One of my favorite memories of this summer was being able to attend the Big Summer Potluck 3 up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Not only did I get to meet the hosts of the event Pam, Erika and Maggie but I also got to meet so many incredibly talented bloggers from all over the country! The funny thing is, you can put a room full of strangers together and if they have that one common bond of being food bloggers by the end of the day you’ve got a room full of people acting like old friends.
If you’re a food blogger you completely understand, if not, it’s like were speaking a foreign language……just ask my wife! No matter who I meet for the first time , within 10 minutes were swapping food and photography stories like we’ve known each other for twenty years!
And today my friends you’re in for a treat, because my guest today is one of those food bloggers I was lucky enough to meet at the BSP3 this past summer. Please give a warm welcome to Kathy from The Experimental Gourmand! Kathy really loves what she does and it’s quite evident as she takes you along with her on her travels through New York City checking out the local markets and food events. But that’s not all, you’ll also get an assortment of her delicious creations such as Spicy Chicken Salad Bahn Mi Sandwich and White Chocolate Lime Puddings. It’s evident that Kathy loves good food and loves New York City, and what better way to see the city than through the eyes of a food blogger!
So sit back, relax, put your feet up and get ready for dinner, because there’s one tasty treat coming your way, as I give you……
Hello, everyone, and thank you to Chef Dennis for inviting me to guest post on this site. It was so wonderful to meet you at the Big Summer Potluck! I’m Kathy Blake, the writer of The Experimental Gourmand. My site is about getting out there and exploring your local food event scene, gathering ideas and inspiration from the terrific things that you taste at them and finding fresh ingredients and small-batch food products at farmers’ and local markets with which to make great meals in your own home.
This is one of the most colorful times of the year for shopping at the local farmers’ markets in our area. Summertime’s bounty is on display in the array of peppers, tomatoes, corn, zucchini, berries, peaches, and plums. It’s so easy to get overeager and just buy one of everything, knowing that in a few weeks it will all have disappeared, to be replaced by pumpkins, cabbages, kale, apples, and other wintertime staples.
If you are like me, you tend to overbuy in these situations and then arrive at home with bags full to bursting with this seasonal goodness. Then, you have to figure out what to do with it all, using some of it in your standby recipes, and then pondering how to come up with new ideas for cooking up all of this terrific produce.
A few months ago, I met Michael Natkin, the author of the recent cookbook Herbivoracious and the writer of the website Herbivoracious of the same name. The photography in this book is gorgeous and the recipes just cry out to be made, so when I saw the picture for Indian Fry Bread Tacos loaded with beans, cheese, vegetables, guacamole, and other toppings, I knew that I had found a good use for my farmers’ market treasures.
What I really enjoy about this recipe is the contrast of the hot, crispy bread to the soft beans, creamy cheese, cool tomatoes, crunchy lettuce, spicy chipotle sauce, and tangy, refreshing guacamole. I did, however, make a few adjustments to Michael’s directions, more to suit my own taste preferences than anything else. I omitted the poblano chile from the Squash and Corn topping portion of the recipe, and left out the jalapeno from the guacamole, as I added it to the beans instead. The guacamole recipe is from my own site but you could just as easily use your own favorite version. I also sautéed the zucchini in olive oil, separately, and added the corn as a garnish, uncooked, stripped straight off of the cob for some sweetness and crunch.
The chipotle salsa that I used comes from Gustavo’s Salsa a relatively new New York City producer who sells at the Queens County Market . This spicy, smokey condiment really adds a nice depth of flavor and punch of heat to the dish as well as giving the plate a dash of deep, red color, attracting the eater to it.
Instead of using canned pinto beans, I opted to pick up a bag of dried ones from The Brooklyn Bean Co. when I was at the New Amsterdam Market at their Tomato Fest a couple of weekends ago. To dress up the beans and give them some more flavor before added them to the fry bread, I cooked them with the onions, garlic, and oregano that would have gone into the Squash and Corn topping, plus added a little jalapeno. It was my way of trying to balance out the different components to make them all harmonize when they were combined on the plate.
What I discovered in making this recipe is that the fry bread is really just a platter, think of it as an empty canvas on which you can build whatever you want to eat. This, for me, makes it ideal for family-friendly dining, as everyone can add his/her favorite ingredients to this dish, very important when our clan, with its diverse palates and dietary habits, dines together. You could even serve it mix-n-match style with stations for each of the toppings. I also decided to make a few additional of the fry breads, along with extra helpings of the beans and the cooked zucchini, to keep in the refrigerator so that I could whip up a quick weeknight dinner. The recipe for the Indian Fry Bread Tacos is also available on Michael’s website, and is definitely one I’ll keep in my files.
Now that is one delicious taco and thanks to Kathy for letting us know about Michael’s book! Now before you forget, please head on over to The Experimental Gourmand and say hi to Kathy. While you’re there make sure you check out a few of her posts, you’re going to love what you see!
Well my friends I have to say that I’m happy to get to the end of the week, but also glad to be back at work. It feels good to be back in production and I’m looking forward to creating some new and delicious meals for my girls this year. One thing for certain, you won’t find too many schools eating as well as we do, especially in Philadelphia.
If you know any school administrators that are tired of feeding their students junk, send them my way, I’ve got a whole company of dedicated amazing chefs just waiting to serve them!
Have a great weekend my friends!