Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Good Eats Newsletter - Jul 7, 2010

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:
3 lbs Mixed Potatoes; 1 Bunch of Purple Carrots; 1 Bunch of Red Bore Kale; 1 Head of Radicchio; 1 Bunch of Sage; 1 Bunch of Baby Pearl Onions -or- Baby Leeks; Sugar Snap Peas -or- Shell Peas; 1 Zucchini (2 if small) -or- 1 Pepper (if we don't have quite enough, you will get a substitute tomato or eggplant!); plus...

1 Head of Lettuce
1 Bag of Mesclun
Localvore Offerings Include:
On the Rise Pizza Dough
Maplebrook Mozzarella
Pete's Greens Maple Mustard Vinaigrette
Pa Pa Doodles Farm Eggs

Meat Share Members - This is a Meat Share Week!

Pete's Musings
Hot and I love it. I'm convinced this farm could grow twice as much food if every summer day were 85 degrees and sunny. Everything happens faster, crops produce and produce. Of course we'd have to have a lot more irrigation than we have and today's low 90's is a little too hot. It's also a little rough on those of us who are working in the fields but still so much better than last summer's cold mud slog.

The exciting news around here is that the Vermont Food Venture Center has broken ground on their new building in Hardwick. Tomorrow Pat Leahy will be in town for a groundbreaking ceremony on the $3 million plus facility. The Food Venture Center is currently located in Fairfax and the new building in Hardwick will be bigger and better. There will be commercial kitchen space of all types available for rent, help with business planning and development, and Jasper Hill will have a cheesemaking space as well. This has great potential to stimulate a pile of new ag and food based businesses. If you have been secretly harboring a plan for the next great Vermont localvore delicacy take advantage of the Food Venture Center. ~ Pete

Storage and Use Tips

Purple Carrots - The cool purple carrots are the variety Purple Haze. The purple maroon exterior reveals a bright orange interior when cut, and the purple color fades some when cooked. Purple carrots are not something new, in fact they have been around a very long time, at the very least since medieval times. Orange carrots only became the dominant color in the last few hundred years. Purple carrots contain all the vitamin goodness of orange carrots, with some antioxidant anthocyanins accompanying the purple color that in fact take them up a notch.

Peas - There will be snap peas and shelling beans going out this week. You will get one or the other in your bag. How to tell the difference? The snap peas are a little flatter, the shells glossy, and the outline of the peas inside are usually clear to see. These peas are delightful to eat pod and all. The pods are less fibrous than shelling pea pods and are a nice crunchy fresh addition to salads and sautés. The shelling peas are great too, and actually you can eat those pods. They are just more fibrous. Shelling peas have the bonus of bigger peas, and these are as fresh as they come. They are so sweet my kids ate a whole bag of them last night while shelling them such that there weren't any left for dinner. The peas can be eaten raw or cooked. I tossed what was left of mine into my salad.

Baby Pearl Onions - These little onions are fantastic. They have a real zing and are quite a treat in salads and on sandwiches. You can use the tender greens part way up in the same way you'd use scallions. They aren't as crisp as scallions but they are flavorful. Creamed pearl onions and peas might be a delicious side this week!

Radicchio - A member of the Chicories family along with endive and escarole, radicchio resembles a small red lettuce. You can chop radicchio and add it to your salad for some color and extra flavor. It is also quite good brushed with olive oil before tossing on the grill. Try adding some to risotto. Keep unwashed radicchio in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper drawer for up to a week.

Sage - Sage is very good in stuffings, beans, potatoes, risotto, cheeses, and tomato sauces and pairs well with fatty meats such as pork, sausage, goose, and lamb. Complementary flavorings include onion, garlic, thyme, oregano, parsley, bay leaf, and rosemary. Sage can easily overpower a dish. Use with a light hand when experimenting. Though it has a strong flavor, it is an aromatic and will lose some of its flavor when cooked, so for fullest flavor, add it at the end of the cooking process. Wrap in paper towels and store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Use within 4 to 5 days. Sage can also be preserved for later use by freezing freshly washed leaves in ziploc bags (they'll keep for about a year), drying (will be good for about 6 mos), or covering with olive oil and refrigerating (will be good about 3 weeks).

Please join us for a VT Fresh Network Farmers Dinner
Mark your calendars and make your reservation. I have a feeling that these tickets will go quickly!

Pete's Greens, Cellars at Jasper Hill, Vermont Soy, Greenfield Highland Beef, Caledonia Spirits & Honey Gardens Winery, the Highland Lodge and High Mowing Seeds have joined forces to host a Vermont Fresh Network Farmers Dinner to be held at Caledonia Spirits in Hardwick. Chef Michael Werneke from the Highland Lodge will be dreaming up this meal sourcing his ingredients largely from the producers involved and from others nearby. With the wealth of products available (at the height of the summer season!) this meal promises to be something really special. And what's more, the meal will be paired with Honey Gardens honey wines! So come on out, meet the producers and farmers of this food; enjoy an amazing meal, sample some beautiful honey wine. This promises to be a fun, delicious event. Seating is limited.

When: Friday July 30th, 6 pm
Where: Caledonia Spirits & Honey Gardens Winery, Hardwick, VT
Tickets: $40/per person plus tax ($43.66 total with taxes)
Reservations: Vermont Fresh Network, 802.434.2000, credit cards accepted.

Pete's Greens Annual Farm Event - Aug 21st - Save the Date!On Saturday August 21st, we'll have our annual open farm day at Pete's Greens. Have you been thinking you ought to get out and see where your food comes from? This is a perfect opportunity. Pete will give a couple scheduled farm tours of fields and greenhouses. There will be live music and a great meal. This year the event is taking place amidst the Kingdom Farm & Food Days, a two day event celebrating local Vermont agriculture. There are lots of other activities over the two days of the event, many, like viewing the sheep milking at Bonnieview Farm, are kid friendly. If you enjoy biking, The Craftsbury Outdoor Center will be leading a scenic bike tour of area farms with that ride ending at Pete's Greens.

In past years our open farm days have been potluck affairs, but this year we are doing something a little different. Chef Bill Allen will prepare a BBQ pork meal and tickets for the meal will be available for $13 to the general public, $9 for CSA members, and $5 for kids. Alternatively, people are welcome to picnic and salad and cider will be provided free of charge. The farmstand will be stocked with cheeses, breads, fruits, veggies and local goodies as well for your foraging pleasure.

More details on this to come but please save the date! We'd love to see you there!

Volunteers Needed
Are you someone who would prefer to be involved than to be an onlooker at an event? We need some volunteers for our open farm day, and the Kingdom Farm & Food Fest is looking for volunteers as well. If you'd like to help out in exchange for some food and fun, please email me.

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 lose elasticity, and become 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 go along with the dough , we have some Maplebrook Farm's Fresh Mozzarella for you. In Bennington, Maplebrook makes their cheese from hormone free Vermont milk. 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!).

With all the lettuce and mesclun coming, we thought you might enjoy some localvore dressing. Bill made maple mustard vinaigrette today. The dressing contains Stateline Farm sunflower oil, Gingerbrook Farm cider vinegar, grain mustard, Pa Pa Doodles Farm maple syrup, thyme and oregano from the farm, salt, black pepper, and garlic.

More eggs this week from the girls at Pa Pa Doodles Farm.

Meat Share
Maplewind Farm Summer Sausage - Up on top of a ridge with the Long Trail running by, Beth and Bruce raise beef, poultry, pigs, and poultry at Maplewind Farm while also growing vegetables for their CSA down on the valley floor. Their Berkshire Tamworth pigs are all born on the farm and pastured throughout their lives. The Summer Sausage is made with 100% grass fed pork and beef from the farm as well as sea salt, spices etc and NO nitrates/nitrites. The mild flavored summer sausage needs no cooking and is great on crackers or with a cheese plate or as a sandwich meat. Just slice up and enjoy. It is also excellent heated however, so fry it up or use it on pizza or with a pasta dish if you choose. Though the sausage is coming to you frozen, it is actually totally shelf stable and you can leave it sitting on the counter for up to 6 months or take it on a hike. It must be refrigerated after opening however.

Chorizo Sausage - The Maplewind chorizo sausage is made from pasture raised Huntington pork. Chorizo is a highly spiced sausage, and a traditional sausage flavor in Spanish and Mexican cuisine. This sausage is not overly spicy, it has a great taste that is amazing in paella, on pizzas, tossed in pasta, in soups, with black beans and it's wonderful in scrambled eggs.

Brotherly Farm Ground Beef - Craig and Angela Russell own Brotherly Farm, a small organic farm in Brookfield . They milk 100 cows selling their milk to Horizon, and they raise organic chicken, pork, beef and veggies. This ground beef is from their transitioning cows, so it's not certified organic, but the animals have been organically raised. This is lean, delicious, grass fed meat

Pete's Pastured Chicken - Our chickens are raised on pasture. Lots of pasture. As soon as they are large enough our birds move out onto pasture with moveable shelters and there they remain for the rest of their days, moved regularly to new fields of green. They ingest loads of healthy, vitamin packed organic forage throughout their lives and this goodness is assimilated in their meat. These whole birds are delicious and nutrient packed.

Sweet Italian Lamb Sausage - Just down the road from us in Albany is Bonnieview Farm, owned and operated by Neil and Kristin Urie. The land has been farmed by the Urie family for four generations, bought first by Neil’s great-grandfather in 1890. Neil and Kristin make some great sheep cheeses (the feta from the first week is one) and they also produce lambs. Neil raised 40 lambs for us last year, and the lamb in the share comes from these lambs raised on the hillsides nearby. The sweet italian sausages are made from pastured lamb, fennel, sugar, salt and pepper.

Menu Planning!
David and Renee Wahler live in Wolcott and have been share members since 2008 (or maybe longer!). Each week they plan their meals around their Good Eats share, and eat very locally year round. Their planning is impressive and they make great use of their food and end up with tasty, healthy meals. I asked them to share with you their process and a week of their planning. Thank you David and Renee!

We are retired and both enjoy cooking; thus, we look forward to the weekly challenge of menu planning and making use of all of our shares within the given week after pickup. However, for those of you with a hectic lifestyle of working full-time, menu planning can easily become apart of your weekly routine. It’s not a daunting task. In fact, we find that by posting our handwritten plan for the week on the refrigerator, we spend much less time trying to figure out what to prepare for the next meal. By reviewing the menu each morning, it frees us from even thinking about what we’re going to eat or what to prepare for the day. Planning also helps to minimize grocery shopping trips, saving time, gas, and impulse buying.

When we receive the listing of the shares on Tuesday night, we prepare our weekly menu. Generally, we follow the plan pretty well -- making revisions as needed for leftovers, freezing something for a quick backup meal, or if we are invited out, or have friends over. As we plan, we make an effort to consistently include staples received from previous shares so that we keep the items rotating out for freshness (such as the flours, grains, and so forth). For additional staples, our pantry also holds rice, pastas, and our own dried beans, and some canned goods, which supplement all of our planning. Most of our non share purchases are made at the food Co-op. The addition of the CSA meat share has been great; there’s always something new and different to challenge our cooking creativity.

Since we began participating in the CSA program, we have sized down our own vegetable garden, focusing on beans for drying, tomatoes to enjoy fresh and to freeze, additional winter squashes, and other items that we know will compliment the shares. Besides, we like working in the dirt! ~ David and Renee Wahler


Sweet Italian Lamb Sausage Roti
1 package Naan bread or similar

1 package lamb sausage
1 onion, sliced
1 hot pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup vinegar
3 tbsp. curry powder

Roast or grill sausage and set aside. Heat oil in sauté pan and add onion, pepper and garlic and sauté until just lightly browned. Add vinegar and curry powder and season with salt and pepper. In each roll, pace a sausage and top with onion mixture. Serve with a few wedges of lime.

Stuffed Brotherly Farms Burger

1 lb. BF beef
½ cup Jasper Hill/Cabot Clothbound Cheddar
Salt & Pepper

Season beef with salt and pepper. Take a small chunk of cheddar and form burger round it. You decide how cheesy you want it. Grill and serve with grilled onions, grilled tomato slices and a mesclun salad…no bread necessary unless you choose. A little of Pete’s hot sauce is a great contrast to the cheddar and beef.

Portuguese Pizza

1 ball pizza dough, rested and rolled out to 10-16 inches
2 links chorizo sausage, removed from casing, crumbled and sauteed til browned.
1 bunch kale, washed, trimmed and sliced thinly
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 sprigs sage, rough chop
olive oil
1 can white beans, rinsed thoroughly with cold water

Sprinkle some flour on a sheet pan. (If you have a pizza stone, you’ll know what you are doing once you build the pizza.) Spread all ingredients evenly on dough, drizzle with olive oil and salt & pepper. Bake in a 450 degree oven until crispy. If you prefer leave the chorizo off for a vegetarian version. Both can be topped with a simple mesclun salad dressed with vinegar and olive oil. Make sure the kids help on this one.

Kale & Smashed Potato Cakes

1 bunch kale, washed, trimmed
2 lbs. potatoes, washed and quartered
2 onions, finely chopped
5 sprigs fresh sage, rough chop
½ cup scallions, bias cut
¼ cup olive oil
salt & pepper

Bring 8 cups of salted water to a boil. Add kale. Cover and cook over medium until tender. Remove kale with a slotted spoon, reserving cooking liquid. Chop kale and set aside.

Add potatoes to the same pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until tender. Drain; partially mash potatoes. Stir in kale. Add half of the olive oil and season with salt & pepper.

Heat remaining oil in a large nonstick pan. Add diced onion and chopped sage. Cook until browned. Combine potato mixture, onion mixture, green onions. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Divide potato mixture into 8 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. In the same nonstick pan, add a some olive oil and carefully place potato patties, Brown evenly on both sides.

Grilled Radicchio with Balsamic Glaze
This recipe comes from Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian." It would be delicious sprinkled with some blue cheese.

1 lb Radicchio, cored and quartered
1 TB sunflower oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 TB honey
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your grill to a moderately high heat. Brush the radicchio with the oil, taking care to keep the wedges in tact. Stir the honey into the vinegar and set aside. Place the radicchio wedges on the grill, cut sides down. Grill for a minute or two, then turn and brush (or drizzle) with the vinegar mixture. Cook until just starting to crisp and char around the edges, another couple of minutes. Transfer to a platter and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature. Sprinkle with blue cheese, if desired.

Roasted Purple Carrots with Fresh Thyme

1 bunch carrots, scrubbed
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 tbsp, olive oil
salt & pepper

Cut the carrots on the diagonal into roughly 1 inch pieces. Place in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Season with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and thyme leaves. Toss carrots until well coated and place on a baking sheet. Roast for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are nicely browned on the edges but not burned, and tender when you pierce one with a fork.

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