Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Good Eats Newsletter - November 5, 2008

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

This Week's Share Contains
Red Kuri Squash; Acorn Squash; Garlic; Walla Walla Onions; Head Lettuce; Green Tomatoes; Bag Mixed Spinach, Baby Tatsoi and Claytonia; Bunch Sweet Salad Turnips; Bunch Kale; Bunch Sorrel; Oyster or Shitakii Mushrooms from Amir Habib; Bufala di Vermont Mozzarella Cheese; Elmore Mountain Pizza Dough.

Storage and Use Tips
Claytonia: Mixed in with your spinach this week, you will find some other green leaves with a thin stem and round-shaped leaf. Claytonia is a cold-hearty salad green, that is also known by the name of "miner's lettuce." During the gold rush, miners foraged for the wild-growing green. It provided a rare source of fresh vitamin C during the winter, thus staving off scurvy for the hungry miners. Claytonia has a mild, but lush flavor. The mix of spinach and claytonia in your bags this week will make a wonderful late-fall salad.
Garlic: We suggest keeping your garlic in a cool, dark, well-ventilated space. I like to keep mine in our basement, spread out on a wire shelf, so that the heads to not touch each other. Once you've broken the head and used the first clove, try keeping the remainder in a small, open bowl in your deli drawer. To remove the paper skin from cloves, try trimming the ends, then giving the clove a whack with the side of your butcher's knife.
Sorrel: Originating in Europe, sorrel is a green leaf vegetable similar in appearance to spinach. Sorrel may be harvested to use in salads, soups or stews. Young sorrel leaves are also excellent when lightly cooked, similar to the taste of cooked chard or spinach. Store sorrel, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer in the fridge. Like any bunched green, separate the leaves and wash thoroughly before use.

Missing or Damaged Items
Though we do our best to make sure that every delivery and pick-up goes smoothly, there are the occasional shortages and disappointments. Should you arrive at your pick-up spot to find that one or more of your items are missing or that some of your produce is in unsatisfactory condition, please let us know right away! Our goal is 100% satisfaction. If you can call or email Nancy as soon as you discover the problem, she may be able to resolve it the same day. Sometimes, a site host is able to find items a shareholder may have overlooked and the shareholder is able to go back Wednesday evening or Thursday morning to retrieve the items. I've also had shareholders who have mistakenly taken an item call me to see if they can deliver that item to the family who was shorted. If we can't resolve your issue right away, a quick call or email ensures that you will get on the pick list for the following week.

Tuesday Thanksgiving Week Delivery
It's hard to believe that we are already planning for Thanksgiving this year, and yet it's only a few weeks away. We will be delivering on Tuesday, November 25th, instead of the Wednesday this Thanksgiving week. Please mark your calendars!

Truck Update
As many of you know, we've been looking for a new, larger truck to replace our current delivery transportation. Pete flew down to Delaware the other week to buy a new reefer (refrigerated) truck, but found the body to be in poor condition.

In the meantime, our truck had some serious problems last week. It seems that we overloaded it to the point that it would not drive safely. We had to rent a truck at the last minute and divide the load in two. Tim took part of the route in his usual direction and Steve took the Morrisville-Stowe run. The whole process resulted in some late deliveries and some missing yogurt and apples. Thank you to all who had to make a second trip to retrieve your items. May Day will be receiving their yogurt this week. Hen of the Wood will receive their apples on November 19th.

Pete's been in and out of the office all day looking at other trucks available on this half of the US. He's got a line on one in Chicago and one in Kansas City. Let's hope one of these pans out.

Squash - Autumn's Bounty
Like many of our favorite vegetables, we seem to pine for squash many months out of the year. We miss its deep earthy flavor and color from mid-winter until the leaves begin to turn color. Of course, now that it's full-on squash season, we sometimes wonder what to do with all of this autumn bounty. Culinate, one of my favorite online food and recipe sources, as well as weekly e-zines, recently ran an article on squash. Not only does it give you a handy guide to squash varieties and what to do with them, it also provides some wonderful ideas and recipes for maximizing the gifts of the season. Enjoy!

Localvore Lore
I am really excited about the share for you today. It should make a delicious localvore mushroom pizza. We are really happy to have Amir Habib growing mushrooms for us again. Amir takes a break during the summer, when it's too hot to grow his crop efficiently. This week's share contains either oyster or shitakii mushrooms. We helped Amir unload them from his van this afternoon. They look beautiful! Please note that mushrooms aren't the best keepers, so try to use them up before Monday.

Andrew and Blair from Elmore Mountain Bakery have been experimenting with frozen whole-wheat pizza dough for us and they're pretty happy with this final batch they came up with. The dough in your share has been scaled to 1 lb. and fully fermented, so you won't need to let the dough rise anymore. (All of their breads undergo a long, slow fermentation that gives them better flavor, aroma and handling.) Andrew passed along these instructions for the dough:

  • The dough should thaw on the counter top for 3-4 hours or in the fridge for 7-8 hours. It is best to use the dough within 24 hours after it is thawed. (The dough is alive and will continue to rise and ferment, which will make it sticky and difficult to handle.)
  • Lightly dust your counter top and the dough with flour and pat the dough into a disc. Roll out with a rolling pin or gently stretch until you have a crust about 14 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thin. This dough is best baked thin and hot and should crisp nicely.
  • If you are going to bake the pizza on a pizza stone: Place on an upside down cookie sheet or cutting board that has been lightly dusted with cornmeal. Brush the crust with olive oil and add your favorite toppings, don't pile it on too thick though.
  • The best way to replicate a brick oven is to bake the pizza on a baking stone under the broiler. Place the stone 8 inches below the broiler and preheat for 15-20 minutes.

  • Gently slide the crust directly onto the stone. Bake under the broiler, rotating it every couple minutes with a metal spatula until the edges are golden brown.
  • If you are going to bake in a pan, brush a cookie sheet with olive oil and stretch the dough into a rectangle. Top the pizza and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven until golden brown.
  • Ingredients: Quebec bread flour, Gleason's Whole Wheat, spring water, yeast and sea salt.

When I found out that we were going to get pizza dough instead of bread this week from Elmore Mountain, I set my sites on getting some fresh mozzarella. This will be the first time that we are able to offer Bufala di Vermont's authentic buffalo mozzarella in the share. They made a special run of it on Monday just for Good Eats and it arrived on the Black River truck just hours ago. It is a fresh mozzarella, and thus has a short shelf-life. Eat it by Saturday to ensure that you have a fresh, delicious experience.

Frank Abballe and his sons, Vince and Paul, recently bought the buffalo herd after Spoondance Creamery (formerly named Woodstock Water Buffalo Company) closed its doors. They have 750 head of buffalo on 18 acres of their own, plus additional leased land. They milk about 190-200 at a time.

From their buffalo, the family is making fresh mozzarella and yogurt, as well as cheeses aged in Jasper Hill cellars. They also have ground buffalo meat for sale and flavored sausages. While they are all learning the cheese making side of the house, Paul has taken the reigns at the creamery and Vince is specializing in their meat production.

Recipes
Wild Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Pizzas
The method for baking off these pizzas varies slightly from Andrew's recommendations above. But, I would be afraid to get these beautiful mushrooms too close to the broiler element. Makes two 8" pies.

2 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tsp olive or sunflower oil
1 large onion, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise

.5 lb assorted wild mushrooms (such as crimini, oyster, chanterelle, and stemmed shiitake), cut into bite-size pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tsp minced fresh rosemary
salt and pepper to taste

Pizza Dough
Cornmeal (for dusting)
Garlic oil
8 ounces thinly sliced fresh mozzarella

Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tsp oil in heavy skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until golden, about 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Melt remaining butter and oil in another heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and garlic. Sauté 4 minutes. Add wine and simmer until almost all liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently, about 5-10 minutes. Add rosemary; season with salt and pepper.

Position rack in bottom third of oven. Place heavy 17x11-inch baking sheet on rack (invert if rimmed). Preheat oven to 500°F at least 30 minutes before baking. Roll out 2 dough disks on lightly floured surface to 8-inch rounds, allowing dough to rest a few minutes if it springs back. Sprinkle another baking sheet (invert if rimmed) with cornmeal. Transfer 1 dough round to second baking sheet. Lightly brush dough with garlic oil. Divide the sliced cheese between the two dough disks. Scatter 2 1/2 tablespoons onions over cheese. Scatter 1/2 cup mushrooms over onions. Sprinkle with salt.

Position baking sheet with pizza at far edge of 1 side of hot baking sheet. Tilt sheet and pull back slowly, allowing pizza to slide onto hot sheet. Repeat with second dough disk, garlic oil, cheese, onions, mushrooms, and salt, and slide second pizza onto second half of hot baking sheet. Bake pizzas 6 minutes. Rotate pizzas half a turn. Bake until crust is deep brown, about 6 minutes longer. Using large spatula, carefully transfer pizzas to cutting board. Let rest 1 minute. Slice into wedges and serve.

Spinach and Sorrel Soup
Adapted from the book "Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini" by Elizabeth Schneider. Serves 4 as a first course.

2 tsp olive or sunflower oil
1/2 sweet onion, minced
3/4 lb small, tender spinach, stems removed
5-6 ounces sorrel
3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
salt and pepper
1 1/2 TB cornstarch
big pinch of ground nutmeg or ground anise
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
lemon juice
6 TB heavy cream
Link
Heat oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add onions and saute for 3 minutes, until translucent. Add greens and stock. Bring to a boil, stirring. Simmer until soft, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Puree soup until smooth with an immersion blender. Or, transfer to a blender or food processor and puree. Stir together cornstarch with 1/4 cup of the puree. Combine in pot with remaining soup. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring constantly. Add nutmeg, zest and juice. To serve, ladle into bowls. Drizzle 1 1/2 TB heavy cream onto each, then swirl gently with knife tip or fork to form a pretty pattern.

Bean Mole with Roasted Winter Squash
This recipes is adapted from 101cookbooks.com. My family enjoyed this the other week for supper, and we thought many of you would too. Serves 4.

3 cups cooked meaty white beans, such as marfax or Jacob's cattle
1 1/2 cups (7 ounces) peeled and chopped winter squash
olive oil
1 bunch kale
2 TB butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 - 4 red jalapeno chiles, halved, seeded, and chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 pound green tomatoes, chopped
1 cup vegetable broth or water
2 teaspoons paprika
1 ounce of almonds, dark roasted and finely ground
2 ounces dark 70% dark chocolate, broken into pieces
salt
1-2 TB maple syrup, optional

Preheat oven to 350F. Place cubed squash in a roasting pan and toss with olive oil. Roast them in the oven for about 20 minutes until caramelized on the outside but still firm. Reduce the oven temperature to 250F. (note: alternately, you can brown the squash in a skillet.)

Without removing the central stem, cut the kale across the leaf into 3/4-inch slices. Melt the butter into an oven-proof casserole dish (pot) and fry the onion and chilies gently over a low to medium heat for 20-30 minutes, until caramelized. Add the garlic and fry for three minutes more. Add the tomatoes, liquid and paprika, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add the ground almonds, chocolate, squash, beans, kale, and a teaspoon of salt. Stir until the chocolate has melted. Taste the mole. Add syrup, if you wish, to your taste. Cover the casserole and put it in the oven to cook gently for 2 hours.

Squash Recipes
Don't forget to check out all the squash recipes in this article at Culinate.com.

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