Saturday, May 21, 2011

This Weeks' Share

Contents do vary according to share size--if you have something that's not pictured, and want to ask questions about them, contact us! 
Please forgive me for any typos--it is late on the tail end of an extremely busy week!

Strawberries--large shares only this week. We have no idea if they will come back for another bountiful week in shares, so enjoy them while, when and if you get them!

Spinach-- was put in both size shares. Great Sauteed, in salads, or a family favorite is a Spinach Quiche!

Pea Greens--Grown by request, (and with a rather pessimistic attitude) we were delighted while harvesting these to find that they actually taste good! They would be great in a salad, sauteed, or thrown in a stir fry!

Lettuce mix--we love our salad blend! Some shares received baby butterhead lettuce in place of these bags of mix. In either case, we suggest you wash them before eating as they were packed late last night and have what we would call "extra minerals!"

Green Onions--They are so mild and sweet this time of year! Great with a salad (or of course pinto beans), sauteed with your greens, or thrown in an omelet!

Mixed Greens--Our own blend of Mustard, Turnip Collard & Kale, we sell this special blend as "mixed steaming greens" (for some reason), but they are actually best (in my opinion) when sauteed with minced garlic!

 Bok Choy--Some shares received loosleaf bok choy (in red & greens). These are great (again) sauteed with garlic, steamed, stir fried, juiced, or yes, grilled!

Now--here are some recipes Mom sent out last year on using bok choy and other greens. Many of them are now customer favorites! Please share your own recipes, and advice on how to use your share by commenting on this blogpost!

From the kitchen of ....The Farmers' Wife!

   “This week you’ll find Bok Choy Chinese Cabbage in your shares. Like I’ve written before, these greens are versatile! Adam’s favorite way to eat Bok Choy is explained in one of the first letters I wrote you with Sautéed Swiss Chard. I experimented with a new recipe this week that my great Aunt from New Hampshire sent me. Since the directions were sparse, I now know how to make it better. I like the sweet/sour taste, but Farmer Steve says he would leave the sugar out. Experiment and have fun!

Bok Choi Salad
½ cup slivered or sliced almonds
1 package of Ramen Noodles, crunched and without seasoning packet
¼ cup sesame seeds
¼ cup butter
1 small head of Joy Choi Cabbage (or any variety of Chinese cabbage)
3 green onions
Melt butter and add first 4 ingredients. Brown carefully not letting seeds burn. Next cut up cabbage and onions, set aside.
¼ cup oil
2 Tablespoons vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
¼ cup sugar (I used natural cane crystals)
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce (I used natural Tamari)

45 minutes before serving mix all ingredients thoroughly. Cool in the refrigerator, stirring if needed.  Option- Add cooled, diced cooked chicken to make a complete meal.

    Farmer Steve enjoys stir fry also and we hope you will too. Below I share my basic stir fry recipe with you…each one I make is a little different, depending on what I have on hand. I believe it’s important for a CSA shareholder to learn many new ways to prepare vegetables so they don’t go to waste. It’s an exciting challenge!  This recipe will help you on the day you clean out the refrigerator and prepare for a new share to come home. On the other hand, this also is a great meal to prepare ahead of time. It cooks in minutes once preparation work is done. Quantities in this recipe are basic guidelines. The Chinese cabbage is the filler, so adjust how much you will need when you actually start cooking. Leftovers can be easily sautéed later for another meal. Chinese cooking, like partnering with our farm, is an experience!  IMPORTANT: cut the ginger in slices that can be easily removed after cooking. It was a family joke as a child to see who bit the ginger slice! I was always on the lookout after the first time I found it the hard way!                     
Basic Stir Fry
3 Tablespoons oil, roughly divided
2 cups of boneless meat (chicken, pork, beef, or shrimp) cut in thin strips
2 thin slices of fresh ginger (can use powdered if fresh is unavailable)
About 2 cups of bouillon the same flavor as the meat
3-4 Tablespoons Cornstarch
          A variety of vegetables cut in the same thickness: Onions, (a must) broccoli, snap or snow peas, mushrooms, green beans, cauliflower, sprouted lentils or mung beans, carrots, summer squash, baby corn, green/red peppers, tomatoes, Chinese Cabbage, etc.

          Cut your choice of meat into small pieces. This is put into a small bowl (sometimes with a 1/3 cup of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, and two tablespoons of cider vinegar to marinade). Using a large round tray (adapt to fit what you have). Put your small bowl of meat in the middle of your tray. Now, cut the vegetables in bite sized chunks of similar thickness. I start with the seasoning vegetables like ginger and onions. I put these on the tray at 12:00. Next, I cut the vegetable that takes the longest to cook, usually carrots. Then in descending order of cooking time, place the vegetables around the tray to the mushrooms or tomatoes if they are available. Each vegetable is placed on the tray around like a clock face…the carrots usually are at 1, and the mushrooms are around 11. If this is cut up ahead of time, cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until cooking time.
     Our family likes this on a bed of rice, so I start my rice cooker around 45 minutes before supper. When the table is set and the rice is about done, heat your wok or large skillet up on HIGH. Add 1 T oil, then meat. When the meat has lost its color, remove to your small bowl again. Next, add the remaining oil and your seasoning vegetables (ginger and onions). Sauté for about one minute. Add vegetables in order on your tray, stirring constantly and leaving a few minutes between the carrots and the next vegetable until all vegetables (except tomatoes if you are using them) are being stirred. When your arm grows weary, add the bouillon water. Cover and let steam to desired tenderness, remembering Chinese stir fries are cooked al dente!  Add your bowl of meat and its juices. Add tomatoes at this point if you are using them.  Lastly, add cornstarch as needed to broth to thicken gravy. Serve immediately over a bed of rice or Chow Mein Noodles.

Basic Steamed Kale

Remove stems, wash well in cool water. Tear or cut into pieces and place in a large covered pot with as little water as possible on medium heat. Simmer for about 8 minutes, or to taste. Since you used as little water as possible there shouldn’t be too much to drain off. I simply serve ours with a slotted spoon. Some of the family likes a small pat of butter on their serving while others prefer raw vinegar…experiment!

   One thing I stressed last year and will again this year is that ALL GREENS ARE INTERCHANGEABLE
. If you don’t have enough of one green called for in a recipe, add to or substitute another from your share. This past fall I gleaned our fields and had a mixture of collards, kale, Swiss Chard, turnip, beet and other greens that I simply chopped coarsely and mixed together before freezing them. We ate greens all winter long…simply steamed, in soups, mixed with pasta, and tucked into casseroles.

   This is my latest experiment in the farm kitchen…it doesn’t have a name yet, so I’ll have to pause a minute here to name it….whallaaaaaaaaaa!                                       serves 2 heartily

Green Eggs & Ham
4 eggs, cracked and scrambled in a bowl
3 green onions, chopped
2 handfuls of spinach, Swiss Chard, or other mixed green
6 small shitake mushrooms (optional)
crumbled cooked bacon/chopped bits of ham (optional)

Chop raw bacon or ham into small pieces. In a small frying pan fry bacon or brown ham (Add a bit of oil if using ham.)
When the bacon is crisp add the green onion. Saute a minute or so to soften to eldante. Add your greens with a small amount of mushroom juice (I used canned) or water. Stir fry until limp. Lastly add your eggs, (Adjust the amount of eggs to your preference.) and scramble them to your desired doneness. Serve warm with a slice of our homemade bread and jam! J

Here is another recipe given to me by a shareholder last year. It calls for a little known grain that we enjoy as a break from pasta, rice, and potatoes as a side. I like to experiment, so do a bit of research for yourself on different grains such as  millet, quinoa, red and brown rice and other grains. This recipe has roots in Gullah goodness!

Millety Greens
2 Tablespoons canola or olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
Pinch of ground cloves
1 pounds smoked pork neck bones or ham hocks
6 cups homemade chicken stock or canned broth
2 pounds greens (such as mustard, collards, Swiss Chard)
1 ½ cups hulled millet seeds
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

1.  Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion; cook 1 minute. Add the garlic and cloves; cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes
2.   Add the pork pieces to the onion mixture. Toss to coat, and stir in the chicken stock. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 1 hour.
3.  Add the greens to the pork mixture; cook, covered, 5 minutes. Stir well, recover a, and continue to cook 25 minutes.
4.  Meanwhile, place the millet in a large heavy skillet and stir over medium high heat until the seeds turn golden, about 5 minutes. The millet will pop slightly as it browns. Remove from the heat.
5.  Stir the millet into the greens mixture. Continue to cook, covered, over medium-low heat until the millet is very tender and most liquid has been absorbed, about 30 minutes. Remove the pork bones. Return the meat to the pot and cook, uncovered, until all liquid has been absorbed, about 5 minutes longer. Served sprinkled with fresh parsley if desired. Serves 6

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