Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Chef Chris Mckinley Wows Farmers' Market Crowd

Slow Food Piedmont Triad booth at the Greensboro Farmers' Curb Market June 17, 2006

This past Saturday, Chef Chris Mckinley and his lovely wife Samantha volunteered their time to the SF booth at the Greensboro Farmers' Curb Market. Chef Chris puts on the Dinners at the Dairy for Goat Lady Dairy and is the chef for the Nasher Museum Cafe at Duke University. He and his wife, a cheese maker, are enthusiastic supporters of eating local foods.

This weekend they took the lead for SF, hosting a wonderful cooking and tasting session focused on the bountiful array of summer squashes available this time of year. Mary Ellen Smith was there too, providing the original inspiration for focusing on smells and sizzling at the booth, as well as bringing us the cooking gear and helping serve.

Slow Food Piedmont Triad booth at the Greensboro Farmers' Curb Market June 17, 2006Chef Chris whipped up a delicious smelling batch of Zephyr Squash Fritters and Tomato Feta Topping (Chris's recipes below) and the crowds soon followed; more than 250 tasters! The recipe was an excellent example of taking a plentiful and inexpensive produce item and adding a few additional local ingredients for an amazing outcome. The fritters were pretty, smelled great and had outstanding flavor. Our group purchased beautiful produce, eggs and cheese from Cornerstone Garlic Farm, Inspiration Farm, Goat Lady Dairy, Weatherhand Farm, market manager Larry Smith and a few others.

SF gathered lots of names and email addresses of interested market goers and we can't wait to host our next chef demonstration on July 15th from 7:30am-11am. Ideas for that day and a volunteer or two are welcome. We are still looking for a chef for that day as well. We hope to see you there. Here is the recipe for the fritters and topping:

Zephyr Squash Fritters

1 pound (about 2 medium) zucchini
1 tsp salt
1 medium clove garlic, peeled, chopped
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 TBL chopped thyme
1/2 cup flour
2 to 4 TBL olive oil

Using the large holes of a box grater, grate zucchini into a medium bowl. Add the salt, thyme, garlic, pepper, and eggs. Mix well to combine. Slowly add flour, stirring so no lumps form. Heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until the oil sizzles when you drop a small amount of zucchini mixture into the pan. Carefully drop about 2 Tablespoons zucchini mixture into pan; repeat, spacing fritters a few inches apart. Cook fritters until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Lower heat to medium. Turn fritters and continue cooking until golden, 2 to 3 minutes more.

Tomato and Goat Feta Topping

3 medium tomato-diced
6 oz goat feta cheese
2 cloves garlic-minced
1 TBL tarragon
1/4 cup balsamic
2 tsp salt

Place diced tomato in bowl. Sprinkle with salt and mix. Allow to stand approximately 15-20 min. Add tarragon, garlic, balsamic, feta and spoon onto hot fritters. Enjoy!

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