Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Good Eats Newsletter - July 21, 2010

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:
3 lbs NEW! Norland Potatoes; 1 Head of Napa Cabbage; 1 Head of Garlic; 1 Bunch of Garlic Scapes; Summer Squash; 1 Bunch Sugar Snax Carrots; plus...

Bag of Mesclun Greens
1 lb Tomatoes
1 Bunch of Sweet Basil


Localvore Offerings Include:

Red Hen Pan De Campagne (with Maple!)
Aurora Farms Vermont Organic White Flour
Landaff Creamery Landaff Cheese
1 Pint Blueberries

Meg's Musings
Thank goodness for the rain! What a great couple of growing weeks we've had here, but we definitely welcomed the water. The fields are looking great as all the sexy summer veggies are making their way to maturity. Squash and zucchini, along with tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, broccoli and beans are producing at a much more rapid pace. Cauliflower and melons are on the way, slowly sizing up. This week you receive new Norland potatoes in your bag and in the coming weeks you'll receive other varieties of potatoes too.

Planning and planting for our fall root harvest, tedious and rigorous cultivation, and the day in and day out harvesting of all of our crops has kept everyone super busy and all of the farm equipment tied up. All in all, it's been a great growing season so far, and we're looking forward to the coming weeks! ~Meg

Sean's Adventures
Our intern, Sean Garvey, is blogging about his experiences working at Pete's Greens. For a peek into Sean's life on the farm and his transplant to the community, check out his blog. It's a fun read.


Storage and Use Tips

Napa Cabbage - The flavor of Napa cabbage is somewhat milder and a bit sweeter than that of regular green cabbage. It is delicious raw or cooked, and can be substituted for regular cabbage in most recipes. It is extremely popular in China partly because of its versatility. It can be sliced and used raw in salads, thrown in stir-fries, or fermented in traditional kimchi. Nearly all of the head can be used, just not the tough center core. If your Napa sits a while in the fridge and some leaves are limp, you can refresh it with a good soak in cold water. Napa cabbage should be stored unwashed in your crisper drawer, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag.

Sugar Snax Carrots - These carrots have high levels beta carotene and are renowned for being tender and sweet. They are the ultimate snack carrot.


Basil - Basil is short lived and care must be taken to store it for any length of time. I often store mine in a glass of water like a bouquet. I trim the stems if they have become dry so they can absorb water. They may last a few days like this. DON'T put your fresh basil in your fridge. Basil gets frostbite very easily and turns unappealingly black. You might get away with it if your fridge is not very cold, but it's quite likely you will freeze it. Basil is also very fragile and we try to handle it very gently. Thus we don't wash our basil before sending it out, so some stalks could be a bit dusty/gritty and will need washing.

T-Shirts for Early Birds
The Pete's Greens Ts for those of you who signed up before May 1st will be delivered this week. We could not accommodate each person's size request but did the best we could! Shirts are individually bagged and each has a member's last name on it. Please take a shirt only if your name is on the bag.

Changes to your Delivery?
If you will be away on a pick up day, you can arrange to have your share transferred from your pick up site to the Hardwick food shelf. We have systems in place to accommodate this change. I can also move your share from one site to a different site on occasion if you have need. If you need to move your share though, I do need to know before Sunday. Delivery reports are generated for the farm Sunday night, and it's hard to make changes after that. If you need to make changes, just email me.

Newsletter Trouble?
I send the newsletter out each week on Tuesday right around 5 pm. You should be receiving it each week shortly afterward. I have been hearing from quite a few people lately who have been receiving some newsletters and missing others, yet they are not bouncing on my end. That means they are likely getting caught in folks' spam filters. To prevent this from happening to you, please add amy@petesgreens.com to your address book. Additionally, each week the newsletter is posted on our blog site. So if you don't receive a newsletter, you can check for it here

Celebrate Local Food and Wine with us July 30th
We will co-host our first Vermont Fresh Network Farmers Dinner at Caledonia Spirits in Hardwick on Friday July 30th and I hope to meet some of you there. Chef Lauren Bowes and the New England Culinary Institute is creating the menu and what I previewed yesterday looks delicious! She is creating the menu using local, fresh ingredients that are grown in our region and the meal will be served with honey wines from Honey Gardens Winery.

Participating members include Cellars at Jasper Hill, Vermont Soy, Greenfield Highland Beef, Caledonia Spirits & Honey Gardens Winery, and High Mowing Seeds.

The Vermont Fresh Network Farmers Dinner series were designed to bring people closer to their food sources. At the start of the meal, producers and farmers share a bit of their story or anecdotes about the food they have contributed to the dinner. Those attending the dinners benefit first from a delicious meal made from local foods and from meeting the producers.

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)
Please contact Todd Hardie for information and reservations: 802.472.8000, todd@caledoniaspirits.com

Localvore Lore
Tomorrow morning I'll drive to Red Hen Baking Co. to pick up a portion of the freshly baked loaves for Good Eats. I'll deliver my loaves to a few Good Eats sites heading North toward the farm and for a couple hours my car will be filled with the wonderful aroma of warm fresh baked bread. Tomorrow's loaves look like they will be very hard to resist! We are lucky for Randy's thoughtful experimentation when it comes to developing all local breads for the share.

This week we’re baking a special loaf for the CSA that features local maple syrup from the Von Trapp Farm in Waitsfield. Kelly and Martin have been farming for decades on the Common in Waitsfield and in the last few years they have gained some recognition for their artisan cheeses made by their two sons. In the traditional Vermont fashion, they supplement their dairy operation with maple syrup production in the spring. We use the Von Trapps syrup in our sticky buns, but this week we have added some to a special pain de campagne (country bread). The small amount of syrup goes nicely with the whole wheat and rye flours in this bread and the slightly sour flavor of the levain (natural starter). Also, the crust on this bread caramelizes much more with the addition of the syrup. This brings out all kinds of interesting flavors. You’ll notice that this bread has a fairly dark crust without being bitter or too thick. Enjoy! ~ Randy

The Welsh style farmstead Landaff cheese in the share this week is 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 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. Landaff is particularly great melting cheese, but also a great slicing cheese for sandwiches. 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.

The white flour you are receiving in the share this week was organically grown in Charlotte by Tom Kenyon at Aurora Farms. Tom and Randy George of Red Hen Baking Company collaborated to grow the flour, and when a successful crop was harvested this Fall (after a couple failures in prior years) and when it turned out the flour was good quality, there was reason to celebrate! It's a lower protein flour, more of an all purpose flour than a bread flour, though still with enough protein and gluten strength to bake breads (Red Hen's Cyrus Pringle bread uses this flour). I am thankful for the opportunity to have a good, very local flour on hand to bake with, one that I know has been grown organically and that performs so well to boot. There is a nice article in the Spring issue of Local Banquet about the partnership between Tom and Randy that brought this flour into existence for us to enjoy. Read the article here.

The blueberries in the share are from Paul Mazza's farm in Colchester. They are nice and sweet after soaking up so much sun!


Recipes

Simplest Summer Squash
A very simple summer squash recipe from Molly Katzen’s The Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without. I really like Molly's cookbooks (The Moosewood Cookbook being the most well known of the bunch). The recipes are simple and straight forward and the results always good. Serves 3-4.

1.5 to 2 Tb olive oil
2 small or medium onions
1/8 tsp salt, possibly more
1.5 lbs. summer squash – cut into 1/2 in. thick slices
1 tsp minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
freshy ground pepper to taste

Place a large skillet over medium heat. After a minute, add 1 Tb of the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the onions and salt. Cook, stirring often for about 10 minutes or until the onions are tender and lightly browned. Transfer the onions to a bowl and set aside.

Do not clean the pan and return it to medium heat. Add a little more olive oil to coat. Add the squash in a single layer and cook until golden brown. Leave them alone (or don’t stir them around) — allowing them to get golden brown. This will take a minute or two, depending on how crowded the pan is.

Scrape the squash loose and flip over (or use tongs). Continue cooking, again without stirring, another 1 to 2 minutes until deeply browned on the other side.

Toss in the garlic and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Add the onions to the pan. Mix well and season with salt and a good amount of freshly ground pepper. Serve hot, warm, or at room temp, garnished if you like with a light sprinkling of thyme and some cheese (parm, feta or try the Landaff!)

Herbed New Potatoes
The best way to honor new potatoes is to cook them in a way that highlights their creamy goodness.

2 lbs new potatoes, scrubbed
3 TB butter, melted
2-3 TB fresh herbs (parsley, chives, oregano, dill, tarragon ...)

Add water to a sauce pot and bring to a boil. Put scrubbed potatoes in a basket steamer and cover, steaming for 25 to 35 minutes until potatoes are tender. Transfer to a bowl, drizzle with melted butter, sprinkle with herbs, salt and pepper and toss gently to coat.

Napa Cabbage Picnic Salad Recipe
From www.elise.com. This salad is sooo tasty! I have made it a lot lately because it's just really good, flavorful with a good amount of spice. The recipe below is great, but there's lots of room for improvisation (vary up the veggies, reduce the amount of mayo in dressing, etc). You can also prepare a lot of this salad ahead and then just throw it together in minutes when you are read to serve it. I have been washing, salad spinning dry, and then chopping a whole head of Napa and then storing it in a bag in my fridge. It easily stays fresh 5 days or more. I make the dressing ahead and keep it in the fridge. Then when I want the salad I put some Napa in a bowl, toss in snap peas or a substitution of garlic scapes, carrots, salad turnips, thinly sliced beets, whataver I have on hand. It's all good. The almond are really good in this and the cilantro is totally optional.

1/3 cup slivered almonds
4 cups (.5 lb) coarsely shredded napa cabbage
6 ounces snow peas, strings removed, rinsed and thinly sliced
2/3 cups thinly sliced salad turnips
2/3 cups thinly sliced scallions including greens (or baby leeks)
2/3 cups lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves (optional)

Dressing
1.5 Tbsp rice vinegar (seasoned or unseasoned)
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 clove peeled and minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/2 cup mayonnaise

1. Spread almond slivers out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in a 350°F oven for 5-10 minutes, until nicely browned. OR toast in stick-free or cast-iron skillet on medium high, stirring frequently until browned. Careful not to burn. Set aside.
2. Combine cabbage, snow peas, radishes, scallions, cilantro in a large bowl. Can make this step a day or two ahead.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, ginger, and cayenne until sugar has dissolved. Whisk in the mayonnaise.
4. When ready to serve, gently combine the dressing and almonds with the cabbage mixture.

Blueberry Cobbler
There are lots of blueberry cobbler recipes out there. This one is pretty standard, though you could choose one that uses honey and whole grain flour that would also be delicious. I just wanted to throw out the idea. This is a very good recipe however!

1 pint blueberries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
6 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons sugar
1 pinch ground cinnamon

Optional - 1/2 lemon, juiced (or 1/4 cup orange juice)

Directions
Lightly grease an 8 inch square baking dish. Place the blueberries into the baking dish, and mix with vanilla and lemon juice. Sprinkle with 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of flour, then stir in the tablespoon of melted butter. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together 1 3/4 cups of flour, baking powder, and 6 tablespoons sugar. Rub in the 5 tablespoons butter using your fingers, or cut in with a pastry blender until it is in small pieces. Make a well in the center, and quickly stir in the milk. Mix just until moistened. You should have a very thick batter, or very wet dough. You may need to add a splash more milk. Cover, and let batter rest for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Spoon the batter over the blueberries, leaving only a few small holes for the berries to peek through. Mix together the cinnamon and 2 teaspoons sugar; sprinkle over the top.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is golden brown. A knife inserted into the topping should come out clean - of course there will be blueberry syrup on the knife. Let cool until just warm before serving. This can store in the refrigerator for 2 days.

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