Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Good Eats Newsletter - April 8, 2009

This Week's Localvore Share Contains Red Onions; Mixed Colorful Carrots; Parsnips; Mixed Greens and Shoots; Frozen Strawberries; Japanese Style Miso from Les Aliments Massawippi; Oyster -or- Shitaki Mushrooms from Amir Habib; Butterworks Farm Cornmeal; Butterworks Farm Buttermilk; Grafton Classic Cheddar Ends;

Storage and Use Tips

Greens Mix
- Our greens continue to get more diverse as the season progresses. Today's mix includes claytonia, lettuce, arugula, mustard, kale and tatsoi, as well as sunflower, radish and pea shoots. The bag is topped off with Tatsoi flowers. Try making a salad with grated carrots and miso dressing.

Frozen Strawberries
- More yummy berries are in the share from Four Corners Farm this week. As a reminder, please keep the berries frozen until you are ready to use them. The green hull that is still attached is best removed by scraping off with a spoon while the berries are still frozen. If you allow them to thaw without removing the hull they end up being rather a mushy mess.

- As a fermented product, miso will keep in your fridge many years. Please don't let this happen, though! There are so many delicious and interesting ways to eat miso. To make a cup, mix a heaping teaspoon of miso with cold water to make a paste. Then, stir in hot (but not boiling water) to make a hot breakfast beverage, midday pick-me-up or soup base for a meal. As miso is a living food, try not to cook it, rather, stir it in at the end of cooking once the pan is off the heat. For a wealth of miso recipes, check out: TraditionalMiso.com.

Farm Update
We've got lots of comings and goings on the farm lately. Nick, whom some of you may remember from years' past, is back at the farm again. He has picked up the reigns of Kitchen Manager and will be managing our farm animals as well. So far, Nick has made applesauce and chicken stock and is working on a recipe to take advantage of our onion stock. We are really looking forward to having tasty new items rolling out of the kitchen this spring and summer. It's great to have him back at the farm! Also, we are very pleased to have hired Amy Skelton to fill the role of CSA Manager. She is down visiting us from Nova Scotia, her current home, and getting familiar with all of our systems. She will be moving to Waterbury in May with her husband and three small children. I'll write more about her and the transition next week.

Update on the Localvore Community Potluck in Waitsfield!

I wanted to update everyone on the Project Harmony/Local Foods event Elizabeth Metraux (a Pete's shareholder) is putting together. She has found a good home for the potluck and set the date and time.

Date: Sunday, July 12th
Time: Noon

Location: Lareau Farm (Home of American Flatbread), Waitsfield
The potluck is a way to connect with fellow CSA members and enjoy some amazing, local food. PH will be hosting 30 student activists and filmmakers from across the U.S. and the Caucasus during the month of July, as they create films about issues that affect teens around the globe – from conflict to climate change. And what better way to give these young people a flavor of Vermont than to put on a quintessentially Vermont event. Elizabeth is asking CSA members to save the date, spread the word, whip up a favorite dish and join us for a celebration of local eating and global community. For more information, see their announcement, or contact Elizabeth.

Upcoming Classes

Wild Edibles Walk and Talk

10AM-Noon, Saturday, April 25th

Hardwick Community Garden West Church St. - Hardwick

Walk and talk with wild edibles experts Nova Kim and Les Hook, as they search for early spring and year-round wild foods. There will be something to learn even if snow is on the ground. This workshop is outside, so please dress accordingly. In the event of heavy rain or snow, please meet at the Center for Agricultural Economy on 41 Main Street in Hardwick. This workshop is free and open to the public, but requires pre-registration. Contact Rebecca Beidler for directions and registration at 802-472-8280.

Localvore 'Lore

We have another share rich in localvore products while we patiently wait to harvest new growth from the greenhouse. This week, we are supplementing our veggies with mushrooms from Amir Habib. Amir has been growing mushrooms for us for a few years, though he is able to harvest in much greater quantities during the cooler months. Thus, May will most likely be the last month we are able to include Amir's beautiful oyster and shitaki mushrooms until fall. This week's mushrooms will be delicious whether paired with the cornmeal and cheddar cheese (think polenta), or Asian style in a dish with the miso.

Ever since my husband Bob and I went on our Quebec buying spree, I've been dying to talk about this miso. Like the tamari, it's from Les Aliments Massawippi in North Hatley, Quebec.

Back when Tim and I had picked up miso for the Fall/Winter share, Gilbert had mentioned the possibility of making a Japanese style miso for an upcoming share. Japanese style miso has seaweed, herbs, spices and possibly mushrooms, added when the miso is ripe. These additions meld with the miso for an additional one to two months. Though, they were unable to procure local mushrooms for the miso, Gilbert was able to find seaweed from southern New Brunswick and Gaspe Bay.

To make this miso, Suzanne and Gilbert begin by introducing their own lactobacilli culture to washed oats. After culturing for 45 hours, they have what is called, "koji," the basis for making their miso. At this point, they will mix in soy that has been soaked and then slowly cooked for 20 hours. This part of the process takes around 4 days.
Gilbert & Suzanne in their home. The miso production facility is downstairs.

The next phase of miso production is fermentation. Gilbert and Suzanne ferment their miso very carefully controlling the temperature, humidity and oxygen levels. Their fermentation chamber is on premises, and is held at a continuous 60F. The soy and oats variety in the share this week ferments for 2-3 years. 3-4 years of fermentation is required for soy and barley.

Gilbert and Suzanne are big supporters of local growers. Their oats come from Michel Gaudreau, down the road. Their soy beans come from a grower within 60 kilometers of their facility, and their Quebec barley is processed on the south shore of Montreal.

In another 2 years, they hope to introduce a new gluten-free soy and buckwheat variety, the buckwheat grown within 30 minutes of their home.

We have two items from Butterworks in our share today, one an old standby and one making its first appearance in a Good Eats share. Starting with the latter, we have cultured buttermilk to give out today. We only heard that they were starting to make the buttermilk about 3 weeks ago, and wanted to get it in the share as soon as possible. It will pair wonderfully with the Early Riser cornmeal in cornbread, pancakes or cornmeal biscuits.

Finally, we were able to score Grafton Classic Cheddar ends in quantity. We love the taste of Grafton cheddar and being able to buy the ends makes them an exceptional value. Though the ends are obviously not as useful for slicing, they are perfect for grating into polenta, melting into soups, fondue or macaroni, or layering into a gratin.

According to their website,

Cheesemaking traditions in historic Grafton Village date from the 19th century. The Grafton Cooperative Cheese Company was founded in 1892 by dairy farmers who gathered together in a cooperative to make their surplus milk into cheese. In the days before refrigeration, there were many such cooperatives in the rural agricultural communities and an abundance of fresh, creamy milk was turned into a food that could be stored for a longer period of time. In 1912, a fire destroyed the original factory.

Several decades later, the nonprofit Windham Foundation restored the company in the mid 1960s, and a new era for the town was born.
The cheese company is now part of the Grafton based Windham Foundation whose goal is to, "promote the vitality of Grafton and Vermont’s rural communities through its philanthropic and educational programs and its subsidiaries whose operations contribute to these endeavors."
About the Meat Share
We have a very rich meat share for you this week. I went over a couple of dollars on share cost, so will have to make that up over the next couple of weeks. But I think that you will be pleased with the amount and variety represented in the share. You will see that we seem to be settling on a few quality area meat farmers, with others coming in and out. If you have any suggestions for next share, please let me know.
The items in this week's share are:

Bacon from North Hollow Farm - Located in Randolph, North Hollow farm raises its pigs with access to an outside area. They are working on their "humanely raised" certification. The bacon is nitrate free, as is all of their sausages.

Trout from Mountain Foot Farm - We have been trying to get trout from Mountain Foot into one share or another for over a year. We are so pleased to finally have 2 fish this week for every shareholder. They raise the fish in trout ponds. We froze the fish on the same day that Curtis harvested them. These brown trout have been descaled and cleaned, but the skin and bones remain.

Top Round Steak -or- Sirloin Tip from Applecheek Farm - Rocio and John had to dig into their freezers to get the right amount for us and ended up with a combination of equivalent cuts. These are not steaks to take from the fridge and toss on the grill, however. They will benefit from a nice long marinade to soften them up. This cut is great sliced thin and tossed in a stirfry, slow-cooked in bbq sauce in the crock, or grilled for fajitas.

Turkey Sausage from Misty Knoll - Not found at every grocery store like their ubiquitous chicken parts, we thought the sausage would make an interesting and healthy addition to the share. Misty Knoll's turkeys get to spend much of their life outside, making for happier and healthier birds.

Lamb Shoulder - These boneless, tied roasts are from Shuttleworth Farm. Their size makes them perfect for roasting for two people. For a family of four or more, consider cutting into kebabs and throwing on the grill, or using in a stew in the oven.

Skillet-Roasted Carrots and Parsnips
This recipe is adapted from CooksCountry.com. Parsnips wider than 1 inch may have tough, fibrous cores that are best trimmed and discarded. Using warm water helps the sugar to dissolve more readily. Any combination of carrots and parsnips with a combined weight of 3 pounds can be used in this recipe. Serves 6-8.

3 TB sunflower oil
1 1/2 lbs. carrots , peeled and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
1 1/2 lbs. parsnips , peeled and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 tsp honey
Salt and pepper
1 TB finely chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook carrots and parsnips, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes.

Whisk water, honey, and 1 teaspoon salt in small bowl until sugar dissolves. Add water mixture to skillet and cook covered, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat until vegetables are tender and liquid has evaporated, 12 to 14 minutes. Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper. Serve.

Polenta Gratin with Mushroom Bolognese
Adapted from Epicurious.com. Serves 8.

For the Bolognese sauce
2 TB sunflower or olive oil
1 onion, peeled and diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1/3 cup celeriac, peeled and diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
8 to 12 ounces mixed wild and cultivated mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and diced
1 TB fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tsp dried and crumbled
2/3 cup tomato puree, or canned tomatoes seeded and chopped
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock

For the polenta
Kosher salt
1 cup polenta (coarse yellow cornmeal)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, crumbled

To prepare the Bolognese sauce: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until it moves easily across the pan. Add the onion, carrot, celeriac, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for 1 minute, then add the mushrooms and thyme. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are almost tender, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato, cook about 2 minutes more, then add the stock, 2 tablespoons at a time, bringing the pan to a simmer before each addition. Simmer the Bolognese until it is concentrated but not yet dry, about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.

To make the polenta: Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Add a pinch of salt and gradually whisk in the polenta. Stirring constantly, bring the polenta to a boil, then adjust the heat to low. Cook the polenta, stirring occasionally, until it is no longer grainy, about 30 minutes. Whisk the oil and salt to taste into the polenta and remove it from the heat.

Assemble the gratin: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spoon half the polenta into a medium baking dish (an 11-inch oval dish works fine) and cover with half of the sauce. Spoon in the remaining polenta, spread it evenly, then sprinkle with the crumbled cheese. Transfer the remaining sauce to a small saucepan and reserve.

Bake the gratin until the top is golden, about 40 minutes. Just before serving, warm the reserved sauce over low heat. Divide the gratin and sauce among 4 plates, top each serving with sauce, and serve.

Walnut Miso Noodles
Adapted from 101CookBooks.com. You'll likely have a bit of dressing leftover to toss with your fresh greens. Serves 1-2.

4 ounces whole wheat spaghetti or linguini (or soba)
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup sunflower olive oil
1 medium clove garlic, peeled
2 TB miso paste
1 TB apple cider vinegar
2 tsp honey
salt to taste
1/4 cup+ warm water

2 cups of mixed baby greens
1 cup sliced, sauteed mushrooms

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously and cook the pasta per package instructions, being careful to not overcook. About 10 seconds before you are going to drain the noodles. Now drain and toss with about 1/2 the walnut-miso dressing - you can make the dressing as you're waiting for the pasta water to come to a boil. To make the dressing, use a food processor, blender or hand blender to puree the walnuts, oil, garlic, miso paste, vinegar, and honey. Add the warm water a bit at a time until the dressing is the consistency of a heavy cream. Taste and add salt if you think it needs it.

Add as much or as little dressing as you like to the noodles and toss well. Add the greens and toss some more. Arrange in two bowls or on a platter. Top with sauteed mushrooms.

Cornmeal Waffles with Strawberry Compote
These make a delicious sweet and healthy treat served with a dollop of yogurt. Or, try making the waffles without the honey and serving with a savory mushroom sauce. Makes 6.

Strawberry Compote
1.5 lbs frozen strawberries, hulled
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt

1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 TB honey
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 stick butter, melted and cooled

Place berries, honey, lemon juice, and salt into a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook until strawberries have softened and juices have begun to reduce and start to thicken, about 10 to 20 minutes. Let cool while you make the waffles.

Preheat oven to 200F. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. In another small bowl, whisk honey, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and melted butter. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and whisk until smooth. Make waffles according to manufacturer's directions. Keep waffles warm in the oven while you make the rest. Serve waffles with compote and yogurt.

Applecheek Beef Stir-Fry
Turn your top round london broil or sirloin tip steak into a tender, tasty stir-fry. Prepare the marinade the night before. Stir-fry is a great way to stretch meat, creating a quick, family meal that incorporates meat, vegetables, and grains. Stir-fry cooking goes very quickly, typically taking less than 10 minutes to complete the dish, once you start to cook. Prepare and chop all vegetables prior to heating the pan.

1/4 cup rice wine
1/4 cup teriyaki or oyster sauce
2 Tbsp. soy sauce or tamari
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 Tbsp. Maple syrup.
1 pound top round london broil or sirloin tip steak., cut into thin strips
oil to cook
1 large onion, sliced thin
1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced very thin
1 cup shredded cabbage
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz wild mushrooms, chopped
cooked brown rice, barley or wheat berries

Mix the first 5 ingredients. Pour over steak and marinate overnight, refrigerated, in
a covered stainless steel or glass bowl. Pour off marinade and reserve. Meanwhile, heat a wok or large frying pan. Add 1 Tbsp. oil. Add meat and stir fry until rare to medium-rare (the meat will cook a bit more in the second step). Remove meat from pan, wipe clean, add another tablespoon of oil and stir fry the vegetables. Add the onions and carrots to the pan, saute two minutes, add cabbage and garlic. After two more minutes, add the mushrooms. Cook another few minutes before returning meat and reserved marinade to the pan. Simmer to heat through. Serve with hot, steamed rice, barley or wheat berries.

Mediterranean Braised Lamb
This recipe is adapted from JamieOliver.com. Serve with steamed couscous, barley or wheat berries. He has many good lamb recipes up there that would work for this cut or others in the meat share. Serves 4.

1 small onion, peeled and sliced
light olive oil or sunflower oil
1 lb. shoulder of lamb, diced into small pieces
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 red pepper, diced
1 teaspoon tomato puree
14 oz tomato puree from Pete's, or can whole tomatoes seeded and chopped
14 oz water
3 medium parsnips, peeled and sliced into disks
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into disks
1 TB dried, crumbled basil
salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large saucepan and gently fry the onion in a little olive oil for 10 minutes. Add the diced lamb, the garlic, red pepper and tomato puree. Stir in the tomato, water and basil. Add salt to taste cover with a lid or a couple of tight layers of foil, then simmer on a low heat for around 1½ hours or transfer into a deep baking tin cover with foil and finish cooking it in the oven at 300F for about 2 hours. Add carrots and parsnips about 30 minutes before meat is finished. Remove from heat when the meat is tender.

Bacon-Wrapped Trout with Rosemary
From Epicurious.com. Trout should be thawed in the fridge the night before, then rinsed and patted dry before proceeding. Serves 2.

2 (10- to 12-oz) whole trout, cleaned
4 (4- to 5-inch) fresh rosemary sprigs
6 bacon slices
6 (1/8-inch-thick) lemon slices

Preheat broiler. Put fish in a shallow baking pan (1 inch deep) or a large heavy ovenproof skillet, then pat dry and season cavity with salt and pepper. Put rosemary inside cavity and season outside of fish with salt and pepper, then wrap bacon slices around fish, 3 slices each.

Broil fish 5 to 7 inches from heat until skin of fish and bacon are crisp, about 5 minutes. Turn fish over gently with a spatula and broil 2 minutes more. Add lemon slices to pan in 1 layer alongside fish and continue to broil until fish is just cooked through and rest of bacon is crisp, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes more.

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