Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Good Eats Newsletter August 22

Pete’s Greens Newsletter 8/22/07
This week’s share contains sweet corn, edamame (edible soybeans), garlic, potatoes, broccoli, peppers, kale, carrots, Alisa Craig onions, beans, paula red apples from Champlain Orchards, and our very own eggs.
No baby greens this week! We got nailed by severe thunderstorms Thursday evening the 16th and for the first time in 6 years didn’t wholesale any greens late last week. The rain came down so hard that it severely bruised greens and shredded several other varieties in a similar way as to what happens when we get the H-word. (What? The H-word? I don't get it.-elena) The H-word is the most feared event in the life of a vegetable farmer-we try not to jinx ourselves by uttering the word, (Oh, yeah. The H-word. Shudder.-elena) Anyway, we thought a break from greens might be nice anyway and allow everyone to fully appreciate the bounty of summer.
Edamame is new this week and makes a great snack or addition to your dinner plate. Immerse in boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes tops, drain and toss with sea salt. Shell the beans as you eat them and try them as a snack for the kids.
We are excited for the return of Champlain Orchard apples. We think the world of Bill Suhr and his farming operation and it is a pleasure to offer his products. Although his apples are not organic, they are grown using Integrated Pest Management systems. Read more about his farm and growing practices at
I feel the need to write a disclaimer about our eggs. We have 135 hens and they are laying really well (we are talking 100 eggs a day-elena). Our intention was to have them roaming outside in a fenced enclosure but we found them impossible to keep in. For a couple weeks there were hens scattered nearly from one end of the farm to the other. I knew we had to do something when I was eating dinner one evening at my neighbors 100 yards down the road from the farm and one of the hens came strolling by. They are now living in a historic chicken house on the farm. This is an open sided structure (lots of fresh air and sunlight) and we give them plentiful vegetable scraps daily. We have given up on having them outside until next year, (we have a better fencing plan for next season). Unfortunately their yolks won’t develop the deep orange color that great eggs are known by unless the chickens spend all their time ranging on pasture, so for the remainder of this year our eggs will not be the best possible. Still good eggs, much better than the average, but next year’s will be superb.
We are planning a big new greenhouse addition for the farm. Stay tuned the next couple weeks for updates. -Pete

Hello all! I wanted to give a brief update about the next share period, slyly called the October-February Share. We are getting the details for the next share period figured out and plan to have the details out by the end of next week. Here is what I do know: The share will start October 17 and run until February 13th (17 weeks). We are increasing the ratio of Localvore food, so will bump up the price to roughly $45 a week which works out to $765. We know that this is a good size chunk of money to come up with all at once, so we are doing our typical payment plan but breaking it up into 4 payments instead of three. Details will follow when we send out the official "sign up" email. Look for more information from me by the end of next week. -Elena

Storage Hints and Recipe Ideas:
A few members have sent me recipes and thoughts, which i really love to get and share. Pass them on and I'll post them to our blog and eventually to the website. Also, let me know if you don't want your name posted too. -Elena

Sweet Corn: My advice is to not bother storing and eat it for dinner tonight. But, if you really need to store it for a day or two, pop it in the fridge, husks and all. Boil in a large pot of unsalted water for 2 minutes or less. If you are grilling, peel back the husks without removing them completely, remove the silk and "re-husk" the corn. Because I'm paranoid about losing my food to fire, I like to spray or dip the husked corn with water. Grill for about 5 or 10 minutes over an open flame, slather with butter and salt and enjoy. As for corn recipes, I see no reason to taint the sweet goodness of corn on the cob with a lot of other fussy ingredients.
Edamame (ay-duh-ma-may): Who knows if that's right, but I like to spell phonetically since I regularly clobber the English language when I speak aloud. Store this in the fridge in a sealed bag (i.e. Ziploc) if possible. Boil briefly and eat as described above or shell them and add to other dishes and the like.
Garlic: Store on the counter. Easy. Here's a recipe idea for oven roasted garlic on one of these late August nights. Peel off any really loose, dry papery stuff and put the whole head in an oven proof pan. Pop into an oven heated to 425 and roast for 40 to 45 minutes. The result is creamy, sweet garlic that is a complete mess to eat, but well worth the effort. Remove and eat by squeezing the garlic out of the clove onto a bit of fresh baked bread and favorite cheese. Pure heaven.
Alisa Craig Onions: Sweet onion that is mild and perfect for sandwiches or my favorite summer stand-by, macaroni salad. Store on the counter or dice and freeze for adding to soups later. Try caramelizing with some diced garlic and you have a stand by for adding to a late night supper of pasta. Ooo! Just had a recipe flash that I'll add to the end of the newsletter.
Potatoes: Okay, here's the deal. I store mine in the fridge, but i keep hearing that's a bad place for them. What do you folks think? My way is in a paper bag in the fridge. Someone else's way would be in a paper bag in a cool, dry spot like a pantry or drawer. You decide what works for you. Let me know if you need advice on how to cook potatoes, but I figure if Pete can cook a potato, then everyone else can too.
Broccoli, Peppers, Carrots and Beans: Store in the fridge, unwashed. Crisper is a great place for them. This is an impressive share of food this week, so don't overcook your veggies. Try blanching the broccoli for a scant 1 to 2 minutes in boiling water or steam for about 2 minutes. Same goes for the carrots. Peppers are wonderful eaten raw, especially the colored ones, but you can grill or saute them too. Don't over cook the beans either. A quick boil for 3 minutes ought to do it.

Paula Red Apples: I'm very excited about this early fall variety. This is a sweet, crisp apple. I plan to include them in my kids' lunch boxes, but try them in salad (maybe next week though) or make a sweet sauce out of them.
Eggs: I'm trying to include these in your shares every 2 weeks or so until the hens molt and stop laying. Jen Linck, our animal manager, collects and washes them, putting them into the cartons (we'll try to peel off the weirdly Disney-esque label too). Scramble with a pat of butter and a splash of cream over low heat. Salt and pepper to taste and eat with veggies. How can you go wrong with that?

My Favorite Indulgent Pasta:
I adapted this from a recipe out of Improvisational Cooking and it needs good quality ingredients. It is by no means low fat, but it's wonderful to eat with a friend or two and a good glass of wine.
Break the yolk of the egg just before eating and stir everything up. It creates a creamy, rich sauce that coats everything beautifully. -elena

Serves 3 to 4

1 lb pasta, preferably penne or farfalle
Carmelized onions and garlic
Roasted bell peppers
Broccoli, chopped stems and florets
Kale, rinsed and chopped
Pancetta or bacon, cooked until crisp but chewy
2 T unsalted butter
1/4 C cream (yes, cream)
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
1/4 C hard cheese like parmesan or Bonnieview's Ben Nevis
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Sea salt, to taste
2 to 3 farm fresh eggs

In the meantime, in a medium pan with just a sprinkle of water, cook the chopped kale until just starting to wilt, but still chewy. About 3 minutes. Remove and set aside. Add the broccoli and cook in the same manner, until just green, about 1 minute. Remove and set aside with the kale. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add a generous helping of salt just before adding the pasta. Cook until al dente, about 7 to 10 minutes. In the same pan you used for the vegetables, melt the butter, add the cream and nutmeg and heat over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cheese and carmelized onions, stirring constantly until the cheese is melted and the sauce is thick. Add the roasted peppers, broccoli and kale, heat briefly. In a separate pan, melt butter and fry up 2 to 3 eggs, sunny side up, until the white is set, but the yolk is still runny.

By now, your pasta should be done or really close. Drain and toss with the creamy vegetable sauce. Top with an egg and lay a serving of pancetta or bacon on top. Season with salt and pepper.


Anonymous said...

On the chickens, mine are free range and I have to spend time hunting eggs, something of a drag. Premier makes a wonderful electric poultry net and I love the folks down at Wellscroft.

On the pasta, sounds yum scrum, kind of a cross between pasta primavera and spaghetti a la carbonara. If you slightly undercook the pasta, reserve some of the pasta water, toss in the veggies and stuff and then cook it all together you get a wonderful creamy texture, the pasta water has starch in it and acts as a thickener. The pasta also absorbs flavor as it cooks. Then you can serve it with your roasted garlic on fresh bread!

Pete's Greens said...
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