Previously: The Supper Club Sources Locally, Dines Deliciously – Part 1
The last Supper Club post tempted you with the drinks and appetizer courses at our locally sourced feast in late August. Today we’ll devour the main course, prepared by Kathleen and Karen, and desserts courtesy of yours truly and dear Ilise. As a reminder, the theme was Local and the full menu appears below.
Drinks (Ellyn): Cocktail: Ellyn’s Garden of Earthly Delights; Various wines (not necessarily local); Plum dessert wine from Lynfred Wineries (Roselle, IL)
Appetizers (Dan & Greg): A trio of cold soups on vintage mid-century china: Chilled Corn Soup with Pickled Corn; Peach-Muskmelon Gazpacho; Roasted Red Pepper/Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho
Main Course (Karen & Kathleen):
- Composed Salad with Pork Belly and Medium-Boiled Farm Fresh Egg
- Rack of Pork Arista with Potato Pave
- Sautéed Corn with Red Pepper and Ramp Butter
- Tomato Marmalade
Dessert (Ilise & Ann):
- Cheese Board: 5 local cheeses served with homemade wheat crackers & locally sourced beer bread
- Blueberry Chutney, Tomato Jam & local honey
- Dark Chocolate Bourbon Caramel Brownies (local to our freezer for a couple of months)
The Ks are notorious (in the best possible way) for seeking out only the highest quality of fresh and local foods which have been sustainably harvested. Readers who have perused my Fish for Dinner blog posts know that we have a “fish subscription” from Hooked on Fish, which is Karen’s company. You start to see how the ‘high quality’ pieces fit together, yes? She and Kathleen are dedicated to the art and craft of fine cooking and seem to revel in both ultra-simple and extra-complicated recipes. Both were on full display that evening.
Click Read More below for photos, recipes and a playlist featuring local musicians.
Part 1 offered a playlist of talented local musicians. You can find it here if you missed it.
Luckily the Midwest has been the creative home to very many musicians, enough for 7 or 8 playlists. But we’ll boil it down to just one more. Hit Play and enjoy the local scene.
Kathleen and Karen started us off with a beautiful salad that truly exemplified the spirit of the Local theme.
Simple ingredients, only a few, each bringing to light the pure essence of the thing. We’ll let the cooks explain:
We started with a salad of a single lettuce leaf (Henry’s Farm—Evanston Farmers’ Market), half a medium boiled egg (neighbor two doors down keeps chickens), and a few pieces of pork belly (Holzkopf—sourced from Beardstown, IL—198 miles away). Dressing was a tomato-basil-yogurt (vegetables from Evanston Farmers Market, yogurt from Traderspoint Creamery, Zionsville, IN—160 miles away).
The salad alone would have been enough, as tasty as it was, but somehow we made room for the feast that came next. The stunning Rack of Pork Arista – compelling both visually and as a tasty delicacy – was adapted from a recipe in Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home cookbook. Here’s a recipe link to a similar version.
One glance at the Potato Pave and you knew that it took a lot of tedious, careful work to create this beautiful dish, which has been described as a more refined version of scalloped potatoes. Kathleen says it was indeed complicated but “worth every minute of work.” The recipe comes from the grande dame of complicated but worth it recipes, Ms. Martha Stewart, who also adapted it from the Ad Hoc at Home bible. Once again, the Ks explain their sourcing:
The main course included corn and potatoes from Nichols farm, and a rack of pork Arista (pork ribs from Beardstown, IL). Potato pave used potatoes from Nichols Farm in Marengo, IL, heavy cream from Franklin Park, Illinois, and Alcam butter from Richland Center, Wisconsin, 172 miles away. The knock-out side dish featured corn and red onions and red pepper (from Nichols), with ramp butter (ramps from southern MI). Tomato marmalade provided a nice sauce for the pork; the recipe may be found here.
A week before the kitchen demolition began I made two savory fruit-based go-withs (yes, tomatoes are a fruit) – tomato jam and blueberry chutney. Both are heavenly drizzled over goat cheese (any kind of cheese, really) or grilled/roasted meat and fish. Recipes appear below. Easy to make and hard to stop eating - you'll definitely want a jar or two in the fridge at all times!
Here’s the master list of items served and their provenance:
Creamy Sexy Blue Triple Cream – Racine, WI (77 miles)
Buttermilk Blue – Monroe, WI (137 miles)
Organic Goat Cheese - Belmont, WI (178 miles)
Pleasant Ridge Reserve Gouda – Uplands Cheese – Dodgeville, WI (179 miles)
Sterling Reserve (raw milk, cave aged goat cheddar) - Mt Sterling Co-op Creamery – Mt. Sterling, WI (243 miles)
Homemade Crackers - Milled flour - Baker Miller – Chicago, IL
Milled Flour - Organic soft red winter wheat and organic hard red winter wheat - Brian Severson Farms – Dwight, IL (77 miles)
Sketchbook Beer Bread - Hewn – Evanston, IL (Sketchbook Brewery – Evanston, IL)
Blueberry Chutney - Blueberries - K&K Farms – Coloma, MI (105 miles)
Tomato Jam – Tomatoes – Mariano’s – Assorted Illinois
Honey - Shipshewana, IN (129 miles)
Raspberries & Blackberries - K&K Farms – Coloma, MI (105 miles)
Adapted from original recipe by Kerry Johnson
Makes several jars; Perfect with goat cheese and crackers, also with roasted fish or meats
- 3 pounds Roma Tomatoes, chopped
- 2 ounces Lemon Juice
- 2 ounces Brandy
- 2 teaspoons Fresh Ginger, grated
- 1-1/4 cups Sugar, maybe a little less
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Red Chile Flakes
- 2 teaspoons Salt
- Combine all ingredients in heavy bottomed pan - cook over medium high heat until bubbling.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thick & syrupy – at least 30 minutes, might be closer to 1 hour.
- Cool completely. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Fill jars and refrigerate.
Cook’s note: I did not can or preserve the tomato jam, meaning cook to pressurize and seal the jars. You may do so if you like – here’s a good reference. Otherwise, this is a fresh item which should be refrigerated and used within about a month.
Click photos to enlarge and read the captions.
Recipe source: CD Kitchen
Makes several jars; Excellent with cheese and roasted meats
- 4 cups fresh blueberries
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 to 1-½ cup red wine vinegar, to taste Cook’s note: I like it tart so used the full amount of vinegar
- ½ cup golden raisins
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seed
- 1-1/2 tablespoons crystallized ginger, finely grated
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- Rinse blueberries and remove stems and defective berries. Drain well, then place in large stock pot.
- Stir in all remaining ingredients. Bring mixture to a full boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer.
- Simmer for approximately 45-60 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mixture has thickened.
- Cool completely. Then fill jars and refrigerate.
Cook’s note: I did not can or preserve the chutney, meaning cook to pressurize and seal the jars. You may do so if you like – here’s a good reference. Otherwise, this is a fresh chutney which should be refrigerated and used within about a month.
The next date has been set as well as the theme – Into the Woods, hosted by Greg and Dan. Ilise and I have Drinks as our assignment and need to start some research immediately. I see a very happy hour or two in our future, indeed! We will keep you posted with all the mouthwatering details.
Until then, eat well and in pleasant company, my friends!