Monthly Archives: December 2013

Recipe: Roasted Turnips and Greens

This week’s recipe if from Chef Charlie Parker.  Charlie was the chef at the Cellar Door Cafe and was a customer of ours.  It was submitted to foodandwine.com.

Roasted Turnips and Greens

Photo credit: © Brown W. Cannon III

For a main-course salad, Cellar Door Café chef Charlie Parker concocted this unexpectedly delicious combination of turnips, oranges and hazelnuts.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 navel orange, plus 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 pounds young turnips and their greens—turnips halved, greens stemmed and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 ounces baby spinach (2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts

Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. In a mini food processor, puree the olives; transfer to a bowl. Using a sharp knife, peel the orange, removing all of the bitter white pith. Working over another bowl, cut in between the membranes to release the sections.
  2. On a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle the turnips with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Roast for 20 minutes, until almost tender.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 minutes. Add the water and turnip greens, cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the greens are just tender, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour the orange juice over the turnips. Roast for 5 minutes longer, until the turnips are tender and glazed; season with salt.
  5. Add the spinach to the greens; toss until wilted. Drizzle the pureed olives onto a platter. Top with the turnips, greens, orange sections and hazelnuts. Serve hot or warm.

Notes

  • Serves 4
  • Total time: 55 minutes
  • SUGGESTED PAIRING: Kalamata olives help the dish pair with a peppery California Syrah.

–posted by Steven

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What’s in the Box for Dec 31 – Jan 3, 2014

Reminder – all boxes will be at the gate (or delivered to Santa Cruz) on Tuesday morning, December 31, unless otherwise requested.

In this week’s CSA box we have:

  • Lacinato chard  or collards
  • sunchokes
  • Hakurei turnips
  • Farao cabbages
  • butternut squash
  • Bearss limes and Eureka lemons
  • Bloomsdale spinach
  • herbs: Tuscan blue rosemary and English thyme
  • salad reds and greens

–posted by Steven

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(Almost) True Texas Chili

I know many of our CSA subscribers are vegetarians or vegans, but there are a few of us who still enjoy some red meat from time to time.  We have been looking for a while for a good chili recipe, and we have found it with this one.

Now, contrary to all good Texans, we actually like beans with our chili, so we add one full pound of cooked dried red small kidney beans to this recipe.   There are several ways to cook dried beans (you can Google it), but we have found using an electric pressure cooker is great – no need to adjust the flame or worry about scorching or adding water – just set it up, plug it in, and 35 minutes later perfect beans.  Actually, it’s about all we use the pressure cooker for, but we use it all the time.  However you cooks the beans, you can simply add them at the end of the recipe – just stir them in and serve.

This recipe is from Epicurious.com, submitted by “Stanley, Evan, Mark, and David Lobel, with Mary Goodbody and David Whiteman.”  Click on the pic for the original webpage.

True Texas Chili

True Texas Chili  recipe

Photo credit: Lucy Schaeffer

This Texas classic doesn’t include beans or tomatoes, only beef, homemade chile paste, and a few flavorings. It’s what Texans call a “Bowl o’ Red” and tastes intensely of its two main ingredients. Take care to cook the chili at the barest possible simmer to avoid evaporating the sauce before the beef is tender. Whatever combination of dried chiles you use, make sure they’re as fresh as possible by buying from a store with good turnover. Dried chiles should be pliable (but not damp) and without signs of mold.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces dried, whole New Mexico (California), guajillo, or pasilla chiles, or a combination (6 to 8 chiles)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons lard, vegetable oil, or rendered beef suet
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck, well trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (to yield 2 pounds after trimming)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups beef stock , or canned low-sodium beef broth, plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons masa harina (corn tortilla flour)
  • 1 tablespoon firmly packed dark brown sugar, plus more as needed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar, plus more as needed
  • Sour cream
  • Lime wedges

 Procedure

  1. Place the chiles in a straight-sided large skillet over medium-low heat and gently toast the chiles until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Don’t let them burn or they’ll turn bitter. Place the chiles in a bowl and cover them with very hot water and soak until soft, 15 to 45 minutes, turning once or twice.
  2. Drain the chiles; split them and remove stems and seeds (a brief rinse helps remove seeds, but don’t wash away the flesh). Place the chiles in the bowl of a blender and add the cumin, black pepper, 1 tablespoon salt and 1/4 cup water. Purée the mixture, adding more water as needed (and occasionally scraping down the sides of the blender jar), until a smooth, slightly fluid paste forms (you want to eliminate all but the tiniest bits of skin.) Set the chile paste aside.
  3. Return skillet to medium-high heat and melt 2 tablespoons of the lard. When it begins to smoke, swirl skillet to coat and add half of the beef. Lightly brown on at least two sides, about 3 minutes per side, reducing the heat if the meat threatens to burn. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with 2 more tablespoons of lard and the remaining beef. Reserve.
  4. Let the skillet cool slightly, and place it over medium-low heat. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of lard in the skillet; add the onion and garlic and cook gently for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the stock, the remaining 2 cups water and gradually whisk in the masa harina to avoid lumps. Stir in the reserved chile paste, scraping the bottom of the skillet with a spatula to loosen any browned bits. Add the reserved beef (and any juices in the bowl) and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain the barest possible simmer (just a few bubbles breaking the surface) and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender but still somewhat firm and 1 1/2 to 2 cups of thickened but still liquid sauce surrounds the cubes of meat, about 2 hours.
  5. Stir in the brown sugar and vinegar thoroughly and add more salt to taste; gently simmer 10 minutes more. At this point, it may look like there is excess sauce. Turn off the heat and let the chili stand for at least 30 minutes, during which time the meat will absorb about half of the remaining sauce in the skillet, leaving the meat bathed in a thick, somewhat fluid sauce. Stir in additional broth or water if the mixture seems too dry. If the mixture seems a bit loose and wet, allow it to simmer a bit more (sometimes we like to partially crush the cubes of beef with the back of a spoon to let them absorb more sauce). Adjust the balance of flavors with a bit of additional salt, sugar, or vinegar, if you like.
  6. Reheat gently and serve in individual bowls with a dollop of sour cream on top and a lime wedge on the side.

 Notes

  • Serves 4 [with beans, serves 8]
  • From Lobel’s Meat Bible: All You Need to Know About Meat and Poultry from America’s Master Butchers by Stanley, Evan, Mark, and David Lobel, with Mary Goodbody and David Whiteman. Text copyright © 2009 by Morris Lobel & Sons, Inc.; photographs © 2009 by Lucy Schaeffer. Published by Chronicle Books LLC.

–submitted by Steven

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What’s in the Box for December 17 – 20, 2013

In this week’s CSA box we have:

  • Bloomsdale spinach  or collards
  • brussels sprouts or cauliflower
  • Napoli carrots
  • Yukon gold potatoes
  • just slightly spicy dried NuMex peppers
  • Bearss limes
  • herbs: Tuscan blue rosemary and English thyme
  • salad reds and greens

–posted by Steven

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No CSA boxes the week of December 10-13, 2013

Due to the freezing weather we won’t have boxes for you.  There wasn’t enough growth of the chard, kale, collards, and other greens.  We’ll give them a week to defrost and recover.

Also note that Christmas week there won’t be boxes.

For those of you who have already paid for either/both of these boxes, you will be credited.

I know that some of you found aphids in your cauliflower.  I did too and in fact after cutting it into florets and washing it repeatedly I finally gave up and roasted them.  After the roast I couldn’t distinguish them from the black pepper.  Your mileage may vary.

Thank you everyone and we hope you have lovely holidays.

— posted by Linda

 

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Recipe: Pat and Gina Neely’s Key Lime Bars

Linda told me she wasn’t going to put Limes in the box if I didn’t post this recipe.  I said to myself, “So, what’s wrong with Margaritas?”  But, only to myself.  And anyway, these do look awfully good.  This is from the ABC News website

GMA Recipes

Photo credit: ABC News

“These tart-sweet bar cookies are a variation on traditional lemon bars, and, girl, they are a vacation in a pan! The tender cookie base holds a puckery lime filling that gets a little extra kick from grated lime zest. You can use fresh limes or that bottled key-lime juice you brought back from your last trip to the Gulf Coast. These bars need nothing more than a dusting of confectioners’ sugar, and they make an ideal dessert for barbecues, picnics, and slumber parties,” according to Gina Neely.

Ingredients

Cookie crust

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Pinch kosher salt

Lime topping

  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (or bottled key-lime juice), plus 2 tablespoons
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest, grated
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish

Procedure

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9×13-inch cake pan with nonstick spray.

  1. To make the crust, combine the butter and confectioners? sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the flour and salt, and mix another minute, until well combined (see note).
  2. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and pat out to an even thickness over the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust for 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from the oven, and cool on a baking rack.
  3. To make the topping, whisk together the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, and whisk until just combined, then whisk in the lime juice and zest. Pour the lime topping over the cooled crust, then bake for an additional 25 minutes, or until the filling is set.
  4. Allow the bars to cool completely. Generously dust with confectioners’ sugar and cut into squares. For the neatest presentation, use a metal spatula or a butcher’s scraper to remove the bars from the pan. Leftovers will keep for 2 or 3 days at room temperature, or for up to a week in the refrigerator.
  5. Note: The cookie crust dough can be prepared up to 2 days in advance, then wrapped in plastic and stored in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to bake the bars, simply bring the dough to room temperature and pat out as described above.

Notes

  • Serves over 8
  • Difficulty – easy
  • Cook time – 30-60 minutes
  • Courtesy “Down Home With the Neelys: A Southern Family Cookbook”

–posted by Steven

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Links to Pumpkin Ideas

Linda has been busy doing a bit of research, and came up with a couple of great sites to give you plenty of ideas of what to do what that little pumpkin you have in your CSA box this week.

The first is from King Arthur Flour

IMG_0001

Photo credit: King Arthur Flour

Pumpkins, pumpkins, everywhere…

But what do you DO with them – aside from admire their cheery, bright orange presence on your doorstep, and eventually carve them into a jack-o’-lantern?

Well, you can actually cook pumpkin and make it into all kinds of wonderful treats, from pie and scones tomuffins (gluten-free!) and bread and soup and… well, suffice it to say we have 56 recipes on our sitemaking use of this versatile vegetable. Or fruit. (But vegetable is more alliterative, so let’s stick with that.)

See the pumpkins pictured above? That monster in the back is great for jack-o’-lanterns. But it’s not particularly good for cooking. The smaller pumpkins in front are much more appropriate.

If you want to make your own pumpkin purée, choose a sugar pumpkin, which is smaller, about the size of a volleyball (more or less). You’ll usually see them labeled as cooking, pie, or sugar pumpkins, and they’ll weigh in the 4- to 8-pound range.

Can you make pumpkin purée from a big (non-sugar) pumpkin? Sure. The purée won’t be as flavorful, that’s all.

Click through and you will find how to make the puree, as well as ideas for scones, donuts, cake bars, and roasted seeds.

The second link is from allrecipes.com and gives you some great ideas on Baking with Fresh Pumpkin.

Smaller is Better
Choose sugar pie pumpkins or other flavorful varieties. Small and sweet, with dark orange-colored flesh, they’re perfect for pies, soups, muffins and breads.

A medium-sized (4-pound) sugar pumpkin should yield around 1½ cups of mashed pumpkin. This puree can be used in all your recipes calling for canned pumpkin.

Field pumpkins, which are bred for perfect jack-o’-lanterns, tend to be too large and stringy for baking.

Not many pictures to post here to entice you, but there are a bunch of recipe links you will want to check out.

Please send pictures of what you end up cooking – we’ll post them here.

–posted by Steven

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