Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Good Eats Newsletter - February 1, 2012

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:

Red Cabbage; Nicola Potatoes; Leeks; Mixed Beets;
Garlic; Yellow and Red Onion Mix and .....

1 Bag of Salad Greens
1 Jar of Tomato Puree

Localvore Offerings Include:
Red Hen Bakery Bread
Pa Pa Doodles Farm Fresh Eggs
Gleason Grains Organic Wheat berries
Bonnieview Farm Feta Cheese

Meat Share Members
This is a Meat Pick-Up Week!

Around the Farm

The first of our seeds started in the head house!

Spring Share
Just 3 Weeks Away!

February 22nd - June 13th
17 weeks of Good Eats!

Wednesday Feb 1st is the last day to get 2011 pricing!Sign-up on line today and tomorrow Feb 1 to take advantage! 

Sign-up now to reserve your share of fresh, organic, Vermont grown goodness and the localvore staples you love.

NEW - Sign up online

Go to our Spring Share page
for more details or to download an order form.

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 we can stop your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.

Storage & Use Tips

During these winter months our Salad Mix is mostly made up of our fresh sunflower, radish and pea shoots mixed with claytonia (a winter hardy herb growing in our unheated greenhouses right now!). The ratio changes from week to week depending on what is in abundance. These lovely greens are the freshest produce available. They are perfect for not only salads but on top of sandwiches, in soups and they are my favorite in my morning eggs.  Amy puts them in her smoothies every morning along with beets and carrots, yogurt and cider.  If you have any recipe ideas for these greens let us know. Keep in a sealed bag in the fridge for 5-7 days.

The beautiful Red Cabbage in your share this week is Ruby Perfection. This is by far one of the most striking cabbages in the field as well as on the dinner plate. Red cabbage takes a bit longer to cook down than your typical green cabbage and the color will bleed into other ingredients you are cooking with. I like to use it lightly cooked in a stir fry. I braise separately and mix in at the end so that other veggies keep their color. It also makes a beautiful slaw which is super tasty paired with a maple vinaigrette, see my recipe below. Cabbage will store indefinitely in your fridge. Wrap in plastic and store in your crisper drawer. Peel away outside leaves when preparing and discard.

This week's tomato puree is pure tomatoes cooked down and then canned. Store in your kitchen cabinet for up to one year or until you are ready to use.

Localvore Lore

This week's bread is made by Red Hen Bakery in Middlesex, Vermont. The Pain au Levain they are making this week has forty percent of its flour grown and milled by Ben Gleason from Gleason Grains in Bridport, VT (he also grew this week's wheat berries).  The other sixty percent is an heirloom wheat called Turkey Red, which was brought to Kansas in the late 1800's by Mennonite settlers and it is being resurrected today.  Check out Slow Food's Arc of Taste for the whole story.

This week's cheese is Bonnieview Farm's Ewe's Feta Cheese. Neil and Kristen Urie make this superior feta from the ewes they milk each day. It is a mild, tangy cheese. It is wonderful in pesto, baked, or fresh on a salad or bruchetta, crumbled into pasta dishes and more. Bonnieview farm is a 470 acre sheep dairy and creamery located in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. The land has been farmed by the Urie family for four generations, bought first by Neil’s great-grandfather in 1890. Their mission is to produce healthy food first and foremost for the local community, to offer people a connection to their food source, and to keep the land and the animals on it healthy and productive.

Gleason Grains provides our Organic Hard Red Winter Wheat Berries for this week's share. Wheat berries are the unprocessed seed or kernel of wheat complete with endosperm, bran and germ. All the nutrients that manufacturers remove from flour when they make white flour are here, including fiber, folic acid, protein, B-complex vitamins and vitamin E. To make flour, dried wheat berries are ground in a mill. Unsifted, you will end up with whole wheat flour. Bran and germ are removed from ground wheat berries in order to make white flour. Instead of grinding these wheat berries try cooking them, sprout them, bake in breads or grow tender wheat-grass for juicing. Add to oatmeal for a yummy breakfast cereal. They make a great cold salad, pilaf, stuffing, casserole, salad garnish or substitute for rice.

Stove Top Cooking
To prepare wheat berries for cooking, I prefer to soak my berries over night (8-12 hours) in cold water and a splash of milk (optional) to soften the outer bran and reduce cooking time, although this is not necessary. In the morning I rinse and wash the berries in a strainer or by filling bowl with water and pouring off floaters till water runs clean. Bring berries, pinch of salt and water to a boil and then simmer for about one hour, until they puff up and can be easily bitten into. I like to cook them in plenty of water (say 3-5 cups of water to 1 cup wheat berries), then just drain any extra water off at the end. One cup of dry wheat berries will make enough to serve a family of four. I like to make extra wheat berries when I cook them, say 2 dry cups, then use the extras for a second meal later in the week, or freeze half for later in the month.  They freeze very well.

Sprouting / Juicing
You can use the sprouts as an addition to other foods, these are often referred to as short sprouts and are highly nutritious. They add great crunch to salads and stir fry dishes and are excellent when baked in breads. Instead of stopping at the initial sprouting stage, continue till it grows into grass. Sprouting wheat berries gives us what is known as “Wheat-grass” which is recognized as a powerful detoxifier and has been considered as a healer throughout centuries. It is usually juiced and consumed right away for maximum benefits.

Wash and clean the berries in cold water. Soak them in cold water overnight, using 3-5 cups water per cup wheat berries. In the morning, drain and rinse the berries once again. Place them in a large ball jar and cover with cheesecloth fastened with a rubber band or use a number of specialized sprouting containers that are available. Keep jar or container covered to exclude light while they are sprouting and continue to rinse the berries with cold water every 8 hours. Make sure that the water is drained well.
The sprouts start appearing in a day or two. You can use these immediately for short sprouts or spread them in a slotted planting container and let them grow until the grass starts appearing in another 1-2 days. When that happens, you can place in sunlight, and keep lightly watered as to avoid drenching . Harvest as needed for juicing.

Pa Pa Doodles Farm provides your regular delivery of Farm Fresh Eggs again this week.

Meat Muster

In this week's meat share we have Pete's Pastured Whole Chicken and Pete's Jerk Marinated Chicken Quarters. The jerk marinade is made with coriander seed, nutmeg, allspice, dried onion, dried garlic, thyme, soy sauce, maple syrup, whole grain mustard, black pepper, dried chili peppers, sunflower oil and water. The chicken is our own chicken raised here on the farm.

A couple of you have been clamoring for MORE BACON. And so, we have included Pete's Pastured Pork Bacon this week. The meat is from our pastured pork raised right here on the farm and cured and smoked at Brault's in North Troy. 

This week's Ground Veal is a real treat that can be served up in burgers, scrambles or pair with this week's ground pork for some savory meatballs (see meatball recipe below). John and Rocio Clark at Applecheek Farm are very proud of how they run their farm and raise their animals. Their meat is all certified organic. Although not in the business of raising veal, male calves are part of the reality on an organic dairy.  Rather than sell their male calves and send them on to an unknown destiny, John and Rocio choose to raise them on the farm.  According to Rocio, "Our veal is raised the old fashioned way, with plenty of milk from their mothers. They nurse whenever they choose; with plenty of grass in our certified organic fields and with plenty of fresh air and sunshine. As a result, their meat is rosy pink with a robust flavor and great tenderness and is very high in nutrients." 

The Ground Pork in the share is from our friends at North Hollow Farm in Rochester, Vermont.  We love Mike and Julie's pastured meats.  Their piggies live in a refurbished wooden barn that was built in 1886 and have plenty of access to root and wallow outdoors too. Use with this week's ground veal in your favorite meatball recipe!


Onion Pie
I bet by now you have a good supply of onions from the share. Here is one of my favorite recipes I have made over the years that will allow you to use these up and enjoy a delicious hearty meal.

3 Tbs cooking  oil (I like sunflower oil)
6 pounds yellow onions, sliced
4 slices cooked bacon (optional)
1 c cottage cheese
2 eggs
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbs horseradish (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon caraway seed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 c grated cheddar cheese
2 1/2 c flour
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
1 tsp salt
cold water 
Prepare Pie crust by first cubing cold butter. Put flour into a mixing bowl and slowly work in butter with two dull knives working in opposite directions (or use a food processor). Butter and flour mixture will look crumbly, at this point remove from bowl onto counter surface and mush together with palm of hand. Add drops of water until it will form a ball. Once in ball form wrap and put into the fridge to re-harden the butter for at least a half an hour. Preheat oven to 425F. 
In a large saute pan heat oil on medium to high heat and add sliced onions. Cook for about 45 minutes until onions are caramelized, looking translucent and browning. Stir frequently to keep from sticking to the bottom of the pan. 
While onions are cooking, pre-cook pie crust. Roll out crust and press crust into the bottom of pie dish or cast iron skillet. Cook for 7-10 minutes until golden and remove from oven. Turn oven down to 350F.
Remove onions from heat and let cool slightly. Chop bacon and add to onion mixture. Combine cottage cheese, eggs, horseradish, caraway seed, salt, pepper and 1/2 c of the grated cheddar cheese, mix well. Once onions have cooled slightly, but are not cold, add mixture to onions and combine well. Pour mixture into pre-cooked crust and top with remaining cheddar cheese. Bake for 35-40 minutes until pie does not jiggle when shook (like a quiche).

Red Cabbage Salad
This salad is as beautiful as it is flavorful. The mild red onions and leeks pair perfectly with sweet red cabbage tossed in a mild citrus dressing. 
4 c red cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 c red onion, chopped fine
2 small leeks, thinly sliced
3/4 c olive oil
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
2 tsp malt vinegar
2 tsp lime juice (lemon ok)
1 Tbs apple cider (0ptional)
1/2 - 1 Tbs maple syrup (depending on whether you use cider)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp celery seed
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all dressing ingredients except for olive oil and mix well. Season to taste. Slowly whisk in oil. In a mixing bowl, add cabbage, red onion and leeks. Toss vegetables with dressing and let sit for at least 1/2 hour before serving. Store in fridge for 3-5 days.

Wheat Berry and Feta Salad
I love to bring salads like this to work. I put in the fridge the night before and they slowly come to room temperature in my bag by lunch time. This salad is much better at room temperature when the oils and vinegar has warmed and coats the wheat berries thoroughly. A great source of whole grains!

1 cup hard winter wheat berries
pinch salt
1 cup red onion, finely diced
6 Tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 Tbs rice wine vinegar
3 small leeks, thinly sliced
1 carrot, small diced
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c crumbled feta cheese
To prepare wheat berries for cooking, I prefer to soak my berries over night (8-12 hours) in cold water and a splash of milk (optional) to soften the outer bran and reduce cooking time, although this is not necessary. In the morning I rinse and wash the berries in a strainer or by filling bowl with water and pouring off floaters till water runs clean. Bring berries, pinch of salt and water to a boil and then simmer for about one hour, until they puff up and can be easily bitten into. I like to cook them in plenty of water (say 3-5 cups of water to 1 cup wheat berries), then just drain any extra water off at the end. After the berries are cooked set aside in mixing bowl.
Saute the red onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat until translucent, 3-5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the remaining 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar.
In mixing bowl, combine the warm wheat berries, sauteed onions and dressing, leeks, carrot, salt, pepper and feta cheese. Allow the salad to sit for at least 30 minutes for the wheat berries to absorb the sauce. Season, to taste, and serve at room temperature.
Wheat Berry Skillet
I love wheat berries in winter and serve them up in place of pasta for a similar but much more nutritious meal.  I cook the wheat berries first.  Then in a cast iron skillet, I saute onions, garlic, some frozen peppers or frozen greens if I have them.  I'll add olives or sundried tomatoes.  I might put in a little tomato sauce or puree to make the whole thing more saucy.  And then I toss in the wheat berries and blend it all. Then I serve it up on plates with crumbled feta and an aged cheese grated on top.  YUM.  Many people who have no fondness for whole wheat pasta LOVE this whole wheat dish.  Honest.  Give it a try! ~ Amy
Jerk Chicken Quarters with Pan Sauce
Although most marinated meats are superb on the grill, it is January in Vermont and sometimes well, I just do not feel like going outside to cook. This recipe is a great way to savor your marinated meats inside using your stove top and oven. The chicken is flavorful and very moist while the rich sauce melts in your mouth. Here is a quick how to video to make a basic pan sauce I think is worth watching if it is your first time .

1 package Pete's Jerk Marinated Chicken Quarters
1 Tbs cooking oil
1/4 c white wine
1/2 c stock, chicken, veggie or sub water
2 Tbs unsalted butter, cold
1/4 c red onion, minced
Thaw chicken to room temperature. Preheat oven to 375F. Heat a heavy frying pan or cast iron skillet to med-high temperature on the stove top. Add cooking oil and let heat. Remove chicken from marinade, discarding extra juices. Add chicken to pan, searing each side for about 3-4 minutes each. Move chicken pieces around pan to use up oil and leave dredgings on bottom of pan. Remove chicken from pan and put into a roasting pan so that each piece is not not touching one another. Put in oven uncovered and roast for about 20-25 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165F. While chicken is baking, make the pan sauce using the dredged pan. Reduce pan heat to medium and add wine and stock. With a spoon scrape bottom of pan to lift dredgings to that the liquid absorbs flavor. While stirring, simmer mixture until it is reduced by 1/3. Add onions and continue reducing until mixture is reduced by 2/3 original amount. Reduce heat to medium low and add butter until melted and well mixed. Turn stove off and cover pan. Let sit until chicken is cooked. Serve chicken with rice, and a few tablespoons of the pan sauce on top.

Chicken Rub
Many cooks use a rub or a blend of spices and oil that can be rubbed on the outside of the skin, tucked under the chicken's skin and/or inside the cavity. When using a rub on the outside of the skin you will want to mix in about 1/2 tablespoon of cooking oil. This will help the rub stick to the skin and also crisp the skin nicely. To use a dry rub under the skin, simply pull away the skin from the meat using a pairing knife. Take note you do not want to tear the skin or pull it off. In these pockets tuck in small amounts of herbs. On the skin surface use your finger to spread them around a little better. You can also rub spices with your hand on the inside of the cavity for add flavor, or stuff with onions and celery or even oranges or lemons for added flavor. Here are a few suggestions.
  • For a Southwestern flavor, try chile powder or pureed fresh chiles, cumin, and sage.
  • For an Indian-inspired bird, mix together equal parts ground coriander and cumin, plus turmeric and a pinch or two of cardamom or garam masala.
  • To give the chicken a Thai flair, try a paste of ginger, lemon grass, green chilies, cilantro and lime juice.
Meatballs and Sauce
This week's share is perfect for meatballs. Do not be deterred by the long cooking time, put sauce and meatballs in a crock pot before you leave for work and come home to an incredible dinner all ready to serve. The lean veal combines well with the pork resulting in a moist, tender meatball. You can sub the water in the sauce for diced tomatoes for a f thicker, meatier sauce but the water and puree cook down for a traditional sauce,  perfect to top the meatballs on any hoggie roll or your favorite pasta.

2 Tbs olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 c yellow onions, diced
1 jar Pete's Kitchen Tomato Puree
3 c water
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp sugar 
salt and pepper
1 lb ground veal
1 lb ground pork
2 eggs
1/2 c milk
1/2 c unseasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp oregano
1 Tbs fresh parsley 
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
First get the tomato sauce started. Using a stock pot, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add onion and cook till translucent. Add garlic and cook for one minute. Add tomato puree, water, spices and sugar, mix well until the puree is diluted. Heat until sauce comes to simmer and turn down to medium or low just to keep simmer.
In a mixing bowl mix all ingredients with spoon or use hands. When mixed well, roll meatballs about the size of a golf ball. Drop raw meatballs into large pot of sauce, simmer for about 3 hours. Salt and pepper to taste.


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