Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Good Eats Newsletter August 29th

Pete’s Greens Newsletter Wed., Aug. 29, 2007
This week’s share includes: savoy cabbage, tomatillas, eggplant, Alisa Craig onions, radishes, pac choi, braising greens, beans, Mossend Blue Cheese from Bonnieview Farm, and cream from Butterworks Farm
Tough week down on the old farm. Last Saturday evening we got hit with a powerful thunderstorm. I was watching from the house and I don’t think I have ever seen stronger wind in Vermont. The big gust lasted only about 7 seconds, but it was enough to blow in the end wall on our ½ acre greenhouse. One of the vertical posts snapped, and that caused several rafters to break and blow off. One quarter of the greenhouse plastic was ruined and we’ve got a big job to rebuild the it. The greenhouse is 42 feet wide and the peak is 23 feet tall so it’s not so easy to work on. It is an experimental structure made from local wood poles so it’s not a complete surprise that we had a structural failure.
The storm also brought heavy, heavy downpours. For the second time this summer we had to skip a baby greens harvest (this has only happened one other time in the 10 years we’ve been in business). Very hard rain flattens greens and shreds them much as hail would.
So instead of the planned mesclun, we had to pick braising greens for your share. We have some great greens coming along for next week and there is awesome weather coming. Our Oct.-Feb. share period signup will be ready by Monday the 3rd, so be sure to check the website if you are interested and look for an email with details on the share. -Pete

Notes about this week's Localvore Products:
Bonnieview Farm is run by Neil and Kristen Urie in South Albany. Good friends of Pete's, they sell their cheeses in many stores, at the Craftsbury Common Market on Saturdays and the Stowe Farmer's Market on Sundays. We included Mossend Blue in your shares, a cheese that they recently won an award for. It's a great addition to a fancy cheese plate, but makes a good cheese for melting or adding to dishes and salads.

Butterworks Farm is familiar to many of you. Their herd of jersey cows produce a fine, delectable cream that I use in much of my cooking. For the Farm Event in July, we used it to make homemade maple ice cream and it was the best stuff i've had in a long time. -Elena

Storage Hints and Recipe Ideas:
Savoy Cabbage: Tender and sweet with a great cabbage-ey taste, store this in the crisper of your fridge away from other veggies. Try shredding and tossing with julienned kohlrabi (how many of you still have those?), carrots, bell peppers and radish for a crunchy, munchy coleslaw. This cabbage also makes a very nice salad with other vegetables.
Eggplant: Store unwashed in the fridge. Use in about a week. A meaty vegetable that soaks up marinades and loves to be grilled. The aubergine skin is full with nutrients, so if you don't mind it, try cooking it with the skin on. On cold evenings, when i'm too wimpy to grill outside, I like to slice and broil under a flame in the oven, brushing with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
Tomatillas: Store in the fridge or on the counter, but use them quickly if you do that. I've been making salsa verde (green sauce) with mine, adding parsley, cilantro, onion and roasted chili peppers. Yum!
Alisa Craig Onions: Sweet and perfect for sandwiches and salads. Use them soon, but can be stored in a dry, dark place if they won't be used right away.
Radishes: Store in the fridge please. Apparently, in France, they slice radishes very thinly and eat them between slices of quality bread smeared with a soft, rind cheese. Sounds pretty good to me.
Braising Greens: I know Pete made it sound kind of sad that we had to give you these this week, but I absolutely love these greens. You won't find a mix like this anywhere else and I am not exaggerating or kissing any bottoms when i say that. Pardon my coarseness. Store in the crisper, dry and in a plastic bag. Saute or put in a casserole, on top of a pizza, make creamy greens, etc. etc. etc. Good stuff.
Pac Choi: Store in the crisper, unwashed and dry. Where I come from, it's known as Bok Choy. An Asian vegetable with a nice sweet cabbage flavor, try breaking off the leaves and use in stir-fry. A good combination would be pac choi, red bell peppers, onions, broccoli, squash and eggplant. Try a sweet, gingery soy marinade (combine honey, rice vinegar, fresh grated ginger, garlic, a splash of soy sauce) and serve over rice, polenta or barley.

Pac Choi and Warm Scallop Salad with Toasted Pecans-
adapted from Gourmet June 96

1/3 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
cayenne to taste
3/4 pound sea scallops
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 large firm-ripe avocado
7 cups pac choi leaves (can substitute with tatsoi or baby spinach), washed well and spun dry

In a heavy, iron skillet over medium heat, mix pecans, salt and cayenne, stirring until toasted and fragrent.
Remove from heat and set aside.

Remove tough muscle from side of each scallop if necessary and halve any large scallops. On a sheet of wax
paper combine flour, salt, cumin, and cayenne and dip flat sides of each scallop into mixture to coat, knocking
off excess. In a skillet heat butter and olive oil over moderately high heat until foam subsides and sauté
scallops, flat sides down, until golden and just cooked through, about 2 minutes on each flat side. Remove
skillet from heat and cool scallops slightly.

In a large bowl whisk together lemon juice , extra-virgin olive oil, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste until
emulsified. Peel and pit avocado and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Cut wedges in half crosswise and add to
dressing. Add scallops with any liquid remaining in skillet, tatsoi or spinach, and pecans and gently toss to
coat. Serves 4 to 6.


Creamy Braising Greens
I made this one up all by myself, so please excuse the not-so-precise measurements. I'm an absolute sucker for creamed spinach, so i serve this along side roasted chicken legs and whipped root vegetables in the fall.

2 T butter
1/4 cup of finely chopped alisa craig onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T flour
3/4 cup (or more) of cream or half n half, room temp or even warmed up (helps prevent lumpiness)
a generous pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
a generous pinch of freshly ground black pepper
a generous pinch of salt
Bag of Pete's Braising Mix (of course!), blanched and roughly chopped

Over medium heat, melt the butter and saute the onions and garlic until just soft and fragrant.
Lower the heat! With a whisk, add the flour and cook/stir for 2 minutes. All the while whisking, add the cream, getting out all the lumps before they can cook hard, and continue to whisk and cook over low heat until the cream gets thick, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in the seasonings to taste and then stir in the greens. Serves 2 or 3 grown ups.

Sauteed Braising Greens with Mossend Blue Cheese and Pan Roasted Garlic
Another one i like that was made up and expanded upon by several crew members, including Pete. I'll take credit for the fancy, schmancy recipe name.

2 T sunflower oil
handful of minced onions
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced in halves
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Bag of Braising Greens, rinsed
Mossend blue cheese to taste

Heat oil in a large skillet over a medium high flame. Add garlic halves, tossing and cooking for several minutes. Add minced onions and continue to toss until the onions are fragrant and the cloves are soft. With the water still clinging to the leaves, toss in the greens in 2 or 3 parts, cooking until just wilted. Add blue cheese and serve. Serves about 2 or 3 folks.

Variation: Add oven or pan roasted potatoes and/or eggs for a hearty breakfast or supper.

Coming next week! Eggs! Honey! Yay!

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