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.

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