Friday, September 6, 2013

Good Eats Newsletter - September 4, 2013

Meat share members - it's a meat week!

Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members

This week your bag will contain:
Mesclun; Potatoes; Beets; Leeks; Ginger;
Cilantro; Cucumber; Melon OR Cabbage

And OUT of the bag:
Brown Bag of Tomatoes and Garlic
Sweet Corn - 6 ears

Localvore Offerings Include:
Pete's Pizza Dough
Pete's Tomato Sauce
Blythedale Grana Cheese

Small Veggie Only Members
take a YELLOW BAG containing:
Mesclun; Potatoes; Beets

And OUT of the bag:
Brown Bag of Tomatoes and Garlic
Sweet Corn - 6 ears

The Summer Share is winding down

 There are only 5 weeks remaining of the summer share.   It's time to secure your spot for the fall/winter share which starts on October 16th.

Visit our website for more Fall/Winter Share info
or Sign up Now!

Storage and Use Tips

The Potatoes are Yukon Golds.  These versatile potatoes are great eaten just about every imaginable way.  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 sautĂ©ed 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.

Red Beets - We grow a gorgeous mix of beets on the farm - the ones in your share this week are our red beets, with a smooth round shape and deep red color.  Red beets will bleed when cooked so if preparing with other veggies be mindful of that fact that you will end up with a uniformly technicolor dish.  Beets may be eaten cooked or raw. Grated beets make a fabulous addition to salads and slaws. Grate some early in the week and place them in a tupperware and then sprinkle them into salads all week.  Roasted beets are extra delicious, roasting carmelizes the sugar in the beets. Cube beets and roast them in the oven with a drizzle of oil at 400F until they are tender and just browning at the edges. If you don't eat them all right away, cool and toss into a container and add these to salads.

Sweet Corn is here!  My advice is to not bother storing but instead eat it for dinner tonight.  But, if you really need to store it for a day or two, pop it in the fridge, husks and all.  Boil in a large pot of unsalted water for 2 minutes or less. If you are grilling, peel back the husks without removing them completely, remove the silk and "re-husk" the corn.  Soak the corn for a good 20 minutes so it won't burn on the grill then grill for about 5 or 10 minutes over an open flame, slather with butter and salt and enjoy.

*** The corn will be in a large bag at your site.  You will need to take 6 ears out of the bag. ***

Leeks were once called the poor person's asparagus, but today are cherished for their culinary qualities right along side asparagus. Leeks tend to collect dirt in between the tops of their long leaves. It is important to wash between leaf folds to remove dirt or soak in a water bath and let dirt sink to bottom. Store wrapped in plastic in the fridge. Although the best quality is within the first few days, they can be stored for an extended amount of time in the fridge. Peel outer leaves if damaged and use tender inner stalks.  These leeks are very large so you may only get one large leek. 

Fresh Ginger - this young, fresh ginger is probably different from the type you are accustomed to purchasing in the store.  Ginger's aroma, texture, and flavor varies
depending upon the timing of its harvest. Early-harvest young ginger is tender and sweet, while older, more mature ginger is more fibrous and spicy.  This ginger also won't store long.  Eat it up in next couple weeks.  Fresh ginger's light spiciness, warmth, and mellow sweetness complement a range of dishes, from sweet to savory.  Beyond the traditional Asian applications like stir-fries and dipping sauces, ginger is equally at home with everyday ingredient like maple syrup and is great for baking and for smoothies and creamy custards too.

Here's a picture that I just love from last year's ginger harvest featuring Iris (the daughter of Melissa and Isaac who work on the farm). On next week's agenda - if possible, take a picture with this year's harvest to show you how much she's grown!

Cilantro is a member of the carrot family and related to parsley, cilantro is the leaves and stems of the coriander plant (the seeds of the same plant are the spice known as coriander). Cilantro has a very pungent odor and is widely used in Mexican, Caribbean and Asian cooking. The leaves and stems can be chopped and added to salads, soups and sauces, and can garnish many meals. I toss cilantro into any Mexican dish I am making, and love it in summer when I have tomatoes to make salsa. If you can't use all your cilantro just yet and wish to save it for a future dish, you can freeze it. Wash and gently dry your cilantro with paper towels. Then either put sprigs loosely in a plastic bag and freeze them. Or lightly chop cilantro, measure by the tablespoon into ice trays, fill remaining space in ice tray with water, and then after cubes are frozen, store in a plastic bag. You can take one out and thaw anytime you need to use it.

*** Big share members will get either a head of cabbage or a melon. ***

Our Green Savoy Cabbage has loosely wrapped, savoyed or crumpled leaves.  These cabbages have a thick wrapper leaf which enables them to store well but are not as well suited to stir fry or egg rolls as Chinese types of cabbages with their thin skins and sweet flavor.  They are also not so high in dry matter like your slaw or kraut cabbages which are perfect for retaining structure during processing and fermenting.  The savoy cabbage is perfect for cooking however, especially in soups that can tenderize its thick kale-like leaves.  I also prefer savoy cabbages to stuff with rice, tomato sauce and sausages.  Saute with a little butter and a splash of milk or cream to quickly soften the leaves and bring out its sweet flavors on the stove top.  Store cabbage in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer for a few weeks.

Melons were a last minute addition to this week's share.  You will get either a honeydew or cantaloupe melon.  How to tell if your melon is ripe? Canteloupes will have dull yellow rinds with raised netting. Honeydews actually get a slight velvety stickiness on their rinds when perfectly ripe. Both melons will yield to pressure at the blossom end and you should be able to detect their smell sweet as well.

Veggie Storage and Use Tips are on 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.

Localvore Lore

We made the Pizza Dough at the farm last week and then froze it for delivery. Our pizza dough is made with Aurora Farm's organic unbleached VT white flour, Gleason Grain Snake Mountain Sifted whole wheat flour, local Sunflower Oil, Maine sea salt and yeast. Use within four to five hours of thawing (ready to go the night you pick up share or store in freezer for later use). Coat a smooth surface with flour and cornmeal (just flour ok) so that the dough does not stick to the surface. Form dough into ball and flatten with heels of palms. Stretch dough with hands or use a rolling pin to form shape of baking pan (I use a cookie sheet so I form it into a square). Once dough is slightly stretched on surface you can stretch dough in the air with hands by making two fists held together with dough on top. Move each hand up, down and out turning the dough clockwise. Each dough can be stretched to a 16" round, for thicker crust make smaller. If you like light fluffy crust I put my baking sheet on the top of my oven while preheating and let rise. Otherwise set aside in neutral area till oven is ready at 425F. Cook 12-14 minutes until crust is golden brown and cheese bubbles.

We also made the Pizza Sauce to go along with the share. It was made in our kitchen using our organic tomatoes, onions, sunflower oil, garlic, oregano, basil, fennel seed, salt, & black pepper. It's pretty yummy and it's coming to you frozen.  Thaw before using on your pizza or of course on pasta too.

To go along with the pizza, we have a parmesan style grating cheese. Becky and Tom Loftus of Blythedale Farm in Corinth milk 30 of their own Jersey cows and use their milk to hand craft all of their cheeses. The Cookeville Grana is a fantastic grating and melting cheese. Please indulge in a grill cheese this week or use the cheese on pastas, pizzas and anything else you can dream up that might require melted cheese. The cows at Blythedale are cared for with love and respect and live in a clean, comfortable stable, with year round outdoor access. Their stress-free lives create a milk with delicious flavor. The Grana in your share this week is a small natural rind wheel made from unpasteurized milk. It is an excellent grating cheese and is a good additive in cooking; as well as having a lovely flavor that stands well alone.

The mushrooms you receive this week are grown by Amir Hebib in Colchester, VT. Amir grows his mushrooms in a mushroom house behind his home. He has 20 years experience growing mushrooms, having been a farm mushroom manager for a large Bosnian agricultural producer before immigrating to VT in 1996. He started growing mushrooms here in 2005. He grows shiitakes and oysters (little clusters of trumpet shaped mushrooms) and sells them to restaurants and markets in our area as well as at the Burlington Farmers Market. You can eat the whole mushroom stems and all. Many people discard the stems of shiitakes because they are tougher and take longer to cook. But the shiitakes you are receiving are so fresh that they are tender enough to add to most dishes though you may want to allow longer cooking time for the stems. Shiitakes have a deep flavor, and are very hearty, enough so that they can be used in place of ground beef in some recipes.

I had the pleasure of meeting Amir this past weekend at the Burlington Farmers' Market where he sells his mushrooms.  I asked him for his favorite mushroom recipe and here's his response:  fry some onions, add cut up oyster mushrooms and cook until soft.  Add an egg to the pan, cook, and enjoy!
My breakfast made with Tangletown Eggs, Amir's oyster mushrooms, and Pete's Greens onions

Meat Share

The chickens are quite large this week!  Chickens do grow in all sizes and while we prefer to send out smaller birds so we can send out more items, the chickens were very large this time around therefore taking up a larger value of the share.  Since these are so big you can easily stretch it into 3-4 meals.  You can have a roast chicken dinner the first night,  incorporate  it into chicken sandwiches or the chicken dish below on the second night, and then use the carcass, neck and bones to make chicken broth to be used in the potato/cilantro soup below.

The Salmon comes from Vermonter Anthony Naples and Starbird Fish.  Anthony Naples spends his summers commercial fishing in the pristine and immensely beautiful waters off the coast of Alaska, from the far northern reaches of the Bering Sea, to Bristol Bay, the Aleutian Islands, all the way down to southeast Alaska.  He catches all his fish during the season and ships it to VT where it's stored at the VT Food Hub in Waitsfield.

Making a repeat appearance this month are Pete Colman's Vermont Salumi Sausages.  Pete learned his trade through apprenticeships in Italy and is passionate about applying what he learned there in making his sausage and dry cured meats here in Vermont.  Vermont Salumi only sources pork raised on pasture without hormones or antibiotics. Everything is made in small batches by hand without the use of nitrates or preservatives.  This week we have his Roma sausage, spiced with coriander, red pepper and fennel.


Cantaloupe Salad with Lime, Mint, and Ginger
This is a refreshing salad - serve on it's own for breakfast, with a scoop of ice cream or sorbet for dessert, or even as a side with fish tacos.

1 cantaloupe, halved, seeded, peeled
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 teaspoons grated lime peel
2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons honey

Cut cantaloupe into 3/4- to 1-inch cubes (about 5 cups) and place in large bowl. Add lime juice, mint, and lime peel; toss to blend. Mix in sugar, ginger, and honey. Refrigerate salad until ready to serve, stirring occasionally, up to 3 hours.

Fresh Ginger Dressing or Marinade
This is a super simple and tasty dressing.  It will be great as salad dressing on this week's mesclun, and works well as a drizzle on kale, pac choi, chicken, fish, etc.  Just mince the garlic and ginger, and put all ingredients in a jar and shake to blend.

3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root
3/4 cup olive oil (or better yet 1/2 cup olive or vegetable, 1/4 cup sesame oil)
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/8 cup soy sauce
2-3 tablespoons honey
Asian Cilantro Dressing for Rice, Noodles, Salads or Meats
This is a very versatile dressing. For a very simple meal, serve this over steamed spinach or sauteed pac choi, rice, and Baked Maple Ginger Tofu.

5 T vegetable oil
1/3 cup packed fresh cilantro with stems
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup tamari soy sauce
1 ounce fresh ginger (about an inch of it?), cut into six 1/4 inch slices
6 large cloves garlic
1 1/2 T ground cumin
1 small jalapeno or other chili (optional)
Combine and blend all ingredients together in a food processor or blender until the chili, garlic, ginger and cilantro are finely chopped.
Cilantro Potato Salad
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse. Serves 5-6.

1 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds potatoes, cooked and halved (unpeeled)
1/3 cup finely minced onions

In a bowl, stir together mayonnaise with cilantro, garlic, salt and 7 turns black pepper. Add potatoes and onions and toss to combine thoroughly; cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours before serving.
Sausage, Grana, and Mesclun Pizz'alad
Eating Well recently highlighted pizz-alad's in their August 2013 issue.  The concept is simple - make a pizza and then throw the salad right on top of it!  The salad dressing soaks through the greens into the crust making the whole thing gooey yet crunchy.  Check out the article for further information and recipes.
1 pizza dough
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 Roma Sausage, sliced and cooked
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1/2 tsp anchovy paste or 1/2 tsp minched anchovy fillet
4 cups mesclun or other green
1/3 cup shredded Grana cheese, Parmesan, or Asiago
Position rack in lower third of oven, place a pizza stone on the rack and preheat oven to 500F.  Let the stone heat at 500 for 20 minutes.
Roll pizza dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12 to 14-inch circle (depending on the size of your stone).  Transfer to a lightly floured pizza peel (or inverted baking sheet).
Combine garlic with 1 tbsp oil in a small bowl and brush the dough with it.  Sprinkle with sausage.  Slide the pizza onto the hot stone.  Bake until golden and crispy, 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk vinegar, anchovy and the remaining 2 tbsp of oil in a large bowl.  Add greens and cheese; toss to coat.  When the pizza is done, transfer to a large cutting board and let cool for 5 minutes.  Mound the salad in the middle and serve immediately.
Cilantro and Potato soup
This is a delicious, satisfying soup. Like most soup recipes, there is lots of room for improvisation here with some options given below.

2 TB olive oil or butter
2 medium onions, finely chopped (or 2 leeks)
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 quart chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
2 medium potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
salt and pepper
1 pinch red pepper flakes
2/3 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
lime juice

Saute onion and garlic slowly until tender. Add the broth, potatoes. Cook til the potatoes are tender about half an hour. Add most of the cilantro leaving a few tablespoons for garnish. Use an immersion blender or food processor to puree. Serve hot or cold, and garnish with the remaining fresh cilantro. Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice before serving.

Optional: add 1 diced, seeded jalapeno pepper along with the broth and potatoes. Add up to 1/4 cup of cream to soup just before serving. Add a couple chopped scallions to the soup after pureeing.
Best Beets Ever!

3 large boiled beets (about 1 pound)
1 medium onion
2 tbsp  Honey
1 big orange
1 tbsp soy sauce
thumb-size piece of ginger
2 tbsp oil
fresh thyme

Squeeze the orange to make roughly a 1/2 cup of orange juice. Peel the medium onion and slice it in half-rings, peel and grate the fresh ginger.

Boil the beets and peel the skin off, then slice them in half-rings, just like the onions.

Pour 2 tbsp of honey into a bowl. Add the orange juice and 1 tbsp soy sauce . Stir until the syrup has dissolved. This could take a minute or so.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a stir-fry pan and sautee the onions for 5 minutes, until soft but not brown. Add the ginger and cook for an additional minute.

Add the beet slices and stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes.

Pour the orange/syrup mix in. Season with a good pinch of black pepper and salt. Strip 2 or 3 thyme sprigs andadd the leaves. Simmer the beets for 5 minutes over low heat.
Corn Fritters
This recipe comes to you courtesy of the blog Diary of a Locavore.  It calls for 2 cups of corn, but don't feel you need to be spot-on with this measurement; a little more or a little less isn't going to matter. I've made these with both white flour and whole-wheat flour, with equally good results. When using whole-wheat flour, though, I use just a tad (maybe about 1 tablespoon) less than the 1/4 cup called for here.

2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 3 ears)
3 eggs, separated
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Using a medium-sized, sharp knife, carefully cut the kernels off the corn cobs. It's easier to do this if you lay the ears flat on the cutting board, rather than standing them up. Don't worry about separating the kernels, which usually come off in chunks (see the photo above); this will happen naturally when you mix the batter. Set the corn aside.

Separate the eggs. Put the egg yolks into a medium-size mixing bowl and beat them lightly with a fork. Add the flour, salt, and pepper and stir, then add the corn and stir again—just enough so that everything is nicely mixed together. Beat the egg whites until stiff and then gently fold them into the batter.

Heat your griddle or frying pan to medium hot, oil it lightly, and then drop pancake-size dollops of batter into the pan. Cook about 2 minutes, or until you start to see little dimples forming on the top of the pancakes, then flip them and cook another minute or so. Serve warm with butter and maple syrup.
Chicken Curry with Cashews
This is one of Amy's favorite chicken recipes that a friend gave her years ago and one that she makes over and over.  It calls for adding the chicken to the dish raw and cooking it, but she always has whole chickens to deal with and since she can't be bothered cutting them up before cooking, she uses cooked meat.  Honestly this dish is so good it's like dessert. You can't stop eating it.

1/4 c butter
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 TB finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
3 TB curry powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne

1 chicken, cut into pieces
14-16 oz diced tomatoes
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro (this is nice but not essential)
3/4 c cashews (this I suppose is not essential but is what makes the dish dessert like)
3/4 c. whole milk plain yogurt

Heat butter over moderately low heat until foam subsided, then cook onions, garlic, and ginger, stirring until softened, about 5 minutes. Add curry powder, salt, cumin, and cayenne and cook, stirring, 2 mins. Add chicken and cook stirring to coat, 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juice, and cilantro and bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally until chicken is cooked through, about 40 minutes.

*If making with cooked chicken, add the tomatoes and cilantro after cooking the spices for 2 mins, and let simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to come together. Then add the cooked chicken and heat through. Then move to the steps below.

Just before serving (or heating up- the above can be cooked well in advance):
pulse cashews in a food processor until very finely ground, then add to curry along with yogurt and simmer gently, uncovered, stirring, until sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.

Serve with basmati rice.
 Ginger Garlic Savoy Cabbage
I love cooking up savoy cabbages as a side dish and pairing it with pork chops. 
1 head savoy cabbage
2 tbs light olive oil or sesame oil
1 tbs minced garlic
salt and pepper
1 1/4 tbs ginger, minced
Juice of 1 lime

Heat wok or large skilled to medium high heat, wait until the oil is hot.  Add cabbage and stir fry until cabbage just starts to wilt.  Add garlic, salt and pepper and cook 1 minute.  Add ginger and cook 1 minute.  Drizzle with lime juice and serve.

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