This week I had the honor of cooking with three incredibly talented, bright, food-aware college students from Middlebury College in Vermont. They are part of a group of 14 interns from Middlebury, spending the summer in Louisville as part of an awesome internship program called Foodworks, started by a Yalie, Rowan Claypool. The program and their respective internships focus on the local food economy in Louisville and Kentucky as a whole. As part of this internship, they get to spend 4 days each week working for various food-related companies (restaurants, food distributors, retailers, the Louisville Economic Development Department, etc.) and on each “Fifth Day” or Friday, they get to attend a variety of seminars, demos, field trips, etc. It is pretty much the coolest food program for a college student (or anyone, really) and I wish I could go back to school just so I could apply and be part of it.
But, I will settle for getting to work with them and I hope to be a part of this brilliantly launched program for years to come. We wanted this episode to bring light to the FoodWorks program, in addition to bringing some fresh faces to the screen. So, three interns were selected and I asked them to each come up with a recipe that they related to in some way, whether it was something they’d cooked this summer, tasted for the first time in Kentucky, or just really loved. They exceeded my expectations and not only was the food a breathe of fresh air, their on-screen talent and cooking skills were spot on.
First up, Emma and her Kentucky Summer Salad! Emma interned at Sustainable Agriculture of Louisville, an incredible organization that promotes sustainability and community relationships.
Kentucky Summer Salad
Recipe by Emma Burke
- 2 peaches, diced
- 2 radishes, sliced thinly
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
- 1 heirloom tomato, diced
- ¼ red onion, julienned
- 1 sprig mint, chopped
- 1-1 ½ tsp white wine vinegar, or more to taste
- Juice from 1/2 lime
- Salt, to taste
In a large bowl, combine the peaches, radishes, cucumber, tomato, and red onion. Sprinkle in the mint, then dress the salad with vinegar, lime juice, and salt.
Next on the agenda, Charlie! Check out his incredible tattoo. The first question I asked? “How did you decide on the silver pattern?” Haha…more to come about that in a future post. I’ve become obsessed with silverware as the result of some over zealous bidding at an estate auction. (Answer: It’s a family heirloom)
Charlie interned at Grasshoppers, which is, in his words, heaven. He’s right. It’s the most incredible service and I am dying for something like this to be available in Lexington. Please bring a pick-up spot to Lexington!!! It’s basically a CSA conglomerate; rather than subscribing to a CSA run by a single farm, Grasshoppers brings together products available from over 60 farms and food producers, making it possible to get bread, dairy, produce, meat, eggs, olive oil, condiments, and even homemade soups in your weekly CSA pick-up.
Recipe by Charlie Steinberg
- 12 oz thick-cut bacon (we used Stonecross Farms)
- 1 medium-sized yellow onion, cut into 1/4″ slices
- 1 head of garlic, roasted in a 350˚ oven for about an hour, or until soft and golden
- 1/3 c mayo
- 1 T lemon juice
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 8 slices of a hearty bread (we’re using a seeded loaf from Blue Dog Bakery)
- Bibb lettuce leaves
- 1 medium-large tomato, cut into thick slices
- 4 eggs
Place bacon and onions in a large skillet on medium heat, and allow to cook, turning bacon occasionally, until bacon is golden and crispy, and onions begin to caramelize.
Once bacon and onions are ready, set aside to drain on a plate with a layer of paper towels.
While the bacon and onions cook, remove roasted garlic from the skin and mash in a small bowl with a fork. Add mayo and lemon juice, mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside aioli until sandwich assembly.
Once ready for sandwich assembly, spread a thin layer of the aioli on each slice of bread. Place two slices of bread, side by side, on each plate (this will be an open-face sandwich), and top with a few pieces of lettuce, bacon and onions, and then the tomato. Fry the eggs to each person’s liking, and top each sandwich with a finished egg. Dig in!
And last, but certainly not least, Maren! Maren interned for Creation Gardens, a food wholesaler I adore. We used them when I worked at both Idle Hour and Holly Hill and they deliver the best ingredients around. And I like their drivers. Hi, Bob!
Recipe by Maren Granstrom
- 2-3 zucchini
- 2 medium or several small potatoes (use blue potatoes if you can find them!)
- 1 small onion, minced
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 3 Tbs flour
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- Vegetable oil, for frying
Wash the zucchini and potatoes, and peel the potatoes if you like. Grate them all (should be roughly 2 cups of each), then mix with onion and salt and let stand 5-10 minutes in a bowl. Using your hands, a strainer, or a dishtowel, squeeze out as much liquid as you can from the mixture. Add the pepper, flour, and eggs, and mix well.
To cook: put enough oil in a large skillet to almost cover the bottom, and heat on medium-high. Test the oil by dropping a little bit of the batter on the pan. If it sizzles immediately, you’re good to go. Add 1/4–cupfuls to the pan, using a spatula to flatten them to form pancakes about 1/3 inch thick (doesn’t have to be exact, but if they’re too thin they’ll be hard to flip, and if too thick they won’t cook fast enough). Cook until lightly browned on one side, about 3 minutes, then flip and repeat.
Serve hot, with yogurt, sour cream, or applesauce.
Note: this recipe is easy to change to your liking. Use more or less zucchini or potatoes, add some chopped garlic, scallions, jalapeno, shredded apples… whatever you like!
From the left, Maren, Emma, me, and Charlie.
We ended our successful day of shooting with dinner at the Holly Hill Inn! I called Beau and they managed to set a table for us on the front porch, where we watched the lightning storms and ate some of the best food in town. It was such a joy getting to connect Rowan and the students with Ouita and to watch the food sparks fly, both during the meal and during the walk around the Holly Hill Inn garden. The passion for good food was palpable and I am so looking forward to this Tuesday, when I’ll get the pleasure of attending the FoodWorks closing ceremonies and learn about every student’s summer experience.
Lastly, that adorable navy blue shirt dress with yellow/gray/royal blue/light blue leaf print is by Joy Joy, available at Monkee’s. GO THERE TODAY (July 28!) for a gimongous sale where the whole store is 10-75% off! What?!? I’m so there.