Barbecued Pork Skewers Filipino Style

by Anne Maxfield on October 23, 2017

Accidental Locavore Pork Skewers on GrillWhile it’s still warm enough out to keep the grill going, you owe it to yourself to make these pork skewers. They’re easy to toss together and just require a little marinating time.

  • 2 pounds pork shoulder cut into 1” cubes

For the marinade and glaze: 

  • 1 garlic clove finely minced
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup lime or lemon juice
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 cup ginger ale (divided use)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper

In a large bowl, mix the garlic, soy sauce lime juice, ketchup, ½ cup ginger ale, salt and pepper.

Set aside ½ cup of the marinade and refrigerate.

Add the pork to the bowl with the marinade, toss to coat. Cover and marinate for at least 30 minutes, but preferably overnight (in the refrigerator).

When you’re ready to cook, remove the pork and preheat your grill to medium-high.

Take the extra ½ cup marinade from the refrigerator add the ½ cup ginger ale and the brown sugar. Mix well and set aside to glaze the skewers.

If you’re using bamboo skewers, soak them for about 20 minutes.

Skewer the pork and grill for about 12 minutes a side or about 30 minutes total.

Baste the pork every few minutes with the reserved marinade.

Serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Pork SkewersMy verdict:

My friend Jasmine gave me the recipe, telling me it was like pork candy and she was right! We served it over some rice (jasmine or basmati) and it was delicious!

Originally, I didn’t know what we were going to do with the pork, so I ended up buying a big piece of pork shoulder and we had tons of skewers (but not for long).
I used some of the More Good ginger ale syrup, mixed with some seltzer, because it’s a little healthier and we didn’t have any ginger ale on hand. You could probably substitute some grated ginger and a little sugar or simple syrup.

If you want to add heat to it, a shot of sriracha or some finely minced chiles would be good.

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Charlotte’s Restaurant in Millbrook

by Anne Maxfield on October 16, 2017

Accidental Locavore Charlotte Restaurant GardenThere are some restaurants that are classics, frozen in time–places that seem to have been around forever.

Stalwarts.

A gastronomic tweak here or there to make them seem relevant and business pours in year after year.

Charlotte’s in Millbrook is one of those places.

It’s a cozy combination of rooms, the general impression is of floral chintzes and fireplaces. In the summer there’s a quiet patio where you can enjoy a cocktail or dinner.

Accidental Locavore Charlotte Restaurant InteriorPatrons of a certain age who have been coming every Friday night with family and friends.

The food is good. There’s nothing that will send you running for the doors, and most likely, nothing that will make you swoon with joy.

If you’ve been missing plates garnished with stuffed tomatoes sporting an erect sprig of rosemary and green beans wrapped with a contrasting carrot ribbon, Charlotte’s will not disappoint. No matter whether they’re described on the menu as fresh, seasonal, harvest, or garden fresh, it’s always the same carefully crafted combination.

Accidental Locavore Charlotte Restaurant ChickenThe night we were there, my friend went for the pan roasted chicken with the Marsala sauce on the side. She got and enjoyed a nicely cooked chicken served over saffron risotto and accompanied by the aforementioned vegetables.

For whatever reason, I wanted duck that night and they were offering it with a blueberry sauce. That threw me for a loop until the waiter reminded me that duck usually comes with fruit sauce and my friend chimed in that, like her, I could always get it on the side.

Accidental Locavore Charlotte Restaurant DuckI went for it and got a fine serving of duck breast with the blueberry sauce (living dangerously—not on the side). It was also served over saffron risotto and vegetables but had a crunchy pile of fried onions topping it off. The duck was a little more well-done than I normally like, and the blueberry sauce added to the flavor of the duck.

The dessert menu offers standards like bread pudding, crème brûlée, lava cake and assorted house-made ice creams.

Charlotte’s is open for lunch, dinner and brunch on the weekends. Check their website for events, like an upcoming comedy night.

 

 

 

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Barb the Butcher in Beacon

by Anne Maxfield on October 9, 2017

Accidental Locavore Barb the Butcher A butcher.

Not something you’d generally think–hmm, sounds interesting.

But never followed up with.

They say things happen for a reason.

Kismet.

Which is how, on a rare sunny day, I ended up in Beacon.

Ostensibly to try out a new burger joint –  Meyer’s Olde Dutch – and also to check out Barb’s Butchery shop.

As it turns out, my partner in HudsonValleyEATS.com sold Barb the store she has.

Accidental Locavore Barb the ButcherAnd a recent guest on the radio show, Jennifer Solow, the editor of edible hudson valley, had just featured Barb on the cover, striking a jaunty pose, a haunch of beef slung over her shoulder.

So now I had two good excuses/connections to meet Barb.

After burgers, we went down and met Barb and her team.

The shop is on a quiet corner in Beacon, lined with butcher cases filled with pristine looking meat.

Great looking sausages, perfectly cut steaks and short ribs, everything looks like something you’d be happy to cook and eat.

We watched them making a batch of what they call NAM North African Mint. It smelled wonderful and is their version of merguez—a little spicy, with pork replacing the traditional lamb. She set some aside for me to pick up a couple of days later and they quickly became a favorite.

You might want to keep an eye out for their monthly specials, especially if you have freezer space and/or are expecting a crowd. We got a great assortment of steaks, pork chops, a chicken etc. in ours and all the meat was delicious (and local).

My husband went down to pick it up (order in advance please) and discovered the lunch counter side of Barb’s.

He got what he considers to be one of the best brisket sandwiches ever—her own smoked brisket topped with slaw and her onion BBQ sauce—all made in-house and topped off with homemade potato chips, hot from the fryer!

Accidental Locavore Barbs Butcher Brisket SandwichIt was so good that after our second brunch at the Roundhouse, we went over so everyone could get one to take home for dinner (and they were yummy)!

While we like to support local businesses and especially women-owned ones, it’s great to want to go to Barb’s. Hang out, watch them making up batches of sausages, have a great sandwich and take some great local meats home with you.

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Apples: What Are Your Favorites?

by Anne Maxfield on October 2, 2017

accidental-locavore-farmers-market-apples-and-pearsWhat’s your favorite apple?

Do you like them sweet and Delicious (pun intended)?
A classic McIntosh?
Or do you just want to have a good time with a Gala?

It’s time to put down that pumpkin latte and reach for an apple.
An apple is one of those very rare, sweet treats that is almost calorie-negative. That means you burn almost as many calories eating it as you take in.

Good stuff, right?
A large apple has only 116 calories, and, not to depress you, but that pumpkin latte? 420 (160 from fat).

accidental-locavore-farmers-market-applesIf, in most years, you think there are a lot of apples here in the Hudson Valley, you’d be right. While this year a lot of areas got hammered by that April frost, normally this is one of the largest apple growing areas in the state and only Washington state beats New York for apple production.

Whether your idea of picking apples is to go point at a box and say “I’ll take that one,” or hike out to an orchard, what you really want to know as is what to pick from a pile of pommes.
Since all apples are not created equal, the Accidental Locavore is going to break down some of your favorites into a few categories to make it easier for you.

For more details and photos of the varieties check out the NY State Apple Country site.

Sweet:
Ginger Gold
Cortland
Red Delicious
Gala
Macoun
Jonagold
Fuji

Sweet/Tart:
Jonamac
Honeycrisp
McIntosh
Empire
Northern Spy

Tart:
Rome
Granny Smith

Good for baking:
Honeycrisp
Cortland
Empire
Golden Delicious
Northern Spy
Granny Smith

Accidental Locavore Red Hook ApplesDo a Google search for “pick your own apples Hudson Valley” and you’ll come up with lots of suggestions all over the Valley. Call or check on the individual websites before you go to make sure they’ve got apples (and what types).

If your preference is for pies, why not sample a few at the Apple Pie Café at the Culinary Institute? Remember that (sadly) they’re only open Monday through Friday.
Wrights Farm in Gardiner has lots of pies to choose from, apple cider doughnuts and a “Help, I Picked Too Many Apples!” page on their website if you’ve overindulged.
For some adult entertainment, why not sample some of the local distilleries?
Hudson Valley Distillers, Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery and Harvest Spirits all are working with local apples to make new versions of old favorites like vodka and applejack.
Find a designated driver and go to a tasting at any of their facilities. They’ve got some great cocktails that let you take advantage of apples in a whole new light.

Let us know in the comments how many different apple varieties you’ve tried and what your favorites are.

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