A Sustainable Kitchen brings people together to learn, share, innovate and discuss sustainable strategies for everyday life. Welcome to the table!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Halloween treat...or is it a trick?

Of course all local, organic and sustainably sourced !
(with a nod to Shakespeare)


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Farmers Market Review: Altadena Gets 2 Green Thumbs Up

This Farmers Market is full of surprises. Opening day was only a few months ago, May 30th to be exact. Since then I've read about it becoming the new Epicure Center of LA in Bon Appetit, heard about it on KPCC, seen ads all over town, and witnessed a community garden and Loma Alta Park blossom into a real treasure. Each time I go I realize how much talent the San Gabriel Valley has and why residents of Pasadena and Altadena have such pride in this beautiful city.

Some reasons I'm loving this market...

I can walk from my house or ride my bike and use the bike valet !

And what's this double decker bus doing here? It's Fox Wood Fired Mobile Pizzeria ! Love coffee? Then don't miss local roasters Plow & Gun- they were just featured on KPCC. Looking for the perfect condiments and preserves? How about Nic Coe's Molonay Tubilderborst ketchup as featured on Tasting Table or Sqirl's Preserves featured on Zagat. 

I really appreciate the fact that produce from John Muir High School Farm is sold here as well as the Hollywood Farmers Market. Supporting the local economy and schools really sends a message that sustainability isn't expensive and it's not just for the well-to-do. Students at the high school are creating jobs through their garden and have their own CSA with the help of Mud Baron and Pasadena Unified Volunteers.

Another great thing about the market is that they are accepting EBT, formerly know as Food Stamps but now CalFresh which allow more families to have access to healthy foods. 

Every Wednesday from 3-7pm the Altadena Farmers Market will delight you. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Learn to Cook A Farmers Market Thanksgiving

Introducing Our First Hands-On Cooking Classes !

We will be donating 20% of all we make after costs to Architecture For Humanity's hurricane Sandy rebuilding fund. They are an amazing organization that had people on the ground working on rebuilding plans before the flood waters receded.
The more people who take the classes the more we can give! 

We will be teaching our first hands-on cooking classes on November 10th & 14th just in time to help you with Thanksgiving. There will be a lot of recipes all perfect for your Thanksgiving dinner and the entire holiday season. All the recipes are ingredient driven and sourced from the local farmers markets and things you probably already have in your well stocked pantry. We will be focusing on technique, especially timing methods that will help you get all your dishes to the table at the same time.  Annette will be teaching these classes, so you can plan on a few fun surprises and freebies like she does in all her classes and demos. This Thanksgiving don't wait in line at the grocery store, go to the farmers market and make you holiday delicious, beautiful, easier, fun and of course, sustainable!

If you are in the area or just want to look at the menu, links for details and registration information are listed below.
We are also planning a Holiday Workshop class featuring sustainable gifts from the kitchen, wrapping and packaging, and decoration. Details soon to follow.

Traditional with a Twist
Saturday, November 10, 2012, 2:30-5:30 pm

California Creative
Wednesday, November 14, 2012, 11am-2pm

Thursday, October 18, 2012

There's an App for That !

iPhone Screenshot 1
iPhone Screenshot 2
I know this has happened to you because it happens to me often. You find yourself in an unfamiliar place and you wish you knew where to find an organic market or a healthy place for lunch but all you see is McDonald's and Starbucks. Well the answer to this problems is here. inBloom is a free app you can download from iTunes. It uses your current location to find what you are looking for. You can specify your dietary preferences and find the nearest, most highly rated by Yelp! users Organic, Locavore, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Paleo friendly, raw eateries and shops. It was founded by two musicians to help bands on the road eat healthier and support local businesses that reflect their values. Now you and musicians everywhere can travel happy.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Farmers Market Review: Irvine Certified Farmers Market

From Orange County Correspondent, Lisa Isselnane
Irvine Certified Farmers Market
Sat. 8am-noon
Across from UC Irvine

We made this fresh salad with our purchases from the market.
This is the largest Certified Farmers Market in Orange County with over 100 vendors. It has a lot of great products ranging from local fruit and vegetables to specialty and hard to find items like organic dates, Mediterranean hummus and pesto sauces. Basically, everything from spicy to sweet. There were many little sampling stations with toothpicks and samples generously presented.

We liked the nursery truck. He was selling plants like Passionfruit, Lilikoi, Plumeria and many Orange Tree varieties. We actually took a plant home with us for just a few dollars. There was a  musical group and a violin soloist playing as you shopped. The live music gave it a funky flair and made the place sound fun and sophisticated.

Some unusual finds were the bittermelons, guava, Japanese plums and fresh herbs for cooking. We also bought aromatic lavender and sandalwood goat milk soap bars.

Friday, October 12, 2012

One More Recipe ! Chili Infused Honey

Chili Infused Honey
-Mild flavored honey
-Dried chili of your choice (we will be using chipolte chilies for their smoky flavor)
You will need at least 2 whole chilies per 8 oz. of honey.

Warm honey in its original container in a water bath in a heavy bottom sauce pan so it is easy to pour. Put the honey and chilies in a heatproof glass measuring cup or beaker.
Return honey and chilies to the water bath and bring temperature to just under 180 degrees. Do not at any time let the temperature exceed 180 degrees. Warm the honey and chilies in the water bath for at least 20 minutes. Put two of the chilies into  each sterilized jar and pour the honey over them. Let cool.
Store infused honey at room temperature.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

1 Syrup... 3 Chili Recipes from the Demo

Chili Infused Heavy Simple Syrup
-2 cups sugar 
-1 cup water 
-1 cup fresh chilies or hot peppers

Slice chilies/peppers in half. Put the sugar, water and chilies/peppers in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit in the pan until cool. Strain the cooled syrup retaining the chilies/peppers for another use. Store the syrup in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.

Candied Chilies
-chilies from heavy simple syrup recipe 
-white sanding sugar (available on line at www.surfasonline.com )

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. After you have drained the syrup from the chilies, seed and stem them, then slice into strips. Roll the chili strips in sanding sugar until well coated. Place on a baking sheet lined with a silicon mat or parchment paper. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes or until firm and dry. Can be stored in an airtight container for a month or more.

D.R. Diablo Cocktail
Per drink: 
-1⁄2 of the same type of chili used to infuse the heavy simple syrup
-1”x 1” piece of lime peel 
-1⁄2 oz.fresh lime juice 
-1⁄2 oz. chili infused heavy simple syrup 
-1oz. white port 
-Tonic water

Muddle the port with fresh chili and lime peel in a cocktail shaker. Add lime juice and heavy simple. Fill halfway with ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain into a stemmed cocktail glass and top off with the tonic. Garnish with a candied chili strip oe lime slice.

Chili Caramel

Follow standard caramel sauce technique, but substituting the chili infused heavy simple syrup for the sugar and water. Use 1⁄2 cup heavy cream for each cup of syrup.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Great Photos From The Chili Demo

Here are some awesome photos to hold you over. They are from the 'FIRE-IT-UP' CHILI-FEST with Alex Weiser we did in the Test Kitchen at Surfas Restaurant Supply and Gourmet Food. Can we say a "Hot" time was had by all?

Some of the raw material we had to work with. All shapes and temperatures, including Bishop's Caps (hot), all from Weiser Family Farms.

Candied Bishop's Caps, pretty but hot! One attendee did require milk.

"Putting-up" some of the fire roasted chilies.

Annette and Katheryne having a silly moment.

The Results! A warm salad of pan seared duck breast, farro with carrots poached in chipotle honey, fire roasted chilies, dried Persian mulberries, and sweet red onion, topped with a quick pickle of sweet peppers and a mulberry dressing.
All the produce is from Weiser Family Farms, everything else is from Surfas.

And for dessert...cinnamon gelato with Weiser late season peaches topped with chili caramel sauce and toasted chili threads.

We also had a great smoked cheddar top with chipolte infused honey and a cocktail made from a heavy simple syrup infused with Bishop's Cap chilies, lime, white port, topped with tonic and garnished with the candied chilies shown above.
Both were curated by David Rozansky, Surfas' amazing cheese monger. Thanks David!
We bet after seeing this, you wish you had been there!

(note: we want to thank Nick and Katheryne for the photos!)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Green Apple Day of Service Success

On September 29th, 1,256 service projects took place. There were events on every continent and in 49 countries. At Environmental Charter High School in Lawndale the community gathered for workshops on bike repair, paper making, composting, gardening, and mural painting.

Seniors shared their thesis projects which focus on injustices in their community. 
Cameron Sinclair from Architecture for Humanity inspired the students to follow their dreams.
Turns out AfH was his Senior Project.
Green Ambassadors are painting a mural.
Eat your green apple and get back to work !

Sustainable Seafood Recipe: Rockin Rockfish

Photo Credit: Darin Dines 
This has been a week of delicious (and sustainable) fish dinners. 
Monday: Black Cod Puttanesca @ Test Kitchen
Tuesday: Barramundi @ Le Grande Orange
Wednesday: It's time to eat at home, let's create a yummy, sustainable, and inexpensive fish dish. It might be the best one this week.

Rockin Rockfish 
Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2


Leftover from Ceviche Recipe:
2 avocados
1/2 tomatillo diced
1 medium jalapeno minced
2 Tbs cilantro chopped
1 red onion sliced thin

2 tomatoes chopped
2 green peppers sliced
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup olives sliced
2 Tbs olive juice
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs butter
1lb filet of Pacific Rockfish
Pinch of cayenne

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season your rockfish fillet with cayenne and salt.
Over medium heat, saute onions in olive oil for 3 minutes then add the peppers, tomatoes, tomatillos, and white wine. Allow to reduce for about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the sliced olives and olive juice.

Heat an oven safe pan with the butter and then add your rockfish face-down for about 2 minutes. Flip the fish and bake in the oven for about 5 minutes. You can do this as the sauce is reducing. 

Put it all together adding sliced avocado and cilantro on top !

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Farmers Market Recipe- Roasted Pumpkin Soup


4 cups roasted fresh organic pumpkin (any of the orange flesh squashes like acorn, butternut, 
etc. will work in combination or as a substitute for pumpkin)
1-2 medium roast organic shallot
4cups low sodium organic (or home made) chicken broth
2 cups of water
6-8 stems of fresh organic thyme
2T. of smoked paprika
salt to taste

To Roast Pumpkin/Squash and Shallots:
-preheat oven to 425 degrees
-peel and seed pumpkin and/or squash, peel shallot
-cut pumpkin/squash into pieces about one inch square
-toss with olive oil to coat well and place on sheet or roasting pan
-roast for 20 minutes or until tender and starting to caramelize (brown)

For Soup:
-place all ingredients except the smoked paprika in a medium pot
-place over medium heat and bring to a boil
-immediately reduce heat to a simmer
-add smoked paprika and simmer for 10-12 minutes            
-remove thyme stems
-blend until very smooth in the pot with an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender 
and return to pot
-add more salt and paprika (if you like it smokey) if needed
-adjust thickness by adding a little more water if needed

Serves 8-10

Words from the Weiser

I had the pleasure of interviewing Alex Weiser in preparation for the Chili Roasting Demo being held this Saturday. Register here- it's free !

How did you get involved in sustainability?
It’s the right way to farm. It's the long-term approach. That’s all we know, it’s the right way. My passion has grown since my parents retired. They started more artisan crops and I'm carrying that forward. We have a legacy of locality, workers' children grow and stay and join the farm. Preserving resources for future generations is second nature for us, and the right way to be a good steward of the land. Food tastes better grown that way.

What is your favorite everyday sustainable living strategy?
Eating local and seasonally and knowing where my food comes from. It’s easy for me to do ! We’ve switched our watering to drip systems- we don’t flood and we irrigate at night.

What brought you to Tehachapi? How does the local food movement affect your community?
Tehachapi is our home base, a city in the mountains, in the valley and rather isolated. The food that is eaten here is grown local and close to Bakersfield. A great example of local food, there are farms, wind power, and it’s the land of four seasons. Small farms feature local grass fed beef and niche crops. They are surviving despite the economy.

Who is your Sustainable Superhero (who inspires you)?
Phil McGrath, fellow farmer and friend and mentor. He has turned his tractor over to biodeisel. He’s a good guy and generous with his time and helping other farmers. McGrath Family Farms- 5 generations.

What will you be doing in 5 years?
The same thing. Even if I win the lottery I will be farming more (and fun) things. I like living off the land, I'll be growing and producing with 5 more years of experience and knowledge.