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Thanksgiving chef advice…

November 17, 2017

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Tomorrow at the Old Town Scottsdale Farmers’ Market Chrysa Robertson, the owner/chef of Rancho Pinot Grill, will be at the market to answer your Thanksgiving cooking questions.  Chef Chrysa’s Rancho Pinot Grill is an Arizona classic, routinely lauded for being one of the best in the valley for its authentic locally inspired dishes and charming cowboy decor.  She will be circulating through the market with some of her favorite Thanksgiving recipes to hand out and will be taking your questions on meal prep, menu advice and helpful hints to help make your holiday dinner a success.

We will also have all of your Thanksgiving essentials on hand including yams, green beans, pecans, quince, persimmons, potatoes, salad greens, Medjool dates and Meyer Lemons.  And of course, there will be plenty of organic cranberries.  I will post my cranberry sauce recipe on Tuesday.  It is quick and easy, a hit every year.  There will also be plenty of herb bundles available at both markets, so you can have the freshest seasoning for your turkey.

Say hello to Chef Chrysa tomorrow if you see her, and stop by Rancho Pinot Grill as you celebrate the season.

See you tomorrow at the market!

Rancho Pinot Grill
6208 N. Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, AZ  85253
480-367-8030
www.ranchopinot.com

Uptown closed tomorrow…

November 11, 2017

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For all of our Saturday Uptown Farmers’ Market shoppers that visit John’s Amish Country, the market will be closed tomorrow in honor of the Veteran’s Day Parade on Central Avenue.  McClendon’s Select will still be at the Old Town Scottsdale farmers’ market during our normal business hours.  Noble Bread will also be with us in Scottsdale, along with several new varieties of their breads.  Uptown will return to the regular schedule next week.

Pictured above are our Organic soil grown Sun Gold tomatoes.  These are a personal favorite of mine which I serve with everything, but in all honesty, they are best just as they are.  These are so full of flavor, they don’t need anything else to be enjoyed.

We would also like to extend a our gratitude to all of the veterans from McClendon’s Select.  There are many veterans in our family and our farm community and we thank you all for your service.

Organic Broccolini…

November 4, 2017

broccolini

This beautiful organic center-cut broccolini was just harvested and will be at the Old Town Scottsdale Farmers market tomorrow morning.  There will be plenty of other fun organic green things too… Spigariello, Bok-Choi, Tat-Soi, Tuscan Kale, Celery, lettuce greens and those fun Burr Gherkin Pickles from Cotton Country.  Just to name a few…

More goodies for the fall…

October 27, 2017

spigarello

All of this beautiful Spigarello is coming up right now at our Goodyear farm and will be at the Scottsdale market tomorrow.  Have you tried it yet?  These organic leafy greens are considered to be the parent plants to broccoli rabe.  They never develop into florets like regular broccoli, and while it has a similar flavor, the greens are considered to be a little milder and sweeter, without the bitterness that may come from regular broccoli.  You can prepare it much as you would with kale, using Spigarello in salads, soups or sautéing it for a side dish.

eggplant

We will also have a beautiful assortment of eggplant with us, with all sorts of colorful variations including Ichiban, Italian Black, Barbarella, Medley and Rosa Bianca.  Eggplant is so easy and versatile to add to dishes.  It goes with everything from a stir fry, to a pasta dish.  The easiest is to simply roast it.  I also learned a trick from a chef once to cook it by putting it whole into hot coals and letting it hang out for awhile.  After about an hour or so, the eggplant has cooked inside its skin, which then easily slips off, after which it can be dressed with a little olive oil, seasonings, parmesan, or whatever you enjoy with it.

quince

And quince have returned to the markets.  Quince always bring a lot of curiosity, but also a little hesitancy, since they are a rarity of sorts.  Quince are not meant to be eaten raw, however once cooked, they are a wonderful dish that we often enjoy on both Thanksgiving and at Christmas.  They are not difficult to prepare, they just need a little time to soften.  Here is Marsha’s 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.

Just a heads up too – State Route 51 is closed this weekend from 3:00am Saturday to 5:00pm on Sunday.  Keep that in mind when you are traveling to the Uptown Market or the Old Town Scottsdale Market.

See you tomorrow!

Fall harvest time…

October 24, 2017

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We have been busy harvesting today for the market tomorrow.  These beautiful red beets are headed to the Uptown Wednesday Farmers’ Market.  As well, both the green and red Little Gem Lettuce heads (below), are being picked and plenty of organic sweet corn.  And all of the usual favorites of this time of year will be in stock, including a variety of winter squashes, chanterelle mushrooms, and a large assortment of beans, that would make for all sorts of wonderful, fall inspired dishes.

See you tomorrow at the market!

littlegem

Sweet corn tomorrow!

October 18, 2017

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Today we harvested the first of the fall sweet corn to have at the Uptown market tomorrow and we will harvest again on Friday for the Saturday Scottsdale market.  The corn is tender and flavorful and only needs a minute or two in boiling water to be ready to serve.  We have been taste testing waiting for it to be ready and it is now perfect.

And… right in time for fall, Butterkin Squash are back!  These wonderful organic winter squashes are a cross between a butternut and a Sugar Pie pumpkin.  They are perfect for making pies, soups or pasta fillings, and look pretty cute sitting on the kitchen counter this time of year.

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Also, there are still tickets available for the Feeding the Future dinner this coming Sunday night being hosted by Slow Food Phoenix and the Blue Watermelon Project.  It is a real All-Star line of chefs coming together for a fun evening and a good cause.  Their menu for the event is now online and looks amazing.  You can read more about it and get tickets at slowfoodphoenix.org.

Feeding the Future: School Lunch Inspired Bites and Beverages
Brought to you by Slow Food Phoenix and the Blue Watermelon Project
Tickets $79/per person
Sunday, October 22nd from 6:00-9:00pm
The Farm at South Mountain
6106 South 32nd Street
Phoenix, AZ  85042

A dinner in support of school lunches…

October 12, 2017

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McClendon’s Select is proud to be working with the Blue Watermelon Project, a new initiative with Slow Food Phoenix, for a celebration of National Farm to School month.  The Blue Watermelon Project is a grassroots group of chefs, restauranteurs and community food advocates from around the valley who are working with students, parents and schools to assist in rethinking the relationship with schools and food.  Throughout the month of October many of the chefs that we work with are going out into the community both in schools and at farmers’ markets to raise awareness about state of school lunches and to provide education and assistance to schools and parents.

On Sunday, October 22nd the Feeding the Future dinner will be held at The Farm at South Mountain.  The event will feature chefs from across the valley creating School Lunch Inspired Bites and Beverages.  It will be a fun and educational evening under the stars to learn about the current state of school lunches and to see what is possible when talented chefs take guidelines and budget outlined by the National School Lunch and create something truly tasty and worthy of feeding our future.  We are excited to be a sponsor for this endeavor and hope everyone takes a moment to learn about the work of the Blue Watermelon Project and join in support of Slow Food.

Tickets for the dinner are going fast.  To reserve your ticket or for more information about the event, you can go to the link on slowfoodphoenix.org.

Feeding the Future: School Lunch Inspired Bites and Beverages
Brought to you by Slow Food Phoenix and the Blue Watermelon Project
Tickets $79/per person
Sunday, October 22nd from 6:00-9:00pm
The Farm at South Mountain
6106 South 32nd Street
Phoenix, AZ  85042