Time to celebrate this summers farmers' markets and Carson City Greenhouse Project. If you know me it's this time of year that I really glow.
I know that my menu is going to be full of locally and organically grown produce, hand picked by Karen and me at the farmers market on Curry Street, where we have developed business relationships as well as friendships with the local farmers and ranchers.
Every item on the recipe with the exception of the chicken and olives, can be purchased at our local farmers markets Wednesdays and Saturdays. It just adds dimension and texture to your dining experience. Just knowing that you've hand picked all of these items, and looked into the eyes of the farmers, knowing that he/she has done their best to provide you with clean wholesome food. It really does not get any better than that.
The items that you are unable purchase at the farmer's markets you can certainly buy at your local health food stores. My favorite is Du Bois, which has been so great to Karen and me, along with Adele's for decades. All of them are dedicated to your health. Organic humanely raised chickens, can be found in a variety of places throughout Carson City, including some health food stores.
The other part of this time of year that adds to my glee is the "Concert Under the Stars." It is a fundraiser for the Carson City Greenhouse project, a community based public/private partnership that was a brainchild of my wife Karen and brought to life with the help of her hard working band of equally dedicated volunteers.
The project is under construction and is at the 50 percent completion mark. The target is to complete the project by August 2011, so that it can be ready for the beginning of the school year. The goal is for the students to take over the gardening and marketing of the city's flower basket program, and supply organically raised produce to our communities less fortunate.
This year's concert, we are blessed with three great bands. Starring 2010 Grammy Award winner Booker T Jones, plus Frobeck, one of the Bay area's hottest new bands, and Reno's own The Mighty Surf Lords, which not only is a great example of modern surf music, but who also have an investment and dedication to feeding the less fortunate. Every Sunday you can find them and their friends "The Loving Hearts Club" at a tent city feeding whoever needs a hot meal.
The event is tonight outside on John Street, next to Adele's restaurant. Pre-concert festivities start at 5 p.m.; concert starts at 6:30 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door, $37 for general admission, $52 for VIP.
Do not miss this great chance to see the Grammy Award winning winner and two incredible bands, for even a better cause.
ENTREE SALAD FOR 6
Ingredients: 4 ears of corn; preference white organic.
1⁄2 cup sliced black olives or Kalamata olives
1 large sweet red pepper; seeded and diced; 1⁄2 inch squares
1 cup of blanched green or yellow string beans (cut into 11⁄2 inch pieces)
1⁄2 cup finely chopped sweet red onion
1 bunch or 1⁄4 cup chopped green onions
2 cups of diced or sliced roasted or boiled potatoes; my preference roasted
1⁄2 cup diced fresh tomato; seeded
1⁄2 cup diced 1⁄2 inch raw zucchini
3 6-ounce organic chicken breasts
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh garlic
1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon wild honey; preferably sage or clover
1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1⁄3 cup red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon medium grind sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
If you decide to roast your potatoes, you will need to choose a potato like a fingerling potato, which is the best for this prep. Put in a shallow metal pan or oven ready casserole dish, approximately 1⁄4 to 1⁄2-inch filled with olive oil. Salt and pepper, cook for approximately 25 minutes in grill or oven until tender not mushy. When done, drain oil and save for later use. Let the potatoes cool. Then slice into rounds approximately 1⁄2-inch thick.
If boiling potatoes, dice potatoes into 1⁄2-inch squares with peel or without, your call. Boil until tender not mushy. You want a little snap in the potato, al dente. Again, drain and cool.
You can use green or yellow beans: Put into a pot of salted boiling water, cook until tender approximately 10-15 minutes. Remove from stove, immediately drain water and cool down with ice and cold water
Clean all excess leaves and strings on the corn. Salt and pepper, rub with 1⁄4 teaspoon of finely chopped fresh garlic. Place on a grill and roast approximately 3 minutes a side or until slightly turning brown. Set a side and let cool.
While the potatoes and corn are cooling, you will want to season the chicken.
Rinse and pat down chicken breast, place on a paper towel. Wash hands thoroughly. Spread out the cinnamon, sea salt, pepper, and garlic. Rub chicken in all 4 seasonings. If you prefer, mix all ingredients together in a bowl, add the chicken, coating it thoroughly then place on paper towel. Place chicken breast on the barbecue or broiler; cook approximately 15 minutes per side or until done - 170 degrees. When done, place on cutting board, let cool approximately 20 minutes and chop into 1⁄4 to 1⁄2-inch pieces
Now in a large salad bowl, drain and rinse sliced olives, place in bowl, along with the red peppers, red onions, green onions, diced tomatoes, raw zucchini and beans.
Get four ears of corn, carefully cut kernels off cob. Add to the bowl: roasted potatoes, or boiled potatoes, mix all together. Add 80 percent of salad dressing and let sit for a few minutes, giving the potatoes time to absorb all those yummy flavors. While that's going on chop your chicken breast, by slicing the breast and dicing it into 1⁄2-inch pieces, place in a separate bowl, and mix it with the remaining salad dressing.
In a small 1 cup jar (size not that important) place approximately 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon honey, 1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil (if you roasted your potatoes you can use the leftover olive oil if you would like), 1⁄8 cup sherry or red wine vinegar. Close lid on jar and shake vigorously, then add salt and pepper to taste, your preference.
Evenly distribute the salad onto six plates. Sprinkle the chopped chicken evenly among the six plates, add a little fresh ground pepper on top and prepare for a wonderful summer delight.
• Charlie Abowd is the owner and chef at Adele's. He and his wife, Karen, have lived in Carson City since 1980. Charlie is a fourth-generation restaurateur.