My first Saturday visit this season to Detroit Eastern Market. I was helping out at the Michigan State University Extension Kiosk and of course packed my coolers and shopping bags for my tour of the market. I was delighted to see so many St. Clair, Sanilac, and Macomb county farmers selling produce, breads, beef, pork and poultry, flowers, landscape shrubs and cheese! My daughter came to join me on my break and for lunch and we were just in awe of all of the diversity of products, the wonderful smells of basil and rosemary and the colorful array of produce. My list was long when I finally could shop.
Detroit Eastern Market has many stores and restaurants surrounding the sheds and you are right off the expressway – very easy to get to – but you have to get here early for a good parking spot. I was glad I brought several shopping bags but so jealous to see the really smart people who had wheeled carts and wagons to carry their precious cargo. There was also the Burger Brawl going on which looked like lots of fun and very tasty things to eat. It was good to see so many people experiencing the Detroit Eastern Market.
Meal planning is so easy when all of these vegetables and fruits are staring you in the face. We bought heirloom tomatoes for BLTs and I often make an appetizer from tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella cheese (just add balsamic vinegar, olive oil and S&P). I purchased a chicken (at the end of the day 2:30 pm) so I could go to the car and put it right on ice in my cooler to take home safely. I also bought carrots, redskin potatoes, fingerling potatoes and onions to roast with the chicken. Beets I will roast in the oven one night and just add rice for my meal. Michigan blackberries I could not resist so took some of them home too.
People think it is too difficult or not fast enough to cook from scratch or cook with fresh ingredients from the market. The reason I decided to do this blog was to share with people how easy it can be to cook using local, fresh ingredients.
Today, I roasted the chicken with potatoes, carrots and an onion – with lots of salt and pepper. I just spread olive oil all over the outside, added a sprig of rosemary, sage and thyme from my herb garden, arranged the vegetables around the chicken in the roasting pan, added 4 cups of water, put the lid on the roaster and cooked the chicken for an hour and 30 minutes. It was tender and delicious. I saved half the breast meat to make chicken enchiladas later this week and the bones and juices (with the water) I am saving- freezing to make stock and soup later this fall. While the chicken was in the oven, I had taken out a sheet of puff pastry to thaw (I try to keep a box in the freezer for SIMPLE desserts like this!). For a quick dessert, I used 3/4 of a package of cream cheese and mixed it with 3 tablespoons of sugar. I folded and rolled the pastry to fit a tart pan, baked it beside the chicken for 15 minutes. When it cooled I spread the cream cheese mixture and after washing and drying the blackberries – arranged them on top for a delicious and light dessert!
Farmers Markets can create and inspire us to make great healthy meals!