Jonesboroughs Fifth Annual Farm to Table Dinner, held Aug. 22, was considered another success this year.
We like to call the Farm to Table Dinner a double fundraiser, said Karen Childress, executive director for Jonesborough Locally Grown, the non-profit group that oversees the Boone Street Market and Jonesboroughs Saturday Farmers Market. We buy all of our food ingredients from area farmers, which means extra sales to farmers. This year, $2,200 was spent on local food for the dinner.
Secondly, she said, the dinner raises a substantial amount of operating income for Jonesborough Locally Grown $10,000 that will go directly to operating costs for the market and store.
More than 200 guests gathered on Main Street this year to enjoy the event and support what they consider a good cause.
But the real draw, supporters admit, may simply be Chef Alex Bombas menu.
The five-course meal is conceived and prepared by Bomba based on what is fresh and available locally.
One of the main purposes of the dinner is to show people Farm to Table is more about the ingredients than anything else, said Bomba, who begins to design the menu in January.
From starters like Root Vegetable Soup and Heirloom Tomato Salad, to savory entrees of pork loin, grits and red pepper puree, to a to-die-for dessert of Round About Stout Cake, diners are still talking about that menu. And thats how Bomba likes it.
I think local is more important than some of the other buzzwords like organic, said Bomba, who continues to encourage residents to shop local and try some of their own Farm to Table dishes. And Jonesborough has one of the better farmers markets.
For those who werent able to attend this year tickets sell out very quickly Bomba has shared some of the recipes that made this years dinner such a success.
Root Vegetable Soup
5 pounds of mixed root vegetables (I prefer equal parts of celery root, parsnips and rutabaga) peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon paprika
Salt and pepper
Bacon lardons for garnish
Green onions for garnish
Put vegetables in a pot with enough water to cover them. Simmer until tender enough to smash with a fork. In a blender, blend all of the contents of the pot. Stir in the heavy cream, paprika, and salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish each serving with bacon lardons and green onions.
Pork loin was brined for 24 hours in a brine of:
Gallon of water
¼ cup salt
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup apple juice
Then grilled, then put in an immersion circulator set at 141°F for 2.5 hours
If that is not an option, I would tell someone to take from the grill and finish in a 325°F oven until an internal temperature of 135 is reached.
Red Pepper Puree
4 red peppers seeded
½ cup sugar
¼ cider vinegar
Combine all ingredients in a pot and then cover with water. Simmer for 25 minutes.
Blend to a puree and then adjust salt and sugar level to desired sweetness.
1 cup grits
1 pint heavy cream
1 pint water
2 tablespoons of butter
1 cup grated sharp cheddar
Salt and pepper
In a pot bring the cream, water, and butter to just below a boil. Lower temperature to medium and stir in the grits. Continue to stir almost constantly until the grits have absorbed most of the liquid. This part takes patience.
Once the grits reach consistency, stir in the cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
Round About Stout Cake
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 1 hour 5 mins
For The Chocolate Stout Cake:
2 cups Depot Street Brewery Round About Stout Beer (or other stout)
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate unsweetened cocoa powder (or regular unsweetened cocoa powder)
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups sour cream
To Make The Cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Butter three 8-inch round cake pans with 2-inch-high sides, and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. Butter paper.
Bring the beer and 2 cups butter to simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth and no lumps remain. Transfer the mixture to the freezer and let cool for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk flour, sugar, baking soda and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in large bowl to blend.
In a stand mixer, beat the eggs and sour cream on medium speed until combined. Add the slightly-cooled Round About Stout mixture to the egg mixture, and beat on low speed just until combined.
Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed for 10 seconds.
Using rubber spatula, fold batter the rest of the way until completely combined.
Divide batter equally among prepared pans. (I use a kitchen scale to be sure that the cakes are even.)
Bake cakes until a toothpick inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes.
Transfer cakes (within their pans) to rack, and cool 10 minutes. Then carefully turn cakes out onto rack and cool completely.
Serve with strawberry puree and sweet vanilla cream.