Friday, September 18, 2015

Good Eats Newsletter - September 2nd, 2015

Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members

This week your bag will contain:
Mesclun, Carrots, Potatoes, Red Peppers,
Onions, Snap Beans

And OUT of the bag:
Brown bag of Tomatoes,

Localvore Offerings Include:
Tangletown Eggs
Champlain Orchards Shinsui Asian Pears
Slowfire Bakery Bread

Half Veggie Only Members
Mesclun, Carrots, Potatoes, Red Peppers,
Onions, Snap Beans

And OUT of the bag:
Brown bag of Tomatoes,

Good Eats 
Fall/Winter CSA 
begins in just
6 weeks (!) 
Sign up
by September 26th
and we'll send you a
cool Pete's Greens T or hat or bag.

Meat Share Members It's a Meat Share Week!

Around the Farm

Fall harvest continues on the farm! Over the last week, almost all of the onions have been harvested and have started curing in our new storage facilities. Pallets of onions are stacked to the ceiling in their new space, with warm air circulating for optimal dry down. The first onion cultivation took place in ancient Egypt, and we are recreating that arid environment for them right here in Vermont! You can see the firm, dry outcome we’re looking for with the yellow onions, pictured right.

The start of September signals a transition in our mindset toward fall foods. The kitchen staff (including Erick, pictured below), is busy preparing and packing our first batches of tomatillo salsa for fall and winter shares. Tomatillos grow in a papery husk, and are green when ripe. Their summery tanginess will be a welcomed treat this fall and winter!

Meanwhile, the tomato plants in the greenhouses are reaching the ceiling and ready for their final push before the cool weather sets in. Trays of spinach, lettuces, and Asian greens await their turn in the greenhouses this fall and winter, when a steady stream of greens will be available to fall CSA members.


Storage and Use Tips

Mesclun - Mesclun is back in your bags this week.  The word Mesclun comes from Southern France and literally means "mixture".  Without a specific ingredient list it can be a mixture of many types of greens. Our mesclun mix is constantly changing to reflect the seasons we are in, currently consisting of yound lettices, chards and brassicas.  Store sealed bags in the fridge from 3-7 days.
Beans – Great for snacking on, sautĂ©ing and more.  Store unwashed pods in the fridge. Wash in cold water just before using.

Carrots – To keep carrots crisp the longest, give them lots of humidity in the fridge. Storing them in a bag with holes in it will create these conditions but still allow for the airflow they need.

Nicola Potatoes – These golden mid-season gems make a great side as home fries with onions, butter, and salt. Or if you’re grilling, slice them very thinly, and wrap up in a foil packet alongside your burgers!

Corn – The red-winged blackbirds and raccoons have had a field day with our sweet corn this year. In the absence of a good crop here, our good friend Paul at Westminster Organics has graciously offered us some of his for your enjoyment this week. Sweet corn is best eaten fresh! Boil in a pot of water or grill in the husk.

Red Peppers- This week there is a mix of varieties in the shares. Leaving our green and purple peppers on the plant longer turns them red and sweet!

Onions – You will see yellow onions in your share this week. Store in a cool dark place.

Tomatoes – As you know, we carefully sort out tomatoes to look for blemishes to try to get the best ones to you. But some tiny blemishes can grow quickly once packed, so please let us know if your tomatoes aren’t satisfactory and send a photo if you can so we can see what is happening! Keep your tomatoes at room temperature for the best flavor and texture, and use them quickly!

Melons – Large Bag Members Only (look for your melons outside of your bag). You will see a red- or yellow fleshed watermelon in your share this week! Watermelons keep longer in the fridge. Enjoy this quintessential flavor of late summer.

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

We are excited about the ever-growing variety of fruits that are ecologically grown and harvested from Champlain Orchards! There they use integrated pest management and careful selection of disease-resistant varieties to truly minimize chemical use and provide extremely clean and fresh fruit. This week's share includes freshly harvested Shinsui Asian Pears, an orange-brown russet pear that is juicy and flavorful. The fruit will keep for up to 6 weeks.
Lila and Dave at Tangletown Farm are good farmer friends and their hens have been keeping busy to bring you delicious Fresh Eggs this week! Lila and Dave, along with their family in Glover, is committed to providing high quality eggs and meats, including chicken, duck, pork, beef, lamb, and rabbit! Summer and fall are the perfect times for fresh eggs because chickens use the long day length as a cue to make more eggs!
This week you will also receive Country Wheat Bread from Slowfire Bakery in Jeffersonville. Owner Scott uses his sourdough recipe for this bread, with increased whole wheat flour for a more robust and hearty, nutty wheat flavor. They bake their breads in an egg-shaped masonry oven (pictured) that mimicks a traditional Quebecois style. Once the oven is going, they have 12 to 18 hours of baking potential as the oven retains heat so well!

Meat Share
This week's meat share includes Maple Wind Andouille SausageMcKnight Farm BurgerPete's Greens Ham Steak, and a Pete's Greens Whole Chicken! The ham steak is smoked, and needs to be brought to temperature before serving, but it will be juiciest if it doesn't cook for too long. Try Mark Bittman's recipe for grilled chicken (below) for an easy way to use the whole bird!

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.


Grilled Green Beans
This is a great approach to enjoying your green beans - kissing the vegetables with a little smoky char.  Be sure not to skip the step of covering and letting the mixture stand; all steams to perfect doneness in that time.  If you don't have a grill basket, grill on a large piece of heavy-duy foil.  From Cooking Light, June 2014.
1/2 small red onion, vertically sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp dark sesame oil
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
Place a grill basket on hot grill; preheat for 5 minutes.
Place onions, garlice, and green beans in a large bowl.  Drizzle with canola oil; toss well to coat.  Arrange mixture in hot grill basket; cover grill, and cook 7 minutes or until beans are lightly charred, tossing occasionally.  Place bean mixture in a large bowl; cover and let stand 5 minutes.  Add soy sauce and remaining ingredients; toss to combine.
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
A great family meal that brings so many flavors and spices together in a traditional New Orleans dish!
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 chicken, about 4 lbs, quartered
1/2 cup flour
1 pound andouille or kielbasa, cut into 1/4 inch-thick-slices (or crumbled)
2 cups each, chopped onion, chopped celery
1 cup chopped green onions
1/4 chopped parsley
5 large cloves garlic, minced
2 quarts chicken stock
3 bay leaves, crumbled
2 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp each: dried leaf thyme, freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 1/2 to 3 TB file powder
cooked rice or barley
hot pepper sauce to taste
Heat oil in a 7 or 9 quart heavy Dutch oven over medium heat. Add chicken quarters in single layer. Cook until brown on all sides. Remove and reserve chicken. Add flour to hot oil and stir until smooth. Cook and stir constantly, over medium-high heat, until roux is the color of cinnamon. Remove from heat. Stir in sliced sausage, yellow onions, celery, green onions, green pepper, parsley and garlic. Cook and stir over medium heat until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes.
Stir in 1/2 cup of the chicken broth, scraping up brown bits from bottom of the pan. Stir in browned chicken, bay leaves, salt, thyme, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Stir in remaining broth. Heat to boil over medium heat. Skim off surface scum. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered until chicken is tender, 35-45 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Remove chicken pieces from gumbo. Skim all fat from surface of gumbo. Remove skin and bones from chicken and discard. Shred chicken and add back to pot. Reheat to boil. Remove from heat; let simmer die down. Add file powder and stir. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve in soup bowls over rice or barley. Pass the hot pepper sauce. 
Charred Corn Crepes
This recipe from is a wonderful way to enjoy that fresh and irresistable flavor of sweet corn! This recipe makes 9 to 10 9inch crepes so you may want to double the recipe.
1 large fresh corn cob
 2 tablespoons butter, melted
 1/2 cup flour
1 cup milk, any fat level will do
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon table salt
Butter or oil for pan
To char corn: Shuck your corn but leave the “stem” on if you can; it makes a great handle. Remove small children from the area. Over a hot grill or an open gas-stove flame, char the corn until well-blackened but not completely burnt. It tends to snap, crackle and yes, pop a little making terrifying noises (hence, the removal of small people) but will smell amazing (like popcorn and fireplaces and summer camp). Remove cob from heat, and when cool enough to handle, shave off kernels using a large knife. You should have about 1 cup kernels. Transfer to a bowl and pour melted butter over it; let cool to lukewarm.

Make crepe batter: Place corn-butter mixture in a blender with flour, milk, eggs and salt. Blend until mostly smooth (a few bits and coarse piece of corn are awesome but too many will make the batter hard to pour and spread in the pan). Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or two days; this resting time really, really makes it easier to make crepes that don’t fall apart.

Cook crepes: Heat an 8- to 9-inch skillet (nonstick makes things even easier here) over medium heat. Coat very lightly with butter or oil. Pour 3 (for an 8-inch skillet) to 4 tablespoons (for a larger size) batter into the center of the skillet and roll it around so that it evenly coats the bottom. Cook until edges appear lightly brown, then flip the crepe* and cook it on the reverse side for another 30 seconds.

Slide crepe onto a paper towel-coated plate or counter. Repeat with remaining crepe batter, re-buttering pan as needed. Cooling crepes can overlap on the towels. Cooled crepes can be stacked and will not stick to each other.
Mexican Street Corn Crepe Stack (pictured above): I spread about 1 teaspoon mayonnaise (which is very scant and you can definitely use more; use yogurt or sour cream if you dislike mayo) between each crepe, then sprinkled about 2 teaspoons crumbled cotija cheese (but you can use ricotta salata, feta or another crumbly salty cheese if you cannot find it), a couple shakes of chili powder and a small amount of chopped cilantro (but you can use flat-leaf parsley if you’re not into cilantro). The toppings add up quickly as you stack the crepes, so don’t be afraid to go easy on them; you’ll still get a full amount of topping with each bite. Serve with lime wedges, squeezing some lime juice over each wedge.
Grilled Chicken: the Bittman Method
I grilled one of our birds this weekend and in celebration of grilled chicken (it was so good) and Mark Bittman's visit, I am including his grilling method here.  Of course you have to cut the whole bird up into its parts, but that's easily done.
Mark's method for grilling chicken that's moist on the inside and crisp on the outside is to grill at two temps.  On a grill, you would have a hot side and a cooler side.  On a gas gill, turn one side on low (or even off) and the other on medium high.  The chicken starts out skin side up on the cooler side of the grill....
Put the chicken on the grill skin-side up on the cool side and, after some of the fat has been rendered, turn it; if flames flare up, move the chicken to an even cooler part of the fire (this is where gas is handy; it's so easily adjusted). Or turn it so the skin side is up again -- remember to keep the fat away from the flame.

When the skin has lost its raw look and most of the fat has been rendered, usually after 20 minutes or so of cooking, it's safe to move the chicken to the hot side of the grill. By then the meat will be mostly cooked through; what you do now is brown it nicely on both sides.

Bingo. If you have any doubts about the meat's doneness, cut into it alongside the bone. It will not make for the most attractive presentation, but it's more attractive than bloody chicken. With experience, you will be able to judge doneness by appearance and feel alone. This technique not only frees you from fear, at least in this little universe, but gives you dozens of options for flavoring.
Here's one of Mark's three recipes.  The others are Grilled Chicken Japanese Style and Grilled Chicken with Mediterranean Flavours.
Quick and Easy (and delicious) Baked Chicken
This is a Mark Bittman recipe and I make this all the time and it's a crowd pleaser.   
1 whole chicken, cut into 8 parts, skin on:  2 breasts, 2 wings, 2 drum sticks, 2 thighs
(don't fret about how neat your cuts are or are not, it doesn't really matter in the end, it will be delicious)
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup fresh herbs (or 1-2 tsp dried)
salt and pepper (I use 1.5 tsp or so for a big whole chicken)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Put the oil or butter in a roasting pan and put the pan in the oven for a couple of minutes, until the oil is hot or the butter melts. Add the chicken and turn it couple of times in the fat, leaving it skin side up. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and return the pan to the oven.
After the chicken has cooked for 15 minutes, toss about 1/4 of the herb or herb mixture over it and turn the pieces. Sprinkle on another quarter of the herb and roast for another 10 minutes.
Turn the chicken over (now skin side up again), add another quarter of the herb, and cook until the chicken is done (180 F , or you'll see clear juices if you make a small cut in the meat near the bone) a total of 30-50 minutes at most. Garnish with the remaining herb and skim excess fat from the pan juices if necessary; serve, with some of the juices spooned over it.

*Add several cloves of garlic (20 wouldn't be too many).
*Add a cup or so of chopped onion, shallot, or leek.
*Add a cup or so of sliced fresh mushrooms, after the first 15 minutes of roasting.
*Add 2-3 lemons (or organges/limes). When the chicken is done, squeeze the hot lemon juice over it.
*Use Compound Butter, Flavored Oil, or a Vinaigrette from the beginning of the cooking or as a basting sauce during the cooking.
*Stir in a dollop of grainy French-style mustard when the chicken is done.
*Add a couple handfuls of cherry tomatoes and some black olives after turning the chicken skin side up again.
*Stir in a cup of any salsa in the last 10 minutes of cooking or spoon on top of the cooked chicken before serving.

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