Friday, January 27, 2012

What To Do?

If you're stopping by the DC Grey Market tomorrow intent on trying out some of my banana gnocchi, check out my list of other items over on The Experimental Oven. I want to keep my kitchen adventures separate from my commercial endeavours.

In that post, I list all the items I'm bringing in addition to the ingredients (for those with food allergies, specific dietary restrictions, or what-have-you) and preparation suggestions.

Totally looking forward to tomorrow/I'm incredibly nervous for my first semi-commercial market venture!

DC Grey Market 28 January 2012

Originally posted on The Experimental Oven blog, which is now defunct.

To the folks who are coming out to the DC Grey Market/who came out and are checking here to learn more about what you might want to buy/bought, I look forward to seeing you/thank you for stopping by!

Below, find some information (ingredients, preparation, etc.) for the products I'm bringing to the market. The ingredients are included for those with allergies or food aversions to ensure nothing bad will happen--everything I cook is vegetarian, but nothing is kosher, full-on vegan, or prepared in a kitchen that does not use nuts.

I must apologize, but the peanut butter crunch sushi rolls won't be making an appearance at my first-ever market--I ran out of time, room in the fridge, and sprained a finger, all of which are integral to appropriate sushi-making techniques.

What I'm bringing:

Ginger-Cinnamon Scones
White Chocolate Cranberry Scones
Chocolate Scones

The scones are easy: you eat them fresh, right in front of me. They are cakey (they include flour, butter, whole milk, baking powder, eggs, sugar, and salt, plus whatever is in their name), so they keep for several days before turning hard as a rock, like you'll get at any cafe everywhere.

Gingerbread Biscotti
Orange-Cranberry Biscotti

The biscotti are also easy: eat them while you browse my other goods, or buy a dozen and have delightful coffee accompaniments for weeks! (Both contain lots of flour, egg, and orange zest; the gingerbread biscotti include brown sugar, molasses, pecans, and tons of spices, whereas the orange-cranberry biscotti include, well, cranberry, sugar, and various spices.)

Sweet Potato Chocolate Swirl Pie

The sweet potato chocolate swirl pies are delicious cold or heated (reheat at 300 Fahrenheit for about 15-20 minutes), perhaps with some nice fresh-whipped cream or vanilla ice cream! I'm bringing both individual slices and entire pies. The pie is a stick-to-your-ribs decadent treat, with a lot of roasted mashed sweet potato, milk, egg, butter, vanilla, sugar, and spices poured into a home-made pie crust (butter, vegetable shortening, salt, flour, and water) then drizzled and swirled with melted semisweet chocolate.

Snickerdoodles

These classic cookies are available individually or in discount packs! They include butter, flour, saugar, egg, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, love, and cinnamon.

Vegetarian Shepherd's Quiche by the slice

This is my deconstructed, meatless take on an American classic: the shepherd's pie. Hugged by a home-made pie crust (flour, butter, salt, vegetable shortening, and water), the quiche contains painstakingly diced carrot, onion, peas, and corn sauteed with garlic and a ton of delicious spices, tossed with egg and whole milk, then topped with a layer of melted sharp cheddar and piped mashed potato rosettes (potato, whole milk, salt, pepper, and butter). This quiche is incredibly colourful and delicious!

Beet Gnocchi
Sweet Potato Gnocchi
Banana Gnocchi

The gnocchi I make is a labour of love. It takes about 40 minutes of direct preparation for each 6-ounce container, not including the time preparing the purees or freezing the pasta. Each gnocchi is a different creature, but they all have the same shape--round coins with ridges (from being flattened on a baking sheet using a fork). Traditional gnocchi is made from potato and are roundish dumplings with fine ridges, easily made with an industrial-size gnocchi machine. Home-made gnocchi is more versatile and, I think, tastier as well. The beet and sweet potato gnocchi can be paired with traditional tomato sauces but are best with different pairings: beet goes best with a peppery zestful white cheese sauce (perhaps with steamed broccoli, as well--the colours are wonderful with that combination), and the sweet potato goes amazing with browned butter and fresh sage sauce. Banana gnocchi is a different creature altogether--it's very important to cook these on a medium heat (barely bubbling water, not a rolling boil! In fact, do this with all gnocchi, and cook for about one minute or so--they should not get tough. If they start falling apart, the water is too hot or you've cooked it too long) and drizzle a chocolate sauce on top--either a warm ganache or just plain old melted sweet chocolate! These gnocchi are definitely for the adventurous kitcheneer. I'd love to hear about what you do with them!

Pimiento Cheese

This pimiento cheese spread comes from my beau's family in South Carolina. It's loaded with mayonnaise, extra sharp cheddar, pimiento peppers, cream cheese, onion, cayenne, and Worcestershire--which I made myself to avoid the use of anchovy, making this spread vegetarian! It's great spread between two slices of white bread, or even as grilled cheese, in an omelette, or as a topping on roasted broccoli bites.

Spicy Hummus

Hummus is a true staple in my fridge--it goes on anything from a wrap with random greens, to crackers, to a spoon--on anything! I make it with chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, chili oil, five different spicy spices, salt, garlic, and a touch of water to smooth it out just a bit. I like mine nice and thick, but not a paste!

Sesame Noodles

These sesame noodles are not a traditional noodle in any sense. They are short noodles tossed with sesame oil and soy sauce, topped with diced pimientos and green onions, and garnished with sesame seed. They're a nice dish as a light lunch or a side to share with a friend. I prefer them cold, but some of my friends eat them heated--I just can't bring myself to try them hot!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Grey Market Update

I'm feeling positive about Saturday. I think it'll be a wonderful experience engaging people and selling my own home-made products.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Experimental Oven

I wrote a long post on The Indoor Garden(er) introducing this blog and my food-business efforts, which, although associated with this blog as a page, has not been announced yet, really.

So, I won't copy the information from the other post here, except to say that I'm selling food on 28 January at the DC Grey Market and that I hope to eventually turn this into something legit and regular. Once I get to that stage, of course, The Experimental Oven will have its own website. I will attempt not to post too many of the recipes I'm going to use to create the goodies for the business, for the moment, at least. There are plenty more up my sleeve, never fear!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Branding Your Kitchen

I recently subscribed to Tasting Table, an e-mail newsletter type thing about food and the food industry. Yesterday, the e-mail was about the Next Big Small Brand contest. Basically, small food producers compete to win support to help them become larger brands. After working with Whisked! all these months, my brain is afloat with my own side business making and selling food products--jams, biscotti, and my specialty scones and granola. I'm not at the "make your brand bigger" stage yet, however--I don't even have a brand yet!