Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Good Eats Newsletter - May 13, 2009

This Week's Localvore Share Contains
Bag of Large Leaf Spinach; Sweet Salad Turnips; European Cucumber*; 1 Head Lettuce; Medium Red Beets; Adirondack Potatoes; 1 Bunch Upland Watercress plus:
1 Bunch Easter Egg Radish -or- French Breakfast Radish;
1 Bunch of Curly Parsley -or- 1 Bunch of Cilantro;
1 Bunch Green Mizuna -or- 1 Bunch Green Wave Mustard -or-1 Bunch Red Giant Mustard -or- 1 Bunch Tatsoi;
1 Bunch Red Russian or Green Kale -or- 1 Bunch Scallions;
Amir's Shitaki or Oyster Mushrooms -or- Deborah's Eggs;
and
Elmore Mountain Bread and Blue Ledge Lake's Edge Cheese

*Hen of the Wood, Laughing Moon and Craftsbury will not receive a cucumber and instead will get theirs next week.

Storage and Use Tips
Watercress - Eaten cooked or raw, watercress has a slight peppery flavor. It has been an important green for centuries long recognized in many cultures for its healthful properties. Wherever Watercress has been reported in history it has been common to simply eat the crisp green sprigs out of hand - old world snack food . Watercress may be eaten raw as in a simple salad with oil and vinegar, or wilted in soups or other dishes. Try it in a classic British sandwich: butter and cream cheese spread on two slices of bread with watercress in between. Liven this simple sandwich up with thinly sliced radishes or cucumbers. Or try one of the several recipes I have included below.

This is another in the superfood group. Watercress is a very powerful antioxidant. A two year study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2007 determined that eating watercress daily can significantly reduce DNA damage to blood cells, which is considered to be an important trigger in the development of cancer. It is brimming with more than 15 essential vitamins and minerals. Gram for gram, it contains more iron than spinach, more vitamin C than oranges and more calcium than milk.
Tatsoi - A dark green Asian salad green that has a spoon like shape, a pleasant and sweet aroma flavor like a mild mustard flavor, similar to bok choi. Tatsoi is generally eaten raw, but may be added to soups at the end of the cooking period.
Radishes - The Easter Egg Radishes have hues of pink, red, purple, violet and white and the flesh is pure white. The French Breakfast are red radishes with an elongated shape. Radishes are related to turnips. Fresh radishes are delightfully crisp and their flavor ranges from mildly peppery to a bit sweet. Toss them into a salad. Sliced thin they make a delightful salad on their own with a drizzle of olive oil, some fresh squeezed lemon juice, and salt. Or try glazed radishes made by placing a 2:2:1 ratio of butter, sugar, white vinegar in a pan and gently cooking until diced or quartered radishes are tender and the liquid evaporates. Season with salt and pepper.

Summer Share is Filling Up!

The summer share has been picking up speed in the last couple of weeks and is starting to fill up now. Please get your sign up forms in soon. As usual, Pete's will have most vegetables ahead of season. We are expecting to have tomatoes by mid June! Don't be left out! Visit the Summer Share page to find out more or to sign-up.

Vegetable/Localvore - $748 (avg. $44/week)
Vegetable Only - $493 (avg. $29 a week)
Meat Share - $199 (avg. $50 a month)

Pete Goes to Washington
Meg, Tom Stearns (High Mowing Seeds), Tim and I had a great time a Pat Leahy's Taste of Vermont Event in DC last week. It was held in the Senate Caucus Room, home to much history including the Anita Hill hearings and JFK's announcement that he was running for president. About 50 Vermont food producers had products and/or people in attendance and it was one big schmooze fest. Apparently these events are a dime a dozen in DC, usually hosted by lobby groups. However, according to many of those in attendance the Taste of Vermont is one of the favorites for attendees for the quality of the food and because politicians and staffers get to hang out with real Vermonters. Tom and I met our congressional delegation and Kathleen Merrigan who is #2 at the USDA. She has a background in sustainable agriculture which is a first for someone so highly ranked at the USDA. She and Bernie Sanders have committed to come to the Hardwick area to tour our operations and see what we are doing to build a local food system. Attempts to tour the White House garden fell short but we made a key contact or two that will allow us to arrange a visit with a bit more notice. All in all the halls of power felt very approachable and it seems we'll be able to have a real voice in Obama's plans for a healthy food system. ~ Pete

Localvore Lore
We knew Amir's mushrooms would end sometime. We had planned to have this be the last week for his beautifully fresh shitake and oyster mushrooms as warmer temperatures signal the end of Amir's growing season. Alas, when Amir picked this morning he did not have enough for the share. Fortunately Deborah's hens have been doing great work and we could supplement those folks who will not get mushrooms with Deb's fantastic eggs!

It's actually an interesting time of year, definitely a change in season with cool weather crops beginning to overlap with warmer weather crops. As such, we have waning amounts of some crops and others are coming on. It's a funny share week with a lot of this -or- that in your shares. I hope it isn't complicated for people. We do our best to give folks similar types of vegetables and herbs.

We have another award winning cheese for you this week from Salisbury, VT. Blue Ledge Farm's Lake's Edge is a mold ripened goat cheese that was named one of 100 Best Cheeses by Wine Spectator and was awarded a 2nd place ribbon by the American Cheese Society. It is wonderfully tart and creamy with a distinctive streak of vegetable ash running through it. Greg Burnhardt and Hannah Sessions milk a mixed herd of Nubian, Alpine and Lamancha goats and milk on average 75 goats 10 months a year. The goats' access to grasses, leaves and fresh air help to produce a milk which is clean and sweet tasting and that comes through in the cheeses the farm produces.

I am looking forward to spreading some of this cheese on a slice of Elmore Mountain's Multigrain Bread. This week's bread is a hearty loaf made with organic wheat and bread flour from Milanaise in Quebec with lots of whole grains including wheat, barley, rye, oats and flax. It is leavened with sourdough. It will be fantastic with the Cheddar Chutney Grilled Cheese Sandwich below!

About the Meat Share
Our share this week contains meats only from grass fed animals. The benefits of grass fed meats are many. Among the most important factors to consider is that the meats are lower in fat and higher in omega-3 fatty acids (the ones in salmon) and conjugated linoleic acids (CLAs) both of which help to reduce cholestrerol and chance of heart disease. An Iowa study found that grass fed meats can contain more omega-3s than fish! And grazing animals makes use of land to raise food that would be difficult to farm otherwise. Grass farming methods allow machine free distribution of nutrients resulting in negligible nutrient loss and far less fossil fuel use than other methods of production. This is the direction we hope our world will move to (move back to) in meat production as it is truly the only sustainable method.

All grass fed meats are lower in fat and will cook faster than other meats. Watch carefully to avoid overcooking these meats!

* Korean Style Ribs from North Hollow Farm - Located in Randolph, VT North Hollow Farm raised a mixed breed beef herd. The cattle are entirely grass fed and finished, their winter diet consisting of hay grown on their farm. The korean ribs are a new product for North Hollow and we are excited to be able to provide them to you in the share. I am cooking mine tonight!
* Beef Kabobs from Greenfield Highland Beef - Greenfields raises a purebred herd of Highland Beef Cattle. They show their cattle around the country and their cows place among the best in the country. One of their cows Cinnamon Swirl was the National Grand Champion female in Denver, CO in 2004. Highland beef are bred for their ability to thrive on grass and meats from Greenfields live up to this promise.
* Organic Grass and Mother's Milk Fed Ground Veal from Applecheek Farm - Applecheek's calves are raised seasonally on fresh lush grass and nutrient rich spring and summer milk. This ground veal is moist and lean, with a delicate flavor and texture which make it ideal for pairing with a wide range of seasonings. Note: overworking or overcooking will toughen tender veal.
* Italian Pork Sausages (either Sweet or Hot) - From Maplewind Farm we have Italian Sausages. Maplewind Farm employs management intensive grazing to feed 90 head of cattle, 100 sheep, 40-60 pigs, 400 broiler chickens, 100 layer hens, 50 turkeys, and 9 horses all of whom are rotated over 80 acres. That's no small feat. This is accomplished by moving fencelines - a lot. Their pigs are raised on pasture and supplemented with grain.
* Lamb Steaks - Milk and grass fed lamb from Bonnieview Farm. Several recipes to choose from below.

Recipes


Stir Fried Turnips with Greens
From Jack Bishop's A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen. Serves 4.

3/4 cup orange juice
2 TB soy sauce
3 medium scallions
4 med garlic cloves
1 TB minced ginger
1/2 tsp hot red pepper flakes
1 TB plus 1 tsp peanut oil
1.5 lbs Spring Dug Turnips, cut into 3/4" wedges or chunks
5 cups packed, stemmed greens (turnip greens, mustard greens, spinach etc)

Combine orange juice and soy in measuring cup. Place scallions, garlic ginger, red pepper flakes in small bowl. Heat 1 TB oil in large skillet over med high heat until shimmering. Add turnips and stir fry until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Push turnips to edges of pan, spread garlic mixture in center of pan. Drizzle remaining 1 tsp oil over mixture and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir to combine with turnips. Add orange juice mixture to pan, cover and cook, until turnips are creamy and tender and liquid has reduced to a few tablespoons (2-3 minutes). Add greens, cover and cook until just wilted, about 1 minute. (If the contents of the pan are too soupy, simmer with the cover off to reduce the liquid to a sauce consistency.). Serve immediately.

Cheddar Chutney Grilled Cheese with Green Apple and Watercress
From the Rebar Modern Food Cookbook by Audrey Alsterberg & Wanda Urbanowitz
This is a grown up grilled cheese sandwich which will be great on the multigrain bread from Elmore Mtn.

Multigrain Bread
Butter
Aged cheddar cheese slices
Tart Apple
Watercress, washed, tough stems removed
Onion Chutney

First make the onion chutney below. Then assemble and grill the sandwiches.

Onion Chutney (makes enough for 4 sandwiches)
1 TB butter
2 yellow onions
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp hot red pepper flakes
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp brown sugar
4 TB apple cider
1/4 tsp cracked pepper

Heat Butter in a pan over medium heat and add onions. Stir until translucent. Add salt, chile flakes and coriander and continue to cook for 15 mins. Add remaining ingredients and cook until onions are very soft and creamy.

For each sandwich, butter both sides of two slices of bread. On the unbuttered side of one of the slices, spread dijon mustard and then layer with chutney, apple slices, cheddar and watercress. Heat a griddle and cook sandwiches on both sides until the cheese is melted and bread is crispy and golden.

Watercress and Potato soup
This is a simplified version of the French classic. The fresh bite of watercress adds interest to velvety smooth potato. Submitted by Jill Dupleix to The Times Aug 2007.
Serves 4.

1 quart water
1 tsp sea salt
1.5 lb all-purpose potatoes
1/4 lb watercress leaves, eg, 2 bunches
2/3 cup milk
2 tbsp double cream
A little grated nutmeg
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring the water and salt to the boil. Peel the potatoes and cut into quarters. Cook the potatoes for 20 to 25 minutes until tender. Pick the watercress leaves from the stalks and discard the stalks. When the potatoes are cooked, fish them out of the water (reserving the water) and mash them or put them through a potato ricer. Set aside. Add the watercress to the potato water and simmer gently for five minutes. Fish out the watercress and whizz it, with a little of the liquid, in a blender or liquidiser. Return the watercress and the mashed potatoes to the potato water in the pan, stirring well. Add the milk and reheat gently, stirring. Add the cream, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste, and simmer gently, without boiling, for five minutes. Serve in bowls, with a little extra swirl of cream on top.

Herbed Goat Cheese, Roasted Beet, and Watercress Salad
Adapted from a November 1994 Gourmet recipe. Serves 4. I have had this recipe in and out of the newsletter this week. It calls for goat cheese, but you really should use fresh goat cheese and save the Lake's Edge for a special treat.

1 bunch watercress, coarse stems discarded
2 medium beets, scrubbed and trimmed
1 small red onion sliced thin

For vinaigrette:
.5 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon dried tarragon, crumbled
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

For herbed goat cheese
3/8 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon, crumbled
3/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces soft goat cheese, cut into 4 1/2-inch rounds and chilled, covered

Roasted Beets
Preheat oven to 400°F. Wrap beets tightly in foil and roast in middle of oven 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until tender. Unwrap beets carefully and cool until they can be handled. Discard stems and peel beets. Beets may be prepared up to this point 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Cut each beet into 8 wedges and cover.

Vinaigrette
In a blender blend together mustard, vinegar, tarragon, salt, and pepper. With motor running add oil in a stream and blend until emulsified. Vinaigrette may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.

Herbed goat cheese:
In a bowl stir together bread crumbs, tarragon, salt, and pepper. Cut each cheese round in half crosswise. Coat each piece of cheese evenly with crumb mixture, pressing gently, and transfer to a baking sheet. Goat cheese may be prepared up to this point 1 day ahead and chilled, covered loosely. Let cheese come to room temperature before proceeding.
Preheat broiler. Broil goat cheese about 2 inches from heat until crumbs are lightly browned, about 2 minutes.

In a bowl toss watercress and onion with half of vinaigrette. Arrange watercress mixture, beets, and goat cheese on 8 salad plates and drizzle remaining vinaigrette over beets.

Grilled Korean-Style Short Ribs
Adapted from a recipe a July 2002 Bon Appétit recipe.

Marinade
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/8 cup mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine) or sweet Sherry
3 TB honey or 2 TB sugar
1 TB cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1 TB sesame oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1 green onion, chopped

1 pound Korean-style short ribs

Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl; whisk to blend well. Pour into resealable plastic bag. Add ribs; seal bag. Turn bag over several times to coat ribs evenly. Refrigerate overnight, turning bag occasionally.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat) or broiler. Drain ribs; discard marinade. Grill ribs (or broil) until browned and cooked to medium-rare, about 3 minutes per side. Mound ribs on platter; surround with chopped spinach and serve.

Beef Kabob Marinade
1/2 c. oil
1/3 c. soy sauce
2 tbsp. prepared mustard
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. pepper

Marinate beef for kabobs for several hours, turning occasionally.

Lamb Steaks Two Ways
Recipes submitted to House and Garden in 1956 by James Beard. Both are very simple and delicious methods to prepare lamb.

Lamb Steaks
lamb steaks
garlic
melted butter or oil
salt and pepper

Rub each steak with a cut clove of garlic and brush with melted butter or oil. Grill over coals, turning to brown evenly, until the steaks are nicely browned on the outside but still pink and rare in the middle. Season to taste with salt and pepper as they cook.

Asian Lamb Steaks
lamb steaks
soy sauce
garlic, chopped
ginger, grated

Marinate lamb steaks in soy sauce seasoned with chopped garlic and grated ginger. Let the meat stand in this mixture for 5 to 6 hours and turn it often. Grill as for lamb steaks , brushing with the marinade during cooking. Omit salt and pepper.

Lamb Steaks with Mustard Butter
This one is adapted from a recipe in Dishing Up Vermont by Tracy Medeiros. Serve with mashed potatoes and wilted greens.

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 TB mustard, peeled and pressed or minced
1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1 TB fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dried)
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 lamb steaks

In a medium bowl cream together butter, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, and pepper until fluffy. Set aside at room temp. Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Prepare a hot grill. Place on grill and sear for 2-3 minutes. Turn steaks over and cook 7-8 minutes longer until desired doneness is reached. Serve chops on a plate and top with mustard butter. Mmmmmm.

Veal Patties with Mushrooms
These individual meatloaves are incredibly moist and juicy. Adapted from a Feb 2006 recipe in Gourmet. Makes 4 servings

2 slices firm white sandwich bread, coarsely crumbled
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives or parsley
1 lb ground veal
1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs (not seasoned)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
.5 lb oyster or shitake mushrooms, trimmed and diced
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 200°F.

Soak bread in cream in a large bowl 5 minutes. Stir in egg, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon chives/parsley until blended well. Add veal and mix with your hands until combined well. Form veal mixture into 4 (4-inch) patties. Spread dry bread crumbs on a sheet of wax paper and coat patties all over.

Heat oil with 2 tablespoons butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then cook patties, carefully turning over once, until golden brown, firm to the touch, and thermometer inserted into center of each registers 148°F, 8 to 10 minutes total. Transfer patties to an ovenproof platter and keep warm, covered with foil, in oven. Do not clean skillet.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons butter in skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until browned and tender (4-10 minutes, depending on mushroom type). Stir in remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons chives and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve veal patties topped with mushrooms.

Optional - add a little cream and or garlic to mushrooms at end of cooking for a bit more sauce

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