Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Good Eats Newsletter - December 8th, 2010

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:
Orange Carrots; Shallots; Parsnips!; Bunch of Green Kale; Purple Onions; Yellow Onions; 1 Head of Napa Cabbage; 1 Head of Lettuce; plus...

Bag of Mesclun Greens
Bag of Frozen Corn

Localvore Offerings Include:
Red Hen Snake Mountain Bread
Pete's Dill Pickles
Elmore Roots Pear Honey Jam

Storage and Use Tips
Parsnips - I am excited to have parsnips back. I love the changing vegetable seasons and will celebrate parsnips while we have them. Parsnips are related to the carrots. And though parsnips are usually eaten cooked, they can also be eaten raw like carrots. They have a sweet nutty flavor and lend themselves well to cooking with honey, maple syrup and butter. They are a very flexible starch. Try them sauteed, baked, roasted and mashed, as well as in soups and stews. Like many roots they are really, really good roasted. Store parsnips as you would carrots, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.

Green Kale - Kale is just about the healthiest vegetable you can eat. Over 45 different flavonoids have been identified in kale that combine to provide both anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. It is now believed that kale offers risk-lowering benefits for five types of cancer including bladder, breast, colon, ovary and prostate cancer. It also has the ability to lower cholesterol (and for this purpose steaming is best). It is also now recognized that kale provides much support for your body's own detox system. We are lucky that it is also one of the longest season northern vegetables, and should celebrate it while it lasts! It won't be too much longer.

Shallots - shallots are sweeter and milder than onions. You can slice them thin and saute them in recipes that benefit from their sweet, mild onion flavor. When minced, they are fantastic in homemade vinaigrettes (recipe below) and pan sauces. Store them in a cool, dark place.

Frozen Corn - We froze a lot of our beautiful organic corn this year. Once we had frozen some and sampled the end product, we decided our farm corn tasted so much better than frozen corn any of us had bought in stores that we resolved not to let any of our corn go to waste. We have put away enough so that you can expect it once a month over the winter. To reheat, just bring some water to a boil in a pot (salted if you wish) and throw in a handful of corn. Heat for 2-4 minutes and then drain and serve, with a bit of butter. If you have kids they will be especially pleased!

December in the Big Greenhouse

Thought you all might like a peek at where this week's lettuce was harvested. This is the big greenhouse, the first that Pete built on this farm. It covers a half acre and is unheated. This photo is taken standing in the middle of the greenhouse, it stretches just as far behind me with Napa cabbage and a beautiful crop of pac choi planted on the other end.

Last Chance to Order a Christmas Turkey
We still have some turkeys left and if you get your order in by tomorrow (Wednesday) I can have a turkey delivered to your pick up site next week.

We had just a small flock on the farm this year and they lived a deluxe life, grazing our fields all summer. The birds on the farm are pastured and are moved to fresh pasture regularly, their moveable shade/rain house moving along with them. They eat vast amounts of greens which translates to a much higher vitamin content in the meat and makes it much more flavorful as well.

We have 3 size ranges available:
15-18 lbs; 18-21 lbs; 21-24 lbs

Turkeys are priced at $3.75/lb and turkeys will be delivered to pick up sites (frozen).

We also have pork, beef and chicken available.

Visit the Meat Page to order your turkey and meats or email me for an order form.

Meat Orders

Our pigs are raised on 20 acres of pasture on the farm. They graze and forage all day and their diet is supplemented by huge amounts of vegetables from the farm. Our cows are raised in partnership with friend and neighbor Bruce Urie who pastures them on his fields in summer, and feeds them his own hay supplemented with beets and soybeans in winter. Pete's Pastured Chickens are grazed on our greens fields all summer, moved from field to field. They fertilize and aerate the fields while growing into beautiful vitamin packed table birds. We still have a few turkeys left too, raised in the same manner as our chickens.

You can see and taste the difference in pastured meats. These meats have less fat, and far more omega 3s, CLAs, vita E and beta carotene than non grass fed animals. Our animals have received no hormones or medications either. This is very healthy, tasty meat.

You can order meats have them delivered to your pick up sites on any week that is not a meat share week (the first Wednesday of each week). We have a variety of pork and beef cuts available.

You may place meat orders for delivery on most weeks that are not designated Meat Shares weeks (the first Wednesday of the month). The next meat delivery dates are Dec 8th, Dec 15th, and Dec 29th.

 Visit our Meat Bulk Order Page to Order

Localvore Lore

At Red Hen Baking in Middlesex they are working on yet another special bread for Good Eats. Randy just sent over a some information about this week's loaves...

The handful of Vermont farmers that are brave enough to grow wheat in this challenging climate were blessed with an uncharacteristically good growing season this year. You may recall that June was unusually dry... well, this may not have been what the vegetable farmers wanted, but June is a critical period for the development of a good wheat crop. Basically, the mature wheat berries shouldn't see anything but the slightest trace of moisture during this period lest the crop's quality can be severely diminished. As one dry day followed another this June, I started to think that we might have something special on our hands this year. By the time the state's winter wheat was harvested in early July, it was clear that luck really was on our side more than it's been for probably over a decade. Here at Red Hen we're delighted to report that what we have this year is unprecedented in the 10 years that we have been baking with Vermont-grown wheat. How fortunate that this happened to be the year that Ben Gleason decided to upgrade his mill to be able to produce a flour with a little bit of the bran sifted out. This, in combination with the excellent quality of the wheat, enables us to get a little more loft out of the bread. Ben calls his new flour Snake Mt. for the mountain that you can see from his wheat fields. So this week’s naturally leavened, 100% Vermont-sourced bread is called “Snake Mt. Bread.” Enjoy! ~ Randy

We only made a few barrels of pickles this summer, and after packing pickles for this week, I am not sure we will have enough for another round. Enjoy these while they last. If any of you out there are crazy for pickles we can sell some more of these as there are still lots, just not enough for another go round in the share. Email me if interested. The pickles were made with our own pickles and dill, cider vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. They are a real treat.

I have been meaning to put this jam in for quite some time. At Elmore Roots, David and his crew make most of their organic jams with local fruits and organic cane sugar but for this jam, they came up with a totally local version. This jam is made entirely from Elmore Roots organic apples and pears and it is sweetened with local VT honey. Should be quite a treat spread on this week's bread.

I know I mentioned eggs last week but alas, the hens didn't quite come through. Count on them for next week!


Corn Chowder
With the snow this week annoucing that winter is surely here, it's time for soup. Doesn't corn chowder sound good right about now? Here's one you can have ready in about 40 mins. Adapted from Mollie Katzen's Enchanted Broccoli Forest.

1 medium potato, peeled and diced small (about 2 cups diced)
2 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups minced onion
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
1 medium stalk celery, finely minced
1 small red bell pepper, finely minced
4-5 cups corn
White pepper to taste
1 cup milk, at room temperature (lowfat OK)

Place the potatoes and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, cover, and cook until the potatoes are tender. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a kettle or Dutch oven. Add the onion, thyme, and salt, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring. After about 5 minutes, add celery. Five minutes later add the cooked potatoes with all their liquid, the red bell pepper, the corn, and a few shakes of white pepper. Stir well, cover, and reduce heat. Cook quietly for about 5 minutes longer.

Using a blender or food processor, purée about half the solids (about 2 to 3 cups--it doesn't have to be exact!) in some of the soup's own liquid. Return this to the kettle, and let it rest until serving time.

Don't actually cook the soup any further; simply heat it--gently!-- until it's hot enough to eat. Serve immediately.

Skillet-Roasted Carrots and Parsnips
This recipe is adapted from CooksCountry.com. Parsnips wider than 1 inch may have tough, fibrous cores that are best trimmed and discarded. Using warm water helps the sugar to dissolve more readily. Any combination of carrots and parsnips with a combined weight of 3 pounds can be used in this recipe. Serves 6-8.
3 TB sunflower oil
1 1/2 lbs. carrots , peeled and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
1 1/2 lbs. parsnips , peeled and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 tsp honey
Salt and pepper
1 TB finely chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook carrots and parsnips, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes.

Whisk water, honey, and 1 teaspoon salt in small bowl until sugar dissolves. Add water mixture to skillet and cook covered, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat until vegetables are tender and liquid has evaporated, 12 to 14 minutes. Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper. Serve.

Garlic-Crumbled Greens
From Andrea Chessman's new book Recipes from the Root Cellar.

8 cups chopped kale or mustard greens
3 TB butter or extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the greens and cook until tender, about 5 minutes for kale and mustard greens. Drain well and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain again.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes (if using) and saute until softened and fragrant, about 2 mins. Add the bread crumbs and continue to saute until golden and toasted, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the greens, season with salt and pepper, and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Corn Dance Cakes
I haven't made this but kind of can't wait to now that I have read through it. Yum. The salsa below is paired with this recipe in the cookbook and also looks fantastic. You could use some of the frozen sweet peppers you got a few weeks ago (if you haven't used them yet!) and some onions from this week for the salsa. This recipe is from Rebar's Modern Food Cookbook by Audrey Alsterberg and Wanda Urbanowicz and features recipes from the Victoria, BC vegetarian restaurant.

2 cups corn, fresh or frozen (thaw the corn if frozen)
1 cup cooked wild rice
1 cup hot smoked salmon
1 bunch scallions
2 TB minced cilantro
1 egg
1 tsp chipotle puree
1 cup of milk
1 TB melted butter
3/4 cup unbleached flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cracked pepper
2 TB butter or vegetable oil

If using fresh corn, blanch in salted water until tender. If using frozen, thaw for 10 minutes.

Combine corn, wild rice, salmon, scallions and cilantro in a bowl and toss together. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg. Whisk in the chipotle puree, milk and melted butter. Stir in the remaining ingredients and blend to form a smooth batter. Combine the matter with the corn mixture and mix well.

To cook, heat butter or oil in a skillet over medium heat. Drop spoonfuls of batter onto the skillet and form into round cakes 3" in diameter. Cook until golden on one side, then flip and cook on the other. Repeat with remaining cakes and serve hot.

Flame Roasted Pepper Salsa
2.5 lbs assorted peppers
1 red onion
1 garlic bulb
1/2 tsp salt
2 TB olive oil
1 TB lime juice
1 TB cilantro
1/4 tsp cracked pepper

Roast, seed and peel peppers. Peel and slice the onion into four thick slices. Brush both sides with oil. Toss the peeled garlic cloves in a light coating of oil. Sprinkle onions and garlic with salt and place on a baking sheet. Toast in a 400 degree oven until the onions starts to blacken and garlic softens. Remove and cool. Dice the roasted peppers, onion and garlic. Combine everything in a bowl and toss well. Season to taste and let sit for 30 mins before serving.

Shallot Vinaigrette
Here's a simple dressing using your shallots that you can put together quickly for your salads this week. From Gourmet March 2001.

1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil (preferably French) or safflower oil

Whisk together shallot, mustard, and vinegar. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified, and season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, toss salad greens with just enough dressing to coat.

Lentils and Greens
Ginger and garlic, kale, lentils and tomatoes are a winning combo in this healthy dish. Serve over brown rice or with pearled barley for a complete, tasty meal. This another from Andrea Chessman's Recipes from the Root Cellar.

2 TB vegetable oil
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 TB cumin seeds
1 tsp fenugeek seeds
1 cup red or brown lentils
4 cups water
1 tsp salt
6 cups chopped kale (tough stems removed and discarded)
1.5 cups diced tomatoes with juice
freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, cumin and fenugreek. Saute until softened, about 3 minutes.

Add the lentil, water, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Add the kale and tomatoes. Mix well and simmer, covered, until the collards are tender, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper and serve.

No comments: