Welcome to the 17th week of the 2014 Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!
Here’s what’s in the share:
- Summer Leeks
- Early Red Italian Garlic
- Poblano Peppers -Generally mild, poblanos can sometimes pack some heat, so be prepared. We suggest you either stuff them, make salsa, or make soup!
- Habanero or Jalapeno Peppers – Hot or Hotter! Be careful working with hot peppers, especially the habaneros. They’re green and may be milder than a fully ripe habanero, but they are hot and we suggest wearing gloves when seeding them.
- German Butterball Potatoes
- Dill – We love roasted potatoes with dill, but do you have too much dill to use right away? Putting it in a jar of water will help make it last longer, or drying it will mean you’ll some to use later.
- Napa Cabbage or Broccoli (limited quantity of broccoli)
- Brussels Sprouts Tops – It’s time to top the Brussels so we’ll have fat sprouts later this fall. That means tasty greens now! Eat them up like kale or collards.
- Mixed Tomatoes – Our main tomatoes are finished for the season but we were able to eek out mixed pints of slicers and cherries. Get your green tomato recipes ready because my bet is you’ll be seeing them soon.
The main growing season is getting closer and closer to it’s end. With fewer minutes of daylight each day, the chance of crops fully maturing is lessened. This week we brought in most of the winter squash from the field. We planted our winter squash in multiple sessions this year, thinking some would do well transplanted but other varieties would be fine direct sown a little later. Lesson learned! Even with all the heat units this summer has given us, we’re still crossing our fingers that the direct sown varieties finish up before the plants are taken out by the dreaded powdery mildew and/or a frost finds us.
On the bright side, I’m excited to have the variety called Stella Blue back in the mix as I hadn’t been able to locate seed for a couple of years. Also, this is our first year with a variety called Carnival that not only looks fun, it tastes good and stores well too! Hurrah for winter squash and the changing of the seasons!
This hot summer has been good for pepper growing! Hopefully you’re enjoying the diverse varieties as much as we are. We grow 7 types of peppers, all of which we’ve shared with you as of this week, and each year we have to limit ourselves from growing even more. Peppers are so diverse in shape, size, color, flavor and can be used in so many dishes, but we don’t want to totally overwhelm you with peppers.
This week we have generally mild poblanos and either hot jalapenos or hotter habaneros for you. I was searching for a description of the heat differences and came upon this quote:
“If heat equals strength and this is the World’s Strongest Man Contest, the habanero chile can lift an 18-wheeler. The serrano can lift a VW van. The jalapeño can lift a Vespa, which is still pretty powerful compared to the pepperoncini lifting a Big Wheel way down at the bottom of the Scoville scale.” – via article on cookthink.com
As I mentioned above, please be careful when working with the hot peppers. The habaneros in particular pack a punch and we suggest wearing gloves when seeding them. They may be milder than fully ripe and colored habaneros, but be weary until you know for sure.
In between the regular work of farming I’ve been continuing to preserve what bits of the summer I can squeeze in. We started the week with a stack of split tomatoes from weeks past and a couple of bins of #2 sweet peppers and ended the week with jars full of roasted pepper spread and tomato sauce. The heat of the summer felt endless at times, but recent cool mornings have reminded us that winter is on the way. With a little time spent now, we’ve got tasty summer reminders on the shelf for winter enjoyment.
Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
Mediterranean Supper Omelet with Fennel, Olives, and Dill
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 cups thinly sliced fresh fennel bulb, fronds chopped and reserved
- 8 cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup chopped pitted green brine-cured olives
- 5 large eggs, beaten to blend with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 4-ounce package crumbled goat cheese Provencal (with thyme, basil, and sweet red pepper)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fennel bulb; sauté until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Cover and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and mash with fork; mix in olives. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to medium bowl.
Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to same skillet; heat over medium-high heat. Add beaten eggs and cook until eggs are just set in center, tilting skillet and lifting edges of omelet with spatula to let uncooked portion flow underneath, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle half of cheese over half of omelet, then top with fennel mixture. Sprinkle dill over, then remaining cheese. Using spatula, fold uncovered half of omelet over cheese; slide onto plate. Garnish with chopped fennel fronds and serve.
From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Mediterranean-Supper-Omelet-with-Fennel-Olives-and-Dill-233713
Layered Chicken Enchiladas with Tomatillo-Cilantro Sauce
2 pounds large tomatillos, husked, rinsed, halved
1 1/4 cups low-salt chicken broth
10 garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups sliced green onions
2 cups (packed) very coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 large serrano chile, sliced (with seeds) (or try this week’s jalapeno or habanero!)
12 5- to 6-inch corn tortillas
1 purchased roasted chicken, meat torn into strips (about 4 cups)
1 pound whole-milk mozzarella cheese, cut into strips
1 cup whipping cream
Preheat oven to 450°F. Mix tomatillos, chicken broth, and garlic cloves in large saucepan. Cover and bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat; simmer gently until tomatillos are soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer hot mixture to processor. Add sliced green onions, chopped cilantro, and sliced chile; blend mixture to coarse puree. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
Overlap 6 tortillas in 13x9x2-inch oval or rectangular baking dish. Top tortillas with half of chicken strips and half of mozzarella strips. Pour 2 cups tomatillo sauce evenly over. Top with remaining tortillas, chicken strips, and mozzarella. Pour 1 1/2 cups tomatillo sauce over, then whipping cream. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until bubbling, about 25 minutes. Cool enchiladas 10 minutes. Serve with remaining tomatillo sauce.
From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Layered-Chicken-Enchiladas-with-Tomatillo-Cilantro-Sauce-232700
Potato Leek Soup with Cheese
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
- 1 large leek (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 4 large potatoes (about 2 1/4 pounds), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 large carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 cups low-salt chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 1 tablespoon dried
- 3/4 cup milk
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 3 ounces)
- Chopped fresh parsley (optional)
- Additional grated sharp cheddar cheese (optional)
Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add leek and garlic; sauté until tender but not brown, about 4 minutes. Add potatoes and carrots; sauté 5 minutes longer. Add chicken broth and dill; simmer uncovered until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add milk to soup. Transfer half of soup to blender. Add cream cheese and blend until smooth. Return soup to pot. Add 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese and stir over low heat until melted. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill. Bring to simmer before serving.) Transfer to large serving bowl. Garnish soup with chopped fresh parsley and additional grated sharp cheddar cheese, if desired.
From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Potato-Leek-Soup-with-Cheese-107255