Good Eats Newsletter - November 11, 2009

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains
Braising Greens; 2 Stalks of Brussel Sprouts; 3 lbs Mixed Potatoes; 1 Sunshine Squash; 2 lbs Yellow Storage Onions; 1 Bunch of Mixed Kale; Upland Cress or 1 Bunch Dandelion Greens; 2 Heads of Garlic;

The following sites will also receive 1 Bunch of Cilantro:
Craftsbury, Newport, Johnson, Laughing Moon, Concept 2, Hardwick, Montpelier Mud, and National Life

Those that don't get Cilantro this week will get Cilantro or its equivalent next week.

Localvore Offerings Include:
Red Hen Bread
Tullochgorum Farm White Lightning Popcorn
Vermont Cranberry Company Fresh Cranberries

Please Be Attentive When Picking Up Your Share!
Hi Members,
We are having considerably more pick-up snafus than in the past. Some have definitely been our fault and this week we are making the necessary changes to fix those problems. Some are the fault of members who are not following the pickup sheet instructions. Please read the pick-up instructions sheet carefully and pick your items as instructed. When you pick up more than your share we have to replace the missing items that others do not receive. We are replacing so many items that it is beginning to affect the profitability of Good Eats. We want to keep providing you with great food at the lowest cost possible so please do your best to pickup properly. Thanks everyone. ~ Pete

Things We Will Re-Use
Please bring back your vegetable bags and other clean grocery bags, egg cartons, and the plastic containers that we send out the pickles and kraut and such in. You can leave them at your pick up site and Tim will pick them up the following week. Please stick to these items or check with me first of you think there are others we might like. We have made a choice not to re-use the rubber bands and some of the other accoutrements you might get in the share.

And please, please, please DO NOT bring other recyclables or other household goods to pick up sites. One of our hosts reported that two weeks in a row boxes of free cast off coffee mugs, kitchen accessories, knit blankets and scooby doo sneakers have appeared on his porch on pick up day. He would prefer his porch not to look like a second hand store. We are guests at the homes and businesses of our site hosts. Please respect the commitment they are making and tread lightly.

Thanksgiving Week Pick-Up is on TUESDAY
Yes, it's true. Thanksgiving Week, we will be delivering your shares on Tuesday November 24th. We did this last year at the request of many because so many people travel for the Thanksgiving holiday. Ideally, this will give you a chance to receive your food and take it with your or get a jump on your Thanksgiving cooking. Mark your calendars!

Nov. 18 Bulk Order
Order your local Thanksgiving feast! We are taking bulk orders for potatoes, winter squash, carrots, onions, beets, turnips, celeriac and lots more root and storage crops. From the localvore list you can order local organic oats, popcorn, tamari, miso, sunflower oil and more. You can line up your Pastured Thanksgiving Turkey too. There's still time to get in on this first bulk order of the season. If I receive your form by Friday Nov 13, I can get you into the system for a bulk order delivery on November 18. Click here to go directly to the bulk order page and download an order form.

Pete's Pastured Chicken
It's nearing the end of the chicken growing season but we have some birds in our freezer for your ordering pleasure. You can order as few as 3 chickens and have them delivered to your Good Eats pick up site most weeks except for the weeks that we deliver meat shares (the first Wednesday of each month).

Visit the Pastured Chicken page for order info including available delivery dates and to download an order form.

Our birds are raised on endless grass and greens throughout their lives. The nutrients in all the forage they consume is stored in their meat making this meat far more nutritious than most chickens you can find out there in the marketplace. Our chickens live a charmed chicken existence roaming the fields to their hearts delight in the good company of our six pigs. They are also the happy recipients of lots of the veggie seconds that come from the washhouse as well.

"Free range" is the the term used to describe chickens that have access to sunlight and fresh air. Sadly though, most free range chickens on the market never taste a blade of grass. They are housed in barns with access to a small area outside that they can visit (usually very overgrazed and covered in poop). Free Range is far better than the industrial model which maintains a much higher animal density, feeds lots of antibiotics, and gives animals no access to outside at all. But pastured poultry is a far and away the healthier (for human and bird alike) and conscientious choice.

This is healthy, nutritious, vitamin packed meat that you can feel great about eating. Only $3.75/lb.

Storage and Use Tips

Brussel Sprouts - This week we're providing the sprouts still attached to the stalk. Store the whole stalk wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge and then remove the little heads just before you're going to cook them. They will stay fresher this way. Don't leave them too long though because they are better the fresher they are! Brussel sprouts can be cooked a variety of ways, and can be eaten raw as well (they can be shaved fine and tossed into a salad for example). They are really great roasted as it brings out their sweetness. A recipe for Roasted Brussels is below plus a scrumptious sounding Brussels slaw.

Dandelion Greens - These nutrition packed greens can be eaten raw in salads, braised or sauteed, or tossed into dishes calling for greens. The level of bitterness in the greens depends on several factors from the age of the greens to amounts of rainfall and sunlight they have received while they have grown. How to tell? Try a piece! Bitter greens will mellow in flavor with more time in the skillet. They are delicious sautéed for about 20 minutes with onions and garlic in olive oil, with perhaps a little homemade wine added before they're done. Some people like to cook them with sweet vegetables like sliced carrots and parsnips to reduce any bitterness.

Localvore Lore
Randy and Eliza at Red Hen Bakery have baked their new Cyrus Pringle bread this week, made with the organic Vermont flour from Aurora Farms Organic, organic whole wheat flour from Gleason Grains, baker’s yeast, organic barley malt, & salt. They have just started selling this bread to stores in the area but instead of the round loaves, they have baked us Batards this week (slightly shorter and fatter than a baguette). It's pretty exciting to have an all Vermont bread around! Randy would love to hear your feedback on the Cyrus Pringle so please email him if you have comments!

It's harvest time at the Vermont Cranberry Company and Cranberry Bob delivered super fresh cranberries for the share yesterday. Fresh cranberries will stay fresh for several weeks in the fridge so you can save them for use in a Thanksgiving dish if you desire. They also freeze very well so if you don't have plans to use them right away, save them for later. Cranberry sauce is incredibly easy to make from scratch - I have provided a recipe below.

A couple times a year, Lorraine and Steve Lalonde load up their truck and bring us their farm grown popcorn. Tullochgorum Farm is in Quebec, and the Lalondes grow two varieties of popping corn, a blue variety and a white. Last year they had a crop loss on the blue, and it's still too early yet to tell whether there will be blue this year. If it pans out, we'll be getting the blue popcorn on their next trip to see us. You won't be disappointed by the white though. This is the most delicious popcorn I have eaten. It's noticeably different and very flavorful. This photo of Steve and Lorraine was taken in front of their organically grown fields of popping corn.


Roasted Brussel Sprouts
from the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

1.5 lbs brussel sprouts
3 TB good olive oil
3/4 tsp kosher salt
.5 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly. Sprinkle with more kosher salt ( I like these salty like French fries), and serve immediately.

Brussels Sprout Slaw with Mustard Dressing and Maple-Glazed Pecans
Bon Appétit November 2009. Serves 8.

Vegetable oil
1 cup large pecan halves
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (grade B is best)
1/2 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt plus additional for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup whole grain Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed

Preheat oven to 325°F.
Make the Candied Pecans:
Oil a large sheet of foil. Place pecans on small rimmed baking sheet. Whisk maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in small bowl. Add to nuts and toss to coat; spread in single layer. Bake nuts 5 minutes. Stir. Continue to bake nuts until toasted and glaze is bubbling thickly, about 6 minutes. Immediately transfer nuts to prepared foil and separate. Cool completely.

Make the Dressing:
Whisk mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, and sugar in small bowl; whisk in oil. Season with coarse salt and pepper.

Cook the Brussels:
Bring large pot of water to boil. Add 1 tablespoon coarse salt. Add brussels sprouts. Cook until crisp-tender and still bright green, about 5 minutes. Drain; rinse with cold water. Cool on paper towels. Using processor fitted with 1/8- to 1/4-inch slicing disk, slice brussels sprouts. Transfer to large bowl.

Toss brussels sprouts with enough dressing to coat. Let marinate 30 to 60 minutes. Mix in some pecans. Place slaw in serving bowl. Top with remaining pecans.

Cranberry Sauce
This is a tried and true, simple cranberry sauce recipe. I make this sauce every year or so and can lots of it so I can pull out a jar whenever needed. It will also freeze great and keeps in the fridge for a long time too.

3 cups cranberries
1.5 cups water
1 to 1.5 cups sugar

Boil sugar and water together 5 minutes; add cranberries and boil without stirring (5 minutes) until all skins pop open. Remove from heat when popping stops and allow the sauce to cool.

Gingered Winter Squash and Kale (or other Greens)
I have been making this dish several times a week lately. I just can't get enough of it! And it's incredibly healthy. Even my sometimes picky spouse hasn't yet objected to my serving it - AGAIN. This is less a recipe than an idea - amounts of things are totally flexible, as are substitutions.

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, minced
vegetable oil
Braising liquid: water or broth or cider
1/2 - 1 TB Tamari
1-2 cups of cooked winter squash
1/2 bunch of kale or other greens, chopped

optional: a drizzle of maple syrup

Heat a skillet or sauce pot over medium/low heat. Add oil and the garlic and ginger and heat a couple minutes, adding some liquid to the pan if the garlic threatens to burn. Once fragrant, add the greens with the braising liquid of your choice and the tamari and cover to wilt the greens well. You may need as much as 1/4 to half cup of braising liquid to cook the greens through. When greens are cooked, add the squash and stir it all together. Taste. You might want a drizzle more of tamari. Sometimes I add a drizzle of maple syrup.

Serve alongside brown rice (and salmon!) for a delicious meal.

Classic Polenta Gratin with Greens Recipe
Polenta is a Mediterranean standby: coarse-ground cornmeal is cooked until it becomes tender and creamy and it is often served with vegetables and cheese as a golden, tasty alternative to pasta. The traditional stove top method of cooking requires much stirring, but this one is much simpler. Adapted from Cooking New American, by the Editors of Fine Cooking (Taunton Press, 2004). Serves 4.

1 cup medium-ground or coarse cornmeal, preferably organic stone-ground

4 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 clove garlic

1/4 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes

freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

1 pound mixed chopped greens (braising greens, chard, kale with some dandelion thrown in or cress too)
1/3 cup Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. In an oiled 3-quart ovenproof skillet, stir together the cornmeal, water, and salt. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a very large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic, chile flakes, and a pinch of black pepper; cook for 1 minute. Pour half the oil into a 1 1/2 or 2-quart ovenproof serving dish, reserving the garlic in the skillet, and then pour another tablespoon into a cup to be drizzled over the final dish. Brush the seasoned oil all over the inside of the serving dish. Add the chopped greens to the oil and garlic remaining in the skillet, cover, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until wilted and tender, about 10 minutes. Discard the garlic. Season the greens with salt and pepper. Uncover the greens and increase the heat at the end to evaporate any liquid.
3. When the polenta has cooked 40 minutes, quickly stir in the greens and half of the cheese until combined. Taste and add salt if needed. Transfer to the oiled ovenproof serving dish, drizzle with the reserved oil, sprinkle with the remaining cheese, and bake until the cheese is melted, another 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Dandelion Greens
Dandelion greens are cooked with chopped onion, minced garlic, chile pepper, then topped with grated Parmesan cheese. Serves 2.

1/2 pound dandelion greens
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 whole small dried hot chile pepper, seeds removed, crushed
1/8 cup cooking oil
salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese

Cut leaves into 2-inch pieces. Cook greens uncovered in small amount of salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Sauté onion, garlic, and chile pepper in oil. Drain greens; add to onion garlic mixture. Taste dandelion greens and season with salt and pepper. Serve dandelion greens with grated Parmesan cheese.


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