Jul 26, 2011 10:37PM
● By Anonymous
We’re feeling hot, hot, hot here in Annapolis as summer temperatures continue to heat things up. This is about the time of year that home cooks would rather not turn on their ovens and stoves in fear of making the kitchen unbearably warm. Instead, heat up the grill with the help of local chef Rita Calvert and farmer Michael Heller of Clagett Farm in Upper Marlboro. The pair has published a cookbook, The Grassfed Gourmet Fires It Up! The Ultimate Guide to Grilling, Smoking, and Barbecuing with Pasture-Raised Meats from America’s Small Farms, which taps into the growing grass-fed beef industry and the public’s desire to consume quality pieces of beef. It includes 100 recipes for grilling grass-fed and pasture-raised meats such as beef, bison, chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, and goat, as well as an additional 14 pages of sauces, rubs, and brines for those proteins.
If you don’t yet know the benefit of pasture-raised farming, the cookbook devotes some space to educating readers on why it’s better for the environment, animal welfare, agriculture, and you, the consumer. Additionally, a portion of the proceeds goes to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s sustainable agriculture programs. The Grassfed Gourmet Fires It Up! is published by Eating Fresh Publications, and can be ordered online at Grassfedgourmetfiresitup.com.
However, if you need to get out of the heat altogether, it’s best to head to one Annapolis’ restaurants. Metro Diner Café recently introduced a new menu. It doesn’t differ too much from Metro’s former menu, which focused on fresh, healthy, local ingredients, but it does offer some new choices. For example, there’s a Seared Miso Ahi Tuna Salad ($10.99), which includes Napa cabbage, along with lettuces, won tons, edamame beans, cilantro, and Thai dressing, as well as four versions of the eatery’s popular bison burger, using meat from Gunpowder Farms in Monkton, Maryland. The new menu also includes Fresh Fusion Tacos, offered in four varieties: chicken, bison, mushroom, and Ahi tuna. To learn how to make the bison tacos right at home, pick up a copy of What’s Up? Annapolis in August—the chefs at Metro Diner Café let us in on some of their secrets.
This fall, you’ll have a new option for breakfast, brunch, or lunch when Miss Shirley’s Café opens at 1 Park Place, adjacent to the Westin Hotel. This is the third location for a popular Baltimore eatery, which earned accolades from Food Network Magazine for it’s breakfast dish, Shirley’s Affair with Oscar—two 2-ounce beef filets topped with asparagus, crab meat, and Hollandaise sauce, served over fried green tomatoes, savory grits, and bacon, all dusted with Old Bay. The magazine called it the best breakfast dish in Maryland in its July/August 2010 issue. The café focuses on using fresh, seasonal ingredients from local farmers. Other interesting menu items include Crab Cristo, a take on the Monte Cristo, Coconut Cream-Stuffed French Toast, the Born on the Bay-O Salad with soft-shell crab and fried green tomatoes, and an Eastern Shore Po’Boy. Visit Missshirleys.com for more on the restaurant.
Finally, a local coffee company is doing its part in giving back. Crofton-based Chesapeake Bay Roasting Company has implemented what it calls The H20 Initiative, its pledge to help restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay watershed. It’s doing so by donating two percent of its gross sales of branded coffees and teas (that’s all sales, not just the net profit) to organizations that protect and restore the watershed. The company also supports education and volunteering opportunities. It’s awfully nice when your morning vice can lend a helping hand to a cause that needs it, isn’t it?
Buzzin’ for more information about the Annapolis Restaurant Scene? Check out our restaurant blog, The Bent Fork, at WhatsUpMag.com for the latest scoop. As always, e-mail food editor Kelsey Casselbury at email@example.com with the latest news about the Eastern Shore dining scene.