Chef Marta

M2040004BBC is proud to be in a working relationship with Chef Marta. She came to us through a member of our group. Although we started late in the season working with her, she has already came up with a few outstanding recipes from the produce that we grow. It is our intent to come up with creative ways for our customers to cook with the items that we produceM2030007 and sell. I asked Chef Marta for a brief bio and was so impressed by the love and dedication to local healthy food. How lucky can we get!!!

“I have always enjoyed cooking and experimenting with new foods and cuisines and have cooked for my family since I was old enough to reach the stove.  I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and have been called upon to prepare food for many Church events, and found that I enjoy the challenge of feeding large numbers of people. As my children have gotten older and I have more time to pursue a career, I decided to combine my medical background with my love of good food and a desire to serve. I have taught basic cooking classes for children and adults, but I wanted to offer classes for folks who need to change their diets for medical reasons and don’t know how. I attended Northwest Culinary Institute in M2030009Vancouver and graduated in September of 2013, and now I run ChefMarta from my basement kitchen, offering catering services as well as group and individual cooking classes.
 
My basic food and health philosophy is that if we eat the foods our bodies were made to eat–animals and things that grow from the earth–in as close to their original form as possible, we will be M2040003healthy.  When we adulterate those foods by over-processing and trying to change them, we are not healthy. My menus focus on fresh, natural ingredients, and I believe in butter and chocolate. I refuse to use artificial color or flavor in any of my dishes, and I try to avoid preservatives as much as possible.”

 

“Southern” Style Collards
Serves four as a smallish side dish or two collard-lovers
In the South, Collards are cooked with bacon or ham until they are very well done. This recipe has the traditional flavors, but the greens are cooked until just barely done, preserving more of the nutrients.
Ingredients:
¼ lb Bacon—Uncured Applewood smoked, if you can find it, but you can really use any bacon except a very peppery bacon
1 bunch (about 1 lb) Collards
1 medium yellow onion
Dusting of white pepper
1 ½ t of good balsamic vinegar (optional)

Instructions:
1) Chop your bacon into ½ inch pieces or smaller.
2) Peel and dice the onion to a medium dice.
3) Prepare collards:
Wash the collards under cold running water. Do not dry. If they are very dirty or have aphids (which is a good thing—it means they are not laden with pesticides) then soak them in a large bowl of cold water with a handful of salt for ten minutes and then rinse.
Fold the leaf in half lengthwise so that the spine is sticking out, and cut off the spine. You could just cut off the stem and leave the spine in. It is edible, but much tougher than the rest of the leaf and will require more cooking.
Make a pile of leaves, then roll tightly into a log.
Cut across the log every ¼ inch until you have a bunch of long pieces, then make one cut along the length of your pile, cutting them all in half.

 

 

4) Cook the bacon until the fat is rendered out and the pieces are crisp.
5) Add the onion, and sauté in the bacon fat with the bacon until it is soft and translucent, but not brown.
5) Pour off half of the fat, leaving about 2 T in the pan with the bacon and onion.
6) Add the collards to the pan. There will still be enough water clinging to them to provide enough steam to cook them. If you prepared them earlier and they are dry, add 2-3 T of water to the pan. Cover the pan and turn the burner to low.
7) Cook about 5 minutes, then stir them with the onions and bacon. Add a light dusting of white pepper and taste. They are done and edible at this point, but if you want them more tender add a little more water and cook them until you like them, checking every five minutes.
8) This is optional, and not done in the South: add 1 ½ t of good, aged balsamic vinegar and toss the greens together and serve
If you were in Alabama or Arkansas, you would skip the vinegar add some chicken stock and a ham hock at this point and cook for an hour or two. If in Louisiana, you could add some sweet and perhaps hot peppers, and maybe some hot sausages. Here in the West, we tend to like things a bit fresher.

“Northwest” style Collards
If you are vegan or prefer to avoid bacon, you can still enjoy Collards. Try them with sweet Walla Walla onions and some Marsala wine
Ingredients:
2 medium Sweet Walla Walla onions
1 bunch (about 1 lb) Collard greens
2 T mild olive oil
3 large cloves of garlic
½ t salt
¾ cup Marsala wine*
Directions:
1) Slice the onions into ¼ inch strips.
2) Prepare the Collards as above

3) Finely chop the garlic or put it through a garlic press.
4) Sauté the onions until well caramelized.
5) Add the garlic, salt, and marsala. Bring it to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 5 minutes.
6) Add the Collards, cover and cook on low for 5 minutes.
7) Remove the lid and cook another three minutes to evaporate some of the liquid.
8) Taste and add a little more salt of you think it needs it. Serve and anjoy
*You could use a white wine instead of the Marsala, and that’s good, too, but different and much less sweet than the Marsala.

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