Seasonal Cooking with Rita Calvert~The Local Cook

Lucky for me, I had the honor to again judge the Annual Howard County Iron Chef Challenge. Lucky, because the entire meal is thoughtfully created and prepared by a local team of dedicated grillers. This year each team included a farmer and a chef; the 'Local' food was heavenly.

All of the ingredients were locally grown or produced by farmers in Howard County, MD who donated these items for the challenge. Each team was to prepare one beef main dish and a vegetable side dish, although from the amount of produce offered all of the teams made more than the required dishes. We judged them on teamwork, presentation, flavor of each dish, food handling and safety handling.

Let's hope we can get more of these lively challenges going in all of our counties to connect our sustainable farms to the cities and the people in an exuberant display of teamwork and camaraderie!

Below is the list of ingredients each team was given:

  • Tomato Carpaccio Salad

    Ribeye Steak (Clark Elioak Farm)

  • Zucchini
  • Yellow Squash
  • Tomato
  • Sweet Onion
  • Peaches
  • Honey
  • 2 ears of Corn
  • Green bell pepper
  • Farmer Cheese
  • Assorted herbs

The winning team from TLV Tree Farm consisted of Chris Fedrizzi, Charles Porciello, and Jen Poston.This post features them because they made the additional effort to provide the yummy recipes for us. These folks brought along acceptable pantry items such as Chipotle mayonnaise. The rules were stated that pantry items-even spice blends were allowed. At the finish they sliced the steak and put on top of a dollop of the Chipotle mayo.

The foundation of each recipe from TLV Tree Farm is given below.

Grilled Ribeye

Coat the Ribeye with special steak rub and grill to medium rare.

When done slice the Ribeye and place on top of chipotle aioli sauce

Steak Rub:

  • smoked sea salt
  • black pepper
  • cumin
  • granulated garlic
  • onion powder
  • assorted dried mushrooms
  • worcestershire powder
  • dried shallots
  • turbinado sugar
  • dried parsley
  • dried chives


Stuffed Grilled Green Pepper

Grill your corn in the husk after soaking in water for about 20 min.

Cut zucchini lengthwise coat with olive oil s&p and lightly grill.

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil place in a bowl, add diced grilled zucchini, corn removed from the cob; season with thyme, parsley and freshly chopped basil.

Slice a green pepper in half and remove the seeds.

Coat the outside of the pepper with olive oil and fill with the veggie stuffing.

Place the pepper on the grill, skin side down, top with farmer cheese and grill until green pepper is tender, about 20 minutes on top grill rack.

Summer Squash Timbales

  • 1 green onion, top cut off and seeded, brushed with olive oil, seasoned with salt and   pepper
  • 1 ear of corn shucked, leaving a few thin layers of husk, grilled until charred, kernels cut
  • 2 cloves of garlic, brushed with olive oil, salt and pepper and grilled until slightly charred, minced
  • 1 each zucchini and yellow squash thinly sliced lengthwise, brushed with
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 small ripe tomato small, diced
  • 3 ounces Farmers cheese, small dice-reserving one ounce for topping

Line a 4 oz. ramekin with the grilled squash and zucchini overlapping the sides in order fold over the top when filled.

In a bowl mix the grilled corn, garlic, diced tomatoes and two ounces of the cheese.  Fill the ramekin (lightly pack the filling) and fold excess squash and zucchini over the filling to seal it.

Roast on the grill or in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.

To unmold, turn ramekin onto a plate and top with remaining cheese.

Grilled Peaches

Pit and slice peaches into ringlets.

Grill the peaches until tender,  drizzling with honey after the first turn.

Top lightly with espresso seasoning and serve warm.

Espresso rub for peaches

  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • ground espresso beans
  • espresso sugar
  • granulated garlic
  • ancho chili powder
  • smoked paprika
  • onion powder
  • dried cilantro

Love Dove Farm Team Dishes

Steak marinated in garlic and teriyaki sauce

Squash and zucchini sliced very thinly lengthwise and sautéed

Peach grilled, then smashed into purée

Fresh herbs chopped and combined w chopped tomatoes, garlic for a fresh salsa

Sweet Corn boiled, then puréed and cooked in pan


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