- September 15th, 2011
This week’s CSA has quite a bit of variety from our farm and we are treating you with some of our neighbors corn from Gallrein Farms. Here over the next few weeks as we are waiting on some of our fall crops, we are doing a little “clean up” of some items where other crops are just now starting to bear—so everyone may not receive the same items.
This past week encompassed an element of farming that isn’t traditional. I spent both Monday evening and all day Wednesday “sharing tastes” of our summer harvest with folks. Monday night was at the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce’s Taste and Tunes and Wednesday was at a Culinary Event hosted by Piazza Produce in Indy. For both events I made the following recipe. It’s kinda weird, but interesting and full of flavor. I wanted something light and refreshing and to really capture the taste of summer. Sarah Fritschner of Farm to Table helped me with this recipe…I encourage you to get daring and try it for your next get-together….great conversation piece!
Watermelon, Tomato and Mint Salad
(amended from Epicurious, Aug. 2008, Rick Rodgers)
1 watermelon (4-4 1/2 pounds), preferably seedless
3 large ripe tomatoes, preferably colorful, seeded and cut in 1-inch cubes
1/4 of a medium onion
4 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
a few dashes of salt
(The original recipe calls for more onion and 1 cup of crumbled feta cheese. If you use feta cheese, omit adding salt).
Cut up the watermelon into 1 inch cubes (remove seeds if needed). Transfer to serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour or up to 12. Add the tomatoes, onion, and mint to the watermelon and toss gently. Add the feta (or salt) and toss again. Serve immediately.
Add 1 tablespoon salt; set 1 hour. Squeeze out
1 cup vinegar
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. celery seed
1/4 cup water
Boil 1 minute; cool. Pour over slaw and freeze.
(this recipe is from the St. Dominic School cookbook, Springfield, KY submitted by Bubba Robertson). I thought it might be good for those of you who’d like fresh slaw in a few months.
Stuffed Banana Peppers
This comes from The Food Network and has amazing reviews. The variety of banana peppers we raised this year are in fact Hungarian Wax, so they are perfect for this! Hope everyone tries!
- 1 pound hot ground Italian Sausage, roasted and chopped fine
- 1/2 cup Locatelli Romano cheesee
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large egg
- Olive oil to saute
- 4 banana peppers (Hungarian hots or mild as preferred)
- 1 cup marinara sauce, heated for service
- Wedge dry ricotta cheese
Mix sausage, cheese, bread crumbs, salt and pepper, and egg together in mixing bowl. Season to taste. Adjust mixture with additional cheese and bread crumbs if too dry or moist – medium moisture for stuffing desired. Make a radial slice around the top of the banana pepper leaving the top intact. Pull back top and remove seeds if so desired. Gently stuff mixture into peppers. Place olive oil in hot saute pan. Gently place peppers in the pan and fry each side until browned. Place marinara sauce in middle of plate. Arrange peppers on top of marinara and grate the dry ricotta cheese on top of the hot peppers
While at the food show I helped with, I picked up an edible Indy magazine. I came across this corn chowder recipe and thought it sounded good for this cool, rainy weather we are having. Her trick for getting fresh corn off the cob is to put a 15-ounce tin can in the middle of a large bowl. Place / prop the cob on the can and cut down, allowing the kernels to fall into the bowl. Make the first cut about half way through the kernels and the second close to the cob. This double cut releases more of the liquid and increases the chowder’s corniness.
by Andie Marshall
Makes 8 servings
1/4 pound bacon, finely chopped
1 tablespoon butter
2 large all-purpose potatoes, peeled and diced
2 large ribs celery with tops, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 medium bay leaf, fresh or dried
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock
2 cups whole milk
2 cups cream
3 cups cooked corn kernels and liquid*
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium to high heat. Add chopped bacon and cook until crisp. Remove bacon with slotted spoon; drain thoroughly and set aside. Reduce heat to medium. Add butter, potatoes, celery, onion and red bell pepper to bacon drippings. Cook vegetables until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Add bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper. Sprinkle vegetables with flour and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the chicken stock, milk and cream, stirring constantly. Bring soup to a bubble. Add corn and bacon (saving some for garnish) and stir. Simmer for 15 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper seasonings to your taste. Remove the bay leaf before serving.
* About 6 ears of corn will yield 3 cups of kernels and liquid. If you are starting with raw ears, first boil the whole cobs in water for five minutes, then cool before cutting the kernels from the cobs.
Suggested garnishes: crisp bacon, oyster crackers, diced green onions.
How to cook FRESH Lima Beans (Harvest Share—we only picked the pods that were filled, and hoping with last week’s rain, the other pods will fill soon and everyone will get to enjoy some frsh lima beans before frost)
It’s a little more time-consuming than frozen, but I think it’s worth the effort. Remove the beans from the pods and rinse under cold water. Place the beans in a small pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and boil them for about 5 minutes, or about 2 minutes after the skin has begun to look pale and puckery. Drain and rinse under cold water until they are cool to the touch. Remove the tough outer skins by poking a hole in the “belly button” with your fingernail or a knife. The bean will pop right out – although the skins are a little tougher than fava bean skins, they pull away from the bean much easier than the favas, so this isn’t nearly as time consuming. I like to skin them right over the same pot, and then cover them with water again. Bring to a boil again and cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until the beans have reached desired softness. Drain and return to the pot again, putting the beans (with no water) back over high heat for just a few seconds, to dry them off. Toss the pan a little whilst doing this. Remove from heat and drizzle with good extra virgin olive oil, or coat with a pat of butter, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
Something that is pretty fun about selling food is you get to hear all kinds of little tricks here and there. One of the distributors we work with was telling me about this amazing eggplant dip called babaganoush. I never thought I’d be able to remember the word, much less find a recipe. Wanting to find something fun for this week’s eggplants—or come back to this recipe another week—the reviews were great!
Middle Eastern Fire-Roasted Eggplant Dip: Babaganoush
Total time: 40 minutes, yield is 4 cups of dip
- 2 large eggplants
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2/3 cup tahini (sesame seed paste, available in the international aisle at the supermarket)
- 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Pita chips, for dipping
There are 2 ways to cook the eggplants. The first way, on the stovetop, is my favorite because it yields a much smokier-flavored babaganoush.
For the stovetop method: Turn 2 burners up full-throttle. Place 1 eggplant on each burner and, using a pair of tongs, turn every 5 minutes or so, until the entire surface of eggplant is charred and crispy, about 15 minutes. Don’t worry if the eggplant deflates a little. Remove from the burner and place on a plate to cool.
For the oven method: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Prick the eggplants all over with a fork (this keeps the eggplant from exploding in the oven, so don’t skip this step). Place on a baking sheet and roast until softened, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Regardless of the cooking method you choose, once the eggplant is cool enough to touch with your hands, carefully peel the charred skin off the eggplant. Discard the skin. Move the flesh onto your chopping board, slice off the stem and discard. Using your knife, mince the flesh until almost smooth. Scoop into a bowl.
Add the lemon juice, tahini, parsley, and a little salt and pepper. Whisk together and taste for seasoning. Feel free to add more lemon juice, more salt and pepper… it will vary depending on the size of your eggplant, and how you like your ‘ganoush! Serve with pita chips.
Ok, so I’ve had fun searching The Food Network’s website for some fun recipes today. Every once in a while during the winter I’ll sit down and watch some of their shows and I love them. One of my favorites is Bobby Flay—here’s one of his….and sounds super easy!
Grilled Oriental Eggplant
- 4 Japanese eggplant, halved lengthwise
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup dry sherry
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 3 cloves garlic finely minced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted lightly
Place eggplant in a large shallow baking dish. Mix together the soy sauce, sherry, sesame oil, and garlic in a small bowl. Pour the marinade over the eggplant and let marinate at room temperature for 1 hour. Preheat grill. Season the eggplant with salt and pepper to taste and grill on each side for 3 minutes, basting occasionally with the remaining marinade. Serve topped with the toasted sesame seeds.
Szechwan Eggplant Stir-Fry
This is from The Food Network and the reviews make it seem like it’s a real hit for a true, easy Chinese dish!
- 5 Asian eggplants, about 2 pounds
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 green onions, white and green parts, sliced on a diagonal
- 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 fresh red chile, sliced
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
- Thai holy basil and fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
Cut the eggplants in 1/2 lengthwise and then slice crosswise into wedges, no more than 1-inch wide.
Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high flame and add the oils; tilt the pan to coat all sides. When you see a slight smoke, add a layer of eggplant, stir-fry until seared and sticky, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the eggplant to a side platter and cook the remaining eggplant in same manner, adding more oil, if needed.
After all the eggplant is out of the pan, add the green onions, ginger, garlic, and chile; stir-fry for a minute until fragrant. Add the broth. In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and cornstarch until the sugar and cornstarch are dissolved. Pour the soy sauce mixture into the wok and cook another minute, until the sauce has thickened. Put the eggplant back in the pan, tossing quickly, until the sauce is absorbed. Garnish with sesame seeds, Thai basil, and cilantro and serve.
This recipe was submitted by CSA member, Mary Smith. Sadly Mary lost her father this past week and asked that I share this recipe that he loved (and very seasonal). It has been an honor to realize that her father seemed to look forward to her dishes “from the farm” that she has been able to share with him this summer.
1 Rutabaga, peeled, diced
6 Carrots, peeled, diced
3 Potatoes, peeled, diced
1 small Onion, chopped small pieces
3 Parsnips, peeled, diced
2 White Turnips, peeled, diced
Lawry’s Season Salt
Chopped fresh Parsley
All vegetables should be diced and separated in their own prep bowls as each is added separately. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Add Rutabaga and boil for 10 minutes. Add Carrots and boil 5 minutes. Add Potatoes and Onion, boil 5 minutes. Add Parsnips and Turnips and boil 20 minutes or until soft. Drain and mash together with Butter, garlic powder and Lawry’s (I never measure, just taste as I’m mixing). Add chopped parsley for color.
*Mary, this gives me some encouragement to expand our root crops next fall!
We hope you are enjoying cooking, preserving and eating healthy. We do hope you are expanding your palettes and trying some new dishes this summer!
From our farm to your kitchen,
Mary & Family