Farm to Fork is a small catering and eatery located in Leander, Texas. Chef Shelley Pogue is the owner and founder of Chef Pogue's Farm To Fork. A Le Cordon Bleu Honor's Graduate with background in Recipe Development that were mass produced in large retail markets. Food has been changing for the past couple of decades some good and some not so much. I want to be able to help other,s and share my knowledge about the benefits of eating fresh local foods.
I am going to offer healthy local food choices from our local farmers that will bring healthy food options to the diner table. There will be seasonal fresh food choices for the carnivore, or the vegetarian regardless of the busy lifestyle we all seem to have these days. My goal is to feed my community, with great fresh food that is locally grown. It will help our local farmers, and if you have ever eaten something fresh from the farm you definitely know the difference!
Wild caught lump blue crab cake on potato crisp w/ mango pico & sriracha aioli at #TheFork #FarmToFork #FarmToForkTexas #FoodLeander #ATXEats #LeanderEats #Leander
We post our menu on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/farmtoforktexas/ or on our website on our menu page
The fall is upon us again and you know what that means….. Root veggies. I love the fall as usual as most who follow our blog know that already. It is football season, and usually cooler weather is upon us as well as the holidays are right around the corner too. I love to have a nice hearty soup when the weather gets cooler it is a nice way to warm up and always a comforting dinner after the day is done. Everyone seems to like a good butternut squash soup, I just wanted to ass some parsnips to the recipe but you can go all the way with butternut squash if you prefer to omit the parsnip. I have actually made the soup with carrots and parsnip without the butternut squash it was rather sweet but still tasty.
6 cups home-made or organic chicken broth
2 pounds organic butternut squash diced
1 pound of rinsed and diced organic parsnip
1/2 organic Texas Sweet onion small, diced
1/2 cup of cooked maple bacon
2-3 sprigs of thyme, stem removed
1/2 – 1 cup of heavy cream
1/2 tsp of allspice
1/4 tsp of organic ginger
salt and pepper to taste
1. Sauté 1/2 sliced onion with a pinch of thyme in butter until soft. Add salt, pepper, 2 pounds diced butternut squash, 1 pound of parsnip diced, and 6 cups chicken broth along with the spices. Simmer until tender, then puree.
2. When pureed add the cream and stir until blended, salt and pepper to taste.
3. Top with crumbled bacon and serve.
I was looking for a recipe to utilize extra egg whites that we have in the restaurant. I am not much of a baker really and do not have the patience for it either. You are either a baker or a chef, most are not both, and it takes much more time to be a consistent baker than I care to spend on it. However we do need good desserts in the restaurant so I like to play enough to have some good choices for our guests.
Gluten free is all the rage still and not going away anytime soon with all of the gluten allergies. I feel that is due to gene splitting and genetically modifying our food sources, but that is my opinion and another story. So I felt the need to do a little research and find some recipes that I could play with and modify to use my egg whites. Many call for the whole egg, some use cocoa powder, some bittersweet chocolate. I found one that gave me an idea of the ingredients to use and like most chefs we feel we can improve on anything we do, that is in our nature. You have to be a little crazy to be in this line of work anyway!
Many of the recipes said that the mouth feel was like a dense truffle, or bitter tasting, or too eggy. I definitely wanted mine to be more of a cake and not too dense, or taste bad. So, I started thinking and sometimes that is not the best thing, but I was imagining meringues and using the egg whites to cause lift in a recipe to be more like a souffle, and was not sure what I was going to get. Much to my surprise it was really easy to make and tasted really good for something with no foul, aka gluten.
This recipe is so easy that I feel it is my duty to share this with everyone who is gluten free and looking for a dessert that actually tastes good. Tools I used a set of kitchen scales to weigh ingredients for accuracy, a double boiler for the chocolate and butter, a kitchen aid with a wire whisk to whip egg whites, a spatula and a couple of stainless steel bowls. I know not everyone will have all of these tools so you can improvise if you need to make sure you write down your changes so if it works you can replicate it. Enjoy :)
- 1 pound high-quality chocolate 12 ounces of semi-sweet 4 ounces of extra sweet
- 8 ounces of unsalted butter
- 9 large eggs
- 9 additional egg whites
- 6. 6 ounces of granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Put the chocolate and butter into the top of a double boiler (or in a heatproof bowl) and heat over (but not touching) about 1 inch of simmering water until melted.
- Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar, vanilla bean paste and salt in a mixing bowl until light yellow in color.
- Whisk a little of the chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture to temper the eggs – this will keep the eggs from scrambling from the heat of the chocolate – then whisk in the rest of the chocolate mixture.
- Beat the egg whites in a mixing bowl until stiff peaks form.
- Fold beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture.
- Pour into the mini ball jars or a pan of your choosing.
- Cook for 20 minutes, rotate and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
- Pull from oven and let rest, dust with powdered sugar
This is a very versatile recipe. It can be used for a jam on toast, or add some soy sauce, chili oil, Chinese 5 spice, fresh ginger and garlic to use on some chicken wings. I plan on using this one on our duck confit taco's that will be on the menu from time to time at Farm to Fork. This will give the duck confit taco's a sweet element that will compliment the smoky flavor of bacon and the duck on corn tortilla's.
Peach & Apricot Jam
· 1 pound of fresh apricots, stoned & quartered
· 1 pound of fresh local or Texas peaches, stoned & cut into small dice (1 inch cubes)
· 3 1/2 cups of organic sugar
· 1/2 cup of water
· 2 tbsp organic lemon juice , and the zest of the lemon (use organic)
· 2 T of butter
1. Put all the ingredients (except the butter) into a sauce pot or pan and heat gently to dissolve the sugar.
2. Bring to a rolling boil for 10 minutes.
3. Take off the heat and let set for 5 minutes
4. Finally stir the butter in the jam (off the heat) and remove any scum.
5. If the jam is too rustic for your taste use a potato ricer to gently mash the fruit mixture.
6. Ladle into warm sterilized jars and apply lids, you can run through a warm water canning procedure if you ware wanting to store long term, this batch will last you about 30 days.
We have been taking it on the chin lately because people do not understand what we are doing at Farm to Fork. Farm to Fork has been very different from the start, I like to say it is coloring way outside the lines, we play with food for a living and most who come enjoy it. This place was opened as a catering business and has since turned into a restaurant. I originally did not have a permit to be a restaurant due to the fact I did not have a public restroom. Everything that was produced in the beginning in the way of food had to be served in a to go container and we used plastic silverware to make sure we had the customer taken care of. There were originally 3 tables for the convenience of the customer to sit at while they waited for and sometimes consumed on premise, it seems so long ago.
I have stayed true to the beginning of Farm to Fork for several reasons. It is part of who we are and where we have came from, and it has been pretty hard to find staffing in Leander. We still have the plastic silverware on our tables for lunch service because we do not have the staffing to do otherwise. We try to keep it pretty simple other than we do our best to prepare great food on a daily basis. I do my best to source local foods, we do use some green compostable products that are expensive to reduce my carbon footprint but we are not capable of being 100 percent green.
We offer a very different menu on Friday and Saturdays. We offer fine dining in the restaurant that is served on plates along with servers, and white linen with real silverware. You can leave your suit and tie at home there is a comfort level of eating at a friends house. If you are looking at our fine dining photos that is some of the food that we offer on our weekend service at Farm to Fork. There is also a Saturday Brunch now available from 11 AM until 2 PM and that menu is always changing depending on the ingredients source. If you ever have any questions please feel free to call the restaurant or come on by to check us out.
Chef Shelley Pogue
512 246 8158