Sunday, April 25, 2010

Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: Celebrating Chattanooga's Earth Day

This morning I was standing at the sink washing all the dishes from my party last night. Dishes are a great way to re-play all the details from the night before. You replay the good things, good conversations and the things you would do differently.

On Saturday I hosted a party in honor of Earth Week and Chattanooga's environmental progress. In 1969, due to the manufacturing industry, Chattanooga was named by the EPA the dubious honor of "The Dirtiest City in America" Since then the city has made a remarkable turnaround. Now in the downtown area you will find zero emission electric buses, a Tennessee River that was reclaimed and now host to a walking bridge and greenway.

Also, agriculturally you will find 1,000 farms within 100 miles of the city. There are a number of local organic farmers markets every week where residents can purchase locally grown meats and produce. Its time to celebrate how far this city has come. Which is why I had the inspiration to have our friends and family over to celebrate.

Date:  April 24, 2010
Time: 5 p.m.
Where: Our Home

Menu: The one hitch to my planning this soiree was that I would only purchase locally made meat and produce. I would start at the local farmers market on the Wednesday before and try to get most of my supplies and then follow up at the organic market to round out anything I needed.

I did well on Wednesday. I bought a Filet of Beef from River Ridge Farms, Shitake mushrooms & Leeks from Crabtree farms and I received a wonderful gift of whole wheat flour from Sonrisa farms. And not only did I get wonderful local meat and produce but I got to talk to the vendors about their farms, their history and their stories.

On Friday I followed up with a visit to the organic market. I found strawberries from a North Georgia farm, eggs from Sequatchie Cove Farm and from Crabtree Farm I got turnips.  There was also milk and potatoes. Then I found locally made lamb and chicken sausages made with meats from Sequatchie cove farm.

Need a map of all the farms in the Chattanooga region? Start here

All in all this lead to my menu:
Leek and Shitake mini fritatas
Pasta with cream, spinach and shaved gouda
Lamb & Chicken Cilantro Sausage in Puff Pastry
Filet of Beef with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce
Turnip and Potato Mash
Strawberries two Ways: Strawberry Ice Cream & Macerated Strawberries atop Pound Cake

Then there was the wine pairings:  We pared wine with each dish and allow each person to sample each dish with a different wine.

We had the Nobilo Savignon Blanc with the pasta, spinach  and cream sauce
Died in the Wool Savignon Blanc for the chicken sausage with cilantro
Leese Fitch Pinot Noir with the lamb sausage in puff pastry
Leese Fitch Cabernet Savignon for the Filet of Beef
Prosecco with the strawberries two ways: ice Cream and pound cake

So on Saturday the preparation began. And by 5:00 P.M. our friends arrived. And we had a wonderful time celebrating with friends.

Its amazing to know that you can create an entire meal and dinner party with food that is locally grown and made. As I wheeled my cart in our organic grocery store I saw foods as far as Costa Rica, South America and farther. As far as Chattanooga has come from their poor air quality and pollution, we need to continue to support our local farmers by buying local whenever possible and eating food that is in season.

Its important for our health and the environment.

A big thanks to all the vendors at the Wednesday Market on Main, my husband who supports and dries dishes with the best of them, and my best friend Varinia my blogging support group. And to all my friends who came and celebrated - I enjoyed the time we spent!

Recipe Index:

Lamb Sausage & Chicken Sausage in Puff Pastry
2 lbs Lamb Sausage
2 lbs Chicken Sausage
1 package Puff Pastry

Boil the sausage for about 10 minutes or until it holds it shape (will be med rare in the middle)
Roll out the Puff Pastry and cut into roughly 2 in squares. Then cut each sausage into thirds and wrap the puff pastry around it diagonally. Brush with an egg wash (one egg and 1 tbsp water) and bake in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes

Strawberry Ice Cream
Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream (from my Epicurious Iphone App)

Yield: Makes about 5 cups
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
3 (3- by 1-inch) strips fresh lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 lb strawberries (3 cups), trimmed and quartered
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Special equipment: an ice-cream maker and an instant-read thermometer
Cooks' notes: To cool custard quickly after straining, set bowl in a larger bowl of ice and cold water and stir until chilled. Ice cream keeps 1 week.


Combine cream, zest, and salt in a heavy saucepan and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat and discard zest.

Whisk eggs with 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl, then add hot cream in a slow stream, whisking. Pour back into saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened and an instant-read thermometer registers 170°F (do not let boil).
Immediately pour custard through a fine sieve into a metal bowl, then cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Chill, overed, at least until cold, about 2 hours, and up to 1 day.

While custard is chilling, purée strawberries with remaining 1/4 cup sugar and lemon juice in a blender until smooth, then force through fine sieve (to remove seeds) into chilled custard. Stir purée into custard.

Freeze in ice-cream maker, then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden
Filet of Beef
3 lb filet of beef
1/4 cup coarse ground mustard
Salt & pepper 
Season the filet of beef with salt and pepper and take the course ground mustard and cover the roast. Place in a 500 degree oven for 20 minutes. Take out and let sit for 20 minutes before you slice.


  1. I have some lamb sausage in my fridge right now that my husband would love to eat this way!

  2. I would definitely like the pasta recipe too! The picture looked great!

  3. Congratulations for being one of the other 23. Chattanoga made a fantastic turn around and it's great to support local produce!!

  4. This was my first time visiting your site and this Foodbuzz 24 post was lovely! I relish having dinner parties as well, and even better when you can make your dishes sourced from local ingredients.

    I especially want to make your pasta because I LOVE gouda, was the flavor very pronounced or more subtle. And btw, that Nobilo wine is excellent, great choice. :)


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