CRAVINGS: SUNDAY PORK ROLL

092516porkroll5Natalie Cozzati takes a bite of the breakfast sandwich she craves. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

piehole_cravings“Do I like pork roll?” Red Bank graphic designer and owner of NMC Design Studio Natalie Cozzati rhetorically asks PieHole. “Am I from Jersey? I’ve got to have my pork roll fix. Gotta satisfy that craving.”

Cozzati is not alone in her uniquely Jersey desire. At the Red Bank Farmers’ Market every Sunday this time of year, you’ll find plenty of customers queuing up at Johnny’s Pork Roll truck, patiently waiting to grab their sandwiches.

And don’t call it Taylor Ham, say Cozzati and others in line in the Galleria parking lot.
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RED BANK: FARMERS AND CHEFS ON PUMPKINS

092015farmersmktrb2Michelle O’Connor at the Red Bank Farmers’ Market with pumpkins grown at Brookville Farms.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

morsels mediumAutumn has arrived on the Greater Red Bank Green, and that means we’re in for a plethora of pumpkin-flavored options in coffee shops, bakeries and restaurants.

But home cooks use them too, of course. And with that in mind, PieHole popped in at the Red Bank Farmers’ Market and a couple of local eateries to get some insights on choosing and using pumpkins.

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LITTLE SILVER: NEW OWNER TRANSFORMS ZOE

081315zoe2Laercio Chamon at the chef’s table at Zoe, where a large window offers a view of the kitchen. Below, an octopus and a watermelon salad.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

081315zoe4With new owner Laercio Chamon at the helm, the once Greek-centric menu Zoe Bistro in Little Silver has a jazzy bossa nova rhythm now.

At 33 years old, Chamon says he’s been working in kitchens for more than half his life, starting as a dishwasher at Doris and Ed’s in Highlands when he was 14.

“I always wanted to be a part of the line,” he tells PieHole. It’s like being behind the scenes of something you see in a movie. There’s something about the adrenaline, the rush.”

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SEA BRIGHT: INSPIRATION AMONG THE WEEDS

holly hindin 051715Holly Hindin, owner of Holly Jolly Jams. Below, her dandelion jelly being readied for sale. (Photo above by John T. Ward; others by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

dandelion jelly-001Next time you find yourself lamenting a dandelion-dotted lawn, consider the culinary inspiration a jelly chef found in those annoying perennials.

Kyle Goedde sells seasonal vegetables grown at Harvest Moon Farm in Hillsborough at the Sea Bright Farmers Market every Thursday in summer. Next to his booth, Fair Havenite Holly Hindin, of Holly Jolly Jams, sells jams and jellies. Getting off to a chilly and slow start, they had plenty of down time to chat.

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RED BANK: CINNAMON SNAIL ROLLS TO A STOP

cinnamon snail 061514 2The Cinnamon Snail has been a fixture at the Red Bank Farmers’ Market in recent years. Below, chef Adam Sobel in his mobile kitchen. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

adam-sobelThe Cinnamon Snail, the nationally lauded vegan food truck that calls Red Bank home and is a top draw at the town’s Farmers’ Market, is putting it in park later this month.

Chef Adam Sobel announced in a recent Facebook post that the mobile restaurant, featuring a robust menu “designed to shatter the misconceptions” about vegan cuisine, has failed in repeated efforts to renew its permit to sell on the streets of New York City, its primary location, after it expires on February 28.

As a result, Sobel wrote, the curbside operation will close down at the end of the month, though it could be resurrected as a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

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RED BANK: PUMPKIN PANDEMONIUM

100514 rbfarmmktAngus McDougald with his daughter, Jade, at Red Bank Farmers’ Market. Below, Lisa Bagwell among the edible pumpkins from Organic Produce. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

100514 rbfarmmkt3 For those who think the season for fresh produce is over, there are still many vendors showing up at the Red Bank Farmers’ Market to prove them wrong.  It is the perfect time of year to buy fresh apple cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts.

But squash pumpkins and other  cruciferous vegetables take center stage this time of year.

“I like to simply roast them and eat them,” Lisa Bagwell, of the Certified Organic stand, said of the different varieties pumpkins and squash. Noting the smaller blue hubbard squash, she added: “These are delicious. The gourds, on the other hand, are not delicious.”

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SEA BRIGHT FARMERS MARKET: DIVE DEMO

082814 sbfarmrs mkt1Dive chef Kyle Hopfensperger and sous chef Daniel Ciameroni at the Sea Bright Farmers’ Market. Their salsa, below. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

082814 sbfarmers mkt2Last week, the still-new Sea Bright Farmers’ Market added a weekly feature: local restaurant chefs’ demonstrations and tastings.

First up were Dive chef Kyle Hopfensperger and sous chef Daniel Ciameroni, both 29 years old, who brought youthful exuberance and a vat of salsa for shoppers to try.

Not so much a demonstration as a tasting, the event gave the pair a chance to offer suggestions on what to buy at the market and how to use it.

“The fresh white peaches and watermelon in the salsa came from two local farms,” Hopfensperger said. Jalapeno peppers – pickled in-house at Dive, across the street on Ocean Avenue – gave the salsa a spicy kick. Finely chopped white onion added additional bite, making the salsa less sweet than you’d think.

“We’re bringing  bar food to a new level,” Ciameroni said.

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RED BANK: SMUT AND WEED AT THE MARKET

082414 rbfarmers mktCorn smut, or huitlacoche,  for sale at the Twin Pond Farm table.   (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

morsels mediumThe Red Bank Farmers’ Market can be counted on as a great source of fresh-picked tomatoes, corn on the cob and sunflowers, all of which and more PieHole found in abundance last Sunday.

And then there were the oddball items, one of which came with an eyebrow-raising name.

“Corn smut is what it’s called,” said Jen from Twin Pond Farm in Howell,  referring to the strange amalgam on the table between us. We looked from her to the container and back, thinking maybe we didn’t hear her correctly. “Corn smut is a fungus and a delicacy that came from some blue Peruvian corn we are growing,” she added.

Returning home, we found recipes for corn smut in a Mexican cookbook, and it is, indeed, considered a delicacy. Used in a quesadilla with cheese, it isn’t that different from a mushroom.

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RED BANK: TOMATOES EARLY; MOST ELSE, LATE


A quick tour of the Farmers’ Market, as seen on June 1. (Video by Gerda Liebmann. Click to pause.)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels mediumRed Bank Farmers’ Market regular John Hauser of Hauser Hill Farms in Old Bridge tells PieHole that the long, cold winter has set produce availability back by about two weeks.

“It was cold through April and May, and we’re about 10 to 14 days behind schedule,” says Hauser. The upshot is that vegetables such as green zucchinis and kirby pickling cucumbers that are typically available by the last week of May are hard to find out in the fields this week.

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RED BANK: KALE, SEITAN… AND PORK ROLL?

johhny's pork roll truckThe Johnny Pork Roll truck is a new addition at the Red Bank Farmer’s Market in the Galleria parking lot. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels mediumAfter a long winter, Mother Nature is taking her sweet time this spring, making us wait for the vast array of produce we’re accustom to seeing on Sundays at the Red Bank Farmer’s Market.

We will wait an extra week or two for the bounty of beans and other spring crops to make it to the Galleria parking lot. In the meantime, though, a new food truck – Johnny Pork Roll – means that PieHole followers can nosh on nature’s most perfect food: the pork roll, egg and cheese sandwich.

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RED BANK: INSTANT, ‘FREEZY’ ICE CREAM

Andrew Deming makes ice cream to order with liquid nitrogen. A regular at the Red Bank Farmers Market, the Freezy Freeze truck will have a spot in the food truck court at this week’s Appetite event at Count Basie Theatre. (Video by Alexis Orlacchio. Click to enlarge)

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

freezy freeze 051213Sugar, spice and… liquid nitrogen? Red Bank’s Freezy Freeze is putting a chemistry-class spin on the traditional ice cream truck.

With the help of liquid nitrogen, what starts out as milk, cream and sugar quickly transforms into creamy, dense ice cream. Photographer-turned-ice cream man Andrew Deming, 37, gives his daughter, Molly, credit for his current profession and blossoming food truck.

“This is all her idea,” said Deming, who said he took the now 7-year-old into an ice cream shop that made ice cream with liquid nitrogen. “She said that being an ice cream man would be a great job, because I always get to make people happy.”

The Deming family began to make ice cream in the kitchen of their Red Bank home, and not long after, decided to bring the frozen treat to the Red Bank Farmers Market.

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ON THE GREEEN: A FAB, JAZZY WEEKEND

Susan Haugenes and Chuck Lambert perform with his full band in a free concert in Little Silver Sunday evening. Dead Bank is at the Walt Street Pub Friday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Friday, August 2:

RED BANK: Fixx presents a lineup of live bands starting at 8 p.m. with Diego Allessandro & Lot 25 playing a few songs from their next album. Also on the bill: the Trouble, Frances Jones & the Saviors, Exit 117, Oblivion and headliner Negative Traction. No cover; 26 West Front Street.

MIDDLETOWN: In honor of the 36th anniversary of “the King’s” passing, the Middletown Arts Center presents two nights of free, hip-shaking Elvis Presley tribute performances. Bring blankets, chairs and snacks. Night one of the weekend concert, “Memories of Elvis,” begins at 8 p.m. 36 Church Street; parking is free.

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WEEKEND: EAT, DRINK, SING, SAIL, AND MORE

A promo video for ‘Eat! Drink! Italy!,’ Red Bank restaurateur Victor Rallo’s new TV show, which gets a launch at the Basie Saturday night. Below, a rousing night of patriotic songs fills the First Presbyterian Church at Tower Hill Sunday. (Click to enlarge)

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

Friday, July 5:

RED BANK: The Josh Zuckerman Band stops by the Walt Street Pub for an energetic Friday night set. The show beings at 8 p.m. 180 Monmouth Street.

RED BANK: Blues rock  guitarist Matt O’Ree and band perform at Jamians Food & Drink.  The show begins at 8 p.m. 79 Monmouth Street.

SHREWSBURY: Monmouth County Eastern Branch Library hosts a discussion on Treasures of the Monmouth County Parks, including an update on the status of the park system post-Hurricane Sandy for this edition of First Friday for Seniors. The discussion begins at 11 a.m. 1001 Route 35 North.

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RED BANK: GARDENERS GIVE TO LUNCH BREAK

Fresh produce is available for the taking at the Red Bank soup kitchen. (Photo by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

In addition to serving hot meals and opening its food pantry six days a week, Red Bank’s Lunch Break is offering fresh produce for the taking every Tuesday in July and August for the second consecutive year.

Volunteers Martha Young, Betsy Wattley, and Susan Haugenes oversaw a table laden with donated corn, lettuce, nectarines, kale, potatoes, and other fruits and veggies Tuesday morning.

“It varies week to week, but we get a lot from the Red Bank Farmers’ Market,” said Haugenes, a Lunch Break board member. “We also get produce from our garden here at Lunch Break, the Shrewsbury Community Garden, and individual local gardeners.”

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RED BANK: FRESH FROM THE VINE

A six-second Vine tour of the season-opening edition of the Red Bank Farmers Market last Sunday. The market, located at the Galleria at Red Bank, at the corner of West Front Street and Shrewsbury Avenue, runs on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m into November. (Video by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

FARMERS’ MARKET RELOCATES TO RIVER PLAZA

applesVendors of apples, fresh bread and other goodies packed up their movable feast at the Galleria and took it across the Navesink to Chris’ Landing in Middletown three weeks ago. (Click to enlarge)

breadWhen the clock ran out on the annual fresh-everything extravaganza known as the Red Bank Farmers’ Market three weeks ago, some of the vendors wondered why it had to end.

The market traditionally runs from Mother’s Day to mid-November in the parking lot of at the Galleria Red Bank shopping center. But there’s still a cornucopia of vegetables, fruits, baked goods and crafts to sell.

“We said, as this comes to an end, there will be no place for us to go,” said Laura Dardi of Red Bank, an employee of E.R. & Son Farm, a Colts Neck grower of certified organic produce. “To be cut off two weeks before Thanksgiving is at the worst possible time.”

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HERE COME DA FUZZ

peaches

Brace yourselves for ecstasy, peach lovers.

August in New Jersey means great, lightly fuzzed spheres of sweet, juicy peaches. And we’ve got word on a couple of events meant to put you in a fruit frenzy.

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