Thursday, March 6, 2014

Good Eats Newsletter - March 5, 2014

Meat share members - it's a meat week!

Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members

This week your bag will contain:
Shoots mix; Potatoes; Carrots; Rutabaga; Onions; Cabbage

And OUT of the bag:
Frozen Zucchini
Frozen Whole Tomatoes

Localvore / Pantry Offerings Include:
Elmore Mountain Early Riser Bread
Scholten Family Farms Weybridge Cheese
VT Bean Crafters Hummish
Pete's Kitchen Chimichurri

Half Veggie Only Members
Shoots mix; Potatoes; Carrots; Rutabaga; Cabbage

And OUT of the bag:
Frozen Zucchini

Attention Montpelier members!

We have secured 2 new delivery sites in town - East State Street near the VT College of Fine Arts and the Montpelier Senior Activity Center on Barre Street.  

These sites will both have extended pick-up hours until 8pm (State St) and 7:30pm (Senior Center). 

We hope to start delivering there next week or the following week (3/19).

If you would like to switch to either of these new sites, please  let us know which site you would like to pick up at for the remainder of your share.

Meet Melissa
Melissa is our resident crop coordinator and planner.  She maintains our planting database and orders all of our seeds as well as getting a large majority of them started (yesterday when we spoke she was starting mustard seeds in the greenhouse).  She's been with Pete's Greens for about 9 years and has worn many hats working as the farm-stand manager, in the wash house and office.  You may have seen her in previous newsletters as she and her family are all fixtures here, plus she has written for the newsletter. 

What's your background?  Before moving to VT I did  a lot of Natural Resource work and botany with the US Park Service.  When I came to VT one of the only ways I could continue working with plants was in farming which led me to Pete's Greens.

Why do you like farming?  I like the physical nature of the work and working with my hands in the dirt.  I like being outside while working and I love the great food.

Why do you work at Pete's Greens?  I live locally so it's a very convenient place to work.  It's a challenging workplace and I love the diversity - I don't do the same thing every day.  I also like the scale of things here at PG - there's always a lot going on.

What do you do in your spare time?  Hang out with my family (Melissa's husband, Isaac also works at Pete's Greens and their daughter Iris is 2 1/2).  I like to be outdoors and go hiking.

What's your favorite vegetable?  Pac choi, peppers and cilantro.

Thanks Melissa!

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.

Storage and Use Tips

Our shoots mix is a mixture of our sunflower, radish, and pea shoots.  Often I use them as a salad base and add lots of shredded carrots and beets with it, or I'll steam or saute some greens and add the shoots on top.  They're great in sandwiches, especially egg salad.  Try adding the shoots to pasta, burritos, on top of a stew or sloppy joes.  They are terrifically healthy so do your body some good and experiment with ways to pack them in!  I found a neat website with lots of shoot options; it's a pea shoot website out of Britain but I thought it was a great jumping off point with some new ideas.  Check it out!

This week's potatoes are nicola potatoes.  They're 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.

Orange 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.

Rutabaga- also known as swede, rutabaga is thought to have evolved as a cross between a wild cabbage and a turnip.  Rutabaga grows particularly well in colder climates, and is especially popular in Sweden (where it earned it's second name).  Roast it, mash it with butter, season with salt and pepper, you can't go wrong.

Large share members will get either red or green savoy cabbage.  Savoy has a distinctive appearance with highly contrasting shades of green, combined with the the deeply crinkled texture of the leaves, make savoy cabbages very appealing to the eye.  Despite this rough appearance, the leaves of the savoy cabbage are tender, even when eaten raw. This makes them an ideal choice for salads, vegetable wraps, or as a bed for rice, fish, or other dishes.

Half share members will get napa cabbage.  Napa 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. Napa is to the left in the picture; savoy on right.

Frozen zucchini- in the midst of the zucchini harvest season it's hard to imagine ever missing zucchini but in the middle of winter it's a nice change to the usual winter veggies. When you thaw the zucchini, it will lose a lot of water. This is perfect for baking actually and for many other recipes as well. Let it thaw, and then squeeze out all the excess water and then add the zucchini to your recipe.

Frozen tomatoes - we freeze tomatoes in the peak of summer when they are sweet and abundant.  They freeze very well, and are best used when they are frozen or just off frozen as they are easier to handle this way.  If you run a frozen tomato under warmish water in your hand, the skin will separate and come right off and you can pinch the top and bit of core out at the same time.  Then toss the fleshy tomato into the pan you are cooking in.  If you are looking for chopped tomatoes, just let them thaw a bit and chop away before they completely thaw and are to soft to handle.

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

Elmore Mountain Bread made their Early Riser bread for you this week.  It's made entirely from fresh milled wheat, including some from Butterworks Farm.  They also milled up some early riser corn from Butterworks which is mixed into the dough, along with sea salt and sourdough. 

We have a special cheese for you, Scholten Family Farms' Weybridge Cheese which is aged at The Cellars at Jasper Hill.  Patty and Roger Scholten manage a small herd of Dutch Belt cows in the rolling landscape of Weybridge, VT. Organic, high quality milk production has helped the Scholtens survive a competitive milk market; farmstead cheese is now a strategy for the business to thrive into the next generation.  Since Patty and Roger started making cheese, their daughter’s family has come on board to help run the farm and creamery.

Their Weybridge cheese is an organic, lactic set cheese with a delicate bloomy rind. The lightly aged style is meant to showcase the Scholtens’ rich and complex Dutch Belt milk. The thin rind surrounds a delicate creamline, showing a toasty, mushroom flavor in pleasant contrast to the bright acidity of the dense, milky core.  The small medallion format appeals to any occasion - a snack for two or a garnish for a larger spread. Weybridge’s rich, milky flavor makes it an ideal breakfast cheese alongside berry preserves and freshly baked bread. Classic beverage pairings include dry, bubbly white, sparkling apple cider or a crisp German pilsner.

Vermont Bean Crafters' Hummish is their localized take on hummus.  Since chickpeas don’t grow well in our neck of the woods but hummus is a food that is so dear to them, they took some time to develop a surrogate bean spread that lends the same savoriness and texture to all the cuisines hummus is at home in.  This bean spread is made with the following local, organic, and seasonal ingredients: Kenearly yellow eye beans, garlic, garlic scapes, parsley, sunflower oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, sea salt, and ginger.

We made a fresh batch of chimichurri in our kitchen last fall with fresh parsley, cilantro, cider vinegar, jalapenos, garlic, olive oil, and salt.   This very flavorful condiment is an Argentinian staple usually served alongside meats, but it can also liven up a sandwich, go along with grilled potatoes, or liven up a plate of eggs and toast. It's packed with flavor and will be delicious slathered on the bread with some hummish and cheese.  It's also amazing served with your steak.  It's coming to you frozen.  You can use it right away or freeze for a few months before thawing out to enjoy.

Meat Share

Our chickens were raised right at the farm.  They started out their lives in the barn protected from the elements and eating lots of our greens.  Once they were feathered they were brought outside to our field and spent the next few weeks grazing and foraging, protected by electric fencing from predators.  Their meat is wonderfully flavorful and very nutritious.  These birds are large so you can make a few meals out of them.  Roast it the first night, turn leftovers into chicken pot pie or the stir fry recipe below, then boil the carcass down with lots of veggies to make soup broth.

We also have some of the pork that we raised this year on the farm in the form of delicious Chorizo sausage.  These pigs ate sooo much good stuff this year!  We limited the grain we fed them, instead substituting loads of our veggies and kitchen scraps.  They were pastured on 20 acres all spring, summer and fall.  They foraged and rooted and lay about in mud wallows and spent an extremely happy 7 months with us.  We really like raising pigs because they are such characters.  The meat from these pigs will be exceptionally vitamin packed with the tremendous amount of good organic veggies and pasture they consumed.  Pete Colman of VT Salumi made our sausage for us, this is the same delicious recipe he uses for making his Benito. Chorizo is a highly spiced sausage, and a traditional sausage flavor in Spanish and Mexican cuisine. This sausage is not overly spicy, it has a great taste that is amazing in paella, on pizzas, tossed in pasta, in soups, with black beans and it's wonderful in scrambled eggs.

McKnight Farm Organic Steak - The steak this week comes from McKnight Farm, an organic dairy in East Montpelier.  Our friend Seth Gardner is a long time organic dairy farmer  and we have been working together to regularly include Seth's beef in the Good Eats meat share.  You'll receive either a Porterhouse, Rib, or T-Bone Steak.


Quick Pickled Carrots and Rutabaga
The refreshing crunch of these pickles is a nice change from roasted, boiled and pureed root vegetables. This is a a quick refrigerator pickle version, but you could can them if you like. You can make this with just carrots but the rutabaga adds variety and makes a nice pickle too. You could also use turnips, if you like their bite.

3 large carrots (about 3/4 lb.), peeled & cut into sticks about 3" long by 1/2" wide
1 lb. rutabaga, peeled & cut into sticks about 3" long by 1/2" wide
1 cup cider vinegar
2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1 TB coarse kosher salt
3 garlic cloves, smashed with the flat side of a knife
1 TB whole fennel seeds
1 1/2 tsp whole mustard seeds
1/4 tsp whole black peppercorns
1/8-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper to taste
Fresh dill sprigs and fresh fennel fronds (optional)

Prepare a large bowl full of ice water. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat, add the carrots and rutabaga (or turnips), and boil for 1 minute. Drain immediately and plunge the vegetables into the ice water to stop cooking.

In the same pot, combine the cider vinegar, water, sugar, salt, garlic, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, peppercorns and crushed red pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 3 minutes.

Drain the cooled vegetables and put them in a heat-resistant container along with the dill sprigs and fennel fronds, if using. Pour the hot pickling liquid over the vegetables and cool. When they are cool, cover them tightly and refrigerate for at least 12 hours before eating. The pickles can be stored in the refrigerator for about a month.

Baked Honeyed Rutabaga Discs
One of your fellow shareholders contributed this recipe as a family favorite a few years back.  It's adapted from “The Victory Garden Cookbook” by Marian Morash. Excellent for turnips too.

2 medium rutabagas or large turnips (2 lbs total)
4 TB butter
1/4 c honey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel rutabagas/turnips. Slice across width of vegetable to make ½ inch disks. Melt butter and brush onto baking sheet. Place disks on sheet and brush with butter. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn and coat with honey, bake another 15 minutes. Turn once more and coat with melted butter and honey. Bake another 15 minutes. You may have to adjust final time for size and thickness of the discs.

Rutabaga Chipotle Soup
This soup has a tangy turnip kick to it that pairs well with the spicy smoked chipotle. 

3 tablespoons butter
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 large rutabagas, peeled and diced (this yields about 5 cups)
4 cups broth of choice (chicken or vegetable)
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 to 1 teaspoon dried ground chipotle* (see note below!)
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
Salt to taste

Melt butter in a large pot and add onion and celery, cooking until browned. Season with salt. Add the rutabaga and the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the rutabaga is fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Add the chipotle and the white pepper. Stir well.

Process in a blender or food processor until smooth, and pass through a fine mesh sieve to remove any chunks. Stir in the cream and taste. Gently simmer for 15 minutes. Add more salt, white pepper, chipotle, or paprika if you think it needs it.

*Note about the chipotle: this pepper is spicy! I could handle a full teaspoon of it, but it's always best to start small and work your way up where chiles are concerned. Start off with 1/4 of a teaspoon, stir, taste, and keep adding 1/4 teaspoon more until you reach your desired heat level. If you overdo it, you can cool it down with sour cream or plain yogurt.

Roasted Savoy Cabbage
In just a few chops of the chef knife and fifteen minutes in a hot oven, the slightly daunting cabbage head becomes a heap of lightly browned, tender at the spine but crisp-edged ribbons that can be eaten by the bowlful.  Add a touch of lemon juice, a scoop of steamed rice, some chicken and a scatter of almonds, and you have an excellent light meal.

1 head Savoy cabbage
olive oil for cooking
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
lemon juice

 Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) and grease a rimmed baking sheet.  Cut the cabbage into quarters vertically and carve out the core. Cut each quarter in two lengthwise, and slice crosswise thinly.

Place the cabbage on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and toss to coat.      Insert in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through, until cooked through and golden brown in places.  Sprinkle with black pepper, dress with a touch of lemon juice, and serve.

Hot curried onions
This is a great recipe to eat at the onset of a cold.  It’s a great ‘preventive’ and also helps mobilize the immune system. It’s so very tasty you can eat it even if you’re not sick!  Recipe from the Sage Mountain Herbal Retreat Center's website.

Chop several large onions into half moons
Whole garlic cloves, peeled (about ¼ the amount of onions)
Sauté onions and garlic slowly over heat until golden brown and soft
Season with vinegar or a little tamari

Add a very good curry mix and stir in well. Allow to cook for another 15-20 minutes until curry is well absorbed. * Curry is a blend of spices that are all highly medicinal and usually contains turmeric, cumin, cayenne, ginger, coriander, and other herbs and spices depending on the blend.

* You can also add cashews and raisins to make it a little ‘fancier’. Serve with rice and yogurt for a special treat.

Spicy Napa Cabbage and Chicken Stir-Fry
This is a great recipe to incorporate some leftover roasted chicken into.  It would also work well with the Savoy Cabbage.

One head Napa or savoy cabbage
2 teaspoons grapeseed oil, or other oil with a relatively high smoking point (olive oil won’t do)
sriracha, or other chili sauce, to taste
soy sauce, to taste
leftover meat from a roast chicken (if you don’t have that on hand, get a raw chicken breast and grill or sear it separately, or substitute diced firm tofu, or top each bowl with a poached or fried egg)
sesame seeds, toasted

Serves 2.

Slice the cabbage finely. Pull the chicken meat apart into bite-size pieces.

Heat a large skillet over high heat. When the skillet is very hot, add the oil, and let it heat up for a few seconds. Add the cabbage and stir to coat. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring regularly, until softened and slightly colored.

Add a few squirts of chili sauce, stir, and cook for a few more minutes, until the cabbage is golden-brown in places. Add a few dashes of soy sauce and the chicken, and stir well. Cook a minute more, stirring regularly, until the chicken is warm and the soy sauce starts to caramelize at the bottom of the skillet. Add a drop of water to deglaze and remove from the heat.

Taste, add a little more hot sauce and/or soy sauce as needed, and serve hot, with a sprinkle of sesame seeds from the sesame mill.

Napa Shoots slaw
This is a great Asian type of slaw.  It's great added to a sandwich or as a side dish.

1 lime, juiced
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons Asian chili oil
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 cups finely shredded napa cabbage
1 cup shoots
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced snow peas
3 scallions, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whisk together the lime juice, vinegar, chili oil, mayonnaise and soy sauce in a large bowl. Add the cabbage, shoots, peppers, snow peas and scallions and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld.

Sir Wasano's Infamous Indonesian Rice Salad
This recipe came to us from a share member who adapted the recipe from the Moosewood cookbook.  The original called for Mung Bean sprouts which she replaced with our shoots.  They are perfect for this type of salad.  Enjoy!

Serves 4 to 6

2 cups cooked, cooled brown rice*
½ cup raisins
2 chopped scallions
¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
½ cup thinly sliced water chestnuts
1 cup fresh shoots
¼ cup toasted cashews
1 large, chopped green pepper
1 stalk chopped celery (it looks nice if you slice it on the diagonal)
fresh parsley

¾ cup orange juice
½ cup safflower oil
1 Tbs. sesame oil
3-4 Tbs. Tamari sauce
2 Tbs. dry sherry
juice of one lemon
1-2 cloves minced garlic
½-1 tsp. freshly grated ginger root
salt + pepper

Combine all ingredients & serve chilled on greens. Top with Duck Sauce, which, along with bean sprouts, sesame oil and ginger root, is available in most oriental food supply stores.

Skillet-toasted Penne with Sausage
This recipe is from the Jan/Feb 2014 issue of Cooking Light. It takes a bit of time as you cook the pasta down like a risotto so you may want to make it for a weekend meal.  I added in a few packages of Pete's frozen veggies to beef it up (chard, spinach and cauliflower).  Be careful not to overcook the pasta at the end so it doesn't get too mushy.

6 cups unsalted chicken stock
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
8 ounces uncooked penne pasta (or whatever you have on hand!)
1 cup sliced onion
10 ounces sausage, casings removed
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp minced hot peppers
1/4 tsp salt
.5 ounce grated parmesan cheese
Oregano leaves (optional)

Bring stock to a simmer in a saucepan (do not boil).  If adding frozen veggies you can cook them right in the broth.  Keep warm over low heat. 

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add 1 tbsp oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add pasta; cook 5 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently.  Remove pasta from pan.

Add the remaining 1 tbsp oil, onion, and sausage to pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble.  Remove sausage mixture from pan.  Reduce heat to medium-low.  Return pasta to pan.  Add stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of stock is nearly absorbed before adding the next (about 35 minutes total), stirring frequently.  Stir in sausage mixture, juice, chiles, salt, and cheese.  Garnish with oregano, if desired.

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