have heard of Radix Farm at the Petworth farmers’ market. Or perhaps you are one of Radix’s CSA members. Or you may remember farmer Kristin as one of last year’s Snail of Approval winners. Actually, speaking of the Snail of Approval awards, keep your eyes peeled for information in our upcoming newsletter about the next round of awards, with another fantastic gathering to be held this September….

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