Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Good Eats Newsletter - August 6, 2014

It's a Meat Week!

Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members

This week your bag will contain:
Mesclun; Lettuce; Pac Choi; Onions; Cucumber;
Eggplant; Peppers; Broccoli

And OUT of the bag:
Brown bag of Tomatoes

Localvore Offerings Include:
    Slowfire Herb Levain Bread for Wednesday CSA
Elmore Mountain Bread for Thursday CSA
Legare's blueberries
VT Bean Crafters Hummish

Half Veggie Only Members
Mesclun; Peppers; Pac Choi; Onions;
Zucchini; Cucumber

And OUT of the bag:
Brown bag of Tomatoes

Come visit the farm!

Our annual open farm day is coming up on Saturday August 23rd.

Our event is part of Kingdom Farm and Food Days, a weekend packed full of farm tours and good food opportunities out here in our neck of the woods.

On Saturday from 11 - 3 we'll be giving tours of the farm fields and facility with light refreshments served throughout the day.  The Pete's Greens Farm Stand will be open too.
See below for more information!

This weekend we said goodbye to Pete's dog, Squirt.  You may have seen her over the years if you visited the farm or farmstand.  She was an extremely sweet dog and will be greatly missed.

Kingdom Farm and Food Days
August 22, 23, and 24th

Join us for a fun weekend in the Northeast Kingdom!

Kingdom Farm and Food Days kicks off Friday with tours of llama and alpaca farms: the Agape Hill Farm in Hardwick and the Log Cabin Alpaca Farm in East Albany; take a tour of the farms, walk a llama and felt in a fiber shop (12-3pm).

The Hardwick Farmers Market at Atkins Field on Granite Street in Hardwick is open on Friday afternoon from 3 to 6 p.m. Visit with many local farmers and food producers at the lovely Farmer’s Market Friday….or again on Saturday morning in Craftsbury…

We'll also have our Outstanding in the Field dinner that evening - see below for more info.

Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. the Craftsbury Farmers Market is open for business on Craftsbury Common. Children’s gardening activities are on the agenda at Craftsbury School Gardens that morning, taught by Green Mountain Farm to School.

Starting at 11 a.m. Pete’s Greens will offer tours and hay rides in the fields.  We'll have a great bluegrass band and light bites prepared by NECI.

After a workshop or tour, fulfill your desire to taste the honey and spirits of the Kingdom at Caledonia Spirits, from 10am onwards.

Saturday afternoon, from 3:30 to 5:30, Sterling College will offer tours and workshops.

That evening - Treat Yourself! Dine at Positive Pie, Bees Knees, Craftsbury General Store, or Downstreet Eats.  These establishments will offer a special for KFF attendees that evening.

Sunday morning kicks off at 10 a.m. with a visit to the Eden Ice Cider orchard in Charleston, where people can tour a biodynamic organic apple orchard. While in northern NEK, visit the Northeast Kingdom Tasting Center, where you can see the cidery in action, and visit with local food vendors, bakers, maple syrup producers and more!

From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. High Mowing Organic Seeds will host field days and workshops. New England Culinary Institute will put on a dinner — a local food showcase — at High Mowing Seeds starting at 4:30 p.m., and everyone is invited to a bonfire afterward.

Outstanding in the Field
Friday, August 22nd

Join us for an Outstanding in the Field dinner at Pete's Greens!  This is our third time hosting this event which is always amazing.  We set up a long line of tables in one of our fields and Chef Eric Warnstedt from Hen of the Wood cooks for us.

Tickets are still available.  This will sell out so if you want to secure your spot get your tickets soon.

Storage and Use Tips

Large share members are getting more Vulcan head lettuce this week.  The heads are just beautiful and will make wonderful tender salad or sandwich toppings this week.

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.

Eggplant is in the large bags this week. Nutritionally, it's low in fat, protein, and carbohydrates.Eggplant prefers to be kept at about 50 degrees, which is warmer than most refrigerators and cooler than most kitchen counters. Wrapping unwashed eggplant in a towel is a bit better than in plastic because the towel will absorb any moisture.  Keep your wrapped eggplant in the hydrator drawer of your refrigerator. Used within a week it should still be fresh and mild.

Peppers are a fun addition to both shares this week.  They're sweet and crunchy and are great chopped up into a salad or stir fry, or eaten raw.  They also freeze beautifully and are so pricey off season that it's well worth doing so. Just core and deseed them, and then slice them up into quarters or slices or toss them into a freezer bag. They'll be perfect in stir fries, casseroles, etc. Or try roasting them and then freezing them. If you can avoid eating them after roasting them.... To roast, simply core and seed, quarter them, brush them with olive oil (or not), and then roast them in the oven, skin side up at an oven temp of anywhere from 45o to broiling. The hotter the oven, the quicker they will roast. With a very hot oven, you may want to turn them a time or two for even roasting.&n bsp; Roast until the skins blister and brown or char a bit. Then remove from oven to cool. Most cooks like to remove the charred skins from the peppers before using in a dish. This is done easily if you cover the cooling peppers with a cloth for 10 minutes. The steam loosens the skin and peeling is easier. If freezing your peppers however, skins on may be better as it's said that they help prevent freezer burn. You can peel them when they thaw.

Half share members are getting some zucchini this week.  They are low in calories and contain great amounts of folate, Vitamin A, and potassium.  Zucchini has a delicate flavor and requires little more than quick cooking with butter or olive oil, with or without fresh herbs.  The skin is left in place.

Large share members are getting a head of broccoli.  In my world there is nothing better than fresh, organic broccoli! 

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

For the Wednesday CSA folks we have Slowfire Bakery Herb Levain bread.  I tried this bread at the farmers' market a few weeks ago and was blown away at the fresh herby taste.  Scott is the owner and baker of this fabulous bread, and he bakes out of a wood fired oven in Jeffersonville.  They source their flours, all of which are organic, from Meunerie Milanaise in Quebec, and they procure dairy and produce from even closer: their own gardens and forest, those of their neighbors, and nearby farms.

For Thursday CSA folks we have Elmore Mountain bread.  Since our change to a 2 day delivery we haven't been able to get their bread back into our share until this week.  We're happy to send it out again!

This weeks' blueberries come to you from the Legare Farm in Calais, a farm we bought last year that will grow vegetable crops in years to come.  For now, most of the acres there are cover cropped, building soils for future crops and waiting for organic certification that will come in time.  But in the meantime, a gorgeous stand of established blueberries provide us with a crop each year.  These berries are not certified organic, but they have not been sprayed.  These blueberries were just picked today by our washhouse crew, and they are tasty and delicious.

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.  There are 2 flavors for you to choose from - Black Bean Chipotle with Garlic Scapes or Parsnipity Garlique. 

Here's a picture of the lids so you can get an idea of what's in both.

** Please choose just one hummish.
Parsnipity Garlique Hummish, 16 ozBlack Bean Chipotle with Garlic Scape Hummish, 16 oz

Meat Share

Amy and I worked on meat counts yesterday and think we put together a pretty good share this week!  All of the major farm animals are well represented here.

Pete's Greens chickens were raised right at the farm.  They enjoyed a diet filled with our veggie scraps. Their meat is wonderfully flavorful and very nutritious.

We have organic steaks from McKnight Farm, an organic dairy in East Montpelier.   Seth Gardner is a long time organic dairy farmer and also raises cows for meat.  You'll receive either Porterhouse, Rib, or T-Bone Steaks.

We also raised pigs at the farm and have a ham steak and sausage for you.  The ham was smoked at VT Smoke and Cure and is extremely delicious.  Because it has been smoked it is partially cooked, but you still must cook these steaks. The advantage of these steaks is that you just throw them into the skillet and cook them both sides and in 10 minutes (160F) or so you have a flavorful piece of meat for the table.

The sausage is new for us and is coming in a bulk package so you'll want to ball it up and turn it into a sausage patty. Below are some instructions from Martha Stewart on how to cook up your patties:

To easily form the sausage patties, rinse your hands in cold water. Divide the mixture into even balls and shape each portion into a 2 1/2-inch disk. Patties can be made to this point and refrigerated or frozen until ready to use.

Heat a skillet over high heat, and then swirl in 2 teaspoons vegetable oil. Fry the sausages on both sides until completely cooked through and golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Drain and serve immediately with pancakes, waffles or eggs. Sausage patties can be fully cooled, wrapped, and frozen for microwave reheating.


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.


Stuffed Peppers
These beautiful peppers are an opportunity for a delightful dinner. No need for a recipe, just use your imagination. You won't go wrong.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Saute some onions and garlic, and add in some cooked rice, some cooked beans (canned kidney beans come in handy here!), some spices. Once everything is cooked and blended add some cheese (parm perhaps, or gruyere, or feta or goat). Spoon the filling into peppers that are cut in half and place peppers into an oiled baking dish.

Bake for 30 mins or more until peppers are softened and beginning to brown on some edges and filling is hot.

Pac Choi and Pepper Stir Fry

1 lb. pac choi
1 lb. peppers
1 Tbsp fresh ginger root, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp sunflower oil

Separate the pac choi leaves and cut off the chunky stalks.  Slice the stalks finely. Roughly chop the leaves. Heat the sunflower oil in a wok or sautĂ© pan. Add the garlic, peppers and ginger. Cook for 1 minute, stirring often. Add the pac choi stalks. Toss well. Cover and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the pac choi leaves. Stir and then cook for 1 minute, until they are barely wilted. Add soy/tamari and sesame oil and toss.
Sesame Pac Choi
Here's a quick and easy way to enjoy your pac choi.
1 bunch pac choi
2 tbsp groundnut oil
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 large garlic clove, crushed and finely chopped
1 mild green chilli, seeded and finely chopped
1 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.
Stovetop Broccoli Mac and Cheese
This recipe comes from my friend's blog, Yankee Kitchen Ninja.  She has some awesome recipes on her blog, gardening tips, and the CSA Share Rescue which features some of those hard to use veggies people get in their shares.

4 cups broccoli florets, cut into very small sections with NO stems left attached (about 2 broccoli crowns)
8 ounces elbow pasta (I use multi-grain)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/3 cups skim milk
4 ounces grated cheddar cheese (I like Cabot's Seriously Sharp)
2 ounces grated pepper jack cheese (this makes it nicely spicy -- if you don't want spice, substitute an equal amount of regular cheddar cheese)
salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of water to boil and add the broccoli. Wait for the water to reboil then cook the broccoli for about 3 minutes. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. When done, drain and stir until the broccoli breaks down.

While pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until the mixture is thick and bubbly (a couple of minutes). Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to cook and whisk until the mixture thickens (just a few minutes, really). Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheese until it melts.

Add the cheese mixture to the pasta-broccoli mixture and stir thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Smoky Baba Ganoush
I was never a fan of eggplant until I tried baba ganoush.  This recipe is very basic but it's so good!  If you don't have tahini you could substitute sesame oil.
1 large eggplant (about 1 pound)
1 glove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Prick eggplant with a fork and place on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Bake the eggplant until it is soft inside, about 20 minutes. Alternatively, grill the eggplant over a gas grill, rotating it around until the skin is completely charred, about 10 minutes. Let the eggplant cool. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, drain off the liquid, and scoop the pulp into a food processor. Process the eggplant until smooth and transfer to a medium bowl.

On a cutting board, work garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt together with the flat side of a knife, until it forms a paste. Add the garlic-salt mixture to the eggplant. Stir in the parsley, tahini, and lemon juice. Season with more salt, to taste. Garnish with additional parsley.

Classic Oven Roasted Onions
Bursting with rich brown flavors, roasted onions can be a one-dish meal, a first course, a salad or side dish. For a simple supper, try the warm onions with balsamic, maybe a drizzle of olive oil, and a crumbling of a favorite blue cheese, mild fresh goat cheese, or parm or whatever appeals.

4 medium to large organic onions (yellow, red, white)

Spread a sheet of foil on oven rack and preheat to 400 degrees. Trim away root and a 1/4 inch of top of onions. Set root side down on foil, spacing about 2 inches apart. Roast 1 hour, or until easily pierced with a knife. Serve warm or at room temperature. Make 2-inch deep cross out of top of each onion, spread slightly and season.

Seasoning Ideas:
*salt and freshly ground black pepper, 2 TB wine vinegar and 1 TB extra-virgin olive oil
*3 TB balsamic vinegar and possibly 2 to 3 oz of Gorgonzola, Maytag Blue, fresh goat cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Fontinella, or cheese of choice, crumbled or grated
*chopped fresh herbs, rice and grain salads.
Oven Ratatouille

This recipe looks long. But really, it's just a lot of instruction about properly roasting the various vegetables in this dish. The roasting sweetens and concentrates the flavors of them all. This is a very healthy, very tasty dish. From Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without.

3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 large globe eggplant (about 1 pound), cut into ¾-inch cubes (peeling unnecessary if the skin is tight and smooth)

2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes (or 1 smallish heirloom or beefsteak)

6 medium-sized garlic cloves, unpeeled

2 large bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange)

2 cups coarsely chopped onion

1 medium zucchini (7 to 8 inches long), cut into 1-inch cubes

1½ teaspoons dried basil

1 teaspoon dried marjoram or oregano

½ teaspoon each crumbled dried thyme and rosemary

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Small amounts of fresh herbs (basil, marjoram or oregano, rosemary, thyme, and/or parsley)
Pitted chopped olives

Arrange an oven rack in the topmost position, and another in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line 1 small and 2 large baking trays with foil, and coast the foil generously with the olive oil.

Place the eggplant on one of the large trays, and toss to coat with oil. Then push it to one side, keeping it in a single layer. Arrange the tomatoes on the other half of the tray, rolling them around so they get coated with oil. Wrap the garlic cloves (still in their skins) and a half teaspoon of water tightly in a piece of foil, and place this on the corner of the same tray.

Place the whole bell peppers on the small tray.

Spread the onions and the zucchini pieces on opposite ends of the remaining large tray, and toss to coat with the oil.

Place the eggplant tray on the middle shelf of the oven, and put the small sheet with the peppers on the upper rack. After 10 minutes, use tongs to turn everything over. Repeat this turning process after another 10 minutes or so. Gently squeeze the garlic to see if it is soft. If it is, remove it from the oven; if not, continue roasting.

Place the onion-zucchini tray on the middle shelf next to the one with the eggplant, and continue roasting all for another 10 minutes. Turn the peppers and tomatoes one more time, and toss the eggplant, onions, and zucchini to help them brown evenly. Sprinkle the eggplant, onions, and zucchini evenly with the dried herbs. Once again, squeeze the garlic to see if it is soft. If so, remove it from the oven; if not, continue roasting. Roast a final 10 minutes, or until the vegetables become deep golden brown and very tender.

Transfer the eggplant, onion, and zucchini to a large bowl. Let the peppers, tomatoes, and garlic sit for a few minutes, or until comfortable to handle. Peel the peppers, then chop the tomatoes and peeled peppers roughly into 1-inch pieces and add to the eggplant mixture. Slip the roasted garlic cloves from their skins, mash with a fork, and add to the eggplant mixture.

Toss until well combined. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled – plain or topped with a sprinkling of freshly chopped herbs and/or olives.

Blueberry Buckle
You could use small berries in this recipe but I think it's best with the big highbush varieties, as they melt into the dough and form big pockets of sweetness. If you're freezing berries, this would totally work as a winter dish—just thaw the berries before you throw them in.

for the cake:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons soft butter
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 cups blueberries

for the crumb topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch square cake pan. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, butter, and egg. Stir in the milk.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just mixed, then fold the berries in carefully. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan.

To make the topping, whisk together the dry ingredients in a small bowl and then cut in the butter. Spread evenly over berry mixture and bake for 40-50 minutes, until just set.

Cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. After dinner, a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top is nice. In the morning, it's especially good with
milky coffee.
Grilled Black-Beer Chicken
I made this marinade recently and it was absolutely amazing.  According to the recipe, beer marinade is good for you as it cuts the level of cancer-promoting compounds that naturally occur when grilling.
6 green onions, sliced
6 cloves peeled garlic
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp oil
4 tsp coriander seeds
12 oz black lager, such as Guinness or a black IPA
Combine all ingredients except beer in a blender or food processor.  Pulse until smooth.  Stir in beer.  Seal in a gallon size plastic bag with chicken pieces (or pork tenderloin or steak).  Marinate, refrigerated, for at least 3 hours; turn bag occasionally.  Grill, covered, on medium 20 to 25 minutes or until cooked through (165 degrees F), turning once.

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