Friday, April 12, 2013

Good Eats Newsletter - April 10, 2013




    Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members
take a LIGHT GREEN/TAN BAG
 
This week your bag will contain:
Mixed Greens; Yukon Gold Potatoes; Carrots; Celeriac; Red OR Green Cabbage; Shallots
 
and OUT of the Bag
Frozen Zucchini
Frozen Peppers
 
 
Localvore Offerings Include:
Elmore Mtn Foagies
VT BeanCrafters Organic Bean Burgers
Lazy Lady Oh My Heart Cheese
 
 
 
 
Small Veggie Only Members
take a YELLOW BAG
containing:
 
Mixed Greens; Yukon Gold Potatoes; Carrots; Red Cabbage; Shallots
 
and OUT of the Bag
Frozen Zucchini
 
 
Seedlings & Spring Bin Repair
Pete's Musings
 
Pete's Greens is knows as a place where pickup trucks go to die. Many a time we've bought a perfectly good truck for $1800 and by the end of the summer it's a basketcase. The causes are a little mysterious but seem to be related to lots of different drivers of varying skill level, plentiful mud, and ... lots of different drivers of varying skill levels. I never cease to be amazed at the ability of males growing up in America who have absolutely no idea how to drive anything. We had a young man a couple years ago who bent the frame of a beautiful truck because he hit a pothole going too fast. Last summer one of our hotshots dented our new grey van twice (new to us, it's actually 20 years old but it's really nice) and my personal pickup before we had to cut him off cold. Many a time I've heard a terrible high pitched whining sound from 1/2 a mile away and instantly I know that someone is stuck. I always know who they are and what vehicle it is just by the sound. It's a race to get there before they have buried the rig up to the axles.  We've given up on the idea that anyone should be able to drive a standard and now buy only automatic pickups.
 
But this spring all the old junkers are getting shipped out. You can see the nice load that Kev had fun constructing on Saturday. We're gradually assembling a fleet of used automatic and 4wd trucks and putting flatbeds and tarp shelters on them for harvesting into. There will also be a water tank for misting produce as it is harvested. And we're initiating a drivers training course that has to be passed before you are allowed to drive. It's a new day at Pete's Greens! Now we are a place where trucks come to die more slowly! ~ Pete
 
Mel's World
 
 
 
Strolling around in spring, evidence of Melissa is everywhere.  Mel singlehandedly plants ... 80% 90%?  More??? of all the crops we have to transplant.  Walk out into the headhouse and gaze at the 400 or more seed trays out there holding peppers, tomatoes, beans, vine crops, aliums, herbs and Melissa probably planted them.   Oh wait there's more... Then stroll over to the cooler climate of the hardening off house and it's full too, hundreds more.  And still more flats linger outside the hardening house bearing the brunt of the suns rays and real temps for the first time.  And then within the log house can be found hundreds of beautiful baby plants that have already been transplanted, and all will have been nurtured by Mel.  Each week, accompanied by Iris (who is learning fast!) she strives to keep pace with the farm's crop plan, seeds in, trays hardened off, crops potted up, transplants in ground.  And so it will continue until the last crops find their bed in June.
 
 
 
Food Swaps
 
Have you heard of the newest craze sweeping the foodie world?  A food swap is a gathering of home cooks, gardeners, foragers, food preservationists, and bakers who come to swap their homemade food or drink products and garden bounty.  It’s very similar to a cookie swap, but not limited to cookies – food swap options are endless! 
               
Food swaps are not a new concept.  Like so many ancient traditions, they largely died out as our food system was industrialized.  As later generations re-discovered the benefits of self-reliance and home grown foods; swapping excess produce and specialty products made a logical re-emergence.   Many people are wary about a food swap and say things like “I didn’t can anything” or “I didn’t grow much in my garden this year” but the amazing thing about a food swap is this – it’s not just limited to canned goods or your backyard bounty!
 
Today’s food swaps are as much about sharing ideas and building community as they are about trading foods.  You’ll likely encounter unfamiliar produce and products that will work their way into your garden and kitchen.  You may also discover a new use for a familiar product – like running excess summer squash though a food processor and making a curried summer squash relish that you’ll find uses for year round.  It’s also a great place to show off your skills in the kitchen or garden - there isn’t a better feeling than when everyone at the swap wants your item and recipe. 
               
The swap itself is simple: bring an item that you’d like to swap, check out the goods others brought, and make a trade.  Once everyone is set up, there is a half hour browsing time to view/sample the goods.  When you find something you’d like to swap for, leave your name and product on the swap card that goes with that item.  When the browsing is complete, there will be a few minutes to review your offers before the swapping begins.  Some food swaps often offer an educational intermission between the sampling and swapping with guest speakers on topics of interest.  Food swaps typically conclude with participants sharing recipes and ideas before departing.
 
If you're interested in attending a food swap, VT Food Swap is hosting one on Sunday, April 14th, at 3pm at the Waterbury Congregational Church.  For more information and to sign up go here
 
This is a tradition that deserves revival!
 
 
Storage and Use Tips
 
 
 
 
This week's Greens  are a mixture of Claytonia, Sunflower and Radish Shoots, and Arugula. 
 
 
More variety is on it's way in your greens - arugula, lettuce, and mustard greens are growing quickly in the greenhouses as you can see!
 
 
 
 
 
 
Yukon Gold Potatoes are very versatile and can be used well in a number of recipes.  They're starchy enough to bake and firm enough to boil, making it as close to the everything potato if it existed.  A good potato can be incredibly delicious sautéed in a little garlicky olive oil, simmered in stock, boiled and drizzled with the tiniest amount of butter and a sprinkle of mint or mashed with greens.
 
Celeriac, also called turnip-rooted celery or knob celery, is a variety of celery cultivated for it's edible roots.  It is edible raw or cooked and tastes faintly like celery.  It is excellent peeled and sliced or cubed and added to soups or stews, roasted or boiled.  My favorite use for celeriac is to boil the cubes with peeled and cubed potatoes to make mashed potatoes.  The addition of the celeriac really lends an excellent flavor!
 
Red or Green Cabbage- small share members will get red cabbage and large share members will get either a red or green cabbage.  Cabbage can be used in a variety of ways- shredded and added to coleslaw or on top of a salad, sauteed, roasted, or grilled. 
 
Shallots are related to onions and garlic having a head composed of multiple cloves, each covered with a pink, papery, onion-like skin. They have a mild taste that combines the flavor of a sweet onion with a touch of garlic. They are more delicate than onions, having a faster cooking time and can be used in many of the same dishes where garlic and onions are used (and do not cause stinky breath!). You can sautee or caramelize and then combined with wine, butter or cream in sauces. They are also quite good in dressings. You can chop fresh into salads and on sandwiches or it is also very easy to roast shallots while leaving the skins on and then peel and mash them before using.  Store in a cool, dry place for up to a month. Enjoy!
 
One of this week's frozen items is Frozen Green or Red Peppers.  Our frozen veggies are grown on our farm, come in from the field and go straight into the freezer. Our peppers are washed, chopped, bagged and frozen within hours of harvest. Frozen peppers won't be crisp like fresh peppers but retain all the flavor and yummy summer goodness. To use them, simply remove package from the freezer, slice open bag, and then either thaw and add to your dish, or chop just what you need frozen and toss directly into your skillet frozen. If you use the latter method, you can toss unused frozen back into the freezer for later use. (This is how I use all the frozen veggies).  They are wonderful added to burritos, chili recipes, pastas, eggs, soups or stews.  My kids like them as a frozen treat.
 
We also have Frozen Zucchini for everyone this week!  It will lose a lot of water once you thaw it out which makes it perfect to add to your baking recipes or many other recipes as well. Let it thaw, and then squeeze out all the excess water and then add the zucchini to your recipe.  Soups, stews, spaghetti sauce, even meatloaf will benefit from this zucchini. 
 
 
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 you have all the makings for a burger night!  And if you have any of the sweet onion relish left, that will be a great addition too!
 
The bread is Elmore Mountain Foagies.  This is their version of rolls made from focaccia dough.  Grill it like a panini, make an egg breakfast sandwich, or stack it with cold cuts.  This would be excellent paired with this week's cheese and bean burger.
 
Black bean burgers come to you from VT BeanCrafters Organic Bean Burgers.  These burgers are loaded with protein, iron, and Vitamin A and are organically made with VT sourced ingredients. 
 
Cooking Instructions - The burgers come baked, so you only need to get them hot. They do best pan-fried in cast iron with a bit ofoil, but also cook well on grills and in toaster ovens.
To bake - brush lightly w//oil. Bake on a greased pan for 8-12 mins at 400F.
To pan fry - set burner to med/hi. Once hot, add a bit of oil and spread in pan, toss in burgers straight from freezer. Cook first side til burgers slides freeely on the pan with light shaking. Then flip and cook other side for a minute or two. Try them crumbled into a tortilla with a fried egg and salsa. Mmmmm.
 
Lastly there's some cheese for you to spread on your Foagies.  Lazy Lady Farm  made Oh my Heart Cheese - it's a brie style cow cheese with a bloomy rind.  This rich cheese would be great spread on crackers or bread.  Laini Fondillar makes small batches of some pretty fantastic cheese at her Lazy Lady Farm in Westfield. The farm is named after her pampered herd of goats, not Laini. Laini herself is a force to be reckoned with as she works her off-the-grid farm and cares for the goats and other animals, and makes all sorts of cheeses.  I was impressed by the pictures of the animals and the farm on the website so you should check it out - it's truly an off the grid, organic operation with a very small carbon footprint.
 
 
 
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.
 
Recipes
 
 
Potato & Celeriac Soup
A great way to use your potatoes and celeriac this week.

¼ cup oil, olive preferably
1 # yellow onions, small diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 # potatoes, peeled and roughly cubed
2 # celeriac, peeled and rough cubed
2 quarts stock, chicken or vegetable
4 sprigs thyme, stripped
1-cup heavy cream (optional if you want a lighter soup)

Heat oil in soup pot. Add onions and sauté until slightly caramelized. Add garlic and sauté for one minute longer. Add potatoes and celeriac for one minute. Add stock and simmer until potatoes and celeriac are soft. Remove from heat. Using a blend stick or blender, process until smooth in small batches. If using a blender, initially pulse it so that it doesn’t splash upward. Transfer puree to a container. Continue until all is pureed. Add fresh thyme and heavy cream (if desired). Season with salt and pepper.


 
Zucchini-Cheddar Biscuits
These biscuits are the perfect accompaniment to soup or just to snack on.   Recipe from 'The Classic Zucchini Cookbook'.
 
2 cups grated zucchini, thawed
1 tsp salt
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tst freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp cold unsalted butter
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
 
Preheat the oven to 400F.  Grease a baking sheet.
 
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and pepper in a large mixing bowl.  Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add the cheese, egg, buttermilk, and zucchini.  Toss with a fork to mix well.
 
Drop the batter by the spoonful onto the baking sheet to make 24 biscuits.  Bake for 15 minutes, until golden.  Serve the biscuits hot out of the oven.
 
 
Annie's Celeriac Coleslaw
Annie experimented and made coleslaw with celeriac instead of cabbage.  She used the coleslaw in tacos and said it was awesome.  Give it a try!
 
Shredded carrots
Shredded celeriac
Small amount of lime juice
Small amount of cilantro
Salt and pepper
 
Mix all ingredients together and enjoy!


Pickled Cabbage
Here's a quick and easy way to make "pickled" cabbage.  This would be great on top of a burger, or just eaten as a side dish.
 
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 shredded cabbage, shredded (about 3 cups)
1 cup thinly sliced onion
2 teaspoons coriander seeds, coarsely crushed in resealable plastic bag with mallet
1 teaspoon celery seeds
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
 
Heat vegetable oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add cabbage, sliced onion, crushed coriander seeds, and celery seeds; sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper and sauté until wilted and crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in white wine vinegar and sugar. Sauté until all liquid is absorbed, about 30 seconds.
 
 
Simple Braised Potatoes
Mark Bittman recently wrote an article for the NY Times all about Yukon Golds.  This recipe for braised potatoes is very easy yet delicious.  See the article and other recipes here.
 
2 pounds potatoes
3 tbsp Butter
1 Onion, ciced
1 tsp Garlic, minced
A sprig of thyme or rosemary
2 cups Stock - chicken or veggie
 
Cut spuds into chunks.  Heat butter in a deep skillet or broad pot over medium high heat; add potatoes, onion, garlic and the thyme or rosemary.  Cook, stirring, until potatoes begin to turn golden, about 10 minutes.  Add stock to barely cover the potatoes.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender and liquid is reduced, about 30 minutes.  Garnish with thyme or rosemary.
 
 
Caramelized Onion and Shallot Dip
Caramelizing the onions brings out the wonderful sweet flavor of the shallots.  Recipe from Bon Appetit, October 2012.
 
2 pounds large yellow or white onions, thinly sliced
2 large shallots, thinly sliced (about 6 ounces total)
4 sprigs thyme
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
2 cups sour cream
1/4 cup minced fresh chives
1/4 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons onion powder

 
Preheat oven to 425°F. Mix onions, shallots, thyme sprigs, and oil in a large roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper.
 
Roast onion mixture, stirring and scraping down sides of pan every 10 minutes, until mixture starts to break down and turn golden brown, 45–55 minutes.
 
Discard thyme sprigs. Add wine and vinegar; stir to scrape up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Return onion mixture to oven. Continue roasting, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown and completely caramelized, about 15 minutes longer. Spread onion mixture out on a rimmed baking sheet to cool.
 
Transfer onion mixture to a work surface and mince. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in sour cream, chives, yogurt, and onion powder. Season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Dip can be made 3 days ahead. Cover; chill.

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