Notes from Debbie's Kitchen
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Well the rain is definitely keeping Tom on his toes as well as rapidly changing the makeup of our share boxes. The higher moisture/humidity in general is making for a few unusual circumstances, so I'll provide pointers below. - Debbie
Green bean handling
I'd been in a hurry last week and just put them into the fridge in the bag they came in (I usually dump, sort and dry then re-bag, but I'd just run outta time to deal that day). A few days later, when I went to use them, I noticed they had developed what looked like scratchy rust marks. So I asked Tom about this, and he says that was indeed caused by being stored in the bag they came in. He says to definitely remove them from the bag, dry them if at all possible, then store them either in a paper bag or wrapped in a cotton towel or something. If you just leave them in the plastic bag they came in they will develop this rust.
It doesn't appear to affect their flavor; I found they still snapped crisply and tasted fine, but the look can be a bit off-putting, so be aware of this.Handling and storing, other items
You will want to check for moisture in lots of things this week; things that are normally dry (like the dry onions from Phil Foster Ranches) get wet inside the bag, and should be taken out and dried off before storing. Peel off the outermost layer if needed, but don't continue to store them wet or they will mold quickly.
Sweet potatoes I would say likewise - make sure they are patted dry before storing (and don't store in the same bin with your onions; the offgassing of the onions will accelerate the decomposition of your potatoes!).Longtime member and frequent contributor Farrell Podgorsek sent this recipe for using our bounty of apples:Apples in Cider Sauce
Farrell says, "I modified this from a recipe in Cooks Illustrated magazine, one of my favorite recipe sources. The apples are meant to be topped with a pie crust after sautéing, and then baked in a 450 degree oven for 15 minutes to bake the crust. We preferred them without the crust. If you can get it, use the Apple Cider Syrup from The Apple Farm in Philo, CA. It's worth a trip to the Anderson Valley to stop at the wonderful wineries in the region and visit the Apple Farm while you are there. They also have a stand in The Ferry Building in San Francisco."
1 C apple juice, reduced to ½ cup OR 1/3 C Apple Cider Syrup (from The Apple Farm)
1/3 C real maple syrup
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. butter or margarine
2 lbs. apples -peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk cider, syrup, lemon juice, cornstarch and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
Heat butter or margarine in a 12 inch skillet over medium heat. Add apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until apples caramelize and are mostly golden brown, 5-10 minutes. If pan is ovenproof add cider mixture and gently stir until apples are well coated. If pan is not ovenproof, transfer apples to a 13x9 pan and add cider mixture.
Bake in oven for 20 minutes. If apples are not yet tender, cover loosely with foil and continue to bake another 10-15 minutes, or until apples are tender when pierced with a fork.
Remove from oven and let the apples cool before eating. Serve alone, with ice cream, or a slice of carrot cake.And long-time member Jill McCoy sent me this recipe recently - I didn't think we'd have basil again this season, but Tom said he did, so I pulled this out!Apple-Carrot Salad with Basil
Jill says, "after picking up my veggies the other day, I was inspired by the
perfume of basil that filled my car... plus my veggie bin was full of
apples and carrots. So I made this salad for dinner and we just loved it!"
Pour 1-2 tbsp. oil into a large bowl (I used rice bran oil, but any lighter oil should work: grapeseed, walnut, maybe even olive?)
- a splash of mild vinegar (white balsamic, rice vinegar, whatever)
- Some diced red onion, rinsed with cold water and drained
- 3-4 apples, cored and julienned
- 4-6 carrots, peeled and julienned
- A squirt of lime or lemon
- A handful of basil leaves, cut into fine strips
- A handful of walnuts, toasted
Toss everything, and sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepperSweet potato, apple, and sage spoon bread
from an undated Bon Appetit clipping, modified slightly
serves 10 - 12
Spoon bread is a pudding-like bread made with cornmeal; best served warm.
1 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes, scrubbed, peeled [optional!] and cut into 1 1/2-inch dice
6 tbsp. butter
2 - 3 small apples, peeled [optional!] and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 C whole milk
1 tbsp. (packed) brown sugar
2 tsp. chopped fresh sage
2 tsp. coarse salt
1 C white cornmeal [I'm sure yellow would be okay too]
4 lg. eggs, separated
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
Cook sweet potatoe in pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain; transfer to a large bowl.
Melt 2 tbsp. butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add aple; saute until tender and golden, about 8 minutes. Add apple to sweet potato; mash together. Cool.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bring milk, sugar, sage, and salt to a boil in a heavy medium saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low; gradually whisk in cornmeal. Cook until cornmeal absorbs milk and pulls clean from bottom of pan, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Whisk in 3 tbsp. butter. Whisk yolks in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in warm cornmeal mixture. Mix sweet potato mixture into cornmeal mixture. Beat egg whites in medium bowl to medium-stiff peaks. Fold whites into warm cornmeal mixture.
Melt 1 tbsp. butter in heavy large ovenproof skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat. Pour batter into skillet. Transfer skillet to oven; bake spoon bread until top is golden and puffed, about 1 hour. Serve warm.Beet Chutney
from this month's [well, November, actually] Bon Appetit
1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil
1 3/4 C chopped red onion
1 2-inch diameter beet [or equivalent], peeled, cut into 1/4-inch cubes [small!]
1/2 C water
1/2 C red wine vinegar
3 tbsp. raisins
3 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp. yellow mustard seeds
Pinch of cumin seeds
Heat olive oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped red onion and beet cubes. Cook until onion is tender but not brown, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes. Add 1/2 C water. Increase heat to high and boil until mixture is thick, abut 5 minutes. Add vinegar, raisins, sugar, ginger, mustard seeds, and pinch of cumin seeds. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until beet cubes are tender and chutney is thick, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool, then cover and chill. Should keep at least a week.And if you went out and got that smoked paprika for the recipe in last week's newsletter, now you'll have another use for it! Broccolini with smoked paprika, almonds and garlic
from same issue Bon Appetit [i.e. the Thanksgiving issue!]
originally for serving 8 [I halved the recipe]
1 1/2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 C whole almonds, coarsely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
3/4 tsp. smoked paprika
Coarse kosher salt
1 lb. broccolini, rinsed, stalks cut into 2- to 3-inch lengths
2 tbsp. water
1/2 to 1 tsp. Sherry wine vinegar
Heat 1/2 tbsp. of the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add almonds. Stir until lightly browned, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Add garlic and paprika. Sprinkle with coarse salt; saute 1 minute. Transfer to small bowl.
Add remaining oil to skillet. Add broccolini; sprinkle with coarse salt. Add 2 tbsp. water [a goodly splash], cover, and boil until crisp-tender but still bright green, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour off any water. Stir in almond mixture. Season to taste with additional coarse salt and pepper. Mix in the Sherry wine vinegar.
Transfer all to bowl and serve.