SMFM 8.1.18

Santa Monica Farmers Market

7:13am Heading to the farmers market  talking about what many Angelenos talk about as they hop on the freeway, the ever present, ever brutal Los Angeles traffic.

“ we didn’t head out at the worst time, if we had left at 8:15 that would be the worst time. Might get pretty bad once we hit the 10…”

However traveling across town is totally worth it. We source a lot of our ingredients from the Hollywood Farmers Market when doing our Sunday Pop Up, but certain events if you are purchasing on Sunday it just won’t be quite as fresh. Fresh is key so we make the trek out to SMFM because we want to know who our growers and fishermen and Ranchers and the whole community of farmers market goers are.

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7:35am Listening to KPCC “There are wildfires burning up and down California in what has become one of the state's worst fire seasons in recent history.”…. Almost 40,000 people have been temporarily displaced by the Carr fire. Most will be able to go home,

We get down to Santa Monica and after a quick bite we head over to the farmers market. We have a mission and our shopping list is as follows:

- apples and corn for an apple, fennel & roasted corn salad with a virus vinaigrette

- tuna for tuna tartare in wonton cups with a miso crisp

- tomatoes for cheese burgers and pick de Gallo

- pork belly for our house cured bacon

- butternut squash for a mushroom and squash dish served with consume

- leeks for crispy fried leek ringlets

- peaches and goat cheese for a crostini

- sweet peppers for the marinated pepper salad

We start our adventure through the market. The first place that we arrive to is Drake Family Farm for the goat cheese. With several options available we try a couple different styles before coming to the conclusion of which will pair best on the crostini.  The first sample is the Bloomy Rind Glacier, a goat cheese with an a quality that is almost a cross between Red hawk from Cowgirl Creamery and a traditional Camembert. The second Mt. Baldy, creamy with a oozing layer of meltiness against the blue rind. Then we try the Idyllwild with the flavor and texture composition of a Manchego. While the other two cheeses stand out with the creamy texture mixed with a touch of funk, the saltier Idyllwild takes the cake to be paired with the grilled peaches for our tasting menu.

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Off to the peaches!

We find ourselves perusing the stall of Fair Hill Farms. The combination of brightly colored fruits and the fresh aroma of sweet summer air is hard to resist. They carry an array of fruit from nectarines and peaches to plums and apples, all that can be hoped for with the start of a balmy August. Trying the white peach then the yellow and for good measure the nectarine and the crunch of apple, we swiftly determine that we really must have a bag of yellow peaches to pair with that salty goat cheese.  Then for good measure and to add that sweet tart quality to our fennel apple salad we grab a heaping bag of Granny Smith.

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We head over to Tamai Family Farms to grab som tomatoes, corn and sweet peppers  Then venture over to Tutti Frutti Farms for a couple of leeks and a butternut squash. To finish up our trip we seek out two local purveyors of proteins. We swing by Peads and Barnett greeted by Oliver and Madison to pick up our weekly pork belly. Oliver uses English Berkshire pigs exclusively because of their high marbling and he leaves the rib meat attached to the belly for extra meatiness. This belly will be cured and smoked and enjoyed by the masses.

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Last stop for our locally caught seafood directly fresh from the boat Wild Local Seafood.  We grab some fresh ahi tuna for one of our starter courses and then for a bonus we get sea urchin for family meal and a full sea bass head for some fish stock. Now…back to the kitchen.

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