For all you home chefs, the downtown farm markets are the perfect places to find all the ingredients necessary for your favorite recipes. And for everyone else, there's live music, hot sandwiches and bakery, children's activities and household items. There is truly something for everyone.
East Town Farm Markets are held from 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. every Saturday, June 1-October 19, in Cathedral Square Park. The market offers freshly grown fruits, vegetables, flowers and plants, not to mention tasty homemade goods and live music from 10 a.m.-noon, June 1-September 28.
You"ll find the Westown Farmer's Market every Wednesday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., June 26-October 30 in Zeidler Union Square. The perfect stop on your lunch break, vendors will offer lunches and live music in addition to the fresh produce and handmade items you've come to expect.
The downtown farm markets inspire both home chefs and professional cooks to create delicious, fresh dishes. Check out these recipes from a few of the most esteemed downtown chefs.
Executive Chef Robert Eaton of the Milwaukee Chop House: "I love picking up the freshest fruits and veggies at the downtown farm markets to make salads for cook-outs or summer lunches."
Chef Eaton's Grilled Vegetable Salad with Lemon Grass Vinaigrette
4 stalks of lemon grass
12 oz. lemon juice
4 tsp. minced garlic
6 tsp. fresh minced rosemary
4 tbs. sugar
4 tbs. Dijon
24 oz. salad oil
12 oz. olive oil
Pound the lemon grass until it is flat and chop into very small pieces. Combine the lemon juice, minced garlic, fresh rosemary, sugar and Dijon in a blender, mixing well. Add oil slowly, allowing for emulsification.
Vine ripened tomatoes
1 large portabella cap
Cut the asparagus, tomatoes, onions, peppers and mushrooms into small pieces (just bigger than bite sized so they don't fall through the grill). Place vegetables on a hot, well-oiled grill. Grill until al dente.
While veggies are warming, toss mixed greens with 3/4 of the lemon grass vinaigrette and arrange on plate so the greens have some height. Toss the grilled vegetables with 1/4 of the dressing and sprinkle on top and around the greens on a plate.
Chef Eaton's Mango Avocado Salad
3 tbs. red onions
3 tbs. jalapeno peppers (or to your liking)
3 tbs. cilantro
3 tbs. lime juice
1 tbs. lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Dice the mango, avocado and red onion about the same size (medium dice). Chop the jalapenos and cilantro very small. Mix all ingredients together and stir well.
Executive Chef Katherine J. Walkowiak of Tula's: "I always find the best squash at the downtown farm markets. I like to use green and yellow squash for my Parmesan Baked Patty Pan Squash."
Chef Walkowiak's Parmesan Baked Patty Pan Squash10 oz. green patty pan squash
10 oz. yellow patty pan squash
1 1/2 oz. butter
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. minced shallot
1/4 tsp. fresh thyme, minced
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse squash and set aside to dry. Place butter, garlic, shallots and thyme in a small saute pan and sweat over low heat until the garlic begins to turn brown. Remove from heat. Cut the tops and bottoms off of the squash and slice them into thirds. Toss the squash in the butter mixture.
In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, yolks, sour cream, heavy cream, salt and pepper. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Add the Parmesan and stir until combined. Add the squash and butter mixture to the egg and cheese mixture and stir until the squash is well coated. Place squash in a buttered two-quart casserole dish and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Executive Chef Jim "J.D." Daliege of Mader's: "One of my favorite recipes is Puszta Chicken. It"s a recipe that calls for the very freshest vegetables, so it's best to get your ingredients from the downtown farmer's markets."
Chef J.D.'s Puszta Chicken
2 oz. butter
4 lbs. frying chicken (cut up)
Salt and pepper
2 medium green bell peppers diced
1 medium Spanish onion diced
2 fresh tomatoes diced
1 lb. fresh mushroom buttons
1 tsp. Hungarian paprika
Spices -- Mix together 1/4 tsp. of each: white pepper, salt, celery salt, garlic powder and onion powder
1 oz. white wine
Heat a large skillet and melt the butter. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and sauté for 20-30 minutes, turning frequently until all sides are golden brown. Remove chicken from skillet and arrange on serving platter. Keep in warm oven. Use the same hot skillet and add the fresh vegetables, paprika and spices. Stir-fry very fast over high flame for about one minute. Add the wine, arrange the mixture over chicken and serve immediately.