Posts Tagged ‘Fresh ingredients’
Good news, foodies! You don’t need to be in a culinary program to partake in some excellent culinary classes offered in and around Sacramento. Come on – take your spatula by the handle and get ready to learn, create and taste your newest creations in some fun, local culinary hands-on cooking classes. Don’t let the word “culinary” intimidate you. Let your passion for food drive you to some interactive food training.
Crepes, Gnocchi, Truffles……The Learning Exchange
The Learning Exchange is offering up some excellent cooking courses this spring in and around Sacramento. Who wouldn’t like to know how to make perfected crepes or have some fun with a class all about creating Gnocchi or focusing in on French Cooking? These courses have a great variety for any type of cook and are located throughout the city and its suburbs. To learn more about their courses and sign up check out: www.learningexchange.com
Croissant & Empanada Workshops at Co-op Cooking School
Co-op Learning Center and cooking school offers something for everyone: from their extensive cooking class program to health and well-being seminars to a variety of lectures and panel discussions. They love to educate our community about important food, family, health and environmental issues. The Co-op is committed to supporting organic local family farms and small producers of high quality food. They highlight these growers and producers in our specialty food tastings as well as featuring their organically grown ingredients in their cooking classes. How cool is that? www.sacfoodcoop.com
Local Roots Food Tours SUMMER SIZZLE TICKET SALE: $45.00 adult discount tickets for Sacramento Food Tours, $52 adult tickets for Murphy’s Food & Wine Tour by using special code “SIZZLE”!
Join our fun and entertaining culinary concierges this summer on one of our guided culinary walking adventures that walks you through heavily shaded streets in Sacramento’s most historical and cultural neighborhoods or down a rural mining town’s main street all while eating and drinking at hidden gems. Learn what continues to make Northern California a foodie’s paradise, one taste at a time.
Our three-hour City of Trees Food & Cultural Walking Tour , Origins of Sacramento Food & History Tour and our Murphys Food & Wine Tour are intimate in size (17 max on every tour)…..this is not your large group food crawl tour….it is a great opportunity to slow down and go behind the scenes and experience 8 individual servings at 6 different locations (all with air conditioning and seating)….no running out of food and literally…no running allowed! It’s all about savoring each bite that is specially prepared for our tour groups, learning about mom and pop eateries and restaurants that only the locals are lucky enough to know about-until now, exploring really cool neighborhood streets that are quiet, peaceful and surprisingly full of fun facts. We make sure every tour participant connects to the whole food tour experience which shows in previous participants raving reviews over our walking tours!
Get tidbits of history and beautiful architecture while tasting the scrumptious foods that make Sacramento valley’s culinary scene a regional treasure. You’ll taste farm fresh ingredients that inspire local chefs. Tours are offered throughout the week. Check our event calendar to see available tour dates. Advanced ticketing is required so hurry and take advantage of our SUMMER SIZZLE TICKET SPECIALS!!
Wanting to go with a group of friends or relatives and make it a private experience? No problem. Local Roots Food Tours offers private group food tours 6 days a week. Family reunions, vacations, or simply a time to get together with friends and enjoy food, fun and friendly people. Come join our culinary food walking adventure and remember to use special code word “SIZZLE”. Offer expires July 20, 2012!
Offer Details: Discount tickets apply ONLY to ADULT TICKET PRICING. Senior, Military and Children tickets are not included. Tickets must be purchased by July 20th, 2012 and tour date secure between June 20th thru July 20th, 2012. Exceptions can be made if you call directly and speak to our event planner/ticketing department. No other specials/discounts can be applied to the sale price ticket. Savings: $13.00 per ticket.
Farmers Markets are popping all over the country this time of year. Keeping it local and exploring your palate each and every week has its perks. Here are 10 reasons why its a positive experience by shopping at your local farmer’s markets:
1. You can Taste The Difference! Most of the produce has been picked within 24 hours (supermarkets could be as long as a couple of months!). It comes to your table ripe, fresh and full of flavor. The produce is at its “prime”!
2. You are giving back to your local community. “Keeping it local” is a common trend in urban and rural areas today. In areas with strong local markets, the family farm has been given new life.
3. Discover New Flavors! Ever wonder what the long white root vegetable is and what it is used for? Flabbergasted by how many varieties of pears you can find at the market? Shopping at local markets helps you think outside of the supermarket bins and explore your palate with so many varieties of flavors. Small farms are keeping alive nearly 300 other varieties of particular produce; offering heirloom varietals and the good old fashion beef steak tomatoes!
4. Helps to Boost Local Economy! A US study showed that almost twice the contribution of a dollar stayed in the local economy when spent at a local food business compared to a supermarket.
5. Save the World! A study in Iowa found that a regional diet consumed 17 times less oil and gas than a diet based on food shipped across the country! With gas prices on the rise, who wants to pay for transportation fees to a supermarket bringing in un-ripened fruit and vegetables when one could drive down the road and buy from Farmer Brown?
6. Meet Your Neighbors and Farmers! Local eating is social. Studies show that people shopping at farmer’s markets have 12 times more conversations than their counterparts at the supermarket. Sometimes shopping at your local farmers markets turns into a half day affair with all the friends and locals you run into. Bring your chairs and make a day of good old fashion community fun!
7. Be Healthy! Eating fresh local ingredients with no processing, no additives, no pesticides…..the only end result is healthy eating! Cooking from scratch makes you feel better; you are eating more fresh fruit and vegetables and fewer of the bad products that have turned our country into an obese problem. Once you go fresh and local, you won’t want to go back!
8. Get in Touch with the Seasons! Many farming communities are lucky enough to have year round supply of fresh, local ingredients at their markets. When you eat locally, you eat what’s in season. You’ll remember the cherries are the taste of summer. Even in winter, comfort foods like squash soup and sweet potato bisque just make sense.
9. Create Memories! Bringing back those fresh local ingredients each week, breaking out the cookbook and exploring your passion while creating some excellent dishes is all about eating locally grown. Making jam, eating fresh local food and pairing it with a local wine with family and friends makes memories of a lifetime!
10. Explore your local community! Get out and about and visit local farmers markets. Become a tourist in your own back yard! One way of exploring markets is by participating in a organized tour. Follow a chef thru a market and learn about unique vegetables and fruits you normally wouldn’t even think of buying. Visit your local event calendar and find a farmers market tour and join in on the fun and education. You will be surprised how much little you knew about your local farmers and artisans until you get one on one time with them on a tour!
Keep Your Family Safe - Food Safety at Farmers Markets:
Farmers’ markets are the prime destination for fresh and local food, but they’re not immune to germs and bacteria. Farmers work hard to comply with state and federal food safety standards but patrons also have to keep their eyes peeled (and their produce washed). Use our tips to help avoid food safety pitfalls.
Whether it’s organically grown or not, produce needs to washed well. It’s a good thing that farmers’ market produce isn’t waxed like much of what you’ll find in the grocery store, but these local goodies are often covered with dirt. Rinse delicate items like berries, herbs and lettuces well just before use; rinsing them before storing them can cause them to get moldy or mushy. Sturdy produce like carrots, apples and potatoes can handle a good scrub. Thick-skinned foods like melons should be washed before you slice into them.
Some vendors turn their produce into drinks like apple cider. Look for pasteurized beverages, especially if you’re pregnant, elderly or serving them to young children.
Eggs and Dairy Products
Eggs and dairy (yogurt, cheese and milk) at the grocery store is almost always pasteurized, this isn’t always the case at the farmers’ market. Read labels carefully and if in doubt, ASK! Raw milk products and unpasteurized eggs are appealing to some folks but also carry a higher risk of food-borne illness from salmonella and listeria. Also, be sure that all dairy products are stored at the proper temperature – in refrigeration or on ice, especially on hot days.
Meats & Seafood
Fresh and frozen meats, meat products (such as bacon and sausage) and even seafood are popular farmers’ market finds. Use a specially designated shopping bag to avoid cross contamination and bring along an ice pack to keep everything cold on the ride home.
It’s become very popular for venders to give away tastes of their goods, especially prepared foods and specialty items. Baked goods, pesto and tomato sauce, jams and jellies, cheese, granola, yogurt, pickles, hummus, soups and grain salads are just a few of things you might come across. Bring along your own napkins (vendors never seem to have enough). Make sure perishable foods are kept on ice and have proper serving utensils before you sample them. Most importantly, beware of double dippers!
It’s that time of the year again….local farmers and artisan specialty vendors getting ramped up for the launch of their produce and goods at local farmers markets. Lucky enough, many farmers markets are year round in California. What lies ahead are some amazing spring vegetables, fruits, artisan meats and cheeses. The highlight of shopping the market experience is what you get to take home with you and create fresh ingredient dishes. Trying to find a market in your local community being offered once a week is the key to always having the freshness for your kitchen. We are lucky enough in Sacramento County where there is a certified farmer’s market almost every day of the week!
If you can manage to wake up early on a Sunday morning, make your way to the Sacramento Central farmers market where you’ll find many Asian produce. Shoppers will find great prices at this Midtown market, which is among the larger markets in the area.Guide Tip: Get here early. Since this is a popular market, on a few of my visits, some vendors ran out of food.
- Location: 8th and W streets, underneath Highway 80
- Hours: 8 a.m. to noon, open all year
Roosevelt Park is among two farmer’s markets along P Street. Along the perimeter of the park, shoppers can buy vegetables, fruits, nuts, meats, herbs, flowers, baked goods and cheeses.
- Location: 9th and P streets
- Hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., from May through October
Just down the street from Roosevelt Park is Fremont Park. Vendors are spread along the perimeter of the park.Guide Tip: Finding a parking space can be a challenge at both of these parks. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a metered spot. Remember to keep track of the time to avoid getting a ticket.
- Location: 16th and P streets
- Hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., from May through October
Caesar Chavez Memorial Plaza is abuzz with shoppers from area office buildings at this downtown market.
- Location: 10th and J streets, in front of City Hall
- Hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., from May through October
Capitol Mall Market
- 6th Street and Capitol Mall
- Hours: 10am – 1:30pm, from May through September
Downtown Plaza Market
- 4th and K Streets
- Hours: 10am – 2:00pm, from May through September
East End State Capitol Park
- 15th and L Streets, (Between L & N Streets)
- Hours: 10am – 1:30pm, from May – September
Oak Park Farmers’ Market
- McClatchy Park, 35th Street and Fifth Ave
- Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Sunrise Station Market
- Folsom and Sunrise Blvds, Rancho Cordova – Light Rail Station
- Hours: 8:00am – 12:00pm, Open Year Round
Experiencing a Farmer’s Market through a chef’s eyes is an incredible experience. Being introduced to local farmers and artisans. Tasting, touching, smelling….it all is about growing your knowledge on how to pick out seasonal produce, how to use that produce in your home and receive some creative ideas on using the benefits of the produce to your advantage. Sound too good to be true? A new tour is being launched in downtown Sacramento by Local Roots Food Tours; Market to Plate Executive Lunch Tour. Beginning May 2nd and offered every Wednesday and Thursday throughout the spring/summer growing season, participants have the opportunity to be treated to a VIP Farmers Market Tour followed by a 4 course lunch with a wine pairing. 2 popular executive chefs will be taking fresh local ingredients from the morning’s local market and creating a wonderful lunch for all participants. Get up close and personal with these two chefs. Learn tricks and trades on how to pick out the best produce and fruits at this year’s farmers markets and receive recipe ideas to use in your own kitchen. For more information on how to be a part of this unique and inspiring walking food tour please contact Local Roots Food Tours: 1-800-407-8918 or visit their foodie friendly website at: http://www.localrootsfoodtours.com
Come join Local Roots Food Tours as we get up close and personal with local farmers, vintners, and executive chefs in our new Market-To-Plate Executive Chef’s Tour! This tour takes you through a popular downtown Sacramento farmer’s market, Cesar Plaza Farmer’s Market or East End Capitol Park Farmer’s Market and then into a four course, four star dining experience prepared by two local executive chefs!
This tour is a culinary and educational adventure. Participants are guided through an open-air market, where you can chat with the farmers and producers as the aroma of herbs and flowers waft around you. You’ll learn about what’s in season and how to choose and prepare foods from their seasonal harvest. We will meet local olive oil producers, lavender and flower producers, meat producers, and other artisans – in short, people who love to work with and talk about food! A shopping experience like no other!
Our tour continues with a 3 course exclusive lunch prepared by Executive Chef Michel at Morgan’s Restaurant (a four star, hidden gem restaurant serving farm-to-table ingredients). Lunch will be prepared using fresh local seasonal ingredients. Chef Michel will educate participants on how to use the produce they purchased at the morning market and share his culinary wisdom and passion for fresh, local ingredients. Definitely an up close dining experience! Lunch will be paired with a selected local wine.
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It is only natural that California would pioneer the latest microgreen trend in the food world. These flavorful Lilliputian members of the greens community have been appearing with increasing frequency on today’s restaurant menus. They are appearing in upscale markets and restaurants and locally command a luxury item price of up to $3 to $5 per ounce. Many chefs in the Sacramento restaurant scene are now incorporating microgreens into a variety of dishes. One common microgreen that is being found on local menus in California restaurants is Bulls Blood. Read that twice when you see it on a menu and wonder to yourself; “really?”. Do you take it literally or have you already been exposed to one of the newest local farm trends to hit many restaurants menus?
Bulls Blood is a popular microgreen that stems from the 1840’s bulls blood beet. Bull’s blood leaves have been used in folk medicine to treat a wide variety of ailments. This Microgreen’s beet-like flavor and vivid red color enhances mixed green salads but also finding its way on top of raw meats, seafood and pork belly sandwiches!
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If you aren’t in the mood to tackle defrosting a 19 pound turkey and can’t think of making another dish of stuffing, then maybe dining out for the holiday is a better idea. I’ve put together a list of some of the restaurants that are serving Thanksgiving dinners. Take a look at some of the dishes online and you may just change your mind on hosting the holiday this year! Another plus: NO DISHES! Remember: many of these restaurants REQUIRE a reservation. Don’t forget to book early! – Blog post written by Bethany Heckman
Fresh vegetables, herbs and fruits in cocktails?
Exploring Sacramento’s fresh farm ingredient cocktails by pedaling through downtown!
By Bethany Heckman, Local Roots Food Tours Guide
Grange Restaurant & Bar
926 J St - Inside Citizen Hotel
Sacramento, CA 95814
Happy Hour: Monday-Friday 3pm-6pm
The Citizen Hotel is a stunning building with an ominous presence in downtown Sacramento so the fact that there is a beautiful bar/restaurant inside is a bonus. The Grange is a farm to table restaurant, offering fresh and local ingredients for each of their dishes. Walking into the Grange you immediately notice their lovely large bar showcasing liqueurs and bottles of spirits. The bartenders are constantly chopping, cutting, and peeling fresh produce: mint, oranges, cucumbers, lemons and ginger. The Grange is a hot spot in downtown Sacramento and known for their fresh summer cocktails. As often as possible they use fresh ingredients to give customers a true taste of garden cocktails. For example, the “Zarzamora,” Don Q rum, Veev acai liquor, blackberry-vanilla syrup, lime, mint. When I spoke with the bartenders at the Grange they let me in on a little secret of a cocktail they were just creating: so new it didn’t even have a name yet. It begins with a 12 year old Zaya Rum blended with a house made fresh nectarine and mint syrup (similar to a smoothie) to bring out the fresh fruity taste of the nectarine. Then, a little fresh squeeze of lemon juice is added and poured as a sipper cocktail.
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Get Your Freshly Ground Hamburgers Here!
Local Roots Food Tours Guide Bethany Heckman goes Behind the Hamburger Scene
There is nothing more American than a burger and fries. But who wants meat that has been frozen for 6 months and floppy produce to top their hamburger? Not this girl. I took it upon myself to delve into Sacramento’s restaurants and research places that boast using FRESH ground meat and FRESH delicious fixin’s. Bon Appetit!
Nationwide Freezer Meats
1930 H St
Sacramento, CA 95814
Serving fresh ground steak burgers since 1969, Nationwide is a Sacramento staple. Nationwide boasts about their quality of meat used in each hamburger- Harris Ranch steak that is freshly ground to order. Each patty weighs 1/3lb. Tasting the French Ground Steak burger you understand why they take pride in their burgers. The fresh beef flavor shines through right after your first bite. Each patty is cooked to the perfect temperature, making sure it doesn’t dry out on the grill. The fresh baked French roll bun is served on is light and airy and fabulous. The vegetables used to top the burger are fresh and crisp: red onion, tomato, lettuce and crunchy dill pickles. (for a little extra I always add the grilled onions and mushrooms) The special sauce is to die for. I always ask for more because it doesn’t take away from the taste of the fresh meat, it only enhances it. Don’t forget to add a side of their house made fresh steak fries!!
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We are in peak season for summer squash and juicy tomatoes. Chefs are putting their skills to the test and coming up with some very delicious, healthy and creative dishes using these two key farm fresh ingredients. This Provençal summer dish is delightful as a starter or as a side dish with fish, chicken or cooked grains.
FRIED SUMMER SQUASH WITH TOMATOES and BASIL
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds medium or small zucchini or other summer squash, thinly sliced or diced (depending on what shape squash you use)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ripe tomatoes, grated on the large holes of a box grater, or peeled, seeded and diced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped or slivered fresh basil (to taste)
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a wide, heavy skillet. Add the zucchini. Cook, stirring or shaking the pan, until the zucchini is lightly seared and beginning to soften, three to five minutes. Remove from the pan, and set aside.
2. Add the remaining olive oil to the pan, then the garlic. Cook, stirring, just until fragrant — less than 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes. Cook, stirring, until the tomatoes have begun to cook down, about five minutes. Return the zucchini to the pan, add salt and pepper to taste, and reduce the heat to medium. Cook, stirring often, until the zucchini is tender and translucent and the tomatoes have cooked down to a fragrant sauce. Stir in the basil, and taste and adjust seasonings. Remove from the heat and serve hot, or allow to cool and serve at room temperature.
Yield: Serves four to six.
Advance preparation: You can make this a day or two ahead of time. Keep refrigerated, and reheat gently on top of the stove. The dish is also good cold, doused with a little lemon juice.
Nutritional information per serving (four servings): 111 calories; 1 gram saturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 5 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 10 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fiber; 20 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste), 3 grams protein
Nutritional information per serving (six servings): 74 calories; 1 gram saturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 3 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 7 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams dietary fiber; 13 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste), 2 grams protein