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UMF #10 Istanbul Supermarket

On Sunday April 14th UMF visited Istanbul Supermarket, at 745 S. Gammon Road. It has been open almost exactly a year and is still in the process of expanding.

Hospitality was on view from the moment we arrived, as the owner, Yashar, plied us with mineral water, coffee soda, delicious cookies filled with hazelnut cream and dipped in chocolate. We even got samples size tubes of olive oil hand cream.

The shelves are full of Turkish items ranging from fantastic preserves, to tea and coffee (including a set sold with the traditional enameled pot), to tinned meats, pickled vegetables, and nut studded candy. There are also some Indian and Middle Eastern items mixed in, both on the shelves and in the coolers and freezers.

One of the biggest draws for many of the market’s customers is the halal meat. There is fresh meat, such as lamb and goat, as well as frozen, and items such as a spicy, precooked sausage similar to chorizo, but with a fragrant twist.

Our guide, Oktay, talked about the various ingredients we encountered as we went from aisle to aisle and spoke about all the wonderful dishes his mother would cook for him growing up. The UMF tours will always leave you hungry and ready to try some new ingredients in the kitchen!

Yasher is in the process of getting some new coolers installed and hopes to eventually expand to be able to have a deli area too, where he can serve food and Turkish coffee. That will be a happy day.

CSA Time

This coming Sunday is the CSA Open House at the Monona Terrace.

Attend free workshops and learn how to best use your share and choose the right farm for your family. Children’s activities, a raffle to benefit Partner Shares, which helps low-income families to join farms, and recipe samples!

Approximately 1,000 people typically attend this annual event. It’s free and open to all.

There’s a new CSA that we’re particularly interested in. The Spring Rose Growers Co-op has started a CSA this year. Spring Rose is comprised of Latino and Hmong farmers.  Here’s a blurb from their site:

We have grown beyond the Farley Center to six farm members, both Hmong and Latino. Since November 2010 we have been working under a USDA Small Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grant to design and implement technical assistance programming targetd specifically at farmers like ourselves.

If you’re not familiar with the CSA model, the CSA Coalition has some great information on their site.

Chez Nanou French Cooking Class: Winter Session

We kicked off our seasonal French Cooking Class series at Chez Nanou on Monday, January 21st, 2013.  Students arrived at 5 pm and after introductions and an orientation to the restaurant, class began promptly.  An apron, hand towel, and packet of the recipes for the evening were provided to each student.  In keeping with our small class size, each student had their own work station in the kitchen.

Dee & Nanou were so perfectly organized in their preparations, class went smoothly and everyone was able to enjoy their time in a relaxed and fun fashion.  We started things off by putting together the Salmon & Leek Pie, our main course.  Students helped mix together the pastry dough, clean and prep leeks, skin and dice fresh salmon, and make a Béchamel sauce.  After the pie was in the oven we got started on the French Onion Soup.  Nanou shared her secret for slicing onions without tears!  Students sliced onions and got them sautéing.  While the soup simmered, we moved on to dessert…Crêpe Suzette!  Everyone got to take a turn making crepes.  There is definitely a technique to getting it right and the correct pan is a must!  Finally, Nanou demonstrated making the Suzette sauce which was then set aside until assembly time.


Now that the work was done, it was time for dinner.  The soup bowls were assembled with herbed croutons made at the beginning of class, topped with the delicious onion soup, and finally with grated Swiss cheese.  The bowls were place under the broiler to melt the cheese until slightly golden.  Wine was poured and it was time to eat!  The students, guests, and chefs sat around a convivial table to enjoy the home cooked food and engage in conversation.  The way a Slow Food meal is meant to be. The soup was delicious.  Savory and warm with some sweetness from the onions.  Thick and hearty from the croutons and cheese.  I think I could eat this all winter long!

Moving on to our second course, the pie was golden and gorgeous with perfectly flaky crust.  Filled with creamy salmon and leeks, it was the definition of comfort food!  The fresh salmon had been mixed with smoked salmon to give the pie some depth of flavor.  Nanou taught the students how to make an emulsified mustard vinaigrette from scratch.  With this dressing, an arugula salad accompanied each slice of pie.  It made a beautiful plate.



Last but not least was dessert.  We went brief  back to the kitchen where each student was able to create their own authentic Crêpe Suzette, complete with flambéed Grand Marnier.  There was a lot of excitement in the kitchen!  The crêpes were light and tangy.  The perfect end to a lovely meal.


Everyone had a nice time cooking, learning, and eating together.  We are so excited to offer this series of classes and are working on an April date for the Spring session!  We look forward to having you join us.  Bon Apetit!

Ideas for Locally Produced Holiday Gifts

Here are some ideas of locally produced foods.  Many of these you can order online as well – visit the link for more information.  If you have any other ideas, please post in the comments.

Thanks and Happy Holidays!

Porchlight – Jams, Jellies, Salsa, Curtido, Scone Mixes, more 

Hawkwind Mustards and Relish

Quince & Apple Small Batch Preserves

Gentle Breeze Honey

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