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Vermont Author Tracey Medeiros Showcases Her Latest Cookbook, The Vermont Non-GMO Cookbook

Jul 10, 2019 07:50PM ● By Kevin
Vermont author Tracey Medeiros will showcase her latest cookbook, The Vermont Non-GMO Cookbook, at the 2019 Culinary Bookstock  event, Saturday, July 28, at 10 a.m., at The Daily Catch, 61 Central St., in Woodstock. Her presentation will be followed by question-and-answer and autograph sessions, as well as a tasting of some recipes featured in the book.

We had the opportunity to sit down with Medeiros for an exclusive Q&A, discussing her career as an author, her involvement in Culinary Bookstock, and her future plans on the cookbook scene.


Woodstock Magazine: Tell us a bit about yourself. What is your background? What got you interested in the culinary arts?

Tracey Medeiros: I have always loved everything that is food-related, even as a child I liked to cook. My dream was to one day study the art of food and its preparation. To this end, I enrolled at Johnson and Wales University where, after graduation, I quickly became interested in the sustainability movement.

WM: What inspired your newest book? Tell us how it came about and give us some more details on what to expect.

Medeiros: I have always strived to purchase fresh locally grown food. Food that is grown in the healthiest manner possible. It is of paramount importance for me to know what is in the food I feed myself and my family, and how it is grown. I found that the more I chatted with folks at book signings and gatherings, the more I realized that many people felt the same way as I did about the food that they eat.

The Vermont Non-GMO Cookbook contains 125 recipes from local farmers, chefs, and food producers. People will learn about the non-GMO movement and be introduced to “Rural Vermont,” one of the first organizations to raise awareness of genetically engineered crops. The reader finds out about Vermont’s historic labeling law, its nullification and the movement that was created from that campaign. Folks will find ideas for serving healthy, delicious meals using recipes that will make a difference in the food that you eat. Along with these recipes, the reader will be introduced to Vermont’s organic farms, food producers, and restaurants whose chefs are committed to cooking with non-GMO ingredients. Their stories are found throughout the book in profile formats. We learn that transparency in our food system benefits both our planet, as well as the consumer.

In the back of the cookbook is a directory that includes information on each of its contributors, along with their websites and telephone numbers.

WM: Aside from this endeavor, what other things are you involved/interested in?

Medeiros: I am the cookbook author of The Vermont Farm Table Cookbook, The Connecticut Farm Table Cookbook, and Dishing Up Vermont.

WM: What are your plans for the future? More books? Speaking engagements? Television/YouTube?

Medeiros: I am currently working on a new cookbook with a release date of 2021. Part of my book tour will include book signing events, speaking engagements, as well as television appearances.

WM: What makes Woodstock and the surrounding area special to you?

Medeiros: Woodstock is a beautiful, picturesque town with many unique shops and restaurants. A town I recommend for folks to visit! The area is special to me because of its generous support of all of my projects.

WM: Is there anything you'd like to say to the community at large?

Medeiros: Support your local farmer! Vermont farmers have such a sense of commitment and loyalty to our state. They look to each other to make the land environmentally safe for producing high-quality products. This is done not for profitability, but for the health and well-being of our earth and its inhabitants.

What we eat affects our health and the world around us. The legacy we leave our children will be determined by how we care for our farmers and the agricultural system!


WM: Final thoughts? Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Medeiros:  Below you will find two recipes featured in The Vermont Non-GMO Cookbook.  The recipes are contributed by La Garagista Farm + Winery and The Woodstock Inn.


Torta con l’Uva (Grape Cake)

From The Vermont Non-GMO Cookbook (Skyhorse Publishing, October 2017) by Tracey Medeiros.

Serves 12-15

“The two of us come at this recipe from different sources of inspiration. Deirdre is reminded of a luncheon at an old domaine in Champagne during the 1950s, a story told in an old book about that region; the luncheon ended with a grape tart. I am always reminded of a small store in Piemonte, Italy, where we ate this cake that had apples baked into it. It was a beautiful cake to behold, simple and delicious. We serve it during our wine harvest – for breakfast, after lunch, as an afternoon pick-me-up, when the grapes at our home farm are plentiful and ripe. I tend to gravitate toward black grapes with seeds, although we often use thinly sliced apples for a variation.” -Caleb Barber, co-owner, La Garagista Farm + Winery

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for flouring pans
  • 2 tablespoons aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound butter, softened, plus extra for greasing pans
  • 1 1/2 cups organic cane sugar
  • 5 large eggs, whites and yolk separated
  • 4 cups fresh wine grapes or Concord grapes, destemmed, rinsed, and dried

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and flour a 10-by-15-inch sheet cake pan, shaking off any excess flour. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and beat, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until well combined. Add the flour mixture and mix on medium-low speed until well combined.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold gently into the batter in three additions, leaving the last addition of whites just mixed in; the batter should be very streaky with the egg whites.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan -the batters should be no more than ½-inch deep-and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Evenly distribute the grapes over the batter, then gently press them all the way to the bottom of the pan. The batter will come up about halfway up the grapes.

Place the pan in the center of the middle oven rack and bake until the cake turns a nice golden color on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.

Note: The batter will be very dry, almost cement-like, right before the egg whites are added. The first two additions of the whites allow for saturating the batter, and the third is left streaky. This cake is meant to be a shallow sheet cake, about 1-inch or a little higher once baked.

 

Roasted Kelly Way Garden Beet Salad with Herbed Chevre, Arugula, and Pesto

SERVES 4

From The Vermont Non-GMO Cookbook (Skyhorse Publishing, October 2017) by Tracey Medeiros.

“I really enjoy using the organic beets, skinny beans and arugula that are hand-grown in our Kelly Way Garden by Benjamin Pauly, our Master Gardener.  The incredible flavors of the vegetables are paired with Garden Herbed Vermont Goat Cheese, truly a delight” - Executive Chef Rhys Lewis

Ingredients

Roasted Beets

  • 5 medium red beets, scrubbed (about 1 pound, 3 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Parsnip Curls

  • 2 cups vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 medium parsnip, trimmed and peeled

 

French Green Beans (haricot vert)

  • 6 ounces French green beans (haricot vert), trimmed

 

Fresh Goat Cheese

  • 1 4-ounce log fresh goat cheese, or chevre
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon fresh coarsely chopped rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon fresh coarsely chopped thyme
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

 

Basil Pesto

  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or as needed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Salad

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, or as needed
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 pound arugula, stems removed, washed and dried


Method of Preparation

  1. To make the roasted beets:  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Remove the beet greens, reserving them for another purpose.  Transfer the beets to a large bowl and toss with the olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Wrap the beets loosely in foil, then transfer to a baking sheet.  Roast until fork-tender, about 60 minutes, depending on the size of the beets. When the beets are cool enough to handle, wrap one beet at a time in paper towels and rub the skins away. Slice the beets into ¼-inch-thick slices and chill in the refrigerator. 
  2. While the beets are cooling, make the parsnip curls:  In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit over medium-high heat.  While the oil is heating, bring a medium saucepan of water to boilUsing a peeler, peel the parsnips into fine curls. Add the curls to the boiling water and cook for 30 seconds.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the parsnip curls and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.  Carefully blot dry the parsnip curls, making sure they are completely dry. Set aside. Working in batches, carefully add the parsnip curls to the hot oil and fry for about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the parsnip curls and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with the remaining parsnip curls.
  3. While the parsnips are draining, blanch the green beans.  Using the same saucepan and water for the parsnips, bring water back to a boil over medium-high heat.  Add the beans and cook for 30 seconds.  Drain well.  Transfer the beans to a small bowl of ice water and chill in the refrigerator.
  4. To make the goat cheese: In a small bowl, combine the cheese, cream, rosemary, and thyme until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.
  5. To make the basil pesto: Process the basil and garlic in a food processor until well combined.  While the processor is running, slowly add the oil in a steady stream until well blended, scraping down the sides as needed.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. To make the salad:  In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and oil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer the arugula and beans to a medium bowl and toss with the lemon juice mixture.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. To assemble:  Using a spoon, portion the goat cheese into the center of 4 serving plates.  Arrange the roasted beet slices on top of the goat cheese.  Top the beets with salad.  Garnish with parsnip curls and dot the pesto around the salad.  Serve at once.

 

Recipe from Executive Chef Rhys Lewis of The Woodstock Inn & Resort



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