AUTUMN HARV E S T V I N E YARD CATERER JAN BUHRMAN PREPARES A N AUTUMN FEAST IN HER ISLAND KITCHEN.

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1 in the kitchen AUTUMN HARV E S T V I N E YARD CATERER JAN BUHRMAN PREPARES A N AUTUMN FEAST IN HER ISLAND KITCHEN. BY ALI BERLOW - PHOTOGRAPHY BY BETSY CONSIGLIA Jan Buhrman relies on local goods to create tasty food. To that end, she knows where all of her food comes from and sometimes that's from the chickens and pigs that she raises. Buhrman scoops out sugar pumpkins to transform into pumpkin purée. 3 8 CC &I Hom e w w w. c a pe codl i f e. com

2 Praise the Pig! she d written in a sloop-y, cursive exuberance across the top of her personal stat i o n a r y. Chef, caterer, and local-food ambassador, Jan Buhrman was just back from a trip off-island. She d gone to a friend s farm to help with her pigs and dropped me a note, along with some of the fresh, homemade pork sausage she d just made. w w w. c a p e c o d l i f e. c o m C C & I Ho m e 3 9

3 in the kitchen It was time, she d explained to me after I found her gift, left in my refrigerat o r. You want to do them (the pigs) when the weather is cold. That s one of Jan s charms. She often forgets, in her enthusiasm and passion for all-things-good-food, that most everyone doesn t want to know about that part. The part of how food actually gets from the farm to their plate. Especially meat. The words pig and dinner are rarely, if ever, uttered in the same sentence in polite conversation. But for Jan, a consummate educator, food is an opportunity to elucidate, to clarify. She believes everyone should know about what they eat and to think about the ramifications and implications of what it all means. Because the more you know, the more you appreciate. All of it. And she s not shy about telling you, in her temperate way, whether you want to hear about it, or not. J a n s been eating and cooking local food before local became all the rage. Before local became the new organic. Fifteen years ago she started her catering c o m p a n y, The Kitchen Porch. Her philosophy has always been to focus her menus, as much as she could, from the bounties of island grown food. She still does: A l l e n Farm lamb and Caitlin Jones heirloom tomatoes from Chilmark, cabbage and potatoes from Whippoorwill Farm in The cast iron pans and skillets on Buhrman's Swedish wood-burning sizzle and cook the local bounty. 4 0 CC &I Hom e w w w. c a pe codl i f e. com

4 in the kitchen Corn Chowder is the perfect fall dish. Vineyard Haven, Sweet Neck oysters from K a t a m a. At home, she raises her own food for her family, as much as time and space a l l o w. That means egg-laying hens housed in moveable pens and a pig or two that help manage the scrub oak and poison ivy around her property. Naturally, Jan s pigs are some of the best fed on Martha s Vineyard, enjoying their own locally grown, locally-made meals her table scraps. For Jan, her commitment to local food is more that: it tastes better because it s 4 2 C C & I Ho m e w w w. c a p e c od l i f e. c o m

5 f r e s h e r. It tastes better because it was picked at peak. And it s more than about supporting her farmer-neighbors. It s about the environment and it s about eating seasonally. She explains. When you live in New England, strawberries in February or cranberries in July just don t make sense to Jan. The average food item in America travels an average of,500 miles to reach the dinner table. Jan believes that s a waste of fossil fuels and it causes harm to the environment. According to her, the subsidies for fuel and industrial agri-business that keep the price of food artificially low, masking its real price. That s one reason why I work so hard to educate my clients. Locally grown food may seem relatively more expensive, but it s actually closer to real price of what food costs. And it doesn t use nearly as much fossil fuel to get from the farm to the table. Her own homegrown pig-to-pork loin, corn chowder made with raw milk from the small dairy farm less than three miles from her home and corn from Morning Glory Farm in Edgartown is more than just dinn e r. This meal is an opportunity (a delicious one at that), a launching point to discuss the issues of locally grown food. Jan constantly strives to learn more, to expand her culinary prowess. A member of Slow Food, her travels have taken her to I t a l y, Spain and France. Cookbooks like Taste of Provence and Table in Tu s c a n y b y Leslie Forbes, and Cooking by Hand, by Paul Bertolli influence her menus and rouse her creativity via ingredients. While the joyful homespun romp of childhood memories that is Sallie Ann Robison s Gullah Home Cooking the Daufuskie Wa y : S m o k i n Joe Butter Beans, Ol Fuskie Fr i e d Crab Rice, Sticky-Bush Blackberry w w w. c a p e c o d l i f e. c o m C C & I Ho m e 4 3

6 Dumpling, and Other Sea Island Fa v o r i t e s is a favorite read, she admits to never having used one of the recipes. It feeds her in other ways. And time and time again, she finds herself always coming home to T h e M a r t h a s Vineyard Cookbook by Lousie Tate King for the old stuff. It s full of recipes for eel, squid, dandelion green omelets, rabbit, Irish moss, venison pot roast, rosehip everything including marmalade. It s inspiring, she says with admiration and appreciation for the generin the kitchen The right tools are essential for the job. A blow torch caramelizes sugar into the crispy top on pumpkin mousse. 4 4 C C &I H o m e w w w. c a p e c od l i f e. c o m

7 ations of local island cooks who came before her. When you step foot into Jan s home kitchen, you forget that you re in a chef s kitchen. All you feel is comfort. Ease. She and her husband, Rich Osnoss built the house in 993. I hate feeling boxed in, she says, so there are no wall cabinets. A l l storage is either under the hip-high counters or in the large walk-in pantry. The perennial safe food handler, Jan has two sinks. One for food prep, the other, a twin basin used for washing and drying of dishes sans faucet handles. Instead, nifty foot pedals regulate water flow. So whether her hands are covered in sticky dough, or if she s been handling meat or onions she just pumps the foot pedals. Every Sunday in the off-season, Jan makes a soup and a stock. Cooking on her Swedish-design wood-burning cooktop does double-duty in these cold months because it heats the kitchen. With ease and instinct, she slides cast iron skillets and stockpots over its even cooking surface finding hot spots for searing meat, the cooler ones for simmering her soups. Watching Jan cook is a both calming and awe evoking. It s like staring up into the night sky and seeing a constellation that you ve never been able to see, until that moment. She connects the stars in her life around food by her philosophy, her profession and her passion in a way that is unique and yet, it is intrinsically a part of each of us, as well. FOR MORE INFO R M AT ION, SEE MARKETPLACE ON PAGE XX. Ali Berlow is a freelance writer living on M a r t h a s Vi n e y a r d. w w w. c a pe codl i f e. com CC&I Hom e 4 5

8 in the kitchen RECIPES Inspired by Jan Buhrman Corn Chowder Recipe Adapted from Simply Recipes Serves 4. With sweet, fresh corn, still available at the local farmers market, we just couldn't resist trying our hands at some fresh corn chowder. The recipe is adapted from one by Mitchell Davis in Kitchen Sense and is full of flavor. The original recipe calls for a strip of bacon, but you can add a little bacon fat instead, if you have some on hand, or just add a little more b u t t e r. Tbsp unsalted butter strip of bacon or teaspoon of bacon fat (substitute 2 Tbsp of butter for vegetarian option) 2 large yellow onion, chopped (about 2 c u p ) 2 large carrot, chopped (about 3 c u p ) 2 celery stalk, chopped (about 3 c u p ) 3 ears of sweet corn, kernels removed from the cobs (about 2 cups), cobs r e s e r v e d ) bay leaf 3 2 cups milk, organic medium Yukon Gold potato, or Russet, peeled and diced 4 red bell pepper, chopped (about 4 c u p ) Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper 2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the bacon strip (skip this 4 6 CC &I Hom e w w w. c a pe codl i f e. com

9 step for vegetarian option, just add more butter) and fry 3 or 4 minutes to render fat, but not to brown. Add the onion and sauté for another 4 to 5 minutes, until soft. Add the carrot and celery and cook for 4 or 5 more minu t e s. 2. Break the sheared corn cobs in half and add them to the saucepan. Add the milk and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a bare s i m m e r. Cover the pot and cook for 30 minutes. Make sure the heat is as low as can be and still maintain a gentle simmer to prevent scalding the milk on the bottom of the pan. 3. Discard the cobs, the bacon strip, and the bay leaf. Then raise the heat, add the potatoes, red pepper, teaspoon of salt, fresh ground pepper to taste, bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to maintain a simmer for 5 minutes, or until the potatoes are almost fork tender. 4. Raise the heat, add the corn kernels and the thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Arugula and Pear Salad with Dijon Sherry Vi n a i g r e t t e Adapted from Food network, recipe courtesy of Dave Lieberman Serves 6 bunch arugula, washed and stemmed Bosc pear A small bowl with a splash of lemon or lime juice 4 cup sherry vinegar 2 heaping tsps whole grain Dijon m u s t a r d pinch of sugar 3 cup olive oil shallot, minced Kosher salt and black pepper 3 4 cup walnuts halves, toasted w w w. c a p e c o d l i f e. c o m C C & I Ho m e 4 7

10 in the kitchen. Core and slice the pear, dropping it into the lemon water as you go. This will keep the pear from turning brown later. 2. Put the cleaned arugula to a medium serving bowl. Drain the pears and add them to the a r u g u l a. 3. In another small bowl, whisk together vineg a r, mustard, sugar, olive oil, and shallot. Season with salt and pepper. 4. Toss the arugula and pears with the dressing. Divide the salad between the plates and top with the toasted walnuts. Serve immedia t e l y. Fig and Blue Cheese Stuffed Pork Te n d e r l o i n Adapted from Cooking Light Yield 4 servings (serving size: 3 slices) (-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed 2 cup dried figs, coarsely chopped 2 cup crumbled blue cheese 2 teaspoon kosher salt 2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Cooking spray or oil tablespoon apple jelly, melted. Preheat oven to Slice the pork in half lengthwise, cutting to, b u t not through, the other side. Laying the tenderloin flat place it between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Sprinkle figs and blue cheese over pork, leaving a 2-inch margin around outside edges. Roll up the pork, on the long slide and tie off at 2-inch intervals with twine. Season with salt and pepper and place on a foil-lined jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray or rubbed with oil. 3. Bake at 450 for 20 minutes. Brush jelly over the pork. Bake an additional 5 minutes or 5 0 C C & I Ho m e w w w. c a p e c od l i f e. c o m

11 until a thermometer registers 60 (slightly pink). Let stand for 0 minutes. Discard twine; cut pork into 2 (-inch-thick) slices. Pumpkin Crème Brule Adapted from Food Network We b s i t e Yield serves 6 2 cups heavy cream, organic 2 cup whole milk, organic 4 teaspoon cinnamon 4 pinches nutmeg 4 teaspoon ginger 4 teaspoon ground cloves 4 teaspoon ground cardamom 4 egg yolks 2 cup granulated sugar 4 cup pumpkin puree (fresh or canned) 3 cup raw sugar. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. In a medium saucepan, heat the cream, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and cardamom over medium heat, stirring occasionall y, just until it comes to a boil. Immediately w w w. c a p e c o d l i f e. c o m C C &I H o m e 5

12 in the kitchen turn off the heat and set aside to infuse at least 5 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the granulated sugar. Whisking cons t a n t l y, gradually pour in the warm cream mixture. Be careful not to scramble the eggs. Whisk in the pumpkin puree. Pour the mixture into 4 ovenproof ramekins and arrange in a hot water bath. Bake in the center of the oven until almost set but still a bit soft in the center, 30 Locally grown food i s about the environment and it s about eating s e a s o n a l l y. to 40 minutes. 2. The custard should "shimmy" a bit when you shake the pan; it will firm up more as it cools. Remove from the water bath and let cool completely and then cover each ramekin with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic does not touch the surface of the custard. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, and up to 24 hours. 3. When ready to serve, preheat a broiler (or fire up your kitchen torch). Uncover the chilled custards. Pour as much coarse sugar as will fit onto the top of of the custards. Po u r off the remaining sugar onto the next custard. Repeat until all the custards are coated. Discard any remaining sugar. Or you can place the ramekins on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan and broil until the sugar is melted and well browned, to 2 minutes. Let cool minute before serving. Jan Buhrman w w w. k i t c h e n p o r c h. c o m j a k i t c h e n p o r c h. c o m 5 2 C C &I Ho m e w w w. c a p e c od l i f e. c o m