Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Good Eats Newsletter Oct. 3rd, 2007

In your shares this week: mesclun, 1# mixed peppers, 3/4# baby kale for wilting, 1.5# colored cauliflower, 2# mixed carrots, 2# mixed potatoes, Localvore apple pie from Champlain Orchards, Butterworks Jersey cream

This week, for the second time in the history of Good Eats we are offering Localvore pies from Champlain Orchards. The crust is made from whole wheat soft pastry flour from Ben Gleason's farm near Middlebury, apples are from the Orchard, butter is unfortunately Cabot (New England local rather than Vermont), and the maple syrup and eggs are local. This is an example of the sort of collaboration that Good Eats is all about.
You are receiving a giant bag of mesclun this week. For the past few weeks we have had extra greens so you have received more than you have paid for. If it's too much for your family pass it on to friend! I like to eat piles of greens this time of year to stock my body with vitamins and minerals for the long and less green winter ahead. Also the cool temps bring out a nice sweetness in the greens and a thicker, juicier texture.
Speaking of cool temps we haven't had many lately. While we are basking in the fine fall weather it is messing up our greens plantings. We carefully calibrate our late summer and early fall plantings to ensure that our greens mature at a staggered rate so that we have lots to wholesale through October. This year they are maturing too soon and I'm concerned that the last week or two of October we are going to be short for our wholesale accounts. Also we need gradually cooler temps in order to harden off our greens so they can better withstand the cold coming. Who knows, maybe we'll have another repeat of last fall's amazing balminess.
Oct-Feb signups have gone amazingly well. We have filled the vegetable/Localvore share with essentially no advertising. Thanks to all of you who have signed up and thanks for telling your friends. I was studying our accounts receivables sheet for our wholesale accounts today and feeling frustrated by how hard it is to get many of our wholesale customers to pay us. It is a pleasure and honor to provide food directly to customers who pay us ahead of time, and who so faithfully let us know what they like and don't like about what we provide.
We do have many Root Shares available. This is an introductory offering that allows you to get a taste of what Pete's Greens in the winter is all about. Read about this new, bi-weekly share on the website or e-mail a mailing address and I'll send a brochure. Pete

Recipes and Storage Ideas:

Hi everyone! Although I’m no longer working at the farm much, I will continue to work on these newsletters until someone fabulous can step in and take over. I’ve included a recipe for a Spanish tortilla that can be intimidating to some, but a wonderful way to eat the baby kale in your shares. –elena

Peppers: Keep cool in the crisper of your fridge. Not sure what colors you received this week, but they are all yummy and sweet eaten raw. The red and green ones will retain their color roasted or cooked, but the purple ones tend to get brown looking, so eat those raw in salads.

Mesclun: Think big salads this week. Use the peppers, colored cauliflower and boil then slice a couple of the beautiful purple potatoes to garnish the mesclun, sprinkle with nuts, cheese, fresh apples and pears and drizzle with a garlicky, balsamic vinaigrette. The essence of “yum”!

Carrots: In a plastic bag in the crisper. If they start to get kind of floppy, try setting in ice water for several minutes before using or eating to crisp them up.

Potatoes: Store in paper bag in the fridge or a drawer. Keep light away. I love these potatoes cut into wedges, tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper and roasted in the oven at 375 for 30 minutes. The colors are amazing and tasty too.

Cauliflower: Keep in crisper and use sooner rather than later. Dark spots will start to form if not eaten in a day or two, but they can be cut out and the vegetable can still be eaten…it’s just not nearly as pretty!

Kale: Baby kale in your shares this week and the lacy, serrated leaves are beautiful and tender enough to toss in a salad. I prefer to heat sunflower oil, toss in some a couple cloves of minced garlic and heat that until fragrant. Then toss in the freshly washed kale and toss until just wilted. Salt and pepper to your hearts content. Eat with roasted meats or served with creamy, cheesy polenta and you’ll understand my love for winter greens.

Kale and Potato Spanish Tortilla

-adapted from Gourmet, 2003

A Spanish tortilla is very much like an omelet or frittata. It makes a filling supper on a cool night.

2 T olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb potatoes, scrubbed clean, boiled until just tender and diced into 1/2" cubes

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 to 3/4 lb baby kale

7 large, farm fresh eggs

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, saute until fragrant and then toss in potatoes. Cook until slightly crisp, with onions and garlic turning translucent. In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to a boil, generously add salt and cook the kale until wilted. Immediately drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Drain and squeeze the kale in your hands to rid it of excess moisture, then roughly chop and add to potato mixture. Beat eggs in a bowl and add to vegetable mixture, cooking on low heat, covered, until edges are set but center is still loose, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 15 minutes.

Shake skillet gently to make sure tortilla is not sticking (if it is sticking, loosen with a heatproof plastic spatula). Slide tortilla onto a large flat plate, then invert skillet over tortilla and flip it back into skillet. Round off edge of tortilla with plastic spatula and cook over low heat, covered, 10 minutes more. Slide tortilla onto a plate and serve warm, cut into wedges.

Makes about 6 servings

Maple Cinnamon Scented Whipped Cream

The key to whipping up cream quickly is to store the bowl and beaters in the freezer until ready to use. I like this on pear crisp that is made with walnuts. Best to use an electric hand beater for speed, but a blender will do in a pinch or if you are up for it, an icy cold wire whisk.

1 cup Butterworks Cream

1 pinch salt

1 T Brandy, Rum or Vanilla Extract

2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 to 4 T Maple Syrup

In a large, icy cold glass or melamine bowl, beat the cream with an electric beater for a few minutes, until beginning to thicken. Add salt, liquor or extract, cinnamon and 2 T of syrup. Continue to beat until cream is thick. Taste and add more syrup as needed. Beat until the cream is thick, slightly clotted and ready to serve.

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