A sense of humor…

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was needed this past week of the fauxstorm. So, your faithful veggie lady is penning this epistle with a moderately-priced glass of pinot grigio on a late Friday afternoon. The following rutabaga trivia will make you (and your glass of moderately-priced pinot grigio) the life of the party.

Rutabagas may have evolved from a cross between a wild cabbage and a turnip. It has a delicate, mildly sweet flavor well-suited for stews. We like cooking and mashing them like potatoes. In fact, potatoes are going to seem awfully bland after you have imbibed the ‘baga.

Now, some trivia…

  • Which of the following is true?
    • Before the colored Easter Egg, children hunted for rutabagas.
    • Pre industrial revolution, bad children received rutabagas in their Christmas stockings.
    • The precursor to the Halloween pumpkin, was the Halloween rutabaga.

Here are some fun facts:

  • We actually used to have Halloween rutabagas.
  • They’re also known as swedes and neeps.
  • They contain 42% daily recommended amount of Vitamin C.

 

This Week’s Field Goods Favorite
You guessed it… Rutabaga!

rutabagaYes, she is pretty darn ugly. But as we know, it is personality that counts. This hunk ‘o vegetable is also known in the rest of the world as swedes.

Rutabaga Mash

End Zone: YOUR KITCHEN, YOUR DIP

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Alright, Field Gooders, huddle up. The Super Bowl is next weekend (we’re not really sports people, but we can get behind a day of hanging with friends & family and EATING!) This can be a store-bought health nightmare OR it can be an exciting time to try your hand at making your own dip from scratch! Now remember, this year is the year you really learn to cook, so let’s give dip a shot. We’re sure your homemade dip will be a touchdown (sorry, couldn’t help it).

Curried Yogurt — interesting option, a little off the beaten path (grab North Country Creamery yogurt from the Extra Items)
Greens & Beans — use the arugula for a little heat
Caramelized Onion — a classic, serve warm (maybe use shallots from the Herb & Allium sub)
Just Bean — another party favorite
Still got your squash from last week? Make it with squash!
Still got your edamame in the freezer? Make it with edamame!
There’s also a poblano dip recipe down in the roasted poblano section.

 

This Week’s Field Goods Favorite
Roasted Poblano Pepper

pepA smoky, spicy flavor that adds kick to any dish. This is our first round of roasted poblanos. so be sure to let us know how you feel about them!
Storage: 1 month in the fridge.

Poblano Chili
Poblano Dip

 

 

And Now, We Roast!

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Roasting is all the rage right now–and for good reason, too. It’s simple and delicious. We always say at Field Goods, “You’d eat your shoe if you put some garlic and olive oil on it and let it roast it a bit.”*

In the interest of Learn to Cook 2015, let’s chat. The goal of roasting is to crisp up the outside, get the inside tender, and bring out the flavor and natural sweetness of your veggies. A lot of mush can be avoided by using the correct temperature and timing. For most veggies, we recommend 20 minutes at 450°. High heat is key, but checking in is important also. You should never need to roast anything longer than 40 minutes (even carrots or beets). Then you’re getting into mush territory.

  • To begin, place cut vegetables in a single layer cut in even sizes on a baking sheet.
  • Drizzle them with olive oil (2 tbs/sheet), garlic, salt, and pepper. Toss well. (A inventive option for the “drizzle and toss” is the “pour and smoosh.” Drop the veggies in a handy Field Goods biodegradable bag, pour in some oil and then smoosh it all over the veggies.) Porous veggies like mushrooms need a bit more oil.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender, turning once with a metal spatula. This will work for pretty much anything: cubes of squash, carrots, Brussels sprouts, parsnips, you name it. Easy ways to add flavor: garlic, herbs, lemon juice, soy sauce, flavored oils. PRO TIP: Line the pan. Now go roast that squash!
*To date, none of us has eaten our shoe. Therefore, please do not eat your shoe.
This Week’s Field Goods Favorite
Sweet Lightning Squash 
squashThese were too cute to pass up, so we thought we’d toss one or two in for you to try. Simply cut the squash in half, remove the seeds, and then bake in the oven at 400° for about 30 minutes or cook in the microwave for about 5-10 minutes. You can add butter and maple syrup, or even brown sugar. Or, if you have some kumquats hanging around the kitchen good ol’ Martha Stewart has a recipe for kumquat stuffed dumpling squash.

I Wanna Wok!

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For super fast, flavorful meals, you’ve gotta get acquainted with the wok. It adds a delicious extra smokiness known as wok-ha to your meats & veggies, and those vegetables retain their bright color & crunch. Make sure you get yourself a FLAT BOTTOM for electric & gas stoves (not traditional round bottom, that thing will just tip over unless you get the attachment).

Some helpful tips:

  • Proteins should be cut just large enough that they can develop a good sear without overcooking in the center. Even sized-cutting leads to even cooking. Cut vegetables into thin pieces, no more than 1/4 inch thick, to shorten the stir-fry time.
  • Nuts like peanuts or cashews must either be roasted or fried before you begin.
  • Key aromatics are garlic, ginger, & scallions, though you can include things like fresh chiles, lemon, herbs. broth, soy sauce, rice wine, vinegar, sugar, oyster sauce, prepared chili pastes, etc. Limit your selection, too many flavors can sink your stir-fry.
  • The best oil for stir-frying should be one with a high smoking point (traditional oil for stir-frying is peanut, but vegetable oil works). Avoid low-smoking-point oils like extra virgin olive oil!
  • PREHEAT. Heat up until it is literally smoking hot, cook in batches, & allow your wok to reheat fully between each batch. The Chinese call this technique “hot wok cold oil” (repeat this to yourself several times before beginning). It prevents ingredients from sticking to the pan. You’ll know it’s hot enough when a bead of water evaporates within seconds of contact.
  • USE THE FAN!!!

Quick Stir Fry

  1. Slice onion thin; put garlic through press and mince ginger; stir fry in hot oil in wok for 1 min.
  2. Push aside onions & garlic; add to protein and stir fry until 3/4 cooked. Then transfer everything to a plate.
  3. Add veggies from longest to shortest cook time. Quickly and constantly slide a spatula between the food and the wok, tumbling the food over on itself, using the sides of the wok.
  4. Put everything back in the wok. Add soy sauce, vinegar and pepper, any liquid, and cook another minute. Serve!

 

This Week’s Field Goods Favorite
Red Cabbage 

cabbageTry braising with apples, searing in a hot pan for five minutes, or quick-cooking in a stir-fry.
Storage: Cabbage will last seemingly forever in your fridge.
Radish-Cabbage Coleslaw
Braised Red Cabbage with Apple and Onion

 

 

 

 

 

We’re Cookin’! Pt. 2

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Last week we started in with the soups, and this week we’ll chat about that again. But first! Let’s get into this tomato puree. With just this jar, plus this week’s herb & allium subscription, you can easily whip up a Simple Pizza SauceEasy Tomato SoupEasy Pasta Sauce, and finally a rich vegetable soup. The base of any of these is to grab oil (try our canola oil), and cook a lot of onions until they’re translucent. Then add puree, add olive oil, salt, pepper, and at the last minute toss in chopped basil and oregano. VOILA! We’re gonna do a very similar process for that tomato soup…cook onions, add puree…see a pattern? Mark Bittman also has some great soup philosophy you should check out. Dinner tonight? We’re thinking hearty veggie soup, made with tomato, peppers, turnips, onions & garlic. Soup away, sauce it up! You’re ready to rock.

 

This Week’s Field Goods Favorite
Jarred Tomato Puree 

Pizza time! Simmer up with some garlic and oregano. Tastes like the sweetness of summer. Add a little vinegar if you want to balance out the sweetness.
Storage: Store in pantry.

Simple Pizza Sauce—use your puree here instead of tomato paste and water
Easy Tomato Soup
Easy Pasta Sauce