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Posts Tagged ‘Hani’s Mediterranean Organics’

Hani Khouri tosses a fresh batch of tabouleh.

Saturday, Nov 10, 2012
11:00 am – 2:00 pm

You’ve seen him in his Panama hat frying up falafel at GrowFest and other events, or perhaps bought his goat cheese. But did you know that Hani Khouri is also a masterful chef who specializes in Mediterranean cuisine?

Here’s a rare chance to take a cooking class with Hani and learn how to make three tasty dishes — falafel, tabouleh, and a goat cheese dessert. The event includes a buffet lunch, and all attendees will get a recipe book.

Hani’s Mediterranean Organics sells organic hummus and baba ganoush, goat cheeses, and tropical fruit goat milk ice cream made with milk from his herd of free-range Nubian goats. His delicacies are available at the Pinecrest Gardens Green Market and through the Redland Organics CSA as an add-on share.

Cost for the lunch/cooking class is $75 per person, or $60 per person for groups of four or more. Register and pay online at the Youth L.E.A.D. web site.

All class proceeds go to benefit Youth L.E.A.D.’s food justice programming, which provides training and employment for low-income youth at farmers markets and community gardens.

Location:
Coral Gables Congregational Church
3010 DeSoto Blvd. (across from Biltmore Hotel)
Coral Gables FL

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CSA family share: week 14

CSA small share: week 14

Cheese share: feta cheese  

Mediterranean share: tomato rice

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CSA family share: week 12

CSA small share: week 12

Cheese Share

Baba Ghanoush

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Friday January 6, 2012
TIME: 3:00 p.m.
HOST FARMER: Hani Khouri, Hani’s Mediterranean Organics
GUEST CHEF: Alejandro Pinero, Sustain
PRICE: $190.00 SOLD OUT! Seats still available as of Dec 28.

Outstanding in the Field is hosting a farm dinner at Hani’s goat farm next week. The event is only one of two Florida stops on their North American Tour of dinners. (The next stop is at Lake Meadow Naturals farm in Ocoee outside of Orlando.) The organization’s mission is “to re-connect diners to the land and the origins of their food, and to honor the local farmers and food artisans who cultivate it.” Since 1999, the group has hosted diners all over the world, in all kinds of exotic settings. This coming week, guests will be dining near gentle Nubian goats safely contained in their pen.

Enough tables and chairs to accommodate 100 guests will be set up in the front yard, in a grove of oak trees with a view of the goat pen. Guests will be able to interact with the goats, and feed them roasted peanuts. (Goats are browsers, not grazers, and eat all kinds of things. Peanuts are one of their favorites.) “My farm is unique,” Hani said. “Where else will you find goats? And I’m the only cheesemaker, too.”

Hani will provide a variety of cheeses, and help source other local ingredients. Chef Alex from Sustain restaurant in Midtown Miami is creating the menu using fresh and local ingredients. “Sustain has been buying cheese from me for a long time,” Hani said. “I delivered extra cheese for them, 18 pounds of different kinds, mostly hallumi, on an emergency basis during Art Basel.” Chef Alex is also the one coordinating the event with Outstanding in the Field.

Outstanding in the Field is committed to honoring local farmers and food artisans. “Wherever the location, the consistent theme of each dinner is to honor the people whose good work brings nourishment to the table.” Several organic farmers — Margie Pikarsky at Bee Heaven Farm, Gabriele Marewski at Paradise Farms, and Robert Barnum at Possum Trot Tropical Fruit Nursery — have been hosting popular farm dinners and similar events (whether elegant affairs or humble events) for a number of years. Hopefully through this event, the local growers and Redland historic farming district will get a much-needed boost in agritourism.

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Dr. Marvin Dunn surveys the Roots in the City garden and market.

The Roots in the City Farmers Market in Overtown opened on Wednesday Dec. 8th for its second season. You may remember that it ran for a couple months, March and April, earlier this year. Now it’s back at the same corner of NW 10 St. and 2 Ave. in Miami, and it’s grown a bit bigger with two new vendors, Gardens of TROY and Nature Boyz. The same growers from the first time are there also — RITC Gardens, Teena’s Pride, Redland Organics and Hani’s Mediterranean Organics.

The first day of the season called for Grand Opening festivities and VIPs. It wasn’t as crazy a party as last spring, but all the important people were there — chef Michael Schwartz, chef Michel Nischan, a PBS video crew, Farmer Margie and her intern Liberty, students from nearby Phyllis Wheatley Elementary, Dr. Marvin Dunn, Teena and Michael, an assortment of foodies and neighborhood shoppers, and most of the food bloggers in town.

Market co-founder and chef Michael Schwartz  brought his food cart, and his crew dished out grilled rosemary chicken garden vegetable chopped salad, which was quickly devoured. The recipe was created by a student from Phyllis Wheatley Elementary, where chef Michael recently visited, as part of the new Chefs Move to Schools program.Schwartz’s market partner, chef Michel Nischan, loped up and down the row of tents, stopping to greet growers and shoppers. Michel’s foundation, Wholesome Wave, donated matching funds to use with SNAP aka food stamps, good for up to $20 per person per day. Last season, a large number of people used the matching funds tokens to supplement their shopping.Chef Michel Nischon (plaid shirt) is trailed by producer Jon Crane and his crew, while farmer Margie Pikarsky looks on.

Michel was trailed by a PBS crew shooting a segment about him for the AARP show “My Generation.” He was speaking passionately about food and urban farming with producer Jon Crane. “You can be poor but still grow food and be sustainable. Brooklyn had gardens and chickens years ago. There are so many great stories in this community,” he said, looking around. “Food gives a person a sense of place, self esteem and security, and it reaches across all socio-economic strata. All differences melt away with good local food.”

Chef Michael Schwartz chats with Ben Thacker, Jepson Jean-Pierre and Antonio Moss from TROY Academy, while Alexandra Rangel videotapes.

Michael Schwartz stopped by to chat with two TROY Community Academy students and Ben Thacker, their gardening program director. Some of the things for sale at their tent were callaloo, carrots, passion fruit, aloe plants, and garlic chives. “Each kid has his own garden,” Ben said, “and they get to keep the money from selling their crops. All the kids are eating it.” Michael replied quickly, “Don’t eat it, sell it!” Ben said, “We’re trying to get them to eat more fruit.” “Ok, eat it!” Michael responded. The students laughed. Videographer Alexandra Rangel hovered nearby with her camera, capturing the conversation for a promotional fundraising video for TROY.

Several large, perfect cabbages at Teena’s Pride tent caught my eye, along with exotic looking pattypan squash. There were red round tomatoes, cucumbers, and an assortment of other veggies and fresh herbs. All those and more can be yours on a weekly basis if you join the Teena’s Pride CSA. It’s not too late to sign up, and there are about 100 spots left. For prices and details, email farm@teenaspride.com or call 786-243-1714.

Marguerite the Nubian goat hangs out with Hani Khouri and his wife Mary Lee, while customers sample fresh goat cheese.

Over at the other end of the market, Marguerite the Nubian goat was hanging out with her humans, ice cream and cheese makers Hani and Mary Lee Khouri of Hani’s Mediterranean Organics. Of course everybody had to come over to take pictures of the goat… pet the goat… sample the ice cream… maybe get a falafel wrap… At the next tent, Farmer Margie had a large array of fruits, vegetables and herbs. She’s also set up to take SNAP funds and credit cards.

It was a pleasant afternoon in the neighborhood, and the most important people there were the people who live in the area shopping for fresh food. During the spring, the beginning of market was slow but by the end of the second month, a good number of regulars from the neighborhood came by. If things go like last season, every week will draw more people out of their food desert to partake of locally grown bounty.

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This season’s grand opening of the Roots in the City Farmers Market is on Wednesday Dec. 8, from 1 to 4 pm. The market will be held in the same place it was last year, on the corner of NW 10th St. and 2nd Ave. in Overtown, right by the RITC gardens.

This market is one of several in the area where real growers (not produce re-sellers) are participating. Returning this season are RITC itself, selling collards, papaya and other delicacies from its gardens, Redland Organics, Teena’s Pride and Hani’s Mediterranean Organics.

The RITC Farmers Market was also the first market in the area to accept SNAP/EBT payments, and doubles the value of purchases up to $10, thanks to a generous program sponsored by Wholesome Wave Foundation.

This season the market will be open two days a week, Wednesdays and Fridays. It will stay open through April 2011. For more information, email RITC or call 305-772-3229.

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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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