Try Out Your Toolkit on Rhubarb!

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To be a really great chef, you need some schooling and a bit of experience and a certain creative spirit, etc. We can’t all do that, but we can make sure we have the best tools to make cookin’ a little easier. HERE’S THE SCOOP ON GADGETS: You need a food processor and an immersion blender. For super quick soups, sauces, pestos, etc. you need only toss in ingredients and push the button. They’ll save you time and energy, and that immersion blender is pretty fun to use (just remember to stop blending before you take it out of the bowl).

 

This Week’s Field Goods Favorite
Rhubarb 

rhubarbIncredibly versatile, rhubarb can be used for desserts, pastries, jams, pickles, conserves, sauces and more. Make rhubarb Twizzlers by sugaring and roasting.
Storage: A week in the fridge. Refrigerate wrapped in plastic for longer life.
Roasted Rhubarb Salad
Rhubarb Vanilla Compote
For more recipes and to learn more about rhubarb than you ever dreamed possible, visit The Rhubarb Compendium, an entire website dedicated to rhubarb.

Serves 8
Rye Shortcakes

  • 1cup all-purpose flour
  • 1cup rye flour
  • 1tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2teaspoon salt
  • 2tablespoons sugar
  • 6tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold, cut into cubes
  • 3/4cup heavy cream, chilled
  • 1/3cup buttermilk, chilled
  • 2tablespoons crunchy sugar (such as turbinado) for sprinkling
  • Heavy cream to brush the tops of the shortcakes
  • Preheat oven to 400º F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
  • Cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender or two knives until it is the size of peas. Make a well in the center of the ingredients then add in the buttermilk and heavy cream. Stir gently until just combined. It is okay if there are a few dry spots. If it seems very dry, add more heavy cream or buttermilk, one tablespoon at a time.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat it into a square about 1 inch thick. Fold the dough in half over itself and pat into a square about 1 inch thick. Repeat this process one more time. Then, use a floured 2 1/2-inch round cutter to cut the dough. Place the cut shortcakes onto the prepared baking sheet. Gently re-roll scraps and cut again. Put the whole baking sheet into the freezer for 10 minutes.
  • Brush the tops of the shortcakes with heavy cream and sprinkle with crunchy sugar. Bake until the tops are browned and the shortcakes are cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes.

Roasted Strawberries and Rhubarb

  • 1pound strawberries, trimmed and hulled and cut in half
  • 3/4pound rhubarb, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4tablespoons honey, or more to taste
  • 2 strips lemon zest, peeled with a veggie peeler
  • 2 strips orange zest, peeled with a veggie peeler
  • 1teaspoon fresh ginger, finely grated
  • Juice from 1/2 orange, a few tablespoons
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream to serve
  • Preheat oven to 375º F.
  • Gently toss all of the ingredients together on a baking sheet, including the vanilla bean seeds and pod. Roast in the oven until juicy and soft and the juices just begin to caramelize, about 20 minutes.
  • Let the fruit cool to room temperature and remove the vanilla bean pod and citrus zest just before serving.
  • To serve: Slice the shortcakes in half, then top with a generous spoonful of fruit and a dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy immediately.

One Pan, Two Pot, All the Potatoes!

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To be a really great chef, you need some schooling and a bit of experience and a certain creative spirit, etc. We can’t all do that, but we can make sure we have the best tools to make cookin’ a little easier. SO HERE’S THE SCOOP ON POTS ‘N PANS: Get stuff you can serve in–casserole dishes, trays, etc. Skip the plating/presentation step and save yourself some time.

As for pots and skillets, the Dutch oven is essential (nice big pot) as well as a few smaller pots. When you’re buying pots and skillets, be sure to get ones with a thick bottom to retain and evenly distribute heat. Rounded sides on the skillet make it much easier to do fancy tossing maneuvers as well. Fun pro tip: if you just need some boiling water, use the kettle instead of a pot (much quicker for potato salad!)

 

This Week’s Field Goods Favorite
Red Potatoes 

potatoes_redThese are good roasted or mashed. Redskins are delicate and thus cook more quickly than other types of potatoes. On the table in no time. Use in combo w/ the dill from herb & allium to make a classic potato salad!
Storage: Up to 3 weeks in the cool, dark pantry.
6 Ways to Prepare Redskin Potatoes
Oven-Roasted Herbed Redskin Potatoes—slip chopped shallots in the roasting pan and sprinkle with snipped chives right before serving.

Potato Salad
Ingredients:
2 lbs new red potatoes, skins on, scrubbed
5 strips bacon, about 100 grams, diced
5 green onions
3 Tablespoons sherry vinegar (or apple cider)
1/2 cup chive blossoms
1 teaspoon sugar
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon grainy mustard
salt and pepper

Directions:
1      Start potatoes in cold water and bring to a boil until fork tender. Cook bacon starting in a cold pan, and cook until crispy, drain on paper towels. While the bacon is cooking, chop the white and pale green parts of the green onion or ramp. Add to the bacon, stir well, and saute for a few more minutes.
2     Then remove bacon and onion from the pan and deglaze the pan with the vinegar. Use a spatula to scrape up all the bacon bits at the bottom of the pan.
3     Add the sugar, oil, and mustard to the pan and mix to combine.
4     In a large mixing bowl, combine boiled potatoes, chive blossoms, bacon and onions, and warm vinaigrette.
5     Season the salad with salt and pepper and mix gently, but thoroughly. Serve at once.

 

 

Toolkit: Knives

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To be a really great chef, you need some schooling and a bit of experience and a certain creative spirit, etc. We can’t all do that, but we can make sure we have the best tools to make cookin’ a little easier. You’ll be much better off with three good-quality knives: a 12-inch chopping knife, a 12-inch serrated carving knife and a 6-inch paring knife. A good knife makes you faster and cleaner. When you’re buying a knife, check that it’s a good weight, the blade is nice and rigid and doesn’t bend and the handle feels good in your hand.

 

This Week’s Field Goods Favorite
Fiddleheads

fiddleA foraged delicacy. A pound of fiddleheads in New York City goes for something like $20. You can cook like the fanciest of chefs this week! Because they are foraged items, please wash and cook them! All you really need to do: add some olive oil and lots of garlic in a little sauté.
Storage: Keep refrigerated for a week.

Spring Lemon Risotto with Asparagus and Fiddlehead Ferns
serves 4 to 6
1 1/2 cups fiddlehead ferns
1 1/2 cups asparagus
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (grab Pure Mountain Olive Oil)
2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, washed well, and diced.
2 scallions, white parts only, washed and minced.
1 clove garlic minced
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
approximately 5 1/2 cups hot vegetable or chicken stock
zest of 1 large lemon
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Start by preparing the vegetables. Boil a medium sized pot of water, and have ready a large bowl of ice water. Thoroughly wash the fiddlehead ferns, then rub them in a kitchen towel to remove any of the brown paper-like chaff. Cut off any brown tips or blemishes. Rinse again if necessary. Blanch both the asparagus and fiddlehead ferns for about 2 minutes, until bright green, then plunge into the ice water bath to stop the cooking. Set aside. Bring the broth to a simmer, then cover and keep warm over medium-low heat. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil and 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat.

Then, add the leeks, scallions, and garlic, and sauté until tender and almost translucent (about 5 minutes.) Add rice, and stir until grains are translucent at their edges but still opaque in the center, about 3 minutes. Add wine, and stir until liquid is almost completely absorbed. Next, add the warm stock by the cupful, stirring until rice has absorbed nearly all of the liquid before adding the next cup. When rice is almost done (about 15 minutes), stir in the blanched and drained vegetables and the lemon zest. Stir in the last 1/2 cup of stock, then add the cheese and remaining butter. The risotto should be creamy and tender, and the vegetables cooked but with a remaining firm bite. Finally, serve immediately.

 

 

The Quick Braise

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Using your greens should be quick and keep them bright green. Hence the braise!  It isn’t hard to do: just half fill a large pot with salted water, bring to boil and add the greens you’ve got (spinach, kale, arugula, turnip or radish tops, etc. – a mix is good!). Cook for 2-3 minutes until al dente, drain in a colander. Heat a pan with a coating of olive oil, and then add 2 big cloves of garlic. After the garlic is starting to brown, throw in the blanched greens. Next, season with salt & pepper and stir to coat the greens. After a minute, remove from heat and squeeze in some lemon juice. Finally, stir up again and serve. This method is quick, keeps the nutrients in your meal, and goes with everything! SO BRAISE ON.

 

This Week’s Field Goods Favorite
Bok Choy 

braiseBok Choy can be eaten raw, roasted, boiled, steamed, stir-fried, microwaved, or even deep-fried. Remember, the entire head can be eaten. To prepare, separate the leaves from the stalks, then rinse well and drain. Shred or cut across the leaves and cut the stalks into small slices along the diagonal. Great with a bit of garlic, ginger or soy sauce, and a good braise. Better yet—you can eat the stalks raw, too! 
Storage: Up to a week in the fridge, don’t wash until ready to use.Stir-Fried Udon Noodles with Bok Choy
Ginger-Sesame Bok Choy
Wilted Bok Choy with Soy Sauce and Cashews

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can You Believe Winter is Finally Over?

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kennyAlright, Thursday gave us a bit of a scare (flurries on April 23rd? Who gave the okay on that one?), but fear not! For spring has truly sprung on our farms and winter has ended. This week’s Field Goods Favorite is asparagus! Pair that with some overwintered rapini AKA broccoli rabe– a match made in green, green heaven.

What’s that? What’s overwintering? It’s a nifty process of seeding in the fall, then covering up the land all winter until spring harvest. It works great with leafy greens. Cover can be really fancy blankets, or just regular ol’ straw. See Kenny Migliorelli here with some overwintered crops.

 

 

This Week’s Field Goods Favorite
Asparagus 

AsparagusWonder what it means to “snap the woody ends” of asparagus? While the tip and upper portion of asparagus are tender, the stalks become increasingly fibrous toward the bottom. To snap the “woody ends”, bend the stalk near the bottom and snap in two. If it is difficult to snap, move up the stalk until you find the natural break between the tender and tough portions. Save the woody ends for stock.
Storage: Up to a week in the fridge.
Asparagus Tapenade
Basic Roasted Asparagus
Slow Butter-Braised Asparagus
Asparagus Pesto