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‘Washington Grown’ TV series focuses on state’s produce

Barley quinoa cakes from Spokane’s Steam Plant Grill via “Washington Grown” cookbook.
Barley quinoa cakes from Spokane’s Steam Plant Grill via “Washington Grown” cookbook.

Make mashed potatoes with Graham Kerr, and he’ll be sure to do so with tact – taste, aroma, color and texture, that is.

In the old days, when his cooking show “The Galloping Gourmet” was on the air, he would have thrown in butter and cream. More than 40 years later, he’s changed his approach, using less fat and more vegetables, like Washington-grown potatoes.

Kerr makes mashed potatoes with added vegetables – tomatoes, green onions – in the first episode of the second season of “Washington Grown.”

The locally produced television series is now airing on Northwest Cable News.

Produced by Spokane’s North by Northwest digital studio and developed by Washington agriculture groups, the show explores food production in Washington. The series aims to connect consumers with the food they eat – and the people who produce it – in an informative, but fun, way.

“We’re excited about season two,” said David Tanner, president of North by Northwest and the show’s executive producer. “We visit farms in every episode.”

The series – 13 episodes this season – premiered Sunday.

The format echoes that of the series’ debut last year. The crew visits farms, where food is grown, as well as restaurants, where crops and other agricultural products are used. Each episode includes nutritional and cooking segments, and recipes are shared with viewers via the “Washington Grown” website at www.wagrown.com There are trivia questions, too.

This season, the series spotlights 13 Eastern Washington locations and includes interviews with Spokane chefs like Barry Matthews of Steam Plant Grill, Jeremy Hansen of Santé and Zach Stone of Luna. Other guests include barley farmer Larry Cochran and lentil farmer Jim Thompson, both of whom farm on the Palouse.

Craig Hunt, a Spokane dietitian and adjunct instructor at Gonzaga and Eastern Washington universities, leads a nutrition segment every episode and serves as the show’s “resident nutritionist.”

Hosted by Spokane television personality Kristi Gorenson, the show also takes viewers behind the scenes at Spokane Family Farms and the Spokane County Interstate Fair.

Plus, Tanner said, “We’re going to teach people how to dig for clams, how to shuck oysters. Kristi, our host, particularly likes oysters.”

Gorenson said her most memorable moment this season was “my very first raw oyster. It wasn’t a good experience, but it was a memorable one.”

As for Hunt, “I enjoyed researching three nutritional facts about beer,” he said.

The trio spoke before a screening of two new episodes at Spokane’s Magic Lantern Theatre earlier this month.

In addition to making mashed potatoes in Kerr’s home kitchen, Gorenson got to make Yukon gold gnocchi in the kitchen at Canlis, one of Seattle’s premier restaurants, for the first episode. The premiere also highlighted the farm-to-school program at Cheney Middle School, where students taste-tested purple mashed potatoes.

Another episode focuses on Washington-grown wheat, visiting farmer Ben Barstow of Turnbow Flats Farm in Whitman County then following the crop on barges down the Snake and Columbia rivers and into the global marketplace.

The series is funded by Washington Farmers and Ranchers, a collaborative of agricultural groups. Tanner declined to share the budget.

Episodes run about 22 minutes long and air at noon and 8:30 p.m. Sundays on NWCN (channel 23 in Spokane). They can also be viewed online at www.wagrown.com the Monday after they air on NWCN.

Beginning in January, episodes will also be aired on KSPS, Spokane’s PBS affiliate (channel 7).

Here are a few recipes that are spotlighted in the second season of “Washington Grown.”

Barley Quinoa Cakes

From Spokane’s Steam Plant Grill via “Washington Grown”

1/4 cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup mushrooms, diced

1 tablespoon thyme, chopped

1 tablespoon oregano, chopped

1 cup cooked barley

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

1 egg

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup breadcrumbs

In a sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add garlic and mushrooms, and cook until softened. Add the herbs, then remove from heat and completely cool the mixture.

In a large mixing bowl, combine barley, quinoa, egg and mushroom mixture. Mix well and season with salt and pepper. Form mixture into patties, coating each one with breadcrumbs.

Heat remaining oil in a sauté pan, then fry patties on each side until golden brown. Serve with Raspberry Ale Vinaigrette (see below).

Raspberry Ale Vinaigrette

From Spokane’s Steam Plant Grill via “Washington Grown”

4 ounces raspberry ale (Steam Plant Grill uses its own Steam Plant Raspberry Ale)

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon shallot, chopped

1/2 cup canola oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Allow beer to go flat and blend with honey and shallots in a food processor or blender. With machine running, slowly add oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle on top of Barley Quinoa Cakes.

Luna’s Butternut Squash Ravioli

From Luna in Spokane via “Washington Grown”

For the dough

2 cups flour

3 eggs

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon salt

For the filling

1 butternut squash

Olive oil, for coating

1 small yellow onion

2 tablespoons garlic

1/2 cup goat cheese

1 tablespoon salt

For assembly

2 eggs beaten

1/2 cup flour

For the garnish

1 tablespoon butter

1 green apple

1 tablespoon chopped sage

1 tablespoon crab meat

1 tablespoon Parmesan

Make the dough: Mound the flour on a flat surface and form a crater in the middle of the flour. Crack eggs into the flour and add olive oil and salt. Using a fork, start to mix the eggs into the flour. Once the eggs are partly mixed, start to knead the dough with your hands. Knead 5 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you’re making the filling.

Make the filling: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut butternut squash in half down the middle and scrape out the seeds. Coat with olive oil and roast in oven for 1 hour. While squash is roasting, dice onion into very small pieces and mince garlic. Sauté onion in a little olive oil for 5 minutes then add the garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes. Once the onions have turned a clear color set aside in refrigerator to cool. After an hour the squash should be soft to the touch. Let cool, then scrape out the meat of the squash from the skin. Mix with the cooled onion and garlic then fold in goat cheese and salt.

Assemble: Working in batches, roll out the pasta dough into two sheets 3 inches by 8 inches, using flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface and rolling pin. Place 1 tablespoon of pasta filling on 1 sheet of dough every two inches. Brush egg around each tablespoon of filling and place the other sheet of pasta dough on top. Push out all the air from around the pasta filling and cut into a square shape to make the ravioli. Once the ravioli are made, cook immediately or freeze for up to a week.

To cook and garnish: Place pasta in boiling water for about 5 minutes. While pasta is cooking: place butter in a sauté pan and cook on medium heat until the butter has melted and started to turn a golden brown. Add the diced apple and sage and cook 1 minute. Place the ravioli in a bowl and cover with butter and apples. Garnish with crab meat and grated Parmesan cheese, and serve.


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