Saint Patrick's Day traditionally is celebrated by drinking green beer, wearing green, pinching people who aren't wearing green, and claiming some kind of Irish heritage for the benefit of kisses and hugs. But from 6 to 9 p.m. on March 17 this year, Art Food & Roots at Café de Thai in Reno brings a refreshing change of pace from clovers and leprechauns. The event offers a chance for community members to celebrate and support urban gardening and education for local youths.

Read more: Art Food & Roots Event

chocolate monkey drink

Recipes courtesy of Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe

Photo by Jeff Ross

CHOCOLATE MONKEY
Hot chocolate, banana liqueur and brandy, with whipped cream

GROUNDED EAGLE
Chocolate liqueur, Irish cream, Grand Marnier,
and coffee, with whipped cream

ALMOND JOY
Hot chocolate with amaretto and coconut rum, with whipped cream

SNUGGLER
Peppermint schnapps and hot chocolate,
with whipped cream and chocolate

Warm Caramelized Apple Tart
Warm Caramelized Apple Tart

LA FERME DELIGHTS THE SENSES.

Written by Sandra Macias
Photos by Chris Stowell

La Ferme draws food aficionados from as far away as New York and from as near as Reno, Lake Tahoe, and Carson City. Its reputation for fine French country-style food budded in Incline Village, its first home in 1992. The buzz didn’t fade when Owner Gilles La Gourge, who is French-Basque, moved it to Genoa six years later.

Read more: FARM CHARM

Steve and Marcia Litsinger

STEVE AND MARCIA LITSINGER
CULTIVATE A WAY OF LIFE.

Written by Mike Colpo
Photo by Mike Okimoto

What Steve and Marcia Litsinger have accomplished in their pursuit of a simple life of thoughtful stewardship defines what many would call the highest level of organic growing. Marcia –– who Steve will tell you is the “brains behind the operation” –– uses bio-intensive (also known as “French-intensive”) growing techniques. Nothing grows around their vegetable patch that doesn’t serve a multi-layered purpose. The produce that supplies their fiercely loyal CSA customers is surrounded by fortifications of beneficials –– lavender, calendula, marigolds, and the like –– all serving to either draw in helpful insects, enrich the soil, complement companion plants, or all of the above. In keeping with their growing style, these beneficials are likely to show up in the regular CSA delivery. They come accompanied by instructions and suggestions for how to use them in everything from salads to homeopathic remedies. It’s been this way since they started doing produce deliveries 10 years ago.

The Litsingers’ approach to farming goes well beyond the food-growing end of the business. Their commitment to self-sufficiency informs everything they do, from the bank of self-installed solar panels behind their home to the natural spring that supplies them with water. Their property is entirely off the grid, and their growing houses are able to supply year-round vegetables in Nevada’s rugged climate without any electricity, making them the only CSA in the region to provide fresh, locally grown produce throughout the year.

“We never set out to become a big farm,” Steve says. “We knew how we wanted to live and we just kept trying things and working on ideas until we got it figured out.”

Indeed, the Litsingers’ friendly, encouraging energy has helped shape their deep connections to Northern Nevada’s community of organic growers. In the 10-plus years since Steve and Marcia officially began their CSA deliveries, they’ve been a part of every major effort to establish a market for locally grown organic produce –– from instructing classes through the River School in Reno to helping establish area farmers’ markets and forming the Great Basin Community Food Co-op (Greatbasinfood.coop). They are among the rare breed of folks who believe that it makes good business sense to show people how to take care of themselves. It’s why one of their regular produce deliveries might include an impromptu inspection of a customer’s fruit tree, or detailed coaching on how to grow the very vegetables that were just delivered.

For details, visit www.greatbasinfood.coop/about-us/farmers/churchill-butte-organics/.

ice carver

Ice takes shape under Truckee sculptor’s care.

Written by Ann Lindemann
Photo by Court Leve

With age-old roots in the world’s chilliest locations, ice sculpture has experienced an exciting revival in recent years. While graceful swans are a perennial buffet table favorite, it’s the non-traditional pieces that are creating the real buzz among a whole new fan base.

Read more: CARVED CREATIONS

mango

Quick Mango Sorbet

Reprinted with permission from
The Wheat-Free Cook, Gluten-Free Recipes for Everyone
by Jacqueline Mallorca

Read more: MANGOES

pork chop

BERKSHIRE PORK CHOP

from Manzanita restaurant at
The Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe

4 each pork chops, bone-in
½ pound polenta
3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
1 pint whole milk
2 medium onions
1 medium carrot
1 stalk celery
4 bunches dino kale
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 peaches, halved, skin-on
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon water
4 cups red table wine
4 quarts veal stock
2 sprigs of thyme

For the Kale

This is the longest of your tasks to completing this dish so this is definitely where to start. Clean the kale by taking the leaves off of the stems or ribs and washing under cold water. You can discard the ribs as they are very fibrous and not choice to eat. Dice one onion fine and sweat them in a pot using pure olive oil. Once the onions are translucent, add the minced garlic and cook over low heat for two minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add half a cup of red wine to the pot and let it reduce until almost dry. Add your kale along with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Season with salt to taste.

For the Polenta

Bring 3 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a pot. Using a whisk, stir in the polenta and turn down flame to medium heat. Once the polenta comes back up to a simmer, turn down the heat half way in between low and medium and let the polenta cook for 45 minutes. Add mascarpone cheese and milk to polenta and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Season with salt to taste.

For the Peaches

Put the sugar into a pan with the water. Place over medium-high heat until the sugar starts to brown. Place peaches face down into the sugar and let cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Remove.

For the Pork Chop

Preheat oven to 350F. Season the pork chop with salt and pepper to taste and sear in a sauté pan over high heat to seal in the juices. Place pork chop into a baking pan and place into oven for 15 minutes.

For the Sauce

Bring veal stock to boil in a pot with the remaining onion, carrot, and celery (peeled and diced large) along with the 2 sprigs of thyme. Add the remaining wine and reduce to 2 quarts.

RED WINE BRAISED SHORT RIBS

short ribs

from Manzanita restaurant at
The Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe

4 each beef short ribs (3-inch cut, bone-in)
1 (750ml) bottle of red table wine
2 large carrots
2 stalks celery
2 medium onions
6 sprigs of thyme
1 sprig of rosemary
1 head of garlic
8 each Yukon gold potatoes
3 tablespoons of horseradish
¾ pound of butter, unsalted
1 cup whole milk
4 quarts of veal stock

For the short ribs

The key to great short ribs is to marinate them overnight. Place your short ribs in a deep baking pan and cover with wine. Peel one carrot, onion, and celery and cut into large pieces (you can cut the onion into eighths and the carrot/celery in half) and place into the marinating short ribs. Cut the head of garlic in half at the waist so you expose all of the cloves. Don’t peel the cloves, as keeping skin on during roasting will protect the garlic from burning. Take half a head of garlic with four sprigs of thyme, the sprig of rosemary, and add to your marinating short ribs. Let the short ribs sit in the marinade for 24 hours.

Next day: preheat your oven to 350F. Remove the short ribs from the pan and reserve everything else. Heat up a skillet and sear the short ribs on all sides and place back into the marinade, making sure that the bones are facing up and the meat is facing down into the bottom of the pan. Cover with aluminum foil and place into the oven. Cook for about 3 hours or until desired tenderness is achieved.

For the potato mash

Peel and dice the Yukon potatoes and place into a pot. Cover with cold water. Cook over medium heat until the potatoes easily give in when pressed with a kitchen utensil. Drain from the water and rice the potatoes into a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small chunks and add to the potato mixture using a whisk to incorporate. Add milk and horseradish to the potato mash and whisk well.

For the sauce

Bring veal stock to boil in a pot with the remaining carrot, onion, and celery (peeled and processed the same way as above) along with the remaining 2 sprigs of thyme. Add the braising liquid from the short ribs and reduce together to 2 quarts. Add salt to taste.

The Skinny on Alternative Beef

Written by Barbara Twitchell

COST

It takes nearly twice as long to raise beef without hormones and the bulking properties of grain. That adds to the rancher’s expense. Be prepared to pay more.

CONVENIENCE

Although the market continues to grow as demand increases, it’s still not readily available in most stores.

Read more: CATTLE RANCHING

SHAW FAMILY FARM

Feast in the Field

Written by Amanda Burden • Photos by Jaci Goodman

Guests gathered at the Shaw Family Farm in Truckee on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2010 for a Feast in the Field.

Before dinner, participants walked around the 40-acre property to enjoy the Shaws’ bountiful outdoor gardens and beautiful greenhouse stocked with leafy greens. A large enclosure housed roaming chickens and a coop brimming with fresh eggs. Another enclosure housed two fat pigs, Mr. and Mrs. Bacon, who will be slaughtered this fall. Guests gathered around a large outdoor oven and counter for Northern Sierra wines and freshly baked pizza piled with Barbara Shaw’s basil pesto, Super Sweet 100 tomatoes, and shaved American, Parmesan, Asiago, and Romano cheeses, as well as a pizza of Brie and prosciutto with Nevada’s Hearts of Gold melon and Shaw arugula salad.

Read more: DINNER IN THE FIELD

RATATOUILLE from 4th Street Bistro in Reno

Read more: 4th STREET BISTRO

SCROLL TO TOP