Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Foyt Wine Pairing Dinner: Torrance Farmers Market

Searching for fresh, seasonal produce, and trying to do what I can to support the local food movement (locavore), I visited the Torrance Farmer's Market found in the parking lot at Wilson park.  Every Tuesday and Saturday morning's the area fills up with local Farmer's and booths that have fruits and vegetables, exclusive olive oils, herbs, etc.

For any Chef, entering the Farmer's Market, it can make one's brain explode.  I'll look at each ingredient and consider what it will match with and how I can create a dish that would have me moaning for more.  I became a mess, it was hard to make a decision.  I wanted to taste everything... and use it.  

This specific booth had dried fruits and nuts that would have been great to make a trail mix, energy bar, muffins, cookies, or something to add to a salad.

Winter-Spring fruits and vegetables made their annual appearance.   I was looking at citrus thinking of sauces, or a unique way to brighten up the flavoring to something.  

I have heard of Sweet peas, and have never physically seen them.  The farmers market can be a learning experience also, playing product identification... or well, for us less intelligent people, at least. 

The greens were brighter and luscious looking compared to the mass produced greens found at supermarkets.

Baby clones can be brought home if you want to start your own herb garden. 

A steel drummer was there!  

These green onions were long with a small onion bulb at the bottom.  Each bundle had one red onion attached.

Squash blossom with out-of-date zucchinis. 

Certain booths had tables that allowed visitors to get a taste of the items.   It was an opportunity to expand my palette, and, who can honestly say no to free food? 

One area was dedicated to Asian produce.  These daikons were healthy and beautiful.  At least 2 feet long.  But, I couldn't figure out what to do with these. 

These markets are not limited to just produce.  There were Banzai trees for sale. 

In these coolers there were cryo-vacuum sealed bags of Free Range Bison, which is a healing protein.  Why? I read it on a list my mom keeps on our refrigerator for healing foods.  I got a pound of ground beef for an amazing hamburger I will be posting in a few days. With our purchase we received a pamphlet that had graphs and tables to compare with other meats.  Bison was lower in cholesterol, calories, and fat in comparison to beef, chicken, and lamb.  Seafood was left out in the graph, but, I'm assuming its because they are equally healthy.  Seafood probably has more omega 3-fatty acids.

To end the visit we stopped by the Cancun Seafood booth and got some fish tacos.  The lady had a candy thermometer set-up in a pot, dropped our fish after breading it, and served it over a flour tortilla with a cilantro cabbage coleslaw mixture.  the salsa's were light in spice and the lime was the star of the party (in my mouth), a nice way to end the visit.

Here are all of the ingredients that made it back home. 

Squash blossoms, petite french baguette, scallops, bacon, onion, tomatoes, mushrooms, ground bison beef, kaizer rolls, bleu cheese, and more ....

Tomorrow: Foyt Wine Pairing hor d'oeuvres