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   Thursday, August 28, 2014Click the down arrow to the right to see a list of Smart Woman topics on air during the month of August.

Chef's Corner: Loco For Local

HOUSTON (Ivanhoe Newswire) --1,500 miles –that’s what the food you might be eating tonight traveled to make it to your plate. The fuel costs of that is one reason there’s a big push to eat local. Today in chef’s corner, a top chef master shares a few of her not-so-long distance delights.

Featured nationally as a contestant on Top Chef Masters and trained internationally in London, award-winning chef, Monica Pope is all about local.

"I just want to get people excited about eating locally," Pope told Ivanhoe.

She cooks mainly with what she buys at her hometown farmers’ markets.

"And that makes everything just seem more meaningful to me," Pope said.

She’s cooking us up a few of her favorite dishes. First is a Thai style mushroom stroganoff.

"The mushrooms do act like meat," Pope said.

She adds lemongrass, ginger and onions to the hot pan. Local ingredients you might be able to find at your neighborhood farmers' market. According to the USDA, there are more than 7,000 nationwide. But if you can’t get the exact ingredients…

"Go find a bunch of stuff that you want to put in there," Pope said.

Finish with coconut milk and you have a meaty…beef-less stroganoff. Next up is a Korean barbeque Kobe beef. Marinate the six-ounce strip in a mixture of soy sauce, garlic, sesame seeds, and red pepper flakes. Cook to medium rare, serve with a seasonal slaw and take pride in your local dish. Pope says it’s a great feeling.

"It’s just totally different when you eat something that you grew or something that you went out to the market to get," Pope said.

Pope says if you want to go local, start off simple. She recommends cooking two meals with local ingredients a week. That usually includes food grown or raised within 200 miles of where you live.

(Sources: http://www.cuesa.org)

More Information

         Bulgogi Korean Style BBQ
         Thai Mushroom Stroganoff
         Cucumber-Coconut Gazpacho
         Aztec Rice Blend


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