Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Good Eats Newsletter - August 1st, 2012

Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members
This week your bag will contain:
Mesclun; New Nicola Potatoes; Carrots; Beans (a mix of Green & Yellow); Lacinato Kale; Zucchini; Slicing Cukes; Onions Mix; Garlic Scapes; Basil
plus, out of the bag:
Tomatoes (packed in a small paper bag)
Localvore Offerings Include:
Bread & Butter Farm 3 Seed Bread
Butterworks Farm Organic Yogurt
Pete's Greens Sauerkraut
Pete's Greens Sweet Pickle Relish
4 Corners Farm Blueberries
Small Veggie Only Members
Mesclun; New Nicola Potatoes;
Carrots; Lacinato Kale;
Slicing Cukes; Onions Mix; Basil
Save the Date -
It's coming right up....
August 18th &19th

Pete's Greens
Annual Farm Picnic &

Meat Share Members - It's a meat share week!
Around the Farm
Eleven year old Kai on mesclun harvest with Pete this morning. 

Kai lives next door to the farm and loves to hang out with Pete, lending a hand.  He comes often, knows everyone on the crew, and hangs with us. A couple weeks ago my 8.5 yr old son Axel announced he wanted to start working on the farm and for several days he's been there too, labeling pesto containers, and helping with the chickens a bit. He really likes working with Kai.  It's fun to have the kids around and it's great for them to have opportunity to work alongside our focused crew.
Molly and Todd picking beans for Good Eats
Storage and Use Tips
Lacinato Kale - Lacinato Kale aka black kale or dinosaur kale has very dark and bumpy and somewhat leathery looking leaves (hence the dinosaur nickname) that stand up really well to cooking. This kale will retain its shape even in soups and stews. Kale is in the super veggie club and is just about the healthiest vegetable you can eat, packed with vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatories.  And it's tasty and an easy addition to so many dishes.  Keep kale loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer. Strip the leaves from the stems and wash them well before chopping and cooking.
Veggie Storage and Use Tips are our website too, so please bookmark the recipe and storage tip section. I am sure you will find it useful.
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 you can skip your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.

Meat Share
Pete's Greens Pastured Chicken - Our chickens are grown on the farm.  They start off indoors, their diet supplemented with lots of shoots and greens leftover from our washhouse which they eat with gusto.  Once they are feathered out at around 3 weeks of age, they move outside to the field where they spend the rest of their lives grazing and scratching in the dirt for insects and worms.  They assimilate the vitamins in their green diet into their meat making this chicken vitamin packed, low fat and very healthy.  These are whole birds, but they are very easy to cut into parts for grilling.  I've been grilling a lot lately and provide a solid method below.
North Hollow Farm Kielbasa! These kielbasa are made from North Hollow's free range beef with just a bit of pork added for flavor and fat. Mike and Julie send their meat to some folks in MA who have been making Polish kielbasa for 90 years with their secret recipe. This is the real deal and should be just delicious. The kielbasa is smoked, so partially cooked but should be heated through before serving.
McNight Farm Organic Burger - The burger this week is the beginning of what we hope will be a trend in delivering you cuts from McNight Farm in East Montpelier.  Seth Gardner is a long time organic dairy farmer and we have been working together on a plan to regularly include Seth's beef priced in the Good Eats meat share.  Let us know how you like the burger!  In 1.5 lb packages this time, so plenty

Maplewind Farm Grass Fed T-Bone Steak - In Huntington, Beth & Bruce's cattle graze gorgeous hilltop pastures that flank the green mountains forest.  It's a beautiful setting and worth a trip over to visit.  This week, we have Maplewind's T-bone steak.  A tender, high end cut, and one of my favorites.  This is grrass fed beef and needs to be cooked more quickly.  High heat for just a few minutes.  A marinade is always best for grass fed beef since it is generally leaner than grain fed.  I've put my favorite standard steak marinade recipe in, down below.
Localvore Lore
We have Butterworks Farm Organic Yogurt this week. Butterworks Farm is a completely self sufficient organic farm with a closed herd of their own cows (they are all born on the farm) from which they make their yogurt (and other products). Butterworks also grows quite a variety of grains and beans both for animals and for human consumption. We love to support the excellent work that they do. All sites will receive a mix of their full fat Maple and Non Fat Vanilla.  Both of these flavors are sweetened with local maple syrup and the vanilla is flavored with natural vanilla.  The non fat yogurt is unique among other non fat brands in that no thickeners are used in the making of the yogurt.  The structure of the Lazor's jersey milk allows them to make non-fat yogurt thickener free.  In our house, the non fat vanilla with granola is our every day breakfast.  The creamy Maple and granola is a late night treat.
To top your yogurt, we are sending along another round of fresh blueberries, this time from Bob Gray at 4-Corners Farm in Newbury, VT. 
From baker Adam Wilson and Bread and Butter Farm we have delicious, dense, moist, earthy, 3 Seed Bread.  I fell in love with this bread the first time I tasted it.  Adam and farming business partner Corie Pierce and their respective partners purchased a 143 acre Land Trust farm in Shelburne in 2009 and are farming in earnest. They sell raw milk from their herd of grass fed Jersey cows, plus pastured beef and pork, and an array of greens and vegetables grown on the farm.  Adam bakes his traditional German style sourdough breads in a wood-fired oven. The flours are all VT and Quebec grown.
We are also sending out our sauerkraut which will be a nice addition to the bread and to the kielbasa in the meat share.  Each winter, we make kraut the old fashioned way.  In our kitchen, Deb grated the cabbage and then pounded it into barrels layered with salt to begin the fermentation.  Several months later, it is pleasingly mild and light flavored and should last in your fridge for several weeks at least. A bit about fermentation... Lactobacilli are present on the surface of all living things. Left to ferment, lactobacilli convert the starches and sugars in vegetables and fruits into lactic acid, and it is this action that preserves this sauerkraut and many fermented foods. The benefits of lactobacilli go far beyond just preservation. The proliferation of the lactobacilli on fermented foods enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels. The lactobacilli produce numerous beneficial enzymes as well as antibiotic and anticarcinogenic substances and lactic acid also promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestine. This is an excellent food and it is highly recommended that we each eat a small amount of fermented vegetables each day.
It's pickle time at the farm now, we are making dills for later distribution.  Deb's got a batch of bread and butters going, and while she was at it she put together a delicious sweet pickle relish that you can use on burgers and dogs in coming weeks.  It's really yummy, like good enough to eat with a spoon.

Black Kale and Black Olive Salad
Mark Bittman is visiting the farm today!  I use his How to Cook Everything cookbooks and read his New York Times columns regularly, so his visit to the farm is particularly exciting to me!  Here's one of his recipes fomr the Food Matters Cookbook.  This salad calls for lacinato kale, sliced thin and served raw, and it's delicious. Mark combines the kale with black olives and a little shaved Parmesan for a full flavored, earthy, briny salad. It's also a sturdy salad that can be dressed an hour or two ahead of serving.

1 large bunch Lacinato kale (about 1 pound), cut into thin ribbons
1/2 cup black olives, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Salt and black pepper

Combine the kale, olives, and Parmesan in a large bowl. Drizzle with the oil and vengar, sprinkle with salt (not too much) and lots of pepper, and toss.

Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to an hour.
Kale Chips
If you haven't made them yet, do try.  They are delicious, fun, super easy to make.  They come out crispy with a very satisfying potato chip like crunch.  You can try different toppings ...  chili powder, parmesan cheese etc, to flavor them further, but the simple oil and salt I have given below really is great.

1 large bunch kale (any kind, but Lacinato is great), tough stems removed, leaves torn into pieces
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

Position racks in upper third and center of oven; preheat to 400°F.

If kale is wet, very thoroughly pat dry with a clean kitchen towel; transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle the kale with oil and sprinkle with salt. Using your hands, massage the oil and salt onto the kale leaves to evenly coat. Fill 2 large rimmed baking sheets with a layer of kale, making sure the leaves don't overlap. (If the kale won't all fit, make the chips in batches.)

Bake until most leaves are crisp, switching the pans back to front and top to bottom halfway through, 8 to 12 minutes total. (If baking a batch on just one sheet, start checking after 8 minutes to prevent burning.)
Tomato, Cucumbers, Sweet Onion Salad

I never get enough of this salad in summer when tomatoes are so fantastic and cukes abundant. I often add feta or goat cheese if I have it. It's like eating dessert. Good balsamic is an important pantry ingredient. I have a couple that are just fantastic and I save them for recipes where their flavor makes a dish special, and I save the lesser grades for cooking with.

2 Tomatoes chopped

1 Cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped

1-2 sweet onions peeled and sliced thinly

a small handful of basil leaves

drizzle of olive oil

drizzle of good balsamic vinegar
Asian Cucumber Salad

I have offered this one up before. When cucumbers start to come on strong and I can spare them beyond the numbers my kids require for lunches, I make this salad.
1 tsp toasted sesame oil

1 TB honey

1 TB soy sauce

1 TB rice vinegar

2 cucumbers, peeled, cut in half, scoop seeds out, then thinly sliced

Toss together. Best after a few hours and still excellent the second day
The Basic Burger
Mark Bittman's basic burger recipe is basic but tried, true, and tasty. Top these burgers with the sweet pickle relish Deb has whipped up -- yum.

1 to 1⅓ lb. ground chuck or sirloin, not too lean
1 tsp. salt or 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, or steak sauce
¼ cup minced onion, shallot, or scallion (optional)

Place the meat in a bowl and sprinkle with salt or sauce and the onions, if using. Lightly mold the meat into 4 patties.

If you’re cooking the burgers on a grill, heat the grill to high; cook the burgers for about 3 minutes on each side for rare, a minute more per side for each increasing stage of doneness. If you’re cooking the burgers on the stovetop, preheat a cast-iron pan over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes; sprinkle coarse salt in the pan and cook the burgers for the same amount of time as on a grill.

If you’re making cheeseburgers, add the slices of cheese to the burgers as soon as you flip them. Serve on warm buns, toast, or hard rolls, garnished with ketchup, mustard, mayo, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, etc.
Grilled Chicken: the Bittman Method
I grilled one of our birds this weekend and in celebration of grilled chicken (it was so good) and Mark Bittman's visit, I am including his grilling method here.  Of course you have to cut the whole bird up into its parts, but that's easily done.
Mark's method for grilling chicken that's moist on the inside and crisp on the outside is to grill at two temps.  On a grill, you would have a hot side and a cooler side.  On a gas gill, turn one side on low (or even off) and the other on medium high.  The chicken starts out skin side up on the cooler side of the grill....
Put the chicken on the grill skin-side up on the cool side and, after some of the fat has been rendered, turn it; if flames flare up, move the chicken to an even cooler part of the fire (this is where gas is handy; it's so easily adjusted). Or turn it so the skin side is up again -- remember to keep the fat away from the flame.

When the skin has lost its raw look and most of the fat has been rendered, usually after 20 minutes or so of cooking, it's safe to move the chicken to the hot side of the grill. By then the meat will be mostly cooked through; what you do now is brown it nicely on both sides.

Bingo. If you have any doubts about the meat's doneness, cut into it alongside the bone. It will not make for the most attractive presentation, but it's more attractive than bloody chicken. With experience, you will be able to judge doneness by appearance and feel alone. This technique not only frees you from fear, at least in this little universe, but gives you dozens of options for flavoring.
Here's one of Mark's three recipes.  The others are Grilled Chicken Japanese Style and Grilled Chicken with Mediterranean Flavours.
Mark Bittman's Grilled Chicken With Chipotle Sauce 

2 tablespoons lard or neutral oil, like corn or canola, plus more for brushing chicken

1 medium white onion, peeled and chopped

2 dried chipotle chilies, or to taste

2 cups cored and chopped tomatoes
8 chicken thighs, legs or drumsticks 

2 garlic cloves, cut in half 

Salt and pepper to taste 

Chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish 

Lime wedges, for garnish. 

Start a charcoal or wood fire or preheat a gas grill; fire should be moderately hot, part of grill should be cooler than the rest and rack should be 4 to 6 inches from heat source. 

Put lard or oil in a medium saucepan or skillet and turn heat to medium. When hot, add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Add chilies, tomatoes and 1/2 cup water. Adjust heat so mixture simmers steadily but not violently. Cook about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until chilies are soft and tomatoes break up. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary. When chipotle sauce is ready, cool for a few minutes, then remove stems from chipotles, put mixture in a blender and purée. (The sauce may be made up to a couple of days in advance.)

Meanwhile, rub chicken with cut side of garlic cloves, brush on oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Place chicken skin side up on coolest area of grill. When fat has rendered a bit, turn chicken over. After 20 minutes or so, move chicken to hottest part of grill. When chicken is just about done, brush it with chipotle sauce on both sides, and cook just another minute or 2. Serve, garnished with cilantro and lime wedges. 

Citrus Herb Marinade
This is the standard steak marinade in our house. The steaks that meat share members will receive tomorrow will be wonderful with this marinade.  Citrus really works well to tenderize a piece of meat and this marinade never disappoints. It is quick to prepare and substitutions work out just fine. You can prepare it ahead of time and it can sit in the fridge for up to a week.

Combine and then place with steaks in a ziplock bag or other sealed container.
1/4 cup sunflower oil or olive oil
1.5 TB lemon juice
1.5 TB orange juice
1/3 c parsley (or not, we often don't have it on hand and skip)
1.5 tsp dried thyme
1 crumbled bay leaf
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1/4 - 1/2 tsp black pepper

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