Monday, November 23, 2009

CSA, Weeks 22-24 - Recipes, News and Adieus

The season has finally come to an end, and what a season it was! Near-perfect growing conditions, a fantastic group of CSA members, and a bountiful harvest made this year one of my favorites yet. This past week we had our last CSA drop of the year, wrapping up the harvest just in time for the first (albeit light) snowfall. With the Thanksgiving holiday being a time for gathering family and friends, I have some great recipes to share as inspiration for the many meals sure to be enjoyed this week...

A Fancier Version of Potato Leek Soup (compliments of Martha Stewart Living)


Serves 6 to 8.

  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 6 sprigs fresh rosemary, or 2 teaspoons crushed dried rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 stalks celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 6 leeks, white parts only, washed well, thinly sliced
  • 4 shallots, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 cups (6 C. for thicker soup) Homemade Chicken Stock, or canned low-sodium chicken broth, skimmed of fat
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Make a bouquet garni: First wrap bay leaves, rosemary, parsley, and peppercorns in a piece of cheesecloth. Then tie with a piece of kitchen twine, and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil and butter in a medium stockpot. Add celery, leeks, shallots, and garlic; cook on medium-low heat until very soft, about 45 minutes, stirring only occasionally. Do not brown. Add potatoes, stock, and reserved bouquet garni. Bring mixture to a boil, and then reduce to a gentle simmer. Cook until potatoes are very tender, about 40 minutes. Remove bouquet garni, and discard.
  3. Working in batches, pass half of the soup through a food mill, fitted with a medium disk, into a large saucepan. Add remaining chunky soup. Place the saucepan on medium-low heat to warm soup. Slowly stir in milk and cream, and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Still have a plethora of carrots and some lingering chile peppers? Give this recipe a try!

Glazed Carrots with Ginger and Chiles (also compliments of Martha Stewart Living)
serves 12

2 C. water
6 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 Tbs. honey
1 tsp. salt
2 lbs. carrots, quartered and cut to about 3"
3 Tbs. peeled, minced fresh ginger
1 serrano or other chile pepper, stemmed, seeded and sliced thin
2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Bring water, butter, honey, and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Add carrots, ginger, and chile pepper. Reduce heat, and simmer, covered, until carrots are tender, 5-7 minutes. Transfer carrots and pan juices to a serving dish, and toss with fresh parsley. Serve warm.

Squash and Potato Enchiladas with Mole Sauce (from Vegetarian Planet by Didi Emmons)
(A winter favorite of ours!)
serves 4

1 Tbs. olive oil
2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano, or 1 tsp. dried
1 tsp. salt, plus more to season at end
12 tsp. fresh-ground pepper
1 1/2 lbs. medium potatoes (about 3), cut into 1/2" cubes
1 1/2 lbs. winter squash, cut in half and seeded
1 chile pepper (serrano or jalapeno), chopped - I like to use chiles packed in chipotle sauce for a smoky flavor...
1 C. chopped onion
1-2 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 C. almond slivers, toasted lightly in a skillet or toaster oven
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves
Large can of tomato sauce (Muir Glen brand is great-tasting, but homemade is best if you have it!)
1/2 C. water
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 10" flour tortillas
1 1/2 C. grated cheddar, pepper-jack, or monterey jack cheese (optional)
4 Tbs. sour cream (optional)

note: This recipe doesn't call for chocolate in the mole sauce, but I've added a Tbs. of shaved bittersweet or dark chocolate to the sauce for added depth and naughtiness with great results!

Preheat oven to 350'F. Bake winter squash according to the directions given in the previous blog entry. Meanwhile, gently boil potatoes until just tender (do not over cook). Drain and set potatoes aside. Remove cooked squash from skins and slice or mash the squash for layering in the tortillas later.

To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a medium skillet, sauteing the onion, garlic, almonds, and oregano for about 5 minutes. Add cinnamon and cloves, sauteing for another 2 min. Add tomato sauce and chile peppers (and chocolate, if desired) and cook mixture over medium heat for 5 min., stirring occasionally. Add the water and blend well. Season the sauce wth 1/2 tsp. salt and pepper to taste. Add a tablespoon or two of tomato paste to thicken the sauce, if desired. Let mixture cool, then puree in a blender or food processor.

Preheat oven to 400'F. Fill each tortilla with about an 1/8th of the potatoes and squash. Add a little grated cheese and a dollop of sour cream to each tortillas before rolling tightly. I also like to add a spoonful of cooked black beans to each tortilla. Fit the 8 tortillas in a casserole dish. Pour the mole sauce over the tortillas and sprinkle with a little more cheese, if desired, and perhaps some chopped green onions. Cover with foil and bake for 35-40 min., or until the sauce and cheese are bubbling. Remove foil and place under the broil for a few minutes to brown the cheese a little, if necessary.

Winter Squash and Cheese Panade (from the Relish insert of the newspaper)
serves 12
You can bake this in a large casserole dish or in individual bowls or ramekins. A chewy, artisan-style bread is recommended.

10 (1/2" thick) slices artisan-style multigrain or whole wheat bread
2 sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 lb. winter squash (use one of the larger types, not the small ones), peeled and cut into 1" cubes
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. chopped fresh sage or 1 tsp. dried
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried
1 1/4 tsp. salt
coarsely ground black pepper
4 C. homemade or canned reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 C. grated gruyere or Swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 350'F. Tear bread into 1/2-1" pieces and bake until crisp, stirring once, 10-12 min.

Increase oven temp. to 400'F. Combine onion and squash in a large bowl. Add oil, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper. Toss well. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast until onions begin to brown and squash is fork tender, 22-25 min.

Coat a 13 x 9" baking dish or 12 (1-cup) or 6 (2-cup) oven-proof serving bowls lightly with oil or cooking spray. Place bread in a single layer in the bottom of pan. Distribute half the squash mixture over bread. Sprinkle with half the cheese. Repeat layers.

Slowly pour in 2 C. broth over top, allowing bread to soak up broth and pressing with the back of a spoon. Add remaining broth until it reaches about 1 inch below the pan's rim.

Reduce oven temp. to 375'F. Cover pan with foil and place it on a baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 35-45 min., until bubbling, puffed and golden brown. Let stand 5 min. before serving.

And, of course, a recipe for the perfect buttermilk mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner....

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes (from Cook's Illustrated)
serves 12

6 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
salt to taste
2 sticks plus 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 C. buttermilk, at room temperature
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place potatoes in large Dutch oven; add cold water and cover by 1 inch. Add 2 Tbs. salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes break apart when paring knife is inserted, about 18 minutes. Drain potatoes and return to saucepan set on the still-hot burner.

Using potato masher, mash spuds until a few small lumps remain. Gently mix melted butter and room-temp. buttermilk in a small bowl until combined. Add buttermilk mixture to potatoes; using rubber spatula, gently fold in mixture until just incorporated. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper; serve immediately.

Well, folks, a happy Thanksgiving to all of you! Many thanks from me to you for a wonderful year on the farm.
I'll be in touch!