Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Good Eats Newsletter - April 28, 2010

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:
2 lbs Nicola Potatoes; 2 lbs Copra Onions; 2 lbs Red Beets; 1 Bunch of Green Wave Mustard Greens; plus...

Bag of Mesclun Greens
Head of Green Butterhead Lettuce
1 European Cucumber

Frozen Zucchini
Frozen Winter Squash Puree

Localvore Offerings Include:
Red Hen Mad River Bread
Pete's Dill or Sour Pickles
Butterworks Farm Organic Cheddar

Ode to Onions
Saturday we began planting this years onion crop, all 320,000 plants, give or take. It occurred to me what a constant presence onions now are in this farm's life. We have them to eat every day of the year - which is a real blessing when you consider how many ways there are to eat them. Raw or cooked, they make a huge range of other ingredients taste better. I hope you are enjoying last year's crop of Copras. They are not in perfect condition - last summer's constant rain caused the occasional interior brown layer. But by and large they have held up really well in storage and have sweetened over the winter. And isn't it amazing that something that is so sweet and full of water can be harvested in September and kept in great condition until the next June! I've been thoroughly enjoying sauteeing up a big pan full and savoring the buttery sweetness.

Not only do we have them to eat every day of the year but one year's crop overlaps with the next. The half pencil thick onion plants we began planting on Saturday were started in the greenhouse on Feb. 1, a full 5 months before we will be finished with the 2009 crop. So for close to half the year we manage 2 years worth of onions - one in storage and one growing. We have a much more efficient system for planting onions this year, one that requires more riding on a comfortable transplanter seat and less time spent stooped over, but it is still a big job that will take a crew of five 3 days. We are hoping to get it done very soon as we are planting them in our new field 3 miles up the road and it is time consuming to move equipment back and forth. Wish these new onion plants well, hoping that they can store all the goodness of the summer's sun, the soil's minerals, and good fresh Vermont air for our eating pleasure next winter. ~Pete

Summer Share - Last week to get free T with sign-up
There's still time! If we receive your sign up this week (by May 1) you will get a bright colorful Pete's T featuring lots of the veggies we grow at the farm. But if that's not reason enough to send your sign up in, review the veggie pictures above. The share is going to be outstanding.
Share period - June 16th through October 13th

The Vegetable Only Share brings you weekly deliveries of a diverse mix of Pete's super fresh organic vegetables.
Vegetable Only - $504 (avg. $28 a week)

The Vegetable/Localvore Share offers the same veggies but also provides a weekly selection of great organic and local pantry staples, all sourced very near the farm. Vegetable/Localvore - $792 (avg. $44/week)

Meat Share available too, featuring 4 monthly deliveries of a selection of local, grass fed, and often organic meats. Meat Share - $199 (avg. $50 a month)

On the Farm - April 26
I took a stroll yesterday to see what was going on in the greenhouses and fields and thought you all might enjoy some imagery. The greenhouses are just beautiful and the field crops are coming in nicely. It was a pleasure to be among so much green! In our one heated greenhouse where the crops are further ahead, the basil and green tomato smell is heavenly. The other greenhouses are not heated but the crops in them are coming quickly. The growth of the crops in just a couple of weeks never ceases to amaze me. ~Amy

t Meat Order Delivery May 12th
We have a small amount of meat available for you all and the order form is on our website. We still have a good assortment of our Bonnieview lamb, some Pete's Pastured Beef items, Yak sausage, and of course Pete's Pastured Chicken. The minimum meat order is $50. We do have some pork available but we are selling it by the box, not the piece. Please email me for more information.

Because of our weekly CSA schedule, meat orders must be received on Wednesday to be packed Thursday or Friday for the following week's delivery. To avoid pick up errors we will not be delivering meat orders the week of May 5th and instead will hold order until May 12th. Email is best for getting forms to me, though mail will work too. If you cannot download the form please email me.

Pete's Pastured Chicken - Order 5 for special price
We will continue the special Pete's Pastured chicken offer through the next May 12 meat order. If you order 5 or more whole birds, they are only $3.50/lb. This is a great price for these birds which were raised on our pastures in just about the best conditions possible. Their meat is far healthier having assimilated the nutrients of all the forage they consumed.

All free range is not created equal. Many farms that offer "free range" chicken raise their birds just to free range standards which require the birds have access to an outside area. Often times this means that the birds live loose in large barns with a couple openings to small dirt lots outside. This is an improvement over the standard meat bird production, but does not compare to keeping birds outside on pasture and greens throughout their lives.

To take advantage of this price, please visit the bulk meat order page and download the meat order form. For more info about our chickens, please visit the chicken page.

Storage and Use Tips
Mustard Greens - Related to kale, cabbage, and collard greens, mustard greens are the peppery leafy greens of the mustard plant. This week everyone will receive Green Wave Mustard. Mustard greens can be eaten raw in salads and they stand up very well in the a stir fry or saute. The heat they have when raw dissipates when cooked and the flavor mellows revealing a sweet and full flavored green.
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.

Localvore Lore
At Red Hen Baking Co. Randy is busy preparing to bake this week's bread, their Mad River Grain. This bread features a number of local and regional grains including flax, rye and oats (steel-cut) from Quebec and a cornmeal made from Wahpsie Valley heirloom corn grown on Aurora Farms in Charlotte. This bread makes great toast and sandwiches but is particularly special when used for French toast.

We have pickles again this week - the last of them unfortunately and we'll miss them when they are gone. But we will be at it again this summer, pickling cukes to supply us all through next Fall and Winter. This last week we have a mix of glass quart jars of dills and plastic quart jars of sours. You will receive on or the other tomorrow.

And what goes better with pickles than cheddar? This is pretty special cheddar too. Jack Lazor up at Butterworks Farm has only recently began making cheese from his herd of organic Jerseys. This cheese was made for Butterworks at Shelburne Farms last February, using only raw organic milk from the Lazor's herd. The fresh cheese was then brought to Grafton Village Cheese Co. to age, and it's now just over a year old. It's a nice farm type cheddar, mild and great for every day use. It is one of the few cheddars in the state made with organic raw milk. No need to be alarmed over raw milk use however. The FDA puts hard cheeses and cultured milk products in its lowest risk category and allows the use of raw milk in cheeses aged a minimum of 60 days.


Nicola Potato & Cheddar Soup
Bill wrote up this recipe in honor of the cold dreary weather today while waiting for his delayed flight! It is soup weather indeed.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly slice
.75 cup apple cider
2 # potatoes, peeled and diced
4 1/2 cups stock chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup heavy cream (half-and-half will work as well)
2 apples, small dice
I bottle dark beer (optional)
2 tsp. butter
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a soup pot, heat the oil. Add the onions and cook for a few minutes until starting to turn golden. Add the cider and cook until it reduces somewhat. Add the potatoes, stock and beer, bring to a boil, simmer it, covered. Whisk the cheddar in off the heat.
Blend, in small batches, in a blender. Be VERY careful and pulse the liquid. If too thick, add some water. It won’t deter from the flavor.
Once the soup is all blended, add the cream. In a small pan, melt the butter. When it melts, add in the apple chunks, and cook for a couple of minutes until they start to get a bit caramelized. Garnish Soup with carmelized apples.

Easy Onion Soup

2# onions, sliced thinly
.25 cup olive oil
2 quarts chicken stock
2 tbsp. sherry (optional)

Heat olive oil in a heavy sauce pot. Add onions and SLOWLY caramelize, very low heat. Add stock when the onions are brown. Season with salt & pepper and sherry if desired.
Rub slices of Red Hen bread with olive oil and toast. Top the soup with a slice each and grate fresh parmesan reggiano on them. Cheddar works well too.

Sauteed Mustard Greens
Serve these up alongside some potatoes or some scrambled eggs. Yum....

.25 lb of bacon cubed (3-4 slices)
1 onion, diced
1 Bunch Mustard Greens

Put bacon in a saute pan and render. Pour off 80 % of he rendered fat (save for another use). Add the onion and saute until browned. Add the greens, salt and pepper and cook for a minute longer.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Aren't new cookbooks great? Another one from the Cook's Garden by Ellen Ecker Ogden this week. This is a recipe that Lisa who gave me the book keeps raving about. And given that the frozen shredded zucchini is the ideal ingredient, it's a perfect week for this. This one has been a real crowd pleaser at her house. She tops it with cream cheese frosting and likes it best after its been refrigerated. It gets dense and more moist and rich. To substitute the frozen zucc, just thaw it and squeeze out the moisture and toss in.

1 C unbleached all-purpose flour
1 C whole wheat flour
1/2 unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 C sugar
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 C (+) olive oil
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 C sour cream or yogurt
3 C grated zucchini (about 4 medium sized zuchhini)

Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350F.
Butter and lightly flour a 9x13 - inch pan
Sift the flours, baking soda and powder, and salt all together into a medium bowl.
In another bowl use a mixer on high speed to beat together the sugar, butter, and oil until well combined.
One at a time, add in the eggs, beating well after each addition.
Gradually stir in the flour mixture, blending just until smooth.
Stir in the sour cream, then the zucchini.
Spead evenly into the pan!
Bake until the cake springs back when pressed in the center, about 45 minutes.
Cool completely on a wire rack.

Beet, Apple and Goat Cheese Salad
Yet another from Cook's Garden... There are seemingly endless variations of beet and apple salads and I have never met one I didn't like. So in honor of THE LAST beets of the share (pretty sure this may be it!) do them right by using them in a way that makes you pine for the day the new beets get pulled from the ground. This recipe is merely a suggestion, feel free to change up nuts (pecans, walnuts, pine nuts), cheeses (goat, feta, blue), herbs etc! I had a very similar salad the other night with beets, apples, some grated celeriac, pecans, blue cheese and maple balsamic. Funny thing is that even in the book the title is as above, but the recipe itself calls for feta. Apparently, even the author couldn't decide. So dig through the fridge and see what you've got t0 throw together.

6 medium beets
2 tart apples
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup parsley
1 small red onion
1/2 cup walnut or olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic
2 TB shallots
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°. Scrub 6 mix beets and wrap in foil. Bake until tender, about 45 minutes. Cool, peel and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Mix with 2 finely chopped tart apples, 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, 1/2 cup chopped parsley, and 1/2 cup thinly sliced sweet red onion. Whisk together 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/2 cup walnut or olive oil and 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard. Pour over salad and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Toss with 1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese.

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