Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Good Eats Newsletter - September 9, 2009

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains
Mesclun Greens; 2 lbs Orange Carrots; Tomatoes; 1 Bunch of Red Bore Kale; 1 lb Green Peppers; 1 Bunch of Leeks; 1 Bunch of Sweet Salad Turnips; 1 Head of Garlic; plus...

1 Honeydew Melon -or- 1 Canteloupe -or- 1 Pt Strawberries
Localvore Share Members Also Receive
Pa Pa Doodles Farm Eggs
Red Hen Corn Bread
Vt Butter & Cheese Company Chevre Log
Champlain Orchards Gingergold Apples

Portrait of a farmer with a spatula in his hand:
You Are Entering the Kitchen
By Julia Shipley

A hand-lettered sign taped to the door announces a few rules: “No dirty footwear, Clean up after yourself and Walk around to get to the front porch.” Whereas on any farm you might expect: a tractor, a greenhouse, a storage cooler, instead, behind this door you’ll find other agricultural implements including: a tilt skillet, a steam kettle and a 1930’s era dough mixer. Using these tools enables Nicholas Augsberger, a six year employee of Pete’s Greens, to finesse value added products for the Good Eats CSA members and farm stand customers. The culinary equivalent of a finish carpenter, on a recent Monday morning, Nick began his workday with two foot- stool sized tubs of basil, a Grecian urn’s worth of sunflower oil, a spatula and a Hobart food processor. But had it been a different Monday, one might have encountered him brining pickles using his wife’s family recipe or assembling a rainbow roots kraut, or preparing to process 200 chickens, or shredding zucchini into zucchini- bread sized portions…

“When I was a kid, the only thing I ate was fruit,” Nick says of his earliest food memories. But by way of explaining his indirect path from Wildlands Ecology major at Sterling College to Professional Foodie at Pete’s Greens, he cites his experiences working in the college’s kitchen. Though he was monitoring watersheds on Mount Mansfield for his senior project, he was also learning kitchen fundamentals from Paul Sweeny, a long time cook for the college, kitchen fundamentals, such as how to use a knife, and how to carve a turkey. At his girlfriend’s encouragement, he also took an off campus job at Pete’s Greens, back when it was based on farmer, Peter Johnson’s parent’s land in nearby Greensboro.

Since 2003, Nick has immersed himself in every aspect of the farm business: from field worker and wash-house crew to farmer’s market staff and restaurant sales representative to farm manager. However, concocting specialty products out of the high quality produce is what excites him the most.

This basil- sunflower oil puree product emerged after gleaning feedback in the staff kitchen. He set out sample variations of a basil pesto for the staff at Pete’s Green to determine the best proportion of ingredients. Inevitably each person preferred a different one. Responses ran the gamut from too much cheese to not enough cheese, too much garlic to not enough garlic. The excitement for Nick resides in designing a variety of signature value added products, but also engineering opportunities for consumers to be creative. With this concentrated basil base, CSA members can customize their pesto. For example, Nick likes his with BaileyHazen Blue Cheese, instead of a more traditional Parmesan.

And at the end of the day, Nick goes home to his own garden and continues experimenting. He picks zucchini at a mere two inches because he discovered his daughter, Sophia will eat it like a hot dog. He makes dilly beans, morrel mancotti, smoked turkey breasts, pork chorizzo... The possibilities are endless.

At his mother’s house there is a portrait of his maternal great grandfather, a Greek chef, sitting of front of a cooked turkey with a knife; here in the farm kitchen, Nick looks up from his food processor, and grins, his brown eyes twinkling, his wrist cocked over the pitcher with an emptied cruet of oil, “Now that’s me.”
Julia Shipley is a freelance writer and faculty in Sustainable Agriculture at Sterling College.

New Site Search for Fall/Winter Share
Most of our existing pick up sites will be continuing on with us through the winter with just one exception so far. In Montpelier, our long time faithful site host Kelly McMahon has decided not to host the share this Fall due to growing demands for space in her art studio. So we are searching for a good Montpelier site to compliment the National Life site also in Montpelier.

I am also exploring some other new site options for the Fall/Winter share period, including Richmond, Shelburne, Johnson, and perhaps Newport. If you have comments or ideas about these or other options, please email me. If you are interested in becoming a site host I'd be happy to explore that possibility with you. We look for sites that are centrally located; that are on or very close to our existing route; that have space to develop the share; that have ample and easy parking for our truck to unload and for members to park and pick up; and that have minimal stairs for Tim to climb on delivery. Site hosts receive compensation in the form of reduced price or free share depending on how many members they have at their site. If a site host has over 1o members, their own share is half price. If over 20 members, their own share is free!

Fall/Winter share is only 5 weeks away
If you missed the news last week, sign up has begun for the Fall/Winter share which begins October 14th. Pete has been planning and planting to deliver fantastic diversity this Fall/Winter share and it's time to get your sign up forms in. Please visit the Fall/Winter Share page for details and to download a sign up form. Plus, folks who sign up early may receive a colorful Pete's Greens T.

Looking to split your share?
If you are looking for someone to split a share with someone this Fall, maybe we can help. On our Members Seeking page, we post requests from people looking to split shares or share pick up duties etc. It's not an interactive page, so please email me if you'd like to have a message posted there.

Sign Up Early and Receive a Pete's Greens T-Shirt
The 1st 100 people who sign up and pay in full will receive a free Pete's Greens T shirt!

Summer and Summer Meat Share
We will continue to sign new members up for remaining summer share and meat share deliveries.
Summer Share
Meat Share

Please Consider a Donation to Farm Share
Feeding folks on a limited budget one share at a time

For the past couple of years, Pete's Greens has partnered with the Northeast Organic Farming Association's Farm Share Program. In 2008 and 2009, the program has helped 30 limited income families gain access to fresh local produce through a Pete's Greens Good Eats share. Eligible Farm Share recipients pay only 50% of the cost ofshare. The other 50% comes from donations - 25% from Pete's Greens member donations and 25% from NOFA. (NOFA's funds are raised from their annual Share the Harvest Event in which participating restaurants pledge a portion of the day's sales to the program.) The number of Farm Share grants Pete's is able to offer each share period depends entirely on the number of donations we receive from you, our members. Please consider a donation to the Farm Share program when you sign up for your own share. Your donation will directly fund a portion of a share for someone, and lots of small donations really add to make the difference.

"Thanks to our farmers and NOFA Vermont, our toddler is participating in a community where choosing healthy, local and organic foods is the norm. We would not have been able to afford our CSA share if it wasn't for our NOFA Vermont scholarship.” Sara L.

High Mowings Seeds Annual Field Days
and Young Farmer Mixer Sep 13

On Sunday, from 11:00 am on, High Mowing will hold their annual Field Days event. Beginning at 11:00 visitors can tour High Mowings 2 acre Trial & Showcase Garden, featuring labeled displays of over 800 vegetable, herb, and flower varieties. For gardeners this is an excellent opportunity to check out a wide range of options for future growing seasons. There are a couple of good workshops including a seed saving workshop midday. Later in the afternoon they are having a Local Foods Showcase (aka feast) followed by a bonfire and a Young Farmers Mixer, an event that provides an opportunity for young farmers from across Vermont to meet and trade farming ideas and challenges. This event is free and open to the public and will be a fun day for everyone involved. For more info, please visit the High Mowing website.

Pete's Pastured Chicken
Fill your freezers soon! Chicken orders will be available through October. You can now order as few as 3 chickens and have them delivered to your Good Eats pick up site. Visit the Pastured Chicken page for order info including available delivery dates and to download an order form. These are great tasting chickens raised on an abundance of greens and grass throughout their lives. This is healthy, nutritious, vitamin packed meat that you can feel great about eating. Only $3.75/lb.

Localvore Lore
Red Hen Baking Co. are back at it this week dreaming up new breads baked with entirely local ingredients.

This week’s bread is another take on the corn bread that we made a few months back. It features heirloom Wahpsie Valley cornmeal from Aurora Farms in Charlotte (the corn makes up 20% of the total dry ingredients). You can find this cornmeal for sale in stores under the Nitty Gritty Grains label. When we made this bread earlier, we soaked the cornmeal prior to putting it in the bread. This time we have put it in dry because we have come to like the slight crunch that this method gives the bread. (It’s quite finely ground, so it’s not a tooth-breaker.) Once again, we’ve formed this into a longer loaf (the French call it a batard) so as to produce more crust, which has a particularly nice corn flavor. ~Randy

From Vermont Butter and Cheese we have a log of their fresh chevre. Since sending this out in the Spring share I admit I've become a bit of an addict. I just have to have it in my fridge as a staple. I smear it on fresh bread, I eat goat cheese and tomato sandwiches, I crumble it into salads or onto pasta or cooked greens or in quiche. It always tastes so fresh and the little bite that goat cheese has really livens up many concoctions.

We also have Deb's eggs again this week, yay! I'd be intersted to hear comments from people regarding the frequency you'd like to receive eggs. We have been sending them out every other week this share. Is this enough? Should we send 2 of 3 weeks? Is this too much, should we go to every third week? Let me know what you think.

We are delighted to have some fresh Fall apples from Champlain Orchards. The Gingergolds in the share today are an early yellow apple with Golden Delicious lineage. This is a firm, juicy delicious dessert apple. Enjoy!


Baked Kale and Turnips

1 bunch kale, large stems removed, roughly chopped
1 bunch spring turnips, cut into cubes
couple handfuls olives or capers, or a large, sliced
portabella mushroom
3 T olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped

Combine the ingredients in a covered, oven-safe cassarole
dish. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until the turnips and
kale are tender.
Kale with Sauteed Apple and Onion
This recipe calls for a Granny Smith which is really more of a baking apple. The Gingergolds in the share are a dessert apple but could be substituted. In any case, add the apples late in the game to prevent too much softening. Adapted from Gourmet Dec 2000.
1 Granny Smith apple
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch wedges
1/4 teaspoon curry powder (or double this amount depending on taste)
1 lb kale, tough stems and ribs removed and leaves coarsely chopped
1/2 cup water

Peel, quarter, and core apple, then cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges.
Heat oil in a 5-quart pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté onion, stirring occasionally, until golden. Add curry powder and sauté, about 2 minutes.
Add kale and water and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender and most of liquid is evaporated. Several minutes before the kale is finished, add your apples and cook until the apples are just beginning to soften.
Season with salt and serve.

Fall Vegetable Stew over Couscous
A one pot wonder of a dish that calls for many local vegetables. Leaving the roots on until after cooking keeps them from falling apart in the stew. Adapted from Parade magazine January 2001. Serves 3-4.
3 medium-sized leeks (4 inches of green left on),
.5 tablespoon white vinegar
1.5 quarts defatted chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 tablespoons olive oil
3 large fresh cilantro sprigs, rinsed, with roots and stems crushed
4 cloves of garlic, lightly bruised and peeled
1.5 cinnamon sticks (each 3 inches long)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoons curry powder
1/8 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
.5 teaspoon coarse salt
1 medium-sized zucchini, ends trimmed
3 medium-sized carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into 2-inch lengths
2-3 potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
4 ounces small white turnips, peeled and quartered
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and halved
2 medium ripe tomatoes, cored and quartered
.5 cup chickpeas, rinsed
.5 cup pitted prunes, halved
1/4 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley
4 cups cooked couscous (1 1/3 cups dried), hot (optional)

Wash leek roots well and trim, leaving 1/4 inch of roots on the bottom of the bulbs. Set aside.

Prepare the seasoned broth: Combine the broth, oil, cilantro sprigs, garlic, cinnamon sticks, cumin, curry powder, saffron, and salt in a large heavy pot. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Using a potato peeler, peel each zucchini lengthwise at intervals to make 3 or 4 stripes in the skin. Cut the zucchini into 1 1/2-inch lengths. Set aside.

Place the reserved leeks, the carrots, potatoes, turnips, and onions in the broth. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Add the reserved zucchini, tomatoes, chickpeas, prunes, and raisins. Stir gently so that the vegetables don't break up. Simmer 30 minutes longer. Just before serving, remove the leeks carefully and trim off the roots close to the bottom of each white bulb. Gently heat the vegetables and broth through. Stir in chopped cilantro.

Cook the couscous according to directions. Spoon cooked couscous into each bowl, if desired. Top with the vegetables and broth. Garnish with the remaining tablespoon chopped cilantro.

Crostini with Roasted Garlic, Goat Cheese and Apple Chutney
Looking for a crowd pleasing appetizer? Here's one from 128 Cafe in St. Paul, Minnesota. From Bon Appétit October 1999. I love the use of chutney here (I love chutneys and try to put up several each fall) and the idea of smearing roasted garlic, goat cheese and this apple chutney on this week's hearty loaf.

1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
3/4 cup rice vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cinnamon stick
1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into -inch pieces (about 4 cups)
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup diced seeded plum tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

1 French-bread baguette, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices
Olive oil
Roasted Garlic
12 ounces soft fresh goat cheese (such as Montrachet), room temperature

To make the Chutney
Stir sugar and vinegar in heavy large saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Add next 4 ingredients and simmer until mixture is syrupy and reduced to 1/2 cup, about 8 minutes. Mix in apples and raisins. Increase heat to high and boil until apples are tender, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature. (Chutney can be made 3 days ahead; cover and refrigerate.) Mix in tomatoes and mint.

To make the Roasted Garlic
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut top 1/4 inch off heads of garlic to expose cloves. Place garlic in small baking dish. Add oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Turn garlic cut side up. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake until garlic skins are golden brown and cloves are tender, about 55 minutes. Cool. Squeeze garlic cloves from skins.

To assemble
Preheat oven to 450°F. Arrange baguette slices on baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Bake until golden and crisp, about 8 minutes. Spread each toast with roasted garlic; top with goat cheese and chutney.

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