What’s in Your Market Basket? September 27, 2012Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Food, random stuff, Rochester.
Long-time readers are well aware of my love for the Rochester Public Market. We’re so fortunate to have such a well-established, varied year-round venue – not everyone is so blessed, I know.
I’ve got to admit, though, that I think fall is probably one of my favorite times to shop the market (along with with spring, summer and winter, I guess!) – I love when we’re in full harvest season! And I’ve been visiting the market for long enough now that I know who my favorite vendors are, so it’s almost like visiting friends and giving them money!
And while we’re generally pretty structured about planning meals during the week, I usually like to see what’s going on – and what I’ve picked up at the market – and do more of a seat-of-my-pants sort of dinner on weekends, which is definitely what we did this weekend.
I started with a few slices of bacon – Peeps-cured bacon, of course, using pork belly from the meat guy at the market. He’s very nice – I also buy bags of dog bones from him, and sometimes we stop and chat about our Jarly and his St. Bernard.
Anyway, we chopped that bacon and started browning it.
When the bacon was browned, I added a chopped onion, bought from one of the older gentlemen at the market – I can always count on him for fresh (not last year’s!), reasonable sized onions – I HATE peeling and chopping a bunch of little tiny onions! And they were cheap too – I bought a ten-pound bag for $3!
I also added garlic – nothing but garlic from the garlic guys at this time of year! They’re only around for a couple of months – they usually set up a stall in late August, and they’re sold out of garlic by about the beginning of October. These guys have the biggest, most beautiful garlic I think I’ve ever seen! I buy a pound or so (yes, a pound!) of garlic every time I see them, in the hopes that it’ll last as long as possible into the winter.
That’s also the garlic we plant in the fall – I’m willing to sacrifice one bulb of my precious garlic – knowing that’ll mean I’ll be able harvest it just a little earlier , and thus, enjoy second-generation Garlic Guy garlic sooner!
After we added a half cup or so of rice (random, supermarket rice), I then added a bunch of something new – field peas.
I’ve never had field peas before, but, of course, I’m always up for trying new stuff! Honestly, if I’d ever given it much thought (which I haven’t), I’d have assumed “field peas” were something like “field corn,” that is, a crop grown as feed for cattle, and not for people to eat!
I picked these up from the Bean Guy – first, because I do want to try new things, and second, because I wanted to find out when I can expect to start seeing his dried beans! You wouldn’t think there’d be much of a difference between packaged dry beans and “fresh” dried beans, but believe me, there sure is!
The Bean Guy said to prepare them “just like black-eyed peas” only not to soak them because they’re fresh – which didn’t help me a lot, since I’ve only cooked black-eyed peas once!
After I added a partial jar of chicken stock (again, random, storebought chicken, but market veggies did go into the stock!), I added half a jar of tomato sauce.
You got it – the tomato sauce was made from tomatoes I picked up from the tomato-and-corn guy. He’s always got the best prices on tomatoes for canning – they’re “roma” tomatoes – much less juicy than what you’d slice for a BLT, which is perfect for canning (and saucing!). I think he should also have some nice winter squash later on, which I’m looking forward to, as well!
I let everything simmer, partially covered, until the beans were tender (about 45 minutes) and the rice was done.
Then we cut the corn off a couple of ears and stirred that in, simmering until that was just hot, but still a little crunchy.
I love love love buying corn from the Back-of-the-Truck Guy! As soon as corn season starts, he’s out there, and he is SUCH a salesman! After corn season, he’ll be back, too, with sweet potatoes (last year I bought a bag that, when I got home, weighed 20 pounds). There’s just something, I don’t know, farm-stand-like to be buying veggies off the back of a truck, you know?
And that was pretty much it – I seasoned to taste (of course!) and, once all the veggies were done and well blended, well, we served it.
While it wasn’t earth-shattering, it was warm and filling and tasty – it was, basically, a vegetable stew. And, like any other stew, it’s much better reheated – I’ve actually been enjoying a bowl for breakfast the past couple of days!
Peeps found it a little bland (he likes to spice things up), and I had just the thing for him – a little dab of our homemade sriracha – made from market peppers and garlic, of course!