Thursday, December 10, 2009

Good Eats Newsletter - December 9, 2009

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains
Mesclun Greens; 2 lbs Sugar Snax Carrots; 2 lbs Red Onions; 3 lbs Large (Mostly) Gold Beets; 2 Small Lettuce Heads; 1 lb of Young Pac Choi; 1 Large Winter Squash; plus ....

1 Bunch of Yukina Savoy -or- Dandelion Greens
-or- Sweet Salad Turnips

Localvore Offerings Include

On the Rise Frozen Pizza Dough
Maplebrook Smoked Mozzarella
Pete's Kitchen Salt Brine Pickles

Hen of the Wood and National Life folks will get their eggs this week!

STORMY DAY TOMORROW - We Will Deliver Thursday This Week

***We have just decided to deliver THURSDAY this week
instead of Wednesday

The forecast for tomorrow looks messy and to save us all from having to drive around on snowy, icy roads we thought it might be easier for all involved if we delivered Thursday. Please contact anyone who may be involved in the pick up of your weekly share to let them know. Pick up times for Thursday will be just the same as Wednesday would have been.

We Need a New Montpelier Pick Up Site!

We have just learned that we will be losing a great site host as Montpelier Mud makes a move to Middlesex. So once again we are seeking a home in Montpelier and we need to relocate for January.

The criteria for a pick up site are:
*Central location for members
*Large amount of space for share to be set up (Montpelier is our largest pick up site)
*Good parking for members
*Long hours with either some early AM hours or evening hours to accommodate members work schedules
*Adequate parking space for Pete's Greens truck to back up and unload easily
*No stairs for delivery person and ability to unload via truck ramp a big plus at this site

There is compensation for hosting a share in the form of a free Pete's Greens Localvore Share (or cash remuneration if that is more appropriate). If you have a location that might be suitable, or if you know of one, please contact me right away.

December 16 Sneak Peek

Next week (December 16) will be the last delivery before Christmas. We are pretty certain that the share will include:

3 lbs Potatoes, 2 lbs Celeriac, 3 lbs parsnips, 1 lb daikon radish, 1 Bunch leeks, Mesclun Greens, 1 Bunch of Kale, 1 Winter Squash, 1 lb Frozen Sweet Peppers, Eggs, VT Grown White Flour, Vt Cranberries, Vt Grown Wheat Bran, Elmore Roots Jam.

Bulk Orders, "Specials" and Chickens

You may have noticed a small change on the pick up list in the last couple of weeks. If you have a bulk order, a replacement item or special order (a "special" in our terminology), or a chicken order, the word bulk, special, or chicken will appear next to your name on the pick up list. This should help to notify you that indeed we did pack something extra for you and you should look for it at your site. Items should be labeled with your name on them, but hopefully this will make things even clearer.

Order Your Chickens and Turkeys

We will be delivering turkeys for the next couple of weeks while they last. If you'd like a Gopher Broke pastured turkey for you table over the upcoming holidays, email me and I'll send along the current list of available. Both standard and heritage birds available.

We will have Pete's Pastured Chicken for the next couple of months but do anticipate running out after the first of the year. You can order chickens any week that is not a meat delivery week. Click here to go directly to the chicken page where you can download an order form.

Localvore Lore
There's a new pizza dough in the share today! Ben and Rachel, owners of On the Rise Bakery made us a big batch of their dough made with VT sunflower oil, Milanaise unbleached white flour, Ben Gleason's whole wheat flour, local honey and sea salt. I have tried the dough now at least a half dozen times and I love its elasticity and flavor. Ben created a card with baking instructions for the pizza dough. They are business card sized and will be at the pick up sites. Look for them when you pick up! In addition, Ben posted the instructions on line along with some instructional videos that you can watch for technique and inspiration. If you make a great looking or great tasting pizza that you are pleased with, email a photo along to Ben or post it to the On the Rise Facebook page. They will select at least one random submission and award the lucky winner(s) with a $20 gift certificate!

To add to your pizza making fun, you will be receiving Maplebrook Farm's Smoked Mozzarella. This cheese is fantastic and has won many awards, including a second place at the 2009 American Cheese Awards. Maplebrook Farm in Bennington makes this cheese with milk from local VT dairies. It is hand made and then smoked the very same day with dampened cherry wood chips. The cheese freezes very well, so if pizza isn't in the plan for this evening, you can save it for another day (or another week!).

Pickles again from Pete's Kitchen this week, but this time Salt Brine Pickles. These are similar to the dills you have received. I really like these pickles and really look forward to hearing what you all think of them. Please send along feedback after you have tried them!

Storage and Use Tips

Radicchio - I had a couple people email this week about radicchio. This is the red and white head that looks a bit like a red cabbage that some of you have received in recent weeks. Though only recently gaining popularity in the US it has long been part of a Mediterranean diet, and is very common in Italy. It is a member of the chicory family, along with escarole and endive, and all are known for their attributes as a digestive aid. The chicories provide a nice contrast to sweet lettuces and sliced fine are a good addition. Pete and Meg eat some radicchio almost daily. Meg likes hers after a meal in a salad of 1/3 radicchio and 2/3 lettuces or mesclun greens. She dresses her simple salad with a garlicky maple balsamic, the sweetness providing a nice contrast to the bitter greens. Radicchio also combines well with smoked mozz and a recipe follows below.

Escarole - Someone else emailed this week asking about the other bitter green that we have sent recently called escarole. Looking like a greenish whitish head of leaf lettuce, escarole is another member of the chicory family and so shares the trait of bitterness with cousin radicchio. I have included a recipe for escarole as well in case you still have a head hanging around and are wondering what to do with it.


Pizza Alla Pugliese
I chose this very simple recipe because you could make it with just a couple ingredients from the share. But there's lots of room to improvise here. Tomato sauce is an obvious possibility as are fresh tomatoes or sun drieds. Greens would be great too. Adapted from the Book American Pie by Peter Reinhart.

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sliced onion, sautéed (below)
1/4 tsp salt
6 ounces smoked cheese
fresh ground pepper

While the oven is heating, in a frying pan, heat 2 tsp of the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute for 4-5 minutes or until translucent. Season with salt, remove from the hear, and let cool.

Spread all toppings on your pizza. Bake in a hot oven, ideally on a hot pizza stone. Watch your pizza carefully! The hotter the bake temp the quicker your pizza will cook but you will also get a good rise and nice crust.

Maple-Roasted Winter Squash Puree (or Soup)
This very simple recipe makes a to die for puree to go with your meal, and the remainder can be made into soup with the simple addition of a little stock. The small amount of added cream and the bit of maple sweetness turns this squash puree into something akin to dessert. So yummy. Adapted from Cooking with Shelburne Farms: Food and Stories from Vermont by Melissa Pasanen (a share member) and Rick Gencarelli. Serves 4–6. Thanks Melissa!

1 medium butternut squash (about 3 pounds)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, Grade B for strongest flavor
1½ teaspoons coarse kosher salt plus more to taste
2 tablespoons crème fraîche or heavy cream
2–3 cups vegetable or chicken stock, preferably low sodium
1 tablespoon maple syrup whisked into ¼ cup crème fraîche for garnish, as desired

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cut the squash lengthwise down the middle. Scoop out the seeds and discard.

2. Place the squash, flesh side up, in a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Put a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of maple syrup in each cavity. Sprinkle each half with ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Cover the pan with foil. Bake for about 1½ hours or until the squash is very soft. Cool just until the squash can be handled.

3. Carefully pour any liquid from the squash cavities into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, or a blender, and then scoop all the flesh into the food processor. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter, remaining tablespoon of maple syrup, remaining teaspoon of salt, and the crème fraîche. Puree until completely smooth.

4. If using the dish as a puree, adjust seasoning to taste and serve. (If it's cooled down too much, pop it in the microwave for a minute or so, or back into the oven, covered, for 5-10 minutes).

5. If making soup, transfer the puree to a medium saucepan, whisk in about 2 cups stock to start, and heat through over medium heat. Thin with additional stock and adjust seasoning to taste. Swirl 1 tablespoon of maple crème fraîche into each bowl of soup and scatter a few maple-glazed squash seeds over the soup of desired.

Indian Spiced Carrot Soup with Ginger
Bon Appétit April 2008. By Molly Stevens.

1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1/2 teaspoon curry powder (preferably Madras)
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 cups chopped onions
1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled, thinly sliced into rounds (about 4 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime peel
5 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth or vegetable broth
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
Plain yogurt (for garnish)

Grind coriander and mustard seeds in spice mill to fine powder. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add ground seeds and curry powder; stir 1 minute. Add ginger; stir 1 minute. Add next 3 ingredients. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; sauté until onions begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add 5 cups broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered until carrots are tender, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly. Working in batches, puree in blender until smooth. Return soup to pot. Add more broth by 1/4 cupfuls if too thick. Stir in lime juice; season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm before serving.
Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with yogurt and serve.

Radicchio with Smoked Mozzarella, Balsamic Vinegar, and Prosciutto
Gourmet Jan 2007

2 medium heads radicchio (1 1/2 pounds total), each cut into 6 wedges and cored
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 ounces smoked mozzarella, sliced and torn into pieces
2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto

Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 425°F.

Arrange radicchio wedges, cut sides up, in a 2 1/2-quart shallow glass or ceramic baking dish (11 by 7 inches), then drizzle with oil and vinegar and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast radicchio, turning over once or twice, until wilted and tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
Arrange cheese over radicchio, then arrange prosciutto over cheese and roast until cheese is just melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

White Bean and Escarole Soup with Garlic
In case you have escarole in your fridge just waiting to be used...The garlic, creamy beans and slow simmering mellow the bitterness of the greens. Escarole and beans are a classic Italian dish. You could also try substituting another bitter green (dandelion greens perhaps!) in this recipe. Adapted from a recipe in Bon Appetit, March 1996.

1 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 large carrot, cut into small dice
5 large garlic cloves, peeled, flattened
3 cups (packed) 1-inch pieces escarole (about 1/2 large head)
4 cups (or more) vegetable broth or chicken broth
3 1/4 cups cooked Great Northern beans or two 15-ounce cans cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained
14 -16 ounces diced tomatoes, drained

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Break off the leaves of the escarole and wash them individually, taking care to remove any soil at the base of the stems. Shake the leaves dry, stack them up, and slice the escarole crosswise into ribbons about 1 1/2-inches wide.

Place a large deep skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. Toss in the garlic, red pepper flakes, bay leaves, and lemon slices; cook and stir for a couple of minutes, tossing to combine. Nestle the escarole into the pan and saute until it begins to wilt and shrink down, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the escarole with a pinch of sugar and season with salt and pepper. Pour in the water and cover the pan. Simmer for 20 minutes until the escarole is tender.

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