Good Eats Newsletter - June 10, 2009

This Week's Localvore Share Contains
Mesclun Greens; 2 lbs Nicola Potatoes; 1 Bunch Scallions; 1 Bunch Beet Greens; 1 Bunch of Bright Lights Chard; 1 Bunch Cilantro; 1 Bunch Red Bore Kale; 1 Pint of strawberries and....
Pac Choi -or- Napa Cabbage
Sauerkraut -or- Onion Puree -or- Strawberries


Vermont Soy Salad Dressing
Deborah's Pullet Eggs
Vermont Soy Artisan Tofu
and Honey Gardens Apitherapy Honey

Hen of the Wood Folks - will finally receive their cucumbers!

This Week is the LAST Spring Share Delivery
This is the last week of the Good Eats Spring Share. I will be sending a survey out to you all later this week. Your participation will help us improve future shares and systems. Please take time to fill it out! Many, many thanks to all of you for being part of the share.

Summer Share Sign Up
I am guessing that by the end of this week we will likely have filled the Vegetable Only and Localvore Shares. I believe there will still be some room in the Meat Share. If you haven't signed up but still plan on joining, send your sign up forms and checks immediately. Shares are filled on a first come, first serve basis. If you do not make it into the share I will let you know.

Vegetable/Localvore - $748 (avg. $44/week)
Vegetable Only - $493 (avg. $29 a week)
Meat Share - $199 (avg. $50 a month)

Pete's Musings
Hi Everybody. Thanks for joining this share period. As I cruised around the farm yesterday enjoying the splendor of spring I tried to really appreciate what we have here.

Six piglets rooting in the mud, feasting on washhouse waste and generally enjoying being pigs. Bright white chickens newly on pasture discovering the wonder of grass, bugs and worms. Strawberries ripening in the bright sun, and tomatoes red nearby in the greenhouse. Amazing foot and half long cucumbers emerging from the greenhouse daily, freed from plants that are already 11 feet tall. Vibrant fields of baby greens in a range of color from the deep green spinach to pale yellow golden endive. Thousands of garlic plants getting ready to sprout scapes and size up their bulbs and potatoes beginning to form new potatoes. A new transplanter that makes life easier for the workers and waters the starts as they are set in the ground so that they can be tranplanted even in the middle of a hot day. It is a dream come true for me to be involved in this diverse operation and to work with the people who hustle all day long to make it happen. Thank you for being our partners in this local food production project. We hope to see you again whether it is in the next share period or perhaps this fall. Best ~Pete

Localvore 'Lore
We have a Vermont Soy double header this week. The Sesame Soy dressing included in the share was created especially for Good Eats. Using fresh mint that Meg picked and delivered to Vermont Soy and combining that with some of their Baked Maple Ginger Tofu, garlic, tamari, toasted sesame oil, sunflower oil, apple cider vinegar and water they have created this light and creamy dressing. Drizzle it onto a salad or into a sandwich or wrap, set it out as a veggie and cracker dip, or apply it as a sauce over pasta or rice (see recipe below). It's truly delicious. All of the ingredients are organic. If you have feedback, please email Vermont Soy, they'd love to hear about it! We also have Vermont Soy's Artisan Tofu this week. This is their original handcrafted tofu made from VT grown, non GMO soybeans.

From Honey Garden's Apiaries in Ferrisburgh we have Todd Hardie's Apitherapy honey. I met Todd in 2000 when I called him to ask about getting started with bees. He has has been a patient teacher in lessons of bees (and life) since then. What honeybees are capable of never ceases to amaze me. The one pound of honey you are receiving today represents the collective flight by the bees of 24,000 miles and their visits to three to nine million flowers. Wow. Honey has antibiotic properties that have long been known, but are only recently being researched and tested. Scientists at Cornell University, Geneva, New York report “Honey has been used as a topical and gastrointestinal remedy for thousands of years, and has recently gained recognition from the medical field. The growth of many microorganisms associated with disease or infection is inhibited by honey.” Researchers recently tested honey collected from certain areas of the world long reputed to have super therapeutic potential. They found that there were antibiotic compounds in flowers the bees in those regions collected from that were then concentrated in their honey. Understanding the healing properties of honey, Honey Gardens has diversified and they produce a number of other products besides honey, including an excellent cough syrup, an immune system boosting tonic made with elderberries, a salve and a throat spray and honey wine (a balm for the soul). From Honey Gardens website:

Apitherapy honey has never been heated or filtered, and thus it retains the beneficial traces of pollen, propolis, and beeswax, which the flowers and bees have provided. These contain healthful minerals, vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, and carbohydrates. Honey forms crystals around these particles, which you see on the surface or by holding a jar up to the light. Within a month or so after the fall harvest, Apitherapy honey will crystallize. To soften or re-liquefy honey, place it in a warm place or in warm water.

And still there's more. Finally, we have in our midst a nearby farm capable of producing enough farm fresh, pastured high quality eggs for Good Eats. Our own Deborah Rosewolf has been talking about a "Coming Out Party for the Girls" to celebrate the start of the egg laying of her young flock of hens. The eggs you will receive this week may be smaller than you are used to. These are "pullet eggs", eggs laid by young hens. Hens begin to lay at around 5 months of age and their eggs start small and quickly size up. In the weeks to come the eggs will become larger and larger until we will probably struggle to close the lids on the egg cartons. Yet even with these little eggs, you may come across a double yolker!

Meat Share
Finally we have Pete's chicken again to offer you in the meat share this week! For your grilling pleasure we have North Hollow Farm grass fed and finished rib or Delmonico steaks. From Neil Urie's Bonnieview Farm we have grass fed ground lamb or kabob meat. And from Greenfield Highland Beef we have organic stew beef. All of these meats come from farms who raise their animals on pasture. The benefits of eating grass fed meats are numerous: lower fat, higher CLAs, higher Omega 3s (nearly non existent in animals not on pasture), higher in Vitamins E and A contained in the plants the animals eat. And because feed is not grown, harvested, stored and trucked to feed these animals, grass fed production is better for the enviroment. We are lucky to live in a place where there are so many choices for high quality, conscientiously raised meats.


Braised Tofu and Greens in Curried Coconut Milk
Adapted from a recipe in Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

3 large onions
1 28 oz can tomatoes
2 TB sunflower oil
salt and black pepper
2 TB garam masala or curry powder
14 oz tofu
2 cups potatoes, 1/2 inch dice
3 cups shredded or chopped greens (kale, pac choi, chard, beet greens)

In a food processor, puree the tomatoes and onion. Put the oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the onion tomato mixture and the potatoes, along with some salt and pepper and the spice mixture, and cook stirring occasionally until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the greens and the coconut milk and bring to just about a boil (but try not to boil much) and then simmer gently until greens are wilted and tender (Kale will take a bit longer than the others). Serve over rice and garnish with freshly chopped cilantro.

Vermont Soy Sesame Noodles w/ Greens and Cilantro
This is a dinner idea rather than a recipe and quantities of ingredients could vary widely according to taste. I think it could be very good dressed and served cold as well.

1 TB oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 -2 bunches greens (Pac Choi or Kale would be my first choices), stemmed and chopped saving the chopped Pac Choi stems
Asian soba noodles or other pasta (or brown rice)
Vermont Soy Sesame Dressing
3-4 chopped Scallions
2-4 TB Cilantro

Start a pot of water boiling for rice or pasta. Add your rice or pasta and cook according to directions. In the final 10 minutes before your rice or pasta is finished, add oil to a skillet. When hot, add onion and garlic and simmer until soft being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the greens according to which parts need the most cooking time (Pac Choi stems first, kale a few minutes later, and Pac Choi greens last). In last 2 minutes toss in the scallions. Remove from heat. Drain pasta and put back in pot. Add the greens to the pasta (or rice), add Vermont Sesame Soy Dressing and cilantro to taste.

Simple Swiss Chard
This is a simple quick and delicious way to prepare chard or beet greens as a side dish. It will be delightful with Cranberry Bob's Balsamic.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch Swiss chard, stalks discarded, leaves cut into wide ribbons
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil on a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and cook until tender and aromatic, about 2 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and balsamic vinegar; cook and stir until the chard is wilted and tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Raw Honey Mustard Dressing
From the Honey Gardens website. Makes about ¾ cup of dressing.

1/3 cup raw honey
2 tsp regular yellow mustard
¼ cup oil,
2 T any good vinegar
2 T water and a dash of salt and pepper
Add ¼ tsp dried dill weed
¼ tsp dried thyme

Blend well.

Citrus Herb Marinade
This is the standard steak marinade in our house. The steaks that meat share members will receive tomorrow will be wonderful with this marinade - I'd be preparing it tonight! Citrus really works well to tenderize a piece of meat and this marinade never disappoints. It is quick to prepare and substitutions work out just fine. You can prepare it ahead of time and it can sit in the fridge for up to a week.

Combine and then place with steaks in a ziplock bag or other sealed container.
1/4 cup sunflower oil or olive oil
1.5 TB lemon juice
1.5 TB orange juice
1/3 c parsley (or not, we often don't have it on hand and skip)
1.5 tsp dried thyme
1 crumbled bay leaf
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1/4 - 1/2 tsp black pepper

Grilled Thai Chicken
This is a meal I have made numerous times that always gets rave reviews and the cilantro in today's share made me think of adding it here. It does require a quartered bird, but it's well worth the effort.

1 Chicken - Quartered, skin removed

1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and ground
1 TB white peppercorns, toasted and ground
15 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup minced cilantro stems (from about 1 large bunch)
1/4 cup soy
2 TB vegetable oil

After toasting and grinding seeds, add other marinade ingredients to food processor and blend until smooth. Add marinade to chicken parts in a ziplock bag or other sealed container. Marinate for 1-8 hours, turning container periodically to coat chicken.

Grill or bake chicken

Serve w/ sweet and sour sauce (yield 1/2 cup):
1 TB dried red chile flakes
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 TB rice vinegar
7 cloves of garlic
Toast chiles until fragrant (1-2 mins). Add salt, sugar, rice vinegar, cook until dissolved. Stir in garlic and remove from heat and cool completely before serving.

Serve with rice and Wilted Asian Greens from the May 6, 2009 newsletter posted on Pete's blog site.

Shepherd's Pie with Carmelized Onions and Cheddar Smash
From Cooking with Shelburne Farms.

For the Carmelized Onions
1.5 TB Olive Oil
1 lb Onions (about 3 medium), thinly sliced crosswise into rounds
1 tsp kosher salt

For the Potato Smash
1.5 lbs potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
2 garlic cloves, smashed with the flat of a knife
1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 stick butter, cut into 4 pieces

For the Lamb Filling
1/2 TB olive oil
2 medium carrots, scrubbed trimmed and finely diced (about 1.5 cups)
1 lb ground lamb
3/4 tsp fresh thyme minced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 TB flour
1/2 TB tomato paste (or ketchup)
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup grated cheddar

Make the carmelized onions (up to one week ahead):
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium hear. Add onions and turn heat down to medium low. Sprinkle onions with salt and cook, stirring frequently to make sure they brown evenly, for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown and soft. Set aside.

Make the smashed potatoes (up to 24 hours ahead):
Place a colander in a pot large enough to accommodate it, fill pot with water to bottom of colander, add potatoes and garlic cloves and sprinkle them with salt. Cover, set over high heat, and bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to active simmer and steam for 25-30 minutes until they break apart easily when poked. Remove colander from pot, pour water from pot, return potatoes and garlic to the pot. Cover with a clean dish towel and let potatoes dry out for about 5 minutes (but do not let them cool before mashing). Add the butter to the pot and use a potato masher to smash the potatoes and garlic until blended, but not smooth. Set aside.

Make the meat filling and finish pie:
In a large skillet set over med-high heat, heat olive oil until hot. Add diced carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes until softened. Add lamb, thyme, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally for 8-10 minutes until the meat is no longer pink. Pour off the fat and discard. Sprinkle flour over the meat and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Then stir in the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes longer. Pour in the stock, along with half of the carmelized onions. Increase the heat to high and simmer until gravy thickens slightly.

Spread lamb into a shallow casserole or baking pan. Spread potatoes on top. Distribute the remaining carmelized onions over the potatoes, and then sprinkle the cheddar in top. Bake until top is golden and crusty, about 20 minutes.


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