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Posts Tagged ‘Hani Khouri’

The dinner table is perhaps the most powerful and delicious place to plant the seeds of change; the return to simple truths, change, and wisdom all go hand in hand. Our first step toward change can be to pause when we take our first bite and think about our connections with food. Aha! Understanding this connection is the essence of the Earth Dinner.
– Theresa Marquez, founder of Earth Dinner

Earth Dinner is a new holiday tradition meant to celebrate Earth Day. It was started four seven years ago by Organic Valley and Chefs Collaborative as a way to gather friends and loved ones around the table for a fresh, seasonal meal made of local ingredients. The focus of the Dinner is to have a meaningful conversation about the food — where it came from, how it was grown or harvested, and who grew it. So it was only natural that farmer Margie Pikarsky and grower/chef Robert Barnum would organize their own Earth Dinner,  held the weekend after Earth Day.

Earth Dinner at Possum Trot Tropical Fruit Nursery.

Call it extreme locavore. The challenge was to source all ingredients — except for flour and olive oil — from what was available locally. And so the hunting and foraging began. Chef Michael Schwartz  donated wild boar he had hunted himself together with local fisherman George Figueroa of Trigger Seafood, who donated cobia. Hani Khouri provided cheese and milk from his goats. Large beautiful heirloom tomatoes came from grower Teena Borek. Callaloo came from Three Sisters Farm, and a variety of herbs and vegetables from Bee Heaven Farm. Winemaker Peter Schnebly donated two kinds of local fruit wine. And a plethora of fruit came from Robert’s own grove.

At the wood smoker, Weber bastes wild boar and Sadie checks multi-color potatoes.

Margie and her crew volunteered to help clean and cook, and Robert’s friends pitched in. Preparations took days and went up to the last minute. When I arrived an hour before dinner, a plume of blue smoke chugged from the wood smoker outside the house, as wild boar and multi-color potatoes cooked inside. Both kitchens were humming with activity as helpers chopped, stirred, snipped and tossed. In the dining room, two long tables were covered with white linen and glittered with fine china, glassware and silver. Centerpieces of mixed flowers — food for local bees — from Bee Heaven Farm graced the tables. Glass goblets were stocked with braided breadsticks that had been baked in the wood oven and looked like branches plucked from the grove. Even the sea salt was local, produced by a small company in the Florida Keys.

Donna and James Patrick smell crushed bay rum leaves.

While there was still daylight before dinner, Robert offered guests a short tour of his 40 acre property. Everything he grows is useful in some way. He pointed out bay rum, lemon bay and citronella outside the house, and invited guests to crush leaves and smell different scents. Jaboticaba was nearby, with small, unripe berries growing on its trunk. It bears fruit three or four times a year. Robert harvests the berries for wine, of which we got a taste later in the dinner. Guests strolled through the grove and saw macadamia, mango, and lychee trees (to name just a few of the edibles that I recognized).

<< to be continued >>

Robert Barnum holds up a jaboticaba fruit.


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July 24, 2010
8 pm to 1 am

Come hang out in the laid back tropical atmosphere of the Everglades Hostel’s back yard. Event organizer and artist Kristin Jayd will be applying henna/mehndi designs. The gazebo will be set up as a hookah lounge, with carpets and cushions to recline on. A DJ will be playing laid back, ambient Mediterranean-flavored music. And Hani Khouri will reprise his role as chef, with an endless buffet of delicious goodies.

On the menu: hummus, fool muddamas (fava and garbanzo beans), lentils, okra, maybe a fish dish, tabbouleh, shish kabob, chicken rolls with sumac, falafel, and nammourah (semolina tea cake flavored with rose water), among other things.

A cover charge of $5 gets you in the door, rain or shine. Everything else is a la carte. Check out the package deal which includes all three for $35.

Details and tickets available at Kristin Jayd Unlimited or call/text 305-342-5844
Facebook: Henna Hookah & Hani

Location:

Everglades Hostel
20 SW 2nd Ave.
Florida City, Florida 33034
305.248.1122

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Three very local ice cream makers presented their frozen creations at the Ice Cream Social at Bee Heaven Farm on the Fourth of July. All of the flavors were made from local, tropical fruit. Two fruits — lychee or mamey — were common to all three ice cream makers, and each brought at least one more flavor. Guests got a ballot when they checked in, and voted on their favorite flavors. (For official results, go see the Bee Heaven Farm blog.) Altogether, a person could indulge in more than 10 different flavors of ice cream and sorbet — a locavore ice cream eater’s heaven!

Hani Khouri and his ice cream scooper ready to go!

Hani Khouri, of Hani’s Mediterranean Organics, has been making ice cream with fresh goat milk for about two years now. He was definitely the artisan of the group. All ingredients were super local — goat milk from his herd of Nubian goats, fruit from Redland groves, and even local sugar. Hani bought guarapo, or sugar cane juice squeezed from locally grown cane, and evaporated it slowly over a low heat to molasses, then cooked it longer to get a brown sugar similar to panela. That process alone took several days.

His mamey ice cream tasted mellow and fruity. Lychee was sweet but not too sweet. Lime was most unusual, bright yellow from turmeric, more on the savory side with ginger, cinnamon and other spices added for flavoring. It wasn’t obviously lime-y, and seemed to change flavor with every spoonful. Very interesting, because I hadn’t considered savory as a possible direction for ice cream (or sorbet). Hani also brought a pale yellow, sweet-tart cas guava ice cream with a light refreshing flavor. Saw passion fruit ice cream circulating, but didn’t get a chance to taste it. Overall, Hani’s ice cream was very light and refreshing, and the fruit flavors of lychee and mamey were bright and clear. The home made sugar gave a slightly gritty texture, and the lime ice cream also had little bits of lemon zest in its texture. Goat milk has a slightly tangy after taste that seems to work best with tart flavors. This summer I like cas guava very much (my new favorite?), and last summer I liked arazá, another sour tropical fruit that is impossible to eat by itself but was terrific in ice cream.

You can order ice cream online at Hani’s Mediterranean Organics. There are two pick up locations. In Dade, pick up at Sous Chef 2 Go, and in Broward, pick up your order at BM Organics.

Enid and Albert Harum

Gabrielle Berryer of Gaby’s Farm ice cream is the queen of the local ice cream scene. She has been making her frozen goodies from local fruits for 15 years and retailing for the last 5 years. Black sapote was the first flavor that she introduced to the public at the Fruit and Spice Park, and since then her line has expanded to 30 flavors, which are locally produced. All fruit is locally grown, and most comes from her two-and-a-half acre farm.

Lev and Liz discovering Gaby's mamey ice cream.

Gaby brought mamey, guava and canistel ice creams, and lychee sorbet. Her ice cream flavors taste more creamy than fruity, and the texture is silky smooth. Overall, her ice cream tastes and feels a lot like store bought. Dark pink mamey tasted much like a milk shake. Light pink guava was incredible combined with a slice of mango pie. (Yes, there was pie — and cookies too.) Canistel was egg yolk yellow (that’s why it’s also called egg fruit) and likeable with the addition of cream and sugar, but I’m still not a big fan. It could be more exciting if pumpkin pie spices were blended in. Lychee sorbet had a clear fruit flavor and was quite refreshing, but just a tad sweet.

Find Gaby’s Farm ice cream at area Whole Foods, Fruit and Spice Park, Schnebly’s Winery and various local hotels.

Katie Edwards with ballot in hand and one of the candidates.

Robert Barnum was the jack of all trades of the bunch. He brought the above-mentioned mango pie — and pie lovers, this one was for you! It was very tasty, especially with guava ice cream. Two Pie Are Squared, as he called it, was baked in two large sheet pans. He joked that he used “rectangular mangoes” for the pie filling. “I never do anything normal,” he explained. Rectangular or not, the mangoes were his very own Yellow Bellied Possum variety. Robert also brought lychee and peach ice creams and white sapote sorbet.

Mmmmmmmm mango pie!

Most intriguing was his Florida peach ice cream. Yes, peaches do grow here, and don’t let those Georgia folks tell you otherwise. Robert has several Red Ceylon trees, a wild naturalized variety that was cultivated in his grove since the 1950’s. The fruit has white flesh, red at the seed, with a pale green skin that never turns peachy yellow. The ice cream made with those peaches was rosy pink with little flecks of darker red skin and tasted sweet-sour, peachy-ish, a bit like strawberry but not quite. Robert explained that he picked early to keep fruit flies from infesting the peaches, “to keep the protein content down,” he chuckled. The fruit hadn’t completely ripened by the time it was mixed into ice cream. Would love to taste the ice cream made with a more ripe fruit, but it was pretty good the way it was.

Robert also brought lychee ice cream, which tasted pretty good, having a nice balance between fruit and cream, and wasn’t outrageously sweet. The daring experiment of the bunch was white sapote sorbet, sweetened with local honey instead of palm sugar. To my tongue, which was already addled by sugar from the other two ice cream makers, this combination of fruit and sweetener had a slightly bitter bite. Robert describes the fruit as having an “astringent” flavor. Am not sure about this one, but then, I don’t remember if I’ve even tasted white sapote fruit. But I saw other people enjoying the sorbet’s unusual qualities, so it could just be me, spoiled by sweetness.

Head over to Possum Trot, Robert’s place,  for dinner and a tour of his 40 acre grove, one of the last bits of Old Florida left in the area. And best of all, you can ask him to make ice cream and pie for dessert! If you want to grow your own Red Ceylon peaches, seedlings will be available next spring.

Possum Trot Tropical Fruit Nursery
14955 SW 214th St
Miami, FL 33187-4602
305-235-1768

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photo by Sara @ Culinerapy

Featuring local Redland ice cream specialists:

Gabrielle Berrier, Gaby’s Farm
Hani Khouri, Hani’s Mediterranean Organics
Robert Barnum, Possum Trot Tropical Fruit Nursery

When: Sunday, July 4th
11:30 am – 2:30 pm
Where: Bee Heaven Farm

Family fun! Sample ice cream and sorbet creations and tropical fruit pies from Redland farm producers. Vote for your favorite flavors during our ‘fun tasting’.

Stroll around the farm during this informal gathering. The kids (and adults, too) can check out the chickens, see how the avocados are growing, how the planting areas rest with the summer cover crops, and enjoy the birds, the bees and the butterflies.

Afterward, want to take your favorite flavors home? Bring cash and a cooler, with (preferably) dry ice, to keep your ice cream frozen solid.

BUY TICKETS FOR THE EVENT

http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/115231

Adult (10+): $10
Child (4-9): $5
Child (0-3): free

Attendance limited – Advance purchase required by July 1

Sponsored by Whole Foods.

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Seems like gourmet cheesemaker and Mediterranean chef Hani Khouri is all over the place these days. Busy man! Does he ever take a moment to just relax, chill out for a moment, stop and smell the… shisha? Sure he does!

There’s a groovy, laid-back event coming up soon at the Everglades Hostel way down in Florida City. Don’t groan, it’s worth the drive down. Where else would you get a chance to sprawl out on cushions and carpet in the hostel’s gazebo, smoke a hookah and get your hands and feet decorated with traditional henna designs?

And speaking of Hani, he’s bringing the vegetarian feast of: hommos asli (asli means authentic), baba ghanouj asli, tabbouleh asli, felafel asli, tahini sauce, traditional condiments, fresh baked pita bread and fresh goat milk ice cream in various tropical fruit flavors. If you miss buying his ice cream at the farmers market, here’s your chance to enjoy the treat in real Mediterranean style.

For more details and to purchase tickets, click here.

Henna Hookah and Hani
June 12 8 pm – 1 am
Everglades Hostel
20 SW 2 Avenue
Florida City, FL 33034

Call/text Kristin Jayd for more info 305-342-5844 or send her an email at kristinjayd(at)gmail.com .

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Cooking with Hani

Sous Chef 2 Go is offering their series of cooking classes again. Local chefs will teach you how to prepare foods from a variety of cuisines. First up is Hani Khouri, who will teach various Mediterranean dishes this Saturday, May 22, beginning at noon. For more information and to register, email Sous Chef 2 Go at info (at) souschef2go.com. An individual class costs $150, and a 5-class series discount is offered.

Class:

  • Features a different seasonal menu that you will learn to prepare
  • Includes a 2-serving take-home Recipe Bag and chef’s instructions
  • Showcases unique wines and include a wine tasting courtesy of Sous Chef 2 Go

Discover:

  • Taste the benefits of cooking with seasonal, local produce
  • Explore a variety of cooking styles and recipes using produce at its peak taste
  • Treat your loved ones to the very same meal you just learned to prepare
  • Enjoy a variety of sweet, tender vegetables that are in their prime

Learn:

  • Culinary skills and easy-to-master cooking techniques
  • Specially designed 2-hour classes will demonstrate a variety of recipes featuring different preparation and cooking techniques
  • Experienced instructors will demonstrate how to prepare gourmet meals
  • Take your cooking skills and general culinary knowledge up a notch

Sous Chef 2 Go
7758 SW 88 St. Miami, FL 33156
305.595.8010

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If you have been reading the local food blogs, then you knew goatherd-cheesemaker-chef Hani Khouri’s kids started arriving in March. No, not his children home for spring break. His kids, as in baby goats.

These kids have been been the focus of a small media frenzy. They must be the most famous goats in the area. Hani is very excited about it. Celebrity kids, imagine that!

Laurie Jennings introduces The Goat Herder.

Most recently, Jonathan Vigliotti did a story on Hani’s transition from businessman to goatherd, which aired on Local 10 WPLG on May 11. If you missed it, the story and video are posted online here.

Mary Lee Khouri and Clark Gable

In their latest issue, Edible South Florida has a great cover picture of Hani’s wife Mary Lee, holding one of the kids, accompanying a nice article. The article is by Gretchen Schmidt and photos by Alfredo Añez. Look for the magazine this month at Whole Foods and other locations.

If you look carefully, Mary Lee and Hani autographed their pictures. Want my copy? Be the fifth (5th) person to comment on this post as to which is your favorite flavor of HANI’S ice cream and why, and the autographed magazine is yours! Only one comment per person allowed. Offer expires Thursday May 20 Saturday May 22 at midnight.

Back in March, two local food blogs have also posted about the goats. Genuine Kitchen featured the pregnant does, including the very huge Cleopatra.

Shortly after, Mango & Lime came out and took pictures of Cleo’s kids, including the very pregnant doe Maria. Paula’s post about the goats and Hani was featured as Blog Post of the Week on the South Florida Daily Blog.

The kids are growing up. They are cute and friendly, and better yet, they are weaned. That means that Hani is back in full production with goat cheese and goat milk ice cream, and it’s as good as you remember. You can get some from Hani’s Mediterranean Organics at the Pinecrest Gardens Green Market this Sunday. Yes, it’s still going strong through the end of this month.

5855 S.W. 111th Street, Pinecrest, 33156
Open Sundays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Hani signed his name in Arabic.

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