Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Good Eats Weekly Newsletter - November 9, 2016


This week, we're trying out a new names checklist and pick-up instructions sheet. You'll notice the two forms are now one. Each member's share items are listed separately. Names are listed in alphabetical order. Check off your name when you have picked up all your items. Let me know if this sheet is any easier to use!



Localvore Members 
& Full Veggie Only Share Members
take a LIGHT GREEN BAG

This week your bag contains:

Mesclun, Pac Choi, Cauliflower, Cilantro, Celery, Mixed color Carrots, Green Cabbage, Cippolini Onions, Red Gold Potatoes

Out of the bag:
One Red Kabocha Squash




Half Veggie Members
take a YELLOW BAG containing:

Mesclun, Pac Choi, Cauliflower, Celery, Cippolini Onions

Out of the bag:
One Red Kabocha Squash





Localvore / Pantry Offerings

Sweet Rowen Cheese Curds
Amir Habib Mushrooms
Pete's Greens Pizza Dough
Pete's Greens Pizza Sauce


You Make Agriculture Great (Again)!

It's been a tough, long year but finally, the 2016 election is here! You may be reading this before results come in today or you may be reading it after the fact. Hopefully, the candidate of your choice came out ahead and hopefully, we've elected some folks who will continue to support Vermont agriculture. 

The great Wendell Berry said that eating is an agricultural act, and a few weeks ago, we sent out an email to our subscribers about voting with your dollar. It seems obvious to us of the importance of farmers and food producers, but there are some who forget that agriculture is a positive part of our economy, our culture, and our environment. So whatever happens in your town, in Vermont, or in the U.S. over the next 2 - 4 years, we hope our leaders remember the farmers.

Whether you're still reveling in election day excitement or wallowing in election day sadness, we hope this week's CSA share can provide you with the right fixings to get you through the week. And, we hope that with each bite, you can taste greatness. Thanks for supporting our community.

~ Taylar

Local & Pastured Thanksgiving Turkey 

Thanksgiving Turkeys from Tangletown Farm are still available!
Call Lila at Tangletown Farm to pre-order your 2016 Thanksgiving turkey.

Turkeys are $5 a pound. 
Turkeys are available as
13 - 16 pounds,
17 - 20 pounds, or 
20+ pounds.

To order your turkey, call or email Lila at (802) 525-1313 or ttownfarm@gmail.com 


Your turkey will be delivered to your CSA pick up site either the week before OR the week of Thanksgiving. Turkeys will be frozen.



Tangletown Farm is a family farm located in West Glover. Their philosophy of eating locally and ethically extends to their meats, which are all pastured, free of antibiotics and hormones, and sustainably raised.



Storage and Use Tips 
 
Full share members are receiving cilantro this week. Returning share members may notice something different about the bunch this week - it's smaller than our typical herb bunches. Based on feedback from our share surveys, we've heard from members that the herb bunches are generally too large - too much to use all at once, not enough to dry or freeze. So, we cut the bunch in half. Store cilantro in your fridge. I like to keep mine in a little jar of water so it retains moisture. 
 
What's that funky looking geometric veggie? If you have an unidentifable green veg in your bag, it could be romanesca cauliflower! Some of you may have a more traditional white cauliflower. Cauliflower is delicious when roasted in olive oil. Some prefer to eat it raw. The choice is up to you! Store cauliflower in a loosely wrapped plastic bag in your crisper drawer.
 
 
Both shares are receiving pac choi this week. This member of the cabbage family has a number of different names, including bok choy, horse's ear, Chinese celery cabbage and white mustard cabbage. Its structure looks like a squat celery, with either white or very pale green short, chunky stalks and glossy, deep green leaves. The texture of both leaves and stalks is crisp, and the flavour is somewhere between mild cabbage and spinach. If very young it can be eaten raw in salads, but is best when briefly cooked. The smallest examples tend to be the most tender. If you like you can cut the leaves from the stems, as they cook at different speeds - the leaves cook much quicker, so you could add just towards the end of cooking. Alternatively, if you want to put leaves and stems in the pan at the same time, cut the stems into wide strips and the leaves into finer strips. Very young pak choi can be left whole, or halved or quartered. Store in a perforated bag in the fridge for up to three days.
 
We're also sending both shares a half bunch of celery. On its own, celery has a mild flavor but is excellent for flavoring sauces, stuffings, pasta dishes, soups, and other items where flavors all meld together. Wrap unwashed celery tightly in a plastic bag and store in the coldest part of your refrigerator. To maintain really crispy celery, place it upright in a glass of water in your fridge and cover loosely with a plastic bag.
 
And don't forget your OUT OF THE BAG red kabocha squash. Also called "red kuri", this is a Japanese variety of squash that is quite sweet. Kabocha squash are extremely good for you, with a flesh rich in beta carotene and high in iron and vitamins. The skin is edible but can be peeled for faster cooking. Try cutting it in half, scooping out the insides, cutting into smaller wedges, drizzling olive oil, and roasting it in the oven aroud 350. It can be made into soup or pie or roasted along with other veggies. Like all winter squash and pumpkins, store in a cool dry, place. Best temperature is 55F. All share members should take 1 squash. We counted out enough squash for every member to take one.
 
Last week, we had some special helpers sorting and weighing out the squash. Students from Woodbury Elementary practiced their math skills - with help from Crop Manager Melissa - as they weighed, cleaned, and sorted the squash.

Both shares are also receiving cippolini onions, which are a small flattened Italian onion with a sweet, mild flavor. Cippolinis are traditionally served roasted or baked, but also work well on kebabs or eaten fresh. If you have never eaten a roasted cippolini you must, as you will never think of onions the same way. The advantage of the cipollini is its mild flavor that when roasted caramelizes quickly into sweet, flavorful goodness! Their shape lends them well to roasting. A classic Italian recipe is to glaze them with balsamic vinegar, roast and serve as part of an antipasto. Cippolini onions do not store as well as your typical onion. For short term storage keep in a cool, dry place or in the butter compartment of your fridge.

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. 


Thanksgiving is coming up!

Many of you have already let me know that you'll be going out of town during the week of Thanksgiving. Please know that the week of Thanksgiving, shares will be delivered on Tuesday instead of Wednesday (or Wednesday instead of Thursday).

If you will be unable to pick up your share on Nov. 22, please let us know as soon as possible. We can either skip your share and give you credit, send it the next week, or donate it to the food pantry. It's up to you!


Localvore Lore

It's a pizza week! As I type, Richard is in the kitchen making some fresh Pete's Greens pizza dough for you. The Pete's Greens pizza sauce was made in our kitchen at the height of our tomato season this August. Sweet Rowen Farmstead's cheese curds and Amir Habib's mushrooms provide great toppings! 
 
Amir Habib grows these shiitake mushrooms in Colchester. Members wish they had more mushrooms each share season but planning for this many mushrooms takes Amir many weeks! We try to get them in as much as we can. Store mushrooms in a paper bag in your fridge. 
 
I'm originally from Wisconsin where cheese curds are standard fare for eating! I was surprised when I came here and found that few Vermonters knew how delightful curds are. Curd is the top part of the cheddar making process and in Vermont is not typically saved for consumption. They're best when eaten fresh, so try to eat them in the next 3 - 5 days. Wisconsinites enjoy them when eaten plain or fried in a beer batter. You can also chop them up and add to your pizza or nachos, shred in quesadillas, or use to make poutine (the ultimate comfort food for election day blues) - a la Canadian style.
 
This pizza dough is partially frozen so let it thaw completely before trying to work with it. Leave it out on the counter at room temperature for a few hours to get the best consistency. Use within four to five hours of thawing (ready to go the night you pick up share or store in freezer for later use). Coat a smooth surface with flour and cornmeal (just flour ok) so that the dough does not stick to the surface. Form dough into ball and flatten with heels of palms. Stretch dough with hands or use a rolling pin to form shape of baking pan (I use a cookie sheet so I form it into a square). Once dough is slightly stretched on surface you can stretch dough in the air with hands by making two fists held together with dough on top. Move each hand up, down and out turning the dough clockwise. Each dough can be stretched to a 16" round, for thicker crust make smaller. If you like light fluffy crust I put my baking sheet on the top of my oven while preheating and let rise. Otherwise set aside in neutral area till oven is ready at 425F. Cook 12-14 minutes until crust is golden brown and cheese bubbles.
 
We included a tomato-based sauce as your next layer. Then, top with your favorite toppings! You could try some squash (cubed or in dollops) or roasted cauliflower if you're feeling adventurous! I recommend sauteeing the mushrooms or onions before adding them.


Recipes

Cinnamon Roasted Kabocha Squash
1 kabocha squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed, then each half cut into smaller pieces lengthwise
2 Tbsp coconut oil (or olive)
Salt
Cinnamon (regular or Saigon roasted)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet in foil. Start with the tip of your knifes in the center of the squash and cut in half lengthwise, using a rocking motion on the knife to get it through (don't try to yank out the knife though). If it won't go through, gently remove knife, rotate half and cut through the other side the same way. Push the halves apart with your hands. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and stringy flesh and discard. Cut each half into 3 wedges (lengthwise).

Poutine
Poutine is a Canadian dish. It's components are potatoes, gravy, and cheese curds. You can use any type of potato or gravy. Cut potatoes into wedges, drizzle with oil and salt, and bake at 350 degrees or fry over the stove. Add gravy to cooked potatoes and top with cheese curds. Throw into the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese. Top with thyme.

Mushroom Gravy
This is a simple how to  gravy recipe but like most things, it can be tailored for you. Use whatever mushrooms you prefer! Use gravy for poutine, with biscuits, or over roasted cauliflower steaks.

1-2 tsp olive oil
2 shallots, sliced
1/4 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped oyster mushrooms (cut away tough stems and freeze and reserve for making stock later)
2 TB dry white wine
2 cups vegetable broth
1 TB cornstarch or arrowroot powder blended with 2 TB cold water (or white flour)

Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add in the sliced shallots and sprinkle with the salt. Saute until softened, about 3 minutes, then add in the garlic and saute for 1 minute more.

Increase the heat to medium, then add the chopped oyster mushrooms. After 2 minutes, increase the heat to medium high and saute for 1 minute more. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, scraping up any bits on the bottom of the pan with a spatula. Add in the broth, bring to a small simmer, then reduce the heat back down to medium. Allow to reduce for 15-20 minutes.

Cauliflower Gratin
I made this Smitten Kitchen recipe Monday night - it was delicious! The week's shares have 1 - 1.5 pounds of cauliflower. I used about 3 Tbsp butter, 1 c. of milk, and 2 Tbsp of flour for the roux and whatever cheese I had in the house. It's a nice comfort dish but not for the dairy free!

1 (3-pound) head cauliflower, cut into large florets
Kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups hot milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
3/4 cup freshly grated Gruyere, divided
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cook the cauliflower florets in a large pot of boiling salted water for 5 to 6 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture and stir until it comes to a boil. Boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, or until thickened. Off the heat, add 1 teaspoon of salt, the pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup of the Gruyere, and the Parmesan.

Pour 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of an 8 by 11 by 2-inch baking dish. Place the drained cauliflower on top and then spread the rest of the sauce evenly on top. Combine the bread crumbs with the remaining 1/4 cup of Gruyere and sprinkle on top. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and drizzle over the gratin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is browned. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Pac Choi with Peanuts and Cilantro

4 Tbsp roasted peanuts 
1⁄8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pinch salt
4 cups pac choi
2 Tbsp peanut oil
1 cup onion, finely chopped
4 teaspoons ginger, minced
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch + 3 Tbsp water
cilantro, chopped

Fry the peanuts, pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt in 1 teaspoon peanut oil for about 1 minute. Set aside.

Slice the stems off of 1 bunch of bok choi, and cut them into ½ inch pieces. Leave the leaves whole, or if they are very large cut in half crosswise. Heat the other tablespoon oil until very hot then add the onion and ginger and stir-fry for about 1 minute. Add the pac choi stems and leaves and stir-fry until wilted and glossy. Then add the soy sauce and cornstarch mixture and cilantro and stir-fry for another minute. Add the peanut mixture and serve warm.


Sweet and Sour Pac Choi
This is a great dish - the greens are a little tangy and the sauce is sweet. Serves 4.

2 tbsp oil
1 onion, cut in slivers
pac choi, left whole, bigger ones cut in half the long way
2 tbsp maple sugar
2 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce

Combine sugar, vinegar, soy sauce in a small bowl. Set aside. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok or large skillet. Stir fry the onions until browning, remove to a bowl. Add remaining tbsp oil, stir fry the pac choi in a couple batches until they have a few browned spots, the green tops wilt and the stems are crisp tender. Add the onions back into the wok with all the greens and stir in the sauce. Cook another 30 seconds. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes if you like.

  

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