Austin Urban Gardens

Raised Bed Gardening and Eating Well in Austin, Texas

Celebrating Local Good Food Day, Thunderdogs and Quail December 19, 2010

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Since I’m off count, I’ll just call this celebrating local Good Food day!  For Breakfast, Dai Due Wild Boar Chorizo, with scrambled Milagro Farms eggs on an El Milagro flour tortilla, with some Taco Deli Dona Sauce.  I was puttering around the house, wanting to cook, updating the blog, tweeting, doing laundry, pondering dinner for my folks and me, (they have eaten some odd food lately).  I was thinking I should pay a visit to HOPE Farmer’s Market, for their last market of the  year, but really being rather lazy.  Then, it happened.  HOPEAtx tweeted, Thunderdogs! from Salt and Time.  I was off like a light, knowing exactly what a Thunderdog would be.  My beloved Thunderheart Bison, worked into a hot dog.    So, I wasn’t hungry, but there it was:


I’ve been to the Salt and Time kitchen, twice, and installed a garden behind it.  I know how pristine it is, and what an amazing person Ben, is.  The thought of a hot dog, with no mystery meat, no chemicals, no preservatives and meat from a source  I know personally, and trust, and with Ben’s amazing pickle, it was delicious.  Look for new and good things coming soon for Salt and Time.

I had several ideas for a cooking afternoon.  I wanted to make a large dinner to share with my folks, so that they would have leftovers for tomorrow.  I opted for a mushroom theme, having in my possession Dai Due Chicken and Mushroom Sausage, Dai Due Bacon and Mushroom stuffed Quail, and Mushrooms from Kitchen Pride from the farmer’s market yesterday.  So, I got started.

I did a fairly small dice on the mushrooms, and also diced the last two of my home grown shallots, and some garden thyme.

Crimini Mushrooms

The last two garden shallots and garden thyme

Taking a clue from Bola Pizza‘s mushroom pizza, I first sauteed the shallots in some Kocurek duck fat, then added the mushrooms and some white wine and garden thyme.

Adding liquid to mushrooms always confuses me, because they release so much liquid of their own, and I didn’t want a liquid mess.  I actually thought I over did it, and poured some off, later realizing that it would have eventually cooked off if I had left it alone.

So, next up I took the Dai Due Chicken Mushroom sausages from their casings and sauteed until done.  Once done, I added the sausage to the mushroom mixture, and set it aside.

Chicken mushroom sausage with mushroom mixture

I realize this is looking like a lot of food, but that was the goal.  Dinner for me, my parents, and leftovers for them.  So quit hating.

Next up, the mushroom and bacon stuffed quail from Dai Due.  There were four.

Dai Due Stuffed Quail

I took them out of their package, rubbed them with olive oil, and salt and pepper, and put them in a 375 degree oven.

Next, I cut up a slice of Kocurek Czech bacon and cooked it in a separate pan, then started cleaning the Springfield Farm spinach.

Springfield Farm Spinach

By this time, the water was boiling with the Texas Pasta Company pasta in it, and I needed to make the sauce for the chicken sausage.  I was out of local cream, so I borrowed a cup from my parents.  I threw that in the mushroom and sausage mixture, with a little VeldHuizen Farms Paragon cheese, and some Full Quiver  Neufchatel, for thickening and a bit more flavor.  Once I drained the pasta, I doused it with about a tablespoon of Con’ Olio Porcini Olive Oil for depth.

Then, I took the stuffed quail out of the oven to rest.

Yum, Stuffed Quail

I gave the spinach a quick turn in the Kocurek bacon, until it had wilted a bit, then packed up the meal for my parents, with enough for leftovers.  After taking dinner up the street, I came home and ate mine.

All local dinner



No Grocery Store, Day 167 June 18, 2010

I have been fending off a hamburger craving for weeks now.    Yesterday, I succumbed and took my mom to Jack Allen’s.  We had burgers and they were good.  Green Chile Cheeseburgers and sweet potato fries to be exact.   And I was happy.  Jack Allen’s is great, and where feasible, sources 70-80% of their food locally.  I see Jack Gilmore frequently at the farmer’s markets.  Cudos, Jack Allens.

Later in the afternoon, I headed out to Niederwald with my friend Christian, to do a garden consultation for Ben of Salt and Time, at their salumi making shop.  Look for some amazing photos and an interview of Ben at Austin Food Journal dot com soon.  Ben was a gracious host and spent a good deal of time explaining the process, then he gave us tastes of  lots of his cured meats, the chorizo being my favorite, his pickled radishes, pickled beats, and even some lemon cake made by the chef.  It was all outstanding.  Look for Salt and Time at Antonellis Cheese Shop and at the HOPE Farmer’s Market as well.  He’ll be doing hot dogs for the 4th of July at HOPE.

After that, we headed to Boggy Creek Farm for the Slow Food Happy Hour, with food provided by Ecstatic Cuisine and drinks from Tipsy Texan and Bill Norris.  We were late and I was stuffed from salumi sampling, so I didn’t eat.  Boggy Creek is in fine form these days, and there were what seemed like miles of tomatoes, and an amount of basil growing that we decided could only be described as a shitload.  Pardon my German.  It was a lot of basil.  Enough basil to make pesto for life.  I’ll get some photos up later.  The arugula was in great shape, which makes me want to plant some.  I had figured it was too hot, and it may be soon.

No dinner.  I got home too late and wasn’t hungry.


HOPE Farmer’s Market in Austin December 27, 2009

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There is a newish farmer’s market in Austin that I love.  It is the HOPE Farmer’s Market which is East of I-35, at 5th and Waller.  This market has a different vibe than the other markets.  It is very relaxed, in and next to an old art warehouse.  It is on Sunday from 11:00 to 3:00, which makes it easy, since Saturdays are normally so hectic with errands and such.  Vendors include Kocurek Family Artisinal Charcuterie, with wonderful sausages, pates, and chutneys, Elevated Artisinal Cuisine with a wonderful lemmony cheese, and very clean tasting vegetable soups,  Engel Farms, Rain Lily Farms, Finca Vida Pura,  Dai Due with hot lunch, Microbial Earth, with compost products, Pola Cheese, Kala’s Cuisine, Soy Delites candles, Texas French Bread, brazilian food and many more.  Part of the market is inside, part outside.  The HOPE market is a great addition to the other Farmer’s Markets in town, and the fact that it is on Sunday, makes it even better.