Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Good Eats Newsletter - August 5, 2009

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains
Mesclun Greens; 1 lb Tomatoes; 1 Bunch of Basil; 1 Bunch of Cilantro; .5 lb Mixed Sweet Peppers; 1 Bunch Baby Leeks; 1 Bunch Lacinato Kale; 2 lbs Mixed Beets; 1 European Cucumber plus...

1 lb Green Beans-or- Shelling Peas
1 lb Slicing -or- Pickling Cucumbers
Eggplants -or-Zucchini/Squash

Localvore Share Members Also Receive
Elmore Mountain Baguette
Tullochgorum Farm Popcorn
Maplebrook Fresh Mozzarella

Fields of Greens

Pete's Musings
Please help us save some money and cut down on waste. Deb is doing a great job raising eggs for our farm-she has some very happy free ranging hens. Egg cartons cost about 25 cents each which is a significant portion of the profit margin per dozen. Please return egg cartons to your Good Eats site! They can be cartons you received from us, cartons you got from the store, your neighbors cartons, anything. The more the merrier. Also the heavy duty plastic bags your share is delivered in cost 12 cents each. We would really appreciate getting more of them back so that we can reuse them. We can also use any thinner, handled plastic bags from grocery store checkouts-those are great for farmers market and farmstand customers. Thanks for taking a second to gather these items for us-it makes a difference! ~Pete

Re-use and Recycle!

Last week we shared with you the plastic bag dilemma we had and we received lots of input from people with ideas on how to reduce our dependence on the plastic bags for the share. While we develop a new system, please help us by returning items used to pack your share. Things we will re-use:

* plastic handle bags
* egg cartons
* clean berry boxes
* clean clear plastic containers (the ones we send oil, pesto, applesauce, etc in)
* clean Ball or Kerr canning jars (if it doesn't actually say Ball or Kerr please don't send)
* waxed boxes (but not unwaxed)

Summer Share Still Open
We are still signing people up for the summer share. We are prorating remaining weeks so if you know anyone who wants to join us, please direct them to the website or to amy@petesgreens.com.
Summer Share
Meat Share

Localvore Lore
Elmore Mountain Bakery is baking baguettes this week made with Milanaise Winter Wheat flour, Quebec Whole Rye and Quebec Whole Wheat, sea salt and yeast. I mentioned to Blair and Andrew that I had hoped to have tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella for the share this week so they have baked us larger than normal baguettes! They should make lovely bruschetta and the larger size means they should keep a day or two longer than skinnier baguettes normally do. Andrew and Blair will be baking less frequently for us in the coming months....

This has been a really busy summer for Andrew and I here at the bakery. This last spring we decided we needed to build a new wood fired brick oven. Our present oven has had structural issues and over the last few years we have found that we have also completely outgrown it. Out of our desire to remain a two-person operation and increase our efficiency, we have designed and built a significantly larger custom brick oven with William Davenport of Turtlerock Masonry Heat.

As usual, summer is flying by and our project is not yet completed. We’ve decided to devote as much time as is needed to get this oven up and running as soon as possible so, unfortunately, we will not be baking as frequently over the next month for Good Eats as we have in the past. We’ll be back even stronger on our regular schedule this fall. If anyone is interested in checking out our project, you can go to our blog where we have posted photos of the progress of the new oven.

We have fresh mozzarella from Maplebrook Farm this week. We just love this Mozz and have begun stocking it in the farmstand. It has great wonderful mellow mozzarella flavor and is perfect on pizzas, bruschetta, baked into a pasta dish, or just eaten on its own. I love to have a ball of this cheese in my fridge when the tomatoes and basil are coming on as they are now! Eat this cheese right up though. Fresh cheeses have a short shelf life of only a couple weeks.

If you have not yet had Tullochgorum Farm popcorn you are in for a real treat. Lorraine and Steve grow their popcorn in Ormstown, QC and make a special trip each season to bring us this popcorn. This is organic corn grown on their farm. The flavor is so different from regular yellow popcorn, somehow earthier and fresher at the same time. Last time we got a bag at my house it was gone in a few days! They also grow a blue corn popcorn variety, and fingers crossed we get some in the Fall. They are hoping that crop turns out ok. Enjoy!

Meat Share
We have quite a selection of items in the meat share for you this week. I went over in value this time because I felt last month's share was a bit light. Once again I have been thinking summer grilling in selecting meats for the share. I hope you enjoy my picks this month.

Mountain Foot Farm Trout - What a treat to have trout again. Curt Sjolander grows brown trout (and vegetables) on his farm in Wheelock, VT. These are brown trout that were alive and well Wednesday before they were caught and cleaned and brought to the farm and frozen Thursday afternoon. Though they are farm raised and fed high protein commercial fish pellets, Curt's fish are never medicated. They remain free of any disease (they are tested) because of the low stocking density and the cold, high quality fresh water Curt provides them with. Curt's fish are a fine example of fish farmed in a sustainable way. I have given a simple baked trout recipe below.
North Hollow Farm Hot Dogs - I have been hoping someone would step up to the plate and make us all some hot dogs that we feel good about feeding our families! Who doesn't really love hot dogs? The fact of the matter is, they are darn tasty. These are all beef dogs and they are nitrate free. Because they have no preservatives, it's best to keep your dogs frozen until you are ready to cook them. Unlike store bought dogs, chock full of who knows what preservative, these won't last very long in the fridge. I pull out frozen dogs when I need them and toss the unused bag into the freezer.
North Hollow Farm Kielbasa! These kielbasa are made from North Hollow's free range beef with just a bit of pork added for flavor and fat. Mike and Julie send their meat to some folks in MA who have been making Polish kielbasa for 90 years with their secret recipe. This is the real deal and should be just delicious. The kielbasa is smoked, so partially cooked but should be heated through before serving.
Brotherly Farm Organic Ground Beef - This is the first time we have had something from Brotherly Farm, a small organic farm owned by Angela and Craig Russell. They milk 100-150 head selling the milk to Horizon, and they raise organic chicken, pork, beef and veggies.
Applecheek Farm Organic Beef Bratwurst - In Hyde Park John and Rocio Clark have a diversified organic farm that I travel close to on my way to and from the farm. I love having to stop because I enjoy the peaceful setting, the tranquil animals, and their great products.
Lastly, of course we have another Pete's Pastured Chicken for you. Our birds are raised out on pasture as soon as they are old enough to go out. They are a slightly slower growing breed of meat bird, and that combined with the length of time on pasture yields a beautiful, healthy, tasty bird.

Recipes

Pizza Dough
This is my favorite recipe for pizza dough which I make all the time. I make it in batches and freeze dough lumps. A kitchen aid mixer or other device to mix dough makes life a lot easier, but I also made this for years by hand. The yield on this recipe is 3-4 cookie sheet (or baking stone) sized pizza crusts.

3 cups warm wrist temp water
1 rounded TB of active dry yeast
3 TB honey
1.5 TB salt
6-8 cups flour (I use up to 1/3 whole wheat flour and the rest Milanaise (unbleached white) all purpose)

Place the wrist temp warm water in a bowl (or the bowl of a mixer). Sprinkle in the yeast and then honey and give the yeast a few minutes to proof (let it get all foamy/yeasty which demonstrates yeast is working). Mix in a few cups of flour and then the salt. Keep adding flour until the dough is smooth, pliable, not too sticky. Too much flour will yield a dough that is hard to work with and tough. But too little flour is also challenging in that it is hard/sticky to handle and when stretching and if your oven time is not long or hot enough you may have soggy dough in the middle of your pizza. Don't worry though. There's a pretty large margin of error here. Go with your gut, you will be fine. Once the dough feels right, cut it into 4 pieces. At this point you can toss 2 or 3 in the freezer if you'd like (lightly flour dusted and tossed into a tightly sealed plastic bag).

If using your pizza dough, let it rise now in a clean oiled bowl for about an hour until doubled in bulk. Then punch it down and stretch it (lightly dusted with flour) or roll it out on a floured board. I don't have a pizza peel but I do have a stone. My process is this:

Preheat the oven to 450 with the baking stone inside and let it get nice and hot.
I stretch my dough out on a piece of parchment paper sprinkled with cornmeal to prevent dough from sticking.
Then I dress my pizza with toppings.
Next I slide my parchment paper onto a cookie sheet and bring to the oven and then slide the parchment with pizza onto the baking stone.
Bake for 5 minutes until the pizza firms up a bit.
Then carefully, ever so carefully slip the parchment from under the pizza so it's baking directly on the stone.

Then bake for another 5-8 or so minutes until it looks just perfect.

Fresh Mozz, Basil, and Tomato Pizza

Olive oil
a small to medium handful of fresh chopped basil
a couple fresh tomatoes
3-6 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
torn fresh mozzarella
a little salt and pepper

Brush your crust with the oil for the flavor. Put on the basil and garlic, saving a bit of fresh basil for garnish. I think most people put their basil on top for color and presentation effect. I like mine underneath, protected from the hot oven by the other toppings. Then top with tomatoes sliced thin or diced. I like to take the seeds out of mine so there's less tomato juice on the pizza. Then top with slices of the fresh mozz. I like a bit of salt and pepper on mine and sometimes I drizzle on a bit of really good balsamic. Bake until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is done. I think most people put their basil on top for color and presentation effect. I like mine underneath, protected from the hot oven by the other toppings. Once the pizza is out of the oven, top dress it with a little extra fresh basil.

Bruschetta
Such a great bruschetta week with all the tasty things in the share! There are lots of ways to make great bruschetta. I have an easy way that works great for me that I'll share here.

1 Baguette, sliced on the diagonal (for larger slices) or in rounds 1/2 inch thick.

1-2 fresh chopped tomatoes (seeds pushed out with your thumbs first to lose some of the juice)
a clove or two of garlic minced
small handful of basil chopped
olive oil
black pepper
balsamic vinegar

optional - fresh mozz, goat cheese or feta

Toast the baguette slices in the toaster lightly. Lightly is important because you will toast them again. After toasting the first time, brush them with olive oil. Then spoon some of the tomato mixture onto the toasts. At this point you can also place some torn fresh mozz slices or some crumbled feta or goat cheese on top of the tomato mix. Return the toasts either to a preheated oven or toaster oven and bake at 400F for 5-10 minutes until everything is heated through but before toasts start to burn.

Chop the veggies and mix them all together. Taste a spoonful and decide if it needs zing. A bit more black pepper or a drizzle of good balsamic will go a long way.

Ratatouille
It's the season for this classic French casserole, a delicious stew of eggplant, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, and zucchini. By Julia Child

1/2 pound eggplant
1/2 pound zucchini, trimmed
1 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 8-ounce onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
2 green bell peppers, thinly sliced into strips
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 pound firm but ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, cut into 3/8- to 1/4-inch-thick strips
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Peel eggplant; cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices, then cut into 3-inch-long, 1-inch-wide strips. Cut zucchini into same size strips. Place vegetables in large bowl; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Let stand 30 minutes. Drain; dry with paper towels.

Heat 4 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add eggplant and zucchini to skillet; sauté until light golden, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to plate; reserve.

Add 3 tablespoons oil to skillet; heat over medium heat. Add onion and peppers; sauté until just tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

Place tomato strips atop onion-pepper mixture in skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover skillet; cook over low heat until tomatoes begin to juice, about 5 minutes. Uncover; baste vegetables in skillet with juices. Boil until juices are almost evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer 1/3 of onion-pepper-tomato mixture to 2 1/2-quart pot; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon parsley. Top with half of eggplant and half of zucchini, then remaining onion-pepper-tomato mixture; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon parsley. Layer remaining eggplant and zucchini over; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon parsley. Cover; simmer over low heat 10 minutes. Uncover; tilt pot and baste with accumulated juices. Increase heat to medium; simmer uncovered, basting several times with pan juices until only 2 to 3 tablespoons juices remain in pot, watching closely to avoid scorching, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cool slightly. Cover; chill. Serve at room temperature or rewarm over medium-low heat before serving.

Asian Cucumber Salad
I have offered this one up before. I love it though and made it again last night and it's just so good. So in case you missed it last time....

1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 TB honey
1 TB soy sauce
1 TB rice vinegar
2 cucumbers, peeled, cut in half, scoop seeds out, then thinly sliced

Toss together. Best after a few hours and still excellent the second day

Twice-Cooked Beets in Chianti Glaze
The wine glaze both balances the natural sweetness of the beets and intensifies the savory beet flavor. This dish and perhaps some smashed new potatoes would make a fine meal with a roast chicken or other fowl. From the October 2003 Bon Appetit. Makes 6 servings

8 2 1/2-inch-diameter beets, trimmed, scrubbed
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium leeks por a bunch of small (white and pale green parts only), trimmed, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
2 cups Chianti or other dry red wine
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter

Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss beets with 2 tablespoons oil in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Roast beets uncovered until tender when pierced with knife, about 1 hour. Cool beets slightly, then slip off peel. Cut beets into quarters.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and sauté until translucent and tender, about 12 minutes. Add beets to skillet; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté 5 minutes. Add Chianti and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until wine almost evaporates and glaze coats beets, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Add butter and stir until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and serve.
I bake them in foil packets and moisten them with the savory juice that accumulates inside as they bake.

Whole Trout Baked in Foil
by Martha Rose Shulman and NYT May 13, 2009
I like this recipe for its simplicity. You could fill the fish with lots of different greens and spice combos. I just made some great fresh salsa and this recipe has inspired me to serve the fish simply with rice and fresh salsa and maybe some black beans.

Extra virgin olive oil
2 small rainbow trout, boned
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lemons, one sliced, one cut in wedges
4 fresh tarragon or dill sprigs, or 2 rosemary sprigs
Chopped fresh tarragon, dill or parsley for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cut two sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil or four sheets of lighter foil into squares that are three inches longer than your fish. If using lighter foil, make four double-thick squares. Oil the dull side of the foil with olive oil, and place a trout, skin side down, on each square. Season both sides with salt and pepper, and open them out flat. Place two tarragon or dill sprigs (or one rosemary sprig) and two lemon slices down the middle of each, and fold the two sides together. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon olive oil over each fish.

2. Making sure that the trout are in the middle of each square, fold up the foil loosely, grabbing at the edges and crimping together tightly to make a packet. Place on a baking sheet, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, checking one of the packets after 10 minutes. The flesh should be opaque and pull apart easily when tested with a fork.

3. Place each packet on a plate. Carefully cut across the top to open it, taking care not to let the steam from inside the packet burn you. Gently remove the fish from the packet, and pour the juices over it. Sprinkle with fresh tarragon, dill or parsley. Serve, passing the lemon wedges.

Yield: Serves two.

Advance preparation: You can prepare the fish and make the foil packets several hours ahead. Keep in the refrigerator until shortly before cooking.

Variation: Fill the trout with sauteed Swiss chard or other greens with garlic and olive oil and serve with more on the side.

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