Do you know what is grown in your area????

Joined Aug 11, 2000
Amazing. With in 2 weeks I have worked with 3 of the best chefs in town.....2 doing demos at the market and one doing a chef farmer dinner....The criteria is use what is local and in season. Easy enough.
Well, one of the demos had sea scallops (I live in St. Louis) saffron, plum tomatoes from who knows where...
The next just left a message on my machine saying asparagus, porcini and domestic shrooms in creams served in puff chef asparagus have been off the market for 6 weeks, we don't have porcini in MO. and I have no oven in the middle of the road for your puff pastry demo.
Ya know I went through what was on the market and the whole gist of the gig.
Chef Farmer dinner....same thing, we don't have asparagus now we have corn, tomatoes, squash, arugula, fennel, beets, carrots, greens, potatoes, shallots, green onions, lettuces, leeks, peaches, nectarines, blackberries, onions....These are top notch guys...I mean $80 pp in their restaurants, and sharp, creative....So the question is do you know what is available to you locally?
Truthfully? Not to put anyone on the spot but am I that out of touch with reality?
Joined Oct 15, 2000
Yeah shroom, I know what's around. How? I go to the farmer's market. I buy ONLY from the people who are doing locally grown sustainable stuff. Sweet corn is in, my plum tomatoes are producing like crazy, potatoes and beets are wonderful, zukes of course, blackberries are still around a little. Good stuff.
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Hi Shroomgirl!!

This is a great time to be a chef in New England....Produce a plenty.
Native corn,white and suger and butter abound.
Incredible blueberries from Maine.
Every vegetable to make capanata is over flowing,eggplant,zucc,summer squash,onions

Leeks,shallots and sweet garlic all the lilly flowers are drying up so the bulbs are ripe for the picking.
Fennel,broad beans,green beans,wax beans are crisp and sweet.

east coast melons are awesome as are some of the stone fruits. Grapes are everywhere.

Beefsteaks and brandy wines are killer.

All the incredible berries are in the market and the prices are user friendly.

Potatoes are getting there.

All the tender greens are flooding the kitchens as well.

I think I should get outside and tend to my garden...
Happy days!!
Joined Aug 11, 2000
Alright!!! Yesterday's market was lush...absolutely wonderful. I had the market master from Marblehead Mass. stop in, he had read about my market!!!!!(thrilling to be known that far away)
There is a corn farmer at the market for the last 3 weeks...amazing shtuff. He brought in a big bunch the first week sold out by 9:30 next week brought in twice as much sold out by 10am, this week brought in 50% more and was out again by 10.....He starts picking at 8pm on Friday night, then again pre light Sat....He says he can feel if the ear is ripe.
This week he is in between varities so it will be a slim week, I asked if he had corn smut (huit lacoche) "yep", I said bring it in folks'll buy it.
His farm is 1000 acres, mostly commodities, hay and pigs. He sees CAFOs(contained animal feeding operations) as being the future....not for himself but that is what he sees. That is not my world. I will support monetarily and with energy people treating animals decently. There is strong gov't support for CAFO's I have no clue why.
Do you know what kinda farm your meat comes from?
Joined Mar 13, 2001
Oh wow! For Mexicans, huitlacoche (Ustilago maydis) is considered as their truffle! It's very rare in the US as farmers take vigilant measures against it.

I have recipes for:
  • Huitlacoche Soup
  • Huitlacoche Mousse; and
  • a Layered Crêpe Dish with Huitlacoche
Any takers?

Thanks Shroomgirl!

Joined Jul 31, 2000
Has anyone ever tasted corn that has huitlacoche growing on it? It makes the kernal grow large and black,even deformed..But Delicious. I would also like to see those recipes Kimmie,I have only had it once and it was part of a stuffing in a quesadillas. Can this be found on the east coast? or is it indeginouse to Mexico?
Joined Mar 13, 2001
Here goes:

Caldo de Huitlacoche
Huitlacoche Soup

Served in demitasse cups, it makes a great appetizer on cold winter nights.

3 tablespoons lard or corn oil
1 medium-size onion, sliced in thin half-moons (about 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 fresh chiles, either poblano or Anaheim, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced
1 can (8 ounces) huitlacoche (see note)
2 tablespoons dried epazote or minced fresh cilantro leaves (I found it fresh at market last summer and couldn't believe my eyes!!)
8 cups chicken broth, or as needed
1 cup heavy or light cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat the lard or oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot but not quite smoking. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is golden and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the diced chiles and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the huitlacoche and epazote, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

Let cool slightly. In two or more batches, process the mixture to a smooth puree in a blender or food processor fitted with the steel blade, adding enough chicken stock to facilitate blending. Pour the puree into a large, heavy saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring. Add the remaining chicken stock a cup or two at a time until the mixture is the consistency of a thin cream soup. Stir in the cream, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.

Note: During high season (July through October), the Herdez canning factory buys what it can and processes it into a wonderful product, sold in 8-ounce cans.

Yield: about 10 cups (6 to 8 regular or 10 to 12 demitasse servings)

Huitlacoche Mousse

For a simple presentation, serve the mousse as a spread with tortilla chips or as a rich first course chilled in tiny ramekins.

For an elegant presentation, use the mixture as a filling for tiny puff pastry shells (vol-au-vent).

1 envelope (1 tablespoon) plain gelatin
¼ cup cold water
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoon corn oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
2 poblano chiles roasted, peeled, seeded and diced
1 fresh chile, either jalapeño or serrano, and roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced
2 cans (8 ounces each) huitlacoche
2 tablespoons dried epazote or minced fresh cilantro leaves
Salt to taste

Stir the gelatin into the cold water and let soften at least 5 minutes. In a small saucepan, heat the cream over medium heat until hot but not boiling. Add the gelatin and stir to dissolve completely. Let cool while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

Heat the oil in a medium-size skillet over high heat until very hot but not quite smoking. Add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add the diced chiles and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the huitlacoche and epazote; reduce the heat to medium and cook another 10 minutes, stirring often. Let cool slightly.

Transfer the huitlacoche mixture to a blender or food processor. Add the gelatin-cream mixture and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour into a glass serving container or 8 small individual ramekins. Let cook completely and refrigerate, covered, until set (2 to 3 hours).

Yield: 8 servings

Crema Agria Preparada
(Aromatic Sour Cream Mixture)

2 cups cultured sour cream
1 small onion, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Salt to taste

Combine all the ingredients and let rest 5 minutes to blend the flavors. This loses its freshness quickly but can be held, tightly covered, a couple of days in the refrigerator.

Yield: slightly more than 2 cups


and CC, I think they are indigenous to Mexico!

[ July 29, 2001: Message edited by: Kimmie ]
Joined Jul 31, 2000
My Dear Kimmie, Thank you for the recipes!!

They sound quite good.
Not to get off shrooms topic I have one more question, Can you buy huitacoche fresh or only prossesed?
Joined Mar 13, 2001
I think you should get in touch with Shroomgirl's farmer, or get in touch with a local corn farmer in your area. If he knows you are interested...

Here's a quote from Zarela Martinez:

and you're welcome, CC.

Joined Aug 11, 2000
Good to know that huitlacoche's fate is ok...did not realize what a strong demand there is for it.
Let's start an thread and play with huitlacoche.
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