Mixing with the Masses at MetroCooking DC

by Andrew Marder, special to Edible DC

MetroCooking DC, a two-day culinary extravaganza, is an overwhelming experience. Vendors ranging from DC root beer brewer Thunder Beast to national brands like Kind Healthy Snacks litter the floor. A visitor could easily gain thirty pounds from samples alone—and that’s not counting the booze or the Grand Tasting Pavilion.

ToddEnglishTodd English signs his new book Cooking in Everyday English

Food lovers were packed into the Washington Convention Center like sardines this past weekend, where celebrity chefs signed books and put on demonstrations, headlined by Food Network mainstays Bobby Flay and Guy Fieri. Cookbook authors dotted the convention floor; in one corner you might find James Beard Award-winning chef Todd English promoting his books like Cooking in Everyday English, while author Paula Shoyer was in another direction, leading recipe demonstrations from her book The Holiday Kosher Baker. It was like wandering through … Read More

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To End Veteran Homelessness in DC: A Two-Way Street

By Mariah Pohl, Edible DC Fall 2014 Intern and Contributor

MKitchen-kitchenThe volunteer-run kitchen and prep area at Miriam’s Kitchen.

Today, on Veterans Day, and on any given week day, Miriam’s Kitchen volunteers are up and at ‘em by 5:30 a.m. to start preparing gourmet meals for over 300 individuals. The kitchen runs—and tastes—very much like a restaurant, despite the fact that the patrons aren’t expected to pay for their meals. These “guests” are actually part of the 1,700 people living in the streets of Washington, and this organization is leading the way in caring for the chronically homeless. Especially poignant, is the fact that a large percentage of the homeless who get their breakfast and dinner at Miriam’s Kitchen are veterans, and it is a major goal of this non-profit to end veteran homelessness in D.C., with food as a connector to other supportive services. According to this nonprofit, “U.S. … Read More

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Pre-Thanksgiving Turkey with Red Lentils

An autumn meal that’s hearty, healthy, packed with vitamins, protein, and fiber

by Giacomo Abrusci, special to Edible DC: @giacDC on Twitter

Ingredients2

We’re heading into turkey season, so I picked up Ayrshire Farms frozen turkey wings from the Arcadia Mobile Market the other day and made something so simple — and delicious. First, I partially defrosted my turkey wings in a warm water bath then threw them in a stock pot with some chopped carrots, celery, ginger, onions, a habanero pepper, some dried oregano from my garden, and salt. I filled the pot with water then left it to simmer over medium heat for two or three hours while I was doing chores, drinking wine, and checking my Facebook. When the meat was falling off the bone, I strained out the broth, skimmed off any fat, removed the bones and skin and returned the liquid and meat to the stock … Read More

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Farro Risotto with Roasted Pumpkin and Pepitas

Chef de cuisine Harper McClure’s day job is managing the seasonally changing menus and culinary team at BRABO and BRABO Tasting Room, but he was happy to provide a specially designed appetizer for FRESHFARM Market’s annual fundraiser. The “First at the Feast” cocktail party precedes the Farmland Feast dinner, and cocktail party attendees will have small bites designed by eight of DC’s top chefs along with seasonal cocktails concocted by three of DC’s best bartenders. Attendees can also taste local wines with listening to Bluegrass Hall of Fame inductee Tom Gray and his band, the Appalachian Flyer.

harperChef Harper McClure

This event is near and dear to Robert Wiedmaier’s heart and his team, and Chef Harper was happy to participate as one of the featured chefs at the event. A big supporter of farm markets, Chef Harper grew up outside Syracuse, and has had experience working on a strawberry field … Read More

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Pumpkin Patch_5(Photo by Raisa Aziz)… Read More

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Farm to Phone: Instagram Accounts from Local Farms

by Rachael Bender, special to Edible DC

Fall is here, and we’re welcoming it with open arms, boots and sweaters as we get ready to hike through falling autumn leaves. The cool, crisp air blowing through the red and orange hues of fall tell us to enjoy the last days of outdoor fun before winter clobbers us with cold and frost.

While taking a brisk stroll through the city can be invigorating, sometimes you need more to fulfill that back-to-nature desire. Even if you can’t get out to farm country in surrounding Maryland and Virginia, there’s another way to see those adorable animals and pumpkin patches from the comfort of your own phone through Instagram.

So cozy up in a big sweater with a cup on hot cider on your couch and check out these Instagram accounts from local farms, where you can follow the farm-to-phone movement throughout this season … Read More

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Baked apples for the soul

by Kristen Hartke, managing editor of Edible DC

HomesteadPickingApple Picking Locally at the Homestead Farm in Poolesville, MD (Photo by Raisa Aziz)

I really love to go apple picking in the fall. It may be a throwback to my childhood in New England, but there is something about going out to the orchard on a crisp autumn afternoon, with fat bumblebees buzzing around the fallen apples on the ground and filling a bushel basket so full of Staymans, Honeycrisps, and Macintosh that it takes at least two people to carry it. For my family, it was Bishop’s Orchard in Guilford, Connecticut, where my dad and I would pick so many apples that we’d feast on them for weeks after, my mom making everything from dumplings to pie to chutney. But the treat that we loved best was baked apples, oozing and caramelized from the oven and then topped with … Read More

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A Focus on Fresh and Rustic in the Tuscan Countryside

by Wille Harner writing from Tuscany, special to EdibleDC

I’m studying Italian cuisine for several months this fall, in Italy, where the slow food movement was born. My experience is focused at the Villa Borgo Pignano, located in the foothills of Tuscany outside of the town Volterra, where it seems that both cuisine and culture thrive from the gardens. The 750-acre property sources its food from its own fields and its biodynamic garden. Here ancient wheat is ground into flour, farro is grown and harvested on site, and honey is produced from the property’s swarming hives. From the gardens, tomatoes have been in full swing for the summer weeks and have finally started dwindling, as well as copious amounts of salad greens, green beans, potatoes, squash, cucumber, and recently a fresh crop of just-dug Jerusalem artichokes.

Farmer Davide, the head farmer in one of the properties greenhouses giving things a good Read More

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Gypsy Soul embraces Farm to Fork in Mosaic District

by Hong-Nhu Mai, special to Edible DC

Chef RJ Cooper (2)EdibleDC Writer Hong-Nhu Mai with Chef RJ Cooper

Dominated by an elevated open kitchen and wood, metal, and leather décor, Gypsy Soul is chef-owner RJ Cooper’s second restaurant and was, as he put it, two years in the making with the help and collaboration of his wife and children. It focuses on his “devotion to the American farmer through life at the table” and one of the main attractions of opening in Merrifield’s Mosaic District was the weekly farmers’ market nearby.

For his first collaborative event, the recent “From Farm to Fork” Dinner, Cooper “called up some old friends” to create a seven-course dinner which highlighted and illustrated the special relationship between farmers and chefs. The dinner supported Future Harvest CASA, a non-profit whose mission is “to provide education, networking, and advocacy to help build a sustainable Chesapeake foodshed.” A portion of all … Read More

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Spicy Tomato Pepper Jam

by Kristen Hartke, managing editor of Edible DC

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset

Now that we’ve segued from summer to early fall, my little plot in the local community garden is overflowing with the most prolific fruits of the season — namely, tomatoes and jalapeño peppers, all producing like crazy and sweeter than ever from warm days and cool nights. My favorite thing to do with these beauties is turn them into a spicy-sweet jam that can be enjoyed as the weather turns colder and a reminder is needed of summer days gone by. This jam is delicious on burgers, stirred into stews, or spread on toasted baguette slices with or without goat cheese for a tasty appetizer.

If you don’t want to go to the trouble of canning (which is actually pretty easy, but not everyone has room for storing all those jars), you can also place the jam into a quart-sized freezer bag … Read More

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