Recently I was lucky enough to step in for Doni and represent A News Cafe at the Redding Farmers’ Market. I love the addition of the ‘Chefs at the Market’ series, having different chefs from our area sharing their recipes and ideas by using ingredients right from the source.
While I was preparing for my demonstration I wanted to have the freedom to change what I was going to share with my audience; running to the grocery store was not an option for me, every ingredient needed to be available at the market.
As I walked the market I was in awe of how much this once-little market has grown! What a fortunate community we live in. Fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs, meat, goat cheese, bakery delights, flowers, and the favorite breakfast of many shoppers, tamales! There seems to be no end to the bounty to be found at our market.
The demonstration was a lot of fun, people asked great questions and seemed to enjoy their time at the market. I think the chilled tomato and peach soup was met with curiosity, and yet became a hit with the audience. We tried the soup both warm and chilled. Both are delightful! The figs and goat cheese was hands-down the easiest dessert and an audience favorite. The yellow squash soup had a unique flavor of summer. With the exception of the broth for the squash soup, everything was purchased locally. I think if there was an enterprising chef wanting to corner the market on fresh organic stocks, there are customers waiting!
Thank you to everyone who came out to watch the demonstration, or just to say hello, it was wonderful to be back at the market.
Here are the recipes from our demo. Enjoy!
Chilled Tomato and Peach Soup
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds tomatoes, chopped. I use a mixture of what is available.
- 1/2 pound peaches, chopped and peeled
- Basil or Tarragon for garnishing
Saute onion in olive oil for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and peaches. Simmer until the tomatoes break up. Puree and chill. This soup is also delightful warm. Garnish with torn basil or tarragon.
Figs With Fresh Goat Cheese And Honey
- 1 pound fresh figs
- 1 cup goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons thin honey (heat the honey a little to get a thin stream of honey)
Remove stems from figs. Slice in half and arrange figs on serving platter. Crumble goat cheese over figs, or place in the center of the figs. Drizzle warmed honey over the figs and cheese. Sprinkle with toasted almonds or pistachios. Serve.
Yellow Squash and Bell Pepper Soup
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large yellow bell pepper sliced thin
- 3 cups yellow squash sliced thin
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup broth, I use vegetable but chicken stock will work great too
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
In a large saucepan, saute onion in olive oil until softened. Add pepper and cover. Stir occasionally until pepper begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Toss in squash and garlic cover. When the squash is tender, after about 10 minutes, stir in the broth and bring the mixture to a simmer.
Puree the soup until smooth. Continue to cook the soup, adding in more broth for desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a cilantro garnish.
Andrea Charroin is a trained baker and was a pastry chef in San Francisco before she and her family moved to Redding 11 years ago. After falling in love with Redding’s downtown, Andrea and husband Westley opened a little pastry shop, Rene-Joule Patisserie, across from the Cascade Theatre. For the three years Rene-Joule was in business, it was renowned for making everything from scratch, using the best ingredients and keeping with a seasonal menu. To this day, Andrea is asked about her Marathon Bars, Orange Twists and sourdough bread.
Copyright 2011 Andrea R. Charroin. Visit her blog at bakerslove.typepad.com
A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Greenberg, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment. Views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of anewscafe.com.