Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Good Eats Newsletter - December 31, 2014


Localvore Members 
& Veggie Only Share Members
take a TAN / LIGHT GREEN BAG

This week your bag will contain:
Salad Greens; Potatoes; Sweet Potatoes; Beets; Leeks;
Chard OR Kale; Pac Choi

Localvore and any share with pantry items Include:
Bonnieview Farm Oradale Cheese
Pete's Kitchen Arugula Pesto
Tangletown Farm Eggs


Half Veggie Only Members
take a YELLOW BAG
containing:
Salad Greens; Potatoes; Sweet Potatoes; Beets; Leeks;
Chard OR Kale; Pac Choi
Early delivery this week!

We are delivering a day early this week for the New Year  holiday.

All Wednesday sites will be delivered tomorrow, Tuesday 12/30, instead of Wednesday. All Thursday sites will be delivered on Wednesday, 12/31.
 
Please pick up your shares in a timely manner so as not to leave your hosts with any leftovers. Let me know if you have any issues or questions. Thanks and Happy New Year!

Storage and Use Tips

This week's salad greens are a mix of claytonia, spinach, and cress.

Keuka potatoes are very similar to Yukon Golds with yellow flesh and skin. Their rich flavor makes them great mashed and roasted. Cornell University developed these potatoes, along with about a dozen others, to grow well in our areas' temperature swings, short growing season, divergent soils and uneven rainfall. This article is an interesting read about these and other recently developed potato varieties in hopes of educating chefs and consumers on locally grown potatoes.

We have more sweet potatoes for you from Juniper Hill Farm in Wadhams, NY. He's a certified naturally grower which means that Juniper's growing practices exceed the requirements of the National Organic Program.    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.

The beets this week are a mix of baby reds, goldens, and chioggias. These are cute little buggers that can be roasted whole, shredded and eaten raw, or steamed and added to a salad. Try chopping and sweating your leeks, add the baby beet roots, cook a bit more, then add some chopped greens sprinkled with salt and pepper and cook until tender. It's so simple, yet so good. Store the beets loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.

Like onions, garlic, shallots and scallions, leeks are a member of the allium family. They have a milder flavor than onions and cook beautifully into tarts, soups and gratins, just to name a few. To cook, trim off the dark green leaves, and cook with the white and light green parts only. To get the most sweetness out of your leeks, try sweating them instead of sauteing. When you sweat a veggie, you cook it in a fat, (I like butter), over a lower temperature or flame. You should barely hear it sizzle. This slower method of cooking yields a much sweeter taste. Add the leeks to a quiche or mix in with mashed potatoes for a decadent side dish. Store the leeks loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.

This week everyone will get a bunch of either Red Chard or a Red Kale variety. All of these (red) greens are veggie powerhouses in that they're loaded in calcium, vitamins A, C and K, lutein and xeaxanthin, making it an excellent source of support for your bones, skin and eyes. They're also very low in calories and can be cooked in any number of ways. Keep chard 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.

Pac choi is a member of the brassicas family along with cabbage and kale that 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.
 

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 we've got some amazing cheese for you. Bonnieview Farms' Oradale cheese is a new one that I tried last week and loved. It's a mixed milk cheese only made in the fall when Bonnieviews' 13 cows and 180 sheep were on the final 3 months of pasture. It is a raw milk blended cheese that is based on a Tomme recipe. Oradale was made four days a week from August through October.

What is a tomme? It's a generic name given to a class of cheese produced mainly in the French Alps and in Switzerland. It can be made from cow's, ewe's, or goat's milk. Tommes are normally produced from the skim milk left over after the cream has been removed to produce butter and richer cheeses, or when there is too little milk to produce a full cheese. As a result, they are generally low in fat. Tomme is traditionally used to make aligot and truffade, two regional French dishes combining melted cheese and mashed or sautéed potatoes.

Last summer we put up a good amount of arugula pesto and froze it to enjoy in the colder months. This pesto has a good spicy kick to it and is better used as a sandwich spread and not in a pasta dish. It has a shorter shelf life than other pestos so you may want to enjoy this sooner rather than later. It's made with our own organic arugula, plus olive oil, toasted sunflower seeds, garlic, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

Lastly we have Tangletown Farm eggs for you. Enjoy these farm fresh, nutrient loaded eggs!


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.



Recipes



Aligot (Mashed Potatoes with Garlic and Cheese)
This is serious comfort food and will change the way you see mashed potatoes forever. It's kind of like a potato fondue - mashed potatoes whipped with melted cheese until it gets gooey and smotheringly delicious. It's wonderful served with a light green salad on the side.

1 lb potatoes
 2 fat cloves garlic, peeled and halved lengthways
 1 oz butter
 8 oz Oradale cheese, grated (you could also substitute another tomme, raclette or mozzarella cheese)
 salt and freshly milled black pepper

Begin this by placing the garlic in a small saucepan with the butter, then leave it on the gentlest heat possible to melt and infuse for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, thinly pare and discard the skins of the potatoes and cut them into even-sized chunks, or cut any large potatoes into quarters and small ones into halves.

Place the potatoes in a steamer, then pour some boiling water straight from the kettle into a saucepan.

Fit the steamer over, sprinkle the potatoes with 1 level dessert spoon of salt, put a lid on and let them steam for 20-25 minutes, until tender in the centre when tested with a skewer.

After this, remove them, transfer to a large bowl (preferably a warm one) and cover with a cloth to absorb some of the steam.

Now, with an electric hand whisk, switch to slow and begin to break up the potatoes, then add the butter and garlic, some black pepper and a handful of the grated cheese. Now switch the speed to high and continue adding the cheese, a handful at a time, while you whisk.

There's a lot of cheese, but what will happen is that, as you whisk it in, the potatoes will turn translucent and glossy and, as you lift and whisk, it will form stiff, glossy peaks. When all the cheese is in, serve very quickly.

As the cheese goes in, the mixture becomes stiff and clings to the whisk, but keep going and it will part company with the whisk eventually. Also, if you want to keep it warm, place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, but don't leave it too long.



Scalloped Keuka Gold Potatoes
Here's another rich comfort food recipe featuring this weeks' potatoes. This recipe was featured in the article linked above - Stand Back, Yukon Gold - There's a New Potato in Town from The New York Times, October, 2009.

3 tablespoons butter, more for greasing pie plate
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, minced
4 small cipollini onions, minced, or 1 large onion
2 tablespoons minced French tarragon leaves plus 1 tablespoon finely chopped, for garnish
3 cups heavy cream
2 pounds (about 6 medium) Keuka Gold potatoes (unpeeled), sliced 1/8-inch thick
Salt
ground white pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch deep-dish glass pie plate.

In a wide saucepan, combine 3 tablespoons butter, garlic, leek and onions. Place over medium-low heat and sauté until mixture is light golden, about 15 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons tarragon, the cream and potatoes, and mix well. Simmer gently until potatoes are barely tender, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer potatoes to pie plate, spreading them evenly and pressing lightly to compact them. Drizzle with 2 to 3 tablespoons of cream from pan. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until top is light golden brown, about 10 more minutes. Remove from heat and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Garnish with a sprinkling of chopped tarragon, and serve.



Braised Leeks with Parmesan
This recipe is the one that turned me into a leek lover.  Those who are not sure if they like leeks will never doubt again!

2 leeks
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine, like sauvignon blanc
3 T Parmesan, freshly grated

Cut the ends and the dark green leaves of the leeks, and cut in half lengthwise. Place in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes, then run under the faucet to remove any sand that may be lingering in between the layers. Peel off thick outer layers and discard.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a wide, heavy skillet that will accommodate all of the leeks in one layer. Place the leeks in the pan, cut side down, and cook, shaking the pan and moving them around with tongs, until they are lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Using tongs, turn the leeks over and cook on the other side until they are lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the leeks back over so that the cut side is down. Peel off the outer layers if they are papery, as they will not soften when the leeks are braised. Pour in the wine and stir to deglaze the bottom of the pan, then add enough water or stock to come just to the top of the leeks. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes, until the leeks are thoroughly tender when pierced with a knife. Most of the liquid should have evaporated by this time. Meanwhile, preheat the broiler.

Transfer the leeks to an oiled ovenproof pan if your skillet cannot go under the broiler. Using tongs, turn the leeks so that the flat side is up. If there is still a lot of liquid in the pan, pour it off. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the leeks. Place under the hot broiler until the cheese has melted and is beginning to color. Remove from the heat and serve.



Leek and Swiss Chard Tart
I realize you won't have 4 leeks in this weeks' share, but wanted to leave the recipe as is in case you wanted to follow it exactly and get some more. If not you could substitute shallots or onions to make up the difference.

1 pie dough
 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 leeks, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced and rinsed well (4 to 5 cups)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 bunch Swiss chard or kale, stems and ribs discarded, leaves shredded (4 cups)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
1/3 cup whole milk, warmed
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese

Turn out pie dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll dough into a 13-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. Press dough into bottom and up sides of a 10-inch springform pan with a removable bottom. Using a paring knife, trim dough to form 1 1/2- to 2-inch-high sides. Transfer to refrigerator, and chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line dough with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until edge just begins to turn golden brown, about 25 minutes. Remove parchment and pie weights. Bake until pale gold, about 15 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack, and let cool completely.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add leeks, and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add wine and Swiss chard leaves, and cook until liquid has evaporated and chard has wilted, about 5 minutes.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Whisk in flour until incorporated. Slowly whisk in milk, and bring to a boil. Cook until thickened, about 3 minutes.

Combine leek mixture, milk mixture, mustard, and egg. Season with salt and pepper, and stir.

Spread leek mixture into tart shell, and sprinkle with Gruyere. Bake until top is golden brown, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly, and serve warm.



Roasted Baby Beets
This is a very simple, basic recipe that yields great results.

10 baby beets (each 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter; about 5 bunches), unpeeled, all but 1 inch of tops trimmed, rinsed
1 large fresh rosemary sprigs, plus additional sprigs for garnish
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place beets in roasting pan. Add rosemary sprig and enough water to barely cover beets. Cover pan tightly with foil. Roast beets until tender, about 50 minutes. Transfer beets to work surface. Peel while still warm; place on rimmed baking sheet. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt butter with oil in small saucepan. Pour over beets on sheet; toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until heated through, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Transfer to bowl. Garnish with additional rosemary sprigs and serve.



Potato, Beet, and Leek Soup (serves 6-8)
Here's a great basic soup recipe using some of this weeks' veggies. Feel free to experiment and add in whatever you have on hand!

1 Tablespoon cooking oil of your choice
2 to 3 cups loosely packed, coarsely chopped leeks (or sub in onions)
3 to 4 cups coarsely chopped cabbage (I had Napa)
1 1/2 cup shredded carrots (or 1 cup chopped)
1 pound potato, chopped (about 3 cups)
1 pound peeled, chopped beets (about 3 cups)
6 cups vegetable stock
fresh dill (I used 3 large sprigs and pulled them out before pureeing)
bay leaf
3/4 teaspoon salt (I had kosher, and I am constantly worried about oversalting so use your judgement)
10 grinds pepper
1/3 cup sugar or sweetener of your choice
1/3 cup sherry vinegar
sour cream, optional, a dollop per serving
1 pound ground beef, optional, seasoned with 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, browned, and drained

Preheat a large pot over medium heat with a turn of cooking oil.  Sauté the leeks until they are barely beginning to brown, and add cabbage, carrots, and potatoes as they are prepped and ready.  Stir to coat each addition with some of the oil.  You're not going to get each piece of vegetable fully caramelized because the pan is too crowded, but if a lot of pieces have a bit of color that's good.  Then add in the chopped beets.  All bets are off once the beets join the party, as they will dye the whole mess pink.

Add the stock, dill, bay leaf, salt and pepper to the pot.  Bring to a fast simmer, then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.  Remove dill sprigs and bay leaf.  Use an immersion blender, or transfer to a blender (careful!) and puree until smooth.  Add in the sugar and vinegar, and stir to combine. Taste and see if you'd like a bit more salt or pepper. Serve with a sprig of dill for the vegans, with a dollop of sour cream for the vegetarians, or with some ground beef for my kids.


Greens and Pasta (serves 4)
Would you like to walk in the door after picking up the CSA and, within a half hour of arrival sit down to eat a tasty meal the whole family will enjoy? I found this "Greens and Pasta Fast from the Farm Share Concept Recipe" online today and thought it was great. Basically you need the following:

You'll need pasta--dried or fresh, thin noodles, shaped noodles, filled noodles all work in this
You'll need a sauce (prepared or put up pesto or alfredo or marinara or vodka sauce)
You'll need greens (beet, chard, kale, spinach, tender collard, mustard or turnip greens)
If you like, you could add a protein (bacon, breakfast sausage, ham, meatballs, paneer, tofu)

Here's the basic recipe:

½ pound dry pasta (or 4 servings fresh pasta)
1 bunch greens (chop and use the chard or beet stems, discard the mustard, turnip, collard or kale stems--especially if large and woody--and slice the leaves as shown above)
½ cup onion, chopped
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
½ to 2 cups chopped cooked or uncooked* meat, or cubes of paneer or tofu, optional
Sauce (½ cup pesto + pasta water to thin, or 1 to 2 cups alfredo/marinara/tomato vodka--your choice)

Preheat a large skillet over medium heat, and get a large pot of salted water boiling for the pasta.
When the water is ready, prepare pasta according to package directions. In the skillet, heat the oil to shimmering then sauté the stems and onions until softened (*if using, add the uncooked meat in now so it can cook as well), about 5 to 8 minutes.  Add the leaves and stir until wilted, another 3 minutes or so. If using cooked meat or tofu cubes, add to the skillet once the leaves are wilted.  Stir pasta sauce into mixture.  When the pasta is cooked, add it to the skillet and toss with the sauce.  Serve with additional cheese on top.



Red Russian Kale, Tomato, and Eggs Baked in Ham Cups
Feel free to improvise with these - use your pac choi or chard instead of the kale, leave out the tomatoes, basically use what you have on hand to save yourself a trip to the store!

garlic oil (if you have leftovers from this) or your baking spray, butter, or oil of choice
18 slices ham (I used 2 or 3 per cup and preferred the 3 slice cups)
8 stems Red Russian Kale (approximately 75 g), leaves torn into small pieces (compost the stems!)
6 eggs
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
2 ounces/50 grams shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Brush the muffin tin with garlic oil, or coat with your choice of oil, spray, or butter.  Place 2-3 slices of ham into each cup.  Top with a small handful (1/4 to 1/3 cup) of kale.  Crack an egg into each cup.  Top with cherry tomatoes and cheese.  Season with a pinch of salt and a grind of pepper.  Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until eggs are just set.  Cool in pan 5 minutes.  Gently loosen and serve.


Sesame Pac Choi
Add a taste of the Orient with this tempting side dish.

1 bunch  pac choi
1 tbsp groundnut oil
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 large garlic clove, crushed and finely chopped
1/2 mild green chilli, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 tbsp Thai fish sauce (optional)

Cut a thick slice from the pak choi root to separate the leaves. Rinse and drain.

 Heat the groundnut oil in a large wok over a medium heat and add 1 tbsp sesame oil, the garlic, chilli, fish sauce (if using) and pak choi. Toss until coated and clamp a pan lid over them. Reduce the heat and cook for 3-6 minutes, tossing occasionally, just until the leaves have wilted (the stalks should be tender-crisp).

Add the rest of the sesame oil and salt. Toss the leaves and serve immediately.





 
3 tablespoons butter

    1 large onion, chopped

    2 ribs celery, chopped

    1 cup pearl barley

    1 (8 ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms (optional)

    1 green bell pepper, chopped

    2 cups chicken broth

    salt and ground black pepper to taste

Check All Add to Shopping List

    PREP
    15 mins

    COOK
    45 mins

    READY IN
    1 hr

Directions

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    Melt butter in a 1 1/2-quart Dutch oven or oven-safe pot over medium heat and cook onion until lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Add celery and cook until starting to soften, stirring often, about 5 more minutes. Mix barley into the vegetables and stir until coated with butter. Fold mushrooms and green pepper into barley mixture; season to taste with salt and black pepper. Pour chicken broth into barley mixture and bring to a boil; cover casserole dish.
    Bake in the preheated oven until barley is nearly tender, about 30 minutes; uncover casserole dish and bake barley until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 more minutes. Adjust salt and black pepper before serving.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Good Eats Newsletter - December 17, 2014


Localvore Members 
& Veggie Only Share Members
take a TAN / LIGHT GREEN BAG

This week your bag will contain:
Claytonia; Potatoes; Carrots; Daikon Radish; Onions; Kale; Watercress; Napa Cabbage

Localvore and any share with pantry items Include:
Tullochgorum Farm organic White Lightning Popcorn
McFarline Apiaries Honey
VT Creamery Fresh Chevre


Half Veggie Only Members
take a YELLOW BAG
containing:
Claytonia; Potatoes; Daikon Radish; Onions;
Kale; Napa Cabbage
Happy Holidays from all of us at the farm!

We will NOT deliver next week, 12/25.
We will deliver the following week on Tuesday, December 30th for all Wednesday sites, and Wednesday, December 31st, for Thursday sites.
Please email me if you need to make any delivery changes to your share.

Around the farm

Yesterday's spinach picking crew: Emilie, Felipe and Molly.


Storage and Use Tips

This week's salad greens are claytonia. We've had a good response this share with the claytonia - members are enjoying it in their salads, on sandwiches, or cooked like spinach. Enjoy this vitamin C loaded green.

Fingerling potatoes are a family of heritage potatoes that naturally grow much smaller than conventional potatoes. They tend to be elongated and slightly knobbly, making them very finger-like in shape. The unusual-looking, flavorful potatoes can be used just like regular potatoes in an assortment of roasted, broiled, baked, grilled, or boiled dishes.  Store in a paper bag in a cool, dry place. No need to peel, just scrub clean before cooking.

Carrots can keep in the refrigerator for up to three months if properly prepared for storage. Remove all the green stubble to prevent the carrot from rotting. (carrot leaves left attached draw moisture from the root and dry it out quickly). Do not wash until ready to use carrot. Place carrots into refrigerator.

Everyone will get some daikon radish this week. This large root looks like an overgrown white carrot, but it is actually a radish.  In Korea, cubed daikon radish is used to make a type of kimchi. Its mild taste makes it an excellent palate cleanser. In Japan, strings of daikon marinated in vinegar typically accompany sashimi. Try serving the radish in light salads where its own flavor won't be overwhelmed by the other ingredients.

The yellow onions are again coming to you from Riverside Farm in East Hardwick. Riverside is an organic vegetable farm in East Hardwick owned by Bruce Kaufman and Judy Jarvis.  Together they cultivate 20 acres of organic vegetables. We are lucky that this year they had a beautiful crop of onions because ours was not so good.  We are grateful for the many excellent farmers in our region. Onions are best stored in a cool dark place.

Everyone will get a bunch of either red or lacinato kale. Both kales are extremely nutritiuos and can be enjoyed 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. I love to use lacinato for kale chips and roasted kale (the flat leaves make them perfect for chips), and the red kale for things like soups and stews.

Eaten cooked or raw, cress has a very mild peppery flavor. It may be eaten raw as in a simple salad with oil and vinegar, or wilted in soups or other dishes. I love it on sandwiches and in salad. Watercress is a very powerful antioxidant. A two year study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2007 determined that eating watercress daily can significantly reduce DNA damage to blood cells, which is considered to be an important trigger in the development of cancer. It is brimming with more than 15 essential vitamins and minerals. Gram for gram, it contains more iron than spinach, more vitamin C than oranges and more calcium than milk.

Left raw, the leaves can be chopped and mixed into a salad, tucked into a sandwich, or tossed over broiled fish as a garnish. Use a food processor to blend a handful of upland cress with a cup of creme friache or sour cream and a few garlic cloves for a zesty side to grilled meats or blend into soups. Store in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer for 1-2 weeks.

Napa cabbage is an Asian vegetable that resembles regular green cabbage, but is much more tender with large cruncy ribs and has a long, slender shape. Napa cabbage has slightly more protein and fewer calories than regular cabbage and a unique taste like a mild celery or bok choy. It is delicious raw or cooked, and can be substituted for regular cabbage in most recipes. It is extremely popular in China partly because of its versatility. In Korea it is pickled, salted, and flavored with ginger and chili peppers to make Korea's national dish kim chi. Store in a sealed plastic bag in your refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.


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

The organically grown White Lightning Popcorn comes from Tullochgorum Farm in Ormstown, Quebec, situated in the beautiful Chateauguay Valley of South-western Quebec.  Because popcorn requires a longer growing season than most types of corn, Steve and Loraine Lalonde consider their area to be at the northern limit of successfully producing this crop. To their knowledge, they are the only commercial producers of certified organic popcorn in Quebec. Once popped, White Lightning possesses a delicate, crispy texture, and a slightly nutty flavor, vastly different from the more common yellow popcorn varieties with which most people are familiar with, and a world away from microwave popcorn!

A whirly-pop machine is recommended in the 2 recipes below, but if you don't have one try this stovetop method.

A special treat for you this week is raw Vermont honey from McFarline Apiary.  Tim McFarline is a beekeeper from Benson, VT.  Tim's honey is raw, and has never been heated so it retains all vitality and enzymes.  His website is filled with interesting information about bees so be sure to check it out!  We are grateful for the bees without whom our crops could not be pollinated.


VT Creamery's Fresh Chevre is a great addition to a pizza, salads, egg dishes, dips, souffles, or cheese plate. This award winning chevre recently won a bronze award at the 2014 World Cheese Awards.  It's 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.

There are 2 flavors- Classic and Cranberry, Orange, Cinnamon. I thought the classic would be a good all around cheese to add to anything and the flavored a great addition to a holiday cheese plate or fancy salad. Choose just 1 cheese.

I just love the story of how VT Creamery got started. Allison Hooper, one of the founders and owners, was working as a dairy lab technician in Vermont after a year abroad on a farm in France. Bob Reese, the other founder and owner, then marketing director of the State Agriculture Department, was in need of fresh goat cheese for a state dinner at the request of a French chef. Chèvre was virtually unheard of at the time, but Allison was able to craft the cheese for the dinner. Energized by the response they received, Allison and Bob decided on-the-spot to create Vermont Creamery. The rest is history!

Bob & Allison with an original sign for Vermont Creamery


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.



Recipes


Curried Carrot Soup
This is a great recipe for when you have lots of carrots to use up.

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon curry powder
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth (about 3 1/2 cups)
2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)

Heat butter in a Dutch oven or large (4- to 5-quart) saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, curry powder, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.

Add broth, carrots, and 3 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover, and simmer until carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.

In a blender**, puree soup in batches until smooth; transfer to a clean saucepan. Add more water to thin to desired consistency. Reheat, if necessary. Stir in lemon juice. Serve garnished with cilantro, if desired.

**Hot liquids will expand when blended, so be careful not to fill the jar of the blender more than halfway. To prevent the liquid from spattering, allow the heat to escape: Remove the cap from hole in lid, and cover lid with a dish towel when blending.



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.

 


Daikon Radish and Napa Cabbage Slaw
To make this slaw more colorful, add a grated carrot or two. To toast the sesame seeds, place in a small frying pan over medium heat and cook until lightly browned, 5 minutes, stirring often.

1 to 1 1/2 pounds napa cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
3/4 pound daikon radish, peeled and grated in large holes of grater

Dressing:
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon honey or sugar, or to taste
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the cabbage and daikon in a large bowl.

Combine the dressing ingredients, then pour over the vegetables and toss with plenty of salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or chill for 1 hour before serving.



Napa Cabbage and Daikon Stir-Fry
Napa and cabbage go so well together. I liked the idea of this as a hot dish and think that adding some chicken or beef to this would be amazing!

2 daikon, shredded
5 carrots, shredded
1 napa cabbage, shredded
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sesame oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 14-oz can straw mushrooms, drained

Heat the oil in a wok or large pan. Add the carrot and the daikon.  Stir-fry until softened, about 2 minutes tops. Add the cabbage.  Stir-fry until tender. Add the mushrooms.  Stir-fry until heated through. Serve.



Black Kale and Black Olive Salad
This salad calls for lacinato kale, sliced thin and served raw, and it's delicious. It combines the kale with black olives and a little shaved Parmesan for a full flavored, earthy, briny salad. It's also a sturdy salad that can be dressed an hour or two ahead of serving.

1 large bunch Lacinato kale (about 1 pound), cut into thin ribbons
1/2 cup black olives, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Salt and black pepper

Combine the kale, olives, and Parmesan in a large bowl. Drizzle with the oil and vengar, sprinkle with salt (not too much) and lots of pepper, and toss.

Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to an hour.



Kale Chips
If you haven't made them yet, do try.  They are delicious, fun, super easy to make.  They come out crispy with a very satisfying potato chip like crunch.  You can try different toppings ...  chili powder, parmesan cheese etc, to flavor them further, but the simple oil and salt I have given below really is great.

1 large bunch kale (any kind, but Lacinato is great), tough stems removed, leaves torn into pieces
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

Position racks in upper third and center of oven; preheat to 400°F.

If kale is wet, very thoroughly pat dry with a clean kitchen towel; transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle the kale with oil and sprinkle with salt. Using your hands, massage the oil and salt onto the kale leaves to evenly coat. Fill 2 large rimmed baking sheets with a layer of kale, making sure the leaves don't overlap. (If the kale won't all fit, make the chips in batches.)

Bake until most leaves are crisp, switching the pans back to front and top to bottom halfway through, 8 to 12 minutes total. (If baking a batch on just one sheet, start checking after 8 minutes to prevent burning.)



Vietnamese Daikon and Carrot Pickles Recipe
Traditionally served in Vietnamese street sandwiches called Banh Mi. These pickles would be great with anything that would typically be served with coleslaw or sauerkraut, like hot dogs, or barbecued pork, or even with salad or wrapped into a spring roll. Or just eat them straight.  For a lower glycemic option, you can substitute the 1 cup of sugar with 3/4 cup of agave syrup. Yield: Makes approximately 5 pints.

 
2 pounds carrots (about 5 medium sized carrots), peeled
2 pounds of daikon radishes (about 2 large daikon), peeled
1 cup plus 4 teaspoons of sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 cups white vinegar
2 cups warm water (warm enough to easily dissolve sugar)
About 5 pint jars


 
Julienne the carrots and the daikon radishes. Cut them first crosswise into 2 1/2 inch long segments. Then cut 1/4-inch thick slices lengthwise. Stack the slices and cut them again into 1/4-inch thick batons.

Place the carrots and daikon radishes in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 4 teaspoons of sugar and 2 teaspoons of salt. Use your clean hands to toss the carrots and daikon with the salt and sugar until well coated. Continue to mix the carrots and daikon with your hands until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. They are ready once you can bend a piece of daikon all the way over without it breaking.

Transfer the carrots and daikon to a colander, rinse with cool water and drain well.

In a bowl (a 8 cup pyrex measuring cup works great for this) mix together one cup of sugar, the white vinegar and the warm water, until the sugar dissolves.

Prepare clean jars. Pack the daikon and carrots tightly into the jars. Pour over the pickling liquid to cover. Seal. Refrigerate.

The pickles should sit at least overnight before eating; their flavor will improve with time. They should last 4 to 6 weeks in the refrigerator.



Honey and Lemon Dressing
It's amazing what a little bit of honey does to this basic salad dressing!

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon good honey
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Mix everything together in a bowl and season to taste.



Potato Pancakes [Latkes]
This classic latke recipe is a keeper.

1 large baking potato (1 pound), peeled
1 small onion (4 ounces), peeled
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Peanut oil, for frying

In a food processor or on a box grater, coarsely shred the potato and onion. For longer strands, lay the potato sideways in the chute of your food processor. Transfer to a colander or wrap in a cheesecloth sling, and squeeze as dry as possible. Let stand for 2 minutes, then squeeze dry again.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, egg, salt and pepper together. Stir in the potato onion mixture until all pieces are evenly coated.

In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil until shimmering. Drop packed teaspoons of the potato mixture into the skillet and flatten them with the back of a spoon. Cook the latkes over moderately high heat until the edges are golden, about 1 1/2 minutes; flip and cook until golden on the bottom, about 1 minute. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining potato mixture, adding more oil to the skillet as needed.

Do ahead: Latkes are a do-ahead-er’s dream. You can also keep latkes warm in the oven for an hour or more, if you’re waiting for stragglers to arrive. Cooked, they keep well in the fridge for a day or two, or in the freezer, well wrapped, for up to two weeks. Reheat them in a single layer on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven until they’re crisp again. Bonus: If you undercooked them a bit or didn’t get the browning on them you’d hoped for, you can compensate for this in the oven.



Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn
Need a tasty gift? This popcorn fits the bill, especially when presented in pretty little package. These 2 popcorn recipes are from one of my favorite blogs, Annie's Eats.

1/2 cup unpopped popcorn
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. butter
2 tsp. brown sugar
coarsely chopped semi-sweet chocolate, or chocolate chips

Line two baking sheets with wax paper.  Pop popcorn in an air-popper (a Whirley Pop is highly recommended) Spread popcorn in an even layer on prepared baking sheets.  Combine peanut butter, butter, and brown sugar in a microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave in 20 second intervals and stir, until melted and drizzle-able. Drop the peanut butter mixture in spoonfuls over the popcorn and gently toss to coat evenly (I find this is best done by hand).  In another microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate in 20 second intervals until fully melted.  Drizzle over the popcorn.  Let the chocolate set before serving.  Store in an airtight container.



Parmesan Thyme Popcorn with Browned Butter
If you're looking for a more savory, grown up popcorn, this is a great bet!

2-3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, grated (or finely minced)
½ tsp. fresh thyme leaves, minced
1 tsp. olive oil
1/3 cup popcorn kernels
2-3 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

Place the butter in a small skillet over medium heat.  Melt the butter completely.  Continue to cook, whisking frequently, until the butter foams, bubbles slightly, and begins to brown.  Continue whisking until the butter is evenly browned, being careful not to burn.  Just before it is finished, stir in the garlic and thyme.  Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

In a popcorn popper, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.  Add the kernels to the pot, cover, and cook, stirring, until all the kernels are popped. Remove from the heat, add in the browned butter mixture along with the grated Parmesan and stir well to coat evenly.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and stir once more.

 


Salty Honey Pie
This recipe, also from Annie's Eats, is a new holiday favorite of ours. It's sweet, creamy filling with the crunchy salt topping and buttery flaky crust is truly a perfect combination.

1 recipe basic pie dough
1/2 cup (4 oz.) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp. white or yellow cornmeal
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup honey
2 tsp. white vinegar
2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise (or 1 tsp. vanilla paste)
3 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1-2 tbsp. large flake sea salt for finishing (such as Maldon)

To blind-bake the pie shell, preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  Roll pie dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch disc.  Place it in a 9-inch pie plate, trimming away the excess and creating decorative edges as desired.  Prick the bottom and sides of the crust with the tines of a fork.  Line the crust with a piece of aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill with baking beads.  (If you don’t have baking beads, dried beans or rice also work.)  Bake for 25 minutes.  Remove the baking beads and foil and bake about 5-10 minutes more, until light golden.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 350.

To make the filling, combine the butter, sugar, cornmeal and salt in a bowl and mix well with an electric mixer until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Blend in the honey, vinegar and the seeds scraped from the vanilla beans. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then blend in the cream. Pour the filling into the pre-baked pie shell and transfer to the oven. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until just set and only slightly jiggly in the center. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool at least 1 hour before topping with the finishing salt, slicing and serving. Serve with fresh whipped cream, if desired.



3 tablespoons butter

    1 large onion, chopped

    2 ribs celery, chopped

    1 cup pearl barley

    1 (8 ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms (optional)

    1 green bell pepper, chopped

    2 cups chicken broth

    salt and ground black pepper to taste

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    PREP
    15 mins

    COOK
    45 mins

    READY IN
    1 hr

Directions

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    Melt butter in a 1 1/2-quart Dutch oven or oven-safe pot over medium heat and cook onion until lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Add celery and cook until starting to soften, stirring often, about 5 more minutes. Mix barley into the vegetables and stir until coated with butter. Fold mushrooms and green pepper into barley mixture; season to taste with salt and black pepper. Pour chicken broth into barley mixture and bring to a boil; cover casserole dish.
    Bake in the preheated oven until barley is nearly tender, about 30 minutes; uncover casserole dish and bake barley until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 more minutes. Adjust salt and black pepper before serving.