Good Eats Newsletter - April 11th, 2012

 

Good Eats Newsletter - April 11th, 2012
 
This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:
 
 Mesclun Mix; Red Giant Mustard -or- Red Russian Kale;
Pac Choi; Green Cabbage; Carrots; Mixed Potatoes; Parsnips; Yellow Storage Onions plus...
 
Frozen Cayenne Peppers
Frozen Squash Puree
 
Localvore Offerings Include:
Pete's Kitchen Pizza Dough
Pete's Kitchen Pizza Sauce
Maplebrook Ricotta
Champlain Orchards Empire Apples
 
Good Eats
Summer Share
Join us for the most
diverse and delicious
Good Eats season. 
Reserve your share now! 
Payment checks for Summer won't be deposited
until  Jun 4th.
More information below
 
Add-On Localvore
& Meat Orders
Order your favorite localvore, pantry, bulk vegetables or meats any week and have them delivered to your pick-up location.
 
Storage and Use Tips
Additional tips can be found at the website, see links below. 
 
Mesclun Mix - every week our mesclun becomes more diverse.  This week you will find a mix of claytonia, lettuces, brassicas, mustards and probably some shoots mixed in as well. 
 
Red Giant Mustard (you will get either kale or mustard greens this week) -  Related to kale, cabbage, and collard greens, mustard greens are the peppery leafy greens of the mustard plant.  Though young and tender enough to liven up a salad, these greens are more commonly eaten cooked and are stand on their own in steamed or stir-fried dishes.  Mustards are flavorful, nutrition packed greens and can be used in pastas, sautes, stir fried, chopped and scrambled with eggs, etc. 
 
Red Russian Kale (you will get either kale or mustard greens this week) -  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. We are lucky that it is also one of the longest season northern vegetables.  And what's more, it's tasty, so eat lots.
 
Pac Choi - Also known as Bok Choy or Chinese Cabbage this vegetable is most common in Chinese cuisine. Part of the cabbage family, it packs in nutrition with high scores for vitamins A and C and calcium. Pac Choi leaves and stems are mild enough to be chopped up for a salad, particularly if you give it a quick wilt in a hot pan. When leaves are more mature, they are more often served cooked. It's great in stir-fries. My favorite way to cook it, though, 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. To prepare Pac Choi, use a chef's nice to make thin slices across from the bottom of the head up freeing the stalks as you do so. Wash the stalks to remove any trapped silt from between stalks. Although you can cook chopped leaves and stalks together in a dish it is nice to separate them when chopping so that you may toss them into a dish at seperate times allowing stalks to cook a little longer than leaves so that leaves aren't over cooked. Pac Choi should be stored in a plastic bag in the produce drawer of your fridge.
 
Frozen Squash Puree - Just pure frozen winter squash goodness. Use this in recipes calling for pureed winter squash or pumpkin - particularly soups, pie, baked items like pumpkin bread, muffins or cookies, or for casseroles or rice dishes. Also great on its own sweetened with a bit of maple syrup, enriched with some cream and served as a side (for a side you may want to drain some of the water that separates from the squash when you thaw it. Your puree will then be a bit thicker). ?If your frozen squash puree has thawed a bit when you receive it, no worries. Just pop it back in freezer until you are ready to use.
 
Frozen Cayenne Peppers - We have found that freezing is an excellent way to store beautiful hot chili peppers for later use.  These peppers are separate in the bag, so you can remove one from a bag and save the rest in the freezer til later.
 
 
 
 
Please share your comments about the veggie info you DON'T find, but wish was there!
 
Pete's Pastured Chicken
 
We raise some excellent chicken on our farm and they are available for just $3.50/lb.

Good Eats Newsletter - April 11th, 2012 Our chickens live a charmed chicken existence roaming the fields and eating endless green forage to their hearts delight. Earlier, when they are too young yet to go outside, they are the happy recipients of lots of the veggie greens  that come from the washhouse.
 
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.
"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 dirt lot). 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 far and away the healthier (for human and bird alike) and conscientious choice.
 
Visit the homepage of our website to order a meat order form.  You can order chickens and other meats here.  Meat orders are delivered every Wednesday to CSA sites EXCEPT the first Wed of each week (because these are meat share weeks).
 
 
Reserve Your Good Eats Summer Share Now!
June 20th - October 10th, 2012
 
Our Summer Share spans three seasons of vegetable production on the farm.  In June we will start out with tender salad greens, fresh basil, European cucumbers, tomatoes, fresh picked zucchini, spring salad turnips, Napa Cabbage, Asian greens, chard and lots more spring vegetables.  And then come all your summer favorites like peas, beans, carrots, sweet peppers, heirloom tomatoes, eggplant, sweet corn and much more!  During the summer growing season we'll provide you with over seventy varieties of locally grown vegetables with unique flavors, colors and shapes as well as all the summer staples you are familiar with.
 
Four Share Types for Summer:
Veggie Only - delivers a weekly delivery of fresh, organic veggies from the farm.
Localvore Share delivers the same fresh vegetables and wonderful local staples and artisan products to fill your pantry. 
Pete's Pantry Share - just the localvore products, no veggies
Meat Share - delivers a monthly selection of local, pastured meats
 
Good Eats Newsletter - April 11th, 2012Good Eats Newsletter - April 11th, 2012Good Eats Newsletter - April 11th, 2012
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Join now and be rewarded with a healthy, local and delicious season of Good Eats!
 
 
 
 
NOFA-VT Farm Share Program
If you are on a limited income and wish to join Good Eats this Summer, visit the NOFA-VT website to learn more about the Farm Share Program.  You may be eligible for assistance.  Assistance is limited and already around half of the the available assistance has been used.  Don't delay getting an application into NOFA if this is a program you are interested in!
 
 
 
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 Pantry, or you can skip your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.
 
 
Localvore Lore
 
It's a pizza week!
 
In our kitchen, Deb makes ourPizza Dough with Aurora Farm's organic unbleached VT white flour, Gleason Grains Snake Mountain Sifted whole wheat flour, local Sunflower Oil, Maine sea salt and yeast. Use within four to five hours of thawing (ready to go the night you pick up share or store in freezer for later use). Coat a smooth surface with flour and cornmeal (just flour ok) so that the dough does not stick to the surface. Form dough into ball and flatten with heels of palms. Stretch dough with hands or use a rolling pin to form shape of baking pan (I use a cookie sheet so I form it into a square). Once dough is slightly stretched on surface you can stretch dough in the air with hands by making two fists held together with dough on top. Move each hand up, down and out turning the dough clockwise. Give it some practice and you will be throwing doughs like the professionals. Each dough can be stretched to a 16" round, for thicker crust make smaller. If you like light fluffy crust I put my baking sheet on the top of my oven while preheating and let rise. Otherwise set aside in neutral area till oven is ready at 425 - 450F. Cook 12-14 minutes until crust is golden brown and cheese bubbles.
 
We also made a special batch of Pizza Sauce to go along with the share.  Deb made the pizza sauce fresh this week in our kitchen using our organic tomatoes (that we froze in summer), onions, sunflower oil, garlic, oregano, basil, fennel seed, salt, & black pepper.  We hope you all love it.  It's coming to you fresh, so please refrigerate and use up this week (or freeze it for later use).  You can of course use this on pasta too.
 
Maplebrook Ricotta - To go on your pizza or in your calzones, we have ricotta cheese from Maplebrook Farm. We love their cheeses and they have been a good partner, providing cheese for the share, since the beginning. They hand make their delicious Ricotta in small kettles, hand-dipping and packing each and every container. They are proud of the fact that their ricotta is a 100% Vermont product, helping to support small dairy farms in the state.
 
 
Empire apples from Champlain Orchards in Shoreham, VT will be included in this weeks locavore share. Empire was developed at Cornell University in New York in the 1940s. Its parents are the classic old North American varieties Red DeliciousGood Eats Newsletter - April 11th, 2012 and MacIntosh that have been long grown in the Northeast. The shiny red Empire apple has a sweet-tart taste that is ideal for fresh eating and salads but also great for sauce, baking, pies and freezing. It is an ideal lunch-box apple because it does not bruise easily and apple slices stay crisp and do not brown as much as other varieties. Store bagged in plastic in the fridge to maintain their much loved crisp texture and sweetness.
 
 
Recipes
 
Calzones 101
Given the sauce and ricotta, I'd be making my calzone or pizza this week using those two and adding fresh greens (and maybe some local pepperoni or sausage!).  In case you decide to go the calzone route, there is some technique that you might find helpful...(From the PreparedPantry.com)
 
Keep the following principles in mind as you build your calzones:

1. For the filling, simple combinations really do work best. Less is truly better. ?
2. Calzones take longer to cook than pizza and require a lower temperature in order to crisp the crust and to penetrate the filling. They generally take 15 to 20 minutes to bake at 400 degrees. ?
3. Smaller is better. Make calzones that are 6 to 12 inches long.
Most calzones are made in the traditional half-moon shape that is achieved by rolling or pressing out the dough ball into a circle. The filling is mounded into the bottom half of the circle and the top part is folded over and crimped by hand or with a fork.
Here are the steps to making a perfect calzone:

1.  Roll out a small dough ball (about 8 ounces) into a round 1/4 inch thick. The gluten in the dough may try to make the dough spring back into shape. It’s often easier to roll the dough partially, let it sit for a few minutes to relax, and then roll the dough again. Try to roll the dough uniformly. Thin spots lead to leaks.?
 
2. Place a small handful of mozzarella on the lower half of the circle. On top of the cheese, place about three quarters of a cup of filling materials. On top of the filling, add 1/2 to 2/3 cup ricotta. Thick, creamy ricotta—not low-fat—works best. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with parmesan. (Of course, you can vary the filling ingredients greatly. Often an egg is mixed with the ricotta to make the filling less runny.)?
 
3. Fold the top of the calzone crust over the bottom into the traditional half-moon shape. Seal the edges by crimping them with a fork. Be sure to press firmly enough to seal the edges and keep the fillings from leaking. Use the edge of a knife or fork to shape the crust edge into a uniform border.

4. Just before baking, brush the crust with an egg white wash or olive oil.An egg white wash will give the calzones a satinyfinish. Olive oil will make the crust browner and crisper. If you brush with olive oil before baking,brush the crust again with olive oil immediately after coming from the oven. The second brushing will add sheen and flavor to the crust. ?
 
5. Bake the calzones on a dark pan on the lowest shelf of the oven to provide enough bottom heat to bake the bottom crust. Better yet, place the pan directly on a preheated baking stone. (If you are using a rectangular pan, a rectangular baking stone works best.)
 
 
Butternut Squash and Ricotta Gnocchi
Adapted from a recipe by Biba Caggiano
Yields 4 servings
 
Squash puree
1 egg, lightly beaten ?
1 c. whole-milk ricotta, drained ?
¾ c. grated parmesan cheese ?
1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg ?
2 tsp. kosher salt, plus 1 Tbsp. for boiling gnocchi ?
1 1/3 to 1 2/3 c. all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

 
?This recipe begins with roasting whole squash in the oven.  If using your squash puree, you can skip this step.  But your squash puree will want to be thicker, so place in  a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until liquid evaporates somewhat and puree thickens. Measure 2 packed cups squash puree, and chill in the refrigerator.

In a large bowl, mix the squash, egg, ricotta, parmesan, nutmeg and 2 teaspoons salt with a wooden spoon. Gradually fold in 1 1/3 cups flour, taking care not to overwork the dough. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, and, using your hands, gently knead the dough, adding up to 1/3 cup more flour if the dough sticks too much to your hands and to the work surface. Lightly sprinkle the dough with flour, and place in a bowl. Cover the bowl with a dishtowel, and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

To form gnocchi, tear off a piece of dough about the size of your fist, returning the remaining dough to the refrigerator while you work. Flour your hands and the work surface lightly. Using a gentle back-and-forth motion, roll out the piece of dough into a rope about the thickness of your pointer finger. Cut the rope into 1-inch pieces. Using a floured gnocchi board or a fork, lightly press with your thumb and roll the gnocchi to form ridges. Repeat with the remaining dough until all the gnocchi have been formed. Transfer gnocchi to a lightly floured baking sheet, keeping them in a single layer. Chill the gnocchi in the refrigerator while you boil the pot of water.

Bring a large pot of water and 1 Tbsp. of salt to a boil. Add the gnocchi in batches, and cook until they float to the surface. Let cook for an extra 30 seconds, and then remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon. Drain off any excess water, and add the gnocchi to the sauce of your choice.

Walnut Cream Sauce
4 Tbsp. butter ?
1 c. chopped walnuts
?2 cloves garlic, crushed
?½ c. heavy cream ?
¼ c. grated parmesan cheese ?
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
?While waiting for the water to come to a boil, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the walnuts and sauté 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the cream and stir to combine. Simmer for a few minutes, just until sauce slightly thickens. Transfer the gnocchi to the pan with the sauce, and season with parmesan, salt and pepper; toss to coat. Serve immediately.
Sage Butter Sauce ?
Adapted from a recipe by Biba Caggiano
4 Tbsp. butter ?
10 fresh sage leaves, chiffonade ?
1/3 c. grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
While the gnocchi cook, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the butter foams, add sage, and stir 1 minute. Transfer the gnocchi to the pan with the sauce, and season with parmesan, salt and pepper; toss to coat. Serve immediately.
 
 
Beef & Cabbage Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce
In an effort to keep the cabbage recipes coming, this week I have pulled this one for you adapted from one in Eating Well.  Subtly sweet peanut sauce blends deliciously with beef, cabbage and carrot sauté.  You could add your frozen broccoli to this recipe if that's still in the freezer.  If you like more spice, add a few dashes of hot sauce or sarachi.  Or add a bit of soy or fish sauce for a bit more depth of flavor. Serve with udon noodles.

1/4 cup smooth natural peanut butter
1/3 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
4 teaspoons sunflower or canola oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 to 1 pound sirloin steak, trimmed and thinly sliced (see Tip)
1 small head green cabbage, thinly sliced
2-5 tablespoons water
2 medium carrots, grated
1/4 cup chopped unsalted roasted peanuts, (optional)
Whisk peanut butter, orange juice, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar in a medium bowl until smooth.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add steak and cook, stirring, until browned and barely pink in the middle, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Reduce heat to medium. Swirl in the remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Add cabbage and 2 tablespoons water; cook, stirring, until beginning to wilt, 3 to 5 minutes. Add carrots (and more water if necessary to prevent sticking or burning) and cook, stirring, until just tender, about 3 minutes more. Return the steak and any accumulated juices to the pan, then pour in the peanut sauce and toss to combine. Serve sprinkled with peanuts (if using).
 
Cabbage Parcels with Squash Ricotta Sauce
Softened cabbage leaves are filled with a savory mixture of sauteed onions, garlic, carrots, corn, potatoes and cheddar and then parcels are baked in the oven and topped with a squash puree/ricotta sauce.
 
 
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 cup finely shredded cabbage
1 carrot, grated
1 cup corn kernels
3 large potatoes, cooked and mashed
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/4 oz reduced-fat cheddar cheese, grated
6 cabbage leaves
1 cup winter squash puree
1 onion, chopped (extra)
1 1/2 cup water
8 3/4 oz ricotta cheese
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, for sprinkling (extra)
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
 
In a non-stick skillet sauté one of the chopped onions and garlic. Add shredded cabbage, carrot and corn and cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir through potatoes, parsley and cheddar cheese.
Immerse the cabbage leaves in boiling water for 30 seconds then refresh in cold water. Fill cabbage leaves with mixture. Roll up firmly and place in an oven-proof dish.
 
Place the extra chopped onion in a saucepan and simmer until softened.  Add the squash puree and bring to a simmer.  Add salt & pepper to taste.  Fold in ricotta and pour over cabbage parcels.
 
Sprinkle with extra parsley and bake at 375ºF for 25 to 30 minutes.
 
Apple/Ricotta Coffee Cake
Cake
?1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
?3/4 tsp baking powder?
1/2 tsp baking soda ?
1/4 tsp salt ?
1/2 c butter — at room temperature
?1 c granulated sugar ?
1 tsp vanilla ?
2 ea eggs ?
1 c ricotta cheese ?
 
Streusel/Filling?
2 ea cooking apples — peeled, cored, and diced
?2/3 c brown sugar, packed?
1/2 c all-purpose flour?
1/2 c quick cooking oats
?1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
?1/4 tsp salt
?6 tbsps butter — cut into small pieces
?1/2 c pecan pieces

Heat oven to 350F. Grease a 9? springform pan with butter and dust with flour.

Streusel/Filling?
Peel and dice apples (about 1/2? dice) and toss with lemon juice. Set aside.
Place remaining streusel ingredients (except pecans) in a food processor. Add butter. Pulse about 10 times then process for 5 to 10 seconds until there are no visible lumps of fat.

Cake
?Mix together 1 3/4 cups flour, baking powder, soda and salt in a medium bowl.
Using an electric hand mixer or the paddle attachment on a stand mixer beat 1/2 cup butter for about 30 seconds, then beat in granulated sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and ricotta cheese to batter. Mix on low speed after each addition until combined. Note: this batter will be rather thick and stiff.

Spread 1/2 of the batter into the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the filling mixture and then the diced apples. Spoon remaining batter over apples. It will not spread smoothly so be gentle and use dollops of batter. Sprinkle with remaining topping and nuts.

Bake 45-50 minutes more or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool at least 1 hour on a wire rack.