Farm News (9/16/13)
Reminder: This week we are distributing veggies, fruit, eggs, dairy, meat and trout.
This Week's Vegetable Share:
- Fingerling Potatoes
- Japanese Salad Turnips
- Red and Yellow Onions
- Eggplant or Sweet Peppers
Jen and Peg with this week's vegetable share
This Week's Fruit Share:
- Bartlett Pears
- Honey Crisp Apples
- Concord Grapes
This Week's Dairy Share:
- Sheep's Milk Feta from Nordic Creamery in Westby, WI
- 'Mountain Jack', a Goat's Milk Cheese from Nordic Creamery
- Quart of Plain Lowfat Yogurt from Sugar River Dairy
- Two 5-oz Berry-Flavored Yogurts from Sugar River Dairy
This Week's Meat Share:
- Breakfast Sausage & Bacon, Byers Family Farm, Brodhead, WI
- Ground Pork, Byers Family Farm, Brodhead, WI
- Beef Roast from Riemer Family Farm or Whole Chicken from Lange Farms
In the Farm Kitchen: Peg's Tips for Making the Most of Your Share
Bartlett pears are one of my absolute favorite fruits. I love them partly because they make me think of my Grandpa and the trees he planted in his backyard way before I was born. I also love pears because they are such a versatile fruit in the kitchen. They can be used in sweet desserts as well as in savory meat dishes and vegetable salads. Mick Klug, the farmer who grows your fruit, picks his pears on the firm side in order to prevent bruising during harvest. Store them in the fridge until a few days before you want to eat them. Then allow them to ripen at room temperature. Placing pears in a paper bag at this point will speed things up because it traps the ethylene gas that pears naturally emit during the ripening process.
Concord grapes are another of my favorite fall treats. They ripen in September and October and are the type that are used to make grape juice. Some of Mick's grapes are sold to Welch's for juice, but he has reserved some of the nicest ones for us and for his farmers' market customers. Concord grapes make a great snack, but they do require a bit of work. They are a “slip-skin” variety of grape (as opposed to “fixed-skin”), which means that they pop right out of their jackets when you give them a little squeeze. Munching on a handful of concord grapes is much like the experience of eating a slice of watermelon--spitting out the seeds is part of the fun!
Leeks are members of the lily family and are close relatives of onions, garlic, shallots and chives. Leeks are milder than most onions and tend to get sweeter as they cook. When using leeks, cut the dark green parts tops off and leave the light green and white sections. Then cut them in half lengthwise and wash any dirt out from between the layers. Leeks may be sauteed, braised, grilled, baked or eaten raw. Store them in the refrigerator.
We love white salad turnips for their mild, sweet taste and their soft texture. This is a Japanese variety called hakurei. It is very mild and sweet and could be mistaken for a white radish. Japanese turnips are delicious eaten raw or sautéed in a little butter and sprinkled with salt. Toward the end of the saute, add the chopped turnip greens and cook until wilted. Season with soy sauce and rice wine vinegar.
This Week's Featured Recipes
2 large leeks
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons cold butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Remove outer leaves; cut dark-green ends from leeks. Trim roots, keeping leaves attached. Halve lengthwise; rinse to remove dirt.
Bring broth to a boil in a large skillet. Add leeks; cover, and cook over medium-low heat, turning once, until easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 15 to 25 minutes. Using tongs, transfer leeks to a platter. Boil broth until reduced to 1/2 cup, 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add butter; swirl to melt. Add parsley; season with salt and pepper. Spoon over leeks.
Carrot-Pear Spice Bread
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup diced pears
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans. Combine sugar and eggs in bowl of an electric mixer. Beat well. Add oil and mix well. Mix flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves in a separate bowl. Spoon into egg mixture and blend well. Stir in carrots, pears and walnuts.
Pour batter into pans and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Pan-Seared Trout with Apples & Baby Turnips
2 teaspoons vegetable or canola oil
3 rainbow trout fillets, approximately 6-8 oz each
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 cups turnip, peeled and diced into one-fourth inch dice
1 cup unsweetened apple juice
1 1/2 cup apple, peeled, cored and cut into one-fourth inch dice
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Zest of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
Set a medium skillet over medium heat; add the turnip and apple juice and allow to cook for approximately 3-4 minutes or until the turnip is slightly tender. Add the apples, thyme and lemon zest. Allow the mixture to cook until the apples are slightly tender, approximately 2 minutes. At this point most of the liquid should be absorbed. Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper to taste and keep warm.
Place a second medium skillet over high heat for the trout. Add the oil to the pan and allow to heat for 30 seconds. Season the trout with salt and pepper and place skin side down in the hot skillet. Do not move the trout - allow it to cook for 1-2 minutes or until the skin is nice and crispy. Carefully flip the fish and add the maple syrup and fresh lemon juice to the pan. Cook for another minute.
Remove the fish from the pan. Reserve the juices in the pan to drizzle over the fish. To plate the dish, divide the apple turnip mixture by spooning onto six plates. Top the mixture with a piece of fish. Drizzle with reserved pan juices from the trout.
Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)...garlic, Swiss chard, peppers, tomatoes, Asian cabbage, winter squash and more!
- Margaret Sheaffer