My fella and I got up and out of the house unusually early for a Sunday and made a trip to the Leeds Farmer’s Market. There was a serious shortage of stalls, probably because lots of the stallholders were celebrating Easter with their families (those farmer’s market types are so wholesome!), but we still managed to come away with a bit of this and a bit of that.
Fresh eggs from Church View Farm are, indeed, lovely and fresh – I could tell because most of the white sort of holds itself together in a mound beneath the yolk instead of spreading all over the dish, as you can see in the photo. I used the lovely fresh egg to bind breadcrumbs to some well-trimmed free-range chicken breast fillets from Stanacre Poultry for Chicken Parmesan, a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated by way of Serious Eats. I really like the simplicity of the sauce in this recipe – it’s just garlic, canned tomatoes, and oregano with a touch of sugar. I almost never make a tomato sauce without adding every vegetable in the refrigerator so this is a nice change. The recipe calls for dried basil, but that’s the most useless herb since dried coriander leaves and I would never let it in my house. Dried oregano can be nice, though, especially the Mexican kind, which is less flowery and more savoury (the chicken, by the way, was great – it didn’t rip apart when it was pounded out thin, as badly-trimmed or not-perfectly-fresh chicken tends to do, and as thin as it was it stayed tender and juicy when fried).
Anyway, I digress. We got a few other things at the market but I was silly and didn’t make a note of the stallholders’ names. We bought a tasty coconut cake with coconut buttercream and a layer of jam in the middle. We were able to buy just half, which is a nice touch for singles and couples who might not make it through a whole cake before it goes stale. I also picked up a massive round loaf of sourdough bread with a big, airy crumb, tons of little swiss cheese holes and just the right level of chewiness. You can see a corner of the loaf next to the egg in the photo above. Finally, I bought a tray of mixed mushrooms – oysters, wood ear ( I think) and a few others, which will be going into a mushroom risotto later which will warrant a post of its own.
We did manage to come across a loser – stuffed Italian focaccia breads (mine with pineapple and ham, Matt’s with peppers and mozarella) were edible but bland. We have a couple of pepperoni calzones from the same stall in the fridge to heat up tomorrow, but if they aren’t a major improvement on the focaccia, their fate might be one bite followed by the bin (edit – they were pretty good. A little too bready, and could have used more sauce and less cheese, but we ate ‘em up all the same). I didn’t get the name of this stall either… seriously, I really need to work on my review skills.
The Farmer’s Market in Leeds is on the first and third Sunday each month, but word on the street is that the first Sunday is where the real action is – the market is much smaller on the second Sunday.