Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Good Eats Newsletter - November 2nd, 2011

This Week's Vegetable Share Includes:

Sunflower Shoots; Swiss Chard; Mixed Onions; Nicola Potatoes; Parsnips; 1 Carnival Acorn Winter Squash;Bunched Carrots; German Extra Hardy Garlic; Celery and....


2 head Panisse Oakleaf Lettuce
1 bag Frozen Roasted Red Peppers



Locavore Share Includes:

Champlain Orchards Empire Apples
Butterworks Farm Early Riser Corn Meal
Butterworks Farm Yogurt
Pa Pa Doodle Eggs




Meat Share Members

This is a Meat Share Week!

Thanksgiving Bulk Produce & Locavore Orders

The big day is right around the corner....

Within a week we will start offering bulk orders so that you can stock up on veggies and your favorite locavore 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!

We are currently working on an on-line shopping cart to make ordering very easy! We will keep you updated as soon as we are ready to launch.

Around The Farm

Selecting a site for the new barn this past spring was a process that took several weeks and lots of consideration. The chosen site was adjacent to our greenhouses, and unfortunately, there was no way around the fact that the new building would be in the way of the movement of our moveable greenhouses. Pete designed the moveables several years ago, in 2008/09. They are large 50 x 200 greenhouses that are constructed so they can be moved annually, slid down a track to one of two positions. In the spring we might start tomatoes and hot weather crops in them, both to get an early start and to extend the season further into the Fall. As the weather gets colder in Fall, we prepare beds in the other uncovered position, planting crops that germinate well in the cool weather. Eventually we abandon the hot weather crops that would die anyway, in order to cover the new crops that thrive in the unheated, but protected space. Usually, this is a relatively easy move. We attach cables to both sides of one end of a greenhouse, and slowly, gently tug it forward, exposing the old planting, and covering the new. This year, moving the greenhouses was a lot more work. They had to be dismantled entirely and erected as if new, in a new site, so they could once again be moveables. It's been a chore over the last couple weeks to get it done. But thanks to Steve, Isaac, Mike, Kevin, and Chuck we are getting them erected and closed in.

The greenhouses in in their old position with new barn in their way, slowly being dismantled.

Steve erecting greenhouses in new location, section by section, over new beds of cold germinating crops last week. Behind him are green rows of hardy greens that will form part of our salads in the coming weeks. Though we call them Pete's Greens, in fact, sometimes they are more Steve's Greens. He does a lot of the work of seeding and cultivating them.

Last Friday, a lot of the plastic went on, with Pete riding the lift and others tugging into place and anchoring.

Storage and Use Tips


Sunflower Shoots - New to shoots? In the world of sprouts, micro-greens and shoots they are all just varying degrees of growing greens to eat at seedling maturity. Sprouts are sprouted without soil and the roots, stem and young seed leaves are eaten. Micro-greens are grown in soil and are cut at the base of the stem leaving mini seedlings that usually have very colorful or tasty seed leaves. Shoots are larger seeded crops like peas, corn or sunflowers that are grown in soil and cut at the base of a long hearty stem, with large tasty seed leaves. The plants are very tender because they have not begun to photosynthesize yet which makes the cells more rigid and sturdy to support the plant. Sunflower shoots are my favorite type of shoot to eat because of their succulent stems and leafy tops. They are tender, juicy and very earthy flavored. A great treat when there is little green to eat! Store in a sealed plastic bag in your crisper drawer for 3-4 days.


Carnival Acorn Winter Squash - There are not too many squashes quite as festive as Carnival winter squash with its unique coloring and splotches, it holds a designer's seal of approval in the world of winter squash. Carnival is an acorn squash similar to Sugar Dumpling (which you had the first week of the share). Carnival has a wonderful nutty flavor and fine eating quality and is not as sweet as Sugar Dumpling. Like all winter squash and pumpkins store in cool, dry place. Best temperature is 55F.


Nicola Potatoes - These are golden skinned, golden fleshed potatoes that are truly all purpose. They are great for boiling, mashing or roasting and are plenty waxy enough to make excellent potato salad. Nicola potatoes have a very special attribute among potatoes - they are low on the glycemic index compared to all other varieties. This means they do not cause blood sugar spike the way that other varieties may, if you are sensitive to blood sugar ups and down then you know this is an issue that can wreak havoc with people with insulin resistance. They also have a yummy slightly nutty flavor, enjoy!


Parsnips - Contrary to appearances, parsnips are not pale versions of carrots. In fact, they have a nutty-sweet taste and a tender-hearty texture that is entirely distinct. For centuries, parsnips were a more common staple than the potato—and deservedly so. Satisfying, versatile, and highly nutritious, these delicious roots make a terrific base to any meal. Young parsnips don’t need to be peeled. Simply scrub them under running water with a vegetable brush. Peel larger parsnips, and cut out the core if it seems woody. However you slice or chop parsnips, be sure to make all the pieces relatively the same size, ensuring an evenly cooked dish. Refrigerate unwashed parsnips in a loosely wrapped or perforated plastic bag for up to two weeks.


Roasted Red Peppers (Frozen) - This summer we bought a pepper roaster and had a ton of fun putting different peppers through it. These are sweet red peppers that have been roasted but not seeded or peeled. They will taste delicious like all roasted red peppers do, but may need some work if you are making an antipasto. They are more of a slice em and stir them into your favorite pasta dish item! To heat simply warm frozen bag in a hot water bath and remove from package whole.



Changes to Your Delivery?

If you will be away some upcoming week, and need to make changes to your share delivery,let us 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.


Locavore Lore


Empire apples straight out of Champlain Orchards in Shoreham, VT will be included in this weeks locavore share. Empire was developed at Cornell University in New York in the 1940s. Its parents are the classic old North American varieties Red Delicious and McIntosh that have been long grown in the Northeast. The shiny red Empire apple has a sweet-tart taste that is ideal for fresh eating and salads but also great for sauce, baking, pies and freezing. It is an ideal lunch-box apple because it does not bruise easily. Although Empire apples can be stored for a short period, it is best when eaten straight from the tree. It is recommended they are stored in the fridge to maintain their much loved crisp texture and sweetness.



Butterworks Farm Early Riser Cornmeal is made from 100% stone ground Early Riser kernels. Early Riser is an open pollinated (op) corn variety Jack has been improving here in Vermont for years. OP corns tend to be much more nutrient dense, textured and flavorful than hybrid corns, but also yield much less per acre making them less marketable. Early Riser Cornmeal is great for making cornbread, muffins or tortillas. Soak the flour overnight in buttermilk, kefir or yogurt before baking to bring out the best flavor, nutrition and digestibility. The flavor and texture of this freshly milled flour is like no other. Keep in a cool dry place in an air-tight container. The oils in whole-grain cornmeal go rancid more quickly than others, so it should be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 1 month (or in the freezer for up to 2 years).

This week's Yogurt also comes from Butterworks Farm in Westfield, VT. Each site will receive a mix of Non-Fat Plain, Whole Milk Plain, Whole Milk Maple and Low-Fat Vermont Vanilla quarts of yogurt. Pick which flavor you prefer, first come first choice. Jack and Anne Lazor have a herd of about 80 Jersey cows who produce milk for their on-farm yogurt production. Flavored yogurt is sweetened with local maple syrup and flavored with natural flavorings.


Our Farm Fresh Eggs are laid each day by "the girls" atPa Pa Doodles Farm in Albany, VT. Deb Rosewolf is one of our year round employees at Pete's Greens. A couple of years ago Pete talked her into keeping a flock of hens to supply our CSA (actually he talked her into taking the farm's small flock over to her house). Deb now has 400 hens and exclusively supplies us with eggs. Pa Pa Doodles eggs have rich orange yolks and firm whites. Seven Days Eva Sollberger visited Deb and the hens for a Stuck in Vermont episode. Check it out!


Meat Muster

Meat Share Includes:


Pete's Pastured Whole Chicken
Pete's Pastured Pork Ham Steaks
Greenfield Highland Beef Short Ribs
Applecheek Farm Garlic and Parmesan Sausage


Pete's Pastured Meats are raised right here on the farm and are actually an integral part of our work force, the chickens renovate greens beds eating the tiny leftover plants and roots, eat weed seeds and insects as well as fertilize our fields for us. Our pigs roam free and enjoy the good life renovating land, eating pasture, insects and minerals below the soil surface and taking care of our leftovers from the wash house. This week we are including one Whole Chicken and a Ham Steak.... yum!


Ray Shatney and his parents, Carroll, age 96, and Polly, age 83, have been raising quality Highland Cattle on their rugged hillside farm in Greensboro Bend, Vermont for over 40 years. If you have never seen Highland cattle they are a sight indeed with their long "snuffleupagus" hair and long horns. Highland Cattle were shaped by their harsh environment into the moderate-sized, hardy, efficient grazers we have today. This

month's Short Ribs from Greenfield Highland Beef are just what their name implies, they are short ribs cut from any location along the length of the cow's ribs. Short ribs are fairly fatty, making them ideal candidates for slow cooking by braising or adding to stews that cook for a long period of time. The fat and the meat of the bone offer sensational flavorings and essentail minerals to your meal.


The Garlic and Parmesan Sausage this week comes fromApplecheek Farm in Morrisville, VT. The Clark family is well known for being leaders of grass fed and pasture raised meats in Vermont and you will find that the flavor and quality exemplify their commitment. This week's garlic and parmesan sausage is a mix of pork, beef, garlic, parmesan and spices in a natural casing. This is a very flavorful crowd pleasing sausage! Keep frozen and thaw when ready to eat. Once open sausages will keep for 3-4 days.


Recipes


If this week's share does not kick off soup season I do not know what will. We have all the basic ingredients here to cook literally hundreds of soup recipes weather a broth soup with minced garlic, chopped parsnip, carrot, celery, potato and even winter squash or blend all together into a a creamy squash soup with your favorite seasonings (I suggest curry for this!). Basically add broth and you are off to a great start. Get creative and see what you come up with!


Honey-Ginger Carrot and Parsnip Salad Topping

This is a great way to sweeten up a cold season green salad when seasonal salad favorites are not around. The idea is to roast the vegetables in a lemon-honey vinaigrette and serve on top of a green salad with sunflower shoots and whatever else comes to mind.


2 c carrots, diced small

2 c parsnips, diced small

1/4 c ginger, grated

3/4 c olive oil

1/8 c red wine vinegar

1/8 c lemon juice

tsp lemon zest (if you have)

pinch of dill

1/4 c honey, soft

extra honey to drizzle


In a bowl combine carrots, parsnips, ginger and lemon zest. In a small sauce pan, warm on low heat: oil, vinegar, lemon juice, dill and honey and combine well. Pour half of dressing onto chopped vegetables and mix well. Use a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper lay vegetables out evenly. Drizzle with honey and bake in the oven at 375F for 20-30 minutes until they are soft and begin browning. Remove from parchment paper right away and cool. Top green salad with veggie mix and use remaining dressing.


Scandinavian Flower Eggs with Sweet-Tart Mustard Dill Sauce
~ Adapted from The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper
Wedges of hard-cooked egg tucked into chopped salad greens mimic tightly clustered chrysanthemum petals make a great presentation. What no one knows until they dig into the salad is that hidden under the greens are slices of potato. Slathering the platter first with mayo ensures that the salad is flavored from bottom up as well as top down. Given some hard-cooked eggs and boiled potatoes, you can make this fancy looking dish in a few minutes. Zigzag the mustard over the sauce over the eggs, and you are done. The potatoes and eggs could be cooked a day ahead and refrigerated. The sauce holds 3 days in the refrigerator.

Dill Mustard Sauce (Makes 1 cup)
1 small garlic clove, minced
3 Tbs onion, minced
1/2 c white or cider vinegar
2 Tbs sugar, honey or maple (to taste)
3 Tbs salad oil
Generous ½ c coarse-grain dark mustard
1/3-½ c dill (fresh or dried)
Salt and pepper

Salad
2 generous Tbs mayonnaise
1 head lettuce, stacked and sliced into thin strips
8 large hard-cooked eggs, peeled and cut into 4 wedges each

In a 6-quart pot, simmer the whole potatoes covered in water, 15 minutes, or until potatoes offer a little resistance when pierced with a knife. Drain and rinse them with cold water to cool. Peel and slice them about 1/4" thick. While the potatoes are cooking, make the sauce. In a medium bowl, blend together the garlic, onion, and vinegar. Let them stand 10 minutes to mellow. Whisk in the 2 tablespoons of sugar, the oil, mustard, and 1/3 cup of the dill with salt and pepper to taste. Taste for sweet-sour balance, adding sugar or vinegar as needed. Add more dill if you like.

On a large platter, spread the mayonnaise in a 9- or 10-inch circle. Top with the potatoes, overlapping the slices. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper, then pile the lettuce on the potatoes. Top with the egg wedges, tucking them into a tight sunburst pattern (like flower petals). Season them with salt and pepper. Before serving, zig zag streaks of the dill mustard sauce over the eggs and greens. Scatter the chopped dill and sweet onions over the eggs, and serve with additional sauce at the table.

Tip for Farm Fresh Hard Boiled Eggs - Have you noticed that when you hard boil farm eggs the shell is almost impossible to remove from the white. Simply add a tablespoon vinegar to water 2 minutes before you remove from heat. This will enable you to peel very easily.


Braised Winter Vegetables ~ Adapted from Vegetable Love cookbook

Simple, excellent and addictive, these veggies practically melt on the inside. This recipe will work for potatoes, carrots, parsnip, squash, pumpkin, turnip and rutabaga. Add more stock per volume of vegetables as needed.


carrots, peeled and cubed into 1" pieces

parsnip, peeled and cubed into 1" pieces

potatoes, cubed into 1" pieces (peeling is optional)

2 Tbs butter, melted

1/2 c stock (veggie or chicken)

salt and pepper


Place oven rack in the bottom third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 500F. Toss the diced veggies with butter in a 12x10" roasting pan. Spread out in a single layer. Roast the veggies for 30 minutes, stirring midway through cooking until lightly browned. Reduce the oven temperature to 350F. Pour the stock into the roasting pan. Cover tightly with foil or lid. Bake for 15 minutes. The liquid will be mostly absorbed by the veggies. Season with salt and pepper.


Savvy Cornbread
It is well known that a savvy cook will have their "best" cornbread recipe they adorn chili, baked beans, soups, bbq and more with. Whether it is sweet, spicy, soft, crumbly makes no difference it is a signature of personal style. While I do not claim to have the best recipe; I will empower you to create your best cornbread recipe by giving you a basic list of instructions that can be modified to your specifications, as well as some fun suggestions!

Some ideas of things you can do to personalize your cornbread...

  • Southern style cornbread typically has more corn meal in it than flour, sometimes it even omits wheat flour all together. Feel free to go southern or try the opposite by making a quick bread with only 20% of the grain being corn.
  • Substitute other fats for cooking oil such as butter, lard or bacon drippings.
  • Any number of things may be added for flavor such as minced chili, jalapeno, pimento or roasted red peppers, whole corn kernels, bacon bits, blueberries, cranberries or whatever else sounds appetizing.
  • Add more sugar to make excellent cornbread breakfast muffins mixed with your favorite fruit.
  • Substitute white sugar with maple syrup or honey.
  • Substitute sweet potato or squash puree for the dairy to flavor it up and keep it moist.

1 c corn meal
1 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 c yogurt, milk or buttermilk
1/3 vegetable oil
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 400. Combine dry ingredients in one bowl, wet ingredients in another. Combine the two and mix until just blended. Pour into greased pan. Use and 8 x 8 pan if you like it fairly (2 to 3 inches) thick or 13 x 9 pan if you like it thin. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove and serve while still warm.

Sausage and Vegetable Chicken Stuffing
Many people think that stuffing has to be made with bread crumbs, but I say it is not so. Your bird can be stuffed with almost anything that will be complimented by its juices. Here is a good example of what you could use in your share this week to stuff your bird with.

1 tsp cooking oil
1 link Applecheek Garlic and Parmesan sausage, chopped into smaller pieces
1/2 c onions, chopped
1/2 c carrots, chopped
1/2 c parsnips, chopped
1/2 c apples, cored and chopped
1/4 c celery, chopped
3 Tbs garlic
1 c chard, chopped stems and all

In a large skillet or pot add oil, onion and sausage, cook on medium heat. When onions become soft and sausage begins to cook add carrots, parsnips, apple, celery and garlic, cook for 2 minutes together then add chard till wilted. Remove from heat and cool. Stuff this into your bird and you will have an incredibly flavorful side to your chicken dinner or save for a quick chicken soup for you left overs.

Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine with Parsnips and Carrots
This is a great winter recipe that uses the fat and bone to flavor the dish resulting in tender ribs with a rich sauce and vegetables. Cook with a side of greens and pour yourself a glass of the remaining wine. Marinate the ribs the night before with the wine (or vinegar), some minced onion, garlic, carrot, thyme and a bay leaf over night for exceptionally tender and flavorful ribs. Before cooking remove from marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Strain veggies from marinade and use marinade juice as indicated below.

2-3 lbs Short Ribs, trim off extra fat if desired
1 Tbs butter
1 Tbs cooking oil
1 large yellow onion
1 celery stalk, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 medium parsnips, peeled and sliced diagonally same as carrots
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally same as parsnips
1/4 c unbleached flour
2 c chicken broth, veggie broth or water
1 c full bodied red wine marinade juices or 1/4 c balsamic vinegar
1 8oz can diced tomatoes
2 Tbs tomato paste
3/4 Tbs rosemary (fresh if you got it)
1/2 Tbs thyme (fresh if you got it)
1 lg bay leaf
salt and pepper

This is easiest cooked in a cast iron pan you can finish off in the oven, but if you do not have one just use a good quality frying pan and finish on stove top. Melt butter in pan over high heat, sear fat side down of short ribs till fat begins to melt leaving drippings in the pan, about 3-4 minutes, then turn and sear bone side for 2 minutes. Remove ribs from pan and set aside. Add cooking oil and onions to pan and cook until onions begin to caramelize and turn brown, reduce heat to medium-low and add celery, garlic, parsnips and carrots to pan and simmer for 3-4 minutes covering vegetable surfaces with the juices in pan. Slowly add flour until all veggies are drenched and simmer on low heat until flour begins to stick to pan.

If using a cast iron pan preheat oven to 375F, otherwise we will finish on the stove top by simmering. Once everything has a good drench add stock, wine and bay leaf and simmer on medium-high heat until broth thickens. Next add diced tomatoes, tomato paste and herbs and mix together. Add ribs back to pan, covering them with the sauce. Either put pan in oven with lid on (if cast iron, use tin foil if you do not have a lid) and cook for an hour 15 minutes or simmer covered on the stove top for one hour or longer, until meat is easily pulled from bone.

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