We were on the road a bit this summer and during a stop-over just outside of Philadelphia, Jess took me to the Lancaster County Farmer’s Market in Wayne, PA.
I really dug it. There were a lot of Dutch-Amish products and stands and their produce looked awesome – I saw everything from beautiful, bright heirloom tomatoes to multi-colored okra. What I liked most is that all of the produce looked super fresh like it came straight from their gardens (and it probably did).
There was a meat and cheese vendor called S. Clyde Weaver that caught my eye. They had these huge ham hocks that looked delicious, but unfortunately a weekend in NYC doesn’t lend to buying too many groceries beforehand.
I did buy some sausages for dinner that night though. One was a smoked sausage (almost kielbasa style) and it was a little bit fatty but had a real nice smoky flavor. It was also a little bit sweet, which I tend to like over a spicy sausage. I also bought 4 raw sausages – two sun-dried tomato and basil and two pork and cheddar. The sun-dried tomato and basil were good, but nothing compared to the pork and cheddar. Freaking awesome. They were super moist and delicious. I think the butcher probably used a small cubed cheddar rather than shredded because when you ate it and hit a piece of cheddar, it was like a little pocket of creamy cheddary wonderfulness.
I also was happy to find fresh quail eggs at the market.
The first time I ever encountered quail eggs was at my first culinary job. I remember walking into the kitchen and I saw these tiny little spotted eggs and didn’t know what they were. I asked my chef and he said “those are quail eggs, you don’t know?” and immediately taught me how to soft boil them. Honestly I haven’t worked with them a lot since then but always mean to, so imagine my excitement when I saw a dozen quail eggs for sale at this market (for like four bucks). I know quail eggs are small and there’s not a lot to them, but they’re so creamy… like their yolk is so rich you could butter your bread with it.
So we took all of our goodies home and made a quick dinner. After 8 hours on the road, we were both hungry and didn’t want to make anything too complicated. I fried the quail eggs and pan-seared the sausages, deglazing the sausages with a Lagunitas Czech Style Pilsner.
After the sausages were done, I added my deglazing liquid to a real easy hash I had going — just some diced up new Yukon gold potatoes, heirloom tomatoes, and zucchini. I also made a blueberry honey glaze for the hash using blueberry preserves, honey, vegetable based Asian chili paste, lemon juice, cilantro, and brown rice wine vinegar.
I’ve gotta give thanks to our friends for letting us stop by on our way to NYC – they have a lovely home, but an even better kitchen — and after cooking in our tiny apartment kitchen for so long, it was nice to be able to make a dinner in a space like that. We’ll be back soon for sure.