Savoring the Seasons: Mexican brunch in Greenfield

  • A full-moon lit corn maze. contributed PHOTO

Published: 10/18/2016 4:07:33 PM

After last week’s column, a friend of mine asked about freezing fresh local ginger. She said she couldn’t grate the ginger after it thawed, it just turned to mush.

Ohh ... I realized that I hadn’t been clear in my column. I freeze fresh young ginger in a plastic bag. Then, when I want some ginger, I take it out of the bag, grate it while it is still frozen, and put the unused part back in the bag in the freezer.

When I stopped at the Greenfield Farmers Market last weekend, I walked up to the Hart Farm booth just as Anna Meyer was explaining what to do with fresh ginger to a customer who had never tried it. Anna said it stores well in the fridge for a few weeks in a plastic bag or sealed container (so it doesn’t dry out). She also said that you don’t need to peel the young ginger’s skin.

Want to experiment with fresh local ginger? It’s still available at Hart Farm’s and Lyonsville Farm’s booths at the Greenfield Farmers Market and at other stores and farm stands.

Saturday, Oct. 29, is the last day of the outdoor Greenfield Farmers Market season. The Greenfield Winter Farmers Market starts Nov. 4 at Greenfield High School and there will be a special pre-Thanksgiving Market on Nov. 19.

Rellenos, Huevos Rancherosat the Arts Block

This Saturday you can enjoy both the Greenfield Farmers Market and have a Mexican brunch featuring locally grown food at the Arts Block Café next to the Market. Chef Cathy Gouch and Trouble Gouch Mandeson will be guest chefs that day. You’ve seen Trouble’s recipes in this column. ... Cathy and Trouble are superb cooks, and I know it will be  a delicious meal.

The menu includes Baja-style Chili Rellenos stuffed with cheesy mashed potatoes and served with a creamy bean sauce (see recipe below); Huevos Rancheros Casserole made with local Hatch chilis from Rainbow Harvest Farm and eggs from Eden Pond Farm; Breakfast Burrito with Soyrizo (a veggie chorizo), eggs, and fried potatoes; and, Cheese Quesadillas for the faint of heart.

All will be topped with salsa made from local organic tomatoes, onions and cilantro by Goshen-based Appalachian Naturals. Brunch will be served from 9 a.m. to noon. Although poblano peppers may not be available locally now, they can be found at the Greenfield Farmer Market and local farmstands in late summer/early fall, roasted and frozen for later use.

Cheese quesadillas made with fresh ripe tomatoes are one of my favorite ways to eat tomatoes. As the tomato season nears its end, I’ve been savoring quesadillas and bacon/lettuce/tomato sandwiches, and more.

What are your favorite Mexican dishes that feature locally grown food?

This week we’re eating …

Baja-style Chili Rellenos 

By Cathy Gouch and Trouble Gouch Mandeson, Greenfield

4 large Poblano chilis 

2 C. mashed potatoes 

1 C. grated cheddar, Monterey Jack and/or Mexican cotilja cheese

1 C. of sour cream with 1 to 2 T. of refried beans mixed in

Roast chilis under broiler or on grill, turning occasionally so all sides blacken. Use one of two methods to steam: either put in a paper bag and roll shut or soak in a bowl of ice water.

After a few minutes of steaming, gently peel the skin from the pepper. Set aside. Make the mashed potatoes (using butter, milk, chicken broth, your choice), optionally adding in some minced garlic to the mash, and then mixing in the cheese. Set aside. Mix sour cream and refried beans and gently warm on stove.

Gently make a slit in each pepper and clear out any seeds or membrane. Stuff as full as you can with the cheesy (garlicky) mashed potatoes. Place stuffed chilis on a cookie sheet and bake until warm and cheese is melted. Drizzle a bit of the creamy beans over the top of each relleno and serve with a dollop of sour cream and salsa. Serves four.

Local food advocate and community organizer Mary McClintock lives in Conway and works as a freelance writer for Greenfield Community College, brand promoter for Goshen-based local food company Appalachian Naturals and writer/editor for More Than Sound. Send column suggestions and recipes to mmcclinto@yahoo.com


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