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Posts Tagged ‘Hani Khouri’

Hani’s cute kids


The baby goats and their mothers nibble on a royal palm frond. Goats are browsers and will eat all kinds of vegetation.

Hani Khouri makes ice cream and several varieties of cheese using milk from his own herd of Nubian goats. He keeps them on his farm in Redland. It’s always fun to visit and take pictures of cute and friendly goats. They, in turn, like to nibble on my shirt and fingers if I’m not paying attention.

The new kids on the farm hanging out underneath the milking stand. The white one still has his umbilical cord. They are about a week old in this picture.

Back in March, Hani’s herd grew to 17 with the arrival of two new kids. They’re both male, which is a problem, because two grown bucks are already in the herd. Hani prefers to keep only one buck with his female goats.

Marylee Khouri holds one of the new kids.

When I went to see the kids, they were only a few weeks old and in that awwww how cuuuute stage. Now they are four months old, bigger but still cute, and Hani is looking to sell them — but only to the right buyer. “Not to eat, and no santeria!” he said. He’d like to see them go to a herd where they can grow up and live out their lives.

If you are interested please contact Hani at www.hanisorganics.com If you are located in Miami-Dade or Broward counties and are interested in purchasing goat cheese, goat milk ice cream, or Mediterranean food, you may do so through his web site.

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The choice is not local or organic but how, through your organic food purchases, you can incorporate supporting local agriculture, local communities and and local economies into an organic lifestyle. The more you were into local culture, the more important it is to support organics in your region.
– George Siemon, Organic Valley

Carolann and Ted Baldyga, Hani Khouri

As the locavore dinner unfolded I couldn’t help thinking that maybe this was the way previous generations ate in this area. Crab, wild pig, cobia, coconut for sure, and other foods were later introduced. Many tropical things, whether native or  introduced, don’t grow in more northern latitudes. Jaboticaba, bignay, betel leaf, callaloo, Red Ceylon peach, rangpur lime, Mysore raspberries  — you’re not going to find most of those at a supermarket in Miami — or New Jersey! (But you can find some things at farmers markets, or grow others in your back yard.)

James and Donna Patrick, Laura Veitia

Earth Dinner calls for us to honor the earth, the very dirt we stand on, by honoring our food. And by so doing, we honor our farmers — a stubborn, determined, independent tribe — who work very hard to feed us. In fact most of the growers who provided the ingredients for our dinner were present — Robert Barnum, Margie Pikarsky, Hani Khouri, George Figueroa, Teena Borek, and guests Thi and Bill Squire representing our local Slow Food Miami chapter.

Bill and Thi Squire

Robert and Margie’s Earth Dinner was only one of two in the entire state of Florida. I’m a bit surprised there weren’t more. A wide range of food grows in the spaces outside urban development, and agriculture is the state’s second largest source of revenue. City dwellers are quick to forget that they live among farmers, even as farmers are pushed back by relentless waves of development.

Robin and Carol Faber

Margie stood up and spoke at the close of dinner. “This dinner is about the importance of the local farmer. It’s important that we support the local foodshed and the richness of the local food here. This is the way to keep our country strong and our food safe. By keeping food regional, it’s easier to control food safety.”

Anthony Rodriguez, George Figueroa, Tina Trescone

Know where your food comes from, or how it was grown and processed. Connect the food with the place where you live, and you will be healthier and stronger for it. At last month’s Earth Dinner, the taste of this place was in the food and drink. It was unlike any dinner I’d eaten anywhere else. And it sure made for good experience and good memories! If I were to savor a perfectly ripe Mysore raspberry or take a sip of bignay wine, blindfolded, years from now, I would remember in a heartbeat this dinner and this particular abundant land — thanks to our local farmers!

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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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