Off to Market… Matthew’s Farmer’s Market

Our market bags...
Our new market bags…

So this past Saturday we decided to go check out the our first farmers market of the season. Since we haven’t  been to the one out in Matthews yet, we decided to make that our first trip of the season.

Sign

We left for the farmer's market bright and early so we could get the 8:30 cooking class being given by Chef Geoff Bragg.
We left for the farmer’s market bright and early so we could get the 8:30 cooking class being given by Chef Geoff Bragg.

While waiting for the class to get started, I took the opportunity to snap a few pictures, and I had to share this one. You never know what sort of interesting people you are going to run into at a farmers market.

A truly interesting character...
A truly interesting character…
Chef Geoff Bragg used fresh ingredients from the market vendors... look at those yummy mushrooms...
Chef Geoff Bragg used fresh ingredients from the market vendors… look at those yummy mushrooms…
Smoked Tomatoes and Mushrooms
Smoked Tomatoes and Mushrooms

We got to smell the smoked tomatoes and mushrooms that the chef had going before we arrived at the class and picked up some useful knowledge…

Smoking Veggies Tips/Facts

  • First you’ll need smoked hickory chips that have been soaked in water. Wrap them in aluminum foil and place at the bottom of the pot. Remember to leave a pocket.
  • Put tomatoes in a sieve and cover.
  • Remember smoke needs to roll over the veggies.
  • Keep your temperature on high
  • The longer you cook, the softer what you are smoking will be.
How to Caramelize those Almonds...
How to Caramelize those Almonds…
Prepare some greens...
Prepare some greens…
Salad with caramelized almonds and vinaigrette...
Salad with caramelized almonds, vinaigrette, and fresh goat cheese.

Ingredients for our vinaigrette:

  • Shallots
  • Mustard
  • Green onions
  • Smoked Mushrooms
  • Pepper and salt
  • A little sugar
  • Sherry and Champagne vinegar

Things to remember when making a vinaigrette…

  • You are suspending acid in fat
  • Use 1 part acid to 3 parts fat
  • You can cut the acid with walnut oil (especially when adding to fall salads)
  • When blending hot ingredients in a blender make sure you pulse.

After our little class we walked around the market to see what we could bring home with us…

Fresh produce
Fresh produce
Fresh Garlic Chive Goat Cheese from Bosky Acres... we knew this one was coming home... we also got some of the Honey Walnut...
Fresh Garlic Chive Goat Cheese from Bosky Acres… we knew this one was coming home… we also got some of the Honey Walnut…
Fresh herbs for planting... (of course we already had ours, ready to be planted back at the house)
Fresh herbs for planting… (of course we already had ours, ready to be planted back at the house)
Had to take a picture of the Paris Hot Dog from Chef Charles' booth. We purchase a lovely baguette, a bread pudding and a currant scone for me...
Had to take a picture of the Paris Hot Dog from Chef Charles’ booth. We purchase a lovely baguette, a bread pudding and a currant scone for me…
Yummy baked goodness...
Yummy baked goodness…
While we didn't purchase any, it sure did smell good... I have a serious thing for everything peach at the moment.
While we didn’t purchase any, it sure did smell good… I have a serious thing for everything peach at the moment.
The blossoms on this tree were so beautiful, I had to share it...
The blossoms on this tree were so beautiful, I had to share it… Spring has finally arrived here in the Carolina’s.
Basket anyone?
Basket anyone?
Cut flowers for sale...
Cut flowers for sale…
The Market...
The Market…

I hope you enjoyed hearing about my first market visit of the season, and found the tips from Chef Geoff Bragg helpful… He will be competing in the Iron Fork Competition tomorrow April 17th at CenterStage@Noda. Good luck Geoff!

~thefoodie

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