Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Good Eats Newsletter - March 5, 2008

Important Share Information
We are always looking for feedback as we move through the share period. Please send any positive and not-so-positive comments to Nancy. If there are any issues, we would really like to hear about them as soon as they arise! Please bring back your empty plastic bags and egg cartons when you pick-up.

Farm Update
Monday was a beautiful day to take a stroll down to our new greenhouse and headhouse to check out the progress. The headhouse was cozy-warm inside and it was so energizing to see all the new starts under the growing lights. We are thrilled to be including the first growth of the season, radish sprouts, in your shares today! Amongst other new growth, we have leeks, cilantro, chard, basil and choi started. These seedlings, along with tomato plants, will be transplanted into the greenhouse in the next couple of weeks when the greenhouse is complete.

Bulk Order, Delivery March 12th
This Friday is the deadline for receiving orders at the farm for the March 12th bulk order. In addition to a wide variety of storage vegetables, we also have Pete's chicken and lamb available. The prices on our bulk order items are very close to wholesale, with a minimum order of $40. Visit our Bulk Order page for more details and an order form.

This Week's Share Contains
Sweet storage carrots, Adirondack red and blue potatoes mixed with yellow, Daikon radish, shallots, radish sprouts, popcorn, frozen tomatoes, Butterworks Farm yogurt, cheese curds, Patchwork Farm Organic Rye Speckle Bread, and oyster and shiitake mushrooms.

Bread Ingredients: rye flakes, wheat flour, fresh milled rye flour, deep well water, sourdough, sea salt, all organic grains

Vegetable Storage and Use Tips
Sweet Storage Carrots - Store these carrots unwashed and loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
Potatoes - This week's share includes a rainbow mix of yellow, as well as Adirondack red and blue potatoes. The reds and blues are attracting attention these days, even from the likes of Gourmet Magazine. See what Gourmet has to say about them here. Store these potatoes like you would all others, in a cool, dark place.
Shallots - Store in a cool, dark place, away from potatoes.
Radish Sprouts - These are our exciting, first new growth of the season, radish sprouts. Enjoy the first taste of spring! Keep these in the crisper drawer of your fridge.
Daikon Radish - This is the long white vegetable in your bags, resembling a large, albino carrot. The sharp radish taste you experience eating a raw daikon will substantially mellow when added to soups, stews and stir-fries. Daikon is a great source of vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and folate as well as sulphur, iron, and iodine. Daikon should be stored in the refrigerator wrapped loosely in a plastic bag, where it should keep for at least a week.
Frozen Tomatoes - These crimson red orbs are surely a fine remembrance of summer. Keep these frozen until ready to use, then run the tomatoes under warm water. This will loosen the skin enough to be peeled right off. Let them thaw a bit more, then chop and use as you would canned, chopped tomatoes.
Mushrooms - Keep mushrooms in a brown paper bag in your refrigerator. When using shiitakes, don't forget to remove the coarse stems before cooking. Save the stems to throw into your next soup or stock. They will impart a wonderful shiitake flavor.
Popcorn - These cobs of popping corn are so much fun! You can twist the corn kernels off, starting at the wide end, and use like you would any other popping corn. You can also put the whole ear in a brown paper bag, tape it closed and pop. Listen carefully as the corn pops in the microwave. When the popping slows down, take the bag out and check for progress. If you wait too long, you'll end up with burnt popcorn!

Localvore 'Lore from Heather
This week's localvore goodies run the gamut from down home to artisanal to gourmet. Amir Habib grows organic gourmet mushrooms in Colchester. Visiting his operation is high on my list, so look for more information on this grower in a future newsletter. In the meantime, enjoy these beautiful 'shrooms! He sends a mix of yellow and silvery blue oysters, along with shitakes. The rye bread this week is another fine loaf from Patchwork Farm in Hardwick. Charley started out as a vegetable farmer after working at Riverside Farm. His focus shifted to baking bread and pizzas for sale to the Buffalo Mt Coop when he was disappointed with the available selection. Now he grows potatoes and some other ingredients for the bread, and grinds fresh whole grain flours. We're so glad he decided to be a baker!

We have two fine Northeast Kingdom dairy products; yogurt from Butterworks Farm and cheese curds from the Vermont Milk Company. Butterworks has been in business for almost 30 years; Vt Milk Company just over one year. Both share a philosophy of local food security and supporting small local farms. Good Eats has offered Butterworks products since we started the localvore shares. Vermont Milk Company is a new partner, and we are excited to be able to support their growing business and offer you a sampling of their products over this share. Here is some information on both companies from their websites. You can also visit and to learn more and see great photos.

About Vermont Milk Company
Fifty years ago, it was easy for the average American to know where most of the food on the table comes from. Seasonal eating and knowing the farmers who grew your food was a part of life – not a lesson in world geography. Too many farmers have been forced into the corporate circle, becoming powerless in their markets and enjoying little of the profits, only to see competitive products from across the country or the globe on the supermarket shelves. Today, there is a growing trend to return to our sensible roots – eating locally supports our community and offers us fresher foods to enjoy on the palate and on the conscience.

In a world where you can put food on your table that has been grown and transported from thousands of miles away, we offer the opportunity to consciously choose fresh and delicious local alternatives that not only taste better, but feel better. It’s food you can feel good about.

Cheese Curds are yummy bits of early-stage cheese scooped up fresh from the production line and saved from being formed into blocks to be aged. Their fate? To be gobbled up one after another. These are great for kids, parties, and any-time snacking.

About Butterworks Farm
Butterworks Farm began in 1979 when we left our teaching jobs and began making a variety of dairy products from the milk produced by our three family cows. We made butter, yogurt, cottage and farmer's cheese on our kitchen stove, and delivered these products and bottled raw milk to twenty-five families within ten miles of our farm, here in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Our little business evolved gradually to the point where we began selling products to local food co-ops and health food stores. By 1984, we became licensed by the Vermont Department of Agriculture, to process our cows' milk into yogurt and bottled cream in a little "factory" in the upstairs of our barn.

During the last twenty years our business has grown steadily. Our herd of Jersey cows has grown from the original three to about forty-five. We have been the "number one" selling yogurt (in quarts) in Vermont for a number of years. Now our distribution has expanded to reach many of the eastern states, through distributors such as United Natural Foods and Northeast Co-operatives.

Butterworks Farm stands alone in its uniqueness and in the excellent quality of our products. We are a husband and wife team with a small number of employees, all committed to making quality a priority. Our organic milk is from our own cows, which means we are able to assure our customers that it is totally free of herbicide, pesticide, synthetic hormone and antibiotic residues. All of the food that our cows eat (hay, barley, soybeans, and corn) is grown here on our farm, using sustainable, certified organic practices. We raise all our own cows from birth, ensuring that they have not been treated with hormones, antibiotics, or synthetic growth enhancers at any time.

Butterworks Farm yogurt gets its excellent quality and its fine flavor from the exceptional milk produced by our Jersey cows. Jersey milk is unusually high in protein. As a result, we are able to produce a thick, full flavored yogurt without adding gums or stabilizers. Our organic non fat yogurts are the only ones on the market that do not contain thickeners such as dry milk or whey protein. Our yogurt gets its firm texture and clean taste using only milk and live acidophilus, thermophilus, and bulgaricus yogurt cultures.


Overnight Daikon Radish Pickles
This was a highly-rated submission on Using apple cider vinegar instead of rice vinegar and sunflower oil in place of sesame oil (or omitting oil) makes them Localvore.

1 1/2 cups daikon, thinly sliced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil, or 1/2 tsp. sunflower oil (optional)

In a mixing bowl, toss daikon with salt. Cover, and refrigerate until 1 to 2 tablespoons of water is released, about 30 minutes.

Drain and rinse daikon, removing as much salt as possible. Pat dry with a kitchen towel and return to bowl. Stir in rice vinegar, black pepper and, if desired, oil. Cover, and refrigerate at least 8 hours.

Shroom, Daikon and Carrot Stir Fry
2 TB Peanut Oil
1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
4 medium carrots, thinly sliced
1 medium Daikon, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
1/4 lb. mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 TB water
3 TB soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
2 tsp maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon hot chili oil, or more to taste (optional)

Heat oil in a wok or skillet over high heat. Add the onion and carrot; stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the Daikon and mushrooms; stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the water and continue to stir-fry until all the water has evaporated. Add the soy sauce, ginger, syrup and chili oil. Stir vigorously for 30 seconds. Transfer to a warm bowl and serve.

This stir-fry can be easily adapted for a main meal by adding tofu or meat (ground pork or chicken come to mind). Begin by heating 1 to 2 TB of oil in the pan. Stir-fry tofu or meat for 2 to 4 minutes (until desired doneness), then remove and reserve. Add the meat/tofu back in just before the soy sauce and syrup.

Rainbow Potato Salad
The colorful potatoes in your bag today would make a beautiful, French-inspired potato salad.

1.5 pounds Adirondack red & blue potatoes (yellow too!), cut in 1 1/2" chunks
1/3 cup olive or sunflower oil
1/3 cup white wine
2 TB cider vinegar
1 1/2 TB Dijon-style mustard
1 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp kosher salt
freshly-ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup minced shallots
1 large clove garlic, minced

Radish Sprouts
Chopped Hard Boiled Egg

In a medium pan submerge potato chunks in cold, salted water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 12 to 15 minutes, just until potatoes are soft. As you will be slicing these, don't overcook. Drain potatoes. Return immediately to the hot pan and keep over heat for 30-60 seconds to dry out potatoes. While potatoes are simmering, whisk together the oil, wine, vinegar, mustard, tarragon, salt and pepper. Whisk in shallots and garlic. As soon as the potatoes are dry, remove from pan, slice and toss with the dressing. Serve potato salad over a bed of sprouts and garnish with chopped egg, if desired.

Real Canadian Poutine
Cheese curds are yummy as a snack, but to truly appreciate them, Heather recommends the classic Canadian dish, Poutine. Here's a recipe she found online from The Cooking Blog. She suggests making this with some homemade beef gravy. Perhaps you have a roast you can make? Or you can get beef broth and make gravy from that. I also think it would be just as good with pan fried rather than deep fried potatoes. The cheese curds will make it authentic! Makes 4 side servings or 2 main servings

4 large potatoes
oil for deep frying
2 cups beef stock
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups cheese curds

Peel and slice the potatoes into thick fries (at least 1 cm thick). Soak the potatoes in ice water for about 30 minutes. Remove and blot dry.

Heat oil for frying to about 325F and deep fry potatoes for about 8 minutes. Remove from oil and set on paper towel. Turn the oil up to 375F.

In a saucepan melt the butter and stir in the flour. Add the beef broth and stir over medium-high heat until thickened. Reduce heat and keep hot. (Use a tiny bit of gravy browning to get that nice dark colour).

Return the french fries to the oil and continue frying until golden and crispy. This should take about 5 more minutes. Remove fries to drain on paper towel and salt to taste.

Assemble the poutine quickly while everything is still HOT. (Poutine is best made in a bowl or other container which will contain the heat and help melt the curds. Also, the curds should be at room temperature before assembling the Poutine). Start with a layer of fries. Put some cheese curds in the middle. Add more fries and top with more cheese curds. Ladle gravy over the fries and cheese curds.

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