Well, the weather held out and it was a beautiful evening on the lawn of Maryland Government House, site of the 7th annual Buy Local Cookout, featuring local products, recipes and chefs. There was a steel drum/beach band to add ambiance and at one point, the Governor of Maryland -- Martin O'Malley -- came out and played banjo, sang a couple of songs.
I quite preferred the winning recipes this year; I noticed a distinct culinary trend toward allowing foods' natural flavors to shine, simply. There was no this pretending to be that or improbable combinations. This was Maryland produce at its best!
I'm not sure the rest of the nation knows the bounty of the Old Line State, but there was certainly a time when the word was out. Just check out any vintage cookbook, especially the Southern ones. You'll no doubt find a treasure trove of "receipts" using our Silver Queen corn, tomatoes, crabs, fish, peaches, melons, dairy products and more.
Each of the entrants had a little booth; some had very cute decorations to add to the party atmosphere.
This year, along with the other adult libations, there also was Maryland rum! Family-friendly drinks included Honest Tea.
Here's some official info about the evening plus recipes:
Governor Martin O’Malley and First Lady Katie O’Malley hosted the seventh annual Buy Local Cookout at Government House this evening and officially recognized Maryland’s Buy Local Challenge Week, which encourages Marylanders to incorporate at least one locally grown, produced or harvested product into their meals each day. Governor O’Malley officially declared July 19-27 as “Buy Local Challenge Week” to raise awareness about the benefits of local farms and food so that Marylanders will become more familiar and more frequent consumers of fresh, local products.
Governor O’Malley has supported the Buy Local Challenge for the last seven years and began hosting the cookout during his second year in office. The event, also attended by Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, marked the seventh – and last – cookout of the O’Malley-Brown Administration.
“‘Buy Local’ is more than a slogan – it’s a movement to preserve farmland, protect the environment, bolster local economies, and provide wholesome, nutritious, great-tasting fresh food for more Maryland families,” said Governor O’Malley. “As we celebrate the seventh year of the Buy Local Cookout at Government House, Katie and I encourage all of our fellow Marylanders to find local farmers markets and purchase locally grown products for their favorite dishes, not just during Buy Local Challenge Week, but all year long.”
Earlier this year, Governor O’Malley invited teams of chefs and at least one farmer, waterman or producer to submit recipes featuring locally grown, raised or harvested ingredients. Some 28 recipes were submitted; and 16 were selected. Government House chefs will also provide an appetizer for the cookout.
All recipe submissions will be published in the 2014 Buy Local Cookout Recipes, which will include wine pairing recommendations from the Maryland Wineries Association. The cookbook will be free and available online when complete later next month.
The following recipes were selected to be prepared at the cookout:
- Maryland Avenue House Cured Irish-Style Pork Wrapped Cantaloupe on Baby Sorrel with Blackberry Vinaigrette, submitted by Chef Kevin Duffy of Galway Bay Irish Restaurant & Pub with producers Deana Tice of Enticement Farms for pork loin; Schillinger’s Farm for cantaloupe, blackberries; and Power Platns Microgreens for baby sorrell. All are in Anne Arundel County.
- Schillinger Farm Sugar Baby Gazpacho with J.M. Clayton's Lump Crab submitted by Chef John Shields of Gertrude's Restaurant at the Baltimore Museum of Art with producers Bill Brooks of J.M. Clayton Seafood in Dorchester County for lump crabmeat; and Gina Schillinger of Schillinger Farm (also known as Papa John’s Farm) in Anne Arundel County for Sugar Baby watermelons
- Wide Net Catfish Cakes, submitted by Chef Emily Hagel of Wide Net Project in Montgomery County , with producers Wendy Stuart of Wide Net Project for Chesapeake Bay Wild Blue Catfish; Mark Mills from Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm in Montgomery County (mmarkmills.wix.com/chocolates-tomatoes) for red bell peppers, shallots; and Emma Williams of Moon Valley Farms in Baltimore County for fish, peppers, eggs.
- Chile-Cumin Skirt Steak with Cornbread Salad, submitted by Chef Sabrina Sexton of Sabrina in the Kitchen in Kent County , with producer Judy Crow of Crow Farm and Vineyards in Kent County for grass-fed Skirt Steak.
- Crab Pierogies and Corn Salad submitted by Chef Krista Sermon of Rogue Pierogies in Anne Arundel County , with producer John Wrang of Triple J. Farm in Caroline County) for eggs.
- Camilla’s Ziti With Green Goddess Arugulas, submitted by Chef Chris Green of Paul’s Homewood Cafe in Anne Arundel County, with producer France S. Myles of Myles Flowers and Produce in Anne Arundel County for tomatoes, onions, peppers, zucchini, squash and eggplant.
- Jalapeño Stuffed Goat Slider & Pickled Onions on Grilled Polenta Cheese Cake, submitted by Chef Nancey Veldran of Caprikorn Farms Artisan Goat Cheese in Washington County, with producers Alice Orzechowski of Caprikorn Farms, LLC in Washington County for raw goat jalapeno cheddar, gouda cheese; Jeanne Dietz-Band of Many Rocks Farm in Washington County for ground goat meat; and Ali Mohadjer of Aliabaad Farm of Washington County for onions and garlic
- Orrechiette Pasta with Fresh Corn Pesto, submitted by Chef Michael Archibald of Herrington on the Bay in Anne Arundel County, with producer Joe-Sam Swann of Swann Farms in Calvert County for white corn and tomatoes
- Peach Habañero Sticky Ribs, submitted by Chef Aaron Bessick of Union Hospital of Cecil County, with producers Shane Hughes of Liberty Delight Farms in Baltimore County for pork ribs; Vic Priapi of Priapi Gardens in Cecil County for Habañaro peppers; and llene Milburn of Milburn Orchards in Cecil County for peaches.
- Chesapeake Cobb Salad, submitted by Chef David Wells of Evolution Craft Brewing Co. Public House in Wicomico County, with producers Timothy Fields of Baywater Greens in Wicomico County for spring mix and Heirloom tomatoes; and Matt Borys of Southern Connection Seafood in Somerset County for softshell crab.
- Running Raw and Wild Beet Salad, submitted by Chef Debbi Dean-Colley of My Nature in Worcester County , with producers Eric Kleinickes of Becky's Beanz in Worcester County for beets, shallots, onions, parsley, dill, chives, rosemary, mint, cilantro and romaine; and Janet Phillips of Backyard Bounty in Worcester County for wild edibles, plantain, clover, dandelion and sorrel.
- Goat Cheese and Silver Queen Corn Cake with Smokey Tomato Ginger Jam, submitted by Chef Bryan Davis of The Classic Catering People in Baltimore County, with producers Nick Bailey of Grand View Farm in Harford County for silver queen corn, fresh chives, and eggs; Alice Orzechowski of Caprikorn Farms in Washington County for goat cheese; and John Maniscalco of Chesapeake Greenhouse in Queen Anne’s County for Lola Rosa Baby (Batavian-style lettuce).
- Roasted New Potatoes with Arugula Basil Pesto, submitted by Chef Randall Smith of Adventist Healthcare in Washington, D.C. with producers Michael Protas of One Acre Farm in Montgomery County for new potatoes, arugula, basil and garlic.
- Prigel Family Creamery / Dough Run Blueberry Lemon Yogurt Cake, submitted by Chef Sarah Connell-Sprigg of Dough Run in Baltimore County, with producer Mandy Castillo of Prigel Family Creamery in Baltimore County for plain yogurt.
- Sweet Corn Flan with Grilled Peach and Corn Salsa, submitted by Chef Elise Wendland of The Comus Inn at Sugarloaf Mountain in Montgomery County , with producers Linda Lewis of Lewis Orchards in Montgomery County for corn; Ben Sowers of South Mountain Creamery in Frederick County for cream and eggs; and Sue Ketron of Kingsbury Orchard in Montgomery County for peaches.
- Mid-Summer Melon Agua Fresca, submitted by Chef Randall Smith of Adventist Healthcare in Washington, D.C. , with producer Michael Protas of One Acre Farm in Montgomery County for cantaloupe and basil.
The Maryland Wineries Association, the Brewers Association of Maryland, Honest Tea and Chesapeake Roasting Company are also donating products to the cookout. In addition, dairy farms on Maryland’s Best Ice Cream Trail are donating ice cream. Lyon Distilling and Blackwater Distilling will offer samplings of their spirits.
In its 2010 and 2012 Policy Choices Survey, the University of Baltimore Schaefer Center for Public Policy found that more than 78 percent of Marylanders said they want to buy produce grown by a Maryland farmer. The goal of the Buy Local Challenge is to raise awareness about the benefits of local farms and food so that Marylanders will become more familiar and more frequent consumers of fresh, local products. The Buy Local Challenge was created in 2006 by the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission and has grown into a statewide initiative.
Buying locally is key to ensuring a smart, green and growing future for Maryland families. It preserves farmland, protects the environment, bolsters local economies, and provides wholesome, nutritious, great-tasting fresh food. To learn more about Maryland’s Buy Local Week Challenge and sign up to take the pledge to eat local, see: www.buy-local-challenge.com. Find local Maryland products, locate a farmers market and more online at: www.marylandsbest.net Sources of local seafood can be found at www.marylandseafood.org. Click here for more benefits of buying local.
All recipe submissions have been compiled and published in the 2014 Buy Local Cookout Recipes, which includes wine pairing recommendations by the Maryland Wineries Association. This year’s cookbook and all previous cookbooks are available free and online here.
Also donating products to the cookout are: Baywater Greens, Firefly Farms, GreenStreet Gardens, Maryland Wineries Association, the Amber Fields Malting & Brewing Co./Monocacy Brewing Co., Honest Tea and Chesapeake Bay Roasting Company.
In addition, three of the eight dairy farms on Maryland’s Best Ice Cream Trail – Kilby Cream, Rocky Point Creamery and South Mountain Creamery – donated ice cream. Blackwater Distilling and Lyon Distilling also offered samplings of their spirits.