195. Barrington EATS: Feast Your Way Through the Farmers Market

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The Barrington Farmers market may be small, but it is mighty in the flavor department. There are many ways to bring home delicious, fresh and one-of-a kind tastes from our market each Thursday afternoon with a quick and easy trip to town. And, thanks to Barrington photographer Anthony Tortoriello, we can feast our eyes on the following beautiful images which capture the many colors of our market.

I like to start out at the East end of the market, entering from the “Harris Bank” end by the corner of Park Ave. and Grove St. My first stop is Wayne Miller Farm’s booth where the most delicious, fresh fruit is brought straight from Michigan…

Last week there were blueberries, cherries and the most unbelievable raspberries I’ve ever tasted.

Courtesy of Anthony Tortoriello

Typically right across from Wayne, near the East entrance, is Staff of Life 
Farms. They bring organic eggs, and a wide selection of beef cuts, chicken and pork. But they also bring homemade cookies and kettle corn that you absolutely can’t miss because of the flavor – and entertainment factor – of them making it on spot.

Courtesy of Anthony Tortoriello

Walking West, my son always makes me stop for the most amazing pretzel rolls from Under the Table Bread Co., a hunk of melt-in-your-mouth cheese such as smoked cheddar or sweet cream havarti from The Cheese People, and a homemade fruit pie (if there are any left!) from M. Belle’s Pies. These pies use the freshest of fruit (sometimes from Wayne Miller Farms) and have a heavy buttery crust more decadent than any I have ever tasted.

Courtesy of Anthony Tortoriello

Next is a stop at The Olive Tap to replenish the delicious oils and vinegars I use in most of my cooking. If you’re looking for good staples for this summer, you cannot go wrong with the Tuscan Herb Olive Oil and the new Grapefruit infused Balsamic. These flavorful cooking enhancers can help you reinvent yourself in the kitchen. I’ve been using the grapefruit vinegar as a topping for an avocado, mango and jicama salad and on my grilled fish. It’s my new favorite!

Next I either grab some olives or pesto to use in cooking, or olive tapenade, hummus and pita for a snack from Olives 4 You.

For additional take-home options, the following vendors’ fantastic offerings speak for themselves:

Gramps Gourmet Foods -
Delicious pickles, beets & relishes
GrownUp Kid Stuff -
The best chocolate sauce you’ll ever have
Royal Oaks Farm 
- Apples, donuts, cider & fudge
S & D Honey 
- Honey, honey products, candles, jelly and knife sharpening
Sweet Whimsy
 – Gourmet cupcakes, cookies and breads

Then comes the heart and soul of the market, the finest fare from four different farms that includes the freshest fruits, plants and flowers…

Courtesy of Anthony Tortoriello

Plus traditional vegetables and herbs such as green beans and basil, carrots and radishes…

Courtesy of Anthony Tortoriello

…and unique items such as hard-to-find Mirai sweet corn and kohlrabi, which I used in my favorite Pad Thai (see recipe below).

Then, when you’re at the Cook St. end of the market, grab some great Smokin’ T’s BBQ items like BBQ pork nachos, or mac and cheese and a Primo pizza to go (if you’ve never tried Primo, you have to check out their pizza menu. Not only is it good pizza, but it is exceptional flavor in action from eggplant parmesan pizzas to BLT, meat-lovers, bruschetta and white sauce pizzas. Yum!) And your trip’s not complete until you’ve tried a fresh squeezed lemon or limeade from Randy’s Lemonade.

If you are a big fan of Pad Thai take-out, you will be thrilled with how easily this recipe replicates restaurant style Pad Thai. And it’s a great way to use the Kohlrabi you can get at the Farmer’s Market:

Pad Thai

Ingredients:

12 ounces of rice noodles or linguine pasta
2 tablespoons and 1/4 cup vegetable oil, olive oil or sesame oil
2 cups of diced chicken, or 1 lb. shrimp
4 eggs
2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
4 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons white sugar
squirt of Sriracha chili sauce (large squirt if you like it hot, little squirt just for flavor)
2 cups firm vegetables, julienned, such as carrots, kohlrabi and/or bean sprouts
1/4 cup crushed peanuts or 1/8 cup chunky peanut butter
3 green onions, chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges

Prepare noodles according to package directions (rice noodles call for soaking). In a large wok or skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil, and cook shrimp or chicken on high heat until browned. Remove, and set aside. Add remaining oil to pan. Crack eggs into hot oil, and cook until firm. Stir in vinegar, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar and chili sauce. Add in the noodles, meat, vegetables, peanuts or peanut butter, and onions, and stir well, cooking for another 2 minutes.

Squeeze one wedge of lime over entire dish, and serve each bowl with additional lime wedges.

This season’s Barrington farmers market happens every Thursday in downtown Barrington from 2 to 7 p.m. through October 18th, 2012.  For more information about the market in Barrington, visit BarringtonFarmersMarket.org.

And to learn more about Anthony Tortoriello, CLICK HERE to read our previous post about him, Discover New Colors with Anthony Tortoriello.  You’ll also find his latest images at Facebook.com/AtortPhotography or on his website at AtortPhotography.com.

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About the Author

Kelly Donlea is a Barrington mom, chef, cookbook author the owner of Organizing Dinner, a company that brings sensible cooking solutions to busy people. She has published several cookbooks and one of her specialties is helping parents plan family meals with fewer trips to the grocery store. Kelly also offers cooking classes and demonstrations in your home or public facility. To learn more about Kelly, her recipes and her services, you’ll find her Facebook page by clicking HERE and her website at OrganizingDinner.com. Kelly is going to be sharing recipes, cooking tips and special features about chefs and popular menu items at area restaurants right here at 365Barrington.com.

Please join us as we discover local culinary treasures and new kitchen classics in our new, local and regular food feature here at 365Barrington.com called “Barrington Eats” with Kelly Donlea!

If you’d like to us to feature your favorite chef or restaurant or if you have a food related question that you’d like Kelly to answer, make a quick stop at the 365 Barrington Suggestion Box and leave us a note in the form which you’ll find by clicking HERE.

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