Friday, November 27, 2009

This Week at Foraged and Found Edibles 11/27

Note to West Seattle customers - We are no longer at the West Seattle markets until the Spring. Come see us in University District and Ballard through the winter.

Sometimes, post holiday it can be hard to get excited about cooking again any time soon. You just put in long hours in the kitchen and most likely the tupperwares are stuffed to the brim with leftovers. Turkey sandwiches are the likely five day forecast. Lots-o-leftovers are a fabulous excuse for creative transformation. How about turkey chanterelle noodle soup with Moroccan flavors like cumin and cinnamon or turkey chanterelle shepherd's pie with the gravy and mashed potatoes. Cranberry sauce, toasted walnut and ice cream parfaits sound good. Or what about fried turkey and mushroom risotto balls with cranberry sage aioli?! Well... maybe not.

This weekend at the Farmers Market


Saturday, November 21, 2009


cranberry quince chutney

To celebrate the cranberry harvest and Thanksgiving I have three cranberry recipes for you, including two using raw cranberries. Raw cranberries are extremely healthy. High levels of antioxidants, antibiotic properties very helpful for those with urinary tract infections, and a preventative measure for kidney stones are a few of this autumn berry's nourishing ways.

Cranberries are native in North America and were used by indigenous peoples for food, dyes, skin treatments, and preserved in pemmican. They have been popular for Thanksgiving meals for centuries, and as a juice since the 1960's thanks to Ocean Spray, a cranberry cooperative started in the early part of the century. They are in the genus Vaccinium along with fellow bush berries, the blueberry and huckleberry.

Washington State is the 5th largest supplier of cranberries, many of them being made into juice and Craisins by Ocean Spray. In 1919 the first cranberry farm was planted in Grayland (7 miles south of Westport) and this still is the center of cranberry farming in Washington. On the stretch along the Pacific between Westport and Tokeland the area is called The Cranberry Coast. Thirty percent of cranberry farms in Washington are located here. There is even a yearly Cranberry Harvest Festival and a self guided Grayland bog driving tour available on the Westportwa website. That driving tour would be a great combo trip with some razor clamming out at Grayland Beach State Park.

Most Washington cranberry farmers sell directly to Ocean Spray. It would be nice to see some of those cranberries being directly marketed to local consumers. This year was the first time Foraged and Found Edibles has sold cranberries at the farmer's market. In the past we have picked just enough for personal use. We harvest them in a old overgrown bog in Grayland next to our friends house. Before all this farming cranberries grew wild all along the Pacific Coast and were utilized extensively by the local natives and then the settlers when they arrived. There are still different varieties of cranberries growing in the wild, just a little harder to find than in the past.

a cranberry bog in grayland

Many cranberry preparations call for large amounts of cane sugar to balance out there sour and bitter flavors, unfortunately this greatly lessens their healing properties. I have been trying to increasingly use alternatives to conventional sugar in my cooking. These recipes take advantage of fruits and honey to sweeten the berries. Apple cider is one great sweetener that is easily available to us in the NW.

Cranberry Walnut Vinaigrette

This recipe is inspired by a salad in Starting With Ingredients by Aliza Green. I am not usually a fan of fruit vinaigrettes but this sounded interesting. The bright pink color is not the most appetizing for food but it does taste great. Serve with bitter greens like endives or in a carrot slaw with dried fruit. I ended up nibbling on it like dip with treviso, sliced raw cranberries and chopped walnuts, yum.

1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1/3 cup walnuts
1 Tbsp chopped shallot
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup walnuts
1/4 orange juice
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp honey
salt and pepper

Place all ingredients in a blender and combine until smooth.

creamy pink yumminess

Raw Cranberry Ginger Relish

This easy sauce is great with Thanksgiving turkey or with roast game. And so good on leftover turkey sandwiches. Add some chopped walnuts right before serving if desired. With walnuts it reminds me of haroset served at Jewish Passover meals. Adjust the dates and honey to your sweetened desire.

2 satsuma oranges, washed, halved, and seeds removed
6 - 8 medjool dates, pits removed
1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
2 cups fresh cranberries
2-4 tsp honey, maple syrup, or agave syrup

Place satsumas, dates, and ginger in the work bowl of a food processor. Puree until fine. Add cranberries and sweetener and pulse to chop until medium-fine but not a paste. Alternatively toss all ingredients together and run through a meat grinder. This gives it a great texture. Let sit at least one hour for flavors to combine.

Spiced Cranberry Quince Chutney

I adapted this sauce from my own recipe in the 2010 Illustrated Wild Foods Recipe Calendar for Evergreen Huckleberry Chutney. It goes with out saying - this is turkey dinner material. Also a perfect candidate for a holiday chutney cream cheese roll.

1 cup small diced shallots
3 tbsp olive oil
1/8 tsp salt
¼ tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground clove
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 cinnamon stick
1 ½ cups small-diced quince (about 1 med quince)
2 cups apple cider
3 1/2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
3-6 tbsp of honey

Sauté shallots in olive oil over medium-high heat until they begin to lightly brown. Turn heat to medium, add salt and spices, and cook for a few more minutes, until spices are fragrant. Add quince and apple cider; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn down and keep at a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes until quince is tender. Add cranberries and 3 tbsp honey and cook until berries pop, about 20 minutes. Taste and add more honey if too tart. Let cool to room temperature to serve, or store in refrigerator for up to one week.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thanksgiving and This Week at Foraged and Found Edibles 11/20

Thanksgiving means family, friends, and celebrating the American cornucopia. Though many Thanksgiving food traditions have steered away from seasonality (green bean casserole), it still is at its core a harvest celebration. I love to hear about different traditions within families and regions of the US. I think it was James Beard who said - if you tell me what you eat for Thanksgiving I can tell you where you are from. If in New England the feast may include mashed carrots and rutabagas, from the South it may be scalloped oyster saltine casserole, sweet potatoes, and pecan pie. Here in the Northwest wild mushrooms, winter squash and apple pie are common.

There is a very interesting article on Slashfood about the decline of shellfish, specifically oysters, in the Thanksgiving repertoire. Pre 1950 it was a mainstay on holiday menus, but with the decline of the oyster harvest at that time and rising prices over the years it has been pushed to the back burner. With our oyster bounty in the Northwest we are perfectly poised to bring back this tradition - oyster stew, oyster Rockefeller, oyster dressing! - all of these would fit into the turkey dinner feast.

My family's Thanksgiving menu doesn't stray to far from the classic dishes, though over time the traditions change and evolve with the times and tastes in our ever expanding family. We play a bit with turkey seasonings, the salad, the cranberry sauce. Brussel sprouts are a addition in the last couple years, but my mom doesn't like them so we had a vote to keep 'em in or not. Brussel sprouts vs. my Mom - brussels won.

The Choi family menu- sherried pumpkin soup with croutons and chives (this is something my Grandma always fed us earlier in the day while we waited for the feast), roast turkey with herbs, chanterelle gravy sometimes with truffles, plain gravy (for the mushroom haters!?), mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts with lemon, shallots and hazelnuts, dressing with chestnuts, green salad with persimmons or pears, cranberry something (I like to play around with different recipes, two recipes for cran sauce coming soon on Nettletown), pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake. This year I am going to make that southern scalloped oyster casserole too, with the pre-shucked oysters from Taylor Shellfish to make it easy. And maybe it will become a new Choi family tradition.

Tell me what you have for Thanksgiving!

This weekend at the Farmers Market

Frozen white truffles
Frozen Mountain huckleberries
Matsutake - small amount available at the U District market

Also on Saturday from 3-5pm I am doing a calendar signing at Eat Local on top of Queen Anne. There also will be live music in the store from Pro Musica.

Also, this may be our last weekend at the West Seattle Market. Our harvest is dwindling and it is hard to support two Sunday markets. We may be at the one or two more before Xmas though.

Friday, November 13, 2009

This Week at Foraged and Found Edibles 11/14

We have some exciting stuff this weekend. Finally some black trumpet mushrooms and really ripe and beautiful cranberries from coastal bogs. These sweet cranberries would be great in a raw cranberry relish.

It is pretty much over with the porcini season but our mushrooms were featured in a Design Sponge recipe with pictures by local photographer Lara Ferroni yesterday. Check out the Porcini Mushroom Tapioca here.

At the markets this weekend -

Black Trumpets
Hedgehogs - just a bit available early at U District

Monday, November 9, 2009

Wild Food Calendar Dinner at the Corson Building

Just a little reminder that I am teaming up with Chef Matt Dillon for a very special wild food dinner at the Corson Building next Monday, November the 16th. We will be making a couple recipes out of the calendar and every other dish will feature wild ingredients too. Everything depends on availability, but for sure we will be using elk, black truffles, rosehips, chanterelles, huckleberries, and watercress. Possibly will also have hedgehogs, matsutake, black trumpets, razor clams, and wild salmon. Lisa Gordanier, my recipe editor, will be helping in the kitchen too! It is a sort of kitchen reunion - she worked with Matt and I back at The Herbfarm.

There will be two seatings - 5:30 and 8 pm. Reservation only.
Cost $60 and includes one copy of The Illustrated Wild Foods Recipe Calendar. Additional copies will be available for the special price of $10.
See the Corson Building event calendar here and call 206-762-3330 for reservations.

Friday, November 6, 2009

This Week at Foraged and Found Edibles 11/06

The week that started with clear skies has given us some nice dry chanterelles for the market. Of course you will be buying them in the pouring rain if you slosh it to the markets this weekend. Rain or shine, we go year 'round. And we feel fortunate that ardent customers and the farmer's market organizations are there to support us and all the other farmers that can provide 365 days a year. The cold season markets really depend on people that are intensely passionate about healthy, unique and local food and are willing to tough it through the Seattle "elements".

If we forage high (northern Washington) and low (southern Oregon) there is almost always something delicious hiding in the woods, even in the cold of winter. Those winter mushrooms, such as hedgehogs and black trumpets, are barely starting though, and either they are hiding better than usual or they may not want to perform as big of a show this year. In abundance we call it a flush, in scarcity, a blow out. Just as most things go in nature, we will just have to wait and see......This is one of the most beautiful and difficult things about foraging, and probably farming for that matter. We are subject to the expressions of the earth and its fantastic and complex organisms (wild mushrooms happen to be one of the most unpredictable!). We are given the generous opportunity to reap the harvest, but in so many ways have no control over it. We wouldn't have it any other way.

This weekend at the markets -

Wild Watercress

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fresh-Picked Seattle

Lets say you love food, you live in Seattle, and you have a weekend with no plans, what do you do?!? Actually lets say you just live in Seattle, because has good info and events for any Seattlite - foodie or not, bored or not.

I am so thoroughly impressed with this site that I must to share it with all you. Fresh-Picked Seattle is dedicated to being the place to find out about food events and culture in Seattle. A woman named Leslie Seaton hosts the site; I don't know how she keeps up with all this info, but she does and does it well. It is refreshingly thorough with lots of links and useful information including stuff such as free happenings, kids events, seasonal interests. For example a recent post on National Chocolate Day and has links to local chocolate shops, a Google event calendar, various tours available around the area, and a resource list. Also included a nice video of a tour at Theo Chocolate (I have been dying to do this and fresh-picked post was a great reminder to get myself there).

There is also a great page for Pacific Northwest wild food, foraging, and ethnobotany. This should be THE GUIDE for wild food resources in the Northwest. Links to articles and blogs(including this one!), local mycological societies, wilderness schools, and Google event calendar which includes razor clam dig days and cooking classes.

Fresh-Picked Seattle's little byline is pretty cute too- Seattle=Let's Eat
Go there, you will be inspired to venture out foraging for new (fresh!) experiences in your home town.