Tag Archive | "MIng’s Thing"

The Yard Welcomes Farmers & Ranchers Market

A collection of colorful canopies, organic veggies, food and drink and best of all a good crowd welcomed the new Yard Farmers & Ranchers Market to their new location Sunday.

Yard crowd dogs croppedHeather Hunter and David Lent, founders of what just last week was called the Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market, were glad to have not missed a beat in the transition to the new location about 1.3 miles away in Olmos Park at The Yard, 5300 McCullough Ave.

Most of their vendors came along with them, setting up shop in a space behind the coffee shop, Olmos Perk.

“I didn’t even know these were back here,” said one woman, holding her child with one hand and her dog by the leash with the other, looking at the collection of shops and eateries at the back of the lot set in a series of boxcars.

A group of culinary students sampled sausage sandwiches and more from Ming’s Thing as they sat on nearby steps and La Panaderia had sold out of its tortas before noon.

The only blip in the smooth move came with some shoppers having trouble parking, said Hunter.

“But, we’re working on that and expect to have more space by next week,” she said.

Patricia Meier, left, discusses the new farmers market venue at Olmos Park with vendor Jon Badger.

Patricia Meier, left, discusses the new farmers market venue at The Yard with vendor Jon Badger.

In fact, at the nearby Shudde Ranch Beef booth, the chairwoman of the Olmos Park Planning and Zoning Commission, Patricia Meier, was discussing solutions with vendor Jon Badger. Having the farmers market at The Yard, she says, fits right into a larger picture of plans for the area.

“We are trying to make this area, along McCullough, become a go-to place, not a get-through place,” she said. She says already neighboring businesses along the street have offered parking at their businesses for the overflow.

She also pitched the idea that a shuttle might be a possibility, to bring shoppers parked down the street to the market and take them back to their cars.

Despite any initial issues, Badger was positive. “For opening day this is good,” he said.

The farmers market had been at the Alamo Quarry Shopping Center for more than 3 years, but they were abruptly asked to find a new home by the owners a few weeks ago. Hunter and Lent were showered with a number of good options to consider and at the time their goal was to make the move “without a hiccup.”

On Sunday, they were relieved that not only did that happen, but it happened in an area appears to want to support them.

“We’re really focused on making this viable,” said Meier.

Heather Hunter, co-founder of what is newly named The Yard Farmers and Ranchers Market sells her Cowgirl Granola at the market.

Heather Hunter, co-founder of what is newly named The Yard Farmers and Ranchers Market sells her Cowgirl Granola at the market.


Yard Culinary Students cropped

Culinary students take a break on the steps of one of the boxcar shops at The Yard Sunday.


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Quarry Farmers Market Celebrates 3rd Birthday Sunday

Peaches making their ways to market.

Peaches making their way to market.

Happy third birthday to the Quarry Farmers and Ranchers Market.  That’s this coming Sunday (May 18), and you’re invited to stop by, do your shopping and enjoy some birthday specials.

Since debuting in May 2011, the market has grown from just 10 members to more than 30 farmers, ranchers and artisan food producers. Check out seasonal changes, says market president Heather Hunter.

“The bounty of summer is just really starting to kick in now. We’ll have blackberries, okra, 1015 onions, heirloom tomatoes and herbs, lots of herbs,” she said.

Also in early June get ready for a gelato maker, with three year’s of study in Italy honing his delectable craft, to join the vendor list.

Roast pig on the menu for Sunday, May 18 at Quarry Market.

Roast pig on the menu for Sunday, May 18 at Quarry Market.

On Sunday, for each year of the market’s history, one spectacular dish will be ready to taste or buy for takeaway, says Hunter.

• Get ready for a whole pig roast by the market’s newest addition,  SA Food Bites. Jaime Trevino will be roasting an 80-pound heritage pig from Peaceful Pork, and serving it with cilantro lime rice and Cuban black beans. (Shoppers can purchase pork by the pound or by the plate.)

• Nacho Gallego and Marisa Bushman, of La Mancha Specialties, will be making a classic Spanish paella with seafood as well as La Mancha chorizo.

• Ming Qian of Ming’s Thing will make a market favorite, Jian bing (Chinese crepe filled with your choice of sloppy wang, sausage or pork belly).

To end the celebration on a sweet note, Frio Farm will be making their famous bourbon pecan pies.

Quarry Market is in the parking lot of the Quarry, Basse Road and Highway 281, near Whole Foods. It is open from 9-1 every Sunday.


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Chinese Sausage and Veggie Stir-Fry

Chinese sausages and veggies

Ming’s Thing Chinese sausages good in a stir-fry.

These artisan sausages came from Ming’s Thing at Quarry Farmers and Ranchers Market and they are very good, whether you make a sandwich with them, eat them in a wrap or slice them on top of a vegetable stir-fry.

The plump pork links are mildly seasoned with Chinese five spices, among other things, and just right amount of salt and fat to make them delicious.

Use whatever vegetables you have on hand, some of which you might find at the Quarry Farmers Market when they’re in season, along with the sausages.  We had a bag of organic broccoli slaw which we used with chopped carrot, onion, garlic, mushrooms, sliced red cabbage and sugar snap peas. With a side of brown rice, it made a good Sunday dinner.

Ming Qian’s artisan foods — with many options besides the handmade sausages — can be found each Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Quarry Farmers and Ranchers Market near Whole Foods in the Quarry. Visit her Facebook page here.

Chinese Sausage and Veggie Stir-Fry

2 links of Ming’s Thing Chinese sausage from Quarry Farmers and Ranchers Market
1-2 tablespoons peanut, vegetable, canola or grapeseed oil, divided use
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into slices
1/2 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, mashed and minced
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup fresh or frozen sugar snap peas, thawed
1/2 cup-1 cup red or white cabbage, sliced thin
1 cup of H-E-B Organics broccoli slaw mix or other brand, or thinly sliced broccoli
Optional: 1 cup other diced vegetables as you can find them when in season, including greens, peeled and sliced turnip, peas, green beans, red bell pepper, etc.
Pinch or two red pepper flakes (hot or mild red bell pepper; we like hot)
1 teaspoon soy or tamari sauce, your favorite (optional)
For serving: White or brown rice (optional)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees and put the sausages on a baking pan and put in the oven.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large saute pan or skillet and add the carrot, stir and cook until they start to become tender. Add the rest of the oil along with the onion and garlic. Continue to cook over medium heat until the onion starts to get transparent or lightly brown. Add the mushrooms, sugar snap peas, cabbage, broccoli slaw or broccoli. Add other vegetables, if you have them. Stir over medium-high heat until the vegetables are tender, but still bright in color. Add the soy sauce and red pepper flakes and toss in lightly. Turn the heat down.

Take the sausages out of the oven after about 15 minutes, or when they are firm, sizzling and lightly browned. You can pour any pan juices into the stir-fry so you don’t lose that flavor (very little fat comes off these sausages, however). Cut each sausage into several pieces and serve on top of the stir-fry with optional rice on the side.

Makes 2-3 servings.

From Bonnie Walker

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