Seasonal Cooking with Rita Calvert~The Kitchen Gardener Cook


This and That

That ol' Tomato Festival was bumper-to-bumper folks for most of the day. There wasn't even budge space within the Chile Cook Off. Whats Up Magazine on Kelsey's blog: The Mixing Bowl, supplies us with some details about the winners. BTW: I was a judge along with Kelsey and a few others and we all agreed - please no more chile or salsa for a day or two!

The results are in from Saturday's Chesapeake Chili Cookoff at the Tomato Festival in Davidsonville.

In the individual category, Geoff and Ann Riefe won both the People's Choice and the Judge's Award for best chili. They brought a chicken and black bean chili, which I can say positively as one of the chili judges, was fantastic.

In the restaurant category, Cody Gallardo and James Barrett of the Azure Restaurant in the Westin Annapolis took the People's Choice award.

Over in the salsa tent, Katie Quiroz took the top honors as the judges choice for her salsa entry. In the individual category, it was a tie between Brett Greenberg for his Grilled Tomato Salsa and Jim Kellog for McCune Mama Salsa.

For the restaurant category, Chili's Bar and Grill won for its housemade salsa.

The festival saw a great turnout, with between 4,000 and 5,000 visitors. I had a great time tasting the chilis and salsas—though I admit I might be a little burnt out on peppers, tomatoes and chili powder for a while!

Read the full story...

At Clagett farm the other day over the CSA pick up a few of us had some lively conversation on recipes (of course) and then preserving the harvest. While they grabbed the Zephyr squash, I shared what has become a very popular recipe which I named in my blog post but feedback has voted a better name would be Coconut Curry Raw Summer Squash. I was quite amazed when one mom said her kids would eat anything containing coconut milk. She also reminded me of her favorite tomato storage treatment that I shared with her at least 2 years ago-freeze the whole thing! Actually I’ve started the same with pears and figs. We’ll see what results but the plans are for cooking  or baking with them at the very least.

Boordy Vineyards has shown great support for sustainably produced food and wine and their event coordinator graciously consented to publishing one of their favorites burgers in my new The Grassfed Gourmet Fires It Up: Grilling, Barbecuing, and Smoking with the Healthiest Meats From America’s Small Farms (February 2011). Since beef prices are written to be way up there this weekend you might consider the clean taste of grilled bison-one of the healthiest meats you can eat. Gunpowder Bison (from Gunpowder Falls, MD) sells at the Annapolis City Dock farmers markets on Sundays.



Cheddar and Shiitake Stuffed Burgers

Serves 4

Our friends at Boordy Vineyards in Hayes, Maryland, have a gorgeous location and make sure their vineyard supports the sustainable lifestyle. In the late afternoon on Thursdays during the growing season, they have a farmers’ market festival complete with farmers and their wares, live music, chef demos, and festival food. Boordy supports our regional farmers and often gives samples within a specially created recipe like the one they are sharing here with us.

  • ¼ pound shiitake mushrooms, or other local variety, stems trimmed
  • 3 small cloves garlic
  • ½ medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup Boordy Vineyards Shiraz
  • ¼ pound Keyes Creamery Horseradish Cheddar or similar, shredded (or other quality horseradish cheddar)
  • 1 pound grassfed ground beef, bison, or turkey
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Using a food processor, finely chop the mushrooms, garlic, and onion.

Heat a sauté pan over medium-high and add the butter and olive oil. When the butter has melted and bubbling, add the mushroom mixture and cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the Shiraz and cook 2 minutes longer or until the wine is absorbed. Cool. Add the cheddar and mix thoroughly.

Preheat the grill to medium-high.

Divide the ground meat into 4 portions. Divide each portion in half and flatten to make 2 patties.

Take 1 tablespoon of the mushroom and cheese mixture and place in the center of one patty; place another patty on top and pinch sides to contain stuffing and to make a burger. Repeat for the second burger.

Grill the burgers over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes each side and serve with favorite toppings.


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