Monthly archives "March 2013"

The Farmstead Kitchen – Cabbage

these 3 photos by Laurie   www.lschneider.com

Stoneware Crocks available from www.AngelicasGarden.net

 

Cabbage is one of our very favorite winter vegetables. We  store whole heads in the root cellar for using in coleslaw and other salads, however most of our stockpiled cabbage is preserved in the form of lacto-fermented raw sauerkraut. Fermented foods have their own flavor profile and aren’t especially versatile. We love the sweet crunch of a fresh cabbage salad, and that freshness is especially treasured in the deep of winter when fresh greens are not an option. Why should you grow and eat cabbage besides the fact that it’s a fresh veggie in the winter? Cabbage is from the Brassica family of plants, known to have anti-carcinogenic properties. Cabbage is a GREAT source of real food fiber, which can be lacking in the seasonal winter diet. Here’s some examples of how we use kraut & cabbage in the Farmstead Kitchen.Purple Cabbage makes PINK sauerkraut! Super gorgeous and delicious when mixed with raw shredded carrots, dressed with Olive oil and apple vinegar.

Add some sauerkraut to your hashbrown pan, right when the potatoes are done.  Warming the kraut just slightly gives it a whole new angle on your plate, and it tastes extra awesome with the fried crispy hashbrowns.

Do you get a curry craving? this is our new CURRY CABBAGE invention, serve with red lentil daahl and hot rice or barley.

Cut a cabbage into big wedges, place in a big cast iron pan, drizzle on olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 350 until it’s starting to get tender (about an hour). make your daahl while this is roasting. Then in a separate pan, sautee a big chopped up onion and a bunch of garlic in olive oil til they start to soften, then keep the heat going and sprinkle on; 1 Tsp brown mustard seeds, 1 tsp tumeric powder and 1 tsp curry, a 1/2 tsp of ginger. Stir a minute until fragrant, then spoon this over top your roasted cabbage chunks, toss to coat and stick the pan back in the oven for another 10 minutes to mingle the flavors.

Red Lentil Daahl is SO EASY- simmer 1 cup red lentils in 3 cups flavorful stock or broth, add a little chopped onion, garlic, tomato, maybe some jalapeno slices too, simmer 20-30 minutes total. It will thicken quite a bit, watch it and add more broth if needed at the end so it doesn’t stick on the bottom. Salt and pepper to taste.

Spicy Peanut Sauce Veggies are a welcome change for a winter dinner, with or without noodles. Raw shredded cabbage is absolutely delicious dressed in Spicy Peanut Sauce! So are many other veggies waiting in the freezer and cellar- roasted squash cubes, frozen green beans, sauteed carrot chunks, slivered garlic and onion, etc.

To make an Easy Peanut Sauce, spoon a few hefty spoonfuls (about 1/2 cup) of peanut butter in a big mixing bowl, add 1/4 cup of water then whisk to loosen up the thick pb. Add the same amount of vinegar (something fruity and light- we always use apple vinegar from our cider making pulp, but brown rice or red wine vinegar would be delicious too), keep whisking, and then add 1/4 cup of olive oil, with a bit of soy sauce & sesame oil if you have it. If the sauce seems too thick, taste & add more vinegar or water. Whisk in a bit more peanut butter if it is too thin. Some delicious add-ins to include to taste; raw minced garlic, ginger powder or juice,  Sriracha Hot sauce, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Keeps in the fridge for a week or so.

We’ve talked about our Duck Egg Aioli/Mayo before- but it’s worth repeating as it makes the most delicious coleslaw you have ever had.

Ingredients:
4 large duck eggs
1 Tablespoon dry mustard
1 Tablespoon sea salt
a dash of cayenne
4 cups oil (we use safflower for a milder flavor)
3/4 cup white vinegar (apple cider is good for a real tang) Combine one cup of oil in food processor along with the eggs (white and yolk), mustard, salt, cayenne. Process until smooth. SLOWLY drizzle in 2 cups of oil, making sure it is completely emulsified as you go. Then slowly drizzle in vinegar, and the remaining 1 cup of oil. At this point all the sloshy sounds in the processor should start to become quiet. You know it is perfectly emulsified when all you hear is the whizz of the motor. Season to taste and store in fridge for about a week.

Shred raw cabbage, raw onion & raw carrot, chop up some apples into bite sized chunks. You can even add some nuts, raisins or craisins if you’re feeling wild! Toss with the aioli and refrigerate for an hour before eating, this allows the flavors to mingle.

.

Our last big head of raw cabbage will soon be turned into Cabbage Rolls, a Farmstead Kitchen vegetarian version with cooked lentils & rice, sauteed veggies, a bit of tangy chevre and feta mixed in,  thyme/garlic/salt/pepper to taste. This savory and versatile filling is rolled up in steamed cabbage leaves, which are lined up in a deep casserole dish, and covered with a creamy tomato sauce (blend 2 qrts canned tomatoes with 1/2 lb of chevre) and baked at 350 for an hour or so until the creamy sauce has reduced and the cabbage rolls look and smell heavenly.

Add kraut to a mixed salad with that fresh lettuce you might just need to splurge on at the co-op. You’ll be adding probiotics, flavor and fiber to your already nutritious salad. Kraut can be added to any salad year round really- it’s super dimensional flavor is a compliment to non-fermented veggies!

spring ahead… with babies!

 

Aww, spring is the air, even though we’re still looking at many inches of snow on the ground. At our LTD Farm, spring means babies! Right now we have baby ducks, baby rabbits and baby planties going on, with baby goats, baby chickens and baby geese on the way!

our first goose egg, we're about to begin incubating our first group of 20 eggs!

The past couple days have been exciting watching the rabbit mommas building their nests and getting ready for birth, which for rabbits is called “kindling.” We’ve had 2 litters born so far, and 4 more hopefully on the way in the next few days. Watching a rabbit momma build her nest is precious. We give her soft hay and a solid wooden box to make a cozy nursery, which she is really industrious about and the resulting creation is a circlular woven cubby, lined with her own super insulating fur. This coziness is essential for the little ones, since they are born basically naked, just covered with peach fuzz. Within a week they’ll have fur growing in, and in about 4-5 weeks they’ll be weaned from mom & moving out to our rabbit tractors to graze to their heart’s content. We timed the kindlings with the arrival of spring, so the weaned youngsters can fatten up on grass and enjoy springtime outside.

Doesn’t it feel good to know we’re about to enter spring? We are beyond excited for this bountiful and beautiful season ahead, and would like to give thanks to all of our customers who have continued to show their support of our farm through their patronage. Our Deluxe CSA Shares are now officially sold out, but we do have a handful of Original Shares ($350) remaining, so let us know if you’d like to join us for the season! Thank you!

 

 

The Farmstead Kitchen – Canned Tomatoes

Whether you are a DIY sort of person, interested in self sufficiency, have a desire to avoid the BPA in metal can lining, prefer the flavors of really ripe, heirloom tomatoes, or want to eat local year round, it’s time to kick the habit of canned tomatoes from the store! Canning these summer tomato gems in your kitchen is really much easier than many people think. Preserving food in jars is safe -if you follow approved canning recipes, it’s WAY easier on the budget, and also very eco-friendly. When you buy cans of organic tomatoes at the store, not only did the tomatoes have to get shipped to the cannery, but then they had to be shipped to a distributor warehouse, and then shipped to the grocery store. How many miles are in that innocent can of tomatoes?

We can because we can. We can because we MUST! We can because it helps us eat from our farmstead all year long. We can because it reduces waste in the growing season, preserving the bounty from summer for the other months of the year. In The Farmstead Kitchen, we primarily can high acid foods like tomatoes and fruit, pickles and relishes. Canned tomatoes are the one product we go through ridiculous amounts of every year….hundreds of jars worth! Simple and pure, canned tomatoes contribute to all sorts of delicious meals; marinara, pizza sauce, salsa, stews, soups, sauces, casseroles, braises, chutneys, curries, homemade ketchup, savory cobblers, warm salads…

There is much information available about the canning process, and even workshops held at the Twin City Co-ops you can attend to demystify the process. We’d highly recommend you dive into canning this summer, when heirloom tomatoes are bountiful, ripe, and local! Here are some simple winter recipes from The Farmstead Kitchen using our canned tomatoes

Rich Heirloom Tomato Soup

This recipe highlights the rich flavors inherent in heirloom tomatoes, and lets them shine in mid-winter when we miss fresh tomatoes the most.

2 Quarts Canned tomatoes, whole or diced or pureed

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

a good glug of olive oil

3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons thyme

1 Tablespoon basil

1 Tablespoon oregano

1 Tablespoon fennel seed

1/2 teaspoon dill

2 Tablespoons sweetener, optional

Simply saute the onion on medium heat in a large saucepan for about 10 minutes, until carmelized, add garlic and spices and stir for a minute, add tomatoes and vinegar, and sweetening if you wish, turn down heat to a simmer. Then you will want to gently simmer for about an hour. Let cool, process until smooth in blender. Heat and serve with cheesy toast or something savory and crunchy, we like to stick some sauteed mushrooms on top.

 

Pizza Sauce

Making a long-simmered, thick pizza sauce in the winter makes alot of sense, since who wants to heat the kitchen up in the summer? Winter is a great time to simmer down your canned tomatoes into a rich, savory italian sauce… the whole house fills with humid summer-infused vapors. Just lovely!

2 Quarts Canned tomatoes, whole or diced or pureed

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 glugs of olive oil

3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 Tablespoon thyme

3 Tablespoon basil

3 Tablespoon oregano

2 teaspoons marjoram

2 Tablespoon fennel seed

Optional: onions, mushrooms, olives, spinach

The concept is very similar to our tomato soup, but this time we want more of the savory Italian spices, and omit the onion. This can also be a spaghetti sauce if you don’t cook it down to pizza sauce consistency.You can add onions, mushrooms, olives, or spinach to the this sauce for a delicious pasta meal topped with freshly grated parmesan.

Simply add it everything together in a heavy bottomed sauce pan and simmer until perfectly thick to your liking. Refrigerate for up 2 weeks.

Winter Salsa

You can can salsa all ready to go, but the approved recipes can be rather limiting, as the proper acidity level has to be established to be safely preserved. One way around this is to just make salsa as you use it, starting with your simple canned tomatoes. This salsa uses other ingredients saved in the root cellar and the freezer. Please note this recipe is intended for fresh eating, not canning.

1 Quart Canned Tomatoes

1-3 cloves of garlic, 1/2 onion, 1-3 frozen jalapenos (deseeded if desired,) salt to taste, 2 frozen cilantro cubes, splash of fruity vinegar

Puree and enjoy! Refrigerate and use up within a week. Great splashed on fried eggs, with nachos, as an enchilada sauce, or even as a base for an Indian curry.

 

Announcing our “Open House” Dates!

We’re planning for 3 fun events at LTD Farm this year! Mark your calendars! Please email us farmers (at) ltdfarm (dot) com , in order to RSVP and get directions. We are approximately 1-1/2 hours from the Twin Cities. Events will be rescheduled in the case of bad weather. We’ll have fresh farm goods for sale, bring a picnic blanket, a cooler and appropriate foot wear. Sorry- Dogs are NOT allowed.

April 21st- CSA Open House and Baby Goat Day,   Noon-3  Come check out our farm if you’re thinking of signing up with our CSA for the season, and see our new baby goats!

June 23rd – Open House and Market on the Farm, Noon-3 We’ll have fresh poultry and rabbit for sale, be giving tours and enjoying a lovely afternoon!

Sept 29th – Open House and Market on the Farm, Noon-3