Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Good Eats Newsletter - August 26, 2015

Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members

This week your bag will contain:
Spinach, Tomatillos, Jalapenos, Carmen Peppers
Head Lettuce, Broccoli, Snap Beans

And OUT of the bag:
Brown bag of Tomatoes

Localvore Offerings Include:
Full Sun Canola Oil
Gingerbrook Farm Honest to Goodness Cider Vinegar
Champlain Orchards Peaches

Half Veggie Only Members

Spinach, Carrots, Head Lettuce
Carmen Peppers, Melon

And OUT of the bag:
Brown bag of Tomatoes 


Around the Farm

Fall field harvest has begun here.  Bins full of carrots started arriving from the field a couple weeks ago and onions harvest starts later this week.  Last year we lost thousands of pounds of onions that didn't cure properly following Fall wet weather.  Isaac is completing some modifications to section of our building that will gently heat and blow air through our harvested onion crop to help dry them.  Really hoping it goes perfectly this year.

The kitchen is getting pretty busy now.  This afternoon Richard, Sarah and Erick are cutting, roasting, scooping eggplant and making baba ganoush for the CSA (Richard and eggplant, photo at right).  This morning the team processed 2 pallets of seconds tomatoes, cutting blemished areas off and freezing the good.  Later this  winter we'll pull them out and make pizza sauce and other tomato based stuff for the CSA.  Right now we are too busy for tomatoes! On Friday we put up frozen corn for the CSA.  This was corn that had been planned for your share bags but it was just off peak when we went to harvest it for you last week. Though it wasn't perfect for fresh eating it was perfect for processing. (Don't worry - we have some great corn coming soon in the next couple weeks).  Later this week we'll be making more pickles, freezing green beans, peppers, and by the end of the week we might be making our first batches of tomatilla salsa.  

In between regular weekly harvests and Fall storage crop harvests, we continue to try to move forward other projects.  See below the slow but steady progress that Isaac is making on the new greenhouses.

Storage and Use Tips

Spinach - Beautiful fresh spinach this week for both shares.

Melons!  Canteloupe and honeydews are here and they are sweet and delicious.  
SMALL BAG members - your melons will be in your yellow veggie bag.  
LARGE BAG members - look for your melons outside your bag in a crate or box at your site.

Jalapenos - The little peppers in your bag this week are jalapenos and have a moderate amount of heat.  These will keep 7-10 days in the fridge, but they also freeze well.  If you won't use right away, or if you don't know you will use right away, just put them in a freezer bag and toss in freezer.  When you pull them out frozen and chop a little for a dish you are making, you won't notice much difference.

Tomatillos - A tomatillo is a Mexican fruit similar to a tomato that remains firm and green when ripe. Tomatillos grow inside lantern-shaped paper husks, which must be removed. Wash the tomatillos well to remove the sticky substance that keeps the husks in place. Because they are acidic, tomatillos are rarely used raw. Roast them to rid them of excess liquid and soften their texture. Roasted with some fresh chiles, they can be turned into a quick salsa in the blender.  There's a nice recipe on our website. Tomatillos exude a lot of liquid and seeds as they roast. Scrape all the flavorful juices into the blender. Store tomatillos in their husks in a paper bag in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Carmen Peppers - One of my absolute favorite veggies of summer, Carmens are large long red super sweet peppers.  Both shares are getting them this week and I highly recommend making some sort of stuffed pepper dish with them, just to  make something fun and fancy looking.  But if you don't want to fuss, these peppers will be gobbled right up by the kids or they will make a delicious addition to any salad or stir fry.

Tomatoes A note about our tomato crop  - We very carefully sort tomatoes before they go in the brown CSA bags. Emilie (at left) inspects and handles every tomato before packing. We separate out any with blemish and send them straight to our kitchen for processing.  Some blemishes can travel across and into an individual fruit quickly.  So something that has invisible or negligible blemish at packing sometimes can look very different coming out of your bag. Please do let us know if your tomatoes aren't satisfactory and if they are bad please send us a photo if you can so we can see what is happening to them (really helpful).

Head Lettuces are in both shares this week.  There's a mix of varieties going out, reds and greens.  Photo at right of Florencia preparing them for shares.

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 have freshly harvested Contender Peaches from Champlain Orchards.  This is a large round peach with 70% red blush on a yellow background. It has a firm yellow flesh that is resistant to browning. This is a great tasting peach!
Jo Liddell and Bob Machim carved their homestead, Gingerbrook Farm, out of the woods of South Washington, VT 40 years ago. As they cleared for their fields, they found wild apple trees and decided to keep them. The land around their home is dotted with these old wild trees and it is from these trees and others nearby their farm that Bob makes their cider vinegar. This is the real macoy, Honest-to-Goodness cider vinegar, a health tonic, and almost good enough to drink straight! It starts with unpasteurized apple cider that Bob seeds with a "mother" culture of yeast that ferments the cider. The difference between apple cider gone bad due to the infiltration of natural airborne yeasts and a good artisanal cider vinegar is in controlling the process. The mother culture makes a big difference, as does the fresh cider used for the vinegar, and the aging process. Bob ages this vinegar for two years and pours the beautiful amber liquid from big wooden barrels in a corner of his home.  We are lucky to be able to put it in the share as they don't make that much vinegar each year. In time, you may find a slippery gelatinous mass forms in your cider vinegar. Fear not!  This is just more "mother" forming in your jar.  Just remove it from jar and continue to use your vinegar.  
I use cider vinegar for cooking, in salad dressings, or just drizzled plain onto my cucumbers etc. I also drink it in switchell which I swear by as an energy drink to supply electrolytes for running.   My recipe for switchell: 1/2 cup cider vinegar, 1/4 molasses, 1 tsp ginger, 4 cups water.  Delicious.
Also this week we have wonderfully flavorful Full Sun Canola Oil.  Before Netaka and Dave created Full Sun there was no where to buy VT grown and pressed canola oil that is certified GMO free. This oil is a fresh and delicious craft oil to use every day for cooking, sauteeing, in marinades or dressings.  Please keep in fridge for freshness!
From Netaka and David at Full Sun:
We’re Full Sun Company and we’re among Vermont’s new breed of oilmen; the culinary kind of oil that grows under the summer sun, turning fields to gold, the kind of oil that makes salads and stir-fry’s taste so delicious. From our Vermont mill we have begun producing specialty oils from organic or non-gmo sunflower and canola, with flaxseed, hempseed, soybeans, and more on the way. And we’re pleased to be able to offer many of you the fresh taste of unrefined, cold-pressed, chemical free, sun-ripened canola in a bottle.
We started Full Sun Company® to bring you fresh and delicious craft oils to use every day for cooking, sautéing, marinades & dressings. Our mill also produces a meal byproduct, which is used as an organic soil nutrient or protein rich animal feed. Also, some of our used cooking oils are converted to biodiesel that returns, full circle, as renewable fuel to the farms growing crops for Full Sun.
We’re supporting local food systems and helping family farms grow ~ purchasing only organic and non-gmo oil crops from Vermont and throughout the Northeast region, and delivering affordable, high energy foods, animal feed and sustainable ag solutions.
We’re Vermont’s new oil guys, and we really thank Pete, Amy and Tim and all the folks at Pete’s Greens who have helped us get our product to your kitchen table. Please let them (or us) know how you like our oils, or how we can improve in the future. You can also find out more about what’s pressing at Full Sun by visiting our website;
Thank you and enjoy!  -- Netaka and David, East Middlebury, Vermont
Below: A picture of a VT grown canola field in Alburgh

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
The beautiful Carmen 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.
Then add in some spices (you can go with some cumin, chili powder, and cilantro if going Mexican direction, or maybe some basil, thyme, oregano if going in mediterranean direction), stir and cook for a couple minutes til aromatic.  
Now you can add a bit of simple small diced veggies if you'd like (think broccoli, beans or chopped spinach this week).  
Then  then add cooked rice or quinoa or risotto (yum) or pearled barley, maybe some cooked beans (canned kidney beans come in handy here!).
Once everything is blended add some cheese (parm perhaps, or gruyere, or feta or goat) and remove from heat.
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.
Tomatillo Chicken
Here's a fun delicious tomatillo recipe for you.
2 pounds tomatillos (husks removed), washed and halved
(can sub 1 lb tomatoes for 1 lb tomatillos)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 whole chicken (3 to 4 pounds), cut into 10 pieces (wings reserved for another use)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 jalapenos, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 can (15 ounces) hominy, drained (hominy is optional but you can find it at grocery store and it will be fun and more delicious)
1/4 cup chopped fresh, cilantro
In a food processor, puree tomatillos; set aside. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to pot, skin side down. Cook until browned on one side, 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Add jalapenos and onion to pot and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in tomatillo puree and hominy, if using; season with salt and pepper. Nestle chicken, skin side up, in sauce. Cover pot; simmer until chicken is cooked through, 22 to 25 minutes. Stir in cilantro; season with salt and pepper.
Couscous Summer Dinner
Tonight it's a quick summer dinner night.  Israeli couscouys (little round pasta balls) is great to have on hand especially in summer for a quick throw together meal.  I use it when I really want a mostly veggie dinner, but I want a little quick substance incorporated.  The below is a guideline ready for endless variation.
1 cup Israeli couscous
2 cups chicken or veggie broth (or water and butter and a bit of salt)
Olive oil
1 shallot or onion, diced
1-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 - 1 lb of any combo of beans , zucchini, broccoli, kohlrabi, peas, carrots, etc, sliced or chopped 
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 sweet pepper chopped
1 tomato, chopped
couple generous handfuls of chopped fresh spinach, pac choi, arugula, mustard greens, chard
2 ounces (or more) of fresh mozz, goat cheese, 
small handful fresh herbs
Crumbled cooked sausage or diced chicken 
In a small pot, bring broth to a boil, add couscous, lower heat to simmer and simmer for 5 minutes.  Then turn off and let rest til rest of dinner is done.
Heat a separate pan and add some olive oil
Saute the onion or shallot in olive oil til softened
Add the garlic and simmer some more being careful not to burn the garlic
Add in the veggies and saute carefully for a few minutes
Add in the crushed red pepper, sweet pepper, tomato and cook whole bunch more til it start to come together and veggies are just cooked.
Add fresh herbs and greens if desired and cook just a minute more til wilted
Now you are in home stretch.
Blend the veggies with the couscous which should now be plump and yummy, liquid mostly absorbed.  Add in cheese (and cooked meat if desired) and blend.  Serve it up!
Tomatillo Salsa Verde
1 pound tomatillos, husked
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 jalapeño chile pepper, minced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
2 cups water
Place tomatillos, onion, garlic, and jalapeño pepper into a saucepan. Season with cilantro, oregano, cumin, and salt; pour in water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the tomatillos are soft, 10 to 15 minutes.'
Using a blender, carefully puree the tomatillos and water in batches until smooth.  Taste.  Add salt or sugar to taste.
Dijon Vinaigrette
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons canola oil
Vinaigrette Formula
Not sure the dressing above is for you?  Here's a basic formula for making salad dressing with lots of variation so you can tweak it to go along with what you are making.
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or a more neutral-flavored oil like grapeseed, canola, or vegetable)
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (or balsamic, apple cider, rice, sherry, or other wine vinegar)
Pinch of kosher salt
A turn of freshly ground black pepper
Optional add-ins:
1-2 tablespoons fresh chopped herbs like dill, basil, parsley, cilantro, mint, or thyme (dried herbs work, too, just use 1-2 teaspoons instead)
A finely minced garlic clove
2 teaspoons finely minced or grated ginger
2 teaspoons finely chopped shallots, scallions, or onion
2 tablespoons finely grated or crumbled Parmesan, Pecorino Romano, Gorgonzola, or feta
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon horseradish, or 1/4 teaspoon Sriracha
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 - 1 teaspoon sugar or honey

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