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Art Fair Feast– a Meal from the Garden

The third week of July is when the Ann Arbor Art Fairs take over our town. Our family deals with the traffic and the crowds on a daily basis because of our proximity to downtown and the substantial crowd the Art Fair draws. Although we might whine as much as the average townies, we also enjoy four days of festive atmosphere and visit the readily available “fair food court” a couple blocks away from our front door.

We also usually have some company this week, either to visit us or the Art Fairs or park for free in our conveniently located driveway. Friends came to see us and the Fair, and we served a grand meal with lots of garden produce.

The menu included:
• marinated grilled chicken legs & thighs
• black bean patties
• steamed broccoli
• yellow squash sauteed with garlic
• grilled eggplant with special miso sauce
• mesclun salad

Other than the chicken and black beans, most ingredients came from our backyard. The bean patties were flavored with fresh herbs from the garden. I’m including some of the basic recipes below.

Marinated grilled chicken legs & thighs
also works well with breasts or whole cut up chicken

3-4 pounds of chicken
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 cloves of garlic, mashed
juice of one lime
3 quarter-sized pieces of ginger

Mix soy sauce, garlic, lime juice and ginger together. Place chicken in a bowl or a ziploc bag and pour liquid over the chicken. Seal or cover, and place in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours, or overnight, if you wish. Drain chicken and grill.

Black Bean Patties
We’ve just discovered that we love making and eating these! Our vegetarian guests warmed them up over the grill and they seemed to like them too.

1 can of black beans, drained
1 cup of oatmeal
1 egg or 2 egg whites
1/2 medium onion
1 clove garlic
1 jalapeno
fresh oregano, basil and thyme

Put onion, garlic and jalapeno in the food processor, and pulse until finely chopped. Add beans and pulse. Add eggs and mix. Add herbs. Add oatmeal and mix to combine. The mixture should be fairly thick and chunky– not smooth. Form at least 4 patties on a non-stick cookie sheet. Bake patties at 350F for 10 minutes. Turn and bake 10 minutes more. Enjoy right away or store in refrigerator for quick meal later.

Grilled Eggplant with Special Miso Sauce

Slice Japanese eggplant (the long slender kind) lengthwise and brush with oil or spray with cooking spray. Grill until the eggplant is tender. Serve with special sauce on the side.

Special Miso Sauce
Excellent with grilled eggplant or other vegetables. Or bean patties. Or chicken. Just about anything on your plate really.

Combine 1/3 cup each of miso, mirin and sugar in glass bowl. Stir to dissolve sugar. Cook over low heat on stove for 20 minutes or microwave for 3 to 5 minutes, stopping and stirring after each minute. Serve warm or at room temperature.

This recipe can easily be increased or decreased to suit your needs.

We’ll be enjoying more garden-filled meals and I’ll be posting more recipes here.

Posted in • Cooking.

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