Rice with Duck Confit, Olives and Apricots

by Anne Maxfield on April 15, 2019

Accidental Locavore Duck Confit and ApricotsDuck confit and dried apricots are probably not pantry staples for most people, but it just happened that I had both hanging out in my kitchen so thought this was an interesting way to put them to use.

Rice with Duck Confit, Olives and Apricots

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 plum tomato, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • Pinch of saffron threads, crumbled
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 confit duck legs, skinned and meat coarsely shredded
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced Spanish chorizo
  • 1/4 cup sliced pitted kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup diced dried apricots
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Accidental Locavore Duck Rice CookingPreheat the oven to 375°. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderately low heat until softened, 5 minutes.

Add the tomato and cook until softened, 5 minutes. Stir in the paprika and saffron. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add half of the broth and gently simmer until absorbed, 8 minutes.

Stir in the duck, chorizo, olives and apricots and season with salt and pepper. Add the remaining broth and bring to a boil. Bake with the skillet uncovered until the rice absorbs the liquid and is tender, about 16 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Duck Rice With ApricotsMy verdict: This was pretty easy, tasted great and end up like a paella. I used a spicy chorizo (which wasn’t terribly hot), but if heat’s not your thing, just go for the regular.

Next time, I might swap bomba for the arborio rice. Speaking of swapping, if you don’t have duck confit hanging around, shredding some chicken legs from a roast bird would probably work well too. And IMHO, adding some artichoke hearts would be a good thing.

If you’re one of those who like peas in everything, a handful tossed in would work too.




Poughkeepsie Farm Project Kicks Off 2019 Season

by Anne Maxfield on April 8, 2019

Accidental Locavore Farm and PlantsAs you know I’m a big fan of Poughkeepsie Farm Project and I can’t wait for May 4th and 11th when they’ll kick off the season with their annual Farm Fest and Plant Sale!

Come join us from 9-3 for this family-friendly event that also celebrates the farm’s 20th anniversary.

The Farm Fest and Plant Sale is a fun event that includes hands-on gardening activities and storytelling for children, farm tours, wildflower walks, food and live music.

The Plant Sale offers 100 varieties of perennial and annual flowers and vegetable starts, including a selection of native plants, medicinal herbs and flowers to attract bees and hummingbirds to your garden.

A craft farmers’ market will feature Plan Bee Farm Brewery, Glorie Farm Winery, Fishkill Farms Treasury Cider, North River Roasters and Inquiring Minds Bookstore, as well as grass-fed beef, hand-woven baskets, Poughkeepsie-made pottery and Poughkeepsie Farm Project-made herbal products.

Accidental Locavore Farm CSAYou’ll also be able to sign up for a CSA Share with Poughkeepsie Farm Project (but you might not want to wait that long and risk them being sold out). With the CSA you’ll get 23 weeks of super-fresh, nutritious, delicious farm-grown produce — PLUS there’s exclusive pick-your-own access each week so you can bring home fresh flowers, berries, herbs, and more. It’s flexible, affordable, convenient and fun.

Unlike some CSA’s you have a choice of what delicious veggies you receive. If fruit is your thing, there’s also a separate fruit CSA that runs from July through the fall. Visit farmproject.org/csa for more information, or stop by Farm Fest & Plant Sale to meet the farmers, tour the farm and learn more about which CSA option is right for you.

“We have been working hard for the last 20 years to serve as an important community resource connecting food, farm, and the people of Poughkeepsie,” said Ray Armater, Executive Director, Poughkeepsie Farm Project. “We are excited to get our community involved, and to offer this exciting and fun-filled opportunity for folks to meet our farmers and experience this unique urban farmstead.”

Accidental Locavore Farm PlantsFounded in 1999, Poughkeepsie Farm Project provides innovative garden and nutrition education to over 4,000 youth in the Poughkeepsie City School District. It is also the City of Poughkeepsie’s largest farm, growing 200,000 pounds of produce for a 600-member community-supported agriculture (CSA) program. The farm donates 35,000 pounds of food annually to area food pantries and organizations including Dutchess Outreach and Hudson River Housing.

For more information on PFP, the Farm Fest and Plant Sale, the CSA options and how you can support the farm and its missions, visit www.farmproject.org.

See you at the farm!

Thanks to PFP for the photos!



Crêpes: Mastering My Fear

by Anne Maxfield on April 1, 2019

Accidental Locavore Pile of Crepes Crêpes are simple enough to make.

Or so I thought.

My previous attempts have been pretty disastrous—maybe it was just thinking they were easy and overreaching. Anyway, they made it onto my things to challenge myself to cook list.

Luckily, I’ve got a couple of friends who are crêpe making fans/fiends and one of them recently gave me a private tutorial.

I brought my own pan so that any miraculous achievements could be reproduced at home and a spreader stick that I’d brought back from France (more about that later).

Accidental Locavore Crepe PanWe mixed up her go-to batter and let it rest overnight (not necessary but resting for 30 minutes is a good idea).

The next morning, we got to work. Jan has a special ladle she uses for crêpes that I’m guessing is about ¼ cup. We heated up the pans, smeared them with butter, and Jan poured a ladle full of batter into her pan, expertly swirled it around, let it sit for a minute, flipped it et voilà , a perfect one, first time out.

My first attempt wasn’t too bad, but there was a spot in my pan that lacked proper batter coverage. However, flipping it was simple and I ended up with an acceptable (i.e. edible) crêpe.

A few more later, and I was getting the hang of it, but was still not getting full coverage in my pan, so I decided to try bringing out the French spreader stick. Bad idea. Of all the crêpes we made that day (and we made a nice stack), it was the only one that was a failure. So, I’m going to blame my previous failures on lack of proper equipment.

Jan's Crepe RecipeHere’s the recipe that we used. It’s from an old edition of Fannie Farmer and I particularly like the headnote: “Internationally famous for dessert. Also the basis for some exceptional luncheon dishes and an epicurean way to use leftovers.”

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Butter for greasing the pan

Beat the eggs until well blended. Add the milk, salt and flour and stir until smooth. Cover and let stand for at least 30 minutes (we refrigerated overnight, and let come to room temperature before making).

Accidental Locavore Crepe with Ham and SwissI had some filled with Italian ham and a slice of Swiss cheese and a couple for dessert with a drizzle of my friend Kristin’s amazing Cara-Sel, salted caramel sauce. Both ways were great!

What’s your favorite crêpe filling?




Accidental Locavore LambThis year Slow Food Hudson Valley’s 5th Annual Snout to Tail event takes on a whole new look.
Instead of being a two-day event, it’s a much more accessible one day experience.

Look forward to spending Saturday April 6th at Montgomery Place Orchards in Red Hook NY, with “some of the best lamb I have ever consumed” according to Slow Food Hudson Valley’s Co-Chair Rich Vergili.
The day will start out with a butchering demonstration of a lamb with butcher and “chef extraordinaire” Tom Schneller.
If you’re partial to, or curious about a certain cut, it’s possible that Chef Schneller will be able to demo that for the group.

Chef Daniel Turegon will be cooking up the lamb 3-4 ways for everyone to enjoy along with accompaniments. You’ll be enjoying plates of lamb sausage, chops and boneless leg.
Along with that, each attendee will get up to a pound of sausage or another cut to take home. If that’s not enough for lamb die-hards, there will be additional cuts to purchase.

During the event, you’ll have the chance to meet and talk everyone involved in the process.
Farmer Erin Bradt from the Helder-Herdwyck Farm in East Berne, N. Y who raises the lambs, will discuss running a holistically managed, pasture-based small family farm, sustainably producing heritage meats and pastured eggs. The Herdwick lamb is raised by only 2 farmers in the United States at this time. This rare breed is traditionally bred and raised in the Lake District in Cumbria, England.

While Chef Schneller wields his knives, and Chef Turegon cooks, Chef John Kowalski will be offering a hands-on demonstration of the art of sausage making.

Accidental Locavore Lamb ShankBecause this is such an extraordinary opportunity to learn about and taste Herdwick lamb, this event is strictly limited to 15 guests.
Tickets are $110 and available at Brown Paper Tickets.

Don’t miss out on this unique experience!

Slow Food Hudson Valley’s 5th Annual Snout to Tail
Saturday April 6, 2019
10:00 AM-3:00 PM
Montgomery Place Orchards 8 Davis Drive, Red Hook NY

For more information contact Rich Vergili

Thanks to Rich and Helder-Herdwyck Farm for the photos.