I am really excited to talk about the 4th Annual Dark Days Challenge I am participating in! You might have noticed my little bling with the chicky on the right nav, so let me fill you in:
The challenge, which runs from December 1, 2010 – April 15, 2011, is to cook four meals each month focused on SOLE (sustainable, organic, local, ethical) ingredients and write about it on your blog. Sounds easy, huh? I guess we'll find out. I'm actually excited to explore how much food I am able to access locally, to try new farms and recipes. So let's get going!
Here are the rules I will be living by:
Local = 100 mile radius of Downtown San Jose
Exceptions: Oils (other than olive oil), coffee, chocolate, cane sugar and spices. I will try to get local oils where I can. For example, I plan to use McEvoy Ranch olive oil (Petaluma), but have yet to look into things like vegetable oil. That being said, I will attempt try to locally source everything I can. Spices are my main exception, mainly because I have a boatload of spices already and just don't want to spend the money or take the space to buy more spices. And really, I don't even know if you can get spices that are grown and manufactured locally. But I will look into it just for giggles. Someday. I'm not sure when. Certainly not before or withing a month and a half of the holidays.
For my first locally-sourced dark days meal I made Cornish Game Hens with honey-lime marinade served with sweet dumpling slices roasted in butter and rosemary.
Cornish Game Hens with Honey Lime Marinade
2 (2lb) Organic, Air-Chilled Cornish Game Hens, cut in half
- Field to Family (Petaluma, 89 mi)
1/4 cup lime juice – My backyard (0 mi)
2 TBSP olive oil – McEvoy Ranch (Petaluma, 84 mi)
3 TBSP honey – Henninger Hill Apiary (San Jose, 7 mi)
1 tsp chopped, fresh thyme – My backyard (0 mi)
2 tsp chopped, fresh rosemary – My backyard (0 mi)
2 cloves garlic, minced – Palo Alto Farmer's Market* (Palo Alto, 17 mi)
1/2 tsp paprika – exempt
pinch of fresh ground pepper and salt – exempt
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Meanwhile, create your marinade. In a medium glass or ceramic bowl, mix the lime juice, olive oil, honey, thyme, rosemary, paprika and garlic. Set aside.
Rinse hens, and pat dry with paper towels.
Place cut side down in a roasting pan.
Season with salt and pepper.
Separate 1/3 of the marinade to use with the raw hens. Brush on the marinade.
Set 2/3 of the marinade aside. Use it to brush onto the hens after 10 and 25 minutes in the oven.
Remove the hens from the oven after 35 minutes. Cover with foil and let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.
2 Sweet Dumplings
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Slice the dumplings into half moons, ensuring all seeds are removed.
Put sweet dumpling slices into a pyrex dish.
Add cut up chunks of butter. Sprinkle rosemary on top.
Finally, I served the meal with water with lime slices (limes are from our backyard) for my husband and myself. The boy convinced me to let him have some homemade limeade.