One Chef, One Farm, One Beer
By Monica Walch, Dinner On The Farm
You can’t get much closer to your food than having dinner on the farm. These events are affordable and family-friendly, allowing access to all who are interested in learning where their food comes from. On top of that, a portion of the ticket price supports organizations doing crucial work to further our shared goal of promoting and celebrating our local farmers.
A typical event begins with a farm tour, allowing diners to meet and reconnect with our farmers, and it’s also an opportunity to create a relationship of trust and mutual learning with those who grow and nurture our food.
After the farm tour, guests relax with a locally brewed beer, take in the beauty of the surroundings, and watch a skilled chef prepare a feast from food grown on the farm. Each farm dinner pairs one local chef, a beer, and of course a farm, making each dinner a unique experience.These events are zero-waste, with all tableware being composted.
As the sun sets, and dessert is served, the night ends with live music, perhaps a bonfire, and in some cases, overnight camping. Not only are these events fun, but by supporting them, you help protect small-scale, biodiverse, organic farming.
The below recipes come from Heather Jansz, better known as “The Curry Diva.” Jansz is the former owner and chef at the well-known Sri-Lanka Restaurant in Minneapolis and The Curry Leaf Deli in St. Paul. She’s offered her services as a chef to previous dinners on the farm and is known for her creativity and ability to add the flavors of the East to favorite local foods. The Curry Diva currently cooks Curry Mondays at the Highland Grill. She also does cooking classes, Dinner On The Farm, and other special events. Try Heather’s recipes below, both intended to “nourish the body and feed the soul.” More information can be found at www.thecurrydiva.com.
Curry Diva Quinoa Salad
4 cups of quinoa (this needs to be cooked and set aside)
2 tablespoons of your favorite oil for cooking
2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of a sweeter vinegar
1 large sweet onion, chopped
8 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped
1 cup of your favorite herb, chopped (cilantro, thyme, basil)
1 tablespoon coarse ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of Curry Diva Blend (1 teaspoon each of coriander and cumin)
1 cup each of your favorite vegetables (kale, beans, carrots, peppers are all great options)
Salt to taste
Heat the cooking oil in a pan
Add garlic and onion and brown about 3 minutes
Add the herbs—veggies and then all the spices
Cook about 3 minutes or so, adding a dash of salt to taste
Lastly, add your Quinoa
After you have taken it off the stove top, place into a bowl and add the olive oil and the vinegar and more Salt to taste
Garnish (think garlic chives and flowers)
This Dish may be eaten cold, but it’s best at room temperature.
Curry Diva Marinade for Grilled Shepherd’s Song Lamb
3 pounds of fresh lamb (cut into larger pieces, bone and all)
1/2 cup of minced fresh garlic
2 tablespoons crushed red chili flakes (can be left out for less spice)
1 teaspoon of ground-up green cardamom pod
2 tablespoons of roasted ground coriander
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon crushed black pepper
2 cups honey yogurt
Salt to taste
Put lamb in a bowl or bucket
Mix all the spices and all other ingredients, except the lamb, together
Then mix it into the lamb
Rub mixture into lamb really well, and set aside
Turn grill on, and grill lamb.
Suggested Beer Pairing:
Boom Island Brewing Company’s Thoprock IPA
2012 Dinner of the Farm Calendar
June 10 // Aaron Uban at Garden Farme
June 17 // Dan Stepaniak and Chad Townsend at Living The Dream Farm
July 22 // Ben Pichler, Jim McIntosh and Erik Sather at Common Harvest Farm
August 5 // Tyge Nelson at Dave’s BrewFarm
August 12 // Matt Sprague at Hidden Stream Farm
August 19 // Joe Hatch-Surisook at Big River Farms
August 26 // Ben Jacoby at Laughing Loon Farm
September 9 // Nathan Berg at Castle Rock Creamery
September 23 // Marshall Paulsen at Riverbend Farm