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.


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