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Top 10 Tips – Farmers’ Market Finds

What’s not to love about your local farmers’ market? The “buy local” and “farm-to-fork” movements are alive and well, and your readers are hungry for delicious recipes featuring fresh, locally grown produce and humanely raised and processed meat. Every recipe in this package is inspired by local “Farmers’ Market Finds” and each can be recreated with affordable, readily available ingredients.

  1. Garden-Fresh Salsa Verde: For best results, roast the tomatillos, jalapeno peppers, and garlic for 15-20 minutes in a 400°F before preparing this recipe. Roasting brings out a richer, sweeter flavor in each ingredient, which translates to better tasting results.

  2. Handling Jalapeno Peppers To avoid “jalapeno hands,” it’s best to wear gloves when handling them.If, however, you skip this step and find your hands burning – don’t despair! The capsaisin that makes peppers hot breaks down better in oil than it does in water. Therefore, coat your hands in olive or vegetable oil, or slather on a heavy hand cream to minimize the burn until it goes away.

  3. Buying Meat at Farmers’ Markets Meat from local farms and CSAs (Community-Supported Agriculture) can be quite a bit more expensive than what you find in larger grocery stores. To save money, look for more affordable “mini-farm sampler” type packs that feature a small amount of several different types of meat. (Most of the meat used in these recipes was sourced this way). It’s a great way to try new things and save a little money in the process. 

  4. Preserve Fresh Herbs Fresh herbs are a great way to add flavor to recipes without adding extra calories. Unfortunately, they can get pretty pricey and they don’t have a long shelf life. However, most fresh herbs can be preserved for later use. For example, fresh basil can be dried in the oven or frozen in ice cube trays covered by a layer of olive oil.

  • Measuring Fresh Ingredients When working with garden-fresh produce, such as ears of corn, it can be tricky to know how much to substitute when necessary. As a rule of thumb, an average medium-sized ear of corn will yield between ¾ – 1 cup of kernels. The recipes featuring sweet corn in this pack call for four ears, which translates to approximately 3 cups of fresh or frozen kernels. 

  • Round Meatballs: To help meatballs keep their nice, round shape, bake them for 15-20 minutes on a lined baking sheet before adding them to a baking dish with sauce.

  • Oven-Roasted Chicken Drumsticks: For best results, roast chicken drumsticks on a metal baking rack placed over a lined, rimmed baking sheet. (See photos) This allows all sides of the drumsticks to cook more evenly.
  • Mason Jar Salad: For best results, use wide-mouthed mason jars. You can use any jars you have on hand, but the narrower-mouthed jars make it a little tougher to get the salad out. Pint-sized jars are great for smaller lunch portions, while the quart-sized versions are perfect for a hearty dinner serving.

  • Mason Jar Salad: If you use an oil-based homemade dressing, like the one included in this package, the oil may solidify in the refrigerator. For best results, allow your salads to sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before serving.

  • Mason Jar Salad: The key to a successful Mason jar salad is the order of your ingredient layers. The recipe included in this pack explains the process, so be sure to share these tips as you promote this recipe.

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