Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Good Eats Newsletter - October 26th, 2011

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:

Mixed Potatoes; Bunched Leeks; Celeriac; Mixed Beets; Napa Cabbage; Bunched Upland Cress; Anaheim Peppers;
(Bright Lights Chard extra bonus!) and....

1 Green Head Lettuce
1 Red Head Lettuce
1 Pie Pumpkin

Locavore Offerings Include:

Elmore Mountain Flax Bread
Butterworks Farm Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
Landaff Creamery Landaff Cheese

Thanksgiving Bulk Produce & Localvore Orders

It's right around the corner....

In November we will start offering bulk orders so that you can stock up on veggies and your favorite localvore items.

You will be able to do much of your Thanksgiving meal shopping through the farm, and have your order delivered to your CSA site!

Details Coming Soon.

Annie's Angle

Annie is one of our full time employees on the farm. She is responsible for weekly scouting of produce to see what will be included in each week's share, harvesting crops and packing orders. Before coming to the farm, she worked on a farm in NYC, and before that she worked in the restaurant biz in NYC as a farmers market forager (literally buying for restaurants what is in season and looks fresh and exciting, doing their shopping for them). Annie also enjoys writing and has a blog called ThoughtsOnTheTable that gives a glimpse of her life on the farm and of living in Craftsbury.

Each week now, the harvest for our CSA and wholesale delivery - the "Christmas rush" my friend referred to after her day of work at Pete's - becomes more of an indoor activity. We've started to pull more of the harvest list from bins of storage crops than from the fields, and we've just returned to greenhouses for mustard greens, lettuce heads, and chard. My inventory of the fields is gradually becoming an inventory of the cooler and freezer, and the washhouse is gaining the weight of a well-stocked winter cellar. It's been almost exactly a year since I moved to Craftsbury and began working at Pete's, and so, for the first time since I've been here, the latest shift in work and weather is a shift into something familiar. I've done the celeriac harvest before, I was here for the squash puree production last year, and I remember cutting greens on winter mornings in greenhouses, rather than seeing Pete head out with the harvester in the summer light of 6am. I (for one) am not thrilled to see our Sunday afternoon kickball games turn into cold winter nights of broomball, and I'll miss the amigos when they go home in a few weeks. But there is a part of me that can relax as we hit November - there may always be something new and different in the works at the farm, but I've made it a year! For once, Deb can't tell me that we are only going to get busier, that I won't know what the farm is really like until we're in harvest mode. We're in it now. And we've brought almost everything in! ~Annie

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

First Pickup Week Results

Thanks everyone for taking care when picking up last week. There were a few pick up errors resulting in some shortages, but a good first week, all in all.

When you pick up - Check your share type on the names pick up list so that you know what share type you are signed up for. And then read the pick up instructions each week so that you know what you should be selecting. Veggie only members should be taking home veggies only (top section of the pick-up instructions list), not the other items like eggs and cheese. Localvore members take home a veggie share (same as the veggie only people), and also all the other items. Pete's Pantry members take home everything BUT the vegetables.

If You Have a Problem at Pick Up

Although we do our best to make sure that every delivery and pick-up goes smoothly, there are the occasional shortages and disappointments. Should you arrive at your pick-up spot to find that your name (or share partner's name) is not on the list, one or more of your items are missing or that some of your produce is in unsatisfactory condition, please let us know right away! Our goal is 100% satisfaction. If you email (or call if you can't email) as soon as you discover the problem, we may be able to resolve it the same day or the following day.

If we have not heard from anyone, by Thursday afternoon our site hosts are instructed to donate leftover food, insuring that they don't end up with bad food on their hands.

If we can't resolve your issue right away, contact us via email to arrange a replacement or substitution the following week.

Storage and Use Tips

Celeriac - It may not be so attractive on the outside but rooted celery has a creamy, delicious inside with a mild celery flavor that adds depth and character to ordinary dishes. Its excellent storage ability makes celeriac a popular vegetable for winter dishes especially. Excellent mashed, as a roasted vegetable, in soups, or raw in salads. Store loosely wrapped in plastic in the fridge for 1-2 weeks or longer.

Upland Cress - Similar in appearance to its better-known cousin, watercress, upland cress has a deeper pungency with a unique twist between arugula and horseradish, pledging its allegience to the mustard family. Below the Mason Dixon line, upland cress is known as "creasy greens" and when stewed with ham hocks, is as loved a dish as black-eyed peas or cornbread. Traditionally gathered by foragers in the Appalachian Mountains who started looking out for the hearty winter leaves while there was still snow on the ground, the leaves were believed to have medicinal benefits and used in many folk recipes to help heal wounds. Those claims may not be entirely far-fetched as the cress is indeed rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, and calcium.

Use upland cress the same way you would watercress. Left raw, the leaves can be chopped and mixed into a salad, tucked into a sandwich, or tossed over broiled fish as a garnish. Use a food processor to blend a handful of upland cress with a cup of creme friache or sour cream and a few garlic cloves for a zesty side to grilled meats or blend into soups. Store in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer for 1-2 weeks.

Pie Pumpkins - Many people consider pumpkins to be the essence of fall, reminding them of crisp falling leaves, cool evenings and the approaching holidays. Any pumpkin recipe can be a source of comfort and warmth, but be sure to use the correct type of pumpkin to achieve a richly flavored result. Pie pumpkins are not only smaller than jack-o-lantern type pumpkins but they also have a denser flesh and more sugars that make their edible quality much more like winter squash. Most pumpkins in fact are in the same family of plants as winter squash such as: delicata squash, acorn squash, and dumpling squash and can be used similarly in pies, soups, breads even pancakes! Pie pumpkins are an excellent source of beta carotene, calcium and potassium. Store all winter squash and pumpkins in a cool, dry, dark place with good ventilation, like a porch or garage, but make sure they do not freeze, around 55F is perfect. They should last over a month for decoration but use within a month for best flavor quality. Once cut, you can wrap the leftovers in plastic and store in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days.

Napa Cabbage - Napa cabbage is an Asian vegetable that resembles regular green cabbage, but is much more tender with large cruncy ribs and has a long, slender shape. Napa cabbage has slightly more protein and fewer calories than regular cabbage and a unique taste like a mild celery or bok choy. 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. In Korea it is pickled, salted, and flavored with ginger and chili peppers to make Korea's national dish kim chi. Store in a sealed plastic bag in your refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.

Mixed Beets - You will receive a mix of beet varieties in your bag this week, and have red, white, golden, black and even striped beets (chiogga) to work with this week.

There's a gorgeous Fall salad to be had with this week's combo of the fresh lettuce and beets. Check out this WCAX video of Jeffrey Weiss from Tastings Food & Spirits in North Troy, VT for some visual inspiration and instruction.

Anaheim Chile Peppers - Anaheims are a relatively mild chile with a sweet simple taste with a touch of spice that intensifies as they turn red. They are great for stuffing and for salsas. Store in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge.

Bright Lights Chard - This is an extra bonus we added to the share last minute. We had enough Chard to make some small bunches and thought you would appreciate them (they are not included in this week's share value).

This weeks green lettuce in the greenhouse

In the News - October 21, 2011 - Burlington Free Press

New and Improved Pete's Greens by Sally Pollak

This is a great article that captures a glimpse of the construction process of rebuilding our barn, where we are at and where we are heading. Read the entire article here.

"We have very passionate people who work here and I still love it.

We’re excited about the future." ~Pete

Pete outside the rear entrance of the new barn

2011 Environmental Action Conference

Saturday, October 29th 8:30-5:30
Vermont Technical College in Randolph

This Saturday, hundreds of Vermonters will get together to share ideas, strategies and skills to foster a healthy and sustainable Vermont at the 2011 VT Environmental Action Conference. Pete's Greens is cosponsoring the conference, which will feature nearly 250 activists, community leaders, and experts. Don’t miss the opportunity to attend over 25 workshops covering the hottest environmental issues, meet experts in a dozen fields, and network with residents from across the state. The Morning Speaker will be the EPA's Gina McCarthy and the Afternoon Speaker will be co-founder of 350.org, May Boeve! Breakfast, reception and childcare will be provided for all.

Tickets are only $20 for Pete'e Greens Good Eats members!

Visit www.vtenvironmentalaction.org to register today!

Localvore Lore

Blair and Andrew from Elmore Mountain Bread are baking Flax Bread Loaves for the share this week. This is a special bread that they only bake for Good Eats, comprised of Milanaise Whole Wheat, Milanaise Winter Wheat, Milanaise Rye, Quebec Flax, Sourdough, Sea Salt.

Check out the latest article about Blair and Andrew in the Seven Days last week!

This week's Pastry Flour comes from Butterworks Farm in Westfield, Vermont. You may know them well for their tasty yogurt and sinful heavy cream, but they are also producers of high quality flours, grains and dry beans. Pastry flour is a relatively low-protein flour that is often called for in making biscuits, cookies, pie crusts, and pastries. The protein content of any given type of flour determines how tender, strong, elastic, stretchy, or pliable the dough is that you make with it, and also the texture of the finished product. Because protein is about 80% gluten higher protein flours contain more gluten which is the active ingredient that when added to water makes the flour "stick" together. Cake flour is at the low end of the spectrum with 5-8% protein, it is much less elastic, a nd helps produce wonderfully tender cakes. Pastry flour is up only one notch, at 8-10% protein, and lets you c reate baked goods with a little more body and texture than cake flour, but still with the tenderness one associates with a well-made cookie, biscuit or pastry. All Purpose flour tends to have 9-12% protein while bread flour weighs in at around 12-13% protein, and helps produce wonderfully well-risen, chewy loaves of bread.

Made from thier own high quality Holstein raw cow's milk,

Landaff Creamery's Landaff Cheese is a mild, semi-firm cheese with a delicious combination of flavors. Its complexity balances a bright buttermilk tang and savory brown butter notes. The buttery texture comes with a natural, cave-aged rind. It melts beautifully for cooking, and makes a wonderful addition to any cheese plate. Remove cheese from the refrigerator about an hour before you plan to eat it. This will allow the full flavors to be enjoyed. Keep your cheese surfaces protected so they won't dry out. If mold does develop, just trim it off. The natural cave-aged rind is safe to eat.

Doug and Deb Erb craft Landaff on their second-generation dairy farm in the White Mountains. Declining milk prices drove the Erbs’ determined pursuit of cheesemaking as a way to revitalize their farm. Doug developed Landaff after study with the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese and time spent making Caerphilly with the Duckett family of Somerset, England.


Upland Cress Pesto Crostini
Many people think that pesto is only for basil, but in fact, there are countless herbs like arugula, sage, and cilantro for example that also make excellent pestos. The idea is all the same, blend flavorful herbs with oil, garlic, cheese and nuts and voila you have a delicious spread, sauce or dip!

2 c upland cress, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/4 c nuts (pine nuts are traditional but you may want to use walnuts, cashews or almonds or leave out nuts all together)
2/3 c olive oil, extra virgin if you have it
1/2 c parmesian cheese, grated (you can use romano or any other hard Italian)
1 Tbs lemon juice

olive oil
salt and pepper
garlic powder

Landaff Cheese (or other tasty cheese that melts nicely), shredded thinly

Using a food processor chop garlic first, then nuts, then basil. Slowly add oil until mixture seem thick, then continue to add till used up. Next add grated parmasian and lastly stir in lemon juice.

Preheat oven to 425F. Slice bread into 1/2" slices. Brush oil onto bread and season with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven until bread is hard like croutons about 15-20 minutes. Cool. Store extra crostini in a sealed zip lock bag for next time.

Spread pesto onto crostini and top with shredded cheese, place in broiler to melt cheese.

Pete's Greens Hearty Potato-Leek Soup
This is a hearty off-shoot of potato leek soup. It is a mild soup that can be altered with cream if you like a creamier soup or carrots if you want something a little more sweet, go on and see what is in your fridge and give it a try! I like to add a big dollop of creme friache or sour cream to mine just before it hits my spoon!

2 medium onions, chopped
2 Tbs cooking oil, butter or bacon drippings
2 quarts stock, chicken or vegetarian
4-6 medium potatoes, cut in large cubes
1 c celeriac, cubed (smaller than potato)
3/4 c leeks, thickly sliced
1 bunch upland cress, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tsp tarragon, dried
1/2 tsp dill, fresh or dried
salt and pepper

Saute onions gently until soft. Add stock, bay leaf, potatoes and celeriac and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Skim top of broth with a spoon removing scum on surface. Add leeks, tarragon, dill and simmer until potatoes and celeriac are soft. Add watercress and simmer another 5 minutes (no longer). Remove bay leaf. Puree soup with a handheld blender or food processor. Season to taste.

Russian Beet Salad ~Taken from Nourishing Traditions
This is an sweet and tangy recipe that really accents the sweetness of the beet. Make with mixed beets for a gorgeous display of fall colors. Warm up and eat atop a bed of braised swiss chard, or keep cool on a cold chopped bed of Napa cabbage with walnuts and goat cheese or over lettuce with basalmic vinaigrette.

4-6 medium sized beets
3 Tbs apple cider vinegar
4 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs orange juice
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tsp caraway seeds
pinch of cloves
pinch of cinnamon
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon peel
1/2 tsp finely grated orange peel
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350F. Bake beets 1 hour or until soft. Cool and peel beets. Finely chop roasted beets. Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl, toss with beets and refrigerate several hours. Serve on your choice of greens.

Potato & Celeriac Mashers
This beats plain old mashed potatoes any day!

4-6 potatoes, baked or boiled
1 celeriac, peeled and cubed
2 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed
1/4 c butter (to taste)
1/4 c creme friache or sour cream
pinch nutmeg
salt and pepper

Cover celeriac peices with cold water, bring to a boil until tender, about 30 minutes, drain water. Cut up butter and place in bottom of a large bowl. Add cooked potatoes, cooked celeriac, garlic and mash all together. Add the cream to desired consistancy. If you want really smooth mix with hand held mixer. Season to taste.

Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie Filling
The most important step when making a pumpkin pie (or other recipe that calls for pumpkin) with fresh, rather than canned, pumpkin is to to use a pie pumpkin. These pumpkins are small and bred to have dense, sweet flesh, unlike Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins with flesh that is stringy and tasteless.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Wash the pumpkin rind and cut the pumpkin in half. Scoop out all of the seeds and strings. Place the pumpkin halves cut-side down in a rimmed baking pan. Add about ½ inch of water to the pan and then place it in the oven. Bake the pumpkin for about 30 minutes and then flip to cut side up, add a dollop of butter, maple syrup or honey if desired and cook for another 15 minutes or so, until it is soft when peirced with a fork or knife.

Remove the pumpkin from the oven and set it aside for about 30 minutes or until it is cool enough to handle. Then, scoop out the flesh out of the rind. Place the flesh into a blender or food processor and puree until it is very smooth.
 If you want extra smooth pumpkin puree, first run the pumpkin flesh through a food mill, then process it in a blender or food processor.

You can refrigerate the pumpkin puree for up to a week or you can freeze it for later use. To freeze, pour the pumpkin into ½ quart plastic freezer bags, leaving ½ inch of headroom at the top of the bag. Seal the bag, being sure to squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible. Lay the bag flat on a freezer shelf and freeze. Once the puree is solid you can stack the bags wherever you like in the freezer. Use the frozen puree within one year.

Pie Crust (10" pie shell, or 9" shell with lattice)

This is an easy crust recipe to follow with some great notes at the bottom. Make ahead of time and freeze or the night before. I suggest the food processor but you may also want to do by hand. I like to make a bunch and put them in the freezer for quick quiches or on the fly pies. Try with pumpkin puree and show off you talent at Thanksgiving! Adapted from epicurious.com

9 Tbs unsalted butter or lard, cold
1 1/2 c pastry flour (preferred) or all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
3 1/2 Tbs ice water
1 1/2 tsp cider vinegar Optional
1/8 tsp baking powder (if not using, double the salt)

Divide the butter into two parts, about two thirds to one third (6 tablespoons and 3 tablespoons). Cut the butter into 3/4-inch cubes. Wrap each portion of butter with plastic wrap, refrigerate the larger amount and freeze the smaller for at least 30 minutes. Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder freeze for at least 30 minutes.

Food processor method
Place the flour mixture in a food processor with the metal blade and process for a few seconds to combine. Add the larger amount of butter cubes to the flour and process for about 20 seconds or until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the remaining frozen butter cubes and pulse until all of the frozen butter is the size of peas (Toss with a fork to see it better). Add the ice water and the vinegar and pulse 6 times. Pinch a small amount of the mixture together between your fingers. If it does not hold together, add 3/4 Tbs water and pulse 3 times. Try pinching the mixture again. If necessary, add another 3/4 Tbs water, pulsing 3 times to incorporate it. The mixture will be in particles and will not hold together without being pinched. GentlykKnead the mixture with the knuckles and heels of your hands until the mixture holds together in one piece and feels slightly stretchy when pulled. If mixture is too sticky add small amounts of flour until it becomes granular. Wrap th e dough with plastic wrap, flatten it into a disc (or discs) and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes, preferably overnight. Refridgerate up to 2 days or freeze up to 3 months.

Notes on crust
Pastry flour offers the most tenderness while maintaining flakiness, but it is the addition of vinegar that relaxes the dough without losing flakiness, making it easier to roll, shrink less, and be even more tender. The baking powder lifts and aerates the dough slightly without weakening it, but it makes it seem more tender. The secret to success is finely incorporating about two thirds of the butter into the flour, which keeps the flour from absorbing too much water and forming gluten (protein + water), which would make the crust tough. The remaining one third of the butter is incorporated in larger pieces, which serve to seperate the layers, resulting in the desired flakiness. This pie crust does not shrink or distort as much as the standard all-butter crust because there is less gluten development. If when adding the water, you find you need more than indicated in the recipe, chances are you haven't moisture-proofed the flour adequately (you haven't used the correct amoun t of butter or processed it fine enough), leaving the flour free to absorb more liquid. The resulting crust will be flakier but less tender. If you find you need less water than specified in the recipe, chances are you divided the butter incorrectly and used too much of it to moisture-proof the flour, preventing it from absorbing an adequate amount of water. The resulting crust will be more tender but not very flaky. Flattening the newly formed dough into a disc or discs before refrigerating makes it easier to roll without cracking. The dough is refrigerated to relax the gluten, making it less elastic and easier to roll. Chilling also firms the butter, preventing sticking and the need for extra flour when rolling, which would toughen it. Dough that has rested overnight before baking shrinks less.

Landaff Leek Tart
This is a basic recipe that can be used with many different ingredients. I chose the Landaff cheese and leek combination as they accent one another nicely. If you do not feel like making your own crust feel free to use a ready to use pie crust in a pie pan (this may require extra cooking time as it will be thicker).

Tart Crust
1 c all purpose flour, plus few tsp
7 Tbs butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1/8 tsp salt
3 Tbs ice water

Place 1 cup of flour, butter, and salt in a food processor. Process just until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 seconds. Add the ice water and pulse just until the pastry begins to hold together, about 6 – 8 times without letting it form a ball. Transfer the dough to waxed paper, flatten the dough into a disk. If the dough seems too sticky, sprinkle it with additional flour, incorporating 1 teaspoon at a time. Wrap the dough in waxed paper. Refrigerate for a least 1 hour. After the dough has cooled roll out the dough to line a 10 x 1/2 inch tart pan or equivalent. Carefully transfer the dough to the pan covering the entire surface. Chill for 30 minutes or until firm. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tart Filling
3 medium sized leeks, coarsely chopped
4 Tbs butter
1 tsp salt
salt and pepper
2 large eggs
1/4 c creme fraiche or sour cream
4 slices ham, prosciutto or bacon (optional)
1 c grated Landaff cheese, or other hard cheese such as gruyere

While the oven is pre-heating prepare the filling. Trim the leeks at the root. Cut off and discard the dark green portions. Split the leeks lengthwise then coarsely chop. Melt the butter in a medium size saucepan over low heat. Add the leeks, salt and pepper to taste and cook, covered, until the leeks are very soft but not browned, about 20 minutes. If the leeks have given up an excessive amount of liquid, drain them in a colander. Combine the eggs and creme fraiche in a medium size bowl and mix until thoroughly blended. Add the leeks and mix again. Reserve 1/4 cup each of the ham and the cheese to sprinkle on top of the tart. Mix the rest into the leek mixture. Pour the leek mixture into the prepared pastry shell. Sprinkle with the reserved ham, and then the cheese. Season generously with pepper. Bake until nicely browned, about 45 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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