Friday, June 8, 2012

Recipes from a Farm Share

Chef Hopkins is no stranger to lending a hand to his community. He has a firm belief that supporting your community is your civic duty. He demonstrates this belief through purchasing from farmers. There are ingredients from hundreds of farms and farmers on the menus at Restaurant Eugene and Holeman and Finch Public House. Every Saturday, post morning market at 2277 Peachtree, is like a miniature farmers market, with farmers from all over the state bringing their extras to the back door. Additionally Chef and his family are personal CSA subscribers (Community Supported Agriculture) and they founded their neighborhood farmers market, the Peachtree Road Farmers Market. The Hopkins also regularly support food and hunger related charitable organizations including Wholesome Wave Georgia (which wife Gina founded), Share Our Strengths, Southern Foodways Alliance, Slow Food Atlanta and Georgia Organics.

Recently, Chef taught a cooking class that was the perfect marriage of his passion for food and farming with his commitment to food and hunger related causes. The class, which took place at the Brookhaven Cook's Warehouse, benefited the Atlanta Community Food Bank. The menu and items of instruction were based on Chef's personal CSA subscription and consisted of three courses worth of food, straight from a farm share.
Because the class sold out so quickly and the topic is near and dear to his heart, Chef Hopkins would like to share the recipes from the class here.

Enjoy and remember to regularly visit your local Farmer's Market or  support a small farm by signing up for a CSA share.

Squash Gratin
Serves 8

4 Tbl Whole Butter
3 lbs. Yellow Squash, Zucchini or both
2 ea. Vidalia Onion, sliced thinly
3 c. Heavy Cream
1 c. Fresh Bread Crumbs
1 c. Parmesan
Salt & Black Pepper
  • In large skillet melt butter over medium heat, add shallot and onion/leek and saute until tender and sweet
  • Remove from heat
  • Thinly slice squash and zucchini crosswise
  • Place cooked onions in bottom of casserole, layer sliced of squash over the top, add just enough cream to cover each layer
  • It is very important to push the layers down to submerge them in cream
  • Layer until casserole dish is full
  • Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350
  • Remove foil, top with bread crumbs and cheese
  • Continue baking for 10 mimintes until golden brown

Buttermilk Dressing
Serves 8

4 Tbl Mayonnaise
4 Tbl Clabber Cream or Sour Cream
2 Tbl Buttermilk
1 Tbl Minced fresh chive
1 Tble Minced fresh parsley
1 Tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper

Combine all, making sure to mix well. If too thick add a little more buttermilk; if too thin then add more mayonnaise.

Also used as a good base for blue cheese dressing.

Skillet Greens
Serves 8

Apple Cider Gastrique

4oz. High quality apple cider vinegar (the kind that smells like fresh apples)
1/4 c. Sorghum
1 Tbl Dried chili flakes
  • Melt Sugar in thick bottomed pot over medium heat
  • Add chili flakes and continue to cook until the sugar becomes slightly browned
  • Add vinegar, be careful of spattering.
  • Stir until well combined and reserve.
  • This will keep for months

2 lbs Mixed Winter Baby Braising Greens, cleaned and destemmed
          (Collards, kale, chard, turnip, beet and mustard are good varieties to start with. I will sometimes add arugula if I don't have mustard greens. I like the baby varieties because of the way they break down quickly in a hot skillet)
1 tbl Peanut Oil (the old southern kind)
2 Tbl Bacon grease (should come from a can next to your stove)
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • Cut greens into 1/2 inch strips
  • Heat oil and bacon grease in large iron skillet
  • Add greens, season and toss till wilted and glazed with fat
  • Should be done in batches in order to keep heat of pan
  • Remove to plate and drizzle with Gastrique
Chef leaves the Gastrique on table for guests to add as much as they want.