Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Good Eats Weekly Newsletter - December 16th, 2015

Happy Holidays from Pete's Greens!
Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members
This week your bag will contain:
Spinach, Potatoes, Beets, Fennel, Onions, 
Kale, Parsley, Carrots, Parsnips, Pac Choi
Localvore Offerings Include:
Tangletown Eggs
Elmore Mountain Bread or Slowfire Bakery Bread
Walden Heights Apple Cider
Half Veggie Only Members
Spinach, Potatoes, Beets, Onions, Kale,
Carrots, Parsnips
There will be NO DELIVERIES the week of Dec 21st-25th. 
We will resume deliveries on Dec 30th-31st.
Please let us know as soon as possible if you want to cancel or donate a future share.
Want to give a Good Eats gift certificate?
Email us at to request a gift certificate for the number of weeks of your choice.
Around the Farm
With the winter holidays upon us, we expect the ground to be frozen and blanketed in white. This unexpected stretch of unseasonably warm weather comes as a surprise with both challenges and advtantages on the farm. While some of our cool season crops have been startled by the warmth, others have had a renewed opportunity to hang on for more harvests. Even faced with these short December days, our greens have been rejuvenated by the mild temperatures, and will keep our early winter meals vibrant with flavor. This is one of the true gifts of a diversified farm: when the environment throws us a curveball, some aspect of the farm almost always benefits.
Storage and Use Tips 
Spinach - This spinach is made up of mid-sized, tender leaves that are great for salads or cooking. Store in your crisper drawer for up to one week.
Yukon Potatoes  - Yukon Gold Potatoes are a great all-purpose potato with a yellow flesh and thin skin. Keep these in a cool, dark, dry place, like a drawer or cabinet. A paper bag that protects them from light and allows them to breathe works great.
Beets -  Mixed beets are a great way to show off the colors of the season. Roasting really brings out their sweetness and makes a great addition to salads. Store raw beets loosely wrapped in plastic in your fridge.
Onions - Store onions in a cool dark place, away from apples and potatoes. Saute chopped onions in butter, stirring often, as the first step for a wide variety of winter recipes.
Kale - Our curly winter kale makes a great addition sautees, quiches, and pasta salads. Kale will be bunched or bagged. The yellowing tips of the leaves are not indicative of age or weakness; rather, they are a sign that these plants have endured cold winter nights that have increased the vigor and sweetness of the plant. If your kale starts looking limp after several days in the fridge, you can enliven in by submerging it in a bowl of ice water for several minutes.
Parsley - This parsley comes to you from our high tunnels. Try adding parsley stems to your simmering stock, both to impart flavor and help clarify the broth.  A nice way to store it is to place the parsley bunch stems in a glass of water, like flowers in a vase, and then cover loosely with a plastic bag and keep in the fridge.  If this is too finicky, just store loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in crisper drawer.
Carrots - The earthy sweetness of biting into a raw carrot always reminds me of the fall harvest. But if you're looking for some new ways to use this week's carrots, have you thought about shredding them in your morning oats, or dressing them up with cumin and paprika in your favorite mexican dish? Here is a great site to help you keep the creativity flowing with this wonderfully versatile vegetable. This week's carrots have been lightly brushed to make them bright and tender, so make sure they stay wrapped in your fridge.
Parsnips - Related to the carrot, the parsnip has grown wild in Europe for millennia and was considered a delicacy by the Roman aristocracy. Though parsnips are usually eaten cooked, they can also be eaten raw like carrots. They have a sweet nutty flavor and lend themselves well to cooking with honey, maple syrup and butter. They are a very flexible starch. Try them sauteed, baked, roasted and mashed, as well as in soups and stews. Store parsnips as you would carrots, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.
Pac Choi - Bunched pac choi coming your way this week. 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.
Fennel - Fennel is crunchy and slightly sweet with the flavor of anise. It is delicious and slightly sweet served raw but is just as often served cooked on its own or in other dishes. Though most often associated with Italian cooking, it has an uncanny ability to blend with other flavors adding a light and fresh note. It is delightful in many dishes, and in soups and stews and sauces. 
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.
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 Shelf, or you can skip your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.
Localvore Lore
This week's Localvore/Pantry items include Eggs from Tangletown Farm, Bread from Elmore Mountain Bread (Wednesday sites) or Slowfire Baking Bread (Thursday Sites), and Apple Cider from Walden Heights Nursery and Orchard.
Walden Heights Nursery and Orchard is a small family operation in Walden, VT that specializes in heritage variety fruit trees. Their freshly pressed, Certified Organic Apple Cider is in your share this week. Owners Todd and Lori write:
Preservation of heirloom fruits, particularly apple germplasm, is very important to the farm. We grow 500 apple varieties, many of which are represented in the cider you are about to enjoy. Apple cider is great for your breakfast smoothie, warmed as a comforting treat and a sweet addition to your holiday table.  Cider also freezes well, so if any should not be consumed within the next week you can store it in your freezer for later use.
One of the most fulfilling, healthy and independent acts a person can perform is to grow their own food.
In addition to growing organic fruit and pressing cider, we also grow and sell organic fruit trees and bushes.  If you enjoyed this cider, you might enjoy growing apples in your own yard. Visit us & see what’s possible.
You can learn more and plan a visit by checking out their website.
Tangletown Eggs are the best around for flavor and freshness. These eggs provide vitamins and nutrients in addition to protein, which are packed into each egg from the rich and varied diet the hens are fed. 
Elmore Mountain Bread is making Country French Bread for Wednesday's share members. It is made entirely with an organic spring wheat called "Glenn" from Maine Grains. They stone-milled all of the flour the day before mixing the dough. It is naturally leavened and fermented overnight before it is baked in a hot, wood fired oven.
Slowfire Bakery is a farm-based, wood-fired bakery overlooking the Lamoille River at Waiora Valley Farm. They use local ingredients to make naturally leavened loaves. This Thursday's bread is Polenta Bread, made with Butterworks cornmeal and other local ingredients!
Winter Vegetable Chicken Stew
This chicken stew uses a host of winter vegetables to make a hearty stew. This is a great way to use the scraps and carcass left over from cooking a whole chicken (throw it in a pot with some water and simmer until the remaining meat falls off the bones; save the liquid as stock). 
12 ounces boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 4 pieces)
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 3 pieces)
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for cooking water
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 slender carrots, peeled
3 large celery ribs
2 medium parsnips (6 ounces), peeled
4 small onions, peeled and quartered lengthwise with roots attached
3 cups water
14 ounces chicken broth, skimmed of fat
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 pound wide egg noodles
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 bunch Swiss chard, kale, or pac choi (1 1/2 pounds), coarsely chopped with stems
2 ounces shaved Parmesan cheese
Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces; season with salt and pepper. Heat a 6-quart Dutch oven over medium heat until hot. Add half of chicken to pot; cook, turning occasionally, until nicely browned, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Repeat with remaining chicken; set aside.
Meanwhile, cut carrots, celery, and parsnips into 3/4-inch pieces. Place vegetables, onions, browned chicken, water, broth, and rosemary in Dutch oven; scrape browned bits from the bottom. Cover; bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are barely tender, about 10 minutes.
Cook noodles in a saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente; drain. Stir noodles, parsley, chicken, and any collected juices in the bowl into pot. Cook on low until chicken is heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat; keep warm.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; stir until golden, about 1 minute. Add chard; cook, turning occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Divide chard among six bowls. Ladle soup on top; serve with shaved Parmesan cheese.
Honey Roasted Beets and Kale Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
This kale salad is a great way to show off your multi-colored beets, both in color and flavor.
4 medium golden or red beets
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons honey
1 shallot, minced
½ teaspoon salt
ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup pepitas
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
4 cups fresh chopped kale
3 ounces crumbled goat cheese (chèvre)
Boil the beets for 5-7 minutes, until slightly tender. Remove from heat, allow to cool, and slice into ½" rounds. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, 3 tablespoons of honey, minced shallot, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Separate out half of the dressing for the kale. Remove 1 tablespoon of the dressing and add in a generous teaspoon of the remaining honey. Toss the pepitas in this mixture and lay flat on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Toss the beet slices in the other dressing along with the chopped rosemary. Lay the beets in a 9x13" baking dish. Drizzle with the remaining honey.
Bake the beets for 18-22 minutes, until edges are golden brown and they are tender through the center. Bake the pepitas for 7-8 minutes, until the syrup bubbles and caramelizes around them. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Toss the kale in the remaining dressing. Add the roasted beets, pepitas, and goat cheese. Serve.
Potato Pancakes with Apple-Onion Jam and Horseradish Creme Fraiche
This twist on traditional potato latkes is making my mouth water. If you’re having trouble getting the latkes to stick together enough for frying, add a small amount of flour to the mix.
1/2 cup creme fraiche
1 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish
1 small yellow onion, peeled, quartered and sliced very thinly
1 1/4 cups apple cider, divided
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
4 allspice berries
1/2 small jalapeno, seeded and julienned
1 large sweet apple (your choice)
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes (about 4 medium)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
Butter, vegetable oil or duck fat for frying
Combine the creme fraiche and horseradish in a small bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour or as long as overnight.
To make the jam, combine the onion in a small saucepan with three-quarters cup of the cider and the vinegar, allspice berries and jalapeno. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Remove and discard the allspice. Peel and core the apple, then cut lengthwise into eighths and crosswise into very thin slices. Add the apples to the onion mixture along with the remaining cider. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture is soft, about 30 minutes. Remove the mixture to a bowl and cool to room temperature.
Peel the potatoes and, using a box grater, shred them into a colander set over a bowl. Press the grated potato to remove excess liquid. Place the grated potato in a clean bowl and add the eggs, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.
Heat the oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons butter or fat in a large skillet over medium heat. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the potato mixture into the hot fat and press to make a pancake about 3 inches across. Repeat with as many pancakes as the pan will contain. Cook about 3 minutes, until golden, then carefully flip each pancake over, press down to compact and cook 3 more minutes, or until the pancakes are crisp and cooked through. Transfer the pancakes to the baking sheet and hold in the oven while frying the remaining pancakes. (Blot any excess grease off.)
To serve, spoon a tablespoon or so of the apple-onion jam onto each warm pancake and top with a dollop of the creme fraiche.
Natural Dye Shaped Sugar Cookies
Looking for a fun, all-natural way to feature your CSA veggies in your baking this holiday season? How about using beets and spinach to make red and green edible dyes? You can even use an old potato to stamp the dyes onto cut-out cookies before baking! You can check out the instructions here, or see below.
Sugar Cookies:
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature 
1 cup granulated sugar 
1 large egg 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; beat until combined. Divide dough in half; flatten into disks. Wrap each in plastic; freeze until firm, at least 20 minutes, or place in a resealable plastic bag, and freeze up to 3 months (thaw in refrigerator overnight). 
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment. Remove one dough disk; let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Roll out 1/8 inch thick between two sheets of floured parchment, dusting dough with flour as needed. Cut shapes with cookie cutters. Using a spatula, transfer to prepared baking sheets. (If dough gets soft, chill 10 minutes.) Reroll scraps; cut shapes. Repeat with remaining dough. 
Bake, rotating halfway through, until edges are golden, 10 to 18 minutes (depending on size). Cool completely on wire racks. To ice cookies, spread with the back of a spoon. Let the icing harden, about 20 minutes.
2 cups spinach, finely chopped
1 lb beets, shredded
2 Tbsp distilled spirits (like bourbon or rum), or almond extract
1 – 2 potatoes (optional)
Use a mortar and pestle or a food mill to grind each vegetable (separately) into a pulp to release the pigment from the plant cells. Add a small amount of spirits or almond extract which will preserve the color of the dye. Separate the pulp from the liquid, using the liquid as your dye.
You can paint the dyes directly onto your cookies before they are baked, or create stamps using a potato. Half a potato, and insert a cookie cutter (smaller than the potato cross-section) partway into the potato. With the cookie cutter still in the potato, use a knife to remove part of the potato that is outside the cookie cutter. When you take off the cookie cutter, you now have a stamp that you can dip into your dye before stamping the middle of your cookies. Blot moisture off of the potato before using your stamp.

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