Monday, January 13, 2014

Good Eats Newsletter - January 8, 2014

It's a Meat Week!

Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members

This week your bag will contain:
Mesclun; Potatoes; Carrots; Beets;
Turnips; Cabbage; Shallots; Garlic

Localvore and Pantry Offerings Include:
Pete's Greens Pizza Dough
Pete's Greens Pizza Sauce
Blythedale Grana Cheese
Pete's Greens Pesto

Half Veggie Only Members
Mesclun; Potatoes; Carrots; Cabbage; Shallots; Garlic

Roots Cellar Share take an ORANGE BAG containing:
Potatoes; Carrots; Cabbage; Shallots; Garlic

The Spring Share begins on February 19th - that's only 5 weeks away. 
It's hard to believe that this share season has gone by so quickly!

Sign up now to reserve your spot in the spring share.  Space is limited in the spring share so sign up early to reserve your spot.

Please visit the Spring Share page for more info.

Please visit our delivery page for a listing of Spring Share delivery sites.

We hope you'll join us again!

Storage and Use Tips

This week's potatoes are Baby Bakers.  These potatoes are perfect for baking or roasting whole.  The skin is the best part (and contain most of the potatoes' iron, protein, and fiber), so don't bother to peel them!  Just rinse them in the sink and throw them in the oven.

Gilfeather turnip - In the late 1800's Wardboro, VT native John Gilfeather either developed or discovered an unusually sweet and creamy turnip with the ability to reach a very large size without becoming woody and while retaining its sweet flavor. Fully realizing how special his turnips were, he sold them at markets throughout his lifetime - with the tops and bottoms cut off. Turnips and rutabagas both have the same seed generating ability... You can store a turnip with tap root and tops intact in a root cellar for the winter, plant it in early spring, and it will immediately go to seed, producing enough seed quickly enough to generate another crop the same season. By cutting off the tops and taproots, John assured that he was the sole marketer of the superior "turnip" and prevented it from being altered by breeding. When John died, his turnips seed made it into the hands of several of his neighbors who began to grow them. One of these folks eventually trademarked the name and registered the vegetable as an heirloom with the Vt Agency of Agriculture. In Wardsboro, an annual festival celebrates the special turnip serving up dozens of dishes featuring it. It may be roasted (delicious), used in soups and stewed, mashed with or without potatoes, and it is even good raw sliced thinly into a salad.

Napa cabbage, also known as Chinese cabbage, is somewhat milder and a bit sweeter than 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.

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.

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 made the pizza dough at the farm and froze it for delivery.  This pizza dough is made with Milanaise organic flour, Gleason Grain Snake Mountain Sifted whole wheat flour, local Sunflower Oil, 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.
Pete's Greens Sweet Basil pesto - last summer we grew a lot of basil and stockpiled pesto for Good Eats. This pesto contains our own basil blended with olive oil, romano and parmesan cheese, sunflower seeds, garlic, lemon juice and salt. It is tasty slathered on bread or added to pasta with grated cheese on top. If you like yours garlicky - add some minced fresh garlic to your cooked pasta before mixing the pesto with the pasta.  The pesto will come to you frozen. To use, simply thaw and eat as is or add to your dishes. It will keep in your fridge a couple weeks, but if you won't use the entire tub right away, just throw it back in the freezer! It keeps really well. 

To go along with pesto or pizza, we have a parmesan style grating cheese. Becky and Tom Loftus of Blythedale Farm in Corinth milk 30 of their own Jersey cows and use their milk to hand craft all of their cheeses. The Cookeville Grana is a fantastic grating and melting cheese. Please indulge in a grilled cheese this week or use the cheese on pastas, pizzas and anything else you can dream up that might require melted cheese. The cows at Blythedale are cared for with love and respect and live in a clean, comfortable stable, with year round outdoor access. Their stress-free lives create a milk with delicious flavor. The Grana in your share this week is a small natural rind wheel made from unpasteurized milk. It is an excellent grating cheese and is a good additive in cooking; as well as having a lovely flavor that stands well alone.

Meat Share

This month we have a Pete's Greens chicken for you.  These chickens were raised right at the farm.  They started their lives sheltered in the barn and got to enjoy lots of greens and other veggies.  When they were feathered they moved outside to enjoy the good life.  These birds are very nutritious and tasty and you can get a few meals out of them.  One of my favorite ways to enjoy these chickens is to throw them into the crockpot with lots of veggie scraps (onions, carrots, celery) and spices, and cover with water.  Set it on low for 8 hours and at the end of the day you'll have lots of chicken broth as well as shredded chicken.  I keep some broth out to use right away but freeze most of it in 4 cup increments in Ziploc bags or large yogurt containers.  I use the shredded chicken in a Mexican feast one night (tacos and burritos), chicken pot pie or soup another night, and even have some leftover to add to salads all week.   You could also freeze some of the shredded meat if you can't get through it all in a few days.

Next up is more of McKnight Farms' hamburger.  This is seriously some of the best hamburger I have ever tasted!  It's great made into hamburgers, meatballs, or crumbled and added to spaghetti sauce.

Our pigs roamed free on 20 acres and enjoyed the good life renovating land, eating pasture, insects and minerals below the soil surface and taking care of our leftovers from the wash house.  We are really excited about this meat and feel its some of the highest quality pork around given the very high ratio of plants the piggies ate compared to grain. This week we are including a package of Hot Italian Sausage (made by our friend Pete Colman of Vermont Salumi) and a package of Bacon.... yum!


Beet, Potato, and Walnut Salad
Add some bread and cheese to this salad and you've got a great meal!

1 1/2 pounds medium beets, scrubbed
1 1/2 pounds potatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts (optional)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
1 to 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with racks in top and middle. Place beets on a large piece of foil on a baking sheet. Fold foil around beets and crimp ends to form a packet. Cook beets on sheet on middle rack, 30 minutes.

On a rimmed baking sheet, toss potatoes with oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange potatoes, cut side down, on sheet. After beets have cooked 30 minutes, place potatoes on top rack. Cook 15 minutes. Flip potatoes and sprinkle with walnuts (if using). Cook until walnuts are toasted, potatoes are golden, and beets are tender when pierced with a knife, 5 to 10 minutes.

Remove beets from foil and let cool. Transfer potatoes and walnuts to a large bowl. Rub beets with a paper towel to remove skin and cut each into 4 to 6 wedges, depending on size. Toss beets with potatoes, walnuts, and chives and season to taste with vinegar.


Orange & Carrot Soup
This is a lovely soup with a little kick thanks to the ginger.

2 tbsp coconut oil, ghee or olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 onions, finely chopped
4-6 carrots, grated
1 inch fresh ginger, grated (or more to taste)
2 large organic oranges, juice and zest
3 cups / 700 ml water or vegetable broth
sea salt & pepper
2 sprigs fresh thyme

Heat oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion and garlic and lower the heat. Add carrots and ginger and stir-fry for a couple of minutes. Add water and orange juice and cook for 10-15 minutes. Use a hand blender to puree the soup, leave a little texture. Add orange zest, salt and pepper and let simmer for a couple of minutes. Serve with fresh thyme and some grated orange zest.

Beet & Feta Burgers
Makes 6-8 burgers, depending on the size

3 cups grated raw beets (approx. 4-5 beets)
1.5 cups rolled oats or flakes of your choice
1 small onion
7 oz sheep’s feta cheese or firm tofu
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
2 organic eggs
1 handful fresh basil

lettuce or cabbage

Peel and grate beets, onion and garlic on a box grater or use a food processor with the grating blades attached. Place the grated vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Add olive oil, eggs and rolled oats and mix everything well. Add sheep’s cheese or tofu, basil, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Set aside for about 30 minutes, so the oats can soak up the liquid and the mixture sets (this step is important for the patties to hold together). Try shaping a patty with your hands. If the mixture is to loose, add some more oats. Form 6-8 patties with your hands. Grill the beet burgers a couple of minutes on each side – or fry them in a frying pan by heating a knob of coconut oil or ghee and fry until golden on both sides. Serve with grilled sourdough bread and toppings of your choice.

Turnip Puff
A delicious way to eat your turnips or rutabaga, and to fool anyone who thinks they won't like them!

2 cups roasted, mashed turnips or rutabaga, cooled
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs, separated

Combine turnips, bread crumbs, margarine, sugar, salt, pepper, and beaten egg yolks. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into turnip mixture. Spoon turnip mixture into a buttered 1-quart casserole. Bake turnip puff at 350° for 40 minutes.

Gilfeather Turnip Soup
A simple soup. Delicious with a hunk of fresh bread on the side.

1 TB butter
1 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
1.5 to 2 lbs gilfeather turnips, peeled and sliced
1-2 russet potatoes, peeled and sliced.

Melt butter in a 4 qt sauce pan. On medium/low heat add onion and garlic and simmer til softened, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and turnip and enough vegetable broth or water to just cover. Bring to a boil and then simmer until potatoes and turnips are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender or in a blender. Return to the pot and add just enough milk to thin to good consistency. At this point, you can either season with salt and pepper, or add sour cream or cream fraiche and then season.


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 tbsp 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.

Sausage, Grana, and Mesclun Pizz'alad
Instead of serving a side salad with your pizza, this recipe includes the salad right on your pizza!  The dressing soaks through the greens into the crust making the whole thing gooey yet crunchy. 

1 pizza dough
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1-2 Italian Sausages, sliced and cooked
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1/2 tsp anchovy paste or 1/2 tsp minched anchovy fillet
4 cups mesclun or other green
1/3 cup shredded Grana cheese, Parmesan, or Asiago

Position rack in lower third of oven, place a pizza stone on the rack and preheat oven to 500F.  Let the stone heat at 500 for 20 minutes.

Roll pizza dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12 to 14-inch circle (depending on the size of your stone).  Transfer to a lightly floured pizza peel (or inverted baking sheet).

Combine garlic with 1 tbsp oil in a small bowl and brush the dough with it.  Sprinkle with sausage.  Slide the pizza onto the hot stone.  Bake until golden and crispy, 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk vinegar, anchovy and the remaining 2 tbsp of oil in a large bowl.  Add greens and cheese; toss to coat.  When the pizza is done, transfer to a large cutting board and let cool for 5 minutes.  Mound the salad in the middle and serve immediately.

Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry
A simple one-pan meal with a lot of custom options for a custom taste your family will love.  Add cumin, chili powder and salsa to make a Mexican variation; add soy sauce and ginger to make a Chinese variation. You could also add potatoes to make it more filling!

1 lb ground beef
1 head Napa cabbage, chopped
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 carrots, grated
Spices to taste: salt, pepper, garlic, basil, oregano, thyme, etc- I use at least a teaspoon of each

Brown beef in a large skillet or wok, adding spices to taste as you go.  When beef is almost completely browned, add sliced onions and grated carrots.  When onions/carrots are starting to soften, add the cabbage and spice well.  Cook about 10 more minutes, stirring often until cabbage starts to soften.  Can be topped with salsa or sour cream if desired.

Chicken Rub
Many cooks use a rub or a blend of spices and oil that can be rubbed on the outside of the skin, tucked under the chicken's skin and/or inside the cavity. When using a rub on the outside of the skin you will want to mix in about 1/2 tablespoon of cooking oil. This will help the rub stick to the skin and also crisp the skin nicely. To use a dry rub under the skin, simply pull away the skin from the meat using a pairing knife. Take note you do not want to tear the skin or pull it off. In these pockets tuck in small amounts of herbs. On the skin surface use your finger to spread them around a little better. You can also rub spices with your hand on the inside of the cavity for add flavor, or stuff with onions and celery or even oranges or lemons for added flavor. Here are a few suggestions.

  •     For a Southwestern flavor, try chile powder or pureed fresh chiles, cumin, and sage.
  •      For an Indian-inspired bird, mix together equal parts ground coriander and cumin, plus turmeric and a pinch or two of cardamom or garam masala.
  •      To give the chicken a Thai flair, try a paste of ginger, lemon grass, green chilies, cilantro and lime juice.

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