Sunday, October 28, 2012

Good Eats Newsletter - October 24th, 2012

Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members
This week your bag will contain:
Napa Cabbage, Sugar Dumpling Squash;
Orange Carrots; Sweet Potatoes; Cauliflower;
Anaheim Peppers; Sweet Salad Turnips;
Pac Choi; Shallots; Dill 
Localvore Offerings Include:
Elmore Mountain Quebec Flax Bread
Landaff Creamery Landaff Cheese
Sunflower Oil
Small Veggie Only Members
Napa Cabbage, Sugar Dumpling Squash;
Orange Carrots; Sweet Potatoes;
Sweet Salad Turnips; Pac Choi; Shallots
Fall/Winter Shares  Available
We have a terrific harvest and are able to extend the offer of a Fall/Winter CSA share to more members this year.
Please spread the word
and tell friends and neighbors about
Good Eats! 
If you would be willing
to post something to your front porch forum
or other neighborhood email group to spread the word, please email me
I'll send you a little blurb that you can use or edit. 
Pete's Musings
What a gorgeous day and it looks like a gorgeous week. Happy for the sun to grow greenhouse greens that are a bit behind with cloudy early October weather. Full scale root harvest starts today with the boys using the new harvester. Hopefully it goes great as we've got 10 acres of turnips, beets and carrots in the field. I got in a small panic the other day when my mental math indicated that we wouldn't be able to fit all our storage crops into the bins we own or into our coolers. But a more careful figuring showed that everything should work out just about perfectly. I'm always impressed by how much carrots continue to grow in the cool of the fall. In the past 2 weeks the carrot crop has grown by at least 1/3 again in bulk and they have sweetened nicely as well.
Thursday we're doing a carrot trial walk with 10 sales people from High Mowing Seeds. Our carrots are grown this year on some land High Mowing owns, we grew about 10 varieties of carrots on our own and then trialed several more varieties that High Mowing was interested in testing. At the same time High Mowing is growing most of the same varieties in another field with a different soil type nearby. We'll compare yield, flavor, shape and look. For us it's a great opportunity to really understand varieties in real life rather than try to predict their attributes based on seed catalog descriptions.
I've been spending alot of time researching how to best monitor and control the temp and humidity in our various cooler spaces. Most crops we store want to be stored as close to freezing as possible but if they freeze, they're ruined. Not so easy to keep a large space at 32.5 degrees without it ever dipping colder. Next week we'll be installing a monitoring and alarm system courtesy of UVM extension. This will allow us to monitor all our cooler spaces online, and will send us emails and call us when there is a temperature problem. The system also produces a continual graphed record of the temp and humidity in each space. We get to use it for a year during which we and Chris our extension agent will be learning lots, and then the system will be passed onto another farm. This is another example of what a great vegetable extension system we have in Vermont. Vern Grubinger, Ann Hazelrigg, and Chris Callahan are all invaluable partners in our farm.
I love eating locally this time of year. So much abundance it's hard to decide what to have for dinner each night. We've opened up the CSA to a few more members so if you or a friend is thinking of joining get in touch with Amy soon.  ~ Pete
Around the Farm

Photo Left - Juan Carlos, Tim, Adan, Annie and Molly, each with a bin of this week's CSA produce.
Photo Right - Pac Choi in the log house yesterday.
Beautiful young head lettuces, mustard greens, pac choi and other Asian greens in the loghouse yesterday.  We have gorgeous crops coming this Fall.
Picking Up Your Share
If you are unsure of your pick-up times or site location, please visit our website's Delivery page. If you have any questions about your pick-up please email me. The quickest way to reach me is always by email, but if you must, you may leave a message on voice mail at 802.586.2882 x2.
Share Pick-Up Instructions! Please review.
I am repeating these instructions again for those who are just joining us or those of you who didn't catch them last week.  Whether you are a seasoned CSA share member or new to Good Eats, it's important to review the pick-up instructions before you head out to pick up your share!

Clipboard #1, Names List - Check off your Name - Find your name on the pick-up list and check it off.  The first clipboard contains a list of all share members at your site. Note that only one name is listed for each share. If you can't find your name on the list, look for your share partner's name (only one of you is listed). Checking off your name lets us know who has picked up and is extremely helpful in solving any mysteries at the end of the day. If you can't find your name or your share partner's name, please don't take a share! Call or email us and we'll figure it out.

Check your share type on the list. Share types are Localvore, Localvore Vegetarian, Veggie Only, Small Veggie Only, Pete's Pantry. If you are listed incorrectly or have questions, let us know.

Clipboard #2, Pick-up Instructions - Select your items by following the Pick-up Instructions. These are posted on the second clipboard. Follow the specific item list/instructions to assemble your share. 
Small Veggie only Members select their yellow bag and (occasionally there may be a second item to select that will be out of the bag and it will be listed in same section).
Regular Veggie Only Members and Localvore Members pick up the larger tan/green bag and any other veggies listed for that share type.
Localvore and Pantry members both select the items listed on the bottom section of pick up instructions (the non -vegetable items).

We pack whole shares only!  If you are sharing a share with someone - coordinate with your share-mate to split your share and DON'T take double the amount of any items. 
Taking more than your share WILL leave other members short so please be careful selecting your items. 

Please note that the first Meat Share pick up is not this week, it is November 7th.
What To Do 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 site 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 us (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 you would like to receive an item that you missed at pick-up, you must contact us by Thursday morning.

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

If we can not resolve your issue right away, email us to arrange a replacement or substitution the following week.
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
Sweet Potatoes - Vermont sweet potatoes!  Sweet potatoes really prefer a warmer climate, but with a little cajoling and TLC we've been able to harvest a decent crop this year.  Some are quite large and one potato will feed several people!  They are sweet and delicious.  Roast them, either whole or cut into wedges or pieces, in a 400F oven until they are soft and easily pierced with a fork.  Store in a dark, dry, cool (55 degree) place, in a loose plastic bag or open to the air.  Stored this way, they may keep up to 3 weeks.  Do not refrigerate, as cold temperature alters the flavor of the potatoes.

Sugar Dumpling Squash - The small size of the Sugar Dumpling squash in the share this week makes them perfect for stuffing with peppers and onions and roasting in the oven.  But these squash are also unbelievably sweet so just roasting and then adding a little butter and (yum) maple syrup and it's hard to improve upon.  Winter squash stores best in a cool, dry, dark place with good ventilation.  Once cut, you can wrap the leftovers in plastic and store in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days.  
Napa Cabbage - For salad making this week, we have Napa cabbage.  The flavor of Napa cabbage is somewhat milder and a bit sweeter than that of regular green cabbage. 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.
I have been going deep on napa salads this week.  Have had them nearly every day.  One day it was a Vietnamese salad. Another day it was a Mexican salad with rice and beans and napa.  Another day it was an Asian napa salad with basmati rice and salmon (recipe below).  Yum.  And then there's one of my favorite Napa salad recipes on our website...
Pac Choi - A member of the brassicas family along with cabbage and kale, pac choi (aka bok choy or Chinese cabbage) originated in China, where it has been grown for over 1500 years.  As part of the cabbage family, it packs in nutrition with high scores for vitamins A and C and calcium.  Pac Choi is mild enough to be chopped up for a salad, particularly if you give it a quick wilt in a hot pan. It's also great in stir-fries and sautes and in asian soups (and other soups too).  Pac Choi has a mild flavor - the leaves taste similar to Swiss chard and the stems (called ribs) are deliciously crispy and can be substituted for celery in recipes.  My favorite way to cook it is to halve or quarter it lengthwise (depending on the size), brush it with olive or sunflower oil and throw it on the grill. Prepared this way, it makes an excellent and easy side. Store pac choi loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.

Sweet Salad Turnips - These turnips are a raw, tasty treat. Slice them and mix in with your salad greens, or dip them in dressing and eat them on their own.  The turnip greens did not survive the early winter weather, so we've removed them for you, but the turnips are only sweeter for the cold!  They can be kept loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge.

Carrots - Carrots should be stored loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer, where they will keep for a couple of weeks. Store them away from apples, pears and other produce that create ethylene gas, which causes them to become bitter.

Anaheim Peppers - The anaheim peppers are mild on the heat scale.  They are terrific stuffed with rice and beans, or with onions, peppers, bread crumbs, and parm or cheddar.  Whatever direction you take them, they will be great.

Dill - The fresh dill in the share today is the last of the season, harvested just before the nights in Craftsbury got too cold for dill to survive.  It can be used right away or preserved for later use.  There are numerous methods for preserving dill. The easiest is to simply hang the dill for several days in a warm dry place (attic perhaps). You can dry it in your oven if your oven can operate at a low temp of 100°F. You can also freeze the leaves in a plastic bag. Dill perks up soups, salads, casseroles. It pairs really well with potatoes, eggs, beets, fish, salads and salad dressings, tomatoes, yogurt.
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.
Localvore Lore

This week Elmore Mountain Bakery has baked their Quebec Flax Seed Bread, made with organic Milanaise Winter Wheat, Milanaise Whole Wheat, Milanaise Rye, Quebec Flax, Sea Salt and Sourdough. This bread is yummy.
The organic sunflower oil comes from John Williamson's State Line Farm in Shaftsbury, VT. This is a good all purpose mild flavored oil that you can use wherever a recipe calls for vegetable oil. You will receive it in a plastic quart container, but we recommend transferring it to a glass container. If you will not use the oil quickly in your household, it's best to store it in the fridge. This is an unrefined product and it can spoil. In the fridge it will last indefinitely. It may get a little cloudy in your fridge but this is normal and the cloudiness will dissipate as it warms up. John and partner Steve Plummer did not start out with the intention to make sunflower oil for consumption but instead built Vermont's first on farm biodiesel facility pressing oilseeds grown on site to be used as bio fuel. But they are able to press the same seeds to create a very high quality oil for consumption, and we all are lucky beneficiaries. Photo at left of John's fields.

The Welsh style farmstead Landaff cheese in the share this week is made through a partnership between Doug and Debby Erb, owners of the Landaff Creamery & the Cellars at Jasper Hill. The cheese is made at the Creamery, with milk from the Erb's Holsteins. After the cheese is made, it heads to the Cellars for the affinage, or aging process where it is lovingly cared for for a minimum of 60 days to maturity. Landaff is a particularly great melting cheese, but also a great slicing cheese for sandwiches, and a terrific addition to a 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.
Sweet Potato and Sausage Soup

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 10- to 11-ounce fully cooked chorizo-style sausage, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 medium onions, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes, peeled, quartered lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 pound potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 pound pac choi, roughly chopped

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add sausage; cook until brown, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Transfer sausage to paper towels to drain.  Add onions and garlic to pot and cook until translucent, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add all potatoes and cook until beginning to soften, stirring often, about 12 minutes. Add broth; bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until potatoes are soft, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Using potato masher, mash some of potatoes in pot. Add browned sausage to soup. Stir in spinach and simmer just until wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among bowls and serve.

Asian Cabbage No Mayo Salad
This salad/slaw blend will keep well undressed in the fridge for several days.  You can even dress it and put leftovers in fridge.  But I tend to make a lot of the undressed veggie blend and bag it, and make the dressing.  And then I dress enough for each meal. 
With Salmon - For a complete meal, make a teriyaki sauce in a small skillet combining 1 TB oil, 1 TB tamari or soy, 1-2 tsp sugar, a clove or two of garlic and a thumb size piece of minced ginger.  Let heat then toss in slices of salmon and cook for a few minutes a side.  Remove from pan.  If you have leftover rice you can heat in this same flavorful pan.  Then make pretty plates with salmon, rice and salad. 

Combine in a bowl:
1 head napa cabbage, shredded
2 carrots, shredded
sweet salad turnips shredded
1/2 anaheim pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
8 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias (not essential)

Asian vinaigrette, combine in a bowl:
2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons mirin*
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon grated ginger root
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon hot chili sauce or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
1/4 cup minced cilantro leaves (optional, salad holds it's own without)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon minced lemon grass*, optional

Cauliflower and Sweet Onion Tart
From Bon Appetit, this recipe is perfect for the Landaff. 

1 small head of cauliflower (about 1 pound), cut into 1-inch florets

3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 refrigerated pie crust or a homemade tart shell

1 large onion, halved lenghtwise and thinly sliced

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 large eggs

1 (7- to 8- ounce) container mascarpone cheese

1/2 cup whipping cream

1/4 teaspoon ground white or black pepper

Pinch of ground nutmeg

1 cup grated gruyere cheese (Landaff works well instead)

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

Position rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 425°F. Toss cauliflower with 2 tablespoons olive oil in large bowl. Spread on rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast 15 minutes before turning florets over and roasting until brown and tender, another 15-20 minutes.
Reduce temperature to 350°F.

If using store bought pie crust, press it onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Line crust with foil, fill with pie weights and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and weights then bake until crust is golden, about 5 additionally minutes. Press crust back with the back of a fork if bubbles form. Cool crust and maintain oven temperature.
Heat remaining 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until onion is a deep golden brown (about 30 minutes), stirring occasionally.

Use a knife or brush to spread the bottom and sides of crust with mustard. Spread onion over crust. Arrange cauliflower over the onion. Set the tart on a rimmed baking sheet (to protect against leaks). Whisk eggs, mascarpone, cream and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir in the Landaff. Pour mixture over filling in tart pan, sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake until tart is golden and center is set, about 40 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool 15 minutes before serving.

Pureed Roasted Squash and Sweet Potatoes with Citrus

1 sweet dumpling squash (about 1.5#)
1 pound sweet potatoes
1.5 tablespoons mixed finely chopped orange and lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or less, to taste)
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover a large baking sheet with foil and brush the foil with olive oil. Cut the squash in half lengthwise (see below) and scoop out the seeds and fibers. Lay on the baking sheet, cut side down. Pierce the sweet potatoes in several places with the tip of a paring knife and place them on the baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake 1 hour, or until the potatoes and squash are thoroughly tender when pierced with a knife. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees.

Bring 1 quart of water to a boil in a saucepan and add the zests. Boil for 3 minutes and drain.

When the squash and sweet potatoes are tender, remove the skins and mash the rest with a fork, potato masher or standing mixer fitted with the paddle, or put it through a food mill. (A food processor makes the mixture too watery, Ms. Kasper says.) Stir in the citrus zest, the cinnamon, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

Scrape the mixture into a heavy skillet or saucepan and cook, stirring, over medium heat, stirring, for 10 to 15 minutes, until it is thick and steamy. Serve hot.

Pac Choi and Pepper Stir Fry

1 lb. pac choi
1 lb. peppers

1 Tbsp fresh ginger root, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp sunflower oil

Separate the pac choi leaves and cut off the chunky stalks.  Slice the stalks finely. Roughly chop the leaves. Heat the sunflower oil in a wok or sauté pan. Add the garlic, peppers and ginger. Cook for 1 minute, stirring often. Add the pac choi stalks. Toss well. Cover and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the pac choi leaves. Stir and then cook for 1 minute, until they are barely wilted. Add soy/tamari and sesame oil and toss.

Caramelized Shallots
From one of Annie's mom's Barefoot Contessa (Ina Garten) cookbooks.

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter

2 pounds fresh shallots, peeled, with roots intact

3 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons good red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or dill

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Melt the butter in a 12-inch ovenproof* saute pan, add the shallots and sugar, and toss to coat. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the shallots start to brown. Add the vinegar, salt, and pepper and toss well.
Place the saute pan in the oven and roast for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the shallots, until they are tender. Season, to taste, sprinkle with parsley or dill, and serve hot.

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