Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Good Eats Newsletter - November 13, 2013


Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members
take a LIGHT GREEN BAG

This week your bag will contain:
Braising Mix; Potatoes; Carrots; Shallots; Lettuce; Kohlrabi; Kale; Tatsoi; Parsley

And OUT of the bag:
Red Kabocha Squash

Localvore and Pantry Offerings Include:
Pete's Greens Pizza Dough
Pete's Greens Pizza Sauce
VT Creamery Chevre
Elmore Mountain Miller's Bread



Half Veggie Only Members
take a YELLOW BAG
containing:
Braising Mix; Potatoes; Kale; Lettuce; Parsley

And OUT of the bag:
Red Kabocha Squash

Roots Cellar Share take a CLEAR BAG containing:
all of the above half share items except for braising mix

Donating Your Share at Thanksgiving
If you are traveling and not able to use your share for upcoming holidays, consider donating it to those less fortunate who could use a little help.

Simply email us and we can send your share to the food shelf any week you choose.

After receiving last years' donations, Waterbury Food Shelf director sent a note of thanks:

"I would like to thank everyone who generously donated their CSAs to the Waterbury Area Food Shelf for Thanksgiving.   As you know, it is very expensive to try and feed your family healthy nutritious food and the CSA donations were so exciting for all our families at the food shelf.  Your kindness is definitely appreciated by all the individuals who visit the food shelf."

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.



Storage and Use Tips

This week's braising mix is a mix of red frill mustard, baby tatsoi, baby pac choi, red nagoya kale, & spinach.  It looks great and is a one of a kind item that you may not ever see again.  Enjoy your braising mix lightly steamed or raw.  I find that it makes a wonderfully hearty salad base!

Red Kabocha Squash  - kabocha is a Japanese variety of winter squash.  It is one of the sweetest winter squash, with a vibrant deep orange interior, and a very rich, almost meaty texture.  The skin is edible making this squash ideal for stuffing.  This squash makes a really nice thick, creamy soup or is also wonderful in baked goods (see recipes below).

Purple viking potatoes are a strikingly beautiful potato, with deep purple skins dappled with pink splashes and stripes. Bright white and creamy-good, the flesh bakes or mashes perfectly but can be considered an all purpose potato too. It has a slightly sweet flavor and a buttery finish. I like to chop into 1/2" pieces with the skins on, drench in a little olive oil, salt and pepper throw in some leeks and dill if you like, roast in the oven at 375F or until soft and crusted on the outside and there you have it. The potatoes get their purple tint from the anthocyanins they contain, the same antioxidant found in blueberries.

Shallots are a member of the alium family being similar to both garlic and onions. They grow in cloves similar to garlic and have a sweet, mild flavor like a sweet or Spanish onion. They are well known for their ability to be caramelized or cooked down to where the sugars are reduced or concentrated. When eaten raw, they are much sweeter and milder than even sweet onions. You can slice them thin and saute them in recipes that benefit from a sweet, mild onion flavor. When minced, they are fantastic in homemade vinaigrette and pan sauces. Store them in a cool, dark place.

Panisse lettuce - refrigerate unwashed leaves in a plastic bag in the vegetable drawer. Do not store lettuce with melons, apples, pears, or other ethylene gas-emitting fruits as they will cause the lettuce to turn brown.  Lettuce and many other leafy greens may wilt easily.  Often, they are just dried out which can occur even if the greens remain in constant refrigeration.  To refresh lettuce, submerge the wilted greens in cold water and keep in the refrigerator overnight.

The name Kohlrabi is derived from the German word for cabbage "kohl" and turnip "rabi".  It is the same species as cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Although each has been selected to appear and taste very different, they have all been derived from the same wild cabbage cultivar. The taste and texture of kohlrabi are similar to that of a broccoli stem or cabbage heart, but milder and sweeter. The young stem in particular can be as crisp and juicy as an apple. Kohlrabi is eaten raw as well as cooked. The skin should always be peeled removing the tough external skin before using. 

Green kale is one of the most nutritious vegetables around.   It is very high in vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, copper, and manganese. It also contains high amounts of beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which are all phytonutrients important for maintaining healthy vision. Indoles and sulforaphane are also found in kale, and are believed to have powerful anti-cancer properties.  After a thorough rinse, cut off the stems and the tough central veins from each leaf. For quick cutting, stack several leaves on top of one another, roll into a cigar shape, and cut crosswise into strips. Kale can be used raw in salads or it can be sauteed, steamed, boiled or microwaved.  Kale should be eaten as soon as possible or stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Tatsoi has dark green spoon-shaped leaves which form a thick rosette. It has a soft creamy texture and has a subtle yet distinctive flavour.  It can be substituted for spinach in many recipes.  To store, wrap the leaves in a damp paper towel, and store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.  See picture below of Iris, the daughter of Melissa and Isaac who work on the farm, with this week's tatsoi.

Parsley stands up especially well in cold salads, with its bright green color and more rigid demeanor. Try adding parsley stems to your simmering stock, both to impart flavor and help clarify the broth.  You can add parsley to everything- soups, chili, eggs, smoothies.  A nice way to store, is to place the parsley bunch stems in a glass of water, like flowers in a vase, and then cover loosely with a plastic bag and keep in the fridge.  If this is too finicky, just store loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in crisper drawer.


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.


Localvore Lore

It's a pizza week!

We make the pizza dough at the farm and then freeze 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, 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 is 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 Pizza Sauce to go along with the share using our organic tomatoes, onions, garlic, olive oil, salt, sugar, oregano, thyme, basil, & black pepper.  It's coming to you frozen for easy delivery.  You can defrost and put on your pizza right away or freeze it for later use.  You can of course use this on pasta too.

I'm  happy to have another VT Creamery product in this week's share.  Their chevre is made with fresh goats’ milk from family farms that is naturally coagulated overnight, drained and then shaped into logs.  This cheese is distinguished by a simple, mild, fresh goats’ milk favor and is highly versatile as an ingredient or as part of a cheeseboard.  This chevre is amazing crumbled into salads, steamed veggies, or on a pizza.  You can mix it into quiche, omelets, or souffles or stuffed into chicken breast or peppers.

Here's an interesting fact about VT Creamery - they pay farmers among the highest price in the country for goats’ milk. Farmers receive a premium to produce high protein and low bacteria milk, the two most important components for cheese making, all year long.

Cute Goat

We have Elmore Mountain Bread for you this week.  Here's what Andrew, one of the owners, had to say about this week's bread:

Today we baked a Miller's Bread, which is naturally leavened and made entirely with fresh stone ground wheat.  Our process of stone milling slowly grinds the entire wheat berry without excess heat in order to retain all of the nutritional value found in the bran and germ. We sift the coarse bran our of the whole wheat flour to make a slightly lighter bread while the wheat germ remains distributed throughout the flour lending its flavor and nutrients.


Recipes


Kabocha Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
I love dessert recipes featuring vegetables!  Most people never know they're eating something that's healthier for them than a traditional recipe.  You can make the squash puree up to 2 days ahead of time and freeze any leftovers up to 6 months.

For the cupcakes:

    1 kabocha squash, about 2 lb.
    1/4 cup water
    1/2 cup canola oil
    1 cup granulated sugar
    2 eggs
    1 Tbs. vanilla extract
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
    1/4 tsp. ground cloves
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1/4 cup low-fat milk
    
For the frosting:

    8 oz. Neufchâtel cheese, at room temperature
    1 cup confectioners’ sugar
    2 tsp. vanilla extract
    1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

To make the cupcakes, cut the squash in half crosswise and place, cut side down, in a baking pan with the water. Bake until very soft when pressed, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool, then scoop out and discard the seeds. Scrape the flesh from the peel into a bowl. Mash with a fork or puree until smooth; measure out 1 cup.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla and the 1 cup squash puree until smooth. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Stir the flour mixture into the squash mixture, followed by the milk, until well blended.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each one about two-thirds full. Bake until a tester inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the frosting, in a bowl, using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the cheese, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and lemon juice until smooth. Spread the frosting on the cooled cupcakes and serve immediately, or refrigerate the frosted cupcakes for up to 1 day. Makes 12 cupcakes.


Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup
This soup is a beautiful golden yellowy-orange color. It is thick, smooth, buttery, cream, rich, and a bit sweet and savory all at the same time.  And it's very easy to make!

1 medium to large size kabocha squash
1 Tbsp. + 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil, separated
2 small, or 1 large, yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 14-oz. can coconut milk (I used light coconut milk)
2 cups chicken stock (can use whatever kind of stock you prefer)
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cut kabocha in half, scoop out seeds and stringy insides, then prick flesh with a fork. Brush 1 tablespoon of olive oil on flesh and set halves face down in baking sheet in approximately 1/2 inch of water. Bake for about 45 minutes until flesh is soft.

While kabocha is baking, caramelize onions in 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil.  After kabocha is finished cooking, scoop flesh out of skin.  In a food processor, add kabocha, onions, coconut milk, stock, salt, and pepper and process until smooth. Serve.

*I suggest adding half of the coconut milk and half of the stock and then tasting it. Depending on your tastes, you may want to add all of the coconut milk, or you may want to add more stock. Also, if the soup is too thick, add additional stock until it reaches the consistency you desire.


Lettuce Soup
You could include your braising mix in this soup or even your tatsoi. 

1 cup chopped onions, scallions, and/or shallots
1 garlic clove, chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup diced (1/3 inch) peeled potato
8 cups coarsely chopped lettuce leaves including ribs (3/4 lb)
3 cups water

Cook onion mixture and garlic in 2 tablespoons butter in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add coriander, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in potato, lettuce, and water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until potato is very tender, about 10 minutes.

Purée soup in batches in a blender (use caution when blending hot liquids) and transfer to a 2- to 3-quart saucepan. Bring soup to a simmer, then whisk in remaining tablespoon butter and salt and pepper to taste.


Caramelized Shallots
What to do with all the shallots besides tossing them into a stir fry?  Make these caramelized shallots!  This recipe, from the Smitten Kitchen, is a great way to maximize the sweetness of the shallots.

6 tbs unsalted butter
2 pounds fresh shallots, peeled, with roots intact
3 tbs sugar
3 tbs good red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbs chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Melt the butter in a 12" oven-proof saute pan, add the shallots and sugar, and toss to coat.  Cook over medium heat for 12 minutes, stirring 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, and serve hot.


Butter Braised Kohlrabi
Cooking the kohlrabi brings out it's natural sweetness. 

1/2 lb kohlrabi, trimmed but unpeeled and cut into 1″ cubes
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Put kohlrabi, chicken stock, 1 Tbsp. butter, and thyme into a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Season with salt and pepper and cover with a parchment-paper circle cut to fit inside rim of skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until kohlrabi is tender, about 15 minutes. Uncover, remove pan from heat, and add the remaining butter, swirling skillet until butter melts. Serve warm.


Spicy Sauteed Kale with Lemon
Probably the easiest way to prepare your kale, this is a very nutritious, warm side dish.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 Thai or jalapeno chile, thinly sliced
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed and slices quartered
1 tablespoon honey
1 handful kale, tough stems and ribs removed, leaves coarsely chopped
Coarse salt

In a large skillet, heat oil, chile, and scallion over medium-high heat. Add lemon and honey and cook, stirring, until lemon begins to break down, about 2 minutes. Add kale and cook, stirring, until just wilted, about 3 minutes. Add leeks, season with salt, and cook 1 minute. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Caramelized Onion, Kale, and Chevre Pizza
Here's a basic pizza recipe that is easy and tastes amazing!

1 onion, sliced
several cloves of garlic
1 shallot if you have it, minced
around 10-12 leaves of kale stripped from stalk and chopped into ribbons
1/2 log Chevre (4 oz)
oregano
crushed red pepper

Preheat the oven to 425F.  Stretch your pizza dough with well floured hands and place on baking sheet, let rest.

Heat a skillet, and add olive oil to coat.  Add the onion and cover and simmer first on medium for around 5 minutes.  Add youur shallots (if using) and garlic and saute a bit more til these soften but don't brown, and then remove to a plate.

In same skillet, toss in a bit more oil, some water, and the chopped kale and saute the kale til it softens.  Steam will help achieve this and might take 5 mins.  Then turn off.

Build pizza.  Start with a smear of olive oil on the crust.  Crumble the chevre between fingers and spread over crust.  Then the kale. Next give your pizza a good sprinkling of oregano, crushed red pepper, and a bit of salt.

Bake for 10-15 mins until bottom is nicely baked and top comes together.  Remove to a rack, slice  and enjoy.


Walnut Parsley Pesto
Think pesto is just a summer staple made with basil?  Try this version which is just as green, garlicky, cheesy and nutty.  It's great on pasta, with meats, or as a sandwich spread.  It would also be awesome spread on a pizza!

1 cup shelled walnuts, about 3 1/2 ounces
2 cups chopped parsley, about 1 bunch
1/2 cup grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil

Put the walnuts, parsley, cheese, garlic, and salt in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then pulse again. Drizzle in the olive oil while the machine is running just long enough to incorporate the oil, about 20-30 seconds.

Use immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to store. Will last several days chilled.

 


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