Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Good Eats Newsletter - December 7th, 2011

This Week's Vegetable Share Includes:

Bunched Kale; Bright Lights Swiss Chard; Bunched Dandelion Greens or Panisse Lettuce; Leeks; Mixed Potatoes; Mixed Beets; Carrots; Carnival Acorn Squash; Garlic and


1 Bag Frozen Sweet Red Peppers





Locavore Share Includes:

Aurora Farms VT White Flour
Cabot Clothbound Cheddar Cheese
Butterworks Farm Light Red Kidney Beans




Meat Share Members

This is a Meat Share Week!

Bulk Produce & Locavore Orders

Our Bulk Order Form is up to date. Order by the end of this week for next week's delivery.


Either download the PDF Order Form here or please visit our home page to download the order form as an Excel spreadsheet. Under the Good Eats CSA updates, on the home page, you will find the link to the Excel spreadsheet order form that you can download.



Open House & Barn Warming


Thanks everyone for coming out to our Open House and Barn Warming Party this weekend! We were very happy to see so many of our CSA members come out to the farm. The open house was full right at 9:30am into the afternoon. We estimate 150-200 people showed up throughout the day to see our new facility. The Barn Warming Party that night also had a great turnout with a similar number of 150-200 guests throughout the evening. Included in the evening's guests were Senator Bernie Sanders, Congressman Peter Welch and Governor Shumlin each of whom addressed the crowd and spoke passionately in support of Vermont agriculture and sustainable farms. We are so very lucky to have such dedicated political representatives working for our state. Many thanks to Ryan O'Malley and the students at NECI for putting together a delicious local dinner for our guests. This dinner was assembled as a thank you to all of those who directly helped with the construction of our new barn/facility, and gave all of us at Pete's Greens the opportunity to celebrate with our families, friends, neighbors, and the contractors, financing partners and other supporters who made our rebuild possible. Thanks again to you all.


This article in the Orleans Record just came out today.



Welcome Heather!

Heather Jerrett takes over as Good Eats CSA manager



Secretly, for the last couple of months we have had a Good Eats ghost writer. Heather Jerrett has been writing sections of the newsletter and pulling together the weekly recipes for you all. I am very excited to relay that Heather has officially joined the Pete's Greens team and will be taking over management of Good Eats! Heather brings great experience to our team. Before joining us at the farm, Heather worked at High Mowing Organic Seeds for 8 years. As Tom's Stearns first full time employee at the company, she held many roles and was very involved as the company grew and developed and was involved in implementing many of the systems used throughout the company. As the Research and Develpment Trials Coordinator and manager of the High Mowing 4-acre trial gardens for the past five years, Heather brings in depth knowledge about vegetable varieties, plant growth, pests and disease and organic farming in general. She also managed many aspects of High Mowing's sales and marketing including putting together the annual catalog and updating the website with variety descriptions, photographs and cultural information. She will be a great help to us as we move forward. She's been working with us at the farm for the past several months on a project basis and we love her sunny attitude each day and her great organizational ability. Heather lives in Irasburg with her husband Dann and their St. Bernard 'Biggie', cat 'Lemon', chickens 'The Storm Troopers', and pigs.



Though I will no longer manage the weekly operations of Good Eats, I remain very involved. Since I joined the farm team in early 2009, the farm and my role has grown and this transition is a natural move on our path forward. I am very excited about the future of the farm and Good Eats! ~ Amy



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.



Storage and Use Tips


Potatoes - You will likely receive a good amount of potatoes in the fall share. It is important to properly store your potatoes if you will not be using them right away. When thinking about crops like potatoes it is important to remember that even after harvest, potatoes are still living, respiring organisms that use oxygen and give off carbon dioxide. This means potato tubers must have fresh air for prolonged storage. The fact that they are alive also means that they respond to their environment. Warm temperatures encourage sprouting and tuber diseases. But when stored at cold temperatures may turn grey or black. Potato tubers exposed to light will turn green. Tubers stored in dry environment may become flaccid and withered in appearance. The best place to store potatoes is in a ventilated, cool, dark, and humid environment like in a cupboard or under your sink. I like to keep my potatoes in my refrigerator crisper drawer in a plastic shopping bag loosely tied.


Dandelion Greens - Yes this is the same old dandelion that you have had in your yard all summer long. This particular variety has been bred to have long, large emerald green leaves that can be used as a salad green when young or as a braising green when older. Dandelion is in the chicory family and has the same bitter flavor that most endives are known for. As a baby green, it has not yet developed this flavor but as the plant matures the bitter compounds are accentuated. In order to fully appreciate the dandelion green it is important to cook them in a small portion of salted water separately from all other ingredients, strain and season to taste. Then again you can add it to other dishes as you would any other cooking green, they will just have a stronger flavor than say, spinach. Greens should be bagged and stored in the fridge for 7-10 days.



Locavore Lore


Over the course of this share, you'll receive several types of flour. The Vermont Organic White Flour you are receiving this week was organically grown in Charlotte by Tom Kenyon at Aurora Farms (home of the Nitty Gritty Grain Company). Tom and Randy George of Red Hen Baking Company collaborated to grow this flour, and the first successful crop was harvested in the Fall of 2009 (after a couple failures in prior years). The quality of the flour and the success of the crop was worthy of celebration! Prior to the 2009 harvest, we had nothing like it available to us that was grown locally here in Vermont. 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 organic white flour on hand to bake with, one that I know has been grown organically and that performs so well to boot. I use it in all kinds of baked goods, and it is my go to flour for most dessert baking - cookies, brownies, cakes etc. 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.


Cabot Clothbound Cheddar is a traditional English type cheddar, with a slightly craggly texture, and flavors that are sweet and nutty. This is a multi award winning cheese with 5 world titles in cheddar classes, including a blue ribbon at both the 2010 American Cheese Society Awards and the 2010 World Championship Cheese Contest! The cheese starts out at the Cabot Creamery. Immediately after the wheels are unmolded from their cheddar hoops at Cabot, they are delivered to the Cellars at Jasper Hill. For the next 10-14 months they remain at Cellars, lovingly tended. During the aging process a bloomy rind is allowed to develop which flavors the cheese. The cave environment is carefully monitored to age the cheese perfectly. We think you will find it's a pretty special cheese.


Butterworks Farm Light Red Kidney Beans are a gourmet bean loved for their delicate texture and rich flavor. Often used interchangeably with Dark Red Kidney beans they are however an entire different variety all together having excellent culinary qualities for soups, chili and casseroles and other slow cooked dishes due to its thin skin and rich flavor. Dark Red Kidneys are traditionally used for red beans and rice and dishes where it is not desirable for the bean to break or add to the texture of a sauce or soup. Dry beans are an excellent source of protein and iron. 1 pound dried beans = 2 cups dried = 4-5 cups cooked beans



Meat Muster


Meat Share Includes:


Pete's Pastured Pork Shoulder or picnic ham is a the ideal cut for pulled pork and is great for other slow cooked dishes and soups. The roast comes from the front leg and shoulder of the pig and is cut with the bone-in. Pete’s Pastured Pork is raised right here at Pete’s Greens, all of our animals live their lives outdoors and are never given any antibiotics or hormones.



Maple Wind Farm in Huntington, VT provides this week's share with Sandwich Steak. This is a new cut for Maple Wind Farm, and we tried it out in the summer share and got rave reviews from meat share members. It's our last opportunity to get it for a while so I went for it. It's a thinly cut piece of sirloin, and is the cut that Philly cheese steaks are made from. Add peppers, onions and your favorite cheddar. Or fry up with eggs for a traditional steak and eggs breakfast to keep you trucking through the morning. Also fantastic for asian dishes that call for thin pieces of quick cooking beef and for steak salads. Maple Wind Farm is a top producer of nutrient dense, grass fed beef with excellent flavor and quality.


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 Ground Beef from Greenfield Highland Beef is high quality grass fed beef. Because grass-fed beef tends to be leaner in general cooking time can be reduced.



Pete's Pasture Boneless Chicken Breast is from our own pastured chicken raised right here on the farm. We thought you'd enjoy being able to cook up a dish without roasting or parting a bird first. Enjoy!










Recipes


Crumby Garlic Greens
This is a basic recipe that caught my eye this weekend. A simple new twist to dress up your winter greens in a few quick minutes. I would suggest melting your favorite cheese on top such as Cabot Cheddar Clothbound (in this week's share) or a soft brie-like cheese.

2 1/2 Tbs unsalted butter
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (fresh, pre-made or crushed salted crackers)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch greens (Swiss chard, kale, or whatever you have on hand), chopped

In a saucepan, melt 1/2 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and a pinch each of coarse salt and ground pepper. Cook, tossing, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes and set aside. In pan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute till butter is flavored, 3-5 minutes. Add greens, cover and cook over medium-low until wilted, 5 minutes or so depending on thickness of greens. Uncover and continue to cook, stirring, over medium-high until pan is dry, 6-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add other herbs such as oregano, garlic powder or cumin as desired. Toss with breadcrumbs and serve.

Potato & Leek Pancakes
For breakfast, lunch or dinner these tasty treats can hold up on the go, in the lunch bag or on the dinner plate. These cakes are fun and nutritious. I like to salt and pepper the outside with coarse salt and ground pepper and garnish with creme fraiche, yogurt, sour cream etc.

2 Eggs
3/4 c leeks, finely chopped
2 Tbs All Purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 c vegetable oil, lard or bacon drippings
3-4 c (6 medium sized potatoes) potatoes, shredded (keep colors separated for fun)
salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, beat together eggs, flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Mix in potatoes and onion. Heat oil in a deep frying pan on medium high heat. Plop 1/2c batter into hot oil for each cake, flip to crisp both sides and cook through.

Simplest Steak Sandwich
Lots of variations possibly with this simple sandwich. Saute onions and peppers, and toss those on. Or skip the dijon and add to the basic sandwich tomato, pesto and fresh mozz or another melted cheese.

1 ciabatta loaf or baguette
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
sandwich steak
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves picked (or thyme, or parsley)
olive oil or sunflower oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 -2 Tbs Dijon mustard
onions, thinly sliced
1 handful of mesclun

Saute onions and peppers ahead of time, set aside keeping warm.

Place your ciabatta just to warm in the oven for a few minutes at 225F.

Season your steak and then sprinkle it with herbs. If any of the slices are thick, place them in a plastic bag and then bash the bag with a kitchen mallet or cleaver or back side of a heavy pot to thin the meat to an even thickness. Rub with a little olive oil, place on a very hot griddle or frying pan and sear each side for a minute. This will cook the meat pink, but you can cook it less or more to your liking.

Remove to a plate, squeeze over the lemon juice and allow to rest.

Cut your ciabatta in half lengthways and drizzle the cut sides with a little e.v. olive oil. Smear a massive dollop of Dijon mustard over the bread, put your steak and onions and mesclun on top, then drizzle over any juice from the meat. Squeeze together and eat!

Chili
The recipe below calls for beef but if you prefer a vegetarian chili simply omit the beef. You can also substitute a number of meats such as stew beef, ground pork, turkey or veal. Chili is also one of those dishes you can add other veggies and ingredients to very easily. I like to add diced carrots (cook like potatoes), frozen corn (add at end) and pickled jalapenos (add to taste) to mine at home. A good friend of mine swears by adding chocolate to her chili to give it a rich flavor. Have some fun!

2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 lb ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 Tbs chili powder (paprika, cumin, cayenne, oregano, garlic powder)
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (6 oz) can tomato puree
1 package frozen sweet peppers, thawed and chopped
1 1/2 lb (6 c cooked) light red kidney beans, cooked with broth
3 c (3-4 med sized) potatoes, diced

Heat the oil in a soup pot set over medium heat. Add the ground beef, garlic, and onion. Cook, stirring to crumble the ground beef, until beef is no longer pink. Drain off any excess grease. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and chili powder. Add the tomatoes, puree, peppers, cooked light red kidney beans and broth and uncooked potatoes. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Season as desired.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
This recipe is a solid recipe that I use often for pulled pork. It's super easy to prepare (just mix the barbecue sauce ingredients and throw the meat and onions into the slow cooker) with ingredients in most pantries. You can make this in your oven too, but I think your cook time would be nearly as long.

2 1/2-3 lbs shoulder/pork butt (trimmed of any obvious excess fat)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 c ketchup
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1/8+ c honey
1/4 c tomato paste
1.5 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1.5 Tbs mustard
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic
pinch of cayenne (or more to taste)
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 c water

Place the onions on the bottom of your slow cooker. Place the pork shoulder in on top of the onions. Whisk together all remaining ingredients to form the barbecue sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings to your like it. You may prefer to add more honey, salt, pepper, or cayenne. Pour half the sauce over the pork and cover. Cook over low heat for around 8 hours til falling apart. Remove to a large bowl and shred the meat with two forks. Return to the slow cooker and cook for a few more minutes until the meat has soaked up the sauce. Serve on soft sandwich rolls or alongside some mashed potatoes.

Carrot Beet Cake
After serving carrot cake this weekend at our open house I could not resist to put this recipe in this week. A great way to sweeten up your winter veggies.

2 c beets (2 med beets), shredded
1 c carrots (2 med carrots), shredded
2 1/2 c All Purpose Flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1/4 c packed brown sugar (sub maple sugar)
3/4 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. plain yogurt (sub buttermilk or sour cream)
3/4 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. coconut flakes (optional)
1/2 c. chopped walnuts (optional)

Frosting (makes 2/3 cup):
2 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 c powdered sugar
2 Tbs milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 8x8x2.6in cake pan with butter.
In a large bowl, combine next 6 dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg & salt). Mix well by using a whisk, set a side.
In a separate large bowl, beat the egg. Add both sugars and mix well. Add yogurt and vegetable oil and mix well. Add beets, carrots, coconut flakes and walnuts into egg mixture and mix well. Then slowly add flour mixture. Fold the mixture by using spatula until all the ingredients are incorporated. Pour the batter into the pan, bake it for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let it cool at room temperature. For frosting combine all ingredients and beat until smooth. Frost cake when it has cooled.

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