|Posted on October 3, 2012 at 12:50 AM||comments (0)|
Hello CSA Members:
Can you believe it's the final week of CSA deliveries??? I'm shocked too. It simply flew by.
In your last bag:
Potatoes -- Iditared (red) & Magic Molly (purple)
Baby butterheads & romaine lettuce
Mixed baby greens (arugula, mustard, & kale)
I want to thank you all for supporting our small farm. We work hard to provide a variety of high quality produce. It makes it all worth it to see your smiles and hear how delicious your meals have been.
Thank you for supporting local and organic agriculture. Your patronage allows Spring Creek Farm to thrive and provide educational opportunities for the young and old.
Hope to see you all next year!
|Posted on September 25, 2012 at 8:55 PM||comments (0)|
Hello CSA Members:
Sadly the season is coming to an end, BUT you're still recieving some beautiful vegetables and a newcomer this week...
BRUSSELS SPROUTS!!! I'm in love with these.
Potatoes - Red & Purple
Baby beets & greens
Kale & Chard bunch
The Brussels sprouts are delicious cooked or raw -- after a frost their flavor sweetens. I suggest trying at least one raw because after they are cooked their flavor changes. If you overcook them they will turn grey and bitter. To avoid this I suggest slicing each sprout in half in order to ensure even cooking.
Easy Brussels Sprouts Recipe:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add brussels sprouts, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until caramelized, 8 to 10 minutes. Add 1/3 cup water and cook until evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add lemon juice and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
|Posted on September 18, 2012 at 7:20 PM||comments (0)|
Hello CSA Members:
Your bag this week includes the following,
PURPLE Potatoes -- Magic Molly
Turnips with greens
Celery -- newcomer
Collards -- newcomer
Lettuce head - Romaine or Butterhead
The celery is very small, a problem we've had all summer (nothing wants to size up!!) However, the flavor is definitely there!
You can use the leaves in any dish that you're using the stalk. However, do not cook them for the same amount of time, they can become bitter if cooked too long. They could make a nice additon to a salad and are great added to mashed potatoes (chop finely and add as edible garnish to each serving). The whole plant (leaves, stalk, and root) can be used to make veggie/chicken stock.
Collards are in the brassica family (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, etc.). They have been eaten for thousands of years and are still a staple in Southern cuisine. They are often cooked with other greens (turnip, kale, spinach).
Turnips are delicious mashed, roasted, sauteed, etc. I have found some delicious recipes that involve maple syrup and cardamom. They could also be a great addition to Indian dishes (chickpea and turnip curry...). Oh the possibilities!
I'll share some simple recipes and allow you to get creative by adding to them however you please!
Southern Turnip Greens/Collards Recipe
2 1/2 lbs turnip, collard and/or mustard greens, washed and chopped into 1-in. pieces
3 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces (or ham hock - see note)
2/3 cup chopped onions
1 or 2 dashes cider or red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste (start with 1 tablespoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper)
**Optional (for additional flavor): 1 tablespoon sugar when greens come to a boil, and/or 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
1. Fry the bacon in a pot large enough to cook the greens.
2. Add the greens along with onions.
3. Cook on low heat, stirring with wooden spoon, until greens are coated with bacon fat (about 2 minutes). Pour off excess fat.
4. Cover the greens with water and season with salt and pepper.
5. Bring to boil. Cover the pot, reduce heat, and simmer until tender (time will vary).
6. Stir occasionally and add water if they threaten to scorch. When done, increase heat to med-high, stir often. Boil off nearly all the cooking liquid.
7. Add vinegar. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Serve very hot.
Note: You can substitute a ham hock for bacon. Just use 2 tablespoons of bacon grease or cooking oil in step 1 above and add the ham hock in step 2.
Celery and Carrot Soup:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, minced
2 carrots, sliced thinly
1 c. celery, sliced thinly
½ tsp dried tarragon
2 c. vegetable broth
½ c. white wine
Salt and Pepper to taste
In medium saucepan heat oil over medium-high heat. Saute onions until tender, approximately 5 minutes. Add carrots, celery and tarragon, stirring until carrots are tender, another 5 minutes.
Slowly stir in vegetable broth and wine, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 15 minutes more. Serve hot.
Turnip and Potato Mash:
4 medium turnips, peeled and diced large
4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced large
1 dried bay leaf
coarse salt and ground pepper
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon butter
In a medium saucepan, bring turnips, potatoes, and bay leaf to a boil in a salted water over high and cook until vegetables are tender when pierced with a knife, ~20 minutes. Drain, discard bay leaf, and return vegetables to pan. Add sour cream and butter and mash until mostly smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Mushroom-Polenta Stuffed Collards
1 bunch of collards, stem cut out and blanched (6-8 leaves)
1 cup polenta (precooked or follow directions according to brand)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
1 shallot or small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
chopped fresh thyme to taste
1/4 cup grated parmigianno reggiano
2-3 cups your favorite tomato or bolognese sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat olive oil in pan, add mushrooms, shallots, & garlic, saute 3-5 minutes. Cook polenta, add parmesan & mushroom shallot mixture, along with thyme. Cool polenta. Scoop onto collard leaves, and roll up. Place all in casserole, cover with sauce and Bake 30-45 minutes.
Serves 6 to 8
|Posted on September 12, 2012 at 6:40 PM||comments (0)|
Hello CSA Members:
In your bountiful bag this week:
New Potatoes (Iditared, German Butterball, & Magic Molly)
Lettuce Head - Butterhead
|Posted on September 5, 2012 at 10:45 PM||comments (0)|
Hello CSA Members:
I believe the weather is to blame for my forgetfulness these past few weeks. I apologize for not being timely with the blog postings. Hopefully most of the items are familar, but we do have some new ones this week:
New Potatoes - Iditared and Pimpernal
Sugar Snap Peas
Leeks - newcomer
2 types of Radish (pink beauties & daikon - newcomer)
Fennel - newcomer
I realize that several weeks in a row you get the same sort of veggie, for instance cauliflower and cabbage are frequenting your bag. It may be difficult to go through a whole cabbage or head of cauliflower each week. So I'd like to suggest an alternative to fresh eating. How about freezing? For instance, you could make a large batch of veggie soup from your offerings and then freeze a large portion for winter. It's so convenient having frozen food on hand when you're not feeling like cooking. You can also freeze the cauliflower separately. The freezing process includes blanching (allowing the florets to cook off active enzymes before freezing). But, it only takes a few minutes (3 to be exact) and some draining time and you're ready to freeze.
The newcomers in your bag this week are fennel, leeks, and Daikon radish.
Fennel - The bulb is a crisp vegetable that can be sautéed, stewed, braised, grilled, or eaten raw. Fennel is used prominently in Mediterranean cuisine, where bulbs and fronds are used, both raw and cooked, in side dishes, salads, pastas, vegetable dishes and risottos.
Leek - Leek has a mild onion-like taste. In its raw state, the vegetable is crunchy and firm. The edible portions of the leek are the white base of the leaves (above the roots and stem base), the light green parts, and to a lesser extent the dark green parts of the leaves. One of the most popular uses is for adding flavor to stock. The dark green portion is usually discarded because it has a tough texture, but they can be sauteed or added to stock
Daikon radish - This is an extremely versatile vegetable that can be eaten raw in salads or cut into strips or chips for veggie trays. It also can be stir-fried, grilled, baked, boiled or broiled. Use the daikon as you would a radish.
1 fennel bulb
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 pounds new potatoes (4 large potatoes)
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 1/2 cups grated Gruyère cheese (1/2 pound)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter the inside of a 10-by-15-by-2-inch (10-cup) baking dish.
Remove the stalks from the fennel and cut the bulbs in half, lengthwise. Remove the cores and thinly slice the bulbs crosswise. Saute the fennel and onions in the olive oil and butter on medium-low heat for 15 minutes, until tender.
Thinly slice the potatoes by hand or with a mandoline. Mix the sliced potatoes in a large bowl with 2 cups of cream, 2 cups of Gruyère, salt, and pepper. Add the sauteed fennel and onion and mix well.
Pour the potatoes into the baking dish. Press down to smooth the potatoes. Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of cream and 1/2 cup of Gruyère and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, until the potatoes are very tender and the top is browned and bubbly. Allow to set for 10 minutes and serve.
1 large leek, trim and clean
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Cook leeks until tender in abundant salted boiling water. To test for doneness, use a sharp knife to pierce the thickest part of the root end. If the leek is tender it will offer no resistance. When the leeks are done, carefully lift them out, drain them, and set them aside to cool.
To make the vinaigrette, mix together red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and papper, and olive oil in a small bowl. Taste to adjust the seasoning as needed.
Squeeze the cooled leeks gently to remove any excess water. Cut lengthwise into halves or quarters. Gently toss with a pinch of salt.
Arrange leeks on a plate, spoon vinaigrette over, and turn gently to coat. Sprinkle parsley over top. Served as a delicious addition to grilled chicken.
|Posted on August 30, 2012 at 8:45 PM||comments (0)|
The recipes I promised:
Beet Greens and Goat Cheese Crostini
about 2-3 medium Beets w/ Greens still on
1 Baguette, sliced thin (about 20 pieces), toasted in pan or oven
about 6 oz pkg Goat Cheese
1 t fresh Lemon Juice or Lemon Zest
very thin slices of fresh Lemons (optional)
1/2 t Sea Salt
1 t Balsamic Vinegar, or more if needed
fresh cracked Black Pepper
For cooking the greens: Wash and cut leaves and stems.
Heat water to boil in a medium pot.
Add stems and leaves to boiling water and quickly blanche them.
Taste a piece of stem and leaves until they are blanched to your liking.
Quickly drain greens and rinse with cold water.
Add greens to bowl, squeeze out excess water, then add balsamic vinegar and salt to taste.
In bowl, combine goat cheese, fresh lemon juice and fresh cracked black pepper. Combine well.
Spread goat cheese on crostini (toasted baguette slices) with goat cheese, thin layer of lemon sliced, thin slices of roasted beets and beet green greens (cooked or raw).
Pickled Snow Peas - Preserving the harvest!!
Use more sugar if you prefer a moderately-sour pickle.
Yield: 1 quart
1 pound snow peas
3/4 teaspoon coriander seed
3/4 teaspoon brown mustard seed
3/4 teaspoon cumin or caraway seed
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 dried chile de arbol or other dried red pepper, torn into several pieces
1 3/4 cups unseasoned Japanese rice vinegar
1 cup water
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Wash and drain the snow peas.
Snap off the ends of each snow pea, peeling and discarding the stringy fiber as you work.Set aside.
In a small saucepan, toast the coriander, mustard, cumin, fennel, peppercorns, and chile over medium-low heat, until very fragrant; a tiny bit of smoking is okay.
Put into a 4 to 6-cup jar. Add the snow peas.
Return the saucepan to the stove. Add the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and turmeric. Bring to a rolling boil.
Turn off the heat, wait for the bubbling to subside, then pour over the snow peas.
Use a spoon, spatula, or ladle to gently push the snow peas down so that they’ll be submerged in the brine. They should be eventually covered.
Let cool completely, partially covered, at room temperature. Cap and refrigerate overnight before eating.
Creamy New Potatoes with Green Onions
12 small new potatoes, unpeeled
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups green onions, cut in 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup milk
Cook, covered, for 10 minutes in an inch of boiling water with 1 teaspoon of salt.
Add scallions and cook for about 4 minutes, or until tender; drain.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper.
Stirring constantly, gradually add milk. Continue stirring and cooking until sauce is thickened.
Turn potatoes and onions into a serving dish; pour sauce over. Serves 4.
|Posted on August 29, 2012 at 2:25 AM||comments (0)|
Hello CSA Members:
Sorry for the delay. I found out at 8 p.m. that it is very likely to frost tonight. With the help of some wonderful friends we covered 100's of row feet to protect the precious crops.
In your bag this week:
Kale & Chard bunch
I will post another entry soon with some recipes for the beet greens, potatoes, and snow peas!
Until then, ENJOY!
|Posted on August 21, 2012 at 9:40 PM||comments (0)|
Hello CSA Members,
Hope you're excited to see a full bag this week, that includes:
Summer Squash (green/yellow zucchinis and patty pans)
Shelling Peas (bag with Alaska Grown tie)
Sugar Snap Peas
Baby Beets with Greens
Kale & Chard Bunch
Marjoram & Oregano
*I want to keep offering the rutabaga even though there is some obvious pest damage. I apologize as I'm still learning how to farm here in Alaska -- every place has it's issues. Remember, peeling rutabagas is a part of eating them. You'll remove the damaged areas and will be left with a delicious root veggie.
**I apologize if you encounter any passengers with your head of cauliflower. They were harvested in an area where slug pressure is high. We soaked them in water to remove as many as possible, and checked thoroughly before packing. However, there is simply no way of ensuring they were all removed without cutting it down into florets. If you're concerned, please consider chopping and soaking in salt water to remove insects, etc.
The exciting newcomer this week...PEAS! Those beautiful green pods are a great addition to any meal, or simply delicious as a snack! That's how we, the SCF team, have been enjoying them. The shelling peas (my personal favorite) are a bit of a task, but well worth the effort. I think the best way to enjoy them is either raw or sauteed lightly with garlic.
An easy Italian way of cooking shelled peas:
Heat skillet with olive oil or butter.
Toss in minced garlic and onion for just a minute before adding in shelled peas, dash of salt & pepper.
Cook another minute or so and voila, delicioso!
The sugar snap peas are easy to prepare. Simply snap the flowery top and pull down and out, removing the stringy lining (only removes one side, both sides have it.) To remove the other side, repeat similar action. They are best cooked only lightly. Once they have turned a rich, vibrant green they are done. Great to add in stir-frys and sautes. For a delicious spicy stir-fry recipe, go here.
The zucchinis are a wonderfully versatile vegetable. On a recent podcast of "The Splendid Table" they discussed the endless possibilities of cooking with summer squash. Here are a couple ideas if you're ready to get adventurous....
also check out The Splendid Table website for some more recipe ideas. Right now they have a pickled zucchini recipe on their homepage.
|Posted on August 15, 2012 at 11:20 PM||comments (0)|
Hello CSA Members!
Sorry for the delay. I hope it hasn't inconvienced anyone.
In the bag this week...
Cauliflower -- a newcomer!
Rutabaga -- newcomer!
Kale & Chard
Green or Red Butterhead Lettuce Head
Rutabaga's are an interesting vegetable, but they are certainly not going to win any beauty contests (especially with the bit of pest damage ours are experiencing). However, they are certainly delicious. Simply peel off their outer skin and chop off the top and roots. The rest is edible and can easily be chopped and added to a stir-fry, soup, or even mashed potatoes.
Rutabagas are thought to be a cross between a wild cabbage and turnip. They are noted for being high in beta-carotene and are a favorite vegetable in Sweden. In Europe they are given the nickname "swedes" because of their popularity in Swedish food culture. They can be eaten raw, grated in salads or sliced and eaten as a snack (or cooked -- boiled, steamed, roasted, stewed, etc). The same can be said about the other newcomer, cauliflower, a highly versatile vegetable. Mashing the two together sounds delicious to me!
Rutabaga & Cauliflower Mash
Salt & Pepper to taste
Butter or Oil
Dash of milk (optional)
Simply boil or steam until soft, they should have fairly similar cooking times if cut to similar size.
Mash and add other ingredients.
One CSA member commented that he needed a new idea for cabbage...this is my second favorite way to eat cabbage, behind boiled with salt and butter.
Chop cabbage in fine pieces, or put in blender/food processor to shred.
Next add a splash of vinegar, oil, and salt to begin the flavor process.
Then comes the fun part...add whatever you like! I enjoy adding additional spices like cumin and Mexican seasoning (onion, garlic, paprika, cayenne, etc.). I also typically add fresh onion and garlic, and if I have it, a couple tomatoes and/or peppers. Just be sure to taste as you go...if you add too much salt, then add more cabbage and some sugar. Everytime I make it, it comes out different -- that's the fun!
This is a great way to enjoy the vegetable raw. I've taken it to parties, and people didn't even realize it was cabbage! It's always a crowd pleaser.
Good luck & Enjoy