Sunday, August 31, 2008

Battle Farmers Market - August 31, 2008

Battle Farmers’ Market was a fun and interesting Labor Day weekend challenge. We had the opportunity to explore some of the farmers’ markets and roadside stands around San Diego. including Little Italy, Hillcrest, La Mesa and South Bay. All of our Chefs excelled once again.

We started off the evening with Dean’s colorful Sangria, made with Shiraz, apples, grapes, oranges and lemons. Dean also brought a beautiful vase of flowers for our table.

Jim and Melinda, and visiting friends Kathy and Melvin, shared a jar of Cran-Peno Preserves, purchased from a farmers’ market in Arizona, spooned over cream cheese and served with crackers. They also shared an assortment of Tamales from the Hillcrest Farmers’ Market, including Green Chile & Chicken and Sun-dried Tomato.

Pammy’s Zucchini & Tomato Pie was presented beautifully and incredibly delicious.

Kai created his delicious version of Farmers’ Market Ratatouille with a variety of vegetables from the Hillcrest Farmers’ Market, including beets, purple potatoes, zucchini, corn and string beans.

Jim and Carmen had to drive to the park in order to transport their 50 lb. enameled cast iron Le Creuset Dutch Oven full of Seafood Gumbo, featuring okra, bell peppers, shrimp, calamari and crab legs. They served it over white rice with a little dash of File on top and we were good to go.

John was inspired after watching an episode of Giada’s Weekend Getaways. Giada went to Santa Barbara and sampled Trattoria Grappolo’s Involtini di Melanzane. John’s version featured thinly sliced eggplant, which was rolled around a mixture of spaghetti, chicken, marinara and ricotta, topped with mozzarella, and baked.

I found some beautiful Dapple Dandy Pluots at the Little Italy Farmers’ Market and attempted a Tarte Tatin with Creme Fraiche. Pluots are extremely juicy and the Tarte was swimming in its succulent juices. Not my best presentation of the season, but my photograph is very Georgia O'Keefe..ish, don't you think?

Brad joined us for the Saturday morning Little Italy Farmers’ Market, but ultimately made a mad dash for Farmers’ Market Albertsons in order to create his delightful platter of Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, Cherries and Apples.

Sparks visited Farmers’ Market a la Tartine for her Chocolate Mousse Cake, a velvety chocolate mousse on a thin layer of chocolate cake, finished with ganache, and adorned with gold dusted berries. After all those fresh fruits and vegetables, it’s mandatory to balance the meal with some heavenly chocolate!

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