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 Responses to Keep it Local challenge meal 4

  1. Chow and Chatter September 27, 2009 at 16:00 #

    wow great food, love the look of that eggplant, never seen those before

  2. Tony September 27, 2009 at 16:55 #

    Hm, I will have to try that roast chicken trick sometime. The tarts look amazing.

  3. Miriam September 27, 2009 at 17:12 #

    I loved the butter-in-the-chicken trick! I will definitely try it.

  4. Kitchen Butterfly September 27, 2009 at 19:07 #

    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

  5. Simply Life September 27, 2009 at 19:32 #

    Wow, what an amazing spread of food – and I can't say it enough: I'm so impressed and inspired by your challenge!

  6. Kate at Serendipity September 27, 2009 at 19:39 #

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

    Oh, great. Now I"m hungry.

  7. high/low September 27, 2009 at 20:02 #

    Wonderful meal! I'm a potato addict and those roasted ones look terrific!

  8. Miranda September 27, 2009 at 22:19 #

    Great challenge. The food looks delish!

  9. eatlivetravelwrite September 27, 2009 at 22:46 #

    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!

  10. Conor @ HoldtheBeef September 28, 2009 at 00:56 #

    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.

  11. eatlivetravelwrite September 28, 2009 at 01:03 #

    Conor – yes, you need to seek some salted caramel out. Or some Lindt Fleur de Sel chocolate…

  12. Divina Pe September 28, 2009 at 01:44 #

    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. 🙂

  13. Fresh Local and Best September 28, 2009 at 01:45 #

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

  14. eatlivetravelwrite September 28, 2009 at 10:53 #

    Divina – indeed – cheers to more local ingredients!

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

  15. Lori Lynn September 28, 2009 at 10:56 #

    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.

  16. Jessie September 28, 2009 at 13:40 #

    that is a well rounded delicious meal, I'm loving the sweet treats as well

  17. The Chickenless Chick September 28, 2009 at 15:41 #

    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.

  18. eatlivetravelwrite September 28, 2009 at 16:06 #

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

    Jessie – gotta have the sweet treats!

    Chickenless – it was a really REALLY good meal!

  19. 5 Star Foodie September 28, 2009 at 21:08 #

    Fabulous meal and so special with all the local products! The tarts are just lovely!

  20. eatlivetravelwrite September 28, 2009 at 22:17 #

    5 Star – thanks – the tarts are to die for!!

  21. Michelle from Taste As You Go September 30, 2009 at 01:18 #

    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!

  22. eatlivetravelwrite September 30, 2009 at 01:21 #

    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…. 😉

  23. Pam.XXX September 30, 2009 at 07:33 #

    Yummy chicken Neil, and the tarts…I remember them well from my last visit. Well done.

  24. eatlivetravelwrite September 30, 2009 at 10:55 #

    Pam (mum) – yup – Neil does make a mean roast chicken!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.