Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Good Eats Newsletter - November 19, 2008

Please bring back your empty plastic bags and egg cartons when you pick-up. Thank you for helping with our recycling effort!

This Week's Share Contains
Mixed Colorful Carrots; Kale in Same Bag as Mesclun; Garlic; Celeriac; Leeks; Winter Squash; Kohlrabi; Napa Cabbage; Manchester Cheese from Consider Bardwell Farm; 1/2 Gallon Champlain Orchards Apple Cider; Elmore Mountain Honey Oat Bread.

Hen of the Wood Only: Empire Apples, to make up for missing apples on 10/29.

Storage and Use Tips
Having trouble distinguishing the kohlrabi from the celeriac? Check out the root vegetable identification chart.

Celeriac - Clearly the ugliest vegetable in your bag this week, celeriac also goes by the name of celery root. Though entirely different in appearance from celery in the grocery store, celeriac is in the celery family. It is grown for it's root instead of its stalk, however, and has a hint of celery taste and smell. Do your best to peel celery root without loosing too much of its cream colored flesh. Celeriac makes a tasty raw salad, though it should be mixed in with a bit of acid like vinegar or lemon juice to keep it from turning brown. It is also delicious in soups, casseroles, gratins, or boiled and mashed with potatoes. Celeriac should be stored unwashed, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.
Kohlrabi - A descendant of wild cabbage, kohlrabi's cousins are the usual brassica suspects: broccoli, cabbage, kale, and the like. They are best peeled before use. Kohlrabi is very tasty raw and takes well to steaming, roasting and sauteing. Store loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.
Napa Cabbage - Also called "Chinese Cabbage," Napa is sweeter and milder than round cabbage. It can be sliced and used raw in salads, thrown in stir-fries, or fermented in traditional kimchi. Napa cabbage should be stored unwashed in your crisper drawer, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag. To use, first cut out the core. Soak the leaves in cool water to rinse and crisp them. Then, remove from the water and drain.

Thanksgiving Week Delivery, Share Contents and Newsletter
Just in case you haven't been reading the newsletter for the last few weeks, next week our DELIVERY WILL BE ON TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 25th.

We've attempted to design next week's share around a Thanksgiving meal, including recipes. To help you plan your menu and shopping list, I've posted the tentative share contents on our blog. We'll do the best we can to stick to our intended list, but please understand that things do come up and that an item or two may change before we are ready to deliver next Tuesday.

I will be sending out next week's newsletter by this Friday. So, if you would like to make any of the localvore thanksgiving recipes, you can arrange your shopping trip and time accordingly. I will make sure to send out an updated share contents email should anything change between now and Tuesday.

Thanksgiving Markets
We are very fortunate this Saturday to have several Thanksgiving markets in the area. If you need to pick up some additional local vegetables, cheeses, poultry, meats or specialty items, please keep these markets in mind:

Montpelier: 10-2 pm, Montpelier High School (We plan to be here.)
Burlington: 10-2pm, Memorial Auditorium, Corner of Main St and S. Union
Waitsfield: 9am to 1pm, at the Lareau Farm Pavilion.

And, if you haven't gotten it together to get your turkey yet, rumor has it that several farms may still have some birds available. The last week before the holiday is usually a rush, so call as soon as possible for the best selection.

Applecheek Farm - Organic heritage and broad breasted pastured varieties.
Maple Wind Farm - Organic pastured turkeys.
Gaylord Farm - White broad breasted turkeys.

For a listing of organic turkey farms in the state, use the search tool on NOFA's site.

Localvore Lore
This week we have Elmore Mountain Bread baking for us again. Andrew told me that their Honey Oat Bread is one of their favorites for breakfast toast and the new batch of oats inspired them to make it again. The ingredients in the bread this week are: Milanaise Bread Flour, Gleason's Whole-Wheat flour, Quebec Oats, spring water, Butternut Mountain Farms Honey, sea salt and yeast.

We also have Champlain Orchards apple cider this share. Champlain Orchards presses its own cider on a refurbished 90 year-old rack and cloth cider press. They have modernized the press, replacing all of the cider contact surfaces with stainless steel. They use only fresh washed apples.

If you are up at their Farm Market in Shoreham, and they are making cider, you are welcome to watch the whole production - from the pressing of the apples to the bottling of the finished, sweet product.

Finally, we have wonderful Manchester goat cheese from Consider Bardwell farm. Here's a bit about their farm from their Website:

Straddling the rolling hills of Vermont's Champlain Valley and easternmost Washington County, New York, 300-acre Consider Bardwell Farm was the first cheese making co-op in Vermont, founded in 1864 by Consider Stebbins Bardwell himself. A century later, Angela Miller and Russell Glover, along with cheesemakers Peter Dixon and Chris Gray, are revitalizing the tradition with goats' milk from their herd of Oberhasli goats. Our cheeses are made by hand in small batches of only all natural ingredients from milk that is antibiotic and hormone free.

We raise Oberhasli (also known as Swiss Alpine) goats. Our herd of 70 goats grows every spring as new kids begin to arrive in April. We graze them rotationally on our pesticide-free and fertilizer-free pastures in order to produce the sweetest milk and the tastiest cheese. Every goat has a name and you can meet them yourself when you come by the farm.

The Manchester is a raw-milk, washed-rind goat’s milk peasant tomme. The cheese, aged at the Cellars at Jasper Hill, has a nutty and earthy rustic bite. Due to rotational grazing on their pastures and the aging process itself, each batch has a distinct note. In addition to the soup recipe below, this Manchester would make a bold addition to any cheese board, as well as for use in salads and savories such as quiche, risotto, or mac and cheese.

Winter Squash Braised in Apple Cider
A couple of year's back I gave my sister-in-law Deborah Madison's book celebrating farmer's market seasonal produce called, "Local Flavors." As she has raved about the book ever since, I broke down and bought it for myself last month. This recipe will give you a taste of the recipes in this mouthwatering book. Serves 6.

2 lbs. winter squash
2 TB unsalted butter
2 TB finely chopped rosemary
2 cups apple cider
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
apple cider vinegar to taste

Peel the squash, then dice it into 1/2" cubes or even smaller pieces. Melt the butter in a wide skillet and add the rosemary. Cook over medium heat to flavor the butter. After 3 minutes, add the squash and cider plus water to cover. Bring to a boil, add 1/2 tsp salt, and simmer until the squash is tender, 20-25 minutes, by which time the juice will have reduced enough to provide a glaze for the squash, if not, raise the heat to reduce it quickly. Sprinkle on a teaspoon of vinegar and taste for salt. Add additional vinegar if you need to balance the sweetness, then season with pepper.

Kale and Celeriac Chowder
I've adapted Deborah Madison's original Endive and Celeriac Chowder to accommodate the items of today's share. The result should be an ideal for soup for a cold, late-fall supper. Serves 4.

2 TB unsalted butter
1/2 lb. kale leaves, washed and chopped
2 leeks, white parts only, chopped and rinsed well
2 shallots, chopped
1/2 lb. kohlrabi, peeled and chopped fine
1/2 lb. yellow-fleshed potatoes, peeled and diced into small cubes
1/2 lb. celery root, peeled and cut into small dice
2 large carrots, diced
2 tsp thyme leaves, chopped (or 3/4 tsp. dried, crumbled)
1 bay leaf
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup cream
dash of dry sherry

2 TB finely chopped parsley*
1 TB snipped chives*
1 tsp chopped taragon*
4 slices country bread
2 ounces Manchester cheese (or Gruyere), thinly sliced

Melt the butter in a wide large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables, thyme and bay leaf. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the vegetables smell good and there's a little glaze on the bottom of the pot, about 7 minutes.

Add stock to cover along with 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are soft to the point of falling apart, about 25 minutes. Using a stick blender, puree the soup so that it is a light green, with only a few chunks remaining. Pour in the cream, taste for salt and season with pepper. Stir in half the herbs.*

Toast the bread and cut each piece into halves or quarters. Divide the pieces among 4 bowls and cover with the cheese. Ladle the soup over the toast and cheese and serve garnished with a dash of sherry and remaining fresh herbs.

*If you don't have frozen versions of these from the summer, try mixing 1/3 of the amount called for in dry form into the soup while it cooks.

Asian Dumpling Soup
Adapted from Epicurious.com. Serves 4-6.

1 (15- to 16-oz) package frozen Asian dumplings (also called pot stickers; about 20 to 24)
2 tsp sunflower oil
1/2 cup finely chopped leeks
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 TB minced ginger
5 cups vegetable or chicken broth (40 fl oz)
3 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage (from 1 head)
2 cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps*
1 cup shredded or matchstick (1/8-inch-thick) carrots (from a 10-oz bag)
1 cup shredded or matchstick kohlrabi
1/2 cup shredded or matchstick daikon radish
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Fry dumplings in a large, heavy bottomed skillet, according to package directions.

While dumplings cook, heat oil in a 4 - 6 quart heavy pot over medium heat. Add leeks, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes. Add chicken broth, increase heat and bring to a boil. Add cabbage, mushrooms, carrots, kohlrabi and daikon and boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Stir in sesame oil, salt, and pepper and boil until all vegetables are tender, about 1 minute.

Divide dumplings among 4 soup bowls with a slotted spoon. Ladle soup over dumplings.

*If you don't have fresh mushrooms, try using 1 cup dried shiitake, reconstituted in warm water. Replace some of the broth with the resulting mushroom-flavored water.

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