Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Good Eats Newsletter - December 18, 2013

We are closed next week so there will not be a CSA delivery.  Happy Holidays!

Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members

This week your bag will contain:
Braise mix; Potatoes; Sweet Potatoes; Carrots; Celeriac; Onions; Kale; Pac Choi OR Lettuce; Napa Cabbage; Garlic

Localvore and Pantry Offerings Include:

Aurora Farms Organic White Flour
Pete's Greens Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian Kimchi
Sweet Rowan Farmer's Cheese

IMPORTANT! Please take Veggie kimchi ONLY
if you are signed up as a
Localvore Vegetarian or a Pete's Pantry Vegetarian.
Otherwise take a non-vegetarian kimchi.
Please check Names list at your pick up site if you are unsure.

Half Veggie Only Members
Braise mix; Sweet Potatoes; Carrots; Onions;
Kale; Napa Cabbage; Garlic

Roots Cellar Share take an ORANGE BAG containing:
Sweet Potatoes; Carrots; Onions; Kale;
Napa Cabbage; Garlic

Holiday Delivery Schedule

We will NOT deliver next week, 12/25.

We will deliver the following week on Tuesday, December 31st for all Wednesday sites, and Thursday, January 2nd, for Thursday sites.

Please email me if you need to make any delivery changes to your share.

T-shirts are here!

If you signed up for a localvore or veggie only share before September 22nd your t-shirt will be delivered this week. 
Your shirt will be in a box at your site with your name on it.  Enjoy!

Happy Holidays from all of us at the farm!

Some of the crew with the Pete's Greens Christmas tree that our friend Greg Williams brought in for us.  Front row from left to right: Tim, Molly, Kristen, Kathleen and Brittany.  Back row: Matt, Tim, and Jonathan

Pete and Isaac in the cooler

Storage and Use Tips

This week's braise mix is a mix of spinach, red russian kale, pac choi, and cress.

Russet potatoes - Also known as Idaho or baking potatoes, Russets are in the class of starchy potatoes, as opposed to waxy varieties like red and fingerling. They are high in vitamin C and B6, as well as natural sugars. Russets make great baking potatoes, and are ideal for mashing and making fries. Store potatoes in a cool dark place.  Storing your potatoes in the refrigerator can make their starch turn to sugar and therefore should be avoided as doing so can give the russet potato an unpleasant, sweet taste.

Sweet Potatoes - Sweet potatoes!  Sweet potatoes really prefer a warmer climate, but with a little cajoling and TLC a decent crop can be harvested even in our northern climate.   These are sweet and delicious.  Roast them, either whole or cut into wedges or pieces, in a 400F oven until they are soft and easily pierced with a fork.  Store in a dark, dry, cool (55 degree) place, in a loose plastic bag or open to the air.  Stored this way, they may keep up to 3 weeks.  Do not refrigerate, as cold temperature alters the flavor of the potatoes.

Carrots - Carrots should be stored loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer, where they will keep for a couple of weeks. Store them away from apples, pears and other produce that create ethylene gas, which causes them to become bitter.

Celeriac doesn't win any beauty contest but celery root (celeriac) has a creamy, delicious inside with a mild celery flavor that adds depth and character to ordinary dishes.  It's excellent storage ability makes celeriac a popular vegetable for winter dishes.  Excellent mashed, as a roasted vegetable, in soups, or raw in salads.  The easiest way to prepare celeriac is to cut it into 1 inch thick slices.  Lay the slices flat and cut off the exterior without cutting away too much of the creamy flesh.  Store loosely wrapped in plastic in the fridge for 1-2 weeks or longer.

Red kale is just as nutritious as it's green cousin.  Kale is great steamed or sauteed, or added into soups or stews.  A longer cooking time is usually best as it tends to bring out the natural sweetness of the greens.

Pac choi - A member of the brassicas family along with cabbage and kale, pac choi (aka bok choy or Chinese cabbage) originated in China, where it has been grown for over 1500 years.  As part of the cabbage family, it packs in nutrition with high scores for vitamins A and C and calcium.  Pac Choi is mild enough to be chopped up for a salad, particularly if you give it a quick wilt in a hot pan. It's also great in stir-fries and sautes and in asian soups (and other soups too).  Pac Choi has a mild flavor - the leaves taste similar to Swiss chard and the stems (called ribs) are deliciously crispy and can be substituted for celery in recipes.  My favorite way to cook it is to halve or quarter it lengthwise (depending on the size), brush it with olive or sunflower oil and throw it on the grill. Prepared this way, it makes an excellent and easy side. Store pac choi loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.

Also known as Chinese cabbage, the flavor of Napa cabbage is somewhat milder and a bit sweeter than that of regular green cabbage. It is delicious raw or cooked, and can be substituted for regular cabbage in most recipes. A head of Napa Cabbage in the fridge lends itself to a wide variety of meal options, from salads and slaws, to sandwich greens, stir fries, soup additions, and more. Nearly all of the head can be used, just not the tough center core. If your Napa sits a while in the fridge and some leaves are limp, you can refresh it with a good soak in cold water. Napa cabbage should be stored unwashed in your crisper drawer, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag.

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

We teamed up with Michelle Guenard to make this spicy kimchi using our vegetables and her recipe (thanks Michelle!).  It was really fun to work with her on this.  Her kimchi has received rave reviews so we are excited to have the opportunity to bring it to you.  This spicy condiment is a real treat and is extremely healthy for you.  It's loaded with vitamins A, B, and C, but most importantly has "healthy bacteria" in it that aid in digestion.  It's one of the world's healthiest foods!  This kimchi was made with our own Organic Napa Cabbage, Carrots, Onion, Daikon Radish, Water, Red Chile Pepper Flakes, Rice Flour, Sugar, Garlic and Ginger Root.  The non-vegetarian version also includes Fish Sauce made with anchovies, salt, and sugar.  Check out Michelle's Facebook page for lots of kimchi tips and recipes.

What to do with your kimchi?  Eat it as a banchan as some Koreans do (serve a little bowl of it with every meal), stir it into rice or eggs, fry it into kimchi pancakes, or include on a grilled cheese sandwich (my favorite way to eat it).

**Please be careful selecting your kimchi!  We leave enough veggie kimchi at sites for Vegetarian Localvore and Vegetarian Pantry Members.  All others should select non-vegetarian Kimchi.  Both kimchis are clearly marked on the lids.  If you aren't certain of your share type, please check the names list when you check off at your site.

The white flour you are receiving this week was organically grown in Charlotte by Tom Kenyon at Aurora Farms.   This flour was a collaboration by Tom and Randy George of Red Hen Baking Company.  Prior to the first harvest in 2009, we had nothing like it available to us that was grown locally here in Vermont.  It's a lower protein flour, more of an all purpose flour than a bread flour, though still with enough protein and gluten strength to bake breads (Red Hen's Cyrus Pringle bread uses this flour).  I like to use whole wheat flour as much as possible but sometimes it's really nice to use white flour, especially one that's organic and local.  We thought this flour would come in handy for baking all your Christmas cookies and holiday treats. 

Sweet Rowen VT Herb Farmer's Cheese.  This is a great spreadable cheese.  It goes wonderfully on bread, crackers and bagels, and would be awesome on a holiday cheese plate.  This cheese is made by our friend Paul Lisai who's farm is right down the road from us.  Paul started his grass based dairy Sweet Rowan Farmstead several years ago, working on his herd and beginning to develop his producs.  He was off to a great start selling small batches of milk that he bottled in a rented creamery when that creamery burned in the Fall of 2011 (he shared that creamery space with Ploughgate, some of you may remember that cheese).  It was a tough time but Paul reorganized and built a creamery on his family farm and was up and running again.  Paul milks his small grass fed herd of Randall Lineback cows (a VT heritage breed) and sells his pasteurized milk direct to his customers.  He also makes this cheese!  Enjoy!


Sweet Potato and Greens Gratin
Sweet potatoes and greens are a great pair. 

2lbs Sweet Potatoes
1 bunch Kale
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
Salt, red pepper flakes, cumin or old bay seasoning to taste
1/3 cup flour
2 cups milk
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan or other salty cheese

Scrub & cut sweet potatoes into 1/4" slices. Place in a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook a few minutes, until barely tender, drain into a colander and set aside.

Combine flour and spices to taste in a little bowl.

Meanwhile, wash, remove middle stem, & chop the collards. Dice an onion and mince a couple garlic cloves. Saute the onion & garlic with olive oil and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Stir in the kale and sprinkle with salt. Saute until just tender & still bright green, a couple minutes.

In a buttered baking dish, layer the sweet potatoes and the kale. First 1/3 sweet potatoes, 1/2 kale, sprinkling the layers with the seasoned flour. Continue layering, ending with the sweet potatoes. Pour over the milk, sprinkle with the cheese. Bake @400 for about 30 minutes, until bubbly and golden.

Carrots with Coconut Butter and Lime
This recipe comes from the book "Vegetable Literacy" by Deborah Madison.  It's a great veggie resource filled with interesting facts about all kinds of veggies, as well as wonderful recipes.  This recipe caught my eye as it's so simple yet so delicious.  You should be able to find coconut butter at a co-op or you can make your very own.  Get a bag of shredded unsweetened coconut and blend for about 3-5 minutes until smooth.  If it doesn't come together try adding some coconut oil to make it gel.  Store the butter in a glass jar and use it anywhere you have a recipe that calls for vegetable oil or regular butter.

1 pound carrots, scrubbed and sliced into rounds or on the diagonal 1/2 inch thick
Sea Salt
About 2 tbsp coconut butter
1 lime

In a pot, bring 4 or more cups of water to a boil.  Add the carrots and 1 tsp salt and simmer until the carrots are tender to the touch of a knife tip, about 15 minutes.  Drain well, then return the carrots to the pan for a few minutes to dry in the residual heat.  Add the coconut butter, toss to coat the carrots, and then halve the lime and squeeze over the carrots.  Taste for salt and add more if needed.

Scalloped Celeriac and Potatoes
Here’s a variation on a classic that just might be better than the original. Traditionally, scalloped potatoes are cooked in milk or cream; here, however, we cook them in stock, and the result is a more flavorful and delightfully lighter dish. The celeriac adds a brightness that assertively sets the dish apart from its classic cousin. Friend of the Farm.

Serves 6
butter for greasing the baking dish
1 pound celeriac, peeled, halved, sliced about 1/8 inch thick
1 pound baking potatoes, peeled, sliced about 1/8 inch thick
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated Gruyère or domestic Swiss cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups chicken, beef, or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 2-quart baking dish with butter.

Place the celeriac and potatoes in alternating layers in the baking dish, seasoning every few layers with salt and pepper. At about the halfway point, add 1/3 cup cheese in an even layer; sprinkle with the thyme. Continue with the celeriac and potatoes, until you have used all of your slices (don’t go all the way to the top edge; leave a little room to allow the liquid to boil).

Pour the stock over the celeriac and potatoes. Dot with butter. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 15 minutes more. Sprinkle the remaining 2/3 cup cheese over the top layer, add several grindings of fresh pepper, and bake until the cheese turns golden, about 15 minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Potato & Celeriac Mashers
This beats plain old mashed potatoes any day.  This is how I usually prepare my mashed potatoes and my kids don't even know about the extra nutrition they're getting from the celeriac.

4-6 potatoes, baked or boiled
1 celeriac, peeled and cubed
2 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed
1/4 c butter (to taste)
1/4 c creme fraiche or sour cream
pinch nutmeg
salt and pepper

Cover celeriac pieces with cold water, bring to a boil until tender, about 30 minutes, drain water.  Cut up butter and place in bottom of a large bowl.  Add cooked potatoes, cooked celeriac, garlic and mash all together.  Add the cream to desired consistency.  If you want it really smooth mix with a hand held mixer.  Season to taste.

Napa Cabbage Salad with Peanuts and Ginger
This recipe from Martha Stewart is a great way to use your napa cabbage

2 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 piece fresh ginger (1 inch long), peeled and grated
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 medium napa cabbage (about 1 pound), cored and cut into bite-size pieces
1 red bell pepper (seeds and ribs removed), thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh, cilantro
1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, ginger, and oils until dressing is smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine cabbage, bell pepper, cilantro, and peanuts. Add dressing to taste, and toss to combine. Serve.


Kimchi Ramen
This recipe is a great way to incorporate kimchi into your diet. 

2 cups ramen or soba noodles
1/2 cup sliced green onion
1 poached egg
2 cups quick broth
4 cups water
1 onion
1/2 apple, sliced
3 lemon slices
1/4 cup sliced shallots
5 garlic cloves
1″ nub ginger
1/2 cup kimchi
3 tbsp miso paste

For the broth, mix together all ingredients (save for the miso) and simmer for 30 minutes. Mix in miso after 30 minutes and remove from heat. While the broth simmers, cook the noodles, slice the green onions, and poach an egg with your method of preference.
Combine Noodles, 1 heaping cup of kimchi, 1/2 cup green onions and pour over 2 cups of broth and top with egg.


Baked Sweet Potato Fries
This is my favorite way to eat sweet potatoes.  Feel free to mix up the spices to change the flavor.  Cajun works really well as well as just plain old salt and pepper.

Vegetable oil for parchment
2 large sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds) skins on, scrubbed and cut into 4-inch sticks, each 1/2 inch thick
1 tbsp olive oil
Mediterranean Spice

Preheat oven to 450 degrees with racks in the upper and middle positions. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and rub with oil.

Mix potatoes, spices ,and oil in a bowl; stir to cover.  Place in a single layer on prepared baking sheets. Bake 10 minutes, then flip pieces over with a spatula. Rotate baking sheets from front to back and from one rack to the other. Bake until dark golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.


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