Tuesday, August 28, 2012

CSA Week 12

1 bunch kale
1 bunch chard
1 head of lettuce
hungarian hot wax peppers
sweet peppers
sweet onions

Sun is shining and the weather sure is sweet.  With just a bit of much, much needed rain this morning during harvest, the skies have cleared, the temps have once again risen and the veggies are pretty much leaping and bounding out of the ground, over flowing the field and finding their way into your shares, kitchens and bellies! It is back to school time for some, but this summer season continues to rage on at Black Kettle Farm.  The tomatoes plants may look a bit  haggard, but they just can’t seem to stop producing, the greens are absolutely thrilled about it all, the savoy cabbage is just about ready to make an appearance and the carrots are strutting their stuff, growing deep, soaking in all the sweetness of the soil and looking forward to the fall months.  

When not harvesting and moving tons and (literally tons) of food around, the Kettle Crew can be found generally cleaning up shop.  It’s out with the old and in with the soil building cover crops.  Every thing that we have eaten in the early season, like say zucchini, once done producing, gets mowed and given back to the earth.  The ground is then put to bed and sown with a variety of crops that aren’t for eating, but for loving up the Kettle soil, like oats, clover, mustard and winter rye.  These efforts insure the future fertility of the farm, while also looking really, really beautiful.  A sea of green always feels good.

Generally speaking, there are are just so many reasons to feel good and/or super duper great here at Black Kettle Farm.  We are all still basking in the glorious glow of yet another fun and super successful gathering of CSA Members and Friends of the Farm this past Sunday.  With lots of badmitton, beautiful babies, delicious veggie fare, pig visits, folks mixing, making connections, and picnicing into the sunset, topped with all around great vibrations well into the evening hours, it was wonderful to have so much of the Kettle community right here at the source of it all!
Speaking of that truly amazing Kettle community, big huge thanks and gold star to Portland member Billy Slifka for finding the farm it’s fabulous, functional and incredibly styley new delivery van!  Great eagle eyes Billy!  The new van is smelling less like the dry cleaners and more like onions every day!  NICE!

HUGE MILESTONE!  Black Kettle Farm officially has merchandise!  Get your very own BKF Tote Bag and totally tote your veggies all around town!  100% Recycled cotton, made in the USA, and washable with the BKF logo and ready for lots of cargo.  $10.00. Show your Kettle spirit and get ‘em while you can!

Swiss Chard Quesadillas
Vegetarian Times, February 2007

2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped (¾ cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp.)
1 hot pepper, minced
¼ tsp. cumin seeds
⅛ tsp. Mexican oregano
¼ cup tequila
12 oz. Swiss chard, trimmed
8 6-inch corn tortillas
1 cup grated reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese
  1. Heat oil in pot over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 minutes, or until golden. Stir in garlic, hot pepper, cumin and oregano, and sauté 2 minutes. Add tequila, and simmer 1 minute, or until liquid has evaporated. Stir in chard. Cover, reduce heat to medium low, and steam 5 minutes, or until chard wilts. Uncover, and cook 3 minutes, or until liquid has evaporated.
  2. Place 1 tortilla in skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Top with 1/4 chard mixture and second tortilla. Cook 2 minutes per side, or until browned. Slice into wedges and serve.
Crunchy Oven Roasted Potatoes

Potatoes, washed, and peeled (optional)
Olive oil
Dried breadcrumbs, finely ground
Salt and pepper
 - Preheat oven at 400°F.
- Cut potatoes into wedges. Toss wedges with enough olive oil to coat well. Season with salt and pepper.
- Coat bottom of large roasting or baking pan with additional oil. Add potatoes to pan, and toss with enough breadcrumbs to coat lightly. Arrange wedges in one layer, pressing cut ends into breadcrumbs on bottom of pan.
- Roast 30 minutes. Remove from oven and turn each wedge over, this allows second side to brown. If needed, sprinkle with more breadcrumbs or oil. Finish roasting another 20 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.
The potatoes can be waxy or starchy, peeled or unpeeled, and the breadcrumbs left plain or seasoned with herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, savory or sage.
With so few ingredients, this dish benefits from using homemade breadcrumbs. Leave pieces or slices of bread out to dry; once completely dry, grind in food processor or blender. Alternatively, wrap bread in kitchen or tea towel, and use a rolling pin to crush bread into crumbs. Make sure the breadcrumbs are dried thoroughly before storing in an airtight glass jar.

Eat like a Black Kettle Farmer!  Roast it all!
Heat oven to 375.
Coat a baking pan with olive oil.
Cube eggplant, onion, and carrots.
Dice hot peppers to taste and sweet peppers.  Toss together in a pan and season with salt and ground pepper.
Splash with balsamic vinegar and cook for about 30 minutes.
Cut fresh tomatoes into chunks and throw into the baking pan.  Move all veggies around and keep baking until all are soft, about another 15 or so minutes.  Sweet, delicious, filling and glorious!  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

CSA Week 11

1 bunch kale
1 head of lettuce
hungarian hot wax peppers
sweet peppers

sweet onions

Black Kettle Farm, let’s do the NUMBERS!
The Farm:
12 acres of prime farm land in York County.
4 acres in vegetable production.
5 robust, super happy, whacky and well fed pigs present and accounted for.
4 years in existence, with 2 years in Alfred and 2 years in it’s current/permanent location on the Kettle Bluffs in Lyman.
1 more year (to complete the 3 year waiting period) for organic certification!
2 tractors, 2 wells, 1 greenhouse and with plans in the works to build another in the fall, 1 broken farm truck, 2 white delivery vans, 2 bee hives, 11 fruit trees with varying degrees of health and production, all reside at BKF.

The Veggie Eaters:
64 CSA shares, 28 pick up on the farm and 36 meet in Fort Allen Park on the Eastern Prom.  Some folks share, so we reach over 70 households.
32 Senior Farm shares feeding low income elders in York county.
14 UNE Medical Student shares, a 10 week share for our new friends, welcome!
500 pounds of fresh produce donated to the York County Shelter so far.
5-7 weekly restaurant accounts, from Kittery to Portland, the Kettle gets around!
100’s of hungry farmer’s market customers!  Come and check us out in action every Saturday at City Hall in Portsmouth, NH 8:00-1:00 rain or shine.

The Kettle Crew:
3 full time farmers, Laura, Shannon and Samantha
1 local work share member, Kim
1 (and first ever!) WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) volunteer.  Welcome Ben Talbot, thanks for your hard work this week!
2 feline friends, although it is safe to say that they do not consider each other friends, they are crew members nonetheless, Steve and Mean Kitty.

Know your food, know your farm!  Can’t wait to celebrate this great season with you all this Sunday @ the Kettle for the CSA Appreciation Extravaganza! Farm tour @ 4, Veggie Pot Luck @ 5, fun and farm love into the eve!  Please bring your own plate and utensils and a vegetarian dish to share. 

I usually never, ever make the recipes in the newsletter, but the ones below for Babaganoush and Slow Roasted Tomatoes are some of my favorites and I look forward to making them every season.  
Straight from the BKF test kitchen...Enjoy!

Candle Cafe Cookbook

1 pound eggplant - Italian or Asian ***
1TBS. extra virgin olive oil
2 Large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup sesame tahini
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. ground pepper
The juice from one squeezed lemon - (optional Laura Neale addition)

***When using Asian Eggplant, it is okay to throw them in the food processor, skins and all and skip the step of removing the flesh.
Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Cut eggplant in half and score the flesh with a small knife.  Place cut side down on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake until eggplants are very soft, about 30-40 minutes.
When the eggplants are cool enough to handle, with a small spoon scrape out the seeds and discard and scoop out the cooked flesh and place in a food processor.
Add olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, salt and pepper and process until desired consistency.  Adjust salt and pepper to taste.  

Slow-Roasted Tomatoes
Gourmet  | August 2009
by Maggie Ruggiero

2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cherry, heirloom or slicing
6 garlic cloves, minced
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 200°F with racks in upper and lower thirds.
Put tomatoes, cut side up, in 2 large 4-sided sheet pans. Combine garlic and oil and spoon over tomatoes. Season tomatoes with salt and pepper and roast in oven 6 to 8 hours (tomatoes will be greatly reduced in size but still moist). Cool.
Serve with fresh bread and mozzarella cheese or stir into pasta with herbs.

THESE ARE SO DELICIOUS!  Absolute decadence and well worth the wait!

Roasted Bagna Cauda Broccoli
Voted Best Broccoli Recipe on www.food52.com

3 tablespoons butter 
1 tablespoon olive oil 
a splash of white wine 
a big squeeze of lemon, preferably Meyer 
1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted 

Preheat oven to 425. Arrange broccoli florets on a Silpat or parchment-lined cookie sheet. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 20-25 minutes and remove.
In a small skillet, melt butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and anchovy and saute for about three minutes. Add wine and lemon and allow to reduce for a minute or two. Season with black pepper if desired.
In another small skillet over medium heat, toast almonds until they are lightly browned, taking care not to burn them.
Drizzle sauce and sprinkle almonds and parmesan cheese over broccoli, then serve. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

CSA Week 10

1 bunch chard
1 bunch kale
green beans
1 pound cippolini onions
hungarian hot wax pepper
Islander Sweet Peppers
1 pound new potatoes
2 bunch herbs

All we do is harvest,so all you need to do is cook,eat, savor and enjoy!  More Kettle chitter chatter some other time, here are some great recipes and resources, at this stage of the game, it is all about the veggies people!  

Not in the mood for your kale right now?  You definitely will be in December.  Snatch up the freshness and put it away for a snowy day.  Freeze your greens!  Boil a big pot of water, chop up your greens, submerge them in boiling water for about 30 seconds, dump the whole pot into a colander and run the blanched greens under cold water.  Squeeze out the excess moisture and toss them in a freezer bag.  Check back in a few months and enjoy in soup or stir fries.

Don’t let an elaborate recipe slow you down,with a little bit of creativity (All greens are interchangeable and let’s face it, a shallot is really just an onion) and the willingness to try some thing new, you can make it all happen with the bounty of your CSA share!   
These are just a few of the resources that I check in search of recipes.  Nose around, try  some recipes and report back.  Any winners will be great newsletter material.
Now get cookin’ good lookin’!!

Potato, Green Bean, and Tomato Salad
Bon Appétit  | June 2001
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed
1 pound small red-skinned new potatoes, quartered
8 tablespoons fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 pound tomatoes, cubed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup olive oil
6 tablespoons drained capers
Cook beans in pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain. Transfer to medium bowl. Refresh under cold running water. Drain well.
Cook potatoes in pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 8 minutes. Drain. Transfer to large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons orange juice and 2 tablespoons vinegar; toss to coat. Cool to room temperature, occasionally stirring gently.
Add green beans, tomatoes, and basil to potatoes. Whisk remaining 6 tablespoons orange juice, 1 tablespoon vinegar, oil, and capers in small bowl to blend. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Add dressing to salad and toss to combine.

What’s a newsletter without out a shout out of appreciation and gratitude for this community??
Much love and many thanks to members Mark Webber and Kim Schutsky of Alfred.  Whether it’s dropping every thing to come through during a vehicular snafu, weeding brocolli in a thunder and lightening storm, or secretly leaving treats in the barn, these two have Kettle spirit to the core!  Kim, gold star for you skills in the field and model behavior as a work share member!  Mark, big huge Leo Lion ROAR happy (slightly belated) birthday to you! 

Tomato Salad with Onion, Dill and Feta
1 pound tomatoes
1 half onion, shaved thinly and soaked in ice water to cover for 10 minutes
1 clove garlic, minced
Flaky sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/4 cup fresh dill, roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
1 cup barrel-aged feta, crumbled
Cut the tomatoes into bite-sized chunks. Drain the onion and pat dry.
Place the garlic, a pinch of salt, and the vinegar into a large mixing bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil while whisking.
Add the onion, pepper, olives, and herbs and let marinate for 15 to 20 minutes. Add the tomatoes and feta, and toss gently to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Roasted Tomato Salsa
Epicurious  | April 2010
by Deborah Schneider
5 large tomatoes, whole, not cored or cut in any way
1 hot pepper
2 cloves garlic, skin on
1/4 cup minced white onion
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 bunch cilantro
Make sure your kitchen is well ventilated. Put a piece of aluminum foil in a heavy sauté pan (preferably cast iron) and set it over medium-high heat. Place the whole tomatoes, chile, and garlic cloves in the pan and dry-roast them on all sides until well charred and soft. The garlic and chiles will be done quickly; the tomatoes may take 10 minutes or longer to cook.
Peel the garlic and stem the chile. Place the tomatoes, garlic, and chile in a food processor with the onion, salt, and cilantro. Pulse until the salsa is smooth and taste for seasoning. The salsa will keep, refrigerated, for several days. Reseason before use.

Kale, Potato, and Onion Frittata
SELF  | February 2011
Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 yellow or white onion, sliced
1 pound kale, trimmed, blanched 3 minutes in boiling water, drained, squeezed and coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups boiled diced potatoes
2 whole eggs
2 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon paprika (preferably smoked)
Heat oven to 400°F. In a medium skillet coated with cooking spray, cook yellow onion over medium heat, stirring, 5 minutes. Add kale and garlic; stir 5 minutes. Add potatoes. Whisk eggs, egg whites, 2 tablespoon water and paprika in a bowl. Stir in kale-potato mixture. In a cast-iron skillet coated with cooking spray, cook egg mixture over medium-low heat 1 minute. Transfer skillet to oven; bake until eggs are set and center is slightly runny, 6 to 8 minutes. Broil until top is golden, 1 minute.

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Onions
Gourmet  | November 2007
****Use any greens for this - kale, collards, or chard.

3 pounds Swiss chard (about 2 large bunches)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Stack chard leaves and roll up lengthwise into cylinders. Cut cylinders crosswise to make 1-inch-wide strips.
Heat oil and butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat until foam subsides, then cook onions and garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, covered, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add chard stems and ribs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until stems are just tender, about 10 minutes. Add chard leaves in batches, stirring until wilted before adding next batch, and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a serving bowl.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

CSA Week 9

1 head lettuce
1 bunch chard
1 bunch carrots
green beans
ailsa craig onions
hungarian hot wax pepper
new potatoes
1 bunch herbs

If you are reading this, you are deeply connected to a piece of land, a small crew of farmers and over 70 households spanning from Lyman to Portland.  We have all been eating the same food for the last 9 weeks, sharing in the colors, flavors, abundance and beauty that this bumping growing season has to offer.  Some how you all found yourself to Black Kettle Farm.  When the winter months are lean and dark and it seems like after all the brochures, CSA fairs and Facebook shout outs, really no one is interested in CSA, it’s all just local food blabber, the farm is screwed, and Boo-Hoo all the way around.  Low and behold!  The best people show up, right on time!  YOU!  It is amazing to be feeding such a dynamic and interconnected community of folks this season.  We spritz every bunch of carrots and fluff every head of lettuce with you in mind.  I know each and every one of you and I love thinking about the insanely fabulous dinner party we would have with a hundred percent attendance by the BKF CSA (such an awesome vision I tell ya!). Even if you have not actually met every member of, you kind do know every body.  We all vibrate with the same fresh veggie, sunshine filled positivity.  

Vibrations aside, as the season unfolds, it is clear that even though it is spread out, the community that orbits this farm and gravitates to the CSA is super interconnected from the veggies that we eat to the things that we do and lives that we live.  There has never been a Portland Pick Up without some one running into someone, hugging and freaking out that they are in the same CSA.  Hey, when you’re picking beans in the blazing sun, you start to think about some really (and I mean REALLY) interesting things.

BKF, it’s a family affair!  We have four sets of siblings in the CSA, as well as Shannnon’s mama and family.  I went to college with 5 current members (Ponderosa!  Jokas!  Alan the Post Office Guy!  Who’s with me???)  and there is even a professor from our alma mater who is a part of the farm.  We have a set of landlords and their tenants, a bunch of folks that go to the local Y and are my winter work out buddies, tons of co-workers and office mates, and even a stylist and one of her clients.  Then there’s the owner of my favorite yoga studio, whose classes keep this over farmed spine in alignment, and the greatest mechanic a farm could ask for.  Two of you even share the same birthday, happy belated Arunima and Katie, how’s that for interconnections?  We’ve got teachers, writers, health care providers, artists, world travelers, community activists, musicians, athletes, moms, dads, grannies and glowing, beautiful babies galore! Each and one of you is a veggie lovin’ super star! Kettle Crew, there is no CSA better then you!

Quinoa with Black Beans and Cilantro
Bon Appétit  | September 2008
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups chopped white onions
1 cup chopped bell pepper
1 cup quinoa,* rinsed, drained
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
11/2 cups water
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
Crumbled Cotija cheese or feta cheese (optional)

Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and red pepper; sauté until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in next 4 ingredients. Add water; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until quinoa is almost tender, about 14 minutes. Add beans and 1/4 cup cilantro; cook uncovered until heated through and liquid is fully absorbed, about 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl; sprinkle with 1/4 cup cilantro and cheese, if desired.

Carrot, Cilantro, and Chile Slaw
Bon Appétit  | July 2011
1 bunch carrots peeled, julienned
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or grapeseed oil
1 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more for seasoning
2 hot peppers, stemmed, seeded, minced
1/2 cup (loosely packed) fresh cilantro leaves
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
Freshly ground black pepper
Toss carrots, oil, lime juice, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and peppers in a large bowl. Let marinate for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally. Add cilantro and coriander; toss to evenly incorporate. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Braised Eggplant and Tomatoes
1 large eggplant, halved lengthwise
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 small onion, sliced
1/4 olive oil
3-4 tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Pre-heat oven to 400 F. Place eggplant halves in a 9x9 pan, cut sides up. Sprinkle each half with about 1/4 teaspoon salt. Reserve the remaining salt for later use.
In a small skillet over medium heat, saute onions in 2 tablespoons olive oil until translucent, about five minutes. Transfer onions into a small bowl and stir in the tomato, basil, parsley, and remaining salt. Scoop the tomato mixture on top of the eggplant. Pour remaining olive oil into the bottom of the pan, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 10 minutes.
Baste eggplant with the liquid in the pan, then re-cover and bake for 15 more minutes. Baste again and bake until eggplants are soft and tender, uncovered, about 20 additional minutes.