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.
I'll make a reduction from an Oklahoma red wine with some beef stock, a bit of local jelly such as sand plum, Suan's Scotch Bonnet Pepper Jelly, or Prickly Pear Jelly, or Prairie Gypsies' Red Hot Lover. Maybe I'll slather the meat with the Gypsies' Chipotle Lime Mustard before adding the spice shop's Savory Great Plains Bison and Beef Rub. Then, while the meat rests a few minutes, I'll deglaze the drippings with the wine and broth to make a fine serving sauce.
Adding to ‘fixins'
There are still some great little local green apples at the Urban Agrarian perfect for slicing with the peeling intact for a thin apple tart. Just a slab of pastry with thin slices of apple. I coat the slices with lemon juice and sugar before fanning them out across the pastry. Bake free form on a baking sheet and sprinkle on some chopped Oklahoma pecans. (You could also add a pecan pie to the “fixins,” as my mama was fond of saying.)
I have to mention our traditional Oklahoma Christmas morning breakfast with Panhandle eggs. It is a quiche-like dish with green chilies, Oklahoma eggs, J.C. Potter's Sausage and local milk (Hiland or Braum's) and cheese such as Christian Cheese cheddar. There are granolas like Briar Berry, or Big Sky, to serve with yogurt from Wagon Creek Creamery, Braums or Highland Dairy.
French toast or pancakes more your style? Serve them with Oklahoma syrup such as Griffin's or Wild Horse Canyon Vineyard's elegant pours of grape-infused elixirs.
Craving some Oklahoma ham? Check the Hamlet in Tulsa, Schwab's in Oklahoma City or Robertson's in Marietta.
I could list so many more great little food finds from across our state, but I will save them for 2013. I'm looking forward to sharing more homegrown and homemade foods for our Oklahoma tables. What could be better than an Oklahoma holiday celebration with locally grown or produced foods served throughout? It's good for Oklahoma and it's good for you. Have a yummy holiday.
Some Oklahoma Beef producers
G-J All Natural Beef: Okemah, (405) 590-2822; G-JAllNaturalBeef.com.
Beaver Creek Farms: Lawton, (580) 357-0285; email@example.com.
Biaggi Farms: Ponca City, (580) 628-5061; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cattle Tracks: Fairview, (580) 227-3452; www.johnsfarm.com.
Cole Farms LLC: Perkins, (918) 374-2254; email@example.com.
Holder Brothers Beef: Altus/Edmond, (580) 477-2333 or (580) 715-2334 holderbrothersbeef.com.
Natural Farms: Tulsa, (918) 583-5453; www.naturalfarms.com.
Redbird Ranch: Webbers Falls, (918) 464-2770; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stone Bluff Beef: Haskell, (918) 482-BEEF; email@example.com.
NoName Ranch: Wynnewood, (580) 768-1023; www.nonameranch.net.