Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Good Eats Weekly Newsletter - July 5, 2017


Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members

This week your bag contains:

Mesclun, Romaine Lettuce, Lacinato Kale, Carrots, Fennel, Garlic Scapes

Out of the Bag:
Tomatoes, Strawberries

Half Veggie Only Members

Mesclun, Basil, Carrots, Scallions, Chard, and

Out of the Bag:

Localvore Offerings Include:

Patchwork Farm and Bakery Country French Bread
Cellars at Jasper Hill Cabot Clothbound Cheese
Champlain Orchards Cherries

Around the Farm

We had another go around of rain and more rain, with a little sun in-between, and fortunately, enough sun for the Pete's Greens crew and the rest of Craftsbury to celebrate the 4th annual Craftsbury Block Party on Monday night!

It's the first MEAT SHARE pick-up. Make sure to check the column on the check-off sheet before taking a red bag. If we sent a share for you, it will say "Yes" in that column. The salami is "out of the bag", so don't forget that!

This week I'm sending out coffee mugs for folks who signed up and paid before the season started. Each mug should have a label with your name on it.

We hope you all have a safe and fun 4th of July. I'm excited knowing we can celebrate our food independence with you - growing and producing food from within our community!

Storage and Use Tips 

Mesclun: This week's greens are a mix of lettuces, baby kale, baby mustard, and baby beet greens. The greens are pre-washed and ready to eat. Keep greens in your fridge and use within a week. 
Scallions (Half shares): Often referred to as green onions, scallions are a young onion with a small, white tip and a bright green, tall stem. You can use the whole thing in a recipe but I usually chop off the very bottom of the bulb, and then keep chopping up the stem until the chopped parts become less moist/crisp and more fibrous/leafy. The remaining parts make an excellent addition to soups or salads bringing a mild onion flavor and nice hint of color. We're sending you the entire scallion - so they may be a little twisted, but since you can use the whole thing, we preferred not to waste any part!

Basil (Half shares):  **The basil is INSIDE your mesclun!** Basil pairs beautifully with tomatoes - try a simple salad of sliced tomato, basil, and mozzarella, with a drizzle of olive oil, some salt and pepper, and possibly a little balsamic vinegar. Use basil within a few days, before it turns brown.
Carrots: Carrot bunches are here! These fresh carrot bunches come straight from the field. They're a little small, but so fresh and sweet! The tops are edible and make a nice pesto. See recipe below. Store in your crisper drawer loosely wrapped in plastic.
Fennel (full shares): Crunchy and slightly sweet with the flavor of anise, fennel is delicious 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 soups and stews and sauces and is particularly at home with tomato sauce dishes. Fennel is composed of a white or pale green bulb from which closely superimposed stalks are arranged. To prepare, cut off the hard bottom and slice vertically or into quarters. Or cut the bulb in half lengthwise, cut out the core, and cut into strips. Add it raw to salads or try some thinly sliced fennel on your sandwich. Top thinly sliced fennel with plain yogurt and mint leaves. Or braise, roast or saute it. It is done when tender enough to pierce easily with a skewer. A note about the fennel: they're looking a little funky, but no worries. They're still tasty. Just cut around brown spots.
Kale, Lacinato (full share):  Or, dinosaur kale, lacinato kale has very dark and bumpy and somewhat leathery looking leaves (hence the dinosaur nickname) that stand up really well to cooking. This kale will retain its shape even in soups and stews. Kale is in the super veggie club and is just about the healthiest vegetable you can eat, packed with vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatories.  And it's tasty and an easy addition to so many dishes.  Keep kale loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer. Strip the leaves from the stems and wash them well before chopping and cooking.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes are out of your veggie bags and in a separate paper bag. Please, only take 1 bag of tomatoes! You'll receive either a bag of red tomatoes or pink tomatoes, and a few of you will have red tomatoes with a couple small pink ones. Each bag is about 1 pound. Store tomatoes at room temperature - never in the fridge. I prefer to slice them with a serrated knife - a clean cut.
Strawberries (full share): A pint of Pete's strawberries! Possibly the last of the season. A variety of sizes and sweetness from pint to pint. Keep refrigerated and wash when ready to eat. Full shares only - these are out of the bag. Please, only take one.
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.

Sorry, we cannot make changes to the week's delivery after noon on Monday.
Localvore Lore
Our bread this week is Anna Rosie's Country French from Patchwork Farm and Bakery in East Hardwick. Baked fresh!
The partnership between the Cellars at Jasper Hill and Cabot Cooperative Creamery bring us our cheese this week, Cabot Clothbound Cheddar. The cheese is made in Cabot by the Cooperative and then brough to the Cellars in Greensboro, where it's washed in a lard rind and aged in a specially calibrated vault. The huge wheels of cheese are washed and turned regularly, where the temperature is monitored carefully. I got to tour the Cellars this summer (no photos allowed!) and saw these beautiful wheels being aged on shelves that are long, high, and full of this special cheese, with a distinct taste of place - our northern Vermont place. I love this cheese sliced as is, and eaten with bread or crackers. It also makes a really delightful grilled cheese. 
It was touch and go for a few days, but I was able to get these cherries from Champlain Orchards - all they had of their wholesale cherries! You're receiving one of two kinds - Hedelfingen or Emperor Francis Sweet.  The cherries were grown in Vermont, in the Champlain Valley. The Hedelfingen variety is perfect for eating fresh or freezing. The Emperor Francis Sweet Cherry is perfect for canning, making jellies and jams, homemade maraschinos, or fresh eating. We were just a couple pints short, so Craftsbury members will get either cherries or strawberries.

Meat Share

***Monthly Meat Share members will take a red bag from a cooler with most of your meat - don't forget to take your OUT OF THE BAG SALAMI stick!***

A Really Big Chicken from Pete's Greens! The last of last year's chickens... this is an almost 7 pound, whole chicken, pastured on our organic farmland. This is a great chicken for roasting whole. Pop the bones into your freezer and you'll be set for making stock this winter!

Two pork products from VT99. The salami is coming to you out-of-the-bag to preserve its freshness. Salami is essentially a living thing and freezing will kill it, so best not to freeze it. Salami is a great finger food and nice accompaniment to a cheese platter - or served alongside an aged cheddar and some fresh French bread. You're also receiving a pound of breakfast sausage. Perfect for patties or making your own links! You can also enjoy it crumbled in scrambled eggs or in a variety of other dishes - there's no rules that it must be for breakfast. VT99 is the collaboration project between Pete's Greens and Jasper Hill Farm - the pigs are fed whey and veggies and pastured on Pete's organic land. This year the pigs are pastured on the Creek Road.

To round out your share, you're receiving ground beef from McKnight Farm, located in East Montpelier. McKnight Farm supplies most of the beef products for Good Eats. McKnight Farm is an organic beef and dairy farm. Ground beef is so versatile and great for grilling this time of year. 

Find more recipes by searching our website or looking through past newsletters here.

Tomato Fennel Salad

1 1/2 pounds tomatoes
1 small fennel bulb
2 tbsp good olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Core the tomatoes and cut into wedges. Remove the top of the fennel (save some fronds for garnish) and slice the bulb very thinly crosswise with a knife or on a mandoline.

Toss the tomatoes and fennel in a bowl with the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Garnish with 2 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds, season to taste, and serve.

Fennel And Kale Pasta
Sweet fennel and greens work beautifully together.

1⁄2 c olive oil
1 onion, minced
1 medium fennel bulb fronds removed, halved and thinly sliced
salt and pepper
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 lb spaghetti
up to 3 lb kale or other cooking green washed and chopped
1 c grated parmesan

Heat oil in a large braising pan or skillet with a cover. Add onion; sauté over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in fennel; sauté until golden, about 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until fennel is tender, about 8 minutes longer. Stir in vinegar; simmer to blend flavors, 1 minute longer. Adjust seasonings.

Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta; return to boil. Add kale; continue to cook until pasta is al dente, about 7 minutes.

Drain pasta and greens; toss with fennel mixture and cheese. Transfer portions to warm pasta bowls. Garnish with reserved minced fennel fronds. Serve immediately with more cheese passed separately.

Cherry Infused Gin
1/2 pint cherries, pitted and stemmed
1 pint gin

Once cherries are stemmed, gently smashed them in a bowl. Place them in a sealable vessel and pour the gin over. Let this sit for 2-3 days. The juniper in the gin works really well with the cherries. Served in chilled glasses, garnishing with some of the macerated cherries.

TLoe’s Maraschino Cherry Recipe
I found this homemade maraschino cherry recipe from the blog Living Homegrown. The author makes these cherries in small batches and stores them in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks rather than can them. This recipe is for one pint-sized jar.

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups fresh cherries
To each jar add:
1 small (or piece of) cinnamon stick
4 whole allspice
1/4 tsp. almond extract

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine water and sugar. Heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring gently.
Set aside and let cool to room temperature. Add lemon juice and vanilla and stir again.
Wash cherries, leaving on the stems. Pit the cherries.

Add the cinnamon, allspice and almond extract to each jar. Fill your jar with the pitted cherries, leaving a 3/4 inch headspace. Pack the cherries in tightly without smashing. Pour in the flavored syrup, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace. Use a wooden skewer around the edges of the jar to dislodge any bubbles. Wipe the rim and place on the jar lid.

At this point, you can store the cherries in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks or water bath process them for longer storage. Just note that the water bath does change their texture a bit. They will darken and get softer.

Either way, the flavor will take at least 3 days to soak into the cherries and then they are ready to eat.

Grilled Cheese with Carrot, Carrot Green Pesto, and Asiago Grilled Cheese
If you don't feel like making a whole sandwich out of it try just cooking the carrots and adding the pesto on top.

1 bunch farmers carrots, greens attached
Cheese - sliced cheddar or try 1/2 - 3/4 c shredded Asiago
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic
salt/pepper to taste
4-6 1/2″ slices of sourdough boule
Butter, ghee, or olive oil for the pan/bread

Preheat the oven for 450.’ Remove the greens from the carrots and reserve for later use. Place carrots on a heavy baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook for 20 minutes until they just begin to brown and blister. For the carrot top pesto, place washed greens in the basin of a food processor with the blade attachment. Combine olive oil, garlic, and the juice of one lemon. Blitz until smooth, adding a little olive oil if it feels too “pulp-y.” Shave the cheese super thin, set aside.

Warm a shallow, heavy pan over medium heat while you prepare the sandwiches. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Lay flat and layer with cheese, then pesto, then 4-5 grilled carrots. It’s okay if the stems stick out. Finish with another layer of cheese, if desired, and the other slice of bread. Place in the pan and grill on each side for 2-4 minutes until browned as you prefer. Cut in half. Repeat. Enjoy.

Kale Quesadillas
Serve these with your favorite fresh or canned salsa and a dollop of creme fraiche. Approximately 4 servings. If you have a meat share, try throwing in a little sauted ground beef - try sauteeing it in cumin, garlic powder or salt, and chili powder - the perfect Mexican combo.

1 TB sunflower oil or bacon fat
1/2 a sweet onion, minced
2 garlic scapes, minced
One bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
1 large green pepper, stems and seeds removed, chopped (optional)
1/4 tsp kosher salt, or more to taste
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
1 tsp ground cumin
1 TB minced fresh oregano, or 1 tsp dried, crumbled
8 oz Neighborly Farms Monterey or Pepper Jack Cheese, shredded
2 extra large (12") flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 375F. Heat oil or bacon fat in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and scapes and saute until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add kale, green pepper if using, salt, pepper, cumin and oregano. Toss to combine and continue sauteing until kale is nicely wilted, about 3-5 minutes more. Taste mixture and adjust seasonings.

Lay bottom tortilla on a greased cookie sheet or round baking stone. Spread kale mixture evenly over tortilla and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Cover with second tortilla. Place in heated oven and bake until cheese is nicely melted, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, cut into wedges and serve with salsa and creme fraiche or sour cream.

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.

Grilled Chicken: the Bittman Method

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.


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