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Friday, 04 May 2012 14:10

From Our Farm: Chard

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It’s another week at Farm & Table and our farm is really showing its colors now!  Sitting on the our patio under the shade of the portal, looking out at the verdant rows of our garden has got to be the perfect place to be on a summer afternoon.   

This week, the veggie we’re showcasing from that beautiful green garden is CHARD.

From our Farm: Chard

Chard is one of Farmer Ric’s favorite things to grow - he loves it because it’s so versatile. Most people know that you can cook with chard when it’s mature, but did you know you can also eat its baby leaves fresh in a salad?  And chard - especially rainbow chard - is a great “edible ornamental.”  It tastes delicious, but its lush, green leaves and brightly colored stalks also make it a great decorative plant - perfect for planting as a border along a garden or pathway.  

Chard is primarily a cool-weather plant, but it tolerates warmer weather too, which Farmer Ric says makes it a great choice for home-growers.  If you can give the plant a some shade and some love, you can probably make growing season stretch all the way through summer and into the fall.  

Chard has a bitter, pungent taste, very similar to spinach.  In fact, you can treat chard essentially the same way you’d treat spinach in the kitchen.  You can braise it or boil it, or, as Chef Kai recommends, saute it with garlic and butter.  The flavors work great together, with the garlic and butter balancing out the bitterness of the chard.  Kai also suggests balsamic vinegar to cut chard’s bitterness.  Chard goes well with lamb and pork chops, but Chef’s favorite thing to pair it with is fish.  Last week he served his sauteed chard with our catch of the day and a summer succotash of black beans, corn, onions and serrano ham - yum.  No matter what you do with it, chard makes a great, summery addition to any meal.  Check out Chef Kai’s recipe below for a quick and easy chard saute.

INGREDIENTS (all to taste)

  • chard, stemmed and cleaned
  • diced red bell pepper
  • chopped garlic
  • red pepper flakes
  • a of squeeze lemon juice
  • shaved parmesan


INSTRUCTIONS
Combine chard, bell pepper, garlic, pepper flakes and lemon juice in a large pan, and sautee until the leaves are wilted.  Top with shaved parmesan and serve hot.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012 17:57

From Our Farm: Radishes

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Spring is here and our farm is bursting with all kinds of goodies you'll start to see on our table this season - spinach, bok choy, broccoli rabe, YUM! And we want to share the wealth with you, so each week, we're featuring a different item you'll see in our garden and on our plates, plus tips from Farmer Ric and Chef Kai on how to grow and cook these delicious veggies for yourself!

We're kicking off this week with RADISHES - what else? Bright pink, red and white Easter-egg radishes - so called because of their vibrant pastel hues - adorn every plate of bread and many of the salads at Farm and Table. Fresh, crisp, and sweet with a little bite at the end, radishes are a great way to liven up a salad and add a striking straight-from-the-garden flourish to any dish.

Right now while the weather is still cool is the ideal time to plant radishes, although if you've got a nice patch of shade or if you grow them in the shadow of some taller plants, you can plant them all the way into early summer. The slightly spicy veggies are quick and easy to grow, which makes them perfect for home gardening - even for beginners. Just make sure to plant them in rich, loose soil, says Farmer Ric, our resident farmer, and - voila! - 30 days later you've got radishes. Farmer Ric's special tip? Plant them next to heads of lettuce - the lettuce will make your radishes extra sweet!

Our Chef Kai says if you want a fresh, sweet taste, pick your radishes early - keep them under the soil a little longer for a spicier, stronger bite. The younger the radish, he says, the milder the taste will be. He recommends using radishes in salads or as a bold garnish. But if you really want to impress your friends and preserve some of that garden fresh flavor, Chef says you can't go wrong pickling your radishes using his recipe below. Pop a few pickled radishes on a burger or top a summer fish from the grill with pickled radish salad... and enjoy!

PICKLED RADISHES

Ingredients:

  • 10 radishes, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup champagne vinegar
  • ½ cup sugar (or honey)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 2 cloves
  • ½ cinnamon stick

Instructions:

Heat the vinegar, sugar and spices together in a saucepan. When the mixture comes to a boil, take it off the stovetop and pour over the radishes. Cover and store in the refrigerator. The radishes will be pickled and ready to eat in about 24 hours.

Wow! What a whirlwind of wonderfulness! Farm & Table has been open a little than a month...and each week seems to get better and better. We have seen so many guests come through our door (many of you return guests!!) Thank you!! Thank you for joining us to experience fresh, local food...prepared with creativity and detail. Thanks for being a part of this movement. Next week we will introduce some new menu items and some new wines! We will welcome the sunshine with comfortable patio dining... trickling water features and blossoming daffodils. We will offer even more beautiful views of our 10 acre farm! You will see farmer Ric’s garden begin to explode with produce, and now that the ditches are running (and field irrigation has begun) you will see our grass and alfalfa fields green up! Thank you…each and every one of you who have been a part of Farm & Table so far. Cheers!!

Friday, 09 March 2012 07:43

I love it when... (week two)

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I love it when our deliveries are made by farmers in muddy boots. When Patrick – the proprietor of Hip Chik Farms down the street – opens his recycled box of BEAUTIFUL, muted-toned eggs with pride to show me how he arranged them by color! I love it when we buy out the last 15 pounds of spinach and arugula from the farm in the south valley…and when our wonderful cheese arrives from Estancia. I love it when Joe Sausage drives up with his sausage wagon and brings in freshly-made sausage and ravioli.

I love it when my mom comes by and helps me plant pansies in the patio…and wash the windows. And when my sister tells me that I’ve misspelled “radishes” on my blackboard! I love it when my kids come into the restaurant after school…and chef Kai makes them a special little meal.

I love it when I see Ric out on the farm…working hard, and it makes me smile when I see those 1200 little seedlings happily peeking out of the ground. Yesterday on the farm was especially gratifying. We harvested miniature bok choy and broccoli raab to test it in the kitchen. Chef Kai delicately sautéed…and served with egg drop and tiny pieces of farm-fresh bacon crumbles. He makes everything with care and precision. I love that, too!

I love it when the flowers are in place, the music is on, and kitchen team brings out the special of the day for servers to taste. Gathering around a beautiful creation, with fork in hand… gasps of delight when we taste! It’s delicious!

I love it when our wonderful guests begin to arrive. It feels like everyone is a neighbor, a family member, a friend, a friend-of-a-friend. If they aren’t…they soon become one. I love it when people let me tell the little stories that are attached to the food, the farm, the building, the land, the events…. It’s amazing how many people really do care about those details. And believe me, if they’ll listen, I’ll share. It’s the reason this restaurant is what it is… it’s about sharing something good with our community.

So, the beginning has been good. So good. Blessings are evident… and I am thoroughly grateful.

As start the morning I anticipate how much there is to learn everyday… new challenges along with little successes. I will keep up the hard work, keep up the creativity, keep sharing goodness, and keep thanking everyone involved. Happy week two at Farm & Table!

- with gratitude, Cherie

Wednesday, 29 February 2012 17:00

We Are Now Open!

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We are officially open! A huge thank you to all who participated in our many menu tastings and joined us during our soft opening week.

Join us for a wonderful dining experience in Albuquerque's gorgeous North Valley! We will be open for dinner Wed-Sat and brunch on Sat & Sun. You can make reservations by calling (505) 503.7124 or by filling out the form on our reservations page.

Farm & Table offers seasonal dishes created by scratch with ingredients sourced from local farmers and from our on-site farm. Delectable dishes inspired by New Mexico's growing season will satisfy the omnivore as well as the vegetarian. Full entrées and small plates (perfect for sharing and tasting) are complemented by craft beer, select wine, local cheeses, and house-ground chocolate creations. Guests will enjoy intimate indoor dining, and when the weather is warm, gorgeous patio dining that overlooks our lush 10 acre farm.

After your meal be sure to visit La Parada (Farm & Table's sister business) for some unique finds.

Wednesday, 01 February 2012 08:22

Getting ready to open Farm & Table

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After several months of planning, building, growing, more planning...then some tweaking, we are finally getting ready to open Farm & Table. Farm & Table has been a natural progression that started with a chunk of land that my father so lovingly preserved (what would have been a 40-house development!); a wonderful little retail store – La Parada – that my mother and I have been running for the last 7 years; lots and lots of community events; and the love for fresh, local food and a friendly place for community to join together! Farm & Table was conceived.

With the help of a wonderful, creative community I have been able to put the pieces together that will make up this new restaurant. Architects, engineers, designers, builders, chefs, artists, friends, and family have all helped to make Farm & Table what it is...and will become. So, thank you. I couldn't be more blessed.

So here we are...a little more than a week from opening. Still refining our menu (again...with the help of you lovely people out there) through a series of menu tastings. Our resident farmer, Ric Murphy has planted over 700 little seedlings in his wonderful greenhouse. Getting ready for his CSA and to provide the restaurant with fresh produce!

On the menu, we've got local grass-fed beef; (happy cows!) local pork from the South Valley; all of our salad greens are being grown in greenhouses & hoop houses in the South Valley at Agri-cultura; beets & potatoes from a farm in Santa Fe; ground corn from Isleta; green chile from Lemitar; Cheese from Tucumcari and Estancia; fig wood from Corrales; pecans from Mesilla; honey from all over New Mexico. We are also looking forward to seedlings that will be ready to sprout in a month or so: strawberries & blackberries, asparagus, rhubarb, radishes, and more from the South Valley to Corrales. We've got delicious coffee ground in Santa Fe, beer & wine made right here in Albuquerque and throughout New Mexico, and lots of other goodies on the menu and in mind for future menus!

So...thank you for your patience (I will ask for more as we constantly evolve). I look forward to sharing this all with you and yours!

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