Posted on

Fresh This Week Tips – Feb 22, 2011

BABY BOK CHOY – As far as cabbages go, baby bok choy are pretty irresistible!

STORE: Place in a plastic bag — but do not close — and refrigerate for no more than three days.
PREP: There is no need to cook the stalks and leaves separately – just wash the whole and drain and cut into small pieces.
USE: Bok Choy is normally used in stir-fries. But when the time comes to start cooking, you’ll find that bok choy is extremely adaptable. Boiling, steaming, stir-frying and even deep-frying are all possibilities. When stir-frying, a good basic method is to stir-fry the bok choy for a minute, sprinkling with a bit of salt, then add a small amount of water or chicken broth (about 3 tablespoons per pound of bok choy) cover, and simmer for 2 minutes.

RED BELL PEPPERS
STORE: Store peppers in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to five days.
PREP: Wash peppers just before using; remove the stem, seeds, and interior membranes, and add to salads, soups, or stir-fries.
USE: Peppers can be sautéed, steamed, or baked. Roast peppers by holding them over an open flame, or broiling them about 1/2-inch (1.25cm) from the broiler flame and rotating every minute or so until they blacken evenly. Put charred peppers in a plastic bag for about 10 minutes, then pull off the blackened peels and rinse the peppers under cold water. Pat dry, remove seeds and stems, and slice peppers. Use roasted pepper slices in salads, or purée in soups.

BUNCH CARROTS
STORE: Always remove tops from carrots as they take moisture from the “root” to stay green, leaving you with a limp carrot. Store carrots in the coolest part of the refrigerator in a plastic bag or wrapped in a paper towel to reduce the amount of moisture that is lost. They should keep for about two weeks. Be sure to store your carrots away from apples, pears, potatoes as they produce a gas that will make carrots bitter.
PREP:  Wash carrot roots and gently scrub them with a vegetable brush right before preparing them to eat. Peel (if desired) and chop according to your recipe or their purpose.
USE: You can steam, pickle, puree (for carrot soup!), juice, eat them raw or add them to any number of soups, stews and stir fries.

Do you hear what we hear? It is stir-fry time. See recipe: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chicken-Stir-Fry/Detail.aspx

Images from flickr.com

Posted on

Fresh This Week Tips 02.16.2011

COLLARD GREENS

STORE: Collards store better than most greens. Wrap unwashed leaves in moist paper towels and place in sealed plastic bag. They will stay fresh for 4-5 days in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. When ready to use wash thoroughly.

PREP: Wash collard greens in several changes of cool water to remove all dirt and grit. Remove the tough stems and central vein as well. Collard greens are tough and depending on the maturity of the leaves, may require 20 minutes to one hour of cooking time.

USE: Steam, add to soups or sauté these flavorful green leaves. For an easy side dish devein and saute the leaves in a splash of olive oil, crushed garlic (1 clove per bunch), salt and squeeze the juice of one lemon at the end. The leaves turn dark green during this long cooking process (20 min), and the cooking water will be greatly reduced. Unfortunately, nutrients are leached out into the cooking liquid that many people pour down the drain. This cooking liquid or “pot likker,” as it is called in Southern states, is full on valuable nutrients. Save it to add to soups or soak it up with a piece of hot cornbread.

MANGOES

.

STORE: Keep your mangoes in a plastic or paper bag in the cupboard. A ripe mango will yield to gentle pressure. Once ripe, refrigerate for up to 1 week.

PREP: Using a sharp knife, slice around the stone. Cut a checkered pattern onto the cut mango. Flip the skin inside out and slice the cubes into a bowl.

USE: They can be eaten whole or used in desserts and curries. For a delicious morning treat, enjoy a mango smoothie: a combination of diced mango, a banana, 1/2 cup yogurt, 1 cup of orange juice and ice cubes. Blend till frothy!

CAULIFLOWER

STORE: Store cauliflower for up to one week in your crisper covered by a plastic or paper bag.

PREP: Keep whole and chop off ¼ inch off the stem or cut the head into bite-sized florets.

USE: Steam, roast, bake or stir fry cauliflower. Be careful not to overcook!  For a simple cauliflower recipe please visit: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/simple-cauliflower-recipe.html

Posted on

Grass-fed lamb is available through Klesick Family Farm!

My friends Ken and Kathryn at Horse Drawn Produce on Lopez Island have offered to make their grass-fed lamb available to our customers! I am really excited to be able to offer this quality, locally raised product. Ken and Kathryn are excellent farmers, but even more important to me is their sincere commitment to sustainable, healthy farming. It is their way of life, not their job.

The lamb program will work similar to our beef program. The lamb has an approximate hanging weight (before being cut and wrapped) of 50 lbs. KFF will charge a flat fee of $250 at the time of your order—there will be no additional costs to KFF. You will pay Del Fox Custom Meats an additional $90 for their processing, cutting and wrapping service. The meat will be ready for you to pick up in Stanwood at Del Fox Custom Meats in May.

To place your order for grass-fed lamb visit the meat page of our website http://www.klesickfamilyfarm.com/main/order-meat , scroll down to the bottom of the page and select “Lamb-Whole.”

Posted on

1st Annual “Meet Your Farmer” Dinner

The box of good starts here…

Joelle and I would like to invite you to spend an evening dining with us at the Everett Train Station. I have always wanted to host a dinner party for our customers and couldn’t quite find the time, but now we are going to make it happen. Through this event I am combining two things that are important to me: connecting with my customers and connecting my customers with the people that grow their food.  We already have our annual open house Farm Day on the third Saturday in August, but this special venue will be a “dinner party” for the 20-somethings on up to our 104 year old customer (yes, we have a customer reportedly that old—she swears by her diet!) who support Klesick Family Farm. What better way to pull it all together than with an organic meal and dessert.

To prepare this special meal I have teamed up with our organic community. Donna King from Scandia Coffeehouse and Café in Stanwood will be catering the event for us. Food blogger Ashley Rodriguez will be making the desserts—you have been reading about her recipes and now you will be able to meet her and taste her culinary expertise.  Camano Island Coffee Roasters will be providing the perfect coffee for the evening and Breadfarm will be adding their exceptional artisan bread.

Along with several of our KFF team members, we also plan on having several of our local growers on hand with whom you can connect, share gardening stories and ask questions. I will share a presentation on Chilean agriculture based on my recent two-week agricultural tour of that country, comparing it to American agriculture and the importance of local farmers.

So mark your calendar to join us for a fun evening together sharing great food and enjoying each other’s company.

Date: Thursday, March 3rd

Time: 6:30-9:00 p.m.

Location: Everett Train Station, Weyerhaeuser Room

Cost: $28 per person

Attire: Business Casual (farmers need a reason to dress up every now and then)

The menu will include both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.

No host local wine bar.

Door prizes!

Space is limited, so RSVP early to our office (360-652-4663) or make your reservation online by purchasing the “Dinner Event: Meet Your Farmer” on our grocery page at http://www.klesickfamilyfarm.com/main/order-honey-eggs

I hope you will be able to join Joelle and I on March 3rd.

*Image courtesy of Amtrak Cascades

Posted on

Sautéed Broccolini

Sautéed Broccolini (Serves 6)

1 bunch broccolini, washed, and the ¼” of the ends trimmed

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 lemon, zested

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Blanch the broccolini in a large pot of boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Drain immediately and immerse in a bowl of ice water.
  • Melt the butter in a large sauté pan. Add the lemon zest and garlic and stir. Drain the Broccolini and add it to the garlic mixture and heat for 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, the pepper, and toss well before serving.

From Ina Garten (“Barefoot Contessa,” Food Network)

Posted on

Fresh This Week Tips 02.02.11

Red d’Anjou Pears – These are ready to eat now!

STORE:

Refrigerate ripe pears for up to 5 days.

PREP:

If you’re serving uncooked pears, cut them just before using; sprinkle the flesh with lemon juice to prevent browning.

USE:

Red D’anjous can be enjoyed like an apple, or try baking, roasting, sautéing, or poaching in wine; when cooking, use fruit that is still firm.

Avocados:

STORE:

Avocados should be stored at room temperature to allow them to ripen to their desired stage. Place in a brown paper bowl or in your fruit basket to ripen them.

The avocados in this week’s box are a variety called Bacon Avocado. These have an exceptionally bright green color, even when ripe, and don’t store long, so enjoy within a day or two of delivery! Bacon avocados are known for their delicious string-free flesh & mild flavor. The fruit is typically softer to the touch than your usual Haas avocado, so be careful not to squeeze when handling. Test for ripeness by gently feeling the wide end of the avocado. There should be a slight soft impression when its ready to eat.

PREP:

To peel, grip the avocado gently on one side with one hand. With a large, sharp knife in the other hand, cut the avocado lengthwise around the seed. Open the two halves to expose the pit. At this point there are a few ways you can proceed to remove the pit from the avocado half that has the pit. One way is to make another cut, lengthwise on the avocado half that has the pit, cutting around the pit, exposing it so that it is easier to remove. You can also use a spoon to scoop out the pit.

At this point, you can either scoop out the avocado flesh with a spoon (for making guacamole), or slice the avocado into segments. To make it more easy to scoop out the avocado flesh, take a small dinner knife and gently make cuts in the avocado flesh in a cross-hatch pattern, careful not to break through the avocado peel. Then use a spoon to easily scoop out the avocado pieces. If you are making guacamole, don’t worry about slightly discolored or brownish sections. Scoop them up with the rest of the avocado to mash.

Garlic

STORE:

Stored in a dark, cool place where air can circulate around it, garlic will keep for up to 2 months.

PREP:

Remove the outer, papery layer of skin and pull off individual cloves. If they’re tight and can’t easily be pulled free, use the ball of your hand to press and roll the head against your cutting board to loosen the cloves. To remove the skin of an individual one, crush the clove lightly and swiftly with the side of a broad knife, use a paring knife to cut each end off, and then peel away the skin. When sautéing garlic, do so briefly and over low heat under close monitoring; burned garlic is bitter.

Images from flickr.com