farm to table

Farm to table harvest dinner at the Palisades

We had the most amazing dinner last night thanks to the Palisades Restaurant (Eggleston, VA) and Chef Kevin White + crew.

It was a harvest, farm to table dinner to which the restaurant invited area farms to not only provide their wares but to join guests at a sit down meal! The dinner was 6 courses along with wine pairings…it was creative, artistic, and a culinary party in my mouth. What a job very well done by all. The chef explained the various courses and introduced the participating farms that were featured in the dish. We made new friends and ate some wonderful foods. What an honor for us to be there.

Here are some highlights (sorry, no appetizer pictures because I was too busy eating them and forgot to document their presence)…

The lineup

The lineup

For appetizers, the goat riblets from Hoof Hearted Farms were tender and flavorful. There were pickled pepperoncini peppers that went around, some stuffed with cheese, that were amazing. Alas, mouth was full and pictures were forgotten. BUT…the next course of soup I did capture. The Chef made a hearty, flavorful broth of the pork bones from Reliant Farms and added some small cubes of our apples. Luscious. Full bodied. I wanted more.

Pork bone soup with apples

Pork bone soup with apples

For the salad course, the Chef deconstructed a B-L-T using flavorful microgreens from Stonecrop Farm, a mix of tomatoes, pickled onions, amazing pork belly bacon from Woods Hole Farm topped with a pork belly mayonnaise. Oh. My. God.

Deconstructed BLT

Deconstructed BLT

We have barely put a dent in our potato crop, and we donated many to the cause. Purple ones. Red ones. Fingerlings and russets. The crew made a blend and stuffed a homemade pastry to make one of the best pierogis I’ve ever tasted in my life…topped with a BBQ beet sauce from Stonecrop beets. The smoky beet flavor was great.

Best tasting pierogi

Best tasting pierogi

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Pork belly hash

The next dish was one of my favorites. The pork belly from Woods Hole was braised then sautéed to create a crisp skin to it over sautéed mix of peppers and potatoes with a chili sauce, this hash was excellent in its richness and simplicity. I could’ve eaten another plate…

Although the stomach was starting to fill, I had no problem finding room for Caribbean Jerk Pork. With pork shoulder from the French Family Farm slow cooked and tender as can be, the spices and seasonings were tamed with Shady Pines goat milk made into a yogurt rice pudding that the pork rested upon. Amazing.

Caribbean jerk pork

Caribbean jerk pork

Pants were feeling a little tight at this point, but who could say no to a final round of a rustic apple tart? Pastry Chef Devin can do wonders with a basic apple. Topped with caramelized pecans and ginger, the pastry of this tart was buttery and delicious. Who in the heck has ever had apple anything with CHEDDAR CHEESE ICE CREAM? That’s right…the ice cream was excellent.

Rustic apple tart

Rustic apple tart

What an amazing night. These folks are very talented. It was a wonderful night, and we thank the Palisades again for inviting us to participate!

Raw beet and carrot salad

We enjoyed having friends and family visit the farm this weekend to lend a hand as well as provide good company. Some good eats came from it, too. Like this quick, easy beet and carrot salad. Take a look (my comments are in italics with parentheses):

Carrot And Beet Salad With Ginger Vinaigrette
Gourmet | April 1994

Yield: Serves 6

Can be prepared in 45 minutes or less.

Ingredients

1/4 cup minced shallot (I used a garden onion diced and green sliced thinly)
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced (from the garden! Yum!)
1/4 cup rice vinegar (used seasoned rice vinegar)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon Asian (toasted) sesame oil
Tabasco to taste (used a hot pepper from the garden, diced)
1/2 cup olive oil
4 cups finely shredded carrots (cut into matchsticks)
4 cups finely shredded peeled raw beets (about 3/4 pound) (used 4-5 beet roots and cut into matchsticks)
spinach leaves, washed thoroughly, for garnish if desired (did not use, instead garnished with feta cheese)

Preparation

In a blender purée shallot, ginger, and garlic with rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and Tabasco. With motor running add olive oil in a stream and blend until smooth. (did not use blender. Put ingredients in Tupperware and shook until well mixed)

In separate bowls toss carrots with half of the dressing and beets with remaining half. Divide carrot salad and beet salad among 6 plates and garnish with spinach leaves. (did not separate but combined the carrots and beets)

20140714-204215-74535084.jpg Carrot and beet matchsticks…all from the garden. Carrots will be coming to market soon!

20140714-204312-74592761.jpgDressing added

20140714-204348-74628696.jpgTopped with a little feta cheese

Farm to table

Blackstone Grill is promoting a farm-to-table culinary experience at the restaurant by supporting local growers. Here are some photos of produce possibilities and of collaborators. A Channel 10 WSLS news segment at 5:30 will feature Ashish (General Manager) and Ben Harder (Den Hill Permaculture). We also made a new friend, Ellen from Sickle Moon Farm in Riner.

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