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Happy Holidays!

December 16, 2014

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McClendon’s Select would like to share our best wishes all of our customers and thank you all for your tremendous support throughout the year.  Here is the holiday schedule for McClendon’s Select for the Christmas and New Years weeks…

Wed., Dec. 24th – Town & Country Market – CLOSED
Sat., Dec. 27th – Old Town Scottsdale Market – CLOSED

Wed., Dec. 31st – Town & Country Market – OPEN from 8:00am – 2:00pm
Sat. Jan. 3rd – Old Town Scottsdale Market – OPEN from 8:00am – 1:00pm

The Old Town Scottsdale market will have other vendors present on Saturday, December 27th.  We hope that you have a wonderful holiday and look forward to seeing you at the markets in the new year!

 

Cooked quince…

December 2, 2014

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We will have organic quince at the markets now through mid-January.  Quince seem to draw as much curiosity as they do confusion; however, they are a wonderful side dish during this time of year because they pair nicely with so many things.  Marsha makes wonderful cooked quince that we have enjoyed with both Thanksgiving turkey and with Christmas prime rib.  She shared her recipe below…

Cooked Quince with Raisins

4 quince
1/2 lemon
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
10 whole cloves
1 crystallized or regular piece of ginger (cut into small pieces)
1/2 cup raisins

Rinse off the quince, it isn’t necessary to peel them. If they are too hard to cut through raw, put them in a pot of water and allow them to simmer on low heat covered for 25 minutes to soften them up. Allow them to cool a bit before cutting, and then you can cut into bite size pieces and remove the seeds, like you would with an apple.  Put them in a pot and squeeze half of a lemon over them, and then cut up the juiced lemon half and add the rind to the pot. Add the sugar, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Cook over a low heat for another 20 minutes or so. When quince are done cooking they turn a pinkish, cranberry color and you can add the raisins if you like.

Thanksgiving is coming…

November 25, 2014

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All of our family is so grateful and appreciative that we get to do the work we love and have been so supported by our customers and the community year after year.  Farming is not an easy endeavor by any means, but it is rewarding and fulfilling to see the actual fruits (and vegetables) of our labors be enjoyed in the creation of healthy, nutritious dishes.  The Thanksgiving holiday is truly a moment during our year when we feel the most connected to what we do, since it is a day of gratitude and of sharing a meal with those we love.

Tomorrow McClendon’s Select will be at Town & Country bright and early opening at 8:00am with everything you need for your Thanksgiving dinner – except the turkey!  We will have a full selection of potatoes, yams, squash, greens, carrots and cranberries, along with so much more, including the last of the season organic fall corn.  We are so excited that our fall crop of corn turned out as well as it did and hope to make this an annual planting.  Make sure to come early.  If you have been to our market before Thanksgiving before then you know that it is one of our busiest.

We will not be at the Old Town Scottsdale Farmer’s Market this Saturday, November 29th in order to allow our employees to enjoy time with their own families; however, the market will still be open and we hope that you visit and support the vendors while out doing your holiday shopping.  We will return to the Old Town market on Saturday, December 6th.

We would like to wish all of our customers a truly wonderful Thanksgiving and to say a sincere thank you for your continued support.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The McClendon Family

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

November 21, 2014

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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.

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