Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Good Eats Newsletter - March 24, 2010

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:
3 lbs White Potatoes; 2 lbs Celeriac ; 2 lbs Yellow Storage Onions plus...

Frozen Hot Peppers
Frozen Sweet Corn
1 Quart Sauerkraut
Bag of Shoots/Mesclun Mix
Bunch of Mizuna


Localvore Offerings Include:

5 lbs Aurora Farms Vermont Organic White Flour
1 lb Honey Gardens Apiaries Raw Apitherapy Honey
Ploughgate Willoughby Cheese
Champlain Orchards Red Delicious Apples


NOTE: Hardwick Members, please note that CAE will not be open until 2:00 pm tomorrow. If you come right at 2 pm and the door is locked, they will have a key at the co-op next door.


Pete's Musings

Stepped in a hole in Saturday and felt the dreaded lower back tightening. I've been very blessed with a good back over the years but for the past couple years I have an episode every few months. Usually I'm fine within a day, this time it is still bad 3 days later. The only thing that really seems to help is lying flat on my back, which I'm good at for about 24 hours and then have a really hard time with.

But farm life goes on all around me. Steve is keeping a close eye on the 35 piggies as the river is about to go over its banks and flood their pasture. Could be an exciting freeing of the pigs situation if that happens. Deb and the washhouse crew are busy harvesting and washing greens and packing the Good Eats bags. Later today the crew will begin to plant tomatoes, cukes, and peppers in the soil in the first heated greenhouse. That is exciting and means the first greenhouse cukes are just weeks away. Later in the week we'll finish planting carrots, beets and other hardy crops outside and hunker down for a couple really cold night. ~Pete

Storage and Use Tips

Mizuna - Also known as spider mustard, mizuna is a Japanese mustard green with tender leaves and a pleasant, peppery flavor. You could substitute it, chopped, in a salad calling for arugula. It adds a nice zest to a stir-fry or saute. Store mizuna, unwashed, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.

Frozen Corn - Ths corn in the bags you will receive this week is a real treat. Frozen at the peak of freshness, it is still tender and sweet and really fantastic. It makes you realize how old the corn must be that most places freeze, because this corn is entirely different.

Frozen Hot Peppers - this is a mix of hot peppers, and you won't ruin into anything crazy hot in there. As with all hot peppers, remove the seeds to reduce the heat in your dish. And for ease of processing, remove these from the bag to thaw a few minutes before chopping. Once they have thawed a bit, they are MUCH easier to chop and work with.

Sauerkraut - This week we have a pink sauerkraut made from a mix of red and green cabbage. It is pleasingly mild and light flavored and should last in your fridge for several weeks at least. A bit about fermentation... Lactobacilli are present on the surface of all living things. Left to ferment, lactobacilli convert the starches and sugars in vegetables and fruits into lactic acid, and it is this action that preserves this sauerkraut and many fermented foods. The benefits of lactobacilli go far beyond just preservation. The proliferation of the lactobacilli on fermented foods enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels. The lactobacilli produce numerous beneficial enzymes as well as antibiotic and anticarcinogenic substances and lactic acid also promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestine. This is an excellent food and it is highly recommended that we each eat a small amount of fermented vegetables each day.


Onions - PLEASE READ (if you haven't already)! - A percentage of our onions have a layer deep inside that is spoiled. This was caused by the excessively wet summer and the problem is that we usually cannot tell the bad ones from the outside. The rest of the onion is perfectly good. Just remove the spoiled scale and use the rest of the onion as you normally would. We are doing our absolute best to find the flawed ones and we are valuing the onions at half price. Though we hate to send out flawed onions, we also hate the thought of not sending any and wasting these. Thanks for your understanding - this is one of the challenges of farming in a variable climate.

Summer Share - Sign up by May 1 for a free Pete's Greens T
It's that time already! Summer sign-up is now in full swing. And if you sign up soon, not only will you be ensured continued summertime deliveries of the incredible diversity of vegetables that is Good Eats in the Summer/early Fall season, but you'll be rewarded with a free Pete's Greens T if you get your form and payment in by May 1st!

The Summer Share brings a pretty amazing assortment of produce over the course of the 4 month, 18 week share. This season brings to members virtually all types of veggies grown on the farm in that short time.

In the Summer, we offer two share types:
Vegetable Only Share - Members receive the weekly share of Pete's organic vegetables. The share costs $504 for 18 weeks of deliveries ($28/week).

Localvore Share - The share you all are familiar with! Members receive the weekly share of vegetables plus a selection of locally produced staples. The Summer localvore share costs $792 for 18 weeks of deliveries ($44/week).

Please visit the Summer Share page on our website for complete details and to download an order form.

Maple Week at UVM
Maple season is here, and share member Selene Colburn wanted to spread the worls that UVM is celebrating. The University of Vermont Libraries are celebrating the creation of a new Maple Syrup Research Website with a week of programs, exhibits, and food, beginning March 28th, 2010. The website is a comprehensive guide in the field of maple syrup. Along with the events below, the Bailey Howe Library will have maple exhibits in the lobby through June.

Cook Maple, Win Prizes - March 28th from 4 to 6PM - A Maple Cook-Off will be held at UVM’s Davis Center complete with a buffet of maple delicacies, children’s activities, and prizes The event is free and open to the public. Event info here.

A Party in the Woods - John Elder, a Professor at Middlebury College, will present “A Party in the Woods: Sugaring, Community, and Celebration Under a Changing Sky,” on maple sugaring as a traditional rural lifeway that both illuminates contemporary challenges like climate change and exemplifies the need for celebration within environmental thinking today. The talk will take place in Bailey/Howe Library’s Special Collections on March 31st, at 5:30 PM. Elder’s talk will follow a 4:30 PM reception to celebrate the launch of the Maple Syrup Research Website in the Bailey/Howe Library lobby.

For more information, please call 802-656-9980 or e-mail selene.colburn@uvm.edu

Localvore Lore
The flour in the share is a product we are pretty excited to be able to offer. For a while now, we have been able to get whole wheat and whole wheat pastry flour that was grown in VT but not a white flour. But through a partnership between Red Hen Baking Co and Aurora Farms, 2009 brought forth a great crop of wheat yielding a very nice all purpose white. For those of you who will be trying the flour for the first time, here's a write up Randy had contributed the first time we included it.

The flour in this week’s share is the product of a unique, fortuitous, and unprecedented combination of hard work, patience, luck, and cooperation. In the fall of 2006 (right in the midst of planting season for winter wheat), I approached Tom Kenyon of Aurora Farms in Charlotte about growing some bread wheat for us. He enthusiastically agreed and planted 25 acres that fall. Unfortunately, Tom had to suffer through two unsuccessful harvests in 2007 and 2008 before harvesting a crop that was worth milling into flour. When the wheat from this season’s 30 acres were harvested, the initial test results looked good enough to try milling it into flour and making bread with it. A sample of white flour was milled by Champlain Valley Mills (in Westport, NY). Being accustomed to baking with the finest organic wheat Kansas has to offer, I was hopeful that we could use a percentage of this Vermont wheat in some of our breads. Imagine my surprise when I combined this flour with water, yeast, and salt in the mixing bowl and found that it made a familiar-feeling dough! The resulting bread, although not perfect, was surprisingly good. Tom and I made an agreement with Champlain Valley Mills to mill Tom’s entire crop. Hillcrest Foods has been enlisted to warehouse and transport the flour to us. I insisted that Tom get the price he needed to get for the wheat and as a result we are blessed with a minor miracle: a white bread flour produced from locally-grown wheat.

Although we have laid claim to most of this flour for use in our new Cyrus Pringle bread (which we are now baking and delivering daily) and upcoming CSA breads, a small amount of it is being offered to Pete’s CSA shareholders. In the eyes of localvore bakers, this is gold. You can’t find this flour in any stores. But the good news is that a committed group of farmers is working hard to making wheat of this quality a regular reality in VT, so you may be able to find it more readily in years to com. But for now, savor what you have and make some of your own bread with it.

A note about baking with the flour: By normal standards for bread flour, this flour has low protein. It nearly falls into the category of all-purpose flour for this reason. But we have found that, with gentle handling, it can make excellent hearth breads. You may find that it is good for other breads and you should also find that it is good for a variety of other purposes such as muffins, biscuits, pancakes, etc. Enjoy… and happy baking! -Randy George

The good folks at Jasper Hill informed me last week that they had a secret stash of Ploughgate Creamery Willoughby cheese in the Cellars and that they had enough to supply the share! It didn't take much convincing. I LOVE this cheese and have been ntrying to get my hands on enough for the share since early last Fall. This is a cow's milk cheese made from Ayreshire milk that Ploughgate proprietor Marisa Mauro buys from Randy Hancock in Newport. Described as a washed rind cheese, the Willoughby is actually "washed" or painted with honey wine (mead) made by Todd Hardie of Honey Gardens Apiaries in Ferrisburg. The cheese is aged at the Cellars at Jasper Hill. The Willoughby is "a silky textured washed rind wheel with smoky notes and overtones reminiscent of spring". I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Please leave it out on the counter for at least a half hour to let it warm to closer to room temp for best flavor!

The same honey that was washed onto the rind of your cheese also makes an appearance this week. From Honey Garden's Apiaries in Ferrisburgh we have Todd Hardie's Apitherapy honey. The one pound of honey you are receiving today represents the collective flight by the bees of 24,000 miles and their visits to three to nine million flowers. Apitherapy honey has never been heated or filtered, and thus it retains the beneficial traces of pollen, propolis, and beeswax, which the flowers and bees have provided. These contain healthful minerals, vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, and carbohydrates. Honey forms crystals around these particles, which you see on the surface or by holding a jar up to the light. Within a month or so after the fall harvest, Apitherapy honey will crystallize. To soften or re-liquefy honey, place it in a warm place or in warm water.

Red Delicious apples from Champlain Orchards seemed a nice choice this week. Sweet crunchy apples with gooey cheese and maybe a hunk of fresh bread on the side sounds pretty good to me.

Recipes
This morning I forwarded the list of items in the share to Bill Allen, former chef at Miguel's Stoweaway and Burlington's O restaurant and asked him to give us a few ideas using the share ingredients. He shares his recipe suggestions below.

Potato & Celeriac Soup

¼ cup oil, olive preferably
1 # yellow onions, small diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 # potatoes, peeled and roughly cubed
2 # celeriac, peeled and rough cubed
2 quarts stock, chicken or vegetable
4 sprigs thyme, stripped
1-cup heavy cream (optional if you want a lighter soup)

Heat oil in soup pot. Add onions and sauté until slightly caramelized. Add garlic and sauté for one minute longer. Add potatoes and celeriac for one minute. Add stock and simmer until potatoes and celeriac are soft. Remove from heat. Using a blend stick or blender, process until smooth in small batches. If using a blender, initially pulse it so that it doesn’t splash upward. Transfer puree to a container. Continue until all is pureed. Add fresh thyme and heavy cream (if desired). Season with salt and pepper.

Corn & Hot Pepper Relish

1 bag corn defrosted and pressed to remove excess water
1 bag peppers, defrosted, rough chop
2 cups vinegar, anything but balsamic
1-cup sugar
¼ cup honey
2 tbsp. mustard seeds
1 bay leaf

Place sugar and vinegar in non-reactive saucepan and when sugar is dissolved, add remaining ingredients and lower heat to a slow simmer. Give it an occasional stir, making sure it doesn’t burn on the bottom. Reduce until almost dry, about 20% liquid remaining, remove from heat and let cool. Transfer to container, preferably glass, cover and refrigerate. This is great on all proteins, especially fish and chicken.

Mizuna & Apple Salad with Warm Ploughgate Cheese

1 bunch Mizuna, washed and dried
.75 mesclun mix
2 Red Delicious Apples
½ round of Ploughfate Cheese, cut into 6 even slices
Apple Cider Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Cut the cheese and let sit at room temperature while doing the rest of the preparation. Core apples and slice into thin rounds. Stack the rounds and cut into matchsticks. In a bowl, toss the mesclun, mizuna and apples. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the vinaigrette on the greens lightly, just enough to barely coat them. Form greens and apples into a nice mound on the plate and lay three pieces of cheese against the greens. Drizzle some more vinaigrette around the plate making sure the cheese gets some too.

Apple Cider Vinaigrette
½ cup cider vinegar
.5 cups neutral oil, such as grape seed
2 tsp. mustard
Salt & pepper

Place ingredients in bowl and whisk. You do not want to emulsify this dressing, as it will be too thick. When you go to use it, just whisk again until ingredients come together.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Good Eats Newsletter - March 17, 2010

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:
2 lbs Adirondack Potatoes; 2 lbs Red Onions; 1.5 lb Daikon Radish; 2 lbs Orange Carrots; 2 lbs Green Savoy Cabbage; plus...

Frozen Shredded Zucchini
Frozen Braising Greens
Bag of Shoots/Mesclun Mix


Localvore Offerings Include:

Red Hen Turkey Red Pain Au Levain
Jasper Hill Landaff Cheese
Pa Pa Doodles Farm Eggs
Vermont Soy Maple Ginger Baked Tofu

Happy St Patrick's Day!
Pete's Musings
Busy, busy weeks here. This is an awesome spring for vegetable farming. Today we are planting salad greens outside - 10 days earlier than ever before. Later in the week carrots, chard, scallions and more will be sown outside. Greenhouses are being planted daily and next week our first greenhouse of tomatoes and cukes will go in. All the while we are repairing our large greenhouse, finishing our equipment shed, and the washhouse crew is washing and sorting hundreds of pounds of roots. I'm excited because April and May are the most stressful time of year for me. It seems that we are going to turn those 2 months into 2.5 months which will take some pressure off.

We are experiencing increased interest from the local kids in working on the farm. Last evening we had 4 kids, high school age and under, doing everything from transplanting to helping clean up the grounds. It's great to have their energy and we hope they stick around.

Currently we have 16 pigs and we are adding 19 to the herd. This year's batch comes in every color and spot pattern. Lots of old time breeds such as Tamworth, Old Spot, and English Wattle are represented. They are very happy in our river bottom pastures rooting up the sod. ~Pete




Storage and Use Tips

Adirondack Red Potatoes - These red skinned, red fleshed potatoes were developed in 2004 by a potato breeder at Cornell University. They retain their red color when cooked, they mash easily, and they are delicious roasted or in a potato salad. Both the skin and flesh contain anthrocyanin, a powerful antioxidant.

Savoy Cabbage - Round with crinkled leaves, Savoys are the beauties of the cabbage world. Their leaves are more delicate and more loosely packed than their green cabbage cousins. Store as you would other cabbages, unwashed, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer. Don't worry if the outer leaves begin to discolor or tear on you, just remove them to expose the perfectly good leaves remaining below. Savoys tender leaves are great for slaw, in salads, and in stir fries.

Frozen Shredded Zucchini- We put up a bunch of zucchini in the Fall, simply shredded and frozen. It's tender and delicious and I've really enjoyed having a bag of this in the freezer this winter. It's great on its own, cooked up with a little garlic and oil, or great in pasta dishes, casseroles, stir frys or whatever you might dream up. When you thaw the zucchini, it will lose a lot of water. This is perfect for baking actually and for many other recipes as well. Let it thaw, and then squeeze out all the excess water and then add the zucchini to your recipe.

Onions - PLEASE READ! - A percentage of our onions have a layer deep inside that is spoiled. This was caused by the excessively wet summer and the problem is that we usually cannot tell the bad ones from the outside. The rest of the onion is perfectly good. Just remove the spoiled scale and use the rest of the onion as you normally would. We are doing our absolute best to find the flawed ones and we are valuing the onions at half price. Though we hate to send out flawed onions, we also hate the thought of not sending any and wasting these. Thanks for your understanding-this is one of the challenges of farming in a variable climate.

Good Eats Meals Survey

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you who filled out this survey! We have had 411 people respond with 50% interested in the share concept we presented (2 meals for 2, 1 quart soup, plus a dressing or sauce, delivered weekly). Others said they were interested but in a modified concept. Many people expressed they'd be more interested if it wasn't every week, or if they could tailor it somehow by selecting weeks they'd like to receive, or if they could select from an a la carte menu of items. Great feedback and we'll be thinking all of this through in the coming months. If you have other ideas about this concept, please email me.

Author Launches Book Tonight at Harwick Bookstore
Ben Hewitt, the author of The Town That Food Saved: How One Community Found Vitality in Local Food, will be at the Galaxy Bookstore tonight in Hardwick. He will read from the book, share some stories and he hopes that people will share with him what they think of what's happening in Hardwick. The event begins at 7 pm.

From the Publisher: Over the past 3 years, Hardwick, Vermont, a typical hardscrabble farming community of 3,000 residents, has jump-started its economy and redefined its self-image through a local, self-sustaining food system unlike anything else in America. Even as the recent financial downturn threatens to cripple small businesses and privately owned farms, a stunning number of food-based businesses have grown in the region—Vermont Soy, Jasper Hill Farm, Pete's Greens, Patchwork Farm & Bakery, Apple Cheek Farm, Claire's Restaurant and Bar, and Bonnieview Farm, to name only a few. The mostly young entrepreneurs have created a network of community support; they meet regularly to share advice, equipment, and business plans, and to loan each other capital. Hardwick is fast becoming a model for other communities to replicate its success. The captivating story of a small town coming back to life, The Town That Food Saved is narrative nonfiction at its best: full of colorful characters and grounded in an idea that will revolutionize the way we eat.

Ben will be visiting other book stores in coming weeks, including this visit which a share member emailed me about:
Phoenix Books and Cafe – Saturday, April 3rd at 7:00 PM: free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Michael DeSanto at 802-872-7111.


Localvore Lore
I am looking forward to getting up tomorrow AM, pouring myself a big steaming cup of coffee, and heading to Red Hen Baking Co. On Red Hen bread days, I play a small role in the CSA delivery day. The bread is baked in Middlesex overnight or early am Wednesday, but our truck starts its day in Craftsbury. So on Red Hen days, I get out the door early, drive to Red Hen and pick up a stack of irresistably warm, delicious smelling bread. I drive North to the farm delivering the loaves to the same Montpelier, Hardwick, and Craftsbury sites Tim has just delivered on his way south. Tim arrives at Red Hen after me, his fourth CSA stop of the morning, and he picks up all the loaves for deliveries to all other sites. This just in from Randy:

This week we are making a special pain au levain for the CSA share that contains flour from three different, interesting origins. For this bread, we created a special starter made with a finely milled whole wheat flour from a wheat variety called Turkey Red. This was the wheat that was brought to Kansas in the late 1800’s by Mennonites who settled there after coming from the Crimean peninsula near the Black Sea. Turkey was the first and only wheat grown in Kansas until the ‘20’s, when wheat breeding started to take off. To this day, all the winter wheat grown in this country contains some of the genetics of this “landrace” variety. Today only a few farmers even grow Turkey. Last year the Heritage Grain and Seed Company was formed to preserve this heirloom variety and we have been using some of their flour. We used it in the starter of this bread to accentuate any unique flavors that might be in this ancient wheat (it makes up about 17% of the bread). The remaining flour is a combination of the Vermont white flour from Aurora Farms and whole wheat from Meunerie Milanaise in Quebec. Enjoy! ~Randy

We have a new cheese in the share today. Made through a partnership between Doug and Debby Erb, proprietors of the Landaff Creamery and the Kehler brothers, owners of the Cellars at Jasper Hill the Landaff cheese in the share today is a treat. The Welsh style farmstead cheese is made at the Creamery, with milk from the Erb's Holsteins. After the cheese is made, it heads to the Cellars for the affinage, or aging process where it is lovingly cared for for a minimum of 60 days to maturity. I really like this cheese. It's great on a sandwich, grated into some freshly smashed potatoes, or as a quick snack. From Landaff's website: A mild, semi-firm cheese with a delicious combination of flavors, tangy with a clean finish. The open and buttery texture comes with a natural, cave-aged rind. It melts beautifully for cooking, and makes a wonderful addition to any cheese plate.


Vermont Soy's Baked Maple Ginger Tofu is delicious straight out of the package. Made with made with organic and wheat-free ingredients that include ginger, garlic, tamari and Vermont maple syrup. It's great tossed onto salads, into sandwiches, and in stir frys and casseroles.

We have eggs from Deb's hens again this week. Enjoy them because we won't see them again for a few weeks. Deb is preparing to say goodbye to this flock and make room for a new group of pullets (young hens, ready to lay). The new girls arrive in a couple weeks and could take 2-4 weeks to get up to speed. We are hoping to have eggs again by mid April. I'll keep you posted on developments. Recently, one of our share members, David Wahler sent me a link to a video from a Zurich company who apparently takes pride in the freshness of their eggs.

Recipes
Boxty (Irish Potato Griddle Cakes)
In honor of St Patrick's Day and great potatoes, I have dug up a couple of classic Irish poato recipes. This one comes complete with an Irish rhyme: Boxty on the griddle Boxty in the pan If you can't make boxty You'll never get a man

1/2 pound raw potato
1/2 pound cooked mashed potato
1/2 pound flour
Milk (as needed, see directions)
1 egg
1 medium onion, finely chopped
Salt and pepper

Grate raw potatoes and mix with the cooked mashed potatoes. Add salt, pepper, onion and flour. Beat egg and add to mixture with just enough milk to make a batter that will drop from a spoon.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a hot griddle or frying pan. Cook over a moderate heat for 3-4 minutes on each side.

Colcannon with Salmon
Another one in honor of St Patrick's Day, colcannon is an Irish classic. This recipe is a smashed potato version and the meal includes pan-roasted, honey mustard glazed salmon. It's more of a general guideline than a recipe.

1.5 lbs potatoes
equal volume of cabbage sliced into thin bite size pieces
2-3 TB butter or to taste
handful chopped green onions
salmon filets
dijon mustard
honey

Get started by cooking the potatoes in boiling water.

Use a large, lidded pan on high heat with about 1/2-inch of water to cook the cabbage.
Keep your eye on the cabbage, as it will probably take about 5-6 minutes to soften up, then drain it and keep it warm.

When the potatoes are done, drain them, add a few tbs of butter and a handful of chopped green onions and smash those with a potato masher.

Add the cooked cabbage, fold it in and season it to taste with salt and pepper.

Keep the potatoes warm after they are smashed and use the same pan used to cook the cabbage in to sear the salmon fillets. While the salmon is cooking, take a minute to combine equal parts honey and Dijon mustard. When the fish is cooked to your liking, serve it over the top of some of the smashed potatoes and drizzle some of the honey mustard on top of everything.

Stir-Fried Tofu and Veggies
This is adapted from Mark Bittman's basic recipe, which I have put in the newsletter before. It is a pretty standard recipe and this week's share is perfect for a stir fry! You can choose among the veggies below, there's certainly plenty of variety to choose from. Serve over rice or just on it's own.

1 pkg Vt Soy Maple Ginger Baked Tofu
3 tablespoons peanut oil or neutral oil
1 large onion, halved and sliced (yellow if you have them, though red will be great too)
2-3 cups of veggies (carrots, cabbage, daikon, frozen zuch, peppers, or braising greeens)

1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger

1/4 cup Shaoxing wine, sherry, sake, white wine, or water

1/3 cup vegetable stock or water

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/2 cup roughly chopped scallions

If using frozen veggies, thawing them and squeezing some of the water out before tossing them in the pan may help toward nice browned veggies.

Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch or slightly larger cubes. Put two tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet or wok, preferably nonstick, over high heat. When hot, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften, a couple of minutes. Add vegetables according to cooking time. Carrots and daikon will be first into the pan, followed by frozen greens, frozen peppers, zucchini and cabbage. You want onions and veggies crisp-tender and a little charred at the edges, about 5 minutes in total time, maybe a bit more. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside for a moment.

Add the remaining oil, then the garlic and ginger, and cook, stirring, for about 10 seconds. Add the wine and stock and cook, stirring, until about half of it evaporates; add the tofu to the pan and heat through, then return the pepper-onion mix to the pan and cook, stirring, for a minute or so to reheat.

Add the soy sauce and scallion and cook, stirring, until the scallion becomes glossy, about 30 seconds, Serve immediately.

Coleslaw
Here's a good old fashioned slaw recipe for you. This recipe makes 2 pounds of cole slaw. What to put in your shredded slaw mix? That's up to you of course, but if I were making this one tonight, I'd shred a combo of the savoy cabbage and carrots, with a small handful of daikon thrown in for good measure. This is a standard recipe that begs for improvisation. Feel free to use less mayo, and less sugar. Substitute honey for the sugar (using a bit less, honey is sweeter by volume). Cider vinegar will be great, and balsamic delicious too. Take or leave horseradish depending on how you like it.

2 lbs of shredded slaw
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tsp yellow mustard
1 tsp celery seeds
1 TB prepared creamy horseradish

Pour your shredded slaw into a very large bowl and set aside.

In a separate, medium sized bowl, combine sugar, mayo, oil, vinegar, mustard, celery seed and horseradish with a wire whisk until the sugar is dissolved.

Toss mayo mixture with bagged slaw mixture until completely coated and refrigerate for four hours making sure to stir ever couple of hours or so. This recipe makes 2 pounds of cole slaw.

Spicy No-Mayo Coleslaw
This one is from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian cookbook. Serves 8 as a side.

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, or to taste
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, red wine vinegar, or freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh chile (jalapeño, Thai, serrano, or habenero), or to taste, optional
1/4 cup peanut or extra-virgin olive oil
6 cups cored and shredded Savoy cabbage
1 large red or yellow bell peppers, roasted and peeled if you like, seeded, and diced or shredded
1/3 cup diced scallion, more or less
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup minced parsley leaves

1. Whisk the mustard, vinegar, garlic, and chile together in a small bowl. Add the oil a little at a time, whisking all the while.

2. Combine the cabbage peppers, and scallion and toss together with the dressing. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to serve. (It's best to let this rest for an hour or so before serving to allow the flavors to mellow; the cabbage will also soften a bit and exude some juice. Or let it sit for up to 24 hours if you like. Drain slaw before continuing.) Just before serving, toss with the parsley.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Good Eats Newsletter - March 10, 2010

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:
2 lbs Parsnips; 2 lbs Purple Top Turnips ; 1 lb Valentine Radish; 1 Bulb Garlic; 2 lbs Yellow Storage Onions plus...

Frozen Tomatoes
Bag of Shoots/Claytonia Mix


Localvore Offerings Include:
Elmore Mountain Flax Bread
VT Pasta Linguine
5 lbs Organic Rolled Oats


NOTE: Grove St, Adams Court and Shelburne members will receive their mushrooms this week!

Storage and Use Tips
Salad Mix - The salad greens mix this week is a combination of sunflower, radish and pea shoots, plus claytonia, chickweed, mizuna, ruby streaks mustard, and mixed brassicas.

Valentine Radishes - These Asian radishes have a distinctive bright pink interior with a white, green and pink skin. Sweet with just a hint of a radish bite, valentines are great in salads, slaw, or as crudités. You can add to soups or sauté thinly sliced or shredded in butter with a pinch of salt. Cook lightly without browning. Or slice and sprinkle with salt and serve raw with freshly toasted bread and butter for a tasty treat. Store these in the crisper drawer, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag.

Onions - PLEASE READ (if you haven't already)! - A percentage of our onions have a layer deep inside that is spoiled. This was caused by the excessively wet summer and the problem is that we usually cannot tell the bad ones from the outside. The rest of the onion is perfectly good. Just remove the spoiled scale and use the rest of the onion as you normally would. We are doing our absolute best to find the flawed ones and we are valuing the onions at half price. Though we hate to send out flawed onions, we also hate the thought of not sending any and wasting these. Thanks for your understanding - this is one of the challenges of farming in a variable climate.

VT Pasta Co. Linguine - Your fresh pasta may be kept in the freezer until you plan to use it. Then it may be taken out and kept in fridge or simply dropped into your boiling pasta water still frozen. It will keep for about a week in the fridge. To cook it, simply bring a pot of salted water to a boil, drop in your pasta, and wait for your water to return to the boil. When your cooking water reaches boiling again, your pasta is done and you may drain in a colander and add your favorite sauce.

"Special" or Replacement Items Left at Share Sites

This is not news to many of you who have been part of Good Eats for a while, but I thought it worth mentioning for the benefit of new members. Each week we may leave a few oddball items at a share site - a bag of oats perhaps, a dozen eggs, a piece of cheese, etc. In most cases, these items will have a sticker on them with the name of a share member. These are special items sent out to a specific member to replace something they didn't receive or in some cases it is a special order. When picking up your share, it's important to be careful to take one of each item on the pick up list but NOT to take any extra items left at the site. In nearly all cases these are for a specific share member at your site.

If you are expecting a special item and you are wondering whether we sent it, look beside your name on the names check off sheet. If we sent an item out for you, the word "special" should appear next to your name on the list.

Good Eats Meal Share Survey

Earlier today I sent out a survey asking for your feedback about a Good Eats Meal Share that would delivered prepared meals to members. If you haven't taken the survey, please do! We will be going through this survey thoroughly to determine what type of meal shares would be well received by our members. Your comments on these surveys are key in helping us make decisions!


Need Meats?

The Spring Meat Share delivers a selection of sustainably farmed, grass fed meats from Pete's and from other nearby farms that we know and love. Meat shares contain 3-6 cuts of meat each delivery and are delivered once a month All animals grown for the share are are raised on pasture (except the trout!) and many are raised organically. Grass fed meats contain a much higher vitamin concentration and much lower fat content than other meats.

Sign-up for the Spring Meat Share (3 Deliveries Remain: Apr 7, May 5, June 2)

You can order Pete's Pastured Chickens and have them delivered to you pick up site any week except a meat share week. Our chickens are raised on lots of pasture. Even as chicks in the barn, our little birds feast on sprouts and baby greens left from each days vegetable processing. They can't help but ingest loads of healthy, vitamin packed organic forage throughout their lives and this goodness is assimilated in their meat.

Minimum order is 3 chickens, and they are priced at only $3.75/lb.
Click here to visit our chicken page and download an order form.

Job Openings at Pete's Greens
We are still accepting applications for the the positions of wash-house manager and kitchen manager at the farm. Complete job descriptions for these positions may be found on our site on our job postings page.

Applecheek Farm Effort a Success

Exciting news just in this morning from Rocio Clark at Applecheek Farm. Through the generous donations of 150 neighbors and members of the community surrounding the farm, plus a large grant from the Freeman Foundation, the farm has been conserved for future generations. To all of you who contributed, the Clarks and the VT Land Trust send a big thank you!

Localvore Lore
This week Elmore Mountain Bakery has baked their Quebec Flax Seed Bread, made with organic Milanaise Winter Wheat, Milanaise Whole Wheat, Milanaise Rye, Quebec Flax, Sea Salt and Sourdough.

Tim made the trip just over the border in Quebec this week to bring back grains for Good Eats. In Compton Quebec, Michel Gaudreau mills organic grains grown on his farm and other farms nearby. He mills oats, flax, spelt, rye, barley and numerous other grains. (The flax in the bread this week comes from Michel's). The organic rolled oats in the share this week are grown near his farm. I bet my household goes through 150-200 lbs of these oats a year. I am not kidding. Between oatmeal which probably fulfills 15% of my son's whole diet, and granola which everyone else in the house eats for breakfast, we go through an awful lot of oats. I feel good knowing that these are grown so well and so locally. If you don't use oats a lot, here are links to a couple solid recipes posted last year.
Classic Oatmeal
Granola - our household recipe

Back by popular demand, we have linguine from VT Pasta company. We sent this pasta out last share period and it received very high ratings from members. VT Pasta is a very new venture for Ted Fecteau of Barre. Ted is committed to making a great tasting fresh local pasta. The linguine in the share is a 50/50 mix of Ben Gleason's whole wheat flour and Aurora Farm's white flour. The other ingredients in the pasta are water and local Waitsfield eggs. A very small amount of organic rice flour is used to dust the pasta to keep it from sticking (this will account for the gritty texture to the uncooked pasta). See Storage and Use Tips above for cooking instructions. The container the pasta is packaged in looks like plastic but in fact is made of corn and is completely compostable. We really look forward to your feedback on the pasta. Do you like the 50/50 mix? Would you prefer a whole wheat pasta? Other comments? Please share your feedback.
You can pick up Ted's pasta at the Capitol City Farmers Market or at LACE in Barre.

Recipes


Winter Vegetable Tart
This recipe was brought to my attention by share member Stacy Fraser who has been making it over and over again all winter using lots of different combinations of roots and things she has received in the share. It's very adaptable, you could use really any root veg combo, you could throw in some frozen red peppers and experiment with different cheeses. It's from the Edible Green Mountains website where you can find lots of great recipes (including one for Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding with Whiskey Caramel Sauce which has nothing to do with this week's share ingredients and which I now can't get off my mind). If you haven't got a go to recipe for pie crust, try this one I posted to the blog Nov. 24th. It's pretty dependable.

1 pound butternut squash (1 small), peeled, seeded and diced into 1⁄2-inch cubes2 beets, peeled and diced into 1⁄2-inch cubes
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 onion, halved and cut into slivers
1 red bell pepper, diced (optional)
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
pie crust for one 9- or 10-inch pie
1⁄2 pound Fontina cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly oil a large shallow roast- ing pan or half sheet pan.
In a large bowl, combine the squash, beets, mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, if using, and garlic. Add the olive oil, rosemary and salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat well. Transfer to the pan and arrange in a shallow (preferably single) layer.

Roast for 35 to 45 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned, stirring or shaking the pan occasionally for even cooking. Remove the vegetables from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 375°F.
Line a baking sheet with foil. Place the pastry on the bak- ing sheet. Sprinkle the cheese over the pastry, leaving a 2-inch border around the edge. Arrange the roasted vegetables on top of the cheese. Fold the dough up to partially cover the filling and crimp to seal the edges.

Bake for about 25 minutes, until the crust is golden. Cut into wedges and serve warm.

Linguine with Garlic and Oil
With this one, olive oil is the primary flavor, so use a good quality oil. Be careful not to overcook the garlic. There are times when an oil-based sauce is not thin enough to coat your pasta. In this case, add more oil or a bit of pasta-cooking water. From Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything Cookbook. Serves 2.

Salt
1/6 cup extra virgin olive oil, or more as needed
1 tablespoons minced garlic
1 small dried red chiles, or to taste, or hot red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
1/2 pound linguine (or spaghetti, or any other pasta)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves (optional)

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Put the oil, garlic, the chiles if you're using them, and a pinch of salt in a small skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat. Let the garlic sizzle a bit, shaking the pan occasionally, just until it turns golden, about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat if the pasta isn't ready.

2. If using fresh pasta, toss in the boiling water and when it just begins to boil again, it's done. Drain it, reserving a bit of the cooking water. Reheat the garlic and oil mixture briefly if necessary. Dress the pasta with the sauce, adding a little more oil or some of the cooking water if it seems dry. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then toss with the parsley if you're using it.

Fast Tomato Sauce
Here's another from Mark Bittman's great book. The recipe calls for canned tomatoes but you can use the frozen ones in your share. Just run each frozen tomato under hot water and the skins will slip from them. Core the tomatoes as needed and then follow the recipe below.

3 Tbs olive oil or butter
1 med onion, chopped
1 24-32 oz can tomatoes drained and chopped
salt and fresh ground pepper
Freshly grated parmesan or other cheese

Heat olive oil in 12" skillet over med-high heat. Add onions and stir 2-3 minutes or until soft. Add tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes break up and the mixture comes together, thickening about 10-15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Immediately toss with your hot just cooked pasta, garnish with cheese as you desire.

Parsnip Patties
From the cookbook Laurel's Kitchen. Makes 12 patties. This is a great recipe, especially with the walnuts.

4 cups parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
1 onion, minced
1 Tb oil
1 tsp dried tarragon
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
2 cups whole grain bread crumbs

Steam parsnips until tender - 10 to 15 minutes. While parsnips are cooking, saute onion in oil. Add tarragon.
Mash parsnips with potato masher (a few lumps are OK). Stir onion into mashed parsnips with egg, salt and walnuts. Preheat oven to 350°F. Form parsnip mixture into patties, using 1/3 cup for each. Spread half the bread crumbs on a greased baking sheet and place patties on crumbs. Press remaining crumbs on top. Bake for 20 minutes.

Parsnip and Turnip Soup
From the website toomanychefs.com

1 onion, peeled and diced fine

2 cloves crushed garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 parsnips, peeled and diced into 1" pieces

1 carrot, peeled and diced into 1" pieces

2 turnips, peeled and diced into 1" cubes

1 stalk celery, cut into 1" pieces

1 large potato, peeled and diced into 1" cubes

4 cups vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste

In a dutch oven or soup pot, heat the oil until it shimmers. Add the garlic, celery, and onion and sautee for about 60 seconds. Add the rest of the vegetables, cover, and sautee over medium-high heat stirring fairly frequently until the vegetables soften up and are easily pierced by a sharp knife, about seven-ten minutes. Add the stock and cook for 20 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring and scraping the bottom to get any vegetable fond that has stuck to the bottom into the soup.
Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Blend with an immersion blender and serve.

Oatmeal Wheat Bread
Here's a great stand by recipe for an oatmeal wheat bread the whole family will like. Some reviewers substituted ¼ molasses for 1/4 cup of the honey. Others just added 1/4 cup molasses for the added flavor. Great reviews all around. From Gourmet Oct 2005.

2 cups whole milk
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats plus additional for topping
1/2 cup warm water (105-115°F)
2 tablespoons active dry yeast (from 3 packages)
1/2 cup mild honey
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus additional for buttering pans
3 cups stone-ground whole-wheat flour
About 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
Vegetable oil for oiling bowl
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Special equipment: 2 (8- by 4-inch) loaf pans

Heat milk in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart saucepan over low heat until hot but not boiling, then remove pan from heat and stir in oats. Let stand, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cooled to warm.

Stir together water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon honey in a small bowl; let stand until foamy, 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn't foam, discard and start over with new yeast.) Stir yeast mixture, melted butter, and remaining honey into cooled oatmeal.

Stir together whole-wheat flour, 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour, and salt in a large bowl. Add oat mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Turn out onto a well-floured surface and knead with floured hands, adding just enough of remaining unbleached flour to keep from sticking, until dough is smooth, soft, and elastic, about 10 minutes (dough will be slightly sticky). Form dough into a ball and transfer to an oiled large bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel; let rise at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Lightly butter loaf pans. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead several times to remove air. Divide dough in half and shape each half into a loaf, then place 1 loaf in each buttered pan, seam side down, tucking ends gently to fit. Cover loaf pans loosely with a kitchen towel and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly brush tops of loaves with some of egg wash and sprinkle with oats, then bake until bread is golden and loaves sound hollow when tapped on bottom, 35 to 40 minutes. (Remove 1 loaf from pan to test for doneness. Run a knife around edge of pan to loosen.)

Remove bread from pans and transfer to a rack to cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Good Eats Newsletter - March 3, 2010

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:
1.5 lbs Red Thumb Fingerling Potatoes; 2 lbs Red Beets; 1 lb Celeriac; 2 lbs Kohlrabi; 3 lbs Green Cabbage; plus...

Frozen Braising Greens Mix
Bag of Shoots/Claytonia Mix

Localvore Offerings Include:
On the Rise Pizza Dough
Amir Hebib's Oyster and Shiitake Mushrooms
Maplebrook Fresh Mozzarella
Pete's Applesauce


NOTE: National Life, Red Hen, On the Rise and Sweet Clover will receive the eggs they missed last week.

NOTE #2: Grove St, Adams Court, and Shelburne will NOT receive mushrooms this week, but will receive them next week. See details below in Localvore Lore.

Pete's Musings
Feb 26
WIND-it happens 4 or 5 nights a year. Seems like it is usually at night, I'm not sure why. 40-50 mph wind, sometimes gusting to 60 mph. It's enough to keep anyone with 7 big greenhouses awake all night. I've had greenhouses destroyed just about every way possible - collapse under snow, torn apart by wind, lifted and tossed over by wind. I guess every way possible pretty much comes down to wind and snow. Most of the problems occurred in the old days when I specialized in experimental greenhouses built cheaply and did not have the wealth of experience accumulated through 15 years of watching greenhouses destroyed. But I still can't sleep when it is windy.

Last night was a doozy-east wind, which is unusual for us and gusts up to 60 mph had been predicted for 2 days which gives me more time to become apprehensive. It started much later than predicted and was intermittent but there were some very strong 10 second gusts. Everything was fine but I spent much of the night wandering in the dark listening to the whoosh of a gust reaching the line of greenhouses. We have 3 beautiful spruce trees just north of our first greenhouse and I noticed yesterday afternoon that one of them is being pecked apart by woodpeckers at the base. So I worried about that too. I can't imagine a much uglier scene than a huge bully spruce tree lying across a greenhouse filled with onions and other starts.

Like I said everything was fine and my wandering really doesn't do much good. I need to take the advice of my buddy Mike who says find a sound proof room to sleep in or better yet go to a bar at least 2 towns away. ~ Pete

Storage and Use Tips
Kohlrabi - Kohlrabi shares some characteristics with some of its brassica family relatives. It's outer skin is similar to that of cousin cabbage. Peeled and sliced and eaten raw, kohlrabi tastes very much like the stems of cousin broccoli. The greens (not on this time of year) look like turnip leaves. Kohlrabi is extremely adaptable. It can be eaten raw and is great in salads or slaws. You can also saute it, add it to a gratin or casserole, grill slices of it or braise it. You should peel the tough outer layer first, no matter which way you plan to prepare it. Store it loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.


Braising Greens - Our braising greens are a mix of various brassica greens. They are great tossed in the saute pan with garlic and oil on their own, but are terrific added to many dishes. I take my frozen lump out of the freezer and saw off what I need for casseroles, stir fries, soups, pizza etc.

Shoots/Salad Mix - This week's mix is claytonia, flowering chickweed, purple and white radish shoots, pea shoots, sunflower shoots.

Pete's Good Eats Meal Share??
Over the past year we have heard from several of you who hoped we would do more in the Pete's kitchen than just preserve food. There seems to be interest in a share that would deliver ready to eat meals to members who have busy lives and would enjoy some instant gratification in the food realm. We have been thinking more about how we'd go about that, what types of prepared foods would work well. Later this week we'll send out a survey to ask for your feedback. Please participate! The responses we get from this survey may play a big part in shaping our plan!

Meat Share
The meat share begins this week but we can still add you if you would like to join. Once a month, the meat share delivers a selection of sustainably farmed, grass fed meats from Pete's and from other nearby farms that we know and love. This is meat grown in a way that is actually good for our environment, providing the needed fertility to compliment other crops grown on these farms. Grass fed meats contain a much higher vitamin concentration and much lower fat content than other meats. These meats are good for body and soul.

Sign-up for the Spring Meat Share (4 Deliveries: Mar 3, Apr 7, May 5, June 2)


Pete's Pastured Chicken
Our chickens are raised lots of pasture. Even as chicks in the barn, our little birds get to feast on sprouts and baby greens left from each days vegetable processing. They can't help but ingest loads of healthy, vitamin packed organic forage throughout their lives and this goodness is assimilated in their meat. Only $3.75/lb.
Minimum order is 3 chickens

Click here to visit our chicken page and download an order form.



Job Openings at Pete's Greens
We are still accepting applications for the the positions of wash-house manager and kitchen manager at the farm. Complete job descriptions for these positions may be found on our site on our job postings page.

Localvore Lore
It's a pizza week! Ben and Rachel, owners of On the Rise Bakery have supplied us with their pizza dough made with VT sunflower oil, Milanaise unbleached white flour, Ben Gleason's whole wheat flour, local honey and sea salt. The pizza dough will come to you frozen. Put it right back into your freezer if you don't plan to use it Wednesday night. When you do use it, thaw it, and don't wait for it to rise. When it is thawed it is ready to stretch and top and bake. As pizza dough sits, thawed, either on the counter or in the fridge, the live yeast in the dough continues to work away and the dough will lose elasticity steadily. If you haven't used it 48 hrs later, the risk is not that the dough will go bad, it's that it will be more difficult to work with, it will tear more easily. 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.

To add to your pizza making fun, you will be receiving Maplebrook Farm's Fresh Mozzarella. Maplebrook Farm in Bennington makes this cheese with raw milk from local VT dairies. 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!).

Finally, after a long hiatus, we have Amir Hebib's mushrooms again. These are about the nicest, freshest mushrooms you can find without heading out to pick them yourself. Amir grows his mushrooms in a mushroom house behind his home in Colchester. He has 20 years experience growing mushrooms, having been a farm mushroom manager for a large Bosnian agricultural producer before immigrating to VT. He grows shiitakes (the more traditional shaped mushroom of the two) and oysters (the clusters of more trumpet shaped ones) and sells them to restaurants and markets in our area as well as at the Burlington Farmers Market. The oyster mushrooms are more delicate in flavor and texture than the shiitakes. You can eat the whole mushroom stems and all. The shiitakes have a deeper flavore, and are more hearty, enough so that they can be used in place of ground beef in some recipes. Many people discard the stems of shiitakes because they are tougher and take longer to cook. You may be fine using these because they are so fresh. You be the judge, but do allow longer cooking time for the stems. Due to the volume of mushrooms required for the share, Amir could only supply enough for MOST of the sites. Sorry Shelburne, Grove St, and Adams Court - you will get yours next week!

As I write this, Meg and Pete are cooking up applesauce for the share. Made simply with Champlain Orchards apples and water, this is delicious, pure fresh applesauce. Great as a side dish with meats or for dessert, it never lasts long in our fridge! It should last a week or more in the fridge, but if you don't think you will use it right away, toss it in the freezer. It freezes just fine.

Meat Share

Pete's Pastured Chicken - This week we are sending out good sized 5+ lbs birds for your roasting pleasure. These are our pastured chickens, delicious tender birds that spent their lives eating as much green food and vegetation as you can convince a meat bird to eat. We start our chicks in the greenhouse and then move them outside as soon as they are feathered out enough. Then they live outside, pastured in green fields, with large moveable shelters for lounging in.

Bonnieview Farm Lamb Loin Chops - The lamb chops in the share come from Neil and Kristin Urie's Bonnieview Farm. Last spring we bought a lot of the male lambs from this herd of dairy sheep and they spent the summer and fall grazing on the hillsides in Craftsbury. The lamb chops are on the small side due to the breed of sheep but are tender and tasty.

Vermont Yak Company Hot Italian Sausage - Vermont Yak Company was founded in 2008, the idea for the partnership born over a few beers and the quandary of what two of the families ought to do with their idle farmland. Naturally, Yaks came to mind.

Vermont Yak Company now has 45 animals and demand for their meat is steadily growing. They are the only working yak meat business in all of New England.
From Rob/Vt Yak Co. - Vermont Yak Company's Hot Italian sausage links are made from grass-fed yaks raised in Vermont's Mad River Valley - lean, keen, and grassfed green, with 1/6 the fat of beef and 40% more protein. The yak meat is blended in Windsor's Green Mountain Smokehouse with a small amount of local pork, and flavored with hot spices for a superior sausage taste and texture.

Pete's Pastured Ground Beef - Our beef are pastured on our fields and at Bruce Urie's farm nearby. They are pastured continuously, and those that spend time at our farm get to feast on vegetables, pumpkins and roots that cows love. The forage and hay they eat has never been treated, and the pastures on our farm are certified organic. This is very tasty, healthy burger.

Recipes

Salad
Lots of great veggies to add crunch to your week . Try grating some raw beets, some celeriac, and slicing up some kohlrabi and adding these in handfuls to the shoots/salad mix. Or mix them with the green cabbage and choose a favorite slaw recipe.

Mushroom Pizza
In honor of the mushrooms of course. But you may also have red and yellow onions, frozen peppers, garlic, or pesto, or frozen greens from this or past shares to play with for your pizza this week. Get creative!

1 pizza crust
1.5 cups sliced shiitakes or oysters
1/2 medium onion, sliced 1 tablespoon butter
1-2 TB garlic minced
1 pizza crust
4 ounces soft goat cheese or fresh mozzarella
Pinch of dried Oregano
Pinch of dried Thyme

*some slices of kohlrabi tossed into the butter saute with would be great too!

Briefly sauté the mushrooms and onion in the butter just until they become limp, then add garlic and sauté one minute more and then arrange them on top of the pizza crust. Crumble or place slices of cheese on top of the mushrooms and onions, then sprinkle on the oregano, thyme -- they add that extra little zing. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tips of the cheese start to brown.

Lamb Chops with Mushroom Wine Sauce
This recipe got great reviews, is pretty quick, and would work well for various meats. Some say the cornstarch was unnecessary but if you like a thick sauce, then go for it. From Gourmet October 1993. Serves 2.

1 tablespoon oil
1 lb 1/2-inch-thick lamb chops, patted dry

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1/2 small onion, chopped fine (about 1/4 cup)

4 to 8 oz mushrooms, sliced

1 tablespoon tamari
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar

1/2 cup dry red wine

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled

1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves

In a skillet heat the oil over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking and in it sauté the chops, seasoned with salt and pepper, flattening them occasionally with a metal spatula, for 4 minutes on each side for medium meat. Transfer the chops with a slotted spatula to a small platter and keep them warm, covered loosely with foil.

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat and in the remaining fat cook the garlic over moderate heat, stirring, until it is pale golden. Add the onion and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and the tamari and cook the mixture over moderately high heat, stirring, until the liquid the mushrooms give off is evaporated. Add the vinegar and boil the mixture until the liquid is evaporated. Add the wine and the thyme and boil the mixture until almost all the liquid is evaporated. Stir the cornstarch mixture, add it to the skillet, and bring the sauce to a boil, stirring. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, spoon it over the chops, and sprinkle the chops with the parsley.

Russian Cabbage Borscht
If you have never made borcht, or thought perhaps you wouldn't like it, this recipe is worth a try. This is the recipe from the original Moosewood Cookbook and I have made it year after year and it never disappoints. It is rich, sweet, hearty, tangy, all at once. If you don't have the stock of celery, substitute some of your celeriac instead. Serves 4-5.

2 TB butter

1-1/2 cups chopped onion

1-1/2 cups thinly-sliced potato

1 cup thinly-sliced uncooked, peeled beets

1 large, sliced carrot

1 stalk chopped celery

3-4 cups shredded cabbage

1 scant tsp caraway seeds

4 cups stock or water

1.5 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tsp dill (or less if you aren't a big dill fan)
1 -2 TB. cider vinegar

1-2 TB tsp. honey

1 cup tomato puree

Place potatoes, beets and water (or stock) in a saucepan, and cook until everything is tender. Save the cooking broth.

Begin cooking the onions in butter in a large kettle. Add caraway seeds and salt. Cook until onion is translucent, then add celery, carrots and cabbage. Add the broth from the beets and potatoes and cook, covered until all the vegetables are just tender.

Add potatoes, beets and all remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer slowly for about 30 minutes. Taste to correct seasonings. Serve topped with sour cream and extra dill weed, if desired.

Roast Chicken with Mustard Vinaigrette
Here's a great recipe for roasting a whole bird. The Mustard Vinaigrette is really versatile and can be used on a potato salad, on a green salad, as well as this chicken. From Bon Appetit, May 1994.
1 5-7 lb roasting chicken

1 large shallot

2 fresh rosemary sprigs

2 fresh sage sprigs

1 cup Mustard Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sageFresh rosemary and sage sprigs



Preheat oven to 450°F. Pat chicken dry. Season cavity with salt and pepper. Place shallot, 2 rosemary sprigs and 2 sage sprigs in cavity. Slide hand between chicken skin and meat over breast to form pockets. Spread 2 tablespoons vinaigrette under skin over breast meat.

Place chicken in roasting pan. Brush 2 tablespoons vinaigrette over chicken. Sprinkle with chopped rosemary and sage. Season with salt and pepper.

Roast chicken 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Continue roasting until juices run clear when chicken is pierced in thickest part of thigh, basting occasionally with pan juices, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 1 hour.

Place chicken and herb sprigs on platter. Serve with remaining vinaigrette.

Mustard Vinaigrette
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
2/3 cup chopped shallots
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage

Mix mustard and vinegar in bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Mix in shallots and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover, chill. Bring to room temperature, mix before using.)

Root Vegetable and Mushroom Pie with Rosemary Biscuit Topping
One of our members, Susan Stock, emailed me this recipe that she came across on epicurious this past week. It makes use of so many vegetables we have sent out lately, and mushrooms too! Loads of room for substitutions here if you don't have each of the veggies the recipe calls for. The parlsey could be skipped. Reading reviews, many suggested doubling the garlic and rosemary for more flavor. Recipe by Jeanne Thiel Kelley for Bon Appétit March 2009.

6 cups water
2 tablespoons vegetarian bouillon base
2 large carrots, peeled, quartered lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large celeriac, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 large parsnips, peeled, quartered lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large rutabaga, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 turnip, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms (or 8 oz fresh shiitakes or oysters)
3 tablespoons butter
3 cups chopped onions
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons imported dry Sherry
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Biscuits:
2 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced
1 1/3 cups (or more) chilled buttermilk

For filling:

Bring 6 cups water and bouillon base to boil in large pot over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve bouillon. Add carrots and next 5 ingredients. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes. Drain; reserve vegetables and broth.

Melt butter in same pot over medium heat. Add onions; sauté until beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Mix in garlic and rosemary; stir 2 minutes. Add flour; stir 1 minute. Gradually whisk in reserved broth, then cream and Sherry. Cook until sauce is thick and reduced to 4 cups, whisking often, about 8 minutes. Mix in reserved vegetables and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer filling to buttered 13x9x2-inch baking dish. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover with foil; chill.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake filling, covered, until bubbling, about 50 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare biscuits.
Stir first 4 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Add butter. Using fingertips, rub in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually add 1 1/3 cups buttermilk, tossing with fork until dough is evenly moistened and adding more buttermilk by tablespoonfuls if dry. Drop biscuit dough atop hot filling by heaping tablespoonfuls; sprinkle with pepper. Bake uncovered until tester inserted into center of biscuits comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool 15 minutes.

Layered Mashed Potatoes and Mushroom Casserole
Layers of sauteed braising greens and mushroom duxelle are sandwiched between layers of mashed potatoes. Yum.
12 servings, about 3/4 cup each | Active Time: 1 hour 20 minutes | Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients
1.25 pounds potatoes,
8 oz cremini or white mushrooms, halved
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup nonfat buttermilk
1 large egg plus 1 large egg white, beaten
1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 cloves garlic, finely chopped
¼ lb braising greens, thawed
1/3 cup mushroom broth or reduced-sodium beef broth
2/3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Preparation

Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a large pot. Place potatoes in a steamer basket, cover and steam over medium-low heat, replenishing the water as necessary, until the potatoes are fall-apart tender, 20 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, working in two batches, place mushrooms in a food processor and pulse, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed, until the mushrooms are coarsely chopped.

Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl. Add butter and mash until chunky-smooth. Gradually stir in buttermilk, egg and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant and beginning to soften, about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until they release their liquid and the pan is almost dry, 10 to 12 minutes. Add braising greens and continue to cook, stirring to blend and heat through. Whisk broth and flour in a small bowl. Add to the pan along with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper and rosemary. Cook, stirring, until the mixture bubbles and thickens, about 1 minute.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

To assemble, spread half of the mashed potatoes in an even layer in a baking dish. Sprinkle half the Parmesan over the potatoes. Spread the mushroom mixture on top and spread the remaining potatoes over the mushroom layer. Top with the remaining Parmesan.
Bake until hot throughout and the top is golden brown, about 35 minutes.

Make Ahead Tip: Assemble through Step 6, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Bake, uncovered, in a 400°F oven until hot, 50 minutes to 1 hour. To reheat, bake, covered, at 350° until hot, 40 to 50 minutes.

Cheddar Polenta with Braising Greens, Mushrooms and Bacon Serves 4

1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
4 tbsp. olive oil

2 cloves garlic

1/4 lb. bacon or pancetta, sliced

4 cups water

1-7/8 tbsp. salt

1 cup coarse cornmeal
3/4 cups grated white Cheddar cheese

1/4 cup butter

approx 1/2 bag frozen braising greens (qty to your liking)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmiggiano-Reggiano cheese

Bring water and salt to boil.
 Slowly whisk in polenta and reduce heat. Cook , stirring often, until polenta thickens about 25 minutes.
Stir in the grated Cheddar and the butter
. Cover and set aside.

In a large pan, heat the olive oil and sauté the garlic and bacon until lightly browned.
Add the mushrooms and cook for 5-6 minutes.
Add the thawed braising greens. Stir together, turn heat to down to low, cover, and heat through.

Serve the greens over the polenta, garnished with ground pepper and olive oil.