A Tease and The NYC Farm & Table Project

Last night, I finished the last of this first run of dinners for The Northwest Farm & Table Project. Every single one of the nine dinners I prepared went better than I could have even imagined! This past week was a blur of six dinners that culminated in a big feast of 12 friends late last night. Today, I woke early this morning to help Tressa and her crew at Salt, Fire & Time butcher a pig and lamb for a wedding. Now, as I pack for my flight to NYC in preparation for The NYC Farm & Table Project, I couldn't resist throwing out a few snippets of the delectable raucous I caused this weekend among the three dinners and one brunch I whipped up.

"BLT" Steak* and Grilled Garnet Yams with Cumin-Maple Glaze and Cocoa Whipped Cream

*3/4 inch grilled steak of The Dream bacon (cocoa nibs, lime, amaretto, cardamom, vanilla bean)
layered with:
Siberian kale with lime, black pepper-seared strawberries, avocado relish and mustard raba

Rose-Cardamom Goat's Milk Panna Cotta with Lemon Balsamic Reduction

A few hints at the madness not yet posted:

Smoky Stout Carnitas
Rosewater & Fig Pork Ribs
Amaretto and Horseradish-crusted Pork Belly with Fig Pate de Fruits
Coconut & Cocoa Nib-braised Red Streak Mustard Greens
Grilled Garlic Scapes
Spring Walla Walla, Nettle and Chinese Cilantro Fritatta
Turkish Affogato
Tequila Burnt Lime Creme Brulee
Chocolate Cake for Breakfast

I have to resist the urge to work on a post with all the menus right now (I have a flight to catch!), but these photos and menu items should keep you mouthwatering until I land in the Big Apple, ready to bring the magic to my favorite city. I will most assuredly unleash the rest of the insanity of the last week and more photos and menus to titillate folks to take part in the next run of the project. I am working on a large post about the project as a whole and in thanks to all of the farms, bakeries, picklers and others whose products I have used in this series of dinners.

As the previous post announces, The NYC Farm & Table Project is now on and booking dinners between Sunday, May 29th and Sunday, June 5th.

New Yorkers, if you think you want one, reserve today! Dates are filling up and all consultations are happening this week. Check previous post or contact theethicalbutcher@gmail.com for details!


Announcing: The NYC Farm & Table Project!!

Fresh on the heels of the successful first run of The Northwest Farm & Table Project, the next installment, The NYC Farm & Table Project is ready to take advantage of the vast diversity of New York City Greenmarkets like nobody’s business! Spring is here and its no secret that the markets in NYC are some of my favorite anywhere in the country! Exciting and new local produce abounds here in Portland and I’m just itching to see what NY farmers are bringing to the city. Making amazing, local food accessible to more people is the goal of this newest project and cooking in the homes of folks just like you has been an incomparable opportunity for me to live this mission!

The NYC Farm & Table Project runs from May 29th to June 5th!

Highlighting the special early season produce that gets us excited for summer, The NYC Farm & Table Project will be gracing the kitchens and dining rooms of New York City with a week of home feasts with local foods. I’ll be private chef’ing it up for a lucky few NYC omnivores and documenting the ingredients, menus and magical meals to be shared over the course of the project! Just look at the previous posts for mouthwatering proof of the culinary adventures Portlanders have been enjoying over the course of the NW project!

This is a thrilling new experiment for The Ethical Butcher projects and was a perfect way to bring the special atmosphere of my events to homes all over Portland. These intimate and familial dinners will surely hold some great conversations and will be a great educational exchange for all involved. This is an opportunity for consumers to talk about the obstacles, challenges and rewards of buying foods they trust. It is the matured manifestation of all of the previous Ethical Butcher projects. Having these meals cooked in your own home makes good, local food more than something to be reveled in on special occasion. These intimate gatherings have been convincing diners that EVERYONE can eat well. Local foods aren’t just a fad, and they aren’t to be held out of reach by high costs and elitist attitudes.

The NYC Farm & Table Project brings the bounty of the season to your table in a way that is inviting, fun, and just plain delicious! The menus are inspired by ingredients and the flavor preferences of each dinner’s host(s) and are all over the place with unique flavor combinations and creative twists on old faves. The first run of the Farm & Table Project set the bar high with dishes like: Pimm’s Pork Three Ways, Grilled Bacon Steaks, Chocolate Stout Carnitas, Candied Rose & Bacon Popcorn, Coffee-roasted Chicken, Elderflower Coconut-poached Halibut, Toasted Fennel & Grapefruit Panna Cotta and a slew of seasonal veggies that almost rivaled their meaty counterparts. Hosting a NYC Farm & Table Project dinner is the best way to have your every flavor whim satisfied, in your own home!

I invite you to dream a little with me. Think you can’t afford to eat local foods, or doubt the culinary superiority of fresh food from local farms? Want to learn a new butchery or cooking technique, hear stories from my travels, chat about the evils of large agribusiness or debate the relevance of Micheal Pollan? Perhaps it’s just time to skip the restaurant and have a luxurious meal with friends at home without any of the work?

Between May 29th and June 5th, you can open your home and kitchen to take part in The NYC Farm & Table Project!!

Your dinner will begin well ahead of time with a private menu consultation. Using the menu created using notes from your consultation, I'll source all of the local ingredients for your meal from local farms and markets. The day of your dinner, simply have your dining table set, kitchen free and clean and ready to be taken over at the predetermined time! Then sit back, wait for guests to arrive and savor the aromas wafting in the air as a three-course dinner brimming with the early season’s best ingredients is lovingly prepared in your own home. Or, head out for the day and come home to a spread of decadence! Local meats and produce will, as always, will be the highlight of the meal. Expect to see breads, jams, ice creams and other local foods featured as well. Check out the prices and details below and then contact theethicalbutcher@gmail.com to participate in The NYC Farm & Table Project.

NYC Farm & Table Project feasts are 3 courses:

an appetizer or small plate, main course and dessert.

Feast for 2-$80

Feast for 4-$130

Feast for 8-$200

Feast for 12- $260

Not at all small print: Dates are open from May 29th to June 5th, 2011. Full payment is due at menu consultation. All dinners are 3 courses (1st, main, dessert). No beverages are included in meal and should be provided by host. Soy, nut & gluten-free diets are easily accommodated and other dietary concerns will be discussed during consultation. While main courses will surely be a carnivore’s dream, most side dishes are vegetarian or vegan. Vegetarian entree can be added to the menu for small fee. Dinner price includes consultation, ingredient sourcing, set-up, preparation, kitchen clean up and table service for up to 12 people. Table service for larger parties and the addition of courses can be arranged at an additional charge.

Contact at theethicalbutcher@gmail.com to schedule consultation and dinner or inquire about rates for larger parties.

Big Weekend #2

I am preparing for dinners #6-9 today, coming off another packed weekend of dinners for The Northwest Farm & Table Project. I have to admit, I am having an obscene amount of fun with these menus and market trips! Sadly, the food porn quotient in this post isn't nearly as high as the last post. I run a solo show here and am lucky enough to be dating a skilled and professional photographer who often comes along on trips and events to document the action. Regrettably, when she can't make it to a dinner, it's almost impossible for me to get shots that do these plates justice. I've only this one below to get your tummy grumbling. There are still four more dinners and lots more photos to come. If that last post was food porn, think of this one as food erotica.

Candied Bacon Popcorn and Rose Petal Chips with Lemon Saffron Sorbet and Dark Chocolate
Photo: Alison Picard

The Northwest Farm & Table Project Dinner #4
Pimm's Cup for Four

1st course-
Miang Kham-
Toasted Cashews and Coconut
Serrano Chiles
Fried Shallots and Garlic
Lime and Lemon tossed in Basil, Mint and Chinese Cilantro
Fresh Galangal
Fresh Spring Red Onion
Black Pepper-seared Strawberries
wrapped in Escarole and topped with Miang Kham Sauce made of all listed ingredients

2nd course-
Pimm's Pork Three Ways-
*Pimm's-Citrus Baby Back Ribs with Green Garlic Nettles
*Horseradish-Apricot Pork Chops over Fava & Rapini
*Oven-candied Japanese Sweet Potatoes with Coffee-Port Bacon and Cumin Whipped Cream

3rd course-
Cheese Course-
Abbeye de Belloc, Appenzeller Extra, Valdeon, Toasted Fennel & Grapefruit Goat's Milk Panna Cotta over crushed Ines Rosales Tortas
Tequila-Blood Orange Puree, Balsamic Glazed Almonds and
Crostini of Dark Chocolate Rolls, Gibassier and Sweet Baguette

The Northwest Farm & Table Project Dinner #5
Thai-inspired Seafood

1st course-
Mussels with White Wine, Green Garlic and Oregon White Truffle
served with:
Crostini with Basil Fromage Blanc, Pea Shoots & Black Pepper-Blackberry Vinegar Reduction
and Mint, Mustard Raba & Black Radish Salad

2nd course-
Lemongrass & Elderflower Coconut Milk-poached Halibut
served with:
Galangal-roasted Golden Beets
and Wilted Dong Choi, Mizuna & Fava Leaves with Chiles

3rd course-
Bacon*-candied Popcorn and Rose Petal Chips with Lemon Saffron Sorbet
*(Flora LaFleur-Intelligentsia Matalapa Single-Origin Coffee, Hibiscus Flowers, Lime Zest, Port)

After the last dinner of The Northwest Farm & Table Project, I'll be posting an extensive post about my process behind this project, reflections on this first run of a brand new idea and an extensive list of the local farms, bakeries, distilleries, and even florists that have made this project more than I could have ever imagined. I'll be announcing the next installment of The Farm & Table Project shortly.

NYC, get those calendars out! It's Dinner Time!


Big Weekend #1

Well, the first packed weekend of The Northwest Farm & Table Project went just perfectly!
I had such a great time both nights and have even received a few messages about pork belly dreams and newly discovered creme brulee obsessions! I've got several more dinners to write menus for and am really excited to roll out some more local love, EB-style.

Nearly all of the ingredients for both dinners were found at the Portland Farmer's Market. I am having so much fun with spring produce, my culinary mind has been on overdrive with creating so many dinners. I'll be back at the market early Saturday morning in preparation for another round of dinners. Enjoy the food porn!

Not burning my fingers with the blowtorch.

Searing strawberries.

The Northwest Farm & Table Project Dinner #2
Farmer's Market Dinner

1st course-
Trio of Crostini with Olives-
*French Breakfast Radishes, Mint and Pickled Garlic with Lemon Butter-on sourdough baguette
*Rhubarb & Port-glazed Petit Sele, Mizuna and Whole Grain Mustard-on fennel flatbread
*Balsamic Figs with Nettles, Green Garlic Fromage Blanc-on German sourdough rye

2nd course-
Pear, Lavender & Cocoa Nib-crusted Pork Chops with Bulleit Pear Sauce
served with
Fava Greens, Rapini and Caramelized Shallots, Cream-braised Sunchokes and Baby Leeks

3rd course-
Burnt Lime and Scotch Creme Brulee

The Northwest Farm & Table Project Dinner #3
Mediterranean Grill

1st course-
Mediterranean Miang Kham-
Fennel-toasted Filberts
Lemon with Basil and Mint
Red Cippolinis
Black Pepper-glazed Strawberries
Fried Shallots
Roasted Garlic
Cherry Bomb Peppers
wrapped in Escarole and topped with sauce made of all ingredients

Amuse Bouche-
Horseradish Green Garlic & White Fig Grilled Pork Loin and Grilled Fiddleheads
with Basil-Balsamic Popcorn

2nd course-
Anjilanaka Coffee & Port-braised and Grilled Pork Belly
served with
Grilled Yukons with Cumin Whipped Cream and Dueling Beets
(Roasted Gold Beets, Mizuna, Pickled Garlic and Chive &
Shredded Red Beets, Blood Orange, Radish and Pea Shoots )

3rd course-
Lime Sheep's Milk Panna Cotta with Hibiscus-Lime Sauce on Cocoa Shortbread Crumbs

The Northwest Farm & Table Project is now totally booked!
There are no more dates available, but there are 7 more dinners yet to come! Each menu and photos will be posted soon after each one, so keep posted.

New Yorkers, get ready, I'll be announcing dates for a NYC Farm & Table Project very soon!

All photos by Alison Picard


Teaser Pleaser

As I have just a few more dates open, I thought I’d tease you with a few menus. The Northwest Farm & Table Project has been so successful, I will surely be doing it again here in Portland and elsewhere! I have a pretty extensive tour planned this year, so folks in cities like Atlanta, Santa Fe, Charlotte, Boston, Sitka and many other places can start dreaming up their menus! I am having a blast playing around with some new ideas, in love with popcorn and the classic Thai street food Miang Kham and enthralled by all of the fresh new seasonal produce at the markets, I have been scheming up something special for each dinner. I have a talented photographer tagging along on several of the dinners, so I am looking forward to some gorgeous shots of my food and lovely people enjoying it! I will be posting photos and menus as the dinners take place and have a great plan for all the really awesome documentation that is happening as this project moves forward. Keep checking back for the latest menu, and if you are still on the fence about scheduling a dinner, there are only a handful of nights left!

Menu for The Northwest Farm & Table Project Dinner #1-
Latin-inspired Gluten/Soy/Dairy-Free Food Fun!!!

1st course-
Latin Miang Kham
toasted coconut
merken-candied meduras (sweet plantain)
diced fresh red onion
fried garlic slivers
ginger matchsticks
serrano slices
chopped cumin-roasted almonds
diced lime + cara cara orange
Wrapped in Napa cabbage and topped with sauce made of all elements of the Miang Kham platter.

2nd course-
Spring Tostadas with Pinto Beans and Caraway Roasted Japanese Sweet Potatoes
Homemade Blue and White Corn Chili-dusted Tostadas layered with:
Intelligentsia Organic Anjilanaka Coffee-roasted Chicken,
Roasted Gold Beets, Spring Onion & Sunchokes,
Sesame-Lime wilted Red Russian Kale and Bok Choi,
Heirloom Tomato, Cara-Cara & Cherry Bomb and Chive Salsa and
a Relish of Heirloom Radishes, Mint, Pea and Sunflower Shoots tossed in Pickled Garlic and Habenero.

3rd course-
Lavender Maple-candied Popcorn with Dark Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream and Hibiscus-Cocktail Fruit Puree

A few other tricks I’ve got up my sleeve for this week’s dinners:

Lavender & Cocoa Dusted Lamb w Sunchoke & Spring Onion Gratin

Trio of Crostini-
*heirloom radish, mint & pickled garlic on lemon compound butter
*rhubarb-port bacon, arugula and mustard
*compound chevre w/fresh greens & balsamic figs

Horseradish Grilled Pork Chops with Basil-Balsamic Bacon Popcorn

Dueling Beet Slaws - two beet-based slaws. One gold, one red, compete for your attention.

Mediterranean Miang Kham-
fennel-toasted pignolas & filberts
fried shallots
fresh red onion
roasted garlic
candied cherry tomatoes
lemon tossed with fresh basil and mint
fresh horseradish
cherry bomb peppers

Scotch Creme Brulee with Dark Chocolate Dipped Candied Lime Peel

Sheep’s Milk Panna Cotta with Lime & Hibiscus Caramel

There are still dates open, including ONE last weekend date!
Open dates are: May 9-13th & 18th and SUNDAY, the 15th.*
*Brunch is available for this date as well as dinner.

Check out the previous posts and schedule your Northwest Farm & Table Project dinner today!