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Kale is not a fad

Kale is not a fad


Here is a glimpse at what aired tonight on AETN. If you missed it, you can always find our shows on our AETN Channel.
Cook us lunch
Here is a little more about the story behind the story. Going out to Ozarks Alternatives in Lowell, Arkansas was a lot of fun. Paul has been a vendor at our new Roger’s farmers market and he has been a joy to get to know. He always has a smile on his face and has some wonderful vegetables to sell. The day we went out there, he even made us lunch, so we were happy little camera people. It was a cold day, so welcoming us into his home and giving us a meal was greatly appreciated. It was so cold, we even experienced the first day of snow for the 2016 winter season. Even in these temperatures, Paul Chapracki was still growing Kale. We knew it was a hardy green, but it was great to learn how this vegetable helps him survives as a farmer in Northwest Arkansas during the winter months. Because of the limited hours for the sun, it doesn’t quickly regrow, but he has figured out a system that keeps the Kale growing almost all winter long.
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Given the fact kale is having a revival after years of only being used to be the decor around the plates at the buffet. Now it has become an important part of a lot of peoples diet. Native Nectar, a local juice bar in Fayetteville and Bentonville Arkansas, is tapping into the desire for fresh, local foods by using Ozark Alternatives vegetables. Businesses like them love having that local source. It keeps money local and it is also a lot fresher with more nutriention than kale shipped in from other parts of the country. And it is quite tasty in their jucies, salads and more. Check out their menu now.
Plateshoot of Kale and Bacon Frittata
Chef Brooks goes on to get in the kitchen and makes a delicious Kale and Bacon Frittata top with some local feta. This one pan dish could work for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Make your simple shopping list now and check out this recipe.

Foodmatters.com has great facts around Kale. Here are a few of my favorites.

1. A serving of Kale has more absorbable calcium than a small carton of milk.

2. Kale tops the nutrient density scale – 1 cup of raw kale has just 33 calories yet contains 684% of vitamin K, 134% of vitamin C, 206% of Vitamin A, plus iron, folate, omega-3s, magnesium, calcium, iron, fiber, and 2 grams of protein, BAM!

3. The average American eats 2 to 3 cups of kale every year – one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Is it any wonder our collective health is a mess?

4. Kale is not a fad – kale is having a spectacular, even unprecedented run. As we all get more focused about eating for health, kale will continue to be a staple for those in the know.

5. The world of kale is vast and varied – keep exploring! – There are many tastes and colors of the dozens of varieties of kale: lacinato, redbor, Gulag Stars, True Siberian, Red Russian, White Russian, Dwarf Blue Bates, Red Nagoya, Chinese Kale, Seal Kale and the six-foot tall Walking stick Kale.

6. Kale offers unmatched culinary versatility – Name another green that you can whip into a smoothie, toss into a salad, amp up your juice, saute as a side. bake as a chip or mix in a cocktail. #kalejito

7. Kale is an awesome deal – A tasty bunch of 1 to 20 organic leaves costs two bucks. It’s one of the few superfoods that’s accessible to everyone, everywhere.

8. Kale is really easy to grow – Try it! You will have more than you can eat. Watch the show and learn how to keep it growing all year long.

A lot of great information! Hope you enjoyed this episode.

UP NEXT: We take you to two farms – Hanna Family Ranch in Bentonville and Bansley Berkshire Ridge in Harrison – are making a mark in the Arkansas pig business. Visits to both farms teach viewers about the di erent breeds, what makes the farms di erent and how they have had a pig partnership at times. When Brooks returns to the kitchen he prepares Pork Tenderloin Vegetable Medley. “Pigs are Big” in Arkansas, so tune in next week to learn more.

Goats love shoes

Goat Cheese Please

White River CreameryLast year when we were shooting some pilot episodes of the show, we found this amazing McCormick family at White River Creamery. We really enjoyed getting out and meeting them. It is so interesting to learn about all the work it takes to create this great cheese. Little did we know what a great story they had to share. This was a life changing decision to move here and start the farm. So glad they did and hopefully this Episode with tell you a little more about them and spread the word about what a great family they are.

Plus, Chef Brooks created a great Chicken Slider Recipe using their cheese. That along with other Local Ingredients made a great dish.

• Spicy 3 Pepper Fromage Blanc
• Chicken from Crystal Lake Farms
• Sliced pork belly bacon from Bansley Berkshire Ridge
• Ozark Mountain Bibb Lettuce from Ozark All Seasons Farm

Hope you enjoyed this episode of Cook with Brooks. We will not be on the next couple Saturday because of pledge drives on AETN. Please consider donating to us directly during that time since we receive no funding from the network.

Also during that time, we are working hard to make more episodes for you. Next up we go out to Ozark Alternatives in Lowell, Arkansas. Then a visit to Native Nectar in Bentonville, Arkansas to see what they are doing with all his vegetables. Juicing is a new to all of us, so hopefully you learn something too.

To find more out more about this family, check out Edible Ozarkansas’s story: Milking beauty. Great article that updates you on what is happening more recently with this family.

Chef Lyle and Chef Brooks

A look inside the heart of Crystal Bridges


Hopefully you were able to watch our Episode at Crystal Bridges Museum of Art. Whether you watch it on AETN or YouTube, it doesn’t make a difference to us. We just want to provide you a story that you found entertaining, while being educational about the food movement in Arkansas. It was our first pilot show we shot, so we learned a lot in the process. We learned exhaust vents in the kitchen can be a problem with the audio and that getting more food shots is important. Even with that, hope you enjoyed and watch the rest of ours shows that keep getting better.

If you didn’t watch, go ahead and learn how Chef Lyle pairs food not just with wine these days, but also with the art at Crystal Bridges. He created a delicious Quick Coq au Vin. This is a one pan dish that is a nice healthy winter dish with local herbs and chicken.  It is a flexible dish that you don’t have to follow exactly. Open your refrigerator and empty out the vegetables and experiment. The thyme and wine makes this feel like an expensive meal, but easy enough to make at home for the whole family.

Watch and hear how Chef Lyle is purchasing food locally the Eleven Restaurant. By staying in the region, he gets to meet the farmers and buy from them directly. He can visit their farms to know exactly what he is buying and putting into each dish that he serves his customers. He takes great pride in his work and finds it very rewarding. He gets to see the process from the very beginning to the end. From sourcing where the food comes from, to creating his own menu and costing them out. He is involved in actually receiving the products into the kitchen and to putting them together and firing them at the end of the night for a full dining room. And after all that hard work, then he is able to go out and speak to the customer and see their reaction. That is why he considers this one of the most rewarding professions he could be in.

Next, Steven takes us to the table to eat this delicious dish with an old friend. Eigthteen years ago, Case and Steven met at Marketplace Foods and immediately became good friends. They worked together and ended up doing a show on the Jones Network for several years and FOX. After the Markeplace closed, they moved on and opened a restaurant together, Soul Restaurant and Lounge. Find out more about their friendship and feelings about food.

Case Dighero and Chef Brooks

UP NEXT: This Saturday on AETN at 5 p.m., we visit White River Creamery in Elkins, Arkansas. After some rough times in California, they thought “Going a Different Whey,” would be a better decision for their family. This family worked together after moving from the Los Angeles area to start a dairy farm and a new way of life. Together, they are now making some of the best cheese in Northwest Arkansas. Brooks goes back to the kitchen to create a chicken slider recipe using their Triple Pepper Halloumi Cheese and other local ingredients.

Triple Pepper Halloumi Cheese from White River Creamery

More than just pumpkins

More than just pumpkins

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Cook with Brooks on ‘Country Pumpkins’.  As we covered in Episode 5, McGarrah’s Pumpkin Patch has a lot of pumpkins and sunflowers to enjoy in October. Well, fall is a few seasons away, but their is a lot more to do at this family owned farm during the rest of the year. They continue to provide a place where families can go to enjoy nature, spend quality time together, and provide a lot more fresh produce starting around Mother’s Day. That is when you can get some of their delicious berries. Keep reading to see all their produce and where to get it.

Their produce also includes:

  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Okra
  • Eggplant
  • Jalapeños
  • Bell peppers
  • Banana peppers
  • Anaheim peppers
  • Yellow squash
  • Zucchini
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Cantaloupe
  • Watermelon
  • Butternut squash

You can find most of their produce at the local farmers markets, including Downtown Rogers, Bentonville, Bella Vista, Pea Ridge, and Fayetteville Farmer’s Markets. You may also see their produce in your local grocery stores.

Just like with the pumpkins, if you want to get out to the farm and get some berries, you can come out with the family and do the “U-Pick” or “We Pick” option from May through July.

Strawberries are usually at their locations near Mother’s Day. Strawberry season typically lasts 3 to 4 weeks, but all of this depends on rain, sunshine and temperature. Please check their website and Facebook page for updates on when berries are available or listen to our automated message at (479)276-3559.

Additional berry patch locations:

Our Pea Ridge strawberry patch address:
14804 Miser Rd, Pea Ridge, AR 72751.

Our Lowell strawberry patch address:
214-352 S. Bloomington Blvd. Lowell, AR 72745

Our Raspberry and Blackberry Patch address:
12001 Ervin McGarrah Road. Lowell, AR 72745

Additional resources:

UP NEXT we are “Going a Different Whey”. We take a trip to the farm to learn about White River Creamery in Elkins, Arkansas. This family worked together after moving from the Los Angeles area to start a dairy farm and a new way of life. Together, they are now making some of the best cheese in Northwest Arkansas. Brooks goes back to the kitchen to create a chicken slider recipe using their Triple Pepper Halloumi Cheese and other local ingredients.

White River Creamery

From Farm to Oven

From Farm to Oven


Hope you caught our Episode 4 last Saturday on AETN about Wood Stone Pizza Kitchen in Fayetteville, Arkansas. This was one of our pilot episodes that we shot a while ago, so people in Northwest Arkansas may have seen them before. But AETN loved it so much, we decided to use it as an episode. If you missed it, click above and WATCH IT NOW.

I think if you watch it, you can see how much fun it was in the kitchen with talking with Jerrmy Gawthrop and at the table with Clayton Suttle. Learning the story of how they meet at a horseshoe tournament and how they let their conscious cuisine drive their lives. It was inspiring to me. So many times we think our jobs are just jobs and what we are passionate about, happens outside those hours. But these guys did it backwards. They made what the were passionate about everyday, into a job. They have found a way to make money and make their community a better place at the same time.

Enjoy these 4 recipes created by Chef Gawthrop with 6 different ingredients from Northwest Arkansas.

1. Pork Chop Brine

2. Butternut Squash Puree with Fromage Blanc

3. Pork Belly Braised Kale

4. Pickled Apples

Try them out for your family. Everything worked together beautifully and tasted amazing.

Thank you Jerrmy Gawthrop and Clayton Suttle for letting us come out and tell your story. Hope you all love it and keep watching us grow on our Cook with Brooks.

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UP NEXT: We take a ride out to the pumpkin patch at McGarrah Farms in Pea Ridge, Arkansas. We learn how the pumpkins can bring a lot of kids to the country. Brooks joins Dennis “Farmer” McGarrah for a hayride around the pumpkin patch. Then they pick out the perfect pumpkin for Brooks to take back to the kitchen to make a pumpkin pie from scratch.  It is a dessert the whole family will enjoy.

The Steve's picking

The roots at Vanzant Fruit Farms

Late last September, we wanted to do an episode to highlight the history of apples in the area. This was something we had heard about, but really didn’t fully understand until we started looking into the episode. Wow, so much information on the history alone that a movie could be made on that. It was neat to learn with the coming of the railroad in the 1880s, growers began planting apple trees by the thousands in the area. While every county in Northwest Arkansas grew and shipped apples, Benton and Washington Counties were the major players in the area. Now with the changing times and weather, apples are not a major player in the area, but one that should not be forgotten.

We choose Vanzant Fruit Farm to dive into that history. This family has a long been in the area. Steve Vanzant mentions Peter Graham in the episode, so here is what we learned from doing some research. Peter Graham homesteaded Northwest Arkansas in the early 1800’s and was Steve’s Great-Great-Great-Great Grandfather. I don’t have a picture of Peter, but we did receive this one from Regena Shelby that shows his grandson, Silas Graham(1850-1929).

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Peter had a son, Nelson Graham who was killed at the spring mentioned in the show. Nelson was the father of Silas Graham. In this photo, Silas is in center surrounded by his grand children. He was born in Benton County Sept. 5, 1850, and spent his entire life in this area. For many years, he has made his home on the farm originally known as the Barr place just east of the Butler ford on the White River. Silas Graham’s son was John Nelson Graham, who had a son, Harvey Graham. Harvey was Steve Vanzant’s grandfather on his mother’s side. He is pictured here two people to the right of Silas.

Steve’s mother Kahylene Vanzant, was born on May 14, 1927 on their family farm here in Lowell, Arkansas. When she was 15, Kahylene caught the eye of Fred Vanzant, 17, while her parents were singing at a small church in Sonora — this chance moment marked the beginning of their 74-year love story.

After Fred returned from his WWII tour in the Navy, the two were married June 27, 1948. Together they established Vanzant Fruit Farms in 1949. It was a run down Chicago Fruit Farm at the time of purchase, but together made it the successful Fruit Farm we know today. Now they grow the finest peaches, apples, and grapes in Northwest Arkansas.  They have been providing us and the four state region with only the highest quality of fruit and vegetables. They also grow pumpkins and tomatoes on their farm to make sure they always have something available in their market.

When we talked with Steve Vanzant for this episode, we were surprised by what a character he was. He was so much fun to talk to and learn from. He has adapted to the markets, the regulations, and varieties over the years to make sure to keep this farm going. It has not been easy, but his heart is there.

Even though Steve Vanzant was light-hearted, he was also in a hurry because he had to go check on his mother who had just returned from the hospital the day before. She was not doing well. We heard soon after, on October 29, 2016 she passed peacefully surrounded by family. We asked the family if we could mention it and dedicate the episode to her, and they said yes. We dedicated it ‘In Memory to Kahylene Graham Vanzant’. She sounded like a lovely lady and although I did not meet her, I was touched by what her and Fred have created.Kahylene Vanzant

If you want to experience Vanzant Fruit Farms, just visit the market on Highway 264 when they open for the season in 2017.  We were able to take some delicious Black Apples and honey and make this Honey Mustard Chicken and Apples dish. We couldn’t resist this meal, and we don’t think your friends and family will either! Be sure to let us know how your cooking adventure turns out.

Cook with Brooks Honey-mustard chicken and apples recipe

If you didn’t get a chance to watch it, WATCH NOW! You will enjoy learning even more about this great family farm and how to make this one skillet dish that is healthy and hearty.

If you want to learn more about the history of apples in the area, here are some great resources to check out:

Bumper crop

Encyclopedia of Arkansas

Arkansas Apple Festival

 

Couple of Chefs. Jerrmy Gawthrop and Steven Brooks at Wood Stone Craft Pizza.

UP NEXT on Episode 4: Watch this Saturday on Cook with Brooks, when visit to Wood Stone Craft Pizza in Fayetteville, Arkansas, to talk with owner and chef Jerrmy Gawthrop. He cooks up a pork chop and belly with braised kale and butternut squash puree with goat cheese that highlights six different local ingredients. Brooks then sits down with Clayton Suttle, Wood Stone Craft Pizza co-owner, to learn more about what inspired them to start this business and thoughts on farm-to-table movement in Northwest Arkansas.

Black Apple Crossing outside

Chef Talk: Episode 2 is in the world

Before we get started, first let me say what an honor it was to premiere “Cook With Brooks” on AETN this last weekend! What a kick to see our show on the television. Thank y’all for watching with us and helping make it possible. I hope you enjoyed it! And now that we’re rolling, we’ve got lots of great places, dishes and more on the way!

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There’s something pretty amazing brewing in Springdale, Arkansas! Hopefully you caught this week’s episode of “Cook With Brooks”. Some of our crew went down and watched it with a cider and taco in hand. Wish I could have been there, but so glad they got to do that. It makes our job rewarding when we can see the faces of the folks we are showing off. If you missed it, check it out now. You can watch me as I made a visit to the first and only cidery in The Natural State: Black Apple Crossing in historic downtown Springdale. I learned about the cidery, the history of chicken and apples in the area, and how this business is helping to revitalize the city after years of neglect. Black Apple Crossing has transformed an old office building and hatchery that once housed George’s Chicken and Hatchery. It’s a great mix of history and innovation that are giving downtown Springdale a whole new flavor.

CWB-102_ChefandLeoWe talk with owner Leo Orpin about the dream behind this place, the juice they use to produce the product and how the cider is made. From the Ozarks, to Michigan and Washington state, there are some great U.S. products involved and a fascinating process behind it all!

And, of course, it wouldn’t be an episode of “Cook With Brooks” without something mouthwatering you can whip up at home. Watch how I get inspired by the cider and the local Mexican joint, Taquería Don Güero, across the road from Black Apple Crossing.

To learn more about this great Arkansas business, READ THIS article by Edible Ozarkansas. They wrote it back in November 2015, but still full of great details you will love to know. It goes into more depth about the history of apples in Benton and Washington counties, the history of how cider came to be and gives you a sneak peek at all other two founders,  Trey Holt and John Handley. Leo was more than happy to talk and get in front of the camera for us, but Trey and John were not too excited to about that idea.  We understand, but here is your chance to see their faces too.

UP NEXT: Next Saturday, January 28th, on Cook with Brooks, we take a trip to the Vanzant Fruit Farms in Lowell, Arkansas. As we walk through an orchard of Black Apples, we learn more about the history of apples in the area with Steve Vanzant, as well as the history of his own family fruit farm that has been in operation since 1949. He explains how the farm has adapted over the years to changing demands and has learned how to keep a constant supply of fruit by growing several varieties of apples, peaches and grapes. Then he takes Brooks to their market on Highway 264 to get ingredients for a honey mustard chicken and apple dish.  

Watch next Saturday to learn more about a local orchard and how to make a delicious dish using their ingredients.

 

It is go time

It is go time

What have we been up to...well a lot! We officially signed at the end of September with AETN/PBS. Now we are finishing up editing our first seven shows of Cook with Brooks. All this while also trying to get support from local underwriters. It has not been easy, but we are proud of what we are doing and know the stories are good. We know that telling the stories of the state’s No. 1 industry, agriculture, is crucial to Arkansas’s economy. More than 44,000 farms spread across 13.8 million acres annually contribute more than $20 billion to the Natural State. That’s nearly one quarter of the state’s economic activity. We are capturing those stories of this important industry, while also getting in the kitchen with those local ingredients and making a delicious dish.  For this first season, we are focusing on northwest Arkansas, but hope to get out and see more of Arkansas in Season 2. So many stories to tell, it can be overwhelming.

Don Bennett with Tri Cycle Farms

Stories on farmers like, Don Bennett with Tri Cycle Farms will open your eyes to the hunger issues in Arkansas and how it is all around us.
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Stories like Farmer Steve Vanzant of Vanzant Fruit Farm, will make you laugh, but also make you realize how much this area has changed with the apple industry.

Dennis McGarrah of McGarrah Farms in Pearidge, Arkansas.

And Dennis 'Farmer' McGarrah of McGarrah Farms was such much fun to watch in action as the Santa Claus of October.

Black Apple Crossing with Leo Orpin.

We have also learned about some local products produced with local ingredients, which was interesting too. Black Apple Crossing let us into their 'kitchen' to see how they make cider as the First Cidery in Arkansas. With each stop, Chef Brooks picked up ingredients and went back to the kitchen to make some magic.

As we are editing, we are laughing out loud. We know that once people see these characters and learn more about them, they will understand why a show like this is important. Their are a lot of great magazines and stories on-line, but for me, there is nothing like a story captured in video. The jokes and random conversations are the magic of the moment. That is the craft we are bringing to the table.

Please make sure to watch our season premiere on AETN/PBS this coming January 7th at 5pm. Until then, please consider becoming an underwriter for this locally produced show that is receiving no funding from AETN. You can buy your media locally directly from us in Northwest Arkansas and get 15,000 to 33,000 eyes on your spot 4 times a month. Your spot will be embedded in the episode forever unlike most commercial spots. Considering AETN is still rerunning cooking shows from 6 years ago, that could be for years to come. Help us tell the good story of food and be champions with us on the most trustworthy institute seven years running.

 

2016 Fayetteville Roots Festival on the books

2016 Fayetteville Roots Festival on the books

Chef Patrick Lane of Arsagas Depot and Chef Michael Robertshaw of the Pressroom.

Chef Patrick Lane of Arsagas Depot and Chef Michael Robertshaw of the Pressroom take some time to talk with us at the VIP kick off event.

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One of our biggest fans!

Ingredients for Chef Brooks Demo.

Ingredients for our demo straight from the Fayetteville Farmers Market.

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Delicious Lamb Chop with apple, onions and squash surprise. Now onto judging the Chef Cook Off. All in a days work.

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winner

And the winner is Chef Matt Scott of Bordino's and Jason Paul of the Heirloom with an amazing and beautiful Eggs Benedict.

Cook with Brooks Recipe

Quick Salmon Blueberry Chutney

Here we are a couple months later since my last post. Where have we been? Well, we have been busy working away trying to get this show on the air. We have officially heard back from a station, but need to figure out the details before we can announce anything. In the meantime, we are going to do some fun, quick videos for you to enjoy. Some will be recipes. Some will be seasonal, local recipes. Some will be local food celebrations. Whatever we share, it will be related to the story of food. All our videos live on our YouTube Channel and Facebook page. Take a look around and see what we are up to. Please subscribe because there are more videos to come you way to brighten your day!

Check out our newest recipe now! It is a task Salmon Filet with blueberry Chutney.