I am thrilled to see how many great local foods we have to choose from when creating a memorable holiday meal. I will pull out all the stops when all of our children come home for the holidays.
This year's Christmas Eve dinner features beef tenderloin from Flying L Ranch. I found it at what has become one of my regular stops in Oklahoma City: The Urban Agrarian market. The “Flying L” is nestled in the foothills of the Arbuckle Mountains near Davis. The Herefords graze along the Washita River where green pastures abound practically yearround. The ranch was the location for the movie “Home in Oklahoma.” The film stars Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, who married on the ranch in 1946.
The market also had sweet potatoes from Crow Farms of Shawnee. The sweet potatoes would make a wonderful accompaniment to our beefy centerpiece. We love their sweet flavor peeled and coated with rosemary, butter, olive oil and kosher salt then oven roasted.
Beautiful Cedar Springs Farms tomatoes grown by local restaurateur Avis Scaramucci in both red and the less acidic yellow are now stocked by the Urban Agrarian market and are also available at Nona's in Bricktown. Those red tomatoes sliced on top of Pho Farms fresh-harvested lettuce provide vivid Christmas color with almost summer tomato flavor.
Pho Farms, located in Edmond, also brings fresh greens and edibles to The Meat House in Edmond. I found their fresh broccoli at the Urban Agrarian and am inspired to construct a broccoli wreath around a container of Lovera's Market cheese spread as a sort of afternoon hold-you-over until dinner snack.
I found two varieties of local turnips at Whole Foods. Like many vegetables grown at Peach Crest Farms of Stratford, they, too, would be a great part of my oven roast. The farm also had baby bok choy greens to liven up the mix. Their other peach-infused products can liven up your menus throughout the year.
Speaking of peaches, Livesay Orchard's Porter Peach Butter, also available at the Urban Agrarian, would sure be good on hot-out-of-the-oven biscuits made using part whole-wheat flour from Stone Stack Mills from the Weatherford area, or John's Farm Organic Whole Wheat Flour from Fairview. The all-purpose flour in the biscuit would, of course, be Shawnee's Best.
I may decide to stir up some creamed spinach to accompany that tenderloin. I found this fresh-picked from Pho Farms at the market. I could saute it in minutes with just a bit of minced garlic or serve it up as a part of that salad with the colors of Christmas.
Many of our local groceries carry J&M mushrooms. This Miami, OK, company grows several varieties from Shitake to buttons to baby “Bellas” and the giant Portabella.
They are easy to saute in butter or half butter and half olive oil. Perfect to add alongside that beef.
Finding Oklahoma flavors
I made a stop at the new Savory Spice Shop on Western Avenue in Oklahoma City and found some great spice mixtures created with our love of Oklahoma flavors in mind. Even though the spices themselves didn't originate in our land of the red dirt, perhaps including one of the rubs in the spirit of the Wise Men who traveled afar would bring out the best of our tenderloin.