Keep it Local challenge meal 4

For this week’s local challenge, I had a few vegetables to use up from last week’s organic delivery box – Chinese eggplant and yellow zucchini (both from local Ontario farms). I paired this with some patty pan squash and cremini mushrooms I found at Rowe Farms with the intention of grilling them.

Even sizing to ensure even cooking.

I “marinated” the veggies in olive oil and lemon-pepper seasoning.

I also had these local guys to use up:

As it was a chilly day, I thought “roast potatoes” – I am on a mission to learn how to make perfect roast potatoes (like my mum!) – somehow they either burn or never really crisp up.

Speaking of using up vegetables, our tomatoes (and our friend’s) were on their last legs so I made a simple Tuscan tomato soup (I even used home made chicken broth!), topped with basil from our garden and the last of the pancetta!!! I will post the recipe later this week so stay tuned!

So that took care of the veggies – what about the protein? What goes better with roast potatoes and grilled vegetables than roast chicken. So off to Rowe Farms it was. Our chicken is from a farm in Waterdown, Ontario. Neil is in charge of roasting the chickens in our house. A while back, he bought “Roast Chicken and other stories” and uses the basic recipe on page 28. It always turns out perfectly!

And dieters look away now… THIS is what makes the chicken so succulent and juicy:

Yes, that’s a stick of butter under the skin… Thanks to Chef Kylie, (our Chef for Culinary I and II at George Brown culinary school) for that tip!! Makes for a rocking roast!!!

See – moist and delicious!

I ended up pan frying the veggies since it was too cold to go outside and grill: They turned out pretty well too:

And the potatoes…. oh – they were GOOD!!! I heated up the oil til it was nearly smoking, then turned the heat down and fried the potatoes on the lower heat and made sure to turn them to ensure even browning. Now if I can only replicate that again…

All together now:

And for dessert? Well, a little twist on “local” – when we think local, we also like to try to support all the smaller, family owned places on our high street, rather than shopping at the big one-stop supermarkets. We are fortunate to live 2 minutes away from an amazing bakery – The Queen of Tarts (who could resist the name?). They make everything from scratch and use quality ingredients (including, I am pretty certain, lots of butter!!!). To celebrate the end of Erin’s Keep it Local challenge (though I think we will try to continue this over the fall and winter… stay tuned!), we shared (there were five of us) these:

Salted caramel and chocolate


Peppermint patty

Fittingly for the season – pumpkin.

This was a fantastic dinner – and honestly, “eating local” has felt quite effortless these past few weeks. We are fortunate to be blessed with many small stores carrying local produce and meat all within walking distance of our house. Now of course, we have been allowed to use non-local oils, spices etc…, unlike people doing a hard-core local eating challenge, which has made it much easier. In any case, it’s been a lesson in thoughtful shopping and really makes one stop and think before one buys.

You can view the rest of this week’s Keep it Local challenge meals here (Erin’s blog is no longer live).

The Queen of Tarts on UrbanSpoon:

The Queen of Tarts on Urbanspoon

24 thoughts on “Keep it Local challenge meal 4”

  1. Oh YUM. I love the mixed veg…and the Patty Pans which I've never tried! Most of all, what's got me salivating is the salted caramel and choccie! Super yum

  2. This looks like a wonderful meal! I love the veggies, and those potatoes look fabulous.

    Oh, great. Now I"m hungry.

  3. Chow and Chatter – the purple Chinese eggplants are quite common here…

    Tony – roast chicken AND the tarts were amazing!

    Mirian – you must!!!

    Kitchen Butterfly – I have had yellow pattypan squash but not green before – I love them!

    Simply Life – thanks!

    Kate – Sorry to make you hungry!

    High/Low – I was so pleased with how the potatoes turned out!

    Miranda – thanks!

  4. Another delicious, hearty local meal, well done!

    I feel like I'm seeing salted caramel everywhere lately. Perhaps it's a sign I'm meant to overindulge in some.

  5. That's quite a challenge but a good one. I actually like that. It's great to use local ingredients within your area but sometimes it's really hard. But we tried our best, right? That's a wonderful meal you have. Roast chicken is always welcome and it's very versatile along with those gorgeous vegetables. Of course, life is not the same without wonderful desserts. Thanks for sharing your challenge. Here's to more local ingredients. 🙂

  6. This is such a hearty and healthy meal! I feel the same way, cooking with items from local farms seem effortless.

  7. Divina – indeed – cheers to more local ingredients!

    Fresh Local – it's great that it's so much easier now to eat locally, I agree

  8. It looks like a terrific meal. Gotta love that whole stick of butter under the skin.
    And that soup looks so nice, looking forward to reading more about that.

  9. This is really, really impressive. I almost cried when I reached the bottom of the post and saw how beautiful everything turned out. You have a knack for making every meal into a sort of story.

  10. Lori – it's the butter that does the trick!

    Jessie – gotta have the sweet treats!

    Chickenless – it was a really REALLY good meal!

  11. I've heard of sticking butter between the skin and the flesh of chicken before, but never a whole stick! It sounds so decadent that I can't wait to try it!

  12. Oh Michelle – our chef at culinary school I think stuck TWO sticks of butter under the skin!!!!! We were all aghast but you know, soldiered on and ate the chicken anyway. Now we're all converts…. 😉


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