Summer gardens yield dream August meal
Written by KAREN NADLER COTA Sentinel Lifestyles Editor
Tuesday, 07 August 2012 09:45
PERRYSBURG — Chad Lievens has his pick of fresh produce from which to produce the perfect summer meal.
|Chad Lievens serves up his favorite summer selection of roasted corn, cucumber salad and pulled pork (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
After all, he’s the owner of Lievens Market, the farm market located on U.S. 20 at Perryburg’s eastern edge, which was formerly known as Moser’s Farm Market.
For this week’s Cook’s Corner he’s decided to combine a menu including roasted corn and a cucumber salad with pulled pork featuring a distinct Perrysburg twist.
That’s because he prepares the pork using Country Lane Barbecue Sauce, which is made by Chris and Linda Lane on Reitz Road.
“It’s unbelievable,” he said of the resulting flavor. “They brought it over when we had the baby camels here,” Lievens said, referring to a spring promotion featuring live animals on the market property. “They set up a stand and were serving pulled pork and everybody raved over them. People pulled off the road when they saw the camels,” then ended up staying for the food.
The sandwiches can be made using either of two Country Lane sauce varieties — “sweet apple pepper” or “pineapple chipotle,” which “has a little kick to it.”
The roasted corn cooking method “I’ve been doing for years and sometimes I’ll cheat and microwave the ears for a minute just to get the steam started. Then I put it on the grill and slowly cook for 20 to 30 minutes. That will dry out the husks and the silks inside will shrivel up.”
Here’s the fun part.
“Pull the husk leaves back and tie one up, and it makes a handle.”
Lievens points out “the whole husk thing is what makes it unique. Everybody comments on that — the handle. You don’t have to husk them until you’re ready to serve and that husk will keep the heat in there.”
The roasted corn becomes still more wonderful with the addition of a garlic butter sauce.
“Don’t let it get too hot” during cooking, Lievens warned. “You don’t want to scorch the garlic. Olive oil heats quickly.”
The great thing about corn served with the garlic butter sauce is that “it doesn’t taste like you’re biting into salt.”
Now take a look at that refreshing cucumber salad recipe.
It also features fresh tomatoes, onions and basil leaves.
For this side dish the secret ingredient also has a Perrysburg pedigree. It’s Garlic Expressions salad dressing.
“A Perrysburg lady started it here and she sold it nationwide,” Lievens said. He’s referring to Louann and Larry Croy, owners of the former (and much-missed) Croy’s Supper Club sited in the same neighborhood as the farm market.
Louann Croy created the house salad dressing that was an overwhelming hit at the restaurant. “It was the original dressing at the Croy’s Supper Club.”
For the cucumber salad Lievens recommends using Tennessee tomatoes.
“They seem to be everybody’s favorite around here. They’re huge and people love the flavor.”
Lievens has a gentleman from Tennessee “who brings them up.”
And finally, the fresh basil “just makes it very attractive.”
The cucumber salad can be dressed up in other ways.
Crumbled feta cheese “gives it a little kick.”
Or, fresh-grate some romano or parmesan cheese “and sprinkle some over the top of the salad just before you serve it. You don’t want it to get soggy.”
Lievens has one final warning about the cucumber salad.
“The key is not to let it marinate overnight. The cucumber will get too soft.”
Local cucumbers started coming in a couple of weeks ago “so they’re here for awhile.”
The Lievens family is a wholesale supplier of bedding plants in Ohio, Michigan and West Virginia. Chad Lievens, 42, grew up on the family farm by Ottawa Lake in Michigan, but lives at Holland, Ohio now.
“April 15 we opened our doors” he said of the Perryburg market. “We’re doing a lease with option to purchase the first of the year, and that’s our plan. This first year is going really well, and I hear fall is the busiest season of all.”
There will be Lievens-grown mums and pumpkins, of course, “and we plan to bring the camels back. We’re going to do it again in the fall with adults, and give rides. Chris and Linda (Lane) plan on being here too, so you can actually try their pulled pork.”
Lievens’ uncle owns 12 to 15 camels. “They rent them out for Nativity scenes, petting zoos and birthday parties.”
Lievens himself owns no camels, but he does have an English Bulldog named Bella Botox, for obvious reasons.
“She’s my taste tester. She’s always there when I’m cooking.”
Lievens, a bachelor, has always loved to cook. “Not bake; it’s too tedious.
“And I love to entertain,” if only he can find the time. That’s a commodity in short supply since the market opened.
Country Lane BBQ Pulled Pork
Pre-heat grill or smoker to 275 degrees. Using 6-8 pound Pork shoulder or Boston Butt, prepare the roast by rubbing with your favorite rub or brown sugar, etc. Place roast on grill (indirect heat) or in the smoker for 2 hours.
After 2 hours, wrap meat in two pieces of aluminum foil and return to grill or smoker. Continue cooking until internal temperature of 180 degrees is reached (approx. 4 hours) Remove and place the still wrapped pork in a cooler for at least 2 hours.
After 2 hours, drain the juices out of the foil, reserving some of the juice to be used later.
Pull the pork and either put in zip lock bags to be frozen and used later date or put in crock pot or roaster to keep hot. Pour reserved juice over pork and add brown sugar to your liking.
Top sandwiches with a helping of coleslaw and of course a generous serving of Country Lane BBQ sauce.
This will make approximately 15-20 of the best tasting pulled pork sandwiches you’ve ever had.
Roasted Corn with Rosemary Garlic Butter
Take ½ dozen ears of homegrown corn
Soak corn with husks on for 1 hour to absorb moisture
Preheat grill to a medium temperature
Place corn on grill and turn often until husks start to get dried out. Approx. 20-30 minutes.
Rosemary Garlic Butter Sauce
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 clove of minced garlic
1 tsp. of fresh finely chopped Rosemary
3 Tbs. of real butter
Pinch of salt and pepper
Preheat pan to medium. Add Olive oil, careful not to get too hot! Add garlic, Rosemary and butter let butter melt, remove from heat and add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Remove corn from grill and pull husks, careful not to remove them as you will tie them back and use for a handle.
Brush crown with Rosemary garlic butter and enjoy.
Tomato cucumber salad
1 large homegrown cucumber, peeled or scored
Very thinly sliced sweet onion (one slice, then quarter)
1 large Tennessee tomato cut into small wedges
4 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ cup Garlic Expressions salad dressing
Thinly slice cucumber. Add onion, tomato wedges, basil and marinate in Garlic Expressions for 1 hour. Add pepper to taste and enjoy.