Friday, December 17, 2010

Good Eats Newsletter - December 15th, 2010

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains
Nicola Potatoes; Purple Top Turnips; Green Kale; Green Cabbage; Celeriac; Valentine Radishes; Pac Choi -or- Parsley -or- Cilantro; plus...

Butternut Squash
Bag of Frozen Sweet Peppers

Localvore Offerings Include:

On the Rise Pizza Dough
Vermont Butter and Cheese Chevre Log
Pa Pa Doodles Farm Eggs
Pete's Applesauce!

No Delivery NEXT WEEK Dec 22!

Pete's Musings
I'm headed to Iceland today and then on to Holland this weekend. Have some great visits set up with greenhouse operations in both countries. I'm really excited to fully immerse in top notch greenhouse operations as we have alot to learn.

This greenhouse research trip is stimulated by an exciting opportunity we are pursuing. The landfill in Coventry, Vermont has a power generation facility that burns methane gas that is generated by the landfill. The power plant is run by Washington Electric, an East Montpelier based electric coop. Washington Electric approached us about the possibility of building a greenhouse on an adjacent field that would make use of the waste heat produced by the power generation. There is enough heat to heat up to 8 acres of year-round greenhouse. Obviously a greenhouse such as this would revolutionize the winter Good Eats share and would make our offerings throughout the rest of the year more interesting and diverse as well. We have a lot to
learn, we'll see what develops. ~ Pete

Storage and Use Tips
Butternut Squash - This week's squash has some blemishes. While sorting them we discovered that some had surface blemishes while others had blemishes that were a bit more than skin deep. We were faced with a decision to make. Here we had big beautiful butternut squash that were 80-90% perfect, but with some bad spots. We couldn't reconcile giving this good food to the pigs so we decided to pare off the bad spots and send it along, valued at half the value of good squash. So some of the squash are coming bagged with the bad spots pared off. Obviously you won't be able to store this squash on the counter, these will need to store in the fridge and you should cook in next few days. The easiest way to cook would be to slice it in half, scoop out the seeds and bake it as normal. Not all of you will received pared squash, but half of you may.

Pac Choi - (Note - Not all of you will get Pac Choi, some will get Parsley or Cilantro.) Here's where your pac choi comes from this week! This is our big greenhouse, unheated, and where pac choi, head lettuces, Napa, parsley and cilantro and some other greens and herbs co-exist. Pac Choi has a mild flavor. The leaves taste similar to Swiss chard and the stems (called ribs) are
deliciously crispy and can be substituted for celery in recipes. We grow both purple and green varieties. Your bag may have one or the other, or both. Pac Choi is mild enough to be chopped up for a salad, particularly if you give it a quick wilt in a hot pan. It's also great in stir-fries. Store pac choi loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.

Valentine Radish - These Asian radishes are also known as Beauty Heart or Watermelon. The exterior of this radish is quite nondescript, they look just like a plain greenish whitish turnip. And they can also be quite large, even softball size which is not what comes to mind when one imagines a radish. But cut into one, and they reveal a distinctive bright pink interior . Sweet, with just a hint of a radish bite, valentines are great in salads, slaw, or as crudites. You can also add to soups, or saute thinly sliced or shredded radish in butter with a pinch of salt. Cook lightly without browning. A stunning bright pink addition to any meal! Store valentine radishes loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.

Celeriac - The gnarly root ball in your bag this week is the celeriac also known as celery root. It tastes a bit like a cross between celery and jicama, but is mellower than celery. It can be eaten raw or cooked. A tip for preparing celeriac: cut the root in large slices about 1 inch thick, then lay each slice flat and cut off the skin as if you were cutting the crust off a pizza. Then continue to process the now unskinned pieces as your recipe dictates. Celeriac is delicious grated or sliced and added to salads, particularly when combined with contrasting and complimenting apple. Celeriac should be stored unwashed, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.

Frozen Peppers - You will receive your second helping of our frozen peppers this week, specially selected to go with the pizza dough and goat cheese! Leave peppers in the freezer til you are ready to use them. Then take out the peppers you will use for the dish you are making, and cut them as required for your recipe while they are still frozen, or just starting to thaw. As they thaw they will soften and become harder to chop neatly. These peppers can be used in any recipe that calls for cooking peppers. Chop them and toss them onto a pizza, or into a pasta dish, in a
casserole, or alongside onions when grilling your meats. You will find many uses for them once you get used to pulling them from the freezer.

No Delivery Next Week December 22nd
Happy Holidays everyone! This is our last delivery before Christmas. Pete's off to research greenhouses, while many of us put our feet up for the next 10 days over Christmas. We will not deliver next week Dec 22nd, but we will resume delivery on Wednesday Dec 29th.

Changes to your Share Delivery?
If you will be away on the 29th or another upcoming week, and need to make changes to your share delivery, do let me know at least 1 week before the change. You can have your share donated to the food shelf, or I can stop your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your
account toward the purchase of your next share.

Favorite feedback this week from share member Leah Jones:
I picked up my share yesterday and was unpacking it at home.
When I turned around, both my two year old and three year old were chowing down on raw parsnips, dirt and all. (This photo is of my two year old, Dean, he ate the whole thing raw except the middle spine.) They told me they tasted like apples and cinnamon. SO, keep the yum coming!

Salt - New Restaurant in Montpelier
There's a new restaurant to check out in Montpelier! Salt, which opened on December 1, is an intimate café serving local and seasonal fare with big flavor. Owned by former Seven Days Food Editor (and multi-year Good Eats share member and former Ward St site host) Suzanne Podhaizer, the eatery offers a small, ever-changing selection of dishes. Its opening menu included cider-braised pork belly with polenta fries, butternut squash and pear gratin, maple pudding, and s'mores made entirely from scratch. 

Like a handful of other Vermont restaurants, Salt is being financed in part by community members interested in supporting small businesses that promote a healthy food system. If you are interested in making a small loan to the restaurant, or in pre-paying for food in the style of a CSA, please contact Suzanne for details.

In January, Salt will begin offering cooking classes on Tuesday evenings, including a series on "Cooking Your CSA." The CSA classes will be based on food from the Good Eats share. Stay tuned for details!

207 Barre Street, Montpelier, 802-229-6678

@saltcafevt on Twitter

Open Wed - Sun. Lunch: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dinner: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Localvore Lore

It's a pizza week again this week. The dough is from On The Rise Bakery. This dough is made with VT sunflower oil, Milanaise unbleached white flour, Ben Gleason's whole wheat flour, local honey and sea salt. This dough does not need to rise again. For best dough quality you should use it after it reaches room temperature. If you won't be cooking it Wednesday evening, put it in the freezer until you do wish to use it. Then take it out, thaw it, and again, use it as soon as possible after it has thawed. The dough is alive and the yeast in it is working away, doing its thing. As the dough sits, it will increasingly lose elasticity. That said, I have cooked this pizza dough after 3 days of being un-thawed in fridge and it was quite tasty. Rolling it instead of stretching it may be easier though after a couple of days.

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.

Along with the dough, we have sent along a log of fresh chevre from Vermont Butter and Cheese Co. I had in mind sweet peppers and goat cheese on top of the pizza. I send this cheese out usually once a share because I love it and I find so many uses for it. I consider it to be a staple because a small amount added to so many dishes turns them into something a little special. The log keeps quite a long time in the fridge unopened, it will last several weeks after it's been opened. If you won't use it right away it will freeze beautifully. It's a little crumbly after being frozen but that can actually be nice when crumbing for salads or into various dishes.

You'll receive a dozen fresh eggs from Deb's hens this week, and you can expect another round on 12/29. It looks like the girls will be able to keep up with us just about every other week.

Pete and Caroline have been working away in the kitchen the last couple of days making the applesauce that you will receive this week. This is applesauce made solely with Champlain Orchards apples. It is unsweetened and delicious! We haven't made it since last Spring.


Baked Goat Cheese and Roasted Winter Squash over Garlicky Fettuccine

6 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 2 1/4 pounds)

1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 teaspoon salt, divided

1 teaspoon chopped fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6-8 oz goat cheese

1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs

1 pound uncooked fettuccine

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

Rosemary sprigs (optional)

Preheat oven to 425°.

Place squash and bell pepper in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil; toss well. Arrange vegetables in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, rosemary, and black pepper. Bake at 425° for 40 minutes, stirring once.

Place goat cheese in freezer 10 minutes. Cut cheese crosswise into 8 equal rounds. Place breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl. Dredge each round in breadcrumbs; place on a baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 6 minutes.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water. Return pasta to pan; add reserved pasta cooking water, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, red pepper, and garlic, tossing to coat. Place 1 1/4 cups pasta in each of 8 shallow bowls; top each serving with about 1/2 cup squash mixture and 1 goat cheese round. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, if desired.

Baked Kale Chips
I have had several people mention that they have been enjoying making and eating kale chips lately so I thought I should send along a recipe. This may be the last kale opportunity for a while as the end of the crop is near. Kale chips are a low calorie nutritious snack. Like potato chips, you cannot stop at just eating one. They are great for parties.

1 bunch kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt or more to taste
Optional - add a splash of lemon juice too!

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a non insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner or the old towel spin. Drizzle kale with olive oil, and rub with fingers to spread oil all over the surfaces of the torn kale. Sprinkle with salt. Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.

Celeriac and Valentine Radish Slaw

If you have pickles left, here's a tasty slaw recipe to use them in this week.

1 small celeriac (about 1 lb.), peeled

1 very large or multiple smaller valentine radish, peeled (about 2 pounds total celeriac and radish) 

1/2 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

kosher salt and black pepper

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 dill pickles, cut into thin strips

Coarsely grate the celeriac and radish. Squeeze some of the extra moisture out with a kitchen towel or paper towel. (This will help keep the slaw crisp.)

In a large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice, mustard, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.

Add the celery root, radish, onion, parsley, and pickles and toss to combine.

Quick Stir Fry of Pac Choi & Pepper

1 lb. pac choi

1 lb. sweet peppers, defrosted, drained well

1 Tbsp fresh ginger root, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce

1 Tbsp sesame oil

1 Tbsp sunflower oil

Separate the pac choi leaves and cut off the chunky stalks. 
Slice the stalks finely. Roughly chop the leaves.

Heat the sunflower oil in a wok or saute pan. Add the garlic, peppers and ginger. Cook for 1 minute, stirring often. Add the pac choi stalks. Toss well. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Add the pac choi leaves. Stir and then cook for 1 minute, until they are barely wilted. Add soy/tamari and sesame oil and toss.

Turnip Hash

6 Tbsp. olive oil

1 onion, small dice

1 lb. turnips, small dice

2 cups hot chicken stock

2 Tbsp, unsalted butter

.5 cup reggiano cheese

.5 cup parsley, rough chop

Salt and pepper, to taste

Warm the chicken stock in a sauce pan over medium-low heat.
 Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and turn the heat to medium. Toss in the onion and cook until translucent. Add the turnips and cook for 2 minutes. Ladle in some of the hot chicken stock and cook until absorbed. Continue until all of the stock has been added, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the butter and grated cheese off the heat. Garnish with parsley.

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