Non-GMO cookbook highlights recipes from around the state
Since she was young, Tracey Medeiros has loved most things food-related. She started to cook as a child, inheriting her mother’s fondness of the family dinner. “Our time at the dinner table revolved around the pleasure of good food, and still does today,” she said.
Medeiros grew up in Massachusetts, then attended Northeastern University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in political science, and later earned a paralegal diploma from New York University. But something wasn’t right with her career. She went back to school to study her true passion — food — and graduated from Johnson & Wales University with a diploma in culinary arts.
She now lives with her family in Essex, Vt. Since moving north, Medeiros has written several Vermont-based cookbooks, including “Dishing Up Vermont,” “The Vermont Farm to Table Cookbook,” and, most recently, “The Vermont Non-GMO Cookbook,” released on Oct. 3.
Attracted to the Non-GMO movement by her conversations with Vermont farmers, Madeiros decided it was worth researching and pursuing in cookbook-form, so that she could simplify the complexity of the movement into recipes that include ingredients that don’t have genetically modified organisms. The cookbook is also a tribute to the state, which Madeiros admires for its persistence in the GMO transparency movement.
“Vermont became the first U.S. state to pass the historic GMO Food Labeling law, forever changing the way Americans eat,” she writes in the book’s introduction. “With farmers, food producers, and chefs in agreement that it is of paramount importance for consumers to know where their food comes from, how it is grown, and what is in the food they eat — these folks are jumping in with their boots on to practice what they preach.”
The cookbook features 12 Addison County farms and businesses, as well as photos by Oliver Parini, a Weybridge native who is now a Burlington-based freelance photographer.
Here are four local recipes from “The Vermont Non-GMO Cookbook,” including dishes from Meeting Place Pastures in Cornwall, Middlebury’s Champlain Valley Creamery, Pedalbarrow Farm in Bridport, and Farmhouse Chocolates and Ice Cream in Bristol.
Medeiros will have a meet-and-greet and book signing event at The Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury on Saturday, Nov. 4, from noon-2 p.m. This event includes complimentary Blueberry-Almond Sour Cream Cake samples, featured in the book. To learn more about the author and her books go to: traceymedeiros.com or @tmedeirosvt.
Grass-Fed Flat Iron Steak and Egg Salad with Sauerkraut and Apples
Recipe By Meeting Place Pastures, Serves 4
“As we always have a freezer full of beef, it is easy sometimes to end up with meat on a plate for dinner. We are always looking for ways to incorporate a diversity of ‘green things’ into our diet. This salad works well for us at the end of the day, as it is easy to put together from ingredients we always have on hand. We get the protein and omega-3s from our beef and eggs, while the salad ingredients provide additional vitamins, minerals and probiotics for a complete and filling meal.”
— Cheryl Cessario, owner, Meeting Place Pastures
• 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
• coarsely ground 1 teaspoon juniper berries
• coarsely ground 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
• 1 pound flat iron steak, 1-inch thick
• 1⁄2 pound packed mixed greens
• 1 medium carrot, trimmed and peeled
• 1 small red or golden beet, scrubbed, trimmed, and peeled
• Creamy balsamic vinaigrette, store-bought or homemade
• 1 cup lacto-fermented sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
• 1 medium tart apple, such as Granny Smith, cored and thinly sliced
• 1 medium ripe avocado, cut in half lengthwise, pit removed, and cut into 1⁄4-inch-thick slices
• 3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
To make the spice mixture: In a small bowl, combine the peppercorns, juniper berries, and salt for the spice mixture. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Season the steak on both sides with the spice mixture to taste. Place the steak in the skillet and cook for 4 minutes. Turn once and cook for another 4 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat, cover, and let the steak sit in the skillet for 4 minutes. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Thinly slice the steak across the grain.
While the steak is cooking, grate the carrot and beet in a food processor fitted with the shredding blade. Set aside.
To assemble the salad: Place the greens, shredded carrots and beets in a large bowl. Toss with the vinaigrette to taste. Scatter the meat along with any accumulated juices, sauerkraut, apple slices, avocado slices, and egg slices on top of the lettuce. Drizzle with additional vinaigrette if desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at once.
Queso Fundido with Chorizo
Recipe by Champlain Valley Creamery Ltd., Serves 6
“Queso fresco is a traditional Mexican cheese and a quintessential part of Mexican cuisine. The name queso fresco means ‘fresh cheese’ in Spanish. In October 2011, we launched Organic Queso Fresco, a soft and mild part-skim cheese with fresh milk flavor and a little bit of acidity to give it some zing. Organic Queso Fresco shreds and melts nicely, making it a perfect topping for tacos, pizza, burritos, salads or on any other dish that you may want to use with mozzarella and other fresh cheeses.”
— Carleton Yoder, owner, Champlain Valley Creamery Ltd.
• 8 ounces Mexican chorizo-style sausage, casings removed
• 8 ounces queso fresco, cut in 1⁄2-inch chunks
• 1 poblano pepper, seeded and finely chopped
• 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, plus extra for garnish, optional
• Lime wedges, optional
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sauté the chorizo in a medium skillet over medium heat, breaking up with a fork into small chunks. Stir until browned, about 5 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chorizo to a 9-inch pie pan, reserving the sausage drippings in the skillet.
In the same skillet, sauté the poblano pepper over medium heat until tender and slightly browned, about 2 minutes.
Transfer the pepper to the pie pan with the chorizo, scattering it evenly over the top. If using, sprinkle the cilantro evenly over the chorizo layer.
Scatter the cheese evenly over the top, then bake until melted and bubbly, about 10 minutes. Garnish with cilantro, if desired. Serve as a dip with your favorite tortilla chips and lime wedges on the side.
Cheesy Veggie Pasta Bake
Recipe from Pedalbarrow Farm, Serves 6 – 8
“My five-year-old son calls this dish ‘Popa.’ My focus in cooking for the past few years has been all about finding palatable ways to get him to eat vegetables. Serve this dish with a nice crusty baguette on the side.”
— Cindy Growney, owner, Pedalbarrow Farm
• 1 pound organic mini shell pasta
• Olive oil
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 2 1⁄4 cups milk, warmed
• 1 head broccoli, florets cut bite-sized
• 3 large kale leaves, stems removed, and leaves sliced into 1-inch strips
• 12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, finely shredded
• 11⁄2 teaspoons prepared mustard
• 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
• Coarsely ground black pepper
• 1⁄4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus extra for serving
• Fresh chopped parsley leaves, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with butter. Set aside.
To make the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and toss with olive oil. Return the pasta to the pot and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, make the cheese sauce. Melt the butter in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking often, until light golden brown, about 3 minutes. Whisking continuously, slowly add the milk until the sauce is thick and bubbling. Add the broccoli and kale and continue to cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree the vegetables until very smooth. Add 2 1⁄2 cups of the cheddar cheese, mustard, and salt and continue to whisk until the cheese has completely melted, about 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and stir until well combined. Pour into the prepared baking dish, sprinkle with the remaining cheddar cheese and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese over the top, and bake, uncovered, until hot and bubbly, about 25 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.
Salted Caramel Dark Sipping Chocolate
Recipe from Farmhouse Chocolates and Ice Cream, Serves 2
“The fun thing about making the salted caramel sauce used in this dark sipping chocolate is that it has so many other applications! Use it as a topping for your favorite ice cream, stir it into your coffee, drizzle it over yogurt with bananas, or eat it with a spoon.”
— Eliza La Rocca, co-owner, Farmhouse Chocolates and Ice Cream
• 1 2⁄3 cups whole organic cow’s milk, or soy or nut milk
• 9 tablespoons high-quality cocoa powder
• 6 tablespoons organic cane sugar
• 1⁄8 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
• 1 ounce organic Fair Trade chocolate, coarsely chopped
• 1⁄8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 2 tablespoons salted caramel sauce, optional (this recipe, also by Farmhouse Chocolates, is available on page 351 of “The Vermont Non-GMO Cookbook”).
In a 2-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat.
Using a wooden spoon or whisk, add the cocoa powder, sugar, and salt, stirring until well combined. Continue stirring until the sugar has dissolved, about 1 minute.
Increase the heat to medium-high, scraping the bottom of the saucepan every couple of minutes to avoid scorching the milk.
Remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and vanilla extract and stir until the chocolate has melted.
Pour into 2 mugs and top with salted caramel sauce, if desired.
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