As I lie in bed early on Saturday morning, I listened to heavy thunder and the sound of Daisy and Tucker taking refuge in our bathroom. Cole, my bichone frise, comforted himself by wrapping his warm little body over my head. Thinking nothing of it, I wondered if the farmers would think twice about hauling themselves to the market, and if many people would attend with the inclement weather. But, alas, the rain stopped and the sun peaked out here and there only to turn a mid-seventies morning into a veritable sauna.
At the market, thoughts of braises and soups stopped immediately, and I reverted to summer mode, picking up a half dozen ears of Silver King corn at Ashton’s stand. Tatsoi reappeared at Spring Valley Farm, much to my delight. This dark, leafy green is incredibly tasty. Good for you, too. It can be used raw in salads, or added to dishes at the end of cooking.
On the Royal St. side of the market, it suddenly occurred to me that Papa’s Orchard is at the Alexandria Market. It the the concord grapes that gave it away. I bought 2 large bunches and made a quart’s worth of sauce with them, in the method which I did for the Gorgonzola Cheese Blintzes with Concord Grape Sauce. I’m mulling over cheeky PB&J creations…..I’ll post about that later.
At the Dupont Market, I was excited to see the big paella pan bubbling with chicken, green beans, lima beans and saffron-scented rice. Eight chefs tended the paella, stabbing into it with large spoons to check progress (no stirring-the crisp rice at the bottom is the best part!). About halfway through, six straining chefs turned the pan, then the heat was cranked up to finish the cooking. Generous plates were handed out, and we swooned as we ate it, Tucker notwithstanding.
The paella was part of the Sixth Annual Paella Festival. Guest chef and paella master Rafael Vidal is the third generation of his family to head the kitchen at Levante, a restaurant in Valencia, Spain. Valencia, along with Alicante and Castellon, is the region of Spain where this traditional rice dish originated. Paella, a casserole, is typically made with rice, vegetables, meat and/or seafood. Chef Vidal’s recipe included chicken-Valencian paella does not include seafood.
The paella pan, or paellera, is made of stainless steel, and is round and shallow. The six foot behemoth used for the paella at the Dupont market took six straining men to turn it!
Until the next At The Market, eat and buy local when you can.