Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Local Links’

Arazá! What a wonderful name! Too bad the fruit is so tart…. But Farmer Margie told me that Hani Khouri of Redland Mediterranean Organics was going to make ice cream with it. Robert Barnum confirmed he had sold some fruit. Hot on the trail, I spoke with Hani and he promised that arazá ice cream would be available at the Edible Garden Festival at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.

Arazá ice cream

Arazá ice cream

So I braved sporadic rain showers on Saturday, sidled up to Hani’s tent and asked, “Got arazá?” Yes, he said, and his son Jad handed me a container from the cooler. The only ingredients are arazá, agave nectar, and fresh goat milk. The ice cream is pale yellow in color, sweet and tart at the same time, with a “yogurt-like flavor in the back as a finish,” as Hani described. From the first spoonful I was in a swoon, lost in the blend of sweet-tart-tangy flavors and the smooth, creamy texture. Almost forgot to photograph it, that’s why there’s some missing in the picture. It’s now my new favorite flavor. Sorry, mango-orchid. Sorry, papaya.

Hani started heating organic safflower oil in the big fry pan to make falafel, and I realized that a) I hadn’t had lunch and b) I hadn’t eaten his falafel in ages. Time to remedy that.

First came the flatbread, smeared with a dab of tahini sauce green with mint. Then three golden nuggets of falafel were topped with amba, fermented pickled green mango flavored with fenugreek and mustard seeds. “It’s spicy,” Hani warned, adding a small amount. (He claims that Farmers Margie and Gabriele are addicted to his amba.) I like how it added an exotic bite. Then came pickled turnips (bright pink from beets), thinly sliced cucumber and chopped tomato. Uniquely flavorful, this style of falafel is lighter than what I’ve tried elsewhere, and was told those particular toppings are quite popular in Israel.

Making falafel

Assembling falafel with pickled turnips

Redland Mediterranean Organics has teamed up with Sous Chef 2 Go and is sharing a tent at the Jackson Memorial Hospital farmers market. It happens on Thursdays in front of the Alamo building. Go look for their tent at lunchtime. The arazá ice cream is waiting to meet your taste buds. Also new on the menu is chicken roll — chicken seasoned with sumac (which gives it a cinnamon-like taste), rolled in dough and baked. And don’t forget the goat cheese!

[Note: Hani Khouri called me on Nov. 11 to tell me that he’s no longer selling at this market due to a sharp increase in vendor fees. He and Sous Chef 2 Go are partnering in a new lunch menu at the shop in Kendall. Look for my review coming soon.]

The Jackson Memorial Foundation Green Market @ Alamo Park
1611 NW 12th Ave., Miami
Inside the JMH Campus
Open Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

leave food to nature

So, we have had a menu made of those magnet words on our book shelf for quite a few years now.

Randomly, as most things happen around here, we decided to change it. So here’s what resulted from the combining of our strange, strange minds.


Read Full Post »

Hani Khouri says "Cheese!"

Hani Khouri says "Cheese!"

Hani Khouri, owner of Redland Mediterranean Organics (and the latest grower to join Redland Organics), makes cheese and ice cream from goat milk. Wait a minute… what’s that… goat milk ice cream? Um, how does it taste? Like really, really good ice cream. And when was the last time that you experienced a flavor like papaya-wild orchid or mango-wild orchid, fruity and sweet with a perfume-y finish. No goat flavors in the ice cream, no worries. How Hani does it is a secret, he says, and I’ve tried to find out.

The ice cream flavors run towards the tropical. There’s jakfruit, mamey, and plain mango, from fruits sourced locally in Redland and subject to availability. For traditionalists there’s vanilla bean, chocolate (to die for), peach, raspberry and strawberry. All flavors are sweetened with agave.

Hani also makes two kinds of cheeses. One is a firm cheese with texture like feta but less salt and no goat-y flavor. It’s

Labneh with olive oil

Labneh with olive oil

one of my favorites. I’ve put it in sandwiches and salads, goes great with arugula. Last Saturday I sampled Hani’s latest offering — labneh, a soft cheese with the spreadability of cream cheese, and with the familiar tang of goat (but not too much). Labneh, Hani explained to me, begins as goat milk yoghurt that is drained and salted. No fan of typical goat cheese, I hesitated before sampling the it with olive oil on whole wheat pita — and was pleasantly surprised by its flavor — a mild goat presence, but not too overwhelming — nice!

Also on the Redland Mediterranean Organics menu is hummus, tabouli, falafel and baba ganoush. They’re all super fresh. When I dropped by Hani’s tent last on a rainy Saturday afternoon at the Coconut Grove Organic Farmers Market, he was finely chopping organic mint to stir into the tabouli. (The mint was picked at Bee Heaven Farm just the day before, and so were the scallions.) The invigorating aroma of mint floated into the air and drew people to the tent. “What’s that you’re making,” they asked, and hung around waiting for him to finish.

Stirring mint into fresh tabouli

Stirring mint into fresh tabouli

“So what is local food?” Hani asked as he chopped and stirred. “How far do you go to get locally produced food?” The boundaries of a local food area could be set at 100 miles. Or it could be 400 miles. Hani quoted the Farm Bureau as saying local for Miami is anywhere from Florida. Or it could be 7 hours by truck or plane — now wait a minute, that’s pushing it! But where does local food come from — a warehouse, or the field or orchard? And how does it get to the market — airplane, truck, goat cart or walking? Hani asked again, “How far can local food travel and stay local?” I replied, “Redland Organics CSA sources food from 150 miles or less.” Hani gets his goat milk even closer than that — about 50 feet from his kitchen door to the Nubian goats that he raises. He laughed and said proudly, “I’m a local producer who’s also a chef.” He also sells what he makes, and eats what he sells.

Hungry yet? Find Hani Khouri and goodies from Redland Mediterranean Organics at the Saturday farmer’s market in Coconut Grove on Grand Ave. and Margaret St. (just west of 32 Ave.), or at the new greenmarket by The Alamo at the Jackson Memorial complex on Thursdays around lunchtime. Enjoy!

Read Full Post »