Mar 9, 2014
Don’t forget your turkey!
Here are a few places to turn to for a locally raised bird:
Harrison’s Poultry Farm, 264 Tower Hill Road, Candia, 587-0323
Henniker Saw, 105 Newton Road, Henniker, 428-3751
Hermit Brook Farm, 68 Plummer Road, Sanbornton, 286-4121
Meadowsend Farm & Sawmill, 1086 Sugar Hill Road, Hopkinton, 496-9759
Local winter farmers markets
The fact that it’s chilly doesn’t mean that farmers market season is over. Winter markets have set up across the area — some open now and some scheduled to open in the (even) colder months. Here are a few of the markets to add to your shopping list. (Know of a winter farmers market not mentioned here? Let us know at email@example.com.)
• The Concord market will be held at Cole Gardens, 430 Loudon Road, Concord, from January through March on the second and fourth Saturday of each month, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit concordwinterfarmersmarket.com.
• The Contoocook market will be held at Contoocook Train Depot, Main Street, on Sunday, Nov. 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 19, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call 764-2874.
• The Derry market will be held at Veterans Hall Gymnasium, 31 West Broadway, from November through March on the first and third Sunday of each month, from noon to 4 p.m. Visit derry-nh.org.
• The Laconia market will be held at Belknap Mill, 25 Beacon St. East, on Nov. 18, Dec. 16, Jan. 20,
Feb. 17, March 17, April 21 and May 19, from 3 to 6 p.m. Call 393-9520.
• The Milford market will be held on the third floor of the Milford Town Hall, on Nov. 5, Dec. 3, Jan. 7, Jan. 21, Feb. 18, March 3, March 17, April 14, April 21, May 5 and May 19, from 9 a.m. to noon. Call 672-4567.
• The Newmarket market will be held at Carpenter’s Olde English Greenhouse, 220 South Main St., from November through April on the third Saturday of each month, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Call 659-5900.
• The Raymond market will be held at Lamprey River School, 33 Old Manchester Road, on Dec. 11, Jan. 22, Feb. 19 and March 5, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit raymondnh.gov.
• The Salem market will be held at United Methodist Church on Pleasant Street on Nov. 20, Dec. 4, Dec. 18, Jan. 15, Jan. 29, Feb. 5, Feb. 19, March 5 and March 19, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Visit salemfarmersmarket.com
• The Seacoast Eat Local market starts on Nov. 20 and alternates between Wentworth Greenhouses and Rollinsford and Exeter high schools. Visit seacoasteatlocal.org/winterfarmersmarkets for a full schedule.
Other birds Here’s some advice from WildCheff Denny Corriveau on how to cook other birds.
New England Applejack Pheasant
4 boneless breasts of pheasant (organic chicken breasts can be substituted)
4 oz. of pancetta, diced
2 Macintosh or Cortland apples, peeled and diced
1 or 2 shallots, minced
organic all-purpose flour
WildCheff Lemon Olive Oil
WildCheff Tuscan Blend (available at wildcheff.com)
1 Tablespoon of WildCheff Roasted Garlic Flakes
1 cup of Applejack or Calvados brandy
Take pheasant breasts and place them into a quart-size zip-lock bag. Gently pound them out with a meat mallet so they are 1/8 inch thick, like a medallion. (If using boneless chicken breast, cut the breast in half and follow the same procedure.)
Place pheasant medallions onto a plate and coat them with WildCheff Lemon Olive Oil. Now season them on both sides with WildCheff Tuscan Blend. Dredge them in flour and they are ready for the pan.
Heat up a large sauté pan over medium high heat. When pan is heated, add some olive oil and a pat of butter to the pan and lower heat to medium.
Add pheasant breasts to pan and cook until both sides are light brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
Now add diced pancetta to pan. Stir frequently, and when pancetta gets crispy, add shallots and diced apple to pan. Cook them until shallots are translucent, and then add the applejack brandy, followed by 1 or 2 pats of butter. Raise heat to medium high and cook sauce until it thickens up a bit (coats the back of a spoon) and shut off heat.
Add pheasant pieces back to pan and coat both sides with sauce.
Serve with mashed potatoes and seasonal veggies such as maple baked acorn squash.
Duck Breasts with
Apple-Sage Cider Sauce
This recipe calls for reducing fresh apple cider. If that’s not available, try it with 1/3 cup apple cider concentrate, not diluted.
4 large boneless duck breast halves, skin on or off
3 Tablespoons of WildCheff Blood Orange Olive Oil (available at www.wildcheff.com)
1 Tablespoon of WildCheff Sagebrush Blend
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups of apple cider
1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
¼ cup of dry sherry
1 or 2 shallots, minced
1 firm tart apple, cut into matchsticks
Heat oil and butter in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, then season duck breasts with salt, pepper and WildCheff Blend of choice to taste. Add duck to pan (skin side down first, if intact). Flip duck over and brown on other side, but not past rare. Drizzle the Worcestershire sauce over duck. Remove duck when it reaches medium-rare to medium and keep warm by loosely covering the breasts with foil on a plate.
Add shallots, cider, lemon juice, and sherry to pan and reduce liquid to about 1/3 cup. Slice duck on the bias, arrange on individual plates and spoon sauce over. Top with apple.
Note: This sauce is also great when adding dried fruit such as cranberries. Add dried fruit to sauce ingredients in a sauce pan and reduce liquid down to about ½ cup and pour sauce over cooked duck. Serves 4.
Thanksgiving is a time when everyone from occasional to experienced cooks likes to give themselves a challenge. Perhaps you’ve done the fried turkey and maybe even experimented with different ethnic cuisines for your side dishes. If you’re looking for a fresh approach to this year’s meal, why not try, well, fresh — that is to say locally grown and sourced ingredients and dishes?
In this guide to a greener Thanksgiving, Angel Roy considers how to go about shopping for a feast from local farmers markets — yes, you read that right. Even though the snow has fallen, local farmers are still heading out to markets, specifically to the area’s growing array of winter farmers markets, to sell their local treats. Jeff Mucciarone considers the bird and native alternatives to the turkey. Feeling adventurous? Skip the farm all together and try a grouse. Adam Coughlin considers those hours spent in traffic trying to get to your holiday destinations — is there a greener way to go? And Karen Plumley looks at that age-old recycling question: how do you make tasty new meals out of your Thanksgiving leftovers?
Tasty menus and creative travel plans — here are some ways to add a little green to your fall feast.
Get fixings from area farmers markets
By Angel Roy
Winter farmers markets have emerged as a way to support local agriculture year-round, and they can help you avoid the crowds at supermarkets this Thanksgiving season.
“It’s a great thing to do to grace your table with things that are grown and raised here in New Hampshire,” said Kris Mossey, president of New Hampshire Farmers Market Association.
Gail McWilliam Jellie, director of the division of agriculture at the state Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food, said the number of people shopping at farmers markets is growing though in some areas winter farmers markets are still a new concept. Some winter farmers markets, she added, have opted to start earlier in the season, rather than kicking off in January, to be a shopping destination during the holidays.
“Many of them this year seem to be running from November to April,” McWilliam Jellie said.
McWilliam Jellie also noted that depending on what you are looking to buy, shopping at a farmers market can go easy on your wallet.
“If you’re looking for prime rib you will pay for that no matter where you go, but I think you can make [dinner] economical when you buy raw foods and prepare them yourselves,” she said. “You often save yourself money in that process and certainly it’s fresh, so the health benefits are there.”
“The thing that really stands out a lot for people is that they can have a conversation with the person that grew or made the food and find out how it’s been grown or how it’s been handled,” she said.
It is no secret that the cheese industry in the state has seen success over the years, and many local dairy farms have set up booths at local farmers markets to share their products directly with the consumer. On the seacoast and in Concord, Brookford Farm of Rollinsford will sell fresh camembert and mozzarella (and butter and cream for use in other dishes), and also on the seacoast Sandwich Creamery of North Sandwich will sell cheddar, brie and a variety of spread cheeses. Heart Song Farm of Gilmanton will sell its goat cheese in Concord. Most farmers market cheeses, Mossey said, can be served as a pre-feast snack with such specialty products as Craquelins artisan crackers, made in Bedford.
“We’ve got a cracker person in New Hampshire now — we’ve got it all,” Mossey said. Many Granite State wineries will also continue to sell their products at farmers markets this season, she added.
The main course
Unfortunately, turkeys are not likely to be sold at most markets this season as many farmers solicit orders through stores and their own websites.
“It’s a wonderful way to support farmers in New Hampshire by serving a turkey that was raised here,” Mossey said. Some farms, she added, may arrange for turkey order pick-ups at farmers markets, which can give you one-stop shopping for your feast.
“It takes a while to process [turkeys] so I’m not sure how many people take a chance to just sell a turkey at the market,” McWilliam Jellie said.
Many farms will sell other meats, including Miles Smith Farm in Loudon (which will sell fresh beef at the Concord Winter Markets for those 2012 feasts) and Mountain Farm in Warner (which offers cuts of pork). Seafood was sold at some markets across the state during the summer months, and Mossey said it is not unlikely to find it at the winter markets this year.
“A lot of people do like seafood with [Thanksgiving] dinner,” she said. Sanders Seafood in Portsmouth will take part in the Concord Winter Farmers Market and two seafood vendors have already signed on to participate in the Seacoast Eat Local Farmers Markets, where the non-turkey crowd can also purchase chicken from Hurd Farm in Hampton and venison from Bonnie Braes Farm in Plymouth.
Though summer has left us abruptly, fresh vegetables can still be part of your Thanksgiving spread as farmers have already stocked up on their storage crops to sell at the markets during what used to be their off-season. Mossey said we can definitely expect an abundance of winter squash and potatoes at the winter markets held earlier in the season, but she noted that after the October snowstorm some farmers may be waiting for the snow to melt to dig up their carrots and turnips.
“Root vegetables are a good accompaniment,” Mossey said. “Every family has their favorite thing to have. We always have to have turnips or parsnips, things like that — traditional New England food.”
Some farmers have winterized their production so well that they can also sell greens at the markets, McWilliam Jellie said.
For fans of cranberry sauce there is good news and bad news. The bad news is that the Granite State is not exactly known for its cranberries and they can be hard to find at markets, even during the summer time. The good news is that some winter markets are offering an alternative to the traditional turkey accompaniment in the form of chutney.
“Adding chutneys to a meal would be a little different,” Mossey said. “It would add a little zip.” Chutney, often made with a blend of apples, raisins and citrus, would pair well with turkey or ham, Mossey said. Nila’s Chutneys, sold at the Concord Winter Farmers Market, offers more than 25 kind of chutney, including Cranberry Craze and Pumpkin Power.
A variety of breads and rolls will be sold at most markets (look for Abigail’s Bakery in Weare, also at the Concord market) and can be frozen and served at a later date, or used in your homemade stuffing. Molly Lane Kitchen in Pittsfield will be selling jams, jellies and marmalades at the Concord Winter Farmers Market his season.
“Having bread, jam and jelly is always good because sometimes people have overnight guests [for the holidays] and need to serve breakfast, too,” Mossey said.
Many Granite State bakeries, including Slice of Heaven Bakery in Epsom, will haul their treats to winter farmers markets to make the last course of your meal the easiest to put together. New Hampshire maple syrup makes a sweet topping for premade desserts or a sweet addition to homemade dishes, McWilliam Jellie said.
Joan O’Connor, former organizer of the Concord Winter Farmers Market, said she particularly enjoys the pumpkin pies sold at the markets.
“You can also get locally sourced pumpkins [at the market] so you can make your own pie or make your own pumpkin bread,” O’Connor said. “You can substitute any winter squashes into [pumpkin] bread.”
Other local birds
Turkey isn’t the only homegrown way to enjoy a feast
By Jeff Mucciarone
It’s probably safe to say that for many folks, Thanksgiving wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a roast turkey as the centerpiece of the main meal. But that’s not to say there aren’t plenty of folks who are willing to shake things up or to at least supplement the main bird with something a little different, maybe something a little wild.
Wild game birds can offer a tasty, all-natural, organic, free-range option for the Thanksgiving table.
Upland bird hunting is in full swing right now and that means there are opportunities to take home ruffed grouse, woodcock or pheasant. Hunters can also use bows to get wild turkeys. Ducks and geese are also fair game in the water fowl department. For non-hunters, there are farms that raise game birds as well, such as Cavendish Game Birds of Vermont, which raises pheasant and quail for its store and for mail-orders. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department stocks pheasants in the fall, and grouse and woodcock are available throughout the state at this time of year.
Different varieties of sea ducks may also be available to hunters, though they have a stronger flavor, for which a brine can help, said Denny Corriveau of WildCheff. Corriveau started the mobile New England Fish & Game School in 1995. He is the only master wild game chef in the country, according to his website, www.wildcheff.com. Corriveau hosts a pretty sizable crowd for Thanksgiving each year, serving an organic turkey as well as a surprise offering, which could be a wild turkey or any number of game bird species. It might even be a turducken, a turkey stuffed with duck and chicken meat.
“It gives people variation,” Corriveau said. “When we look back at our roots, the original Thanksgiving, I can guarantee a domestic turkey was not served. It was more likely venison.”
A game bird is going to be a different product than what people would find in a grocery store. For one thing, there won’t be any additives in game birds.
“Any game bird, whether it’s upland or waterfowl, moisture is its friend,” Corriveau said. “People who have had questionable experiences with any type of game, many times it’s due to the game being overcooked, not enough moisture infused into the cooking process.”
So if the choice is to roast an entire game bird or just a portion of it, think about draping a couple pieces of smoked bacon over the meat or drizzling it with some olive oil, Corriveau said.
“It just allows the extra moisture to do its magic,” Corriveau said.
Brines are another way to add moisture — and flavor — to game birds. They break down the complex proteins in meats, relaxing the fibers and allowing the moisture to enter, infusing meat with the flavor of the herbs as well. Corriveau does a brined bird every year for Thanksgiving.
“It’s really part of the mission of what I do, to educate and inspire people in creative ways to incorporate free-range food,” Corriveau said. “Food is something we have to do every day, so why not make it interesting? It’s a good focal point, a good conversation piece. … It just draws people closer as people to share in the common love of food.”
Using a few simple ingredients, like olive oil and fresh herbs, people can easily elevate their level of cooking, Corriveau said.
There are two ways to look at a game bird: roast the entire bird or breast it out to open up a variety of options.
“Typically, I take some focus on utilizing the breast meat first, and once you master the technique of working with the breast meat, now you can look to the other parts of the bird,” Corriveau said, adding he makes a version of buffalo wings with quail legs, as well as a braised dish, such as coq au vin, with pheasant thighs.
Another option could be to take a pheasant breast and stuff it with a homemade stuffing, truss it with string and create something like a braciole, which an Italian dish in which beef is wrapped around a stuffing of Italian meat, cheese and herbs. Instead of Italian meats and cheese, stuff the pheasant breast with freshly diced apples and shallots and slather it with gravy made from chicken stock and Applejack brandy.
Home chefs can use the same approach with wild turkey breasts. Or, to switch things up, maybe slice cutlets from the turkey breast and use the pan drippings to create a turkey marsala or a turkey francaise, by dipping the cutlets in an egg batter before sauteing them.
“In all cases, regardless of what game bird you choose, it’s nice to stay within the fall theme, to incorporate some type of wine or brandy,” Corriveau said. “The use of rosemary or sage, and garlic.... Grabbing a flavored brandy, like Applejack — and some are made right in New Hampshire — is a great way to be able to enjoy and create something very unique.”
Corriveau makes a series of cooking products, such as seasoning blends, flavored olive oils, and brines, in an effort to simplify cooking for people.
“It lets you season the meat up and be able to have a whole different level of experience,” Corriveau said. He suggested his New England Farmhouse Brine, which contains rosemary and citrus notes, as a nice touch for any Thanksgiving turkey.
Corriveau likes to use game birds to create an appetizer along the lines of a satay. He likes to create a dipping sauce, perhaps pumpkin-related or maybe with some fall fruit infused, such as an apple dipping sauce. Season the meat with fresh herbs and olive oil and skewer it.
Duck is available at most grocery stores. As with other game birds, Corriveau usually likes to remove the breast meat first. Then he cuts it in half, takes a meat mallet and pounds out the breast meat before cutting it into medallions. He takes the fat and cubes it, then sautés it in a pan with a little olive oil and a touch of butter. The duck fat will render off some of the natural flavor into the oil, he said.
“One dish I love to do is called a duck and wild cherry marsala,” Corriveau said. “What I do is I take those duck medallions and I drizzle them and coat them with WildCheff Blood Orange Olive Oil, then I season them with the Tuscan Blend, then dredge them in organic flour, and sauté them. You want to make sure you leave the meat pink. … You do not want the meat itself to cook to well-done. You want it just beyond medium rare. Then pull them from the pan, let them rest. Throw in some shallots ... along with dried cherries or cranberries, and sauté that up until it softens. Then hit the pan with some marsala wine, a couple pats of butter, stir the sauce, let it thicken. Then when it’s at the consistency you like, shut off the fire and add the duck pieces back into the pan, turn them once, until the sauce coats them, and you’ve got this beautiful duck and wild cherry marsala. It’s very simple, and very delicious.”
Corriveau likes to take a similar approach with goose, in removing the breasts first.
“By breasting out the bird, now you have all kinds of options at your fingertips,” he said, adding that cooks can butterfly the breasts, truss them with cooking string, take slices off them, or make medallions to sauté.
With goose, Corriveau will cook medallions with blackberry brandy, seedless jam or a port wine.
“Cook the alcohol off the liquor, infuse the jam, hit it with a couple pats of butter, and you’re pretty much there,” Corriveau said.
Corriveau is planning to release his newest cookbook this winter. Visit www.wildcheff.com. For those wanting to get their hands on game birds, Corriveau suggested Cavendish Game Birds of Vermont (www.vermontquail.com). For venison, Corriveau also recommended Bonnie Brae Farms (www.bonniebraefarms.com) in Plymouth, which is a deer farm.
You can get there from here
But can you do it with a smaller carbon footprint?
By Adam Coughlin
Thanksgiving is a time for family togetherness, which sometimes means long-distance travel. Nothing can sour a good turkey more than hours of bumper-to-bumper traffic, especially when you’re wasting more than $3 per gallon for gas. Don’t worry. There are other options for transportation besides the family station wagon. And even if that is your only choice, you’ll be in good shape this holiday season — call it a Thanksgiving miracle that in the Granite State it seems like everyone is traveling over the river and through the woods to get to grandma’s house because the highways don’t have any more traffic than on a typical work day, according to a state official.
Winter car travel gets a slight green edge over summer car travel. Although your SUV doesn’t magically turn into a Prius for the fall and winter season, it is unlikely that you’ll be idling for hours in traffic as you head to your Thanksgiving destination.
William Boynton has been with the New Hampshire Department of Transportation for more than 15 years and he said that Thanksgiving weekend doesn’t compete with the four biggest traffic weekends of the year in New Hampshire — Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day and Columbus Day.
“It is a busy time for certain segments of the population, like students coming home from college,” Boynton said, “but that is offset by the fact there are no commuters on the road.”
That isn’t to say there isn’t congestion, Boynton continued. As many travelers may be from out of state or traveling socially instead of for work, there may be fewer E-Z Pass users, which could bottleneck the highways around the tolls. But he said that Thanksgiving, the last Thursday in November, is after peak tourism time in the state and most of the road construction projects have finished up for the winter, meaning there likely wouldn’t be any lane closures adding to delays. However, because it’s later in the year, the likelihood of bad weather increases, so all bets are off.
But statistically the numbers of travelers on Thanksgiving Day are lower than on other holidays. For example, the record of cars for Turkey Day is roughly 235,000, which happened in 2007, according to Boynton. Compare that with the record for Memorial Day (281,000), July Fourth (284,000) and Columbus Day (257,000) and it doesn’t rank in the top tier. These statistics come from travel through the turnpikes, which have tolls and so are easier to document.
Most people don’t fear that traffic will be backed up on Columbus Day, but they do dread Thanksgiving drives. We seem to have an image of Thanksgiving as a travel mess. Boynton said people often see views on WMUR of long lines at the airport, but, while the day can be hectic for certain segments of the population, overall it isn’t that bad. It may seem obvious that traffic would be reduced on Thanksgiving Day as most people would have already traveled where they are going; Boynton said the Wednesday before is also not too bad, as people leave at a variety of times during the day.
Boynton said, in fact, there has been a leveling off of traffic in general in the state. Prior to the gas price spike that began in 2008, the DOT routinely saw a four-percent increase in traffic each year. But those numbers have since flattened out. He said there was a slow start to this year, though traffic is now increasing. The flattening translates to a loss in revenue in the state, as tolling is one of the most consistent ways to receive money. Especially since the price of gasoline is so high, it is difficult for the state to increase the tax on it.
Good for the planet, though.
The fact that people have Thanksgiving off, as well as the day after and in many cases the day before, helps the situation, as it takes those commuter cars off the road. Boynton did say that on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, there would be tons of congestion in the state’s big shopping areas, like South Willow Street in Manchester. If you’re one of those shoppers, go green by carpooling with a friend.
If your loved one lives in a place where it is difficult to park, the bus is always an option. Well, as long as you live in the north-south corridor of the state. Bus services like Concord Coach Lines (www.concordcoachlines.com) and Boston Express (www.bostonexpressbus.com) can bring you from a variety of locations in New Hampshire down to Boston. From Boston, you can get bus service to the rest of the country. Concord Coach Lines can get you from Salem to Berlin with stops in places as small as New Hampton, Littleton and West Ossipee. The bus service also has a full schedule of stops in Maine.
“If you’re going east to west, however, it doesn’t exist,” Boynton said.
Boynton said he was once asked by a visitor how to get to Haverhill and there really aren’t a lot of options. He said there are local buses in bigger cities, like Manchester. C & J Bus Lines (ridecj.com) does have hubs in Dover, Portsmouth and Durham and will take you to points north and south. But currently there is nothing that will get you from Portsmouth to Manchester. Boynton said such a route is in negotiations but for years the argument was that such a route wouldn’t make it financially.
“As a state we don’t support public transportation,” Boynton said. “It is about pure economics. But it can be frustrating not to have a car, especially in a state that is both aging and essentially still rural.”
Boynton said the new bus terminal in North Londonderry was paid for in part by money for Interstate 93 construction. Boynton said the purpose of such a bus station is to encourage people driving south to Massachusetts for work to get out of their cars and onto a bus, which would reduce the number of cars on the road. Which probably means a lower carbon footprint.
|®2014 Hippo Press.