Monday, August 27, 2007

Farm Chef

Farm News . . .

This is the second season that Taylor has prepared the mid-day meal for all the farm crew, and farm family each day. With a background in fine dining restaurants and dealing with wholesale purveyors, Taylor really appreciates the access to fresh ingredients. He especially notes the increased freshness and better taste of onions, garlic, sweet basil, corn and okra. By cooking with the seasons, Taylor is limited by what is ready to harvest, but has free choice to prepare whatever he wants. He believes in “home cooked” meals with flavors related to traditional Latin American cuisine. Our farm chef seems to thoroughly enjoy what he does, and we all benefit from the fruits of his labor!

Cajun Succotash
Saute diced onion and minced garlic. Add corn cut off the cob and okra sliced in bite-sized pieces. Finish with diced tomatoes. Salt and pepper to taste.To freeze, cut all fresh ingredients (except tomatoes) and put in plastic bag. Add tomatoes when ready to cook later.

In Your Basket . . .

Sweet Corn
We know you will be pleased to see more sweet corn this year. A little background for you on corn production – each kernel of corn is pollinated individually in order to grow. The silks inside connect each kernel to tassels at the top of the ear. Really hot air and wind will make the tassel end dry up before the pollen has traveled down the silk to the corn kernel. So, if you have an ear with spotty kernels, you know why. Also, the heat speeds up the life cycle of the corn earworm. It will travel into the tip of the ear of corn before the corn is mature enough to harvest. Earlier in the year, the corn is ready to pick before the earworm tries to enter the husk. We cut off the top ends for you.

Green Onions – organic
Enjoy these versatile onions in any dish. The longer an onion is cooked, the milder it becomes and the natural sweetness comes forth. Store refrigerated and in a container to prevent the flavor from transferring to other food items.

Celery - organic
Enjoy this celery in a wonderful soup recipe shared by a CSA member last season. Remember that adding a fresh green to any soup will enhance the flavor of every ingredient in the pot!Use the celery leaves in place of fresh parsley. Store in the coldest portion of your refrigerator or place upright in a container with a little water and cover with a plastic bag. It will keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks or more.

Bell Peppers – organic


Squash and Zucchini

Tomatoes – organic
Enjoy a medley of tiny tomatoes including the Sungold, Pears, Black Prince and Ivory Egg.

Your Choice Basket:

Okra – organic - new this week!
Low in calories, this popular Southern vegetable is high in amino acids and minerals. Try slicing into bite-sized pieces, tossing in seasoned corn meal, and skillet frying until slightly browned and a little crisp. Enjoy as a fun snack, a side veggie, or appetizer. Can be eaten alone or dipped in favorite dip or sauce.

Recipes to Enjoy . . .

Celery Roquefort Soup
recipe from Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special shared by CSA member, Dorothy

2 T butter
1 C diced onions
2 C diced celery
1 C water
2 C milk
4 ounces Roquefort or blue cheese
8 ounces Neufchatel or cream cheese
salt and ground black pepper to taste

In a soup pot melt the butter on medium heat. Add the onions and celery, cover, and cook, stirring frequently, until soft but not browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the water, cover, and bring to a simmer.
In a blender, combine the milk, blue cheese, and cream cheese and puree until very smooth. Stir the puree into the soup and add salt and pepper to taste. Reheat gently and serve hot.

Fried Eggplant Salad
from Greene on Greens

1 large eggplant or 2 small (about 1 ½ pounds)
½ C olive oil, approximately
1 medium onion, halved, thinly sliced; or green onions
1 large clove garlic, minced
juice of 2 lemons
salt and freshly ground pepper
chopped fresh parsley
lemon wedges

Cut the stem from the eggplant and slice it in half lengthwise. Cut each half into ¼ inch thick slices. Place the slices in a colander, sprinkle them with salt, and let stand 30 minutes. Brush the eggplant with paper towels to remove the salt; pat dry.
Heat 2 T of the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add enough eggplant slices to cover the bottom. Sprinkle lightly with more oil, and sauté until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Continue to sauté the eggplant slices, adding more oil as needed.
Pour off all but 2 tsp of oil from skillet. Add the onion; cook over medium-low heat 1 minute. Add the garlic; cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
Place one fourth of the eggplant in the bottom of a deep, narrow serving bowl. Sprinkle with the juice of ½ lemon. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Top with one fourth of the onion mixture. Continue to layer, squeezing lemon juice over each successive layer of eggplant, until all ingredients are used up. End with the onion mixture. Chill well. Serve garnished with parsley and lemon wedges. Serves 4 as an appetizer.

Hearty Eggplant-Zucchini Toss
from Asparagus to Zucchini

1 small eggplant
3 medium zucchini
1 large onion
4 cloves garlic
3 medium tomatoes
1-2 stalks celery
1 T olive oil
2 T tomato sauce (optional)
2 T oregano
salt and pepper

Peel the eggplant and cut it into chunks. Cut zucchini into ¾ inch rounds. Chop onion coarsely. Mince the garlic. Quarter or halve the tomatoes. Chop the celery. Heat oil in large skillet over medium and add all the chopped vegetables, the tomato sauce, plus the oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Toss well; cover the pan, and cook, stirring occasionally. You must keep watch over this dish, it will form a watery sauce at first, and the vegetables should be stirred in it until they are all somewhat cooked, about 10-15 minutes. Then remove the cover and cook a few more minutes until the sauce is reduced. Serve as a sauce for pasta or rice. Makes 4-6 servings.