Blue Gate Farm News – Volume XVI, Number 2 – November 22, 2011

 

In this week’s box:

Baby Beets: Chioggia and/or Golden

Braising Greens Mix: Osaka Purple Mustard & Senposai

Broccoli: Marathon

Carrots: Bolero (orange), Napoli (orange), Parisienne (little orange), Red Dragon (red), Amarillo (yellow)

Chard: Bright Lights Mix

Chinese Cabbage (napa)

Hot Peppers: Ancho Gigantea

Kale Mix: Red Russian, Beira, & Beedy’s Camden

Shallots: Ambition (tan) & Prisma (red)

Sweet Peppers:asst

Sweet Potatoes: Beauregard & Georgia Jet

Tapestry Salad Mix

 

For those with the Egg option: one dozen free-range eggs (assorted colors)

For those with the Cheese option: Blackberry-Sage infused Chevre & Classic Feta

 

Featured Recipe(s) (see below): Chorizo and Greens Quiche 

Creamy Braising Greens Soup

Roasted Baby Beets

Sweet Potato, Kale and Cheese Soup

Black Bean Soup with Pan-Roasted Poblano Peppers

Shallot Vinaigrette

 

Precipitation last month: .6”

Precipitation to date this month: Rain:2.25” (and counting)

Snow: 3.5”

What’s up on the farm?

Things are definitely slowing down as we reach the back side of November.  The majority of the garden chores are done, though there is still a lot of produce in the fields.  Our greatest challenge now is keeping the row covers on those crops and harvesting them for as long as possible.  After the surprise 3.5” of heavy, wet snow two weeks ago, all of the row covers were completely flattened so once the snow melted off we had to go out and reset nearly every hoop (that adds up to nearly 400 hoops).  It wasn’t a very pleasant job and we are really glad that that situation is a rare one!  And speaking of row covers and surprises, we were afraid the 20° lows last week would be too much for the Chinese cabbage so they were all harvested off and stored in the cooler.  That is why you are getting them in your boxes again this week, as there isn’t room to keep them all until the December delivery.  Our new favorite use of the Chinese cabbage is to shred it finely and add to homemade chicken soup at the last minute.  The added flavor and bulk puts it right over the top!  The cooler space issue is also why you are getting peppers this week.  There is only so much space, so you get to reap the benefits of our storage shortage!  The less-than-pleasant weather has encouraged us to get a number of indoor chores done as well, including re-claiming the sunroom from its mid-summer disaster status, book-keeping and even a little fiber spinning.

 

A few details on new stuff in the box:

Everything except the shallots and sweet potatoes can go into plastic bags and store in your produce drawers.

Hot Peppers: these are a poblano-type and are the peppers traditionally used for chile rellenos.  They are perfect for cutting in half, removing the innards and filling with cheese, rice, meat or anything else and baking.

Carrots: remove tops before storing them in a plastic bag in the fridge.  These cold-weather carrots are one of the favorite things that we grow all year.  You just can’t beat their sweet flavor.

Baby beets: yes, we know these are pretty small, but they are truly a gourmet treat at this stage (roots and leaves both) and we were afraid that the upcoming colder temperatures would damage them before the next delivery, so you get to enjoy them now.  The same is true with the broccoli, the heads are very young, but better to get a little bit to enjoy now than to lose the chance due to an overnight low!

Shallots: the grown-up cousins of onions, shallots have a rich flavor that really shines in soups, sauces, salad dressings and egg dishes.  Store in a cool, dark place with good air circulation.

Sweet Potatoes: sweet potatoes don’t like water, so for best storage, don’t wash until ready to use.  Store in a room-temperature area and unlike Irish potatoes, they don’t need to be kept in the dark.

 

Upcoming Events:

Downtown Winter Market: Friday & Saturday, December 16th & 17th, Capitol Square

Next CSA Delivery: Tuesday, December 6

 

Is a weekly newsletter not enough for you and you want to read more about our daily adventures?  Follow us at our blog at http://beyondthebluegate.blogspot.com and on Facebook (just search Blue Gate Farm) and “Like” us.

 

That’s about it this week, if you have any questions or comments be sure to let us know. 

 

Best from the farm,

Jill & Sean (and Blue & Luci)

 

 

Chorizo and Greens Quiche 
  Serves: 6-8
1 unbaked pie crust (homemade, bought, whatever you like)
1/2 pound chorizo (taken out of the casings if that's how you bought it)
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 cups roughly chopped greens (beet greens, radish greens, etc)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
pinch of nutmeg
1 cup shredded cheddar

Preheat your oven 375 degrees.

Place your pie crust in a 9-inch pie pan. Prick the bottom with a fork. Cover the dough with a sheet of parchment paper. Fill the crust with pie weights or dried beans. Place into your preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes until the crust is a touch golden and partially baked. Take out of the oven, set aside to cool on a baking race. Turn the oven down to 325 degrees.

In a large skillet oven medium heat, brown your chorizo, transfer to a paper-towel lined plate and set aside.

In that same skillet, over medium heat again, add your onions and cook until tender. Add your teaspoon of minced garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant. You can now add your greens to the mix. Salt and pepper to taste and then add in your crushed red pepper. Cook the mixture until greens are soft and softly wilted. Set aside to cool.

Now, in a large bowl, beat together eggs, egg yolk, milk, heavy cream, salt, white pepper, and nutmeg. Next, add the chorizo, greens, and cheddar cheese to the egg mixture and stir until combined.

Pour the mixture into your cooled, partially-baked pie crust. Place into the oven and bake until the top is golden brown and the quiche is set in the middle. This will take about 30-35 minutes.

Allow to cool five minutes before serving.

 

Recipe Source: www.lighterandlocal.com

 

 

Creamy Braising Greens Soup

1  slice thick-cut bacon, diced

1  large onion, peeled and diced

1  large carrot, peeled and diced

2  cloves garlic, minced

1/2  pound sausage, dried chorizo or smoked sausage, diced

6  medium potatoes, peeled and diced

7 1/2  cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 1/2  cups mixed braising greens, such as kale, Swiss chard, mustard greens and dandelion greens, thoroughly washed, stems removed, and cut into very fine strips

1/2  cup heavy cream

1/2  teaspoon kosher salt

1/2  teaspoon hot sauce (optional)

Coarsely ground black pepper

Sauté bacon in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside, reserving drippings in pan. Crumble bacon when cool.

Add onion and carrot to pan; cook over medium heat until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and sausage; cook, stirring frequently, until sausage is lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes.

Add potatoes and broth; stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are fork tender, about 15 minutes.

Add greens, cream and salt and continue to simmer until soup is thoroughly heated, about 5 minutes. Add hot sauce, if using, and black pepper to taste.

Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with reserved bacon.

Recipe Source: www.relish.com

 

 

Roasted Baby Beets

2 pounds trimmed red and/or yellow baby beets or small beets

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 large orange

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons thinly sliced shallot

2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. If using small beets, cut them into 1- to 1-1/2-inch wedges. Place beets in a single layer in a shallow baking pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil; toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to combine. Cover with foil and roast for 25 minutes. Uncover and roast about 15 minutes more or until beets are tender; cool. If using small beets, peel the beets. (Baby beets do not need to be peeled.)

2. Meanwhile, using a small sharp knife or citrus tool, remove long shreds of peel from the orange, taking care not to remove the white pith; measure 2 tablespoons peel. Squeeze juice from orange; measure 1/3 cup juice.

3. In a glass dish, whisk together the 1/3 cup orange juice, the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, vinegar, shallot, and Dijon mustard. Add beets and orange peel; toss gently to combine. Cover and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours. Makes 8 servings.

Recipe Source: www.bhg.com

 

 

Sweet Potato, Kale and Cheese Soup

     2 medium sweet potatoes (3 cups diced)

     1 large onion, chopped

     2 cups water

     1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

     3-4 teaspoons Dijon mustard

     1 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, grated and lightly packed

     1-2 cups finely shredded kale

     1/2 cup skim milk (approximately)

     1 teaspoon sea salt

 

1. Place the sweet potatoes, onion, and water in a large kettle. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until tender. 2. Transfer the cooked vegetables and the liquid to a food processor or blender and  blend until creamy. In a blender, this will have to be done in two or three batches. 3. Return the creamed mixture to the kettle. Add the nutmeg, mustard, kale and cheese. Stir over medium heat until the cheese is melted. Add as much milk as needed to achieve the desired consistency. Season to taste with sea salt.

 

Recipe Source: Cooking with the Right Side of the Brain

 

 

Black Bean Soup with Pan-Roasted Poblano Peppers and Crispy Shoestring Tortillas

  serves 6

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 medium poblano peppers (12 oz) (340g) – seeded and cut in 1/4” dices (2 cups)

1 medium Spanish onion – peeled and cut in 1/4” dices (2 cups)

4 garlic cloves – skinned and minced

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle to taste

2 medium carrots (4 oz) (115g) – seeded and cut in 1/4” dices (3/4 cup)

5 cups cooked black beans

6 cups reserved cooking liquid from the beans or water

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt to taste

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 tablespoon Tequila

For the garnishes

4 corn tortillas

3 tablespoons sunflower or canola oil

large pinch sea salt

2 tablespoons crème fraîche or low-fat sour cream

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

Step 1: Heat a large, heavy-bottom soup pot at medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and poblano peppers. Sauté for 2 minutes until the peppers soften. Add the onions and sauté for 7 to 8 minutes, until golden-brown. Add the garlic, chili powder, chipotle and carrots. Sauté for 1 minute. Add the black beans, reserved cooking liquid and salt.

Step 2: Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium to medium-low, cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until carrots are tender. Purée the soup with a stick blender or food processor so that it’s creamy, but still a bit chunky. Add the lime juice and Tequila. Adjust the salt and thin the soup with additional water if needed.

Step 3: Cut the corn tortillas in half. Cut each half in 1/8” julienne strips. Heat a large skillet to high heat. Add the oil and the tortilla strips and reduce the heat to medium-high. Toss well so that the tortilla strips are well coated with the oil and spread them over the whole surface of the pan. Sauté for 6 to 8 minutes until the strips are golden, tossing occasionally. Remove from heat and spread on a tray lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with sea salt and let cool to room temperature.

Cook’s note: The tortilla strips can be made up to 3 days ahead. Store at room temperature in a sealed container.

Step 4: Ladle soup in bowls. Spoon a small dollop of crème fraîche or sour cream in the center of each bowl. Sprinkle with the cilantro, top with the shoestring tortillas and serve.

Recipe Source: www.foodandstyle.com

 

 

SHALLOT VINAIGRETTE

1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon
Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil (preferably French) or safflower oil