Lexington chef's use of pawpaws part of a look at regions' fare

Herald-Leader food writerJune 21, 2012 

In the June issue of Food Arts magazine, Lexington chef Jonathan Lundy talks about pawpaws.

"How Local Can You Go?" takes a look at regional chefs and distinctive foods found close to home that form the backbone of real American regional cuisine. Writer Jeri Gottlieb said foods in the Midwest that are true to the area are pawpaws, native persimmons and hickory nuts.

Lundy, chef/owner of Jonathan at Gratz Park, told Gottlieb he makes pawpaw jam to go with prosciutto-wrapped scallops, and preserves pawpaws in season to serve year-round. He buys pawpaws from Roland McIntosh, owner of Paw Paw Plantation in Stanton.

The first of a two-part article looks at beach syrup, beach peas and beach plums, found in the Northeast; Braunvieh cattle, sorghum syrup, pokeweed, alligator, boudin, tasso and tupelo honey from the South; scrapple, hog maw and Randall Lineback cattle from the Middle Atlantic; and walleye, wild rice, white fish, rainbow smelts and paddlefish roe from the Great Lakes region.

Wine + Market events

Wine + Market, 486 West Second Street, is offering a class on Spanish wines at 6 p.m. Monday. T opics include history, industry statistics and regional information. Wines also will be sampled.

On Friday, the store will have a summer sangria party with sangrias and tapas from 5 to 8 p.m.

The cost for either event is $10. Call (859) 225-0755.

Dinner and a swim

Veggin' Out at the Pool on Friday celebrates local foods. Families may gather at Southland Aquatic Center for a swim and a Kentucky Proud dinner. Food from the Lexington Farmers Market will be prepared by the chefs at Good Foods Market & Café. The menu includes burgers, brats, veggie burgers, side dishes and desserts.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children, and are available at the Lexington Farmers Market, Good Foods and the aquatic center, 625 Hill-N-Dale Road. Hours are 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The rain date is Saturday.

A test of culinary creativity

A great way to show off your culinary talent is to enter competitions at the Kentucky State Fair. Judging takes place at the fair, which is Aug. 16 to 26 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. Call (502) 367-5190 or go to the contest section of Kystatefair.org. Here's a look at what's open.

■ Bake your best sandwich bread. Judging at 6 p.m. Aug. 20. It's the bread that makes the sandwich in the Fleischmann's Yeast Sensational Sandwich bread contest. Think loaves of bread, burger buns, bagels and biscuits. Flavor variety is encouraged, and sandwich breads may be any shape or style.

■ Spam championship. Contest judged at 6 p.m. Aug. 21. The Great American Spam Championship focuses on taste, originality and presentation, and the use of 10 ingredients or less. Categories for adults and youth.

■ Ghirardelli Chocolate championship. Contest judged at 6 p.m. Aug. 22. Make your most memorable entry, from trendy creations to historical family favorites, and focus on flavor, creativity and an easy-to-follow recipe. Feature any Ghirardelli premium baking product to create any type of dessert.

Here's a recipe from Fleischmann's Yeast to inspire you to create a breakfast sandwich.

Angel biscuits

21/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon Argo baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1/4 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees)

1 envelope Fleischmann's active dry yeast

3/4 cup warm buttermilk (100 to 110 degrees)

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. With pastry blender or two knives, cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; set aside. Place warm water in warm bowl. Sprinkle in yeast; stir until dissolved. Add yeast mixture and warm buttermilk to flour mixture; blend well. Remove dough to floured surface. Knead dough 10 to 15 times; form into ball. Roll dough to 3/4-inch thickness. Cut into 21/2-inch circles. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until done. Remove from baking sheet; serve warm. Makes about 1 dozen biscuits.

A new take on ketchup

Tomato ketchup blended with balsamic vinegar is Heinz Ketchup's first new flavor variation in nearly a decade. It uses tangy balsamic vinegar instead of the traditional distilled white vinegar to bring a richer, deeper flavor to the ketchup. It was introduced last fall on Facebook and now is available in supermarkets nationwide. It's $2.49 for a 12-ounce bottle. Here's a recipe:

Roasted balsamic ketchup glazed sweet potatoes with hazelnut

4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes

1 tablespoon olive oil

¾ cup Heinz balsamic ketchup

¾ cup maple syrup

4 ounces toasted hazelnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss sweet potatoes with olive oil on a large baking sheet, until they are evenly coated. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until fork tender.

Whisk together balsamic ketchup and maple syrup in large bowl. Add sweet potatoes and toss. Serve potatoes as a rustic side dish, sprinkling with hazelnuts. Or, purée ketchup mixture and sweet potatoes. Serve in a casserole dish topped with hazelnuts.

Sharon Thompson: (859) 231-3321. Twitter: @FlavorsofKY. Blog: Flavorsofkentucky.bloginky.com.In the June issue of Food Arts magazine, Lexington chef Jonathan Lundy talks about pawpaws. "How Local Can You Go?" takes a look at regional chefs and distinctive foods found close to home that form the backbone of real American regional cuisine.

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