A long overdue post on Finger Lakes Cork & Fork 2013

Originally Published on 01/01/2014

Finger Lakes Cork & Fork is a great event we've done every year since starting The Karma Sauce Company. This year was a blast and marked a return of Karma Sauce to the Friday night's Partners and Pairings. Last year, we skipped it because the year before was a tremendous amount of work (preparing and plating 300 mini potato pancakes in real-time) and really outside of our core business. Well, given another year under the bridge, and a really nice request to lead a team again in 2013, I figured what the heck... I’m really glad I did. The results were spectacular and we had an amazing team.

Joining the team, we had Greg Woodworth from Stoney Brook WholeHeartedFoods, Andrew Fish from 4Tin Fish Farm and Francis Dallaire from Damiani Wine Cellars working the booth with me. It was really awesome of them to volunteer their time for this enterprise!

The dish we settled on was a Three Sisters Chile: Inspired by chance to work with the Iroquois White Corn Project’s excellent hominy. After that it was a matter of sourcing every local ingredient possible. I may have gone overboard but the results were worth it. The following is the recipe notes from the event with a list of all the wonderful sources that provided food for the recipe (not in the most home-ready form here but you’ll get the idea). Be sure to check out the ingredients carefully, It's a great local source list for some items you might not expect.  Thank you to all!

Three Sisters Chile

Presented by:  Gene Olczak for Finger Lakes Cork & Fork 2013


A zesty take on the classic trio of the Iroquois Garden: Squash, Beans and Corn. We add a few surprises and pair with a Sauvignon Blanc from Damiani Wine Cellars.

The Salsa Verde and Popcorn Shoot echo the grassy notes in the wine, the fat in the Chèvre and Squash Seed Oil complement the wine’s acidity. The spicy Chile and Maple-Bacon Brittle play off the peach tones in the wine while providing an earthy-playful contrast.


  Ingredient Amount Units Source
For the Three Sisters Chile Pinto Beans, washed and checked for stones 8 oz. Potenza Organic Farm (Trumansburg, NY)
  Hulled White Corn 2.7 oz. The Iroquois White Corn Project (Victor, NY)
  One Onion, Halved     Honey Hill Farms (Honeoye, NY)
  One Carrot, Halved     Honey Hill Farms (Honeoye, NY)
  Two Lovage Stalks With Leaves     The Karma Sauce Company (Pittsford, NY)
  Finely Cubed Bacon 1.2 oz. Bostrom Farms (Penn Yan, NY)
  Finely Diced Carrot 1.2 oz. Honey Hill Farms (Honeoye, NY)
  Finely Diced Onion 1.2 oz. Honey Hill Farms (Honeoye, NY)
  Finely Diced Celery 0.6 oz. The Karma Sauce Company (Pittsford, NY)
  Sauvignon Blanc 0.5 cup Damiani Wine Cellars (Berdett, NY)
  Smokey Karma Sauce® 0.5 cup The Karma Sauce Company (Pittsford, NY)
  Salt To Taste     Seneca Salt Company (Penn Yan, NY)
For the Bacon Brittle Finely Cubed Bacon 1.5 oz. Bostrom Farms (Penn Yan, NY)
  Organic Evaporated Cane Juice (Or Sugar) 0.5 oz. Sweeteners Plus (Avon, NY)
  Pure Maple Sugar 0.5 oz. Merle Maple (Attica, NY)
For the Salsa Verde Diced Yellow Heirloom Tomatoes 8 oz Phancy Farms (Honeoye Falls, NY)
  Diced Cucumber 8 oz The Karma Sauce Company (Pittsford, NY)
  Fresh Basil 0.25 oz The Karma Sauce Company (Pittsford, NY)
  Fresh Italian Parsley 0.25 oz The Karma Sauce Company (Pittsford, NY)
  Green Envy Hot Sauce 1.5 oz The Karma Sauce Company (Pittsford, NY)
  Verjooz 2 teaspoons Finger Lakes Food Company (Hector, NY)
  Salt To Taste     Seneca Salt Company (Penn Yan, NY)
For Finishing Delicata Squash Seed Oil 1 drizzle WholeHeartedFoods (Geneva, NY)
  Chevre (Goat Cheese) 1 dollop 4Tin Fish Farm (Conquest, NY)
  Popcorn Shoots, cut in half 1 per serving Thunder Mountain Farms (Bath, NY)

Cooking Instructions

 Three Sisters Chile:

You can start the Chile 2-3 days in advance of the day of serving.  Finishing item are best prepared the same day.

Soak the pinto beans and hulled corn for in cold water for 24 hours (separately).

Drain and discard water and simmer beans and corn separately in fresh water until tender.  Use separate pots (the cooking time can vary widely, between 1 and 4 hours) for each.  Add half an onion, a half carrot and lovage stalk to each at the start or the simmer (substitute a stalk of celery with leaves for the lovage if you can’t find the latter).  The water level should be at least an inch over the top of the corn/beans. When tender, drain beans and discard onion, celery and carrot. You can refrigerate the beans and corn overnight if time is short on the day you plan the meal i.e. you can start two days in advance.

Add bacon to a preheated pot (medium heat), large enough to hold all the beans and corn.  When the bacon starts to render add diced celery, carrot and onion and cook until lightly caramelized, stirring frequently. Deglaze the pot with Sauvignon Blanc and add drained beans, corn and Smokey Karma Sauce®.  Cover and Simmer for 45 minutes. Adjust salt to taste.  Add water to the Chile if it becomes too dry; the desired consistency is like a thick stew.

Salsa Verde:

Combine all ingredients and puree with an immersion wand, food processor or blender.  Adjust salt to taste. It is best to prepare the Salsa Verde as close to serving as possible.  Chill until ready to serve.

Maple-Bacon Brittle:

Brown bacon, drain and pat dry.

Rub a large baking sheet with a spoonful of the bacon fat. Keep in a cool place.

Add maple sugar and evaporated cane juice to a large skillet on medium heat.  Stir continuously* until maple blend liquefies.  Immediately remove from heat, stir in bacon and quickly spread on baking sheet to cool.  BE CAREFUL: The hot sugar can cause bad burns if you touch it!!!  When brittle is cooled to room temperature break into small pieces. Refrigerate if preparing in advance.

* Do not use plastic utensils –they will melt. High temperature silicon is okay.

To Assemble:

Place a large spoonful of Three Sisters Chile (heated to a minimum temperature of 145 F) at the center of an individual serving dish.  Add a dollop of Chèvre and a drizzle of Salsa Verde and Squash Seed Oil.  Garnish with the two halves of the Popcorn Shoot and a piece of Maple-Bacon Brittle.

Serve with:

Damiani Wine Cellars Sauvignon Blanc: Citrus, peach and guava perfume from the glass.  Gooseberry, subtle herbal grapefruit notes and a slight grassiness come across on the palate and finishes crisp and clean.


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