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Pink Pony’s Chef Eldridge at this Saturday’s market…

November 21, 2014

pinkpony

This Saturday McClendon’s Select is excited to welcome Chef Stephen Eldridge from the Pink Pony to our Saturday market.  The Pink Pony, located around the corner from the market, is an old school Scottsdale main stay that has been running since the 1940′s.  The restaurant recently went through a contemporary new makeover of both the building and the menu.  Chef Stephen Eldridge, formerly of Gertrude’s, has revamped the menu while keeping a distinct nod to the Pink Pony’s celebrated history.  He has updated dishes and is sourcing only the best in high quality, locally grown, and GMO-free with sustainably raised seafood, steaks from Niman Ranch and organic produce from local farms including our own.  Locals and visitors who have loved the Pink Pony will still enjoys its charm in their new dining room that celebrates Old Town and its baseball rich history.  This January, the Pink Pony will also start a lunch service as well, the perfect spot to take out-of-town guests during spring training.

At the Old Town Scottsdale market Chef Eldridge will be sampling a pickled, marinated eggplant, while taking your questions and discussing recipes.  He has shared the recipe below.  We will  have a large selection on hand to help you prepare for all of your holiday cooking.  We will also be at the Town and Country market on Wednesday, November 26th with a huge selection for your Thanksgiving dinner preparation.  See you at the markets!

 

Pickled Marinated Eggplant

To Pickle the Eggplant:

5 lbs. of Eggplant
1 cup Sherry Vinegar
2 cup Water
2oz Kosher Salt
4 oz Granulated Sugar
2 oz Pure Maple Syrup

Peel the eggplant and cut into 1” by ¼” batons
Take 2 oz of kosher salt and sprinkle and toss eggplant
Pour boiling water over eggplant and let soak for 10 minutes
Repeat the process without the salt one more time
Combine in pot and bring to a boil, pour over the eggplant and let it sit in cooler for 1 or 2 days

 

To Marinate the Eggplant:

Take the recipe of pickled eggplant and drain it. Save the brine for another round, you can use this one more time and it keeps in the fridge for about a month.

1 cup vanilla olive oil from queen creek olive mill, or as a little pure extract or the pulp of a bean to some extra virgin olive oil you already have
2 bunches of scallions cut on the bias
1 cup of toasted cashew pieces
1 bunch parsley, stemmed and chopped

Mix all ingredients and serve with some grilled bread

Enjoy!!

 

Pink Pony
3831 N. Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, Arizona
480-945-6697
www.pinkponyscottsdale.com

Preserving Lemons…

November 18, 2014

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Right now the lemon trees are near bursting with fruit.  I love lemons in everything and find that I end up with one chopped up, juiced, or zested in almost every meal I make, and usually in my glass of water too.  The smell alone makes me happy.  I was given preserved lemons a few years ago as a beautiful and thoughtful gift, but was at first unsure what to do with them.  After some trial and error, I am now hooked and in some recipes I much prefer a preserved lemon over fresh.  Preserved lemons can add so much flavor to a dish and they are a wonderful way of keeping lemons long after the season is over (and look pretty on your kitchen counter at the same time).  You can use regular lemons or Meyer lemons, but make sure to use organic, as commercial lemons have wax on their peels which will not allow for the salt to penetrate or preserve as well.  Meyer lemons have a much milder flavor, while regular Lisbon lemons preserved can be quite tart, although that may be exactly what you may be wanting.

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Preserved lemons don’t need a lot of ingredients, but do need a lot of time.  Trust me, it is worth it!

Preserved Lemons

4-6 lemons for preserving (depending on size of jar)
4-6 additional lemons for juicing
Jar of kosher salt
Sealable jar (use one with an opening wide enough to fit a whole lemon)
Rinse the lemons and dry thoroughly, and then cut lengthy-wise into quarters leaving the peel attached at either end.  Then pack as much kosher salt into each of the cuts as possible.  Push the salt into the lemon with your finger to make sure it is really packed in.  After the salt is in all of the cuts of the lemon, then put the lemon in the jar.  Repeat with the remaining lemons, pushing each into the jar until the jar is packed as tightly as possible.  Seal the jar and allow it to sit over night.   After sitting for 24 hours, fill the jar with lemon juice until filled to the brim, and then reseal the jar.

Keep the jar in the dark, the back of a pantry or kitchen cabinet will work.  Once a day for a week, take the jar out and gently turn it over and back a few times to redistribute the salt.  Also open the jar and add some lemon juice to make sure the liquid stays up to the rim of the jar.  Most days this only took a teaspoon or two of juice, but for some reason, the fourth day the liquid had gone down considerably, so make sure you have enough lemon juice on hand.

After one week, you can take the jar out of the dark, but leave it sealed for three weeks before using.

Once you are ready to use preserved lemons, don’t be afraid to experiment with throwing them into dishes.  A little goes a long way. They have tremendous flavor, just keep in mind that with all of the salt, you may need to adjust other spices accordingly. They are wonderful to use with chicken or fish, and can be used either in the oven or on the grill.  I have used them in a chicken brine before roasting, which turned out beautifully.  Here is one of our favorite dishes…

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Preserved Lemon Chicken and Fingerling Potatoes

1 1/2 lbs fingerling potatoes
2 Tsp olive oil
1-2 fresh rosemary sprigs
1 1/2 lbs of bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, thighs or legs
1/2 of a preserved lemon (Meyer lemon preferred)
ground pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 425-degrees.

Boil fingerling potatoes for 20 minutes until softened.

Remove the potatoes from the water and smash the boiled potatoes (not too much, but enough to open them up a little) and place at the bottom of a cast iron skillet. Drizzle with half of the olive oil. Take part of the preserved lemon and break up over the potatoes. You will not need to add salt, since the lemons will have enough salt for the dish. Place the chicken over the potatoes and lemons. Use the remaining olive oil and lemons to cover the chicken. Sprinkle leaves pulled from the rosemary sprigs over the top and add ground pepper.

Roast chicken for 1 hour at 425-degrees.

If any of the lemon peels at the top of the dish are charred, discard, the rest you can eat along with the chicken and potatoes. (They may be my favorite part!)  I prefer to use preserved Meyer Lemons with this dish, but preserved Lisbon lemons works too, I just use a little less so it isn’t overly tart.

We will have plenty of organic Lisbon and Meyer lemons at the Town and Country market tomorrow along with fresh sweet corn and beautiful eggplant.  Hope to see you there!

Fall corn at the markets…

October 28, 2014

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Tomorrow there will be something special at the Town & Country Farmers’ Market.  For the first time in twenty years, McClendon’s Select has planted fall corn.  With our new farm land at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America we have had the space to do a crop of fall corn this year.

Sweet corn in the fall is a smaller variety than you find in the summer.  The Sweetie 82 variety, or Sugar Baby as we affectionately call it, produces ears being 2-3 inches smaller than summer varieties, but it is much sweeter and more tender and has a wonderful flavor.  The window to pick this corn isn’t very long, but we are expecting to have it at the markets through Thanksgiving.  Make sure to come early, if you bought corn this summer, you know how quickly it sells.

Old Town Scottsdale and Chef Cullen Campbell…

October 24, 2014

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McClendon’s Select is excited to return to the Old Town Farmer’s Market in Scottsdale tomorrow, Saturday, October 25th.  We will have Chef Cullen Campbell from Crudo joining us at the market from 9:00am to noon taking your questions and sharing recipes.  Sean and I had a chance to eat at Crudo recently, and it was an experience to behold.  I wrote a little about Chef Campbell and the many, many awards that have come his way, and about the concept of Crudo here, but getting to actually dine at his restaurant and experience the menu really spoke to his talent.  The menu changes throughout the seasons, but Chef Campbell keeps a few favorites on throughout the year.  There are four elements to the menu - crudo (raw), cotto (cooked), mozza (mozzarella), and griglia (grilled).  You choose your own courses or order dishes individually.  It was hard to pick, but we ended up sharing a little bit of everything which seemed the best way to go.

Here is a little peek of some of the dishes ordered…

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 Yellowtail – Controne, Bottarga, Chive

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Burrata – Pancetta Vin, Arugula

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Semolina Gnocchi – Pork Jowl, Truffle, Fonduta

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Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

The Chocolate Olive Oil cake is a Tracy Dempsey creation served with little sides of sea salt, chocolate sprinkles and Dulce de Latte Mascarpone, which is only makes a good thing better.  We hope that you get a chance to talk with Chef Cullen at the market this Saturday.  As evident in his dishes, he has a lot of expertise to share.  See you tomorrow at the market!

 

Crudo
3603 E. Indian School Road, Suite B
Phoenix, AZ 85018
602.358.8666
www.crudoaz.com

Town & Country Farmers’ Market
Wednesdays from 8:00am-2:00pm
Camelback Road and 20th Street

Old Town Scottsdale Farmers’ Market
Saturdays from 8:00am-1:00pm
Starting Sat., October 25th
On the Southwest corner of First Street and Brown, one block east of Scottsdale Road and two blocks south of Indian School Road.

Chef Robertson’s Marinated Grilled Butternut recipe…

October 20, 2014

ranchopinot

We were thrilled to have Chef Chrysa Robertson from Rancho Pinot join us at the Town & Country market last Wednesday.  She was kind enough to bring samples of her Marinated Grilled Butternut Squash to try with bread from Noble Bread.  If you were not able to make it to the market, she has also shared her recipe for you to make at home.

Marinated Grilled Butternut
1 med-large butternut squash
3 T. olive oil
2 T. red wine vinegar
1 T. honey
1 t. fresh rosemary, chopped
salt & pepper

Peel and seed squash and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices.  Combine oil, vinegar, honey, rosemary and garlic and tossed with sliced squash, marinate for 2-8 hours.  Season with salt and pepper, grill over coals until tender, turning frequently.

Garlic-Lemon Ricotta Spread
(measure to taste…)
roasted garlic
lemon zest and jiuce
olive oil
fresh chopped herbs – parsley, marjoram, thyme, chives, etc.
salt & pepper

Stir ingredients into ricotta.

Serve with the ricotta spread over toasted Noble Bread and topped with the Marinated Grilled Butternut Squash.

Chef Robertson will also be joining us at the Old Town Scottsdale Market on Saturday, November 8th. We are starting back in Scottsdale this coming Saturday and this weekend we will have Chef Cullen Campbell from Crudo taking your questions and sharing recipes. Make sure to stop by!

Rancho Pinot
6208 North Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85253
www.ranchopinot.com


Town & Country Farmers’ Market

Wednesdays from 8:00am-2:00pm
Starting Weds., October 1st
Camelback Road and 20th Street

Old Town Scottsdale Farmers’ Market
Saturdays from 8:00am-1:00pm
Starting Sat., October 25th
On the Southwest corner of First Street and Brown, one block east of Scottsdale Road and two blocks south of Indian School Road.

Chef Chrysa Robertson taking your questions at the markets…

October 14, 2014

winter squash

McClendon’s Select is very excited to have Chef Chrysa Robertson from Rancho Pinot join us at the Town & Country Farmers’ Market tomorrow.  Chef Robertson is a long-time favorite of ours and Rancho Pinot is a beloved valley mainstay that beautifully combines rustic cowboy charm with a sophisticated dynamite menu.  Her squash blossom dish is out of this world, and an absolute must during the season.  She will be not just answering your questions and talking about produce and recipes tomorrow, but she may have a little something for you to try as well.  (The above photo is a hint.) She will be joining us from 9:00am to noon, so make sure to stop by.

And, in case you can’t make it to our Town & Country market tomorrow, Chef Robertson will be joining us in Scottsdale on Saturday, November 8th.  We started back at the Old Town Farmers’ Market on Saturday, October 25th.

See you at the markets!

 

Rancho Pinot
6208 North Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, AZ  85253
www.ranchopinot.com 

 

Town & Country Farmers’ Market
Wednesdays from 8:00am-2:00pm
Starting Weds., October 1st
Camelback Road and 20th Street

Old Town Scottsdale Farmers’ Market
Saturdays from 8:00am-1:00pm
Starting Sat., October 25th
On the Southwest corner of First Street and Brown, one block east of Scottsdale Road and two blocks south of Indian School Road.

Guest Chef Cullen Campbell at the markets…

October 7, 2014

flowers2

Tomorrow at the Town & Country Farmer’s Market we are pleased to welcome Chef Cullen Campbell from Crudo. He will be joining us from 9:00am to 12:00pm to provide his chef expertise and answer your questions on how to cook and prepare different vegetables and share some recipes from his kitchen. Chef Campbell and his restaurant Crudo have been receiving a number of accolades including the 2013 Chef of the Year by the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame, Best New Restaurant from both the Phoenix New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and recently being included as one of only two Arizona restaurants in the “Top 100 Fit for Foodies” by OpenTable.

If you haven’t been, Crudo is tucked behind the Gaslight Square Plaza off of 36th Street and Indian School. Chef Campbell’s menu is broken into four main offerings: Crudo (raw), Cotto (cooked), Mozza (cheese) and Griglia (grilled). He changes the menu regularly to reflect the seasons with a few favorites that stay throughout year, including the Squid Ink Risotto, the Butterfish, Short Ribs and the Buratta.  Quite simply it all looks divine, and definitely worthy of all of the praise.  Last night he kicked off a new series that will be hosted on the first Monday of every month at Crudo called the “Blank Space” dinner. The dinners are a collaborative event with a set menu that alternates dishes prepared by Chef Campbell and that of his guest chef. Chef Jeff Kraus of Crepe Bar was the first to partner on the event and the evening received numerous accolades. A new guest chef will be participating each month, and the list includes Phoenix culinary notables including one of our favorites Chef Kevin Binkley. You can buy tickets ahead of time, but don’t wait, because reservations are limited and fill quickly.

We are thrilled to have Chef Campbell join us tomorrow at Town & Country and on Saturday, October 25th at our first Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market of the season. Tomorrow at the market we will have the first of the broccoli sprouts, three kinds of succulent pears (Bartlett, Red Starkrimson and Seckel), squash blossoms that are just about to end their season, and the above flowers that Marsha just picked from the garden. Please make sure to stop by and bring your questions to Chef Campbell and say hello.

And even though the forecast is predicting rain, don’t forget that we are still in our indoor location on north side of Town & Country, so you can stay nice and dry while you shop.

We will see you tomorrow!

Crudo
3603 E. Indian School Road, Suite B
Phoenix, AZ  85018
602.358.8666
www.crudoaz.com

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