Friday, September 26, 2014

Beautiful Reward

I mentioned a while back that I had not been able to get out to enjoy the Tailgate Markets as much as I'd like this year. The upside is that I was happily busy in the studio and/or with fun clay-related events, the downside is that shopping local/seasonal fare from the Farmers and Makers is one of my favorite things to do. I think I also mentioned that I would be rewarded, and my reward came in the form of a dear friend needing someone to cook a special dinner for her wedding night. I might mention here that she runs one of our town's Tailgate Markets, and that almost the entire meal would be shopped from that Market. My Beautiful Reward: a dream shop at the Tailgate, and a dream cook for a dear friend at a love-filled event. Even better, my side-kick and co-conspirator in kitchen fun was another good friend, so it could only be wonderful. And it was wonderful.

I'm already off on another adventure, but I wanted to share some of the highlights of this very special experience. And maybe even a recipe (or something like that) or two. The photos are sparse, as we were just a little busy, but you'll get the idea...

Me and my main cohort, Julia (one should always have Julia in the kitchen!)
We were greatly assisted as well by Elizabeth, Shay's Market Manager. Rockin' trio!
Bounty of the Season!! All from the wonderful vendors at the North Asheville Tailgate Market.
We had planned the meal of course, but it was SO wonderful to wander through the Market and make adjustments based on a delicious find in any given stall. The charcuterie board served immediately after the ceremony carried cheeses from Three Graces Dairy, along with hard salami and soprasetta from Hickory Nut Gap Farm. Crackers from Roots & Branches, apples and grapes from McConnell Farms added a sweet touch.

Spicy Candied Duck Bacon with Mango Sriracha Hummus:
sweet, salty, crunchy, chewy, spicy, smooth, and cool.

A few things came from outside the Market, and one that was a huge hit was a passed nibble of Spicy Candied Duck Bacon (from Katuah Market) served with a dollop of Roots Mango Sriracha Hummus.

Salad greens and ingredients came from across the Market,
and included arugula, gorgeous oyster mushrooms, tomatoes, and nasturtium.
We were lucky enough to pick up a special order of Tzatziki from Gypsy Queen Suzy Phillips, which was slated for part of an appetizer, but when we tasted its cool goodness, we re-cast it as a salad dressing. The salad included greens from several vendors, tomatoes from Flying Cloud Farms, oyster mushrooms from Carol Dreiling and nasturtium from Osada Bee Farm.

Trout lined up and ready to go.
Our entrees, Roasted Trout or Rack of Lamb, both came from East Fork Farms, and were both exquisite. Julia did a simple, yet sublime, oven-roasted trout with herbs and lemon that was beautiful and delicious.

The lamb was so good I'm still thinking about it. Extra thanks to Matt at Roots for brainstorming ideas on the prep. This is one I'll definitely do again, and the recipe follows:

Not the sexy shot I had in mind - it was fast and furious, delicious,
then I realized I forgot to take the picture! And it looked very pretty all plated up!
Rack of Lamb (for one 8-chop rack, cleaned and Frenched)

4-5 cloves of garlic, crushed & finely chopped
1 1/2 - 2 cups fresh basil & mint, finely chopped
1 cup ground pecorino romano cheese
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 TBSP ground coriander
olive oil

dijon mustard

salt, pepper
apple cider vinegar
tamari sauce

Combine first four ingredients, then add just enough olive oil to make a paste. Set aside.

Season the rack with salt and pepper, and douse with vinegar and tamari. Massage the seasonings into the meat. Heat a deep sided pan over medium-high heat. Sear the rack on all sides to a nice brown and move to a roasting pan or sheet, fat side down. Spread dijon mustard over the rack, then pat the herb mix on top.

For rare, roast about 20-23 minutes or to an internal temperature of 125. Remove the rack and let rest 10 minutes before separating chops.

not a glamour shot of the sprouts, but boy did I love
this pan that Julia brought!
The sides, which were plated when we realized the tables wouldn't hold everything, each held a taste of the coming Fall. Brussel Sprouts from Katuah Market were accented with more beautiful oyster mushrooms from Market vendor Carol Dreiling and proscuitto from Hickory Nut Gap Farms. The butternut squash mash included leeks and shallots, all from Gaining Ground Farm, and the string beans were one of those spur of the moment, "look how gorgeous those beans are!" additions, and I can't remember exactly which lovely farmer grew them. All was accompanied by fresh Market breads from Farm & Sparrow bakery.

The mini-wedding cake, topped with nasturtium and two vintage swan figurines from
Shay's beloved grandmother's collection, was joined by three different
flavors of cupcakes.
Our finale was a sweet little mini-wedding cake, plus 60 cupcakes in three flavors, all from Short Street Cakes. More nasturtium dressed the cake, along with a beautfiul pair of family heirlooms that Shay has from her grandmother. Adding the absolute perfect compliment were 50 French Macarons, in assorted flavors, from So Fine Chocolates.

pretty macarons!!
A beautiful day, and such a privilege to be a part of a completely love-filled event. So happy for the beautiful bride and her new Mr.!

No comments:

Post a Comment