Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Good Eats Newsletter - November 20, 2013


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

This week your bag will contain:
Potatoes; Carrots; Garlic; Lettuce; Fennel; Radiccio; Cilantro; Sugar Beet Greens OR Red Kale

And OUT of the bag:
Butternut Squash

Localvore and Pantry Offerings Include:
Butterworks Farm Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
Butternut Mountain Farms Maple Sugar
Champlain Orchards Cortland Apples



Half Veggie Only Members
take a YELLOW BAG
containing:
Carrots; Potatoes; Fennel; Lettuce; Sugar Beet Greens

And OUT of the bag:
Butternut Squash

Roots Cellar Share take a CLEAR BAG containing:
Potatoes; Fennel; Lettuce; Kale

And OUT Of the bag:
Butternut Squash
Thanksgiving week deliveries
Image of colorful Fall fruits and vegetables (Photo: Westmont.IL.gov)
 We're going to get your food to you early next week so that you can begin your Thanksgiving meal preparations. 

Sites that normally pick up on Wednesday will pick up on Tuesday, November 26.  Sites that normally pick up on Thursday will pick up on Wednesday, November 27. 

All sites are open normal hours on Wednesday and closed Thanksgiving Day, with the exception of the Jay Country Store (they will have limited hours though).  Please pick up your food on your delivery day so you can enjoy it over the holiday weekend.

Donate to Food Shelf for Holidays?
If you will be away over the holidays and can't pick up your share, consider donating it.  Your share can be transferred to the food shelf on any week and you will receive a thank you letter for your tax deductible gift. 
You can also skip a delivery week and retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.  If you need to make either of these adjustments to your delivery, please let me know via email.  Thanks! 


Around the Farm

This week we say goodbye to 3 of our crew members - Todd, Dan, and Katt.   Thanks for all of your hard work on the farm.  Good luck to all 3 of you!

                                    Todd                                                                                   Katt
                                                                                    Dan


Storage and Use Tips

Your butternut squash is great for mashing, soups, roasting and probably most loved because it is easy to peel and boil making it perfect for quick dinners with the kids.  It will also store well if you'd like to use it for your Thanksgiving dinner - just keep it in a cool place until you want to use it.

Nicola potatoes are golden skinned, golden fleshed potatoes that are truly all purpose. They are great for boiling, mashing or roasting and are plenty waxy enough to make excellent potato salad. Nicolas have a very special attribute among potatoes - they are low on the glycemic index compared to all other varieties. This means they don't cause the blood sugar spike that other varieties may cause, an issue that can wreak havoc with people with insulin resistance. They also have a yummy slightly nutty flavor, enjoy! Store in a cool, dark place to avoid sprouting.

The garlic for the large share members will be in your veggie bag.

Fennel is crunchy and slightly sweet with the flavor of anise. It is delicious and slightly sweet served raw but is just as often served cooked on its own or in other dishes. Though most often associated with Italian cooking, it has an uncanny ability to blend with other flavors adding a light and fresh note. It is delightful in many dishes, and in soups and stews and sauces. Fennel is composed of a white or pale green bulb from which closely superimposed stalks are arranged. The stalks are topped with feathery green leaves near which flowers grow and produce fennel seeds. The bulb, stalk, leaves and seeds are all edible. To prepare, trim off the fronds and stalks and reserve them for garnish or seasoning. Cut off the hard bottom and slice vertically or into quarters. Or cut the bulb in half lengthwise, cut out the core, and cut into strips. Add it raw to salads or try some thinly sliced fennel on your sandwich. Top thinly sliced fennel with plain yogurt and mint leaves. Or braise, roast or saute' it. It is done when tender enough to pierce easily with a skewer.

Large share members will get either sugar beet greens or red kale.  Half share members will receive sugar beet greens and root cellar share members will get red kale.  Sugar beet greens are a bunch of greens with no beets on the end.  They have a smooth, green leaf and are in the chard family, but even sweeter!  Use these greens just as you would chard.  Keep both the beet greens and 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.

A member of the Chicories family along with endive and escarole, radicchio resembles a small red lettuce. You can chop radicchio and add it to your salad for some color and added bite. It is also quite good brushed with olive oil before tossing on the grill. Try adding some to risotto. Keep unwashed radicchio in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper drawer for up to a week.

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. 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.

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

This week's pastry flour comes from Butterworks Farm in Westfield, Vermont. You may know them well for their tasty yogurt and sinful heavy cream, but they are also producers of high quality flours, grains and dry beans. Pastry flour is a relatively low-protein flour that is often called for in making biscuits, cookies, pie crusts, and pastries. The protein content of any given type of flour determines how tender, strong, elastic, stretchy, or pliable the dough is that you make with it, and also the texture of the finished product. Because protein is about 80% gluten higher protein flours contain more gluten which is the active ingredient that when added to water makes the flour "stick" together. Cake flour is at the low end of the spectrum with 5-8% protein, it is much less elastic, and helps produce wonderfully tender cakes. Pastry flour is up only one notch, at 8-10% protein, and lets you create baked goods with a little more body and texture than cake flour, but still with the tenderness one associates with a well-made cookie, biscuit or pastry. All Purpose flour tends to have 9-12% protein while bread flour weighs in at around 12-13% protein, and helps produce wonderfully well-risen, chewy loaves of bread.  Pastry flour works great in pie crusts as well as muffins, waffles, pancakes, and any other baked good.  The germ contains oils that can go rancid, so please store this flour in a cool dry place. I often keep my whole wheat flour in my freezer if I know I won't use it up in a month or so.

Here's a little something special for Thanksgiving - maple sugar from Butternut Mountain Farm in Johnson. Maple sugar is produced simply by boiling all of the water out of the syrup and mixing it into a granulated state. Some cooking tips from Emma Marvin:

Maple sugar is highly versatile. I use it when making chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookies in place of the brown sugar and some of the white. I use it on salmon sprinkling maple sugar, ground sea salt and pepper over the top just prior to cooking. It makes a great maple salad dressing! Mix approximately equal parts of olive oil, maple sugar and vinegar (cider or rice wine works well). I’m sure there are infinitely more ways to use maple sugar, but these are just a few of my favorites. We'd love to hear about any recipes you find yourselves using our maple sugar in!

Cortland apples.... another delicious variety of delicious apples from Champlain Orchards. This all purpose apple was developed by crossing a MacIntoch and the Ben Davis variety. It was bred at the NY State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY in 1898 and named after nearby Cortland County. Cortland apples are crimson red with a little bit of light green background showing. They are sweet and juicy with a hint of tartness. They are good for fresh eating, salads, sauce, pies and baking. The snow-white flesh is also a favorite for fruit plates and garnishes because it does not turn brown very quickly.



Recipes


Sesame Ginger Beet Greens
Here's a fun recipe for your beet greens or kale.

1/2 tbsp sesame seeds
4 cups loosely packed beet greens
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp grated gingerroot
1 pinch salt
1/2 tsp sesame oil

In small skillet over medium heat, toast sesame seeds until golden, about 3 minutes; set aside.

Trim stems from small young beet greens or remove centre rib from larger mature beet greens.

In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add beet greens, garlic, ginger and salt.  Cover and steam until greens are wilted, about 3 minutes. Drizzle with sesame oil; sprinkle with reserved sesame seeds.



Pasta with Garlicky Red Kale
This is a quick and easy dinner, a great healthy last-minute option.  Add in some more veggies to bulk it up - carrots would be a great addition!  Feel free to use your red chard in this recipe.

1 pound pasta, whatever shape you like (but chunky ones will match up better with the kale)

1 pound red kale, stems removed, leaves cut into 1- to 2-inch sections
1/2 cup olive oil

5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced or pressed

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or 1 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeno, more or less to taste

About 1 heaping teaspoon Kosher salt (or more to taste)
To serve: Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and five minutes before its cooking time is up, add the kale. It will seem like too much for the water, but with a stir or two, the rabe should wilt and cook alongside the pasta. Drain kale and pasta together and pour into serving bowl. In the same pot or a tiny one, heat the olive oil with the garlic, pepper or pepper flakes and Kosher salt over moderate heat, stirring frequently for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the garlic becomes lightly golden. Pour mixture over pasta and toss to evenly coat. Shower with freshly grated cheese and eat at once.


Butternut Squash (or other Winter Squash!) and Radicchio Papardelle
In this healthy pasta dish sweet winter squash temper the bitter edge of the radicchio. Gourmet January 2009. Serves 4-6 as a main course.

1/2 stick unsalted butter (you can use 1/2 of this with good results)
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts (walnuts would be great too)
1 pound butternut or other orange winter squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 1/2 cups)
3/4 pound radicchio, cored and thinly sliced
1 (8-to 9-ounces) package pappardelle (preferably egg pasta), broken into large pieces
1/2 cup coarsely grated ricotta salata or Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 ounce)

Optional:
Substitute chicken broth for the 1 cup of cooking water below
Add 1/2 red onion sliced thin to the skillet at the same time as the radicchio.

Melt butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, then continue to cook until it is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add oil, then nuts, and cook, stirring, until nuts are golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a plate.

Add squash to skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden and just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add radicchio and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until wilted and just tender, about 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pappardelle in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (2 tablespoon salt for 6 quarts water) until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain pasta. Add pasta to radicchio mixture with 1/2 cup cooking water and toss over low heat until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Add more cooking water to moisten if necessary.  Serve topped with nuts and cheese.


Sauteed Radicchio with Honey and Balsamic Vinegar
Serve this simple side of sauteed radicchio with chicken, steak, or sausages.

2 heads radicchio, cored and torn into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey

Rinse radicchio (leave some water still clinging to leaves). In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add radicchio and season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing, until tender, about 4 minutes. Add vinegar and honey and stir to combine.


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.


Carrot, Apple, and Fennel Slaw

1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
2 tbsp white-wine vinegar
1/2 tsp celery seeds
1/4 tsp coarse salt
1 tbsp freshly chopped tarragon, or 1 tsp dried
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 3-by-1/4-inch matchsticks
1 fennel bulb, cut into 3-by-1/4-inch matchsticks
1 Granny Smith apple, unpeeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch wedges

Place the yogurt, white-wine vinegar, celery seeds, salt, and tarragon in a small bowl, and whisk to combine; set aside.

Place the carrot and fennel matchsticks and apple wedges in a medium bowl. Add the reserved yogurt dressing, and toss to combine. Serve.


 Warm Butternut and Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing
If you have any leftovers of this it will store great in the fridge for a few days. 

For salad:
1 medium butternut squash (about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt
One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (1 1/2 cups)
1/4 of a medium red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

For tahini dressing:
1 medium garlic clove, finely minced with a pinch of salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons well-stirred tahini
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to taste

Preheat the oven to 425°F.  In a large bowl, combine the butternut squash, garlic, olive oil, and a few pinches of salt. Toss the squash pieces until evenly coated. Roast them on a baking sheet for 25 minutes, or until soft. Remove from the oven and cool.

Meanwhile, make the tahini dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic and lemon juice. Add the tahini, and whisk to blend. Add the water and olive oil, whisk well, and taste for seasoning. The sauce should have plenty of nutty tahini flavor, but also a little kick of lemon. You will probably need to add more water to thin it out.

To assemble the salad, combine the squash, chickpeas, onion, and cilantro or parsley in a mixing bowl. Either add the tahini dressing to taste, and toss carefully, or you could serve the salad with the dressing on the side. Serve immediately.

You could really add any grain to the salad to make it a bit heartier. We had wheat berries on hand which added a great chewy texture to the salad; quinoa or barley would also work great.



Mom’s Apple Cake
This recipe comes from the Smitten Kitchen blog.

6 apples
1 tablespoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons sugar
2 3/4 cups pastry flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar, sub in some maple sugar if desired
1/4 cup orange juice
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a tube pan. Peel, core and chop apples into chunks. Toss with cinnamon and sugar and set aside.

Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, sugar and vanilla. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.

Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Spread half of apples over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool completely before running knife between cake and pan, and unmolding onto a platter.


Soft Brown Sugar and Maple Sugar Cookies
These cookies are to die for!  If you have a chance to pick up some maple and sea salt butter made by VT Creamery I would highly recommend it but they can of course be made with regular butter.

 2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature
8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) Vermont Creamery Cultured Butter blended with Maple & Sea                     Salt, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 egg
1/2 cup maple sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 375Âș F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, baking soda and salt and set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together both butters and sugars until light and fluffy, or several minutes.  Add vanilla and egg and mix to combine. Add flour mixture until combined.
 
Scoop dough onto the prepared sheet, leaving about 2 inches between cookies.
Bake about 12 minutes or until edges are lightly brown. Let cool on the sheet for several minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Pour maple sugar into a small bowl and dip the tops of each cookie the maple sugar. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.



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