Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Good Eats Newsletter - September 24, 2008

Farm Update
Well the frost finally hit us a bit last night. We managed to cover everything we needed to for the first frost last week. But, yesterday things were so busy at the farm and the weather forecast not as dire as the week before. By 9 o'clock, however, there was already frost forming on the trucks. Meg went out to gather all of the potatoes that had been dug, but not pulled in. The frost would have gotten them for sure. She was out there in the dark, working by the glow of her truck's headlights. She managed to save them all. Our zucchini got hit, though, and it is probably done now for the season. We think that our peppers, tomatillos and just about everything else should be fine.

On a brighter note, the warm days have been doing wonders for our crops still left in the fields. We think that you'll be pleased with the beautiful kale and broccoli in your bags this week!

Pete's Greens T-Shirts
Pete and I first talked about getting new t-shirts for the farm when I started working here in January. I am happy to say that they are finally finished. The artwork on the shirts was drawn exclusively for Pete's.




Meg and Tim model the shirts

We are selling the 100% organic cotton shirts for $10 for short sleeved, $12 for long. The shorts are all natural in color; the long sleeved are all white. If you would like a shirt, please fill out the t-shirt order form on our Website and mail it to the farm with your check. We will deliver your shirt(s) to your CSA site to pick-up with your next CSA delivery. We also hope to be selling the shirts at the Montpelier Farmer's Market.

Scallops
One of our shareholders gave us a lead on some Maine sea scallops that we are looking into. They are sustainably harvested by a coop of fishermen in Cobscook Bay. While we know that they come from outside of our 100-mile radius, we also understand how difficult it can be to find a reliable seafood source here in Vermont. If you have an opinion on this, please send me an email.

Only Three Deliveries Left
This share period has really flown by. After tomorrow, there are only 3 deliveries left in the share. Thank you to everybody who has sent in their enrollment for the next share period. We really appreciate the continuity of our shareholders and value the relationship that we build with you. If you would like to join us for the fall and winter, there are still some spots left. Please send in your form soon, however, as they are filling quickly.

You can find all the information about the share on our Good Eats page. Read through the pages to find the sign-up form. No, we don't hide the form on purpose. But, we do want to make sure that you understand all about the share before signing up. The produce included in the share is much different than that of our Summer Share.

This Week's Share Contains
Broccoli -or- Eggplant; Bunch Orange Carrots; French Breakfast Radishes (Loose, No Greens); Bunch Green Kale; Cippolini Onions; Mars Onions; Edamame; Small Heads Garlic (See Below); Pac Choi; Cherry Tomatoes -or- Beefsteak Tomatoes*;

*Those sites that received cherry tomatoes in the last 2 weeks will receive all beefsteaks this week. This week the cherry tomatoes will go to Middlesex, Grove and Stowe.

Localvore Share:
Rosemary and Sea Salt Focaccia from Elmore Mountain Bread; Champlain Orchards Apple Cider; And One of the Following:

Meat Eater Shares: Ground Beef from Shadagee Farm;

Vegetarian Shares: Vermont Soy Tofu

Storage and Use Tips
Garlic: As you've probably noticed our garlic has not been very nice as of late. Cosmetically it's not great and occasionally you might find a bulb with some mildew inside. This variety suffered in the summer wetness, but we will be done with it and on to much nicer garlic in a few weeks. We are not charging you for the garlic this week, but the majority of it is perfectly good eating.
Cippolini Onions: Pronounced chip-oh-LEE-nee. These are the short, disk-shaped yellow onions in your bag. Originating in Italy, cippolinis are very sweet and delicious. Try roasting some whole. Peel them, toss with a liberal amount olive oil, a few sprigs of thyme, salt and pepper, and roast in a 375F oven for around 30 minutes, or so. Serve as a side dish. Store in a cool dark place.
Mars Onions: The mars onions are the red ones in your share this week. With burgundy/crimson skin and inner rings, they are excellent raw and delicious cooked. Not as sweet as the cippolinis, they are the better choice when you want your onion to provide a bit more bite in the dish. Store in a cook, dark place.
Edamame: The edamame (soy beans) in your bag are still attached to the stalks. Some of the pods have turned a bit yellow. We think that this is from the cold we've been having. They should still be very good eating, though. To prepare, remove the pods from the stalks. You can do like the Japanese and steam the edamame for about 10 minutes, pod and all, drain well, toss with coarse sea salt and serve. When eating edamame still in the pod, you will want to scrape out the tender beans using your teeth. Enjoy the beans and compost the leftover pods.

Localvore Lore
First we would like to say, "goodbye and good luck!" to Heather. Unfortunately, she has left us to go back to the kitchen at Sterling College. She is also working on a business plan to start her own bakery here in Craftsbury. She will start out by baking by order. Eventually, perhaps, opening a storefront. We are sure that she will be successful in whatever she does and look forward to yummy baked treats here in Craftsbury. Heather, you will be missed!

This week we have another branch of the Urie family supplying food for the share. Shadagee Farm is owned by Neil's (of Bonnieveiw Farm) brother Brett and his wife Marjorie. They run the dairy operation, while their three children have gotten started with other ventures on the farm. According to Marjorie, they believe that it is a really good experience for the kids to get a sense for running their own businesses. They learn how much things cost and how to handle responsibility. Their youngest daughter, Madison, 8 years old, has been trying to start an egg business. Their son Trent, who is 13, runs his own sugaring operation, making and selling syrup.

Meg, 15 and the oldest of the children, decided that she would like to raise the male calves for beef around 3 or 4 years ago. She takes the calves and has them steered, "steered" being the euphemism for taking away their manhood, or keeping them from becoming bulls. Without the testosterone coursing through their bodies, you end up with more tender and better flavored beef. Meg raises them up on pasture, taking good care of them. All of our meat-eater localvores will be receiving about a pound of ground beef from Meg's grass-fed steers. She also sells the meat off of the farm and at the Craftsbury Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings. Their farm is in Craftsbury Common, 2420 ShadowLake Rd. Phone: 586.2879.

Vegetarian Localvores can look forward to tofu in the share this week. Sophia from Vermont Soy dropped the packages off at the farm yesterday. Each Vegetarian-Localvore share should receive 2 pieces of tofu.

The bread this week is from Elmore Mountain and is fantastic. It's a rosemary and sea salt focaccia. It is brushed with the Quebec sunflower oil and topped with fresh rosemary and Maine sea salt. Blaire dropped it off while I was finishing the newsletter. It's hard to concentrate with the smell of freshly-baked focaccia wafting through the air.

Finally, we have the first apple cider we've been able to get this season from Champlain Orchards. Enjoy a nice cool glass on one of these warm, early days of fall.

Recipes
Vegetable Casserole with Tofu Topping
Adapted from a recipe at Epicurious.com. I think that you could substitute small cubes of eggplant for the broccoli in this dish and it would still be delicious. Serves 4-6.

For vegetables
2 tablespoons sunflower or olive oil
2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced lengthwise
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb broccoli, cut into 1" flowerets, stem chopped into 1/2" cubes
1 lb kale, stems and center ribs removed and leaves coarsely chopped
1/2 lb carrots, cut into 1/4-inch-thick matchsticks
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

For topping
1 1/2 cups fine fresh or dried bread crumbs, preferably whole wheat
7 oz firm tofu
1 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 cup)
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons dried basil, crumbled
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
1 teaspoon paprika
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Heat oil in a deep 12- to 14-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to moderate and add broccoli, kale, carrots, broth, soy sauce, and salt. (Skillet will be full, but volume will reduce as vegetables steam.) Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are just tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a 13- by 9-inch glass baking dish.

Pulse all topping ingredients together in a food processor until combined well. Alternatively, mash ingredients together in a large bowl with a potato masher. Sprinkle tofu mixture over vegetables in baking dish and bake, uncovered, until topping is golden brown and vegetables are heated through, 15 to 20 minutes.

Beef and Pac Choi Wontons
These wontons would also be good with tofu instead of beef. But, be sure to weigh down the tofu wrapped in a (paper) towel for about 30 minutes before chopping it up, to squeeze out any excess moisture. Serves 6-8.

6 TB soy sauce
1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 TB honey
1/2lb lean ground beef
1 cup finely chopped pac choi
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 12-ounce package wonton wrappers
2 TB oriental sesame oil

Blend 4 tablespoons soy sauce, 1/4 cup ginger, vinegar and honey in small bowl.
Combine beef (or tofu) and next 6 ingredients in medium bowl. Mix in remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 2 teaspoons ginger. Place several wrappers on work surface; brush edges lightly with water. Place heaping 1 teaspoon beef filling in center of each. Fold wrappers diagonally in half, pressing edges to seal. Place wontons on waxed paper. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

Preheat oven to 250°F. Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat; add 1/4 of wontons. Fry until wontons are golden and filling is cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to baking sheet; keep warm in oven. Repeat frying with remaining wontons, using 1/2 tablespoon oil per batch. Serve wontons with sauce.

Radish and White Bean Salad
Adapted from "A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen," this recipe normally calls for salad greens, but we think that wilted pac choi will make a great stand-in. This week's pac choi got a touch of frost and is all the sweeter for it. Serve with focaccia on the side.

1 lb. radishes, thinly sliced
3 cups cooked white beans (or 2 15oz cans, rinsed and drained)
15 cherry tomatoes halved, or 1 large tomato chopped
8 kalamata olives, pitted & chopped
1 TB drained capers
2 TB minced fresh mint or parsley leaves
3 TB extra-virgin olive oil
2 TB fresh lemon juice
salt
1 TB sunflower or olive oil
1 large head pac choi, sliced thinly sliced, stems divided from greens

Stir the radishes, beans, tomatoes, olives, capers, and mint/parsley together in a medium bowl. Drizzle oil and lemon juice over the salad and toss to combine. Add salt to taste. While the radishes and beans marinate, heat the last tablespoon of oil in a large, heavy bottomed skillet. Add sliced pac choi stems and saute for 2 minutes to soften. Add the greens, turn off the heat and cover the pan. Give the greens a minute to wilt, then toss in with the rest of the salad.

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