Archive for the ‘ Food Places of Interest ’ Category

The Farm

There are a less than a handful of Las Vegas locals who keep enough hens to regularly sell fresh eggs to the public. One farmer, Sharon Linsenbardt has been selling her eggs, honey and produce from her little gem of a farm located in the far North edge of the valley since 1961. On weekends, Farmer Sharon sells eggs from her flocks of chickens, ducks, and quail from her tidy five acre corner located on W. Grand Teton at Tenaya (near Gilcrease Orchards). She also offers honey from her own gentle bees, homemade jams and pickles, baked goods and farm fresh produce. Her tomatoes are heavenly.

If you’ve never eaten a truly fresh egg from a local flock of chickens, you are missing something wonderful. Unlike stressed commercial battery hens fed with hormones and antibiotics, Farmer Sharon’s happy hens lay eggs with rich, bright yellow yolks that stand up tall when broken into a frying pan with a pat of sizzling butter. The firm whites of her eggs bear no resemblance to the tasteless, runny whites of supermarket eggs…and they whip up with more volume when used for baking and meringues.

Mrs. Linsenbardt is in the process of working through a mountain of red tape in an attempt to expand The Farm to include educational and recreational activities for our community. We wish her much luck with the Board of County Commissioners in obtaining the required use permits and variances to allow her to do so. We urge the Board to take her 50 years of commitment to the community into consideration, and look for ways to facilitate her plans without the monetary hardship she faces in order to comply for her expansion.

The Farm
7222 W Grand Teton Dr
Las Vegas, NV 89131
Neighborhood: Centennial
(702) 982-8000

http://www.thelasvegasfarm.com

Dates

It really is a revelation when a superb local ingredient is used in a classic recipe. The difference can be startling. This date nut bread is an example. The dates in this quick bread were grown 77 miles from Las Vegas at the China Ranch date farm.

Because these dates haven’t been subjected to long-term storage like dates found in supermarkets, they are more plump, moist and super-sweet. The flavor and character of the dates really shines, even when baked in this moist bread. Preparing fresh dates for the recipe is quick work. The pits just slip out of the dates with just a little knife slit on one side and a gentle pinch between two fingers. They only need to be torn in half and they are recipe ready.

Supermarket dates may be the only ones available to most people and will work perfectly well in this recipe. They just require a little more prep work since they tend to be harder and stickier. Once pitted, it’s often easier to cut into smaller pieces using a pair of scissors that have been dipped in water. They tend to clump up into a sticky ball when chopped with a knife.

If supermarket dates are all that is available, don’t despair, they’ll still make fine date bread. If local dates aren’t available to you and you would like to see the difference, the wonderful China Ranch dates are available on their website.

If you are visiting Las Vegas and want to experience some of the stunning nature of the Mojave Desert, a drive to China Ranch and nearby Death Valley is an easy day trip.

Date Nut Bread

Classic Date Nut Bread

1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups pitted dates, coarsely chopped
6 tablespoons butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup buttermilk (or 2/3 cup milk with 1 tsp lemon juice added)
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 cup pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare one 9x5x2¾ inch loaf pan; lightly grease the pan with shortening and dust with flour.

Add the chopped dates to a medium bowl. Slice the butter into small pieces and add to the dates. Bring one cup of water to a boil and stir in the baking soda. Pour over the dates and butter, mix together and set aside to cool to lukewarm.

Whisk the egg and vanilla into the buttermilk (or soured milk) and set aside.

In another medium mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, brown sugar, salt and nuts. Make a well in the middle and add the date and milk mixtures. Using a rubber spatula, fold everything together until evenly blended. Do not over mix.

Pour into the prepared loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour or until a toothpick inserted in the middle come out clean. Remove from the oven, cool for 10 minutes and remove from the pan to cool on a wire rack.

When completely cool, wrap closely with plastic wrap. As with most quick breads, this can be sliced when cool but improves when allowed to sit overnight before serving. Date nut bread is particularly good thinly sliced and sandwiched together with cream cheese.

Makes one loaf.

Oktoberfest in Las Vegas

Sauerbraten, Schweinbraten and beer…not a polka tune but a mantra of the annual German festival called Oktoberfest. A number of German folks call Las Vegas home and planted delis and restaurants to prove it. You can get your yodel on and celebrate the annual beer fest at one of the following German restaurants assured that there will be plenty of beer and wurst. Lederhosen optional.hofbrauhaus

Hofbräuhaus Restaurant and Deli  4510 Paradise Rd will kick off the annual tradition with a ceremonial keg tapping from Siegfried & Roy on September 19 in their beer hall. They feature nightly live German music.

Cafe Heidelberg

Café Heidelberg  German Market and Restaurant  610 E. Sahara 

And if getting your yodel on in the privacy of your own back yard is more your speed you can stock up on German groceries at  the International Marketplace 5000 S. Decatur. They stock a nice selection of German foods if you decide to do-it-yourself 

Gilcrease Orchards

Gilcrease sign

The Mojave desert may not be the nation’s major apple producing region but it is the home of Gilcrease Orchards. With over 6000 apple, pear and peach trees Gilcrease Orchards is the largest fruit farm of its kind in the Las Vegas Valley. It’s a “pick-your-own” operation but  sells its own pressed apple cider made right on the farm. The farm also grows tomatoes, pumpkins, watermelon and squash all available as pick-your-own.

Gilcrease orchard

Gilcrease Orchards

 

Candy Apples

Candy Apples

Candy Apples

The only trick is to use a candy thermometer.

6-10 red delicious or other crisp eating apples

6-10 wooden ice-cream sticks

4 cups sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1 teaspoon red food coloring

1-1/2 cups water

Wash and dry the apples well with warm soapy water. Coating will not stick on wet or waxed apples. Push the sticks into the middle of the stem end. Place on a baking sheet lined with wax or parchment paper and set aside.

Combine all of the ingredients except the apples & sticks in a large heavy bottomed saucepan. Over medium high heat stir gently till all of the sugar has dissolved. Stop stirring when mixture comes to a boil.

Continue boiling till mixture comes to 290-300 degrees F. (soft crack stage). Remove from heat.

Immediately dip each apple in the hot sugar mixture to completely coat and set on the baking sheet to cool. Place finished apples in the refrigerator to harden the coating.

Chinatown-Las Vegas

Five minutes from the Las Vegas Strip a mile away from the buffets there’s a diverse world of food to explore. Workers in large numbers from all over the globe come to Las Vegas to work in the casinos. With them they’ve brought their grocery stores, restaurants and food festivals. Hundreds of strip plazas around Las Vegas are dotted with small family owned shops and restaurants that feature  food from everywhere, from Southeast Asia to Ireland to Utah (stay tuned for the Utah Jell-o post). Some nationalities are represented by communities so large it’s entirely possible to live a life entirely without speaking English.

Chinatown

Our first stop on the Vegas food tour bus will be Chinatown located just one mile west of the Strip on Spring Mountain and is central for a variety of Asian cuisines. Countless restaurants, noodle shops, herbal medicine shops, banks, travel agencies, immigration lawyers and the largest supermarket catering to all things Asian, 99 Ranch Market are located in this area.

Chinatown1

 

Ranch 99

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