Friday October 9, 2020 by Gabrielle Martin
The Hingham Farmers Market is a staple of a Saturday on Station Street. And what’s not to love about high-quality, locally-produced products available on a weekly basis right here in our hometown?
The Hingham Farmers Market is actually the third oldest farmers’ market in Massachusetts; it’s continued to provide a place to purchase locally-grown products since the late 1970s. Today, the Market still convenes regularly during the New England growing season. It takes residency at 95 Station Street every Saturday morning from 9:00am to 1:00pm, rain or shine, May through November.
With help from Market Manager Mark Cullings, as well as input from Elizabeth Frary of Copicut Farms and Charlie Sayer of River Rock Farm, The Anchor’s Gabrielle Martin has curated the following recipe, and, like the Market itself, this was a collaborative effort! Read on to learn how to make her Hingham Farmers' Market Slow-cooker Chili, a healthy and hearty option to feed your family this fall.
Stop by the Hingham Farmers Market this Saturday to secure your ingredients. Here's what you'll need for your crockpot chili:
- 3 cups of bone broth from The Hale Life ($28.00/frozen quart) or Spoon (sold for $20.00/30 oz.).
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped, from Aeonian Farms ($2.50/bunch).
- 1 green bell pepper, diced, from Oakdale Farms ($1.00/each).
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced, from Oakdale Farms ($2.00/blub).
- 1 ¼ lb. stewed beef from River Rock Farm.
- ½ lb. fresh chorizo pork sausage from Copicut Farms.
- scallions, chopped, from Aeonian Farm ($3.25/bunch).
- 1 onion, diced, from Freitas Farm ($5.00/bag) or opt for the sweet cipollini onions from Aeonian Farms ($4.00/pint).
- 2 large tomatoes, diced, from Stargazer Hollow ($3.50/tomato) or Freitas Farm, ($5.00/bag, 1.75 pounds).
- 3 potatoes, diced, from Aeonian Farm, $5.00/bag
- 1 zucchini, diced, from Stargazer Hollow ($1.50/each).
- Atwell's Gold Italian-style cheese from Narragansett Creamery, aged 10-12 months: "This cheese is really versatile, and melts really nicely; it's our flagship cheese and we think you'll really love it."
- Some Spicy Sundried Tomato Sauce from Lara's Cuisine, or you can opt for their Tomato Pesto if you prefer your chili without an extra kick.
- Sprinkle of salt from Duxbury Salt Works, available at The Hale Life's booth.
My favorite part about this recipe is that it's really malleable, meaning that it can easily be modified to incorporate additional or other ingredients, such as butternut squash, corn, summer squash, or zucchini; for me, a recipe this easy to alter makes for an easy-peasy, stress-free shopping experience. You can just go to the Market and enjoy a Saturday spent picking out fresh ingredients for your fall feast that night, or even the next day.
After all, slow-cookers and crockpot meals are also pretty accommodating.
Feel free to substitute items on the shopping list at your will and whims: if you're uncertain on what to buy, or where to deviate from my recipe, talk to the vendors: they are an immense resource to our community and our culinary endeavors—mine included! I asked everybody for their opinion on what I could add or incorporate into my recipe, but really, this is just one way you make HFM crockpot chili.
You’re going to place the above ingredients into a slow-cooker and let it heat on low for five to six hours, stirring occasionally. I advise against cooking this chili on high heat; allowing it to sit and simmer for a prolonged period enables flavors to further develop and assists in melding the meats together.
Using fresh aromatics like garlic and onions are going to make this a flavorful dish; so will incorporating Lara’s Cuisine tomato sauce, whether their sun-dried stock or their standard tomato paste. This ingredient also ensures that the chili has a nice, thick base that will make the meal stew-like while our bone broth, whether from The Hale Life or Spoon, is added to thin out the chili. Bone broth also increases the flavor and tenderness of the meat. You can thus alter the recipe to accommodate personal preference for a thicker or more soup-like final product. You can also adapt this recipe for an instant pot or stovetop (simmer over low heat for two to three hours).
Serve warm with desired toppings (Atwell’s Gold cheese, scallions).
Another great aspect of this dish is this chili will freeze and reheat well, making it an excellent option for school lunches or midweek leftovers. Who doesn’t love that? Just be sure to allow it to cool completely before storing in the fridge or freezer, and always store in an airtight container!
Set the Scene
You're going to see some beautiful bouquets during your visit to the Station Street lot! Jeanette MacKenzie is one such vendor who has been providing beautiful potted plants, herbs, and flower arrangements (both cut and dried) to the Hingham Farmers Market for over four decades. Plus, every fall, her fare features handmade dried wreaths, made with a core of damp salt marsh hay. With varieties changing weekly, you'll be sure to find something festive and floral to brighten up your kitchen table; for example, for past two Saturdays, Jeanette has had the most beautiful silver dollar bouquets on display.
Along with Jeanette, Mary Bukujian is another one "originals," as Market manager Mark Cullings calls them. He says, "Mary is and has been the 'face' of the Market for years." I suggest visiting this vendor to incorporate some farm-fresh zucchinis (an excellent addition to the recipe!) or other available produce i your Farmers Market chili to add an extra air of authenticity.
Want to start with a salad, or have a bowl of leafy greens on the side? Stargazer Hollow's Salad Blend ($4/bag) is the perfect pick to complement your chili, containing mixed greens and edible flowers. Yes, you read that right: edible flowers! How cool is that? They're crunchy and velvety, and the perfect fun way to make everybody excited about a starter or side salad.
Make it a true Market affair and add some dressing from To Dine For. My suggestion? Try their Lebanese Salad Dressing, which is dairy and gluten free, making it a vegetarian- and vegan-friendly option (whereas my two-meat chili is not) made with olive oil, lemon, mint, and salt.
After eating a meal so savory, you're going to crave something seriously sweet. The good news is you have plenty of options available to you at the Market! Here are some of your choices:
Pies by Moira has an assortment of mouth-watering options, including some divine looking creations for the gluten-free crowd (ask about their gluten-free Apple Crisp Pie, which gives you the best of both worlds in combining two of my favorite fall desserts)! Alternatively, if you're on an annual October pumpkin spice kick, opt for their New England Pumpkin Pie. These are some seriously beautiful baked goods, guys.
Craving something chocolate-y? (Because, personally, I always am.) Make your way over to the stand of Sirenetta's Seaside Chocolatier. Among her amazing offerings includes a four-piece fall assortment ($9) that I felt was especially festive, containing one of each of the following: apple cider caramel, cranberry splash, pumpkin rum truffle, and smoky maple pecan.
How about a healthy alternative? Look no further than The Sweet Spirit, formerly Vyasa Bros. Inc., who make specialty dairy- and yogurt-based desserts free from preservatives. This stand offers unique, all-natural offerings including a creamy Blueberry Parfait (pictured below) and, my personal favorite, Fig Frenzy; they also have desserts based by puddings layered with cake in roll-form. Additionally, The Sweet Spirit also sells a stuff-your-own cannolis kit that lives rent-free in my mind.
Things to Know Before You Go
And there you go, The Anchor has you covered: you just gotta get yourself out of bed this Saturday to go stock up on all of your farm-fresh ingredients! However, there are a few more important things to know before you go, such as:
- Some, if not most, vendors take cash or check only, so come prepared with the proper payment facilities.
- Be mindful of the Market's social distancing practices and other COVID-19 precautions; for example, be sure to bring a mask! It's important to make sure everybody in the HFM community feels comfortable while getting their produce.
- Just because a vendor isn't mentioned in the original recipe above doesn't mean their items shouldn't be incorporated: like I said before, this chili is a super versatile dish that welcomes additions and/or substitutions.