Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Good Eats Newsletter - December 18, 2013

We are closed next week so there will not be a CSA delivery.  Happy Holidays!

Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members

This week your bag will contain:
Braise mix; Potatoes; Sweet Potatoes; Carrots; Celeriac; Onions; Kale; Pac Choi OR Lettuce; Napa Cabbage; Garlic

Localvore and Pantry Offerings Include:

Aurora Farms Organic White Flour
Pete's Greens Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian Kimchi
Sweet Rowan Farmer's Cheese

IMPORTANT! Please take Veggie kimchi ONLY
if you are signed up as a
Localvore Vegetarian or a Pete's Pantry Vegetarian.
Otherwise take a non-vegetarian kimchi.
Please check Names list at your pick up site if you are unsure.

Half Veggie Only Members
Braise mix; Sweet Potatoes; Carrots; Onions;
Kale; Napa Cabbage; Garlic

Roots Cellar Share take an ORANGE BAG containing:
Sweet Potatoes; Carrots; Onions; Kale;
Napa Cabbage; Garlic

Holiday Delivery Schedule

We will NOT deliver next week, 12/25.

We will deliver the following week on Tuesday, December 31st for all Wednesday sites, and Thursday, January 2nd, for Thursday sites.

Please email me if you need to make any delivery changes to your share.

T-shirts are here!

If you signed up for a localvore or veggie only share before September 22nd your t-shirt will be delivered this week. 
Your shirt will be in a box at your site with your name on it.  Enjoy!

Happy Holidays from all of us at the farm!

Some of the crew with the Pete's Greens Christmas tree that our friend Greg Williams brought in for us.  Front row from left to right: Tim, Molly, Kristen, Kathleen and Brittany.  Back row: Matt, Tim, and Jonathan

Pete and Isaac in the cooler

Storage and Use Tips

This week's braise mix is a mix of spinach, red russian kale, pac choi, and cress.

Russet potatoes - Also known as Idaho or baking potatoes, Russets are in the class of starchy potatoes, as opposed to waxy varieties like red and fingerling. They are high in vitamin C and B6, as well as natural sugars. Russets make great baking potatoes, and are ideal for mashing and making fries. Store potatoes in a cool dark place.  Storing your potatoes in the refrigerator can make their starch turn to sugar and therefore should be avoided as doing so can give the russet potato an unpleasant, sweet taste.

Sweet Potatoes - Sweet potatoes!  Sweet potatoes really prefer a warmer climate, but with a little cajoling and TLC a decent crop can be harvested even in our northern climate.   These are sweet and delicious.  Roast them, either whole or cut into wedges or pieces, in a 400F oven until they are soft and easily pierced with a fork.  Store in a dark, dry, cool (55 degree) place, in a loose plastic bag or open to the air.  Stored this way, they may keep up to 3 weeks.  Do not refrigerate, as cold temperature alters the flavor of the potatoes.

Carrots - Carrots should be stored loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer, where they will keep for a couple of weeks. Store them away from apples, pears and other produce that create ethylene gas, which causes them to become bitter.

Celeriac doesn't win any beauty contest but celery root (celeriac) has a creamy, delicious inside with a mild celery flavor that adds depth and character to ordinary dishes.  It's excellent storage ability makes celeriac a popular vegetable for winter dishes.  Excellent mashed, as a roasted vegetable, in soups, or raw in salads.  The easiest way to prepare celeriac is to cut it into 1 inch thick slices.  Lay the slices flat and cut off the exterior without cutting away too much of the creamy flesh.  Store loosely wrapped in plastic in the fridge for 1-2 weeks or longer.

Red kale is just as nutritious as it's green cousin.  Kale is great steamed or sauteed, or added into soups or stews.  A longer cooking time is usually best as it tends to bring out the natural sweetness of the greens.

Pac choi - A member of the brassicas family along with cabbage and kale, pac choi (aka bok choy or Chinese cabbage) originated in China, where it has been grown for over 1500 years.  As 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. It's also great in stir-fries and sautes and in asian soups (and other soups too).  Pac Choi has a mild flavor - the leaves taste similar to Swiss chard and the stems (called ribs) are deliciously crispy and can be substituted for celery in recipes.  My favorite way to cook it is to halve or quarter it lengthwise (depending on the size), brush it with olive or sunflower oil and throw it on the grill. Prepared this way, it makes an excellent and easy side. Store pac choi loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.

Also known as Chinese cabbage, the flavor of Napa cabbage is somewhat milder and a bit sweeter than that of regular green cabbage. It is delicious raw or cooked, and can be substituted for regular cabbage in most recipes. A head of Napa Cabbage in the fridge lends itself to a wide variety of meal options, from salads and slaws, to sandwich greens, stir fries, soup additions, and more. Nearly all of the head can be used, just not the tough center core. If your Napa sits a while in the fridge and some leaves are limp, you can refresh it with a good soak in cold water. Napa cabbage should be stored unwashed in your crisper drawer, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag.

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.

Localvore Lore

We teamed up with Michelle Guenard to make this spicy kimchi using our vegetables and her recipe (thanks Michelle!).  It was really fun to work with her on this.  Her kimchi has received rave reviews so we are excited to have the opportunity to bring it to you.  This spicy condiment is a real treat and is extremely healthy for you.  It's loaded with vitamins A, B, and C, but most importantly has "healthy bacteria" in it that aid in digestion.  It's one of the world's healthiest foods!  This kimchi was made with our own Organic Napa Cabbage, Carrots, Onion, Daikon Radish, Water, Red Chile Pepper Flakes, Rice Flour, Sugar, Garlic and Ginger Root.  The non-vegetarian version also includes Fish Sauce made with anchovies, salt, and sugar.  Check out Michelle's Facebook page for lots of kimchi tips and recipes.

What to do with your kimchi?  Eat it as a banchan as some Koreans do (serve a little bowl of it with every meal), stir it into rice or eggs, fry it into kimchi pancakes, or include on a grilled cheese sandwich (my favorite way to eat it).

**Please be careful selecting your kimchi!  We leave enough veggie kimchi at sites for Vegetarian Localvore and Vegetarian Pantry Members.  All others should select non-vegetarian Kimchi.  Both kimchis are clearly marked on the lids.  If you aren't certain of your share type, please check the names list when you check off at your site.

The white flour you are receiving this week was organically grown in Charlotte by Tom Kenyon at Aurora Farms.   This flour was a collaboration by Tom and Randy George of Red Hen Baking Company.  Prior to the first harvest in 2009, we had nothing like it available to us that was grown locally here in Vermont.  It's a lower protein flour, more of an all purpose flour than a bread flour, though still with enough protein and gluten strength to bake breads (Red Hen's Cyrus Pringle bread uses this flour).  I like to use whole wheat flour as much as possible but sometimes it's really nice to use white flour, especially one that's organic and local.  We thought this flour would come in handy for baking all your Christmas cookies and holiday treats. 

Sweet Rowen VT Herb Farmer's Cheese.  This is a great spreadable cheese.  It goes wonderfully on bread, crackers and bagels, and would be awesome on a holiday cheese plate.  This cheese is made by our friend Paul Lisai who's farm is right down the road from us.  Paul started his grass based dairy Sweet Rowan Farmstead several years ago, working on his herd and beginning to develop his producs.  He was off to a great start selling small batches of milk that he bottled in a rented creamery when that creamery burned in the Fall of 2011 (he shared that creamery space with Ploughgate, some of you may remember that cheese).  It was a tough time but Paul reorganized and built a creamery on his family farm and was up and running again.  Paul milks his small grass fed herd of Randall Lineback cows (a VT heritage breed) and sells his pasteurized milk direct to his customers.  He also makes this cheese!  Enjoy!


Sweet Potato and Greens Gratin
Sweet potatoes and greens are a great pair. 

2lbs Sweet Potatoes
1 bunch Kale
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
Salt, red pepper flakes, cumin or old bay seasoning to taste
1/3 cup flour
2 cups milk
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan or other salty cheese

Scrub & cut sweet potatoes into 1/4" slices. Place in a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook a few minutes, until barely tender, drain into a colander and set aside.

Combine flour and spices to taste in a little bowl.

Meanwhile, wash, remove middle stem, & chop the collards. Dice an onion and mince a couple garlic cloves. Saute the onion & garlic with olive oil and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Stir in the kale and sprinkle with salt. Saute until just tender & still bright green, a couple minutes.

In a buttered baking dish, layer the sweet potatoes and the kale. First 1/3 sweet potatoes, 1/2 kale, sprinkling the layers with the seasoned flour. Continue layering, ending with the sweet potatoes. Pour over the milk, sprinkle with the cheese. Bake @400 for about 30 minutes, until bubbly and golden.

Carrots with Coconut Butter and Lime
This recipe comes from the book "Vegetable Literacy" by Deborah Madison.  It's a great veggie resource filled with interesting facts about all kinds of veggies, as well as wonderful recipes.  This recipe caught my eye as it's so simple yet so delicious.  You should be able to find coconut butter at a co-op or you can make your very own.  Get a bag of shredded unsweetened coconut and blend for about 3-5 minutes until smooth.  If it doesn't come together try adding some coconut oil to make it gel.  Store the butter in a glass jar and use it anywhere you have a recipe that calls for vegetable oil or regular butter.

1 pound carrots, scrubbed and sliced into rounds or on the diagonal 1/2 inch thick
Sea Salt
About 2 tbsp coconut butter
1 lime

In a pot, bring 4 or more cups of water to a boil.  Add the carrots and 1 tsp salt and simmer until the carrots are tender to the touch of a knife tip, about 15 minutes.  Drain well, then return the carrots to the pan for a few minutes to dry in the residual heat.  Add the coconut butter, toss to coat the carrots, and then halve the lime and squeeze over the carrots.  Taste for salt and add more if needed.

Scalloped Celeriac and Potatoes
Here’s a variation on a classic that just might be better than the original. Traditionally, scalloped potatoes are cooked in milk or cream; here, however, we cook them in stock, and the result is a more flavorful and delightfully lighter dish. The celeriac adds a brightness that assertively sets the dish apart from its classic cousin. Friend of the Farm.

Serves 6
butter for greasing the baking dish
1 pound celeriac, peeled, halved, sliced about 1/8 inch thick
1 pound baking potatoes, peeled, sliced about 1/8 inch thick
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated Gruyère or domestic Swiss cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups chicken, beef, or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 2-quart baking dish with butter.

Place the celeriac and potatoes in alternating layers in the baking dish, seasoning every few layers with salt and pepper. At about the halfway point, add 1/3 cup cheese in an even layer; sprinkle with the thyme. Continue with the celeriac and potatoes, until you have used all of your slices (don’t go all the way to the top edge; leave a little room to allow the liquid to boil).

Pour the stock over the celeriac and potatoes. Dot with butter. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 15 minutes more. Sprinkle the remaining 2/3 cup cheese over the top layer, add several grindings of fresh pepper, and bake until the cheese turns golden, about 15 minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Potato & Celeriac Mashers
This beats plain old mashed potatoes any day.  This is how I usually prepare my mashed potatoes and my kids don't even know about the extra nutrition they're getting from the celeriac.

4-6 potatoes, baked or boiled
1 celeriac, peeled and cubed
2 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed
1/4 c butter (to taste)
1/4 c creme fraiche or sour cream
pinch nutmeg
salt and pepper

Cover celeriac pieces with cold water, bring to a boil until tender, about 30 minutes, drain water.  Cut up butter and place in bottom of a large bowl.  Add cooked potatoes, cooked celeriac, garlic and mash all together.  Add the cream to desired consistency.  If you want it really smooth mix with a hand held mixer.  Season to taste.

Napa Cabbage Salad with Peanuts and Ginger
This recipe from Martha Stewart is a great way to use your napa cabbage

2 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 piece fresh ginger (1 inch long), peeled and grated
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 medium napa cabbage (about 1 pound), cored and cut into bite-size pieces
1 red bell pepper (seeds and ribs removed), thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh, cilantro
1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, ginger, and oils until dressing is smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine cabbage, bell pepper, cilantro, and peanuts. Add dressing to taste, and toss to combine. Serve.


Kimchi Ramen
This recipe is a great way to incorporate kimchi into your diet. 

2 cups ramen or soba noodles
1/2 cup sliced green onion
1 poached egg
2 cups quick broth
4 cups water
1 onion
1/2 apple, sliced
3 lemon slices
1/4 cup sliced shallots
5 garlic cloves
1″ nub ginger
1/2 cup kimchi
3 tbsp miso paste

For the broth, mix together all ingredients (save for the miso) and simmer for 30 minutes. Mix in miso after 30 minutes and remove from heat. While the broth simmers, cook the noodles, slice the green onions, and poach an egg with your method of preference.
Combine Noodles, 1 heaping cup of kimchi, 1/2 cup green onions and pour over 2 cups of broth and top with egg.


Baked Sweet Potato Fries
This is my favorite way to eat sweet potatoes.  Feel free to mix up the spices to change the flavor.  Cajun works really well as well as just plain old salt and pepper.

Vegetable oil for parchment
2 large sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds) skins on, scrubbed and cut into 4-inch sticks, each 1/2 inch thick
1 tbsp olive oil
Mediterranean Spice

Preheat oven to 450 degrees with racks in the upper and middle positions. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and rub with oil.

Mix potatoes, spices ,and oil in a bowl; stir to cover.  Place in a single layer on prepared baking sheets. Bake 10 minutes, then flip pieces over with a spatula. Rotate baking sheets from front to back and from one rack to the other. Bake until dark golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Good Eats Newsletter - December 11, 2013

Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members

This week your bag will contain:
Mesclun; Potatoes; Carrots; Beets; Lettuce;
Leek; Kale; Cress

Localvore and Pantry Offerings Include:
Amir Hebib's Mushrooms
VT Bean Crafters Organic Bean Burgers
Von Trapp Farmstead Oma Cheese

Half Veggie Only Members
Mesclun; Potatoes; Carrots; Leek; Kale; Cress

Roots Cellar Share take an ORANGE BAG containing:
Potatoes; Carrots; Leek; Kale; Cress

What to get for that hard to shop for friend or family member?

How about the gift
that keeps on giving
week after week?

There are 8 weeks left of the Fall/Winter share and you can purchase a pro-rated share.

People always tell us a
Good Eats share is like Christmas every week!

Visit our Fall/Winter webpage or email me with questions!

Storage and Use Tips

Nicola potatoes are golden skinned, golden fleshed potatoes that are truly all purpose. They are great for boiling, mashing or roasting and are plenty waxy enough to make excellent potato salad. Nicolas have a very special attribute among potatoes - they are low on the glycemic index compared to all other varieties. This means they don't cause the blood sugar spike that other varieties may cause, an issue that can wreak havoc with people with insulin resistance. They also have a yummy slightly nutty flavor, enjoy! Store in a cool, dark place to avoid sprouting.

Our red beets are brilliantly red and may be eaten cooked or raw.  They make a fabulous addition to salads and slaws when grated.  I like to grate some early in the week and place them in a tupperware and then sprinkle them into salads all week.  Roasted beets are extra delicious, roasting carmelizes the sugar in the beets. Cube beets and roast them in the oven with a drizzle of oil at 400F until they are tender and just browning at the edges. If you don't eat them all right away, cool and toss into a container and add these to salads.  The red beets will bleed when cooked so if preparing with other veggies be mindful of that fact that you will end up with a uniformly technicolor dish.

The lettuce this week is a mix of red frill, green frill, red oak leaf, and panisse lettuce. 

Leeks were once called the poor person's asparagus, but today are cherished for their culinary qualities right along side asparagus. Leeks tend to collect dirt in between the tops of their long leaves. It is important to wash between leaf folds to remove dirt or soak in a water bath and let dirt sink to bottom. Store wrapped in plastic in the fridge. Although the best quality is within the first few days, they can be stored for an extended amount of time in the fridge. Peel outer leaves if damaged and use tender inner stalks.

Upland cress - similar in appearance to its better-known cousin, watercress, upland cress has a deeper pungency with a unique twist between arugula and horseradish, pledging its allegience to the mustard family. Below the Mason Dixon line, upland cress is known as "creasy greens" and when stewed with ham hocks, is as loved a dish as black-eyed peas or cornbread. Traditionally gathered by foragers in the Appalachian Mountains who started looking out for the hearty winter leaves while there was still snow on the ground, the leaves were believed to have medicinal benefits and used in many folk recipes to help heal wounds. Those claims may not be entirely far-fetched as the cress is indeed rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, and calcium.

Use upland cress the same way you would watercress. Left raw, the leaves can be chopped and mixed into a salad, tucked into a sandwich, or tossed over broiled fish as a garnish. Use a food processor to blend a handful of upland cress with a cup of creme fraiche or sour cream and a few garlic cloves for a zesty side to grilled meats or blend into soups. Store in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer for 1-2 weeks.

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.

Localvore Lore

I'm happy that we have Amir's Oyster or Shiitake Mushrooms for you this week!  Mushrooms are so temperamental and weather dependent that we never know for sure whether they will work out when we schedule them.  It was looking iffy for this week but Amir pulled through with all that he had.  Amir started growing mushrooms in a mushroom house behind his home in Colchester in 2005.  He grows shiitakes and oysters (little clusters of trumpet shaped mushrooms) and sells them to restaurants and markets in our area as well as at the Burlington Farmers Market.  You can eat the whole mushroom stems and all.    The shiitakes have a deeper flavor, and are more hearty, enough so that they can be used in place of ground beef in some recipes.  Your bag will have one variety or the other.

I had the pleasure of meeting Amir last summer at the Burlington Farmers' Market where he sells his mushrooms.  I asked him for his favorite mushroom recipe and here's his response:  fry some onions, add cut up mushrooms and cook until soft.  Add an egg to the pan, cook, and enjoy!

We also have VT Bean Crafters Organic Black Bean Burgers and their new Sweet Sweet Harvest Burger.  These tasty black bean burgers are made largely with VT ingredients by Joe Bossen in Waitsfield, VT.  According to Joe, the Sweet Sweet Harvest burgers are made with sweet potatoes, sweet corn, summer squash, garlic scapes, their own maple-chipotle bbq sauce, kidney beans and more good stuff all from local organic farms.

Both varieties come baked so you only need to get them hot.  They do best pan-fried in cast iron with a bit of sunflower oil, but also cook well on grills and in toaster ovens.

To bake - brush lightly w//oil.  Bake on a greased pan for 8-12 mins at 400F.

To pan fry - set burner to med/hi.  Once hot, add a bit of oil and spread in pan, toss in burgers straight from freezer.  Cook first side til burgers slides freeely on the pan with light shaking.  Then flip and cook other side for a minute or two.  Try them crumbled into a tortilla with a fried egg and some relish or salsa on the side.  Mmmmm.

**Take 1 bag of frozen burgers which contains two 2-packs.**

Von Trapp Farmstead Oma Cheese.  This distinctive washed-rind/Tomme style organic unpasteurized cows milk cheese is aged at the Cellars at Jasper Hill for 60-90 days.  Oma balances slightly pungent and sweet flavors.  The semi-soft buttery paste is surrounded by an earthy rind which is thin and mild for the style.  This cheese is made in Waitsfield on a 40-cow family farm.  The Von Trapps are committed to making the highest quality cheese with the best milk possible, using traditional methods of small-scale production, continually striving to improve.   This cheese pairs well with many beverages but especially craft beers.


Kale-Potato Soup
This is a classic recipe from The New Laurel's Kitchen by Laurel Robertson, Carol Flinders, and Brian Ruppenthal.

1 large onion, chopped
1 TB butter
1 clove minced garlic
3-4 Nicola potatoes (cut into 1/2 - 1" pieces)
1 bunch of kale, stemmed and chopped
5 cups hot water or stock or combo
1/2 tsp salt, more to taste
black pepper, to taste

In a large sauce pan saute the onion in the butter until softened and slightly golden. About halfway, add the garlic. Add the potatoes and 2 cups of water. Simmer, covered, until potatoes start to soften around the edges. Meanwhile, wash the kale, remove stems, chop and steam them (although you can add them to the potatoes, this will result in a much stronger flavored soup). When the potatoes are really well done, puree half of them with the remaining water or stock and the salt and pepper to taste. Then combine all and heat gently, correcting the consistency by adding hot water or milk. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Curried Carrot Soup
This is a great recipe for when you have lots of carrots to use up. 

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon curry powder
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth (about 3 1/2 cups)
2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)

Heat butter in a Dutch oven or large (4- to 5-quart) saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, curry powder, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.

Add broth, carrots, and 3 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover, and simmer until carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.

In a blender**, puree soup in batches until smooth; transfer to a clean saucepan. Add more water to thin to desired consistency. Reheat, if necessary. Stir in lemon juice. Serve garnished with cilantro, if desired.

**Hot liquids will expand when blended, so be careful not to fill the jar of the blender more than halfway. To prevent the liquid from spattering, allow the heat to escape: Remove the cap from hole in lid, and cover lid with a dish towel when blending.

Beet Bourguignon
This is one of those dishes that works well making a day in a advance. The flavors will become more intense and the vegetables more tender.  This dish would be excellent paired with lentils, noodles, or mashed potatoes.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 small beets, peeled & quartered (we used Chioggia beets)
4 medium sized carrots, sliced in large pieces
2 sprigs thyme
sea salt & pepper to taste
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup red wine
2 cups vegetable stock
3 bay leaves
2 tsp arrowroot powder, solved in 2 tbsp water (optional)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped

Cooking the stew: Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or a large cast iron pot over medium heat. Stir in onions and garlic, sauté until soft. Toss beets, carrots, thyme and salt and pepper into the pan, cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the tomato paste, red vine, vegetable stock and bay leaves, let simmer on low heat for 40 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the lentils, mushrooms and pearl onions.

Searing the mushrooms and onions: Heat olive oil in a pan. Lower the heat and sear the mushrooms and onion, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden in color. Season to taste. Set aside.

Finishing the stew: Taste the stew, add more wine, stock or herbs if you like. If you prefer the stew a little thicker, add arrowroot mixture, but this is optional. Add mushrooms and onions and simmer for 10 more minutes.


Quick Pickled Beets
These pickled beets are ready in a snap after you have cooked the beets.  I tend to cook a lot of beets at once and eat some with my meal and then pickle some. These will keep in the fridge for a week.

2# beets, cooked, peeled, and cut into wedges
1/4 c minced scallions
1 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp oil
3 Tbsp vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
fresh black pepper

Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat gently. Toss with the warm beets and the scallions. Chill before serving. Even better the next day.

Pete's Greens Hearty Potato-Leek Soup
This is a hearty off-shoot of potato leek soup. It is a mild soup that can be altered with cream if you like a creamier soup or carrots if you want something a little more sweet, go on and see what is in your fridge and give it a try! I like to add a big dollop of creme friache or sour cream to mine just before it hits my spoon!

2 medium onions, chopped
2 Tbs cooking oil, butter or bacon drippings
2 quarts stock, chicken or vegetarian
4-6 medium potatoes, cut in large cubes
3/4 c leeks, thickly sliced
1 bunch upland cress, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tsp tarragon, dried
1/2 tsp dill, fresh or dried
salt and pepper

Saute onions gently until soft. Add stock, bay leaf, potatoes and celeriac and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Skim top of broth with a spoon removing scum on surface. Add leeks, tarragon, dill and simmer until potatoes and celeriac are soft. Add watercress and simmer another 5 minutes (no longer). Remove bay leaf. Puree soup with a handheld blender or food processor. Season to taste.

Russian Beet Salad
This is a sweet and tangy recipe that really accents the sweetness of the beet. Warm up and eat atop a bed of braised kale, or keep cool on a cold chopped bed of mesclun with walnuts and goat cheese with basalmic vinaigrette.

4-6 medium sized beets
3 Tbs apple cider vinegar
4 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs orange juice
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tsp caraway seeds
pinch of cloves
pinch of cinnamon
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon peel
1/2 tsp finely grated orange peel
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350F. Bake beets 1 hour or until soft. Cool and peel beets. Finely chop roasted beets. Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl, toss with beets and refrigerate several hours. Serve on your choice of greens.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Good Eats Newsletter - December 4, 2013

Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members

This week your bag will contain:
Mesclun; Potatoes; Carrots; Onions; Rutabaga;
Kale; Lettuce; Pac Choi; Celery; Garlic

Localvore and Pantry Offerings Include:
Elmore Mountain Rustic Bread
Butterworks Farm Organic Cornmeal
Pete's Greens Tomatillo Salsa
Tangletown Farm Eggs

Half Veggie Only Members
Mesclun; Carnival Squash; Potatoes; Onions;
Celery; Garlic; Pac Choi OR Lacinato Kale

Roots Cellar Share take an ORANGE BAG containing:
Potatoes; Carnival Squash; Onions; Celery; Garlic; Pac Choi OR Lacinato Kale

**Roots Cellar Share members - please note that your bag is now orange (instead of clear).
Meat Share Members:

It's a Meat Share Delivery Week

Vermont Farm Fund News

This week you will receive a letter from the Vermont Farm Fund in your veggie bags. We are super excited to share the news with you about the fund. 

As most of you know, Pete's Greens received tremendous support from our community after the fire that destroyed our barn and equipment in 2011.  With the generosity of our community and with low interest loans that were made available to us, we were able to recover.  We realized then how critical a zero or low interest could be for a farm facing the aftermath of a a fire, flood or other disaster or for a VT producer seeking funding for a new local food project. 

So, with some of the donations we received, and with the help of the nonprofit Center for an Agricultural Economy, we created and seeded the Vermont Farm Fund.  Since then the VFF has made 24 loans!  Emergency loans are made at 0% and loans for innovation are made at 3%.  One of the key advantages of the Vermont Farm Fund is that the approval process is simple and quick.  As loan payments are made each month, the VFF coffers are refilled and the money is available again to be loaned to another Vermont farm or producer in need.

Please take a moment to read through the information in your bags and consider making a tax-deductible donation to keep this fund helping VT farmers and producers.  Or click here to donate online.

Special thanks to Robin McDermott and Nancy Baron on all their hardwork this year on behalf of the Vermont Farm Fund.  Nancy built a whole new website for the fund, and the two of them have worked tirelessly helping to get the word out about the fund. Robin just singlehandedly put together a big Fall mailing and organized the inserts for this week. 

Giving Tuesday:  Consider a Donation to Salvation Farms

You are likely familiar with the gleaning projects Salvation Farms has coordinated throughout the state over the last several years. However, you may not have heard  about the crowd funding campaign that kicked off last month.

Salvation Farms is trying to raise $40,000 by January 1, 2014. The funds will be used to renovate a building at Southeast State Correctional Facility in Windsor to rescue farm-fresh foods for vulnerable residents. This will help create a safe, efficient facility ready to wash, pack, store, and ship large volumes of surplus crops.

 Please consider supporting their efforts and spreading the word about their campaign to others who would like to see more surplus food get to the people who need it in Vermont.


Storage and Use Tips

This week's greens are a mix of claytonia, mesclun, and spinach.  The spinach is gorgeous with large leaves.  Enjoy this mix!

Regular and localvore share members are getting large fingerling potatoes. These potatoes tend to be elongated and slightly knobbly, making them very finger-like in shape. The unusual-looking, flavorful potatoes can be used just like regular potatoes in an assortment of roasted, broiled, baked, grilled, or boiled dishes.  Store in a paper bag in a cool, dry place. No need to peel, just scrub clean before cooking.

Half and roots cellar share members are getting red norland potatoes.  They have a red outer skin and crisp white flesh inside. They are commonly sold in the summertime as "new" potatoes but store quite well too. The best way to cook a Red Norland is to boil, steam or roast them. They make a great red potato salad with skin on, or toss with olive oil, garlic and herbs or go for it and smother them with butter.

There aren't many squashes quite as festive as carnival winter squash with its unique coloring and splotches - it holds a designer's seal of approval in the world of winter squash. Carnival is an acorn squash with a wonderful nutty flavor and fine eating quality.  Like all winter squash and pumpkins store in cool, dry place. Best temperature is 55F.

The rutabaga is believed to have originated as a cross between a turnip and a cabbage! Sweeter than a turnip, rutabagas are delicious boiled and mashed with butter (with or without potatoes). Rutabagas should be peeled before use. This year when we harvested the rutabagas some of them came out of the ground with superficial worm track markings. Don't be deterred if your rutabagas have these marks. Just peel or slice off the outer layer (which you need to do anyway) and the inside should be just fine. Keep them loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your fridge and they'll last for several weeks at least.

Kale is in the super veggie club and is just about the healthiest vegetable you can eat. 1 cup packs 1300% of your daily requirements for Vita K, 200% of your Vita A, and nearly 100% of vita C, along with lots and lots more vitas and minerals.  Over 45 different flavonoids have been identified in kale that combine to provide both anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. It is now believed that kale offers risk-lowering benefits for five types of cancer including bladder, breast, colon, ovary and prostate cancer. It also has the ability to lower cholesterol (and for this purpose steaming is best). It is also now recognized that kale provides much support for your body's own detox system.  And what's more, it's tasty, so eat lots. 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.

The lettuce this week is a mix of red frill, green frill, red oak leaf, and panisse lettuce. 

Pac Choi has a mild flavor. The leaves taste similar to Swiss chard and the stems (called ribs) are deliciously crispy and can be substituted for celery in recipes. It's mild enough to be chopped up for a salad, particularly if you give it a quick wilt in a hot pan. It's also great in stir-fries. Store pac choi loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.

This week's celery is gorgeous and smells amazing.  Some of the stalks were very tall so we had to trim some of the leaves so we could fit them in the bag.  If you're not using your leaves right away throw them in a ziploc bag and throw them in the freezer.  Add other veggie scraps to it and once it's full enough it will make an excellent veggie broth!

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.

Localvore Lore

This week Elmore Mountain made their Rustic Bread.  It's made with fresh sifted wheat that they have stone milled, water, sea salt and yeast. 

Butterworks Farm Early Riser Cornmeal is made from 100% stone ground Early Riser kernels. Early Riser is an open pollinated (op) corn variety Jack has been improving here in Vermont for years. OP corns tend to be much more nutrient dense, textured and flavorful than hybrid corns, but also yield much less per acre making the variety less marketable. Early Riser Cornmeal is great for making cornbread, muffins, tortillas or polenta. You can soal the flour overnight in buttermilk, kefir or yogurt before baking to bring out the best flavor, nutrition and digestibility. The flavor and texture of this freshly milled flour is like no other. Keep in a cool dry place in an air-tight container. The oils in whole-grain cornmeal go rancid more quickly than others, so it should be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 1 month (or in the freezer for up to 2 years).

The Pete's Greens tomatillo salsa comes straight from our kitchen.  We made it using our freshly harvested tomatillos, onions, roasted jalapenos, plus cider vinegar, lime juice, garlic, cilantro and salt.  It has good flavor and some nice zip.  This salsa is wonderful with chips or as a sauce for meats, steamed veggies, or beans.  It will come to you frozen so you can thaw it out and enjoy right away (it's good for one week) or stick back in the freezer for up to a year.

It's been a few weeks since our last round of eggs but we're happy to have them back in this week's share from Tangletown Farm.  The hens had been on a good schedule but about 5-6 weeks ago they got moved into new digs at Tangletown and that move caused them all to go on strike for a bit while they sussed out their new pad.  They're back in action now and we expect to include them every 3 weeks.  Enjoy!

Meat Share

First off in this month's meat share is a Pete's Greens chicken.  These chicken were raised right here on the farm.  The first few weeks of their life was spent in the barn, protected from elements, their diet supplemented with our greens.  As soon as they were feathered up at 4 weeks old they headed out to the field and they spent the next weeks grazing and foraging, protected by electric fencing from predators.  Their meat is wonderfully flavorful and very nutritious.  These birds are somewhat large so you can make a few meals out of them.  Roast it the first night (see below for an amazing recipe), turn leftovers into chicken pot pie (my kids' new favorite meal) or chicken salad, then boil the carcass down to make soup broth.

We have organic burger from Seth McKnight at McKnight Farms. 

We also have the first of the pork that we raised this year on the farm, and it's coming to you in the form of delicious Chorizo sausage.  These pigs ate sooo much good stuff this year!  We limited the grain we fed them, instead substituting loads of our veggies and kitchen scraps.  They were pastured on 20 acres all spring, summer and fall.  They foraged and rooted and lay about in mud wallows and spent an extremely happy 7 months with us.  We really like raising pigs because they are such characters.  The meat from these pigs will be exceptionally vitamin packed with the tremendous amount of good organic veggies and pasture they consumed.  Pete Colman of VT Salumi made our sausage for us, this is the same delicious recipe he uses for making his Benito. Chorizo is a highly spiced sausage, and a traditional sausage flavor in Spanish and Mexican cuisine. This sausage is not overly spicy, it has a great taste that is amazing in paella, on pizzas, tossed in pasta, in soups, with black beans and it's wonderful in scrambled eggs.

Maplewind Farm Summer Sausage - Up on top of a ridge with the Long Trail running by, Beth and Bruce raise beef, poultry, pigs, and poultry at Maplewind Farm. Their Berkshire Tamworth pigs are all born on the farm and pastured throughout their lives. The Summer Sausage is made with 100% grass fed pork and beef from the farm as well as sea salt, spices etc and NO nitrates/nitrites. The mild flavored summer sausage needs no cooking and is great on crackers or with a cheese plate or as a sandwich meat. Just slice up and enjoy. It is also excellent heated however, so fry it up or use it on pizza or with a pasta dish if you choose. Though the sausage is coming to you frozen, it is actually totally shelf stable and you can leave it sitting on the counter for up to 6 months or take it on a hike.  Once it's been opened it must be refrigerated.  This would make an awesome stocking stuffer!


Tamale Pie
This recipe could be made with burger or your Chorizo sausage.  You could also swap out any of the veggies using what you have on hand. 

5 1/2 cups water
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, plus more for dish
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 serrano chile, finely chopped
1 1/2 pounds ground meat- beef or sausage
1 jar Tomato Puree
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 pimiento-stuffed green olives, rinsed and coarsely chopped
4 ounces grated Monterey Jack cheese (1 1/4 cups)
1 ripe avocado, peeled, halved, pitted, and diced
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped, or 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
Crisp lettuce leaves

Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add 2 teaspoons salt. Whisking constantly, add cornmeal in a slow, steady stream, switching to a wooden spoon when cornmeal becomes too thick to whisk. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring often, until thick and creamy, about 15 minutes. Stir in butter, cover, and keep warm over low heat.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 2-quart baking dish. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add onion, garlic, bell pepper, chile, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until onion is light gold and vegetables are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Add turkey, and cook, breaking up large pieces with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and juices, stock, cumin, oregano, and cayenne. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring, until most of the liquid has evaporated and mixture resembles chili, about 10 minutes. Stir in olives, and season with salt and pepper.

Spread 1 1/2 cups cornmeal into bottom of prepared dish with a wet spatula. Spread turkey mixture on top, then spread remaining 2 1/2 cups cornmeal on top. Sprinkle with Monterey Jack. Bake until golden brown and cheese is melted, 35 to 40 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes. Serve with avocado, tomatoes, cilantro, red onion, and lettuce.

Stir Fried Pac Choi with Garlic
You could add more greens to this recipe to make it a more filling meal.  This would be a great side with a rich meal.

1/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
1/4 cup thinly sliced garlic (about 8 cloves)
2 pounds baby or Shanghai bok choy, halved lengthwise
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil

Stir together broth, soy sauce, cornstarch, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until cornstarch has dissolved.  Heat wok over high heat until a drop of water evaporates instantly. Pour peanut oil down side of wok, then swirl oil, tilting wok to coat side. Add garlic and stir-fry until pale golden, 5 to 10 seconds. Add half of bok choy and stir-fry until leaves wilt, about 2 minutes, then add remaining bok choy and stir-fry until all leaves are bright green and limp, 2 to 3 minutes total. Stir broth mixture, then pour into wok and stir-fry 15 seconds. Cover with lid and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in sesame oil, then transfer to a serving dish.

Carnival Squash Rings with a Honey-Soy Glaze
This is one of my favorite treats especially if I only have a small amount of squash to work with. The nuttiness of acorn squash mixes perfectly with the glaze!

    1 medium size carnival squash
    1 tbs honey
    1/2 tbs reduced-sodium soy sauce
    1 tsp rice vinegar
    1 tsp minced peeled fresh ginger
    1 garlic clove, minced

Preheat oven to 450°F. Line large baking sheet with foil. Spray with nonstick vegetable oil spray. Cut off both ends of each squash. Cut each squash crosswise into 4-5 rings. Scoop out seeds and discard. Place squash rings in single layer on prepared baking sheet. Cover baking sheet tightly with foil. Bake until squash begins to soften, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk next 5 ingredients in small bowl to blend. Remove foil from squash. Brush half of honey mixture over squash. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake uncovered 10 minutes. Brush remaining honey mixture over squash; continue to bake until squash is brown, tender and glazed, about 10 minutes.

Rutabaga, Potato and Apple Gratin
Adapted from Jame's Peterson's book, "Vegetables." Serves 6-8.

1 small garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
3/4 cup milk combined with 1 cup heavy cream, or 1 3/4 cups half-and-half
2 medium (about 1 and one-half pounds total) waxy potatoes
1 rutabaga (2 pounds), peeled
3 medium apples, cored, peeled and sliced thin
1 cup (about 3 ounces) grated/crumbled Bourree cheese (cheddar works too)
salt and freshly groound black pepper
One-quarter teaspoon grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Rub the inside of a large, oval gratin dish or square or rectangular baking dish with butter. Crush the garlic clove into a fine paste with the side of a chef's knife and combine it in a saucepan with the milk and cream.

Peel the potatoes -- keep them under cold water if you're not using them right away -- and slice them into three-sixteenth-inch-thick rounds with a mandolin, vegetable slicer, or by hand. Peel the rutabaga into rounds the same thickness as the potatoes. Cut the rutabaga in half to make the slicing easier. Bring the milk and cream mixture to a simmer.

Arrange the potato, rutabaga and apple slices in alternating layers in the gratin dish, sprinkling each layer with cheese, the milk and cream mixture, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Save a fourth of the grated cheese for sprinkling over the top of the gratin. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the top of the gratin is golden brown and the vegetables are easily penetrated with a paring knife.

Mustard-Roasted Potatoes
You should really keep this dressing on hand for any roots, anytime.  Keep it in a jar like salad dressing, ready for the roasting pan of CSA veggies. Try it with turnips, carrots, whatever you want.  If you like it, you'll like it with anything.

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1/2 cup whole grain Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick or 1/2 ounce) butter, melted
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
3 pounds 1- to 1 1/2-inch-diameter mixed unpeeled red-skinned and white-skinned potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch-wide wedges

Position 1 rack in top third of oven and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 425°F. Spray 2 large rimmed baking sheets with nonstick spray. Whisk mustard, olive oil, butter, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, lemon peel, and salt in large bowl to blend. Add potatoes; sprinkle generously with freshly ground black pepper and toss to coat. Divide potatoes between prepared baking sheets, leaving any excess mustard mixture behind in bowl. Spread potatoes in single layer. Roast potatoes 20 minutes. Reverse baking sheets and roast until potatoes are crusty outside and tender inside, turning occasionally, about 25 minutes longer.
Transfer potatoes to serving bowl.

Chicken and Dumplings
This recipe is to die for, and it's been in the newsletter in before. But it really is just so yummy, and with the cooler and shorter days I am craving warm and hearty and nothing warms you up quite like chicken and dumplings.

1 whole chicken
1/4 lb bacon, cut into slivers
2 Tbs cooking oil
2 tsp dried thyme
4 cloves garlic
4 medium sized carrots, thickly sliced
4 stalks celery, thickly sliced
2 large yellow onions, cut into 1" chunks
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper

2 2/3 c flour
1 c white wine
1 Tbs baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 c melted butter, cooled slightly
3/4 c buttermilk (or substitute)
2 Tbs finely chopped parsley

Halve chicken legs seperating thigh from drumstick, season with salt and pepper and set aside. Put remaining chicken into a pot, cover with salted water and boil. Reduce heat, simmer until breast is just cooked, 12-15 minutes. Remove chicken. Cut breast and wings from carcass. Discard any skin and bones from breast and wing meat, cut into 1" chunks, chill. Return carcass to pot, simmer for one hour. Strain, reserve 4 c broth (save remainder for another use).

Meanwhile, cook bacon in large wide pot over medium heat until crisp, 8-10 minutes. Transfer bacon to a plate, leave fat in pot. Add and heat oil, brown drumsticks and thights, 8-10 minutes. Tranfer to a plate. Add thyme, garlic, carrots celery, onions and bay leaf. Cook until light brwn 18-20 minutes. Add 2/3 cut flour, cook for 1 minute. Add wine, cook for 1 minute. Whisk in reserved broth and salt and pepper to taste. Nestle in drumsticks, thights, and bacon. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

Whisk together remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in a bowl. Combine butter, buttermilk, and parsley in a second bowl, pour into flour mixture, stir to make a thick batter. Uncover pot, add breast and wing meat. Drop batter in 8 large spoonfuls over the top. Simmer covered until dumplings are cooked, 20-25 minutes.

Garlic Roasted Kale
Roasting kale is amazing—the leaves turn from a dusty dark green to dark emerald with brown-tinged curly edges that crunch. This vegetable side is delicious served hot from the oven; the leaves lose their crisp texture as the dish stands.

3 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
10 ounces kale, stems removed and chopped
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar

Arrange oven racks in center and lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 425°. Place a large jelly-roll pan in oven for 5 minutes.

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; toss to coat. Place kale mixture on hot pan, spreading with a silicone spatula to separate leaves. Bake at 425° for 7 minutes. Stir kale. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until edges of leaves are crisp and kale is tender.  Place kale in a large bowl. Drizzle with vinegar; toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Polenta & Greens
This is a basic modifiable recipe for polenta with greens.  Serious comfort food.

Spinach or other greens (swiss chard, braising greens, kale etc - 1/2 lb to 1 lb)

1 large onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp olive oil

Dash red pepper flakes

2 carrots, halved and sliced

Italian seasoning herbs (optional)

Sliced shitake mushrooms (optional)

1 c grated cheese, provolone, cheddar, fontina, even feta, as you like

1 c polenta (coarse cornmeal)

3 c water

1 tsp salt

Wash and chop the greens. Saute onion, garlic, and carrots and/or mushrooms in olive oil. Season with salt, pepper & red pepper and Italian herbs. Cook until browning and fragrant. Gradually add the greens, stir frying until all are incorporated and just wilted.

Boil water & whisk in polenta & salt. Turn down very low, watch out for sputters. Cook until thick, stirring often.

Brush a baking dish with olive oil. Pour in about 2/3 of polenta, spoon in the greens, top with remaining polenta & cheese. Take a butter knife and swirl through the top layers a bit. Bake @ 350 until bubbly and slightly browned, about 30 minutes.  Best if you allow to cool a bit before serving.

This recipe is easily doubled, which makes a generous 10 x 14 pyrex baking dish. The polenta is easier to work with if it is poured right when it thickens. If you wait it will set up into a more solid form. Prep the vegetables and have all ingredients ready before you cook the polenta, so it will be ready at the right time, as the greens take just a few minutes.