Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Good Eats Newsletter - November 26, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Hanukkah!

Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members

This week your bag will contain:
Spinach; Potatoes; Beets; Parsnips;
Onions; Kale; Tatsoi

And OUT of the bag:
Kabocha Squash

Localvore and Pantry Offerings Include:
Jasper Hill Bayley Hazen Blue Cheese
Vt Cranberry Company Cranberries
Jan's Farmhouse Crisps

Half Veggie Only Members
Spinach; Potatoes; Beets; Kale

And OUT of the bag:
Kabocha Squash

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

And OUT Of the bag:
Kabocha Squash

Delivery is one day early for everyone this week.

Wednesday sites will be delivered tomorrow, TUESDAY, and Thursday sites will be delivered on WEDNESDAY. 

Please do your best to pick up your shares so that there aren't  leftovers over the holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hannukah!

Shares will be delivered tomorrow, TUESDAY, for all Wednesday sites and WEDNESDAY for all Thursday sites.  From all of us at the farm to all of you have a wonderful and safe holiday!  ~ Sara

Storage and Use Tips

Kabocha squash is a very sweet winter squash, with a vibrant orange interior and a very rich, almost meaty texture.  I love turning mine into a soup or even into a mashed dish, similar to a butternut squash mash that is so often seen on holiday tables.

The potatoes this week are a nice mix.  They'll be wonderful mashed, roasted, or turned into latkes (see recipe below).

Gold beets have yellow skin and flesh.  They have a delicate flavor and their color doesn't run all over (like red beets) so they're a good choice for more decorous meals.  If roasting, you can package the beets up in different foil packages, tossed with oil and salt.  I like to cut my beets up into like-sized pieces and roast them in a 400F oven for about 50-60 minutes, until a knife easily slips in and out of a piece.  Skin them once they are cool enough to handle.  Store beets loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.

Contrary to appearances, parsnips are not pale versions of carrots. In fact, they have a nutty-sweet taste and a tender-hearty texture that is entirely distinct. For centuries, parsnips were a more common staple than the potato—and deservedly so. Satisfying, versatile, and highly nutritious, these delicious roots make a terrific base to any meal. Young parsnips don’t need to be peeled. Simply scrub them under running water with a vegetable brush. Peel larger parsnips, and cut out the core if it seems woody. However you slice or chop parsnips, be sure to make all the pieces relatively the same size, ensuring an evenly cooked dish. Refrigerate unwashed parsnips in a loosely wrapped or perforated plastic bag for up to two weeks. 

Green Kale - Kale is an incredibly hearty green, able to make it through harsh Vermont frosts, and even building flavor and sweetness in the cold.  Saute with a little lemon juice, olive oil, and salt, throw it into any soup, or blend it into a (very healthy) smoothie.

**Your kale will be inside your bag of spinach, or by itself for the roots cellar share members.**

Tatsoi is a big beautiful head from the tunnels.  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.

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

Yay!  Great cheese to share with guests over the holidays.  Jasper Hill Bayley Hazen Blue receives regular rave reviews like this one from Cynthia Zarin who described Bayley Hazen Blue for the New Yorker Magazine this way “It was tangy, sweet, creamy, velvet on the tongue, the most delicious blue cheese I’d ever tasted." Bayley Hazen Blue is named after a road running through the Northeast Kingdom. The road was built and named after two Revolutionary War generals Bayley and Hazen, who were stationed along the Canadian Front. Jasper Hill summarizes this delicious cheese as follows. "The paste of a Bayley Hazen is drier than most blues and the penicillium roqueforti takes a back seat to an array of flavors that hint at nuts and grasses and in the odd batch, licorice. Though drier and crumblier than most blues, its texture reminds one of chocolate and butter."  Enjoy, it's awesome.

Even though it's a native fruit of Vermont, it's actually not that easy to find local VT cranberries.  Bob Lesnikoski aka "Cranberry Bob" provides us with this week's Vermont grown cranberries, freshly packed at Vermont Cranberry Co.  With cranberries, size does matter so at VT Cran Co, the 30,000 pound harvest is meticulously sorted with only the biggest and best offered up locally for sale. These cranberries are meatier and pack more flavor than their southern Cape Cod counterparts. Bob's claim to fame is the "bounce". As he explains a bouncy cranberry is the best cranberry. With that said we hope you enjoy these bouncy berries over Thanksgiving. If you do not wish to use your berries for T-day you may store your berries in the fridge for up to 2-3 weeks or in the freezer for longer term storage.  Cranberry sauce is super easy to make, see the recipe section for a how to.  Or follow Bob's recipe right on the box.

Check out this recent article written by Tracy Medeiros featuring Cranberry Bob.

We have another exciting item for this week - Jan's Farmhouse Crisps.  I picked these crackers up from Jan's commercial kitchen in Stowe and got to peek at how she makes these amazing crisps.  They're loaded with flax seed, pistachios, wheat, and honey and are baked together and cut wafer thin to create these savory little bites.  They are wonderful plain or paired with the Bayley Hazen blue cheese.  Below is a picture of Jan and her husband at the Martha Stewart American Made Market this past fall; this event featured design and food industry artisans from all over the country.  Jan was nominated for a prestigious award during the event and her crackers garnered much attention.   I hope you enjoy these crackers as much as we do!


Cranberry Sauce
This is a tried and true, simple cranberry sauce recipe. I make this sauce every year or so and can lots of it so I can pull out a jar whenever needed. It will also freeze great and keeps in the fridge for a long time too. If you want to get a little more fancy add some apple pieces and raisins or spice it up with cloves, allspice and ginger.

3 cups cranberries
1.5 cups water
1 to 1.5 cups sugar

Boil sugar and water together 5 minutes; add cranberries and boil without stirring (5 minutes) until all skins pop open. Remove from heat when popping stops and allow the sauce to cool.

Cranberry Curd
If you're all set with your cranberry sauce this is an amazing way to use your cranberries.  I made this last year for my mother in law's birthday and paired it with gingerbread cake and fresh whipped cream.  It was to die for!  This would also make a lovely hostess gift.

1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 large egg yolks
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier

Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes or until cranberries pop. Place cranberry mixture in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Strain cranberry mixture through a fine sieve over a bowl; discard solids.

Combine sugars and butter in a bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well combined. Add egg yolks and egg, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in cranberry mixture, cornstarch, and salt. Place mixture in the top of a double boiler. Cook over simmering water until a thermometer registers 160° and mixture thickens (about 10 minutes), stirring frequently. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in liqueur. Cover and refrigerate up to 1 week.

Soy Braised Kabocha Squash

2 tbsp. canola oil
½" piece ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 scallions, minced, plus more for garnish
¼ cup chicken or vegetable stock
3 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. mirin
1 tbsp. sugar
½ medium kabocha squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1"x4" wedges

Heat oil in 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger, garlic and scallions, and cook until fragrant, about 1–2 minutes. Add stock, soy sauce, mirin and sugar; bring to a simmer. Add squash and cook, turning once, until softened, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until tender, turning once to evenly glaze, about 15 minutes more.

Marinated Beets
A little sugar softens the edge of the vinegar here and complements the natural sweetness of the beets. Keep these on hand for healthy snacks, or add to salads.

1 bunch beets
1/3 cup red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
Salt to taste
2 garlic cloves, cut in half
2 teaspoons sugar

Place the beets in a saucepan, cover with water, add 1/4 cup of the vinegar and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until tender, 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the beets. Remove from the heat, add the garlic to the pot and set aside to cool.

Remove the beets from the pot (do not drain), slip off the skins and cut in wedges.

Combine the remaining vinegar and the sugar. When the sugar has dissolved in the vinegar, stir in 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid from the beets. Toss with the beets and the garlic. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then remove the garlic from the marinade. Remove the beets from the marinade with a slotted spoon to serve.

Steamed Parnsips with Sweet Butter Sauce
Parsnips don't need a whole lot of fussing to be sweet and delicious.  Simply steamed and topped with just a touch of maple syrup or honey makes these parsnips amazingly good.

3 parsnips, sliced lengthwise into 1/2" thick strips
1/4 cup butter
1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
freshly ground black pepper

Place the parsnips in a steamer basket set over 1 1/2 inches boiling water and cover.  Steam for 10-15 minutes depending on size.  Transfer to a serving bowl.

Melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat.  Remove the pot from heat and stir in the maple syrup or honey.   Pour the butter mixture over the parnsips.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Mashed Kabocha squash with maple syrup
This recipe will be replacing my family's standard butternut squash mashed dish at Thanksgiving this year.

1 Kabocha squash, about 3 to 4 pounds, cubed and peeled
2 tablespoons butter
3 to 4 tablespoons maple syrup, grade B if possible
salt and pepper, to taste

Cut squash in half; scoop out seeds. Cut Kabocha squash into 2-inch pieces; peel, rinse, and drain.

Steam the Kabocha squash, covered, over simmering water until tender, about 25 to 35 minutes. Drain squash and transfer to a large bowl. Add the butter and some of the maple syrup. Mash and taste. Add more maple syrup, if desired, and salt and pepper to taste.

Beet and Potato Latkes

1 large baking potato (3/4 pound)—peeled, julienned on a mandoline and patted dry
2 medium beets (1/2 pound)—peeled, julienned on a mandoline and patted dry
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup canola oil
Sour cream, for serving

In a large bowl, toss the potato and beets with the flour, thyme, pepper and the 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the eggs and mix well.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil until shimmering. Spoon 1/2 cup of the beet mixture into the hot oil to make about 3 latkes; press lightly to flatten. Fry over moderate heat, turning once and adding 1 tablespoon of oil, until the latkes are golden and crisp on both sides, about 15 minutes. Repeat with the remaining beet mixture and 2 tablespoons of oil. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Serve with sour cream.

Speedy Apple-Beet Salad
This salad would be a great addition to any meal.

2 Honeycrisp apples, unpeeled, cored, and cut into thin wedges
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar
2 medium golden beets, peeled and cut into wedges
1/4 small red onion, cut into two wedges
1/3 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup walnut halves, toasted
1 ounce blue cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)

Thinly slice apple wedges in a food processor fitted with a slicing blade. Combine apples, lemon juice, and sugar in a large bowl; toss to coat. Slice beet and onion wedges in food processor fitted with a slicing blade; add beet mixture and parsley to apple mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir in oil and mustard; toss gently to coat. Arrange about 2/3 cup salad on each of 8 plates; top each serving with 1 tablespoon walnuts and about 1 1/2 teaspoons cheese.

Farmers Market Greens
This is a basic salad with a wonderful vinaigrette.

1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 lb mixed baby greens such as kale, mizuna, tatsoi, mustard, arugula, and spinach (16 cups)

Whisk together vinegar, shallot, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, then add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified. Add greens and toss until coated well.

Greens can be washed and dried 1 day ahead and chilled in a sealed plastic bag lined with paper towels. Vinaigrette can be made 6 hours ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before using.

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